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Top Online Accelerated Healthcare Administration Degrees

An accelerated online healthcare administration degree can prepare you to navigate issues that span the managerial and medical sides of allied healthcare. Find the right one for you below.

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Author: Jenna Tidd
Editor: Kimberly Zaski

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If you’re an experienced healthcare professional, you may want to play a bigger role in shaping the policies and procedures that ensure a facility runs smoothly. Or maybe you’re new to the medical field and want to make a difference outside of hands-on patient care. Either way, an accelerated healthcare administration online program will equip you for leadership positions in hospitals, nursing homes, physicians’ offices, and clinics where you will manage finances, employees, services, and various programs.

Earning an accelerated healthcare administration degree online opens the door to a career with tremendous job potential. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, health management positions are expected to grow by 28% between 2022 and 2032, which is far above average. As of 2022, health managers earn an average annual wage of over $104,000, making this a profitable field to explore.

We’ve put together this handy guide to help you determine if pursuing an accelerated healthcare administration degree online is the right choice for you. You’ll learn about three high-quality programs, discover the benefits and challenges of an accelerated degree, and find the answers to the most frequently asked questions. With this foundation, you’ll be on your way to making your career dreams come true.

Profiling Top Accelerated Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Choosing an accelerated healthcare administration program online can be overwhelming, so we made the process a bit easier by highlighting three accredited schools below. Each one provides a flexible, efficient way to earn your degree while gaining critical knowledge and skills in risk management, policy, finance, and ethics.

Gwynedd Mercy University

At Gwynedd Mercy University, business students interested completing an accelerated healthcare administration program online can earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as two years with their Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare administration. Coursework is completed in five-week blocks using a 100% online, asynchronous format for maximum flexibility. Students with no transfer credits may need longer than two years to finish the program. The university’s small class size creates a more personal experience that promotes collaboration and interaction among the students and faculty.

Course content includes subjects like healthcare risk management, healthcare financial planning, accounting, legal issues in health administration, and economics. Upon graduating, students will be well-versed in healthcare-specific issues such as fiscal management and regulation. They will also have the necessary problem-solving skills to gather, assess, and apply critical information in an ethical way when dealing with other healthcare professionals.

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University offers a Health Services Administration Online Program that is designed for both new and experienced health professionals. It prepares students for entry-level administrative positions in ambulatory clinics, in-patient hospitals, retirement homes, skilled nursing centers, public health departments, physicians’ practices, and more.

Incoming students have two options with this accelerated healthcare administration online program. Experienced health professionals with prior credits can complete their degree, and students with zero credits can earn a full degree. Graduation requirements include maintaining a 2.0 GPA while completing a minimum of 120 credit hours and minoring in management.

Graduates of this program earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a major in health services administration and gain the skills to deliver health services through healthcare management and policy education. Coursework covers topics like public health, environmental health science, and healthcare delivery system, as well as ethics, finance and budgeting in healthcare, and community health resources.

Purdue Global

Purdue Global offers convenience and quality education in one package with their online ExcelTrack Bachelors in Health Care Administration. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, this highly customizable program features single-credit courses that focus on exactly what students need to learn and not what they already know. Incoming students take assessments that determine their knowledge and skills from at least three years of prior work experience and the completion of three courses at an accredited college.

Using these results, they can take as many courses as desired during each 10-week term for a flat rate of $2,500 per term. With self-paced deadlines and courseload, this program is designed to fit life’s ever-changing needs. The required 180 quarter credit hours can be completed as quickly or as slowly as needed. During the program, students learn research and critical thinking skills while gaining foundational knowledge of healthcare administration, policy, law, and economics.

Accelerated vs. Traditional HCA Programs: Structure, Length & More

Below, we look at each type of degree and break down key differences between accelerated and traditional health care administration programs to help you understand what sets each apart. Factors like structure, length of study, and cost are all important things to consider when determining which educational path is right for you.

Certificates

To earn a graduate certificate through an accelerated healthcare administration program online, students must already have a bachelor’s degree. This type of program requires 12 to 16 credits and can be completed in as little as 14 to 16 weeks, whereas traditional certificate programs can take six months or more. Graduate-level certificates cost around $620 per credit hour and pave the way to management positions. Students with just a high school diploma can earn a technical certificate for entry-level office jobs in healthcare.

Associate Degrees

A traditional associate degree typically consists of 60 credit hours completed in two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study. Accelerated healthcare administration online programs allow students to earn an associate degree in 12 to 18 months, which may be more suitable for those who want to begin earning a higher salary as soon as possible. In general, no prerequisites are required for both traditional and accelerated associate programs.

Bachelor’s Degrees

Traditional bachelor’s degree programs take four years to complete, whereas an accelerated degree can be earned in one to two years. Online bachelor’s health administration programs usually require about 120 credits and cost from $300 to $600 per credit hour, depending on whether you live out of state or attend a private school. Prerequisites and required courses depend on whether you have a background in healthcare or not. Online bachelor’s degrees may not include the onsite training required in traditional programs.

Master’s Degrees

Typically, a master’s degree requires 60 to 70 course credits that take two to three years of full-time study to complete or up to four years of part-time study. Online master’s healthcare administration programs often range from two to three years, as well. With an accelerated healthcare administration online program, it’s possible to earn your degree in just 18 months. General requirements to enroll in a master’s degree program include having a bachelor’s degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

PhDs & Doctorates

Graduate degrees like PhDs and doctorates usually require 54 to 63 credits, which can be completed at varying speeds, thanks to self-paced dissertation work. Many schools give you up to seven years to earn your degree. Tuition ranges from $600 to $1,200 per credit hour.

