Inside Top Online A.S. Programs in Health Administration

What does it mean to earn an associate degree in health administration online? See 2020’s top programs, look inside the curriculum, compare costs, and discover your options for after graduation.

2020’s Best Online Healthcare Administration Associate Degrees

Earning a healthcare administration associates degree online is a great way to jumpstart a career in the rapidly growing healthcare field. But how can you be sure that the online program you’re considering is a quality one? Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and from the colleges themselves, we’ve researched and analyze some of the most affordable and fully-accredited online healthcare administration associate degree programs available in 2020.

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About the ranking

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Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Pitt Community CollegeWinterville, NC Public $ 1

Students in the Healthcare Management Technology program at Pitt Community College can look forward to preparation for jobs within the business and financial operations of healthcare centers of all kinds. Students can opt for four tracks: general healthcare management technology, or an emphasis on entrepreneurship, accounting, or long term care. The program focuses on developing supervisory skills through courses that emphasize team building, legal and ethical environments, critical analysis of financial operations, and database management. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to sit for the Certified Patient Account Manager (CPAM) and Certified Manager of Patient Accounts (CMPA) exams.

Program Overview:

Associate of Applied Science – Healthcare Management Technology

  • Credits: 66 to 69
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $76/credit (resident); $268/credit (non-resident)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CAHIIM (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
19%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
2 Iowa Central Community CollegeFort Dodge, IA Public $$ 1

Iowa Central Community College is home to the Health Care Administration Online Program, which results in an associate of professional studies. The program takes two years to complete and includes courses such as financial accounting, introductory biology, healthcare and economics, legal issues in healthcare, medical terminology, introduction to sociology, and more. The 66 credit hours focus on the skills and knowledge necessary for students to begin a leader in the healthcare administration sector, including how to plan, supervise, and direct healthcare delivery. For maximum flexibility, classes start every four weeks.

Program Overview:

Associate in Professional Studies in Health Care Administration

  • Credits: 66
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $240/credit (resident); $322.50/credit (non-resident)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
62%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
3 Bossier Parish Community CollegeBossier City, LA Public $ 1

Those seeking an associate degree in health care management can find it at Bossier Parish Community College, where the Health Care Management, AS program offers two tracks: health studies and professional practice. The health studies concentration requires 60 hours of study with courses such as small business management, risk and insurance, healthcare informatics, and medical terminology. It can be completed fully online. The professional practice track also requires 60 hours and includes many similar courses, but requires 80 internship hours during the final semester of study.

Program Overview:

Health Care Management, AS

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $138.96/credit for online students
  • Mode: Fully online/partially online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
13%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
4 Harrisburg Area Community CollegeHarrisburg, PA Public $$ 2

Those who want to blend a career in healthcare with some management prowess might be well-suited for the Healthcare Management – Associate in Applied Science (AAS) program at Harrisburg Area Community College. Students in this program will learn about management, marketing, and accounting principles that will hold them in good stead in the healthcare field. Typical courses include those in medical terminology, organizational behavior, principles of marketing, introduction to medical insurance, and principles of managerial accounting. Those who complete the program and want to further their education can take advantage of transfer agreements with certain Pennsylvania schools.

Program Overview:

Healthcare Management – Associate in Applied Science (AAS)

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $180.25/credit (resident); $267/credit (non-resident)
  • Mode: Fully online/partially online
  • Accreditation: MSCHE (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
1%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
5 Minnesota West Community and Technical CollegeGranite Falls, MN Public $$ 2

The Healthcare Administrative Assistant, AAS program at Minnesota West Community and Technical College prepares students to support a medical office or similar facility. Students in this program will learn a wide variety of skills that allow them to provide clerical and some medical support to the office, including billing, scheduling, processing insurance claims, ordering laboratory tests, and providing patient instruction. Courses include a good mix of medical topics, such as body structure and function, medical terminology, and developmental psychology, as well as administrative topics, such as customer service for office professionals, word processing, and healthcare documentation. Minnesota West is party to numerous articulation agreements that allow a student to move seamlessly into a bachelor’s program.

Program Overview:

Healthcare Administrative Assistant – AAS

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $189.18/credit for online students
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
4%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
6 Terra State Community CollegeFremont, OH Public $ 1

The Healthcare Administration Degree at Terra State Community College culminates in an associate degree, while preparing students to move into the bachelor’s program at a school of their choice. In fact, students who complete the program at Terra State are guaranteed a space in the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration Online Degree Completion Program at Mercy College in Ohio. To complete the 62 required credit hours, students will take courses such as Clinical Data Analysis, Health Record Law, Human Resource Management, and Effective Teams and Processes, as well as general education courses.

Program Overview:

Healthcare Administration Degree – Associate Degree

  • Credits: 62
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $176/credit (resident); $352 (non-resident)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
7 Herkimer County Community CollegeHerkimer, NY Public $$ 1

The Online Health Services Management Technology program at