By choosing an accelerated healthcare administration online program, you can earn a doctorate in three years or less. Upon graduation, you can become a hospital CEO, a healthcare administration professor, or a research director.

Benefits & Challenges of Accelerated Programs

Like anything else, accelerated healthcare administration online degrees have pros and cons, such as flexibility, shorter time spent in school, and more intensive study. Here, we detail some of the benefits and challenges you may experience, as well as helpful tips for success on your accelerated journey.

Benefit: Career Advancement

For those who want to change or advance their careers, accelerated programs offer a convenient way to quickly enter the workforce in their chosen occupation in roughly half the time as traditional programs. This enables people to quickly gain valuable skills and experience that opens the door to more profitable positions.

Benefit: Efficient Timeline

Spending two, four, or more years in school is a serious time commitment that many people are unable to make, due to family obligations and life events. For self-motivated individuals, an accelerated healthcare administration online program provides a more efficient, streamlined route to their career goals by cutting the overall program length in half.

Benefit: Flexibility

Many accelerated programs are offered online, as opposed to the traditional on-campus format or even hybrid options. This option provides the flexibility many students need when trying to schedule study time around a full-time job and family commitments. This enables people who are unable to attend on-site classes to continue their education and advance their career at their own pace.

Benefit: Serious Cost Savings

Because accelerated healthcare administration online programs are much shorter than traditional ones, students save on tuition and fees by paying for fewer terms. They won’t have to pay out-of-pocket for living expenses or take out large student loans. If money is a determining factor, an accelerated program may be the path to advanced education on a budget.

Challenge: Fewer Natural Networking Opportunities

Compared to attending onsite classes, an online education may result in limited networking opportunities. Passing conversations that can lead to business connections don’t occur as readily when you’re studying alone at home.

To counteract this effect, try contacting your college’s career services office and connecting with your professors for tips. You can also attend virtual networking events and use social media platforms like LinkedIn to be more visible to recruiters and employers looking to hire for open positions.

Challenge: Intensive Workload

An accelerated healthcare administration online degree’s shortened timeline requires more intense study to complete the coursework. Students must absorb information at a much faster rate, which makes for a more demanding schedule than the relaxed pace of traditional programs.

During this busy time, time management, prioritization, and family support can help minimize stress. Listening to lectures while driving in the car, organizing projects according to deadlines, and sharing household tasks are all ways to seamlessly integrate school into your life.

Challenge: Less Time for Reflection & Application

Learning information in half the time means less time is spent discussing each topic and its application. This can make retaining the information challenging and even overwhelming. Focusing on core concepts and breaking complicated subjects down into smaller sections can make them easier to absorb.

Other ways to optimize your study time include sticking to a schedule, taking regular breaks, explaining concepts out loud to yourself, and using strategies like flashcards, practice tests, and asking yourself questions aloud.

Challenge: Technical Challenges

Online accelerated health administration programs require technological equipment and a certain level of digital literacy. Random glitches and disconnects can be annoying at minimum and highly stressful when trying to turn in an assignment before a deadline.

To resolve these issues, many colleges have 24/7 tech support for online students. They also may also provide online orientation to familiarize you with the content format. Most people with basic computer skills and a reliable internet connection can successfully complete the work.

Your FAQs, Answered

If this guide sparked more questions, you may find the answers below where we address the most common queries people have about earning an accelerated healthcare administration degree online. From financial aid to finding jobs, we share the need-to-know info, so you can make an informed decision for your future.

Are online accelerated healthcare administration degrees as valid as traditional degrees to employers?

Yes, provided these degrees come from accredited schools. Many employers may not ask or care if your online healthcare administration degree was earned through an accelerated program. However, if they do ask, or if you tell them, it just shows that you are a motivated individual with a strong work ethic, qualities that most employers look for when hiring.

Are financial aid options available for online healthcare administration students?

Fortunately, there are several financial aid options when enrolling in an accelerated healthcare administration online program. Federal loans and grants (such as the Pell Grant) can be accessed by filling out a FAFSA. Then, there are loan forgiveness programs, financial aid for veterans, education tax credits, employer-sponsored aid, and school-sponsored aid.

Do online programs offer opportunities for internships, practicums, or real-world experiences?

Yes, depending on the school. Some online programs, such as the Master of Healthcare Administration at High Point University give students the chance to apply what they’ve learned in real-world situations. Penn State World Campus offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Policy and Administration that includes a 320-hour full- or part-time internship.

How do I know if an accelerated online healthcare administration degree is right for me?

It’s important to consider your career goals and what fits into your work and home life. If you want to begin working as soon as possible and don’t mind intensive study, then an accelerated program may be a good fit. But if you prefer a more relaxed pace, a traditional route could be a better choice.

Is it possible to work while earning a healthcare administration degree online

Yes, although it will take dedication and good time management to do so. Accelerated online programs are designed to be flexible, but they require more study hours per week. This can be challenging to fit around a work schedule. That said, it’s possible if you’re motivated and have the necessary support.

What resources are available for networking while enrolled in an online program?

Networking looks a little different when enrolled in an accelerated healthcare administration online program. Most of your connections must be made virtually. Valuable resources include your professors, your college’s career services office, virtual networking events, and social media platforms like LinkedIn. Some schools are affiliated with medical facilities that may have job opportunities as well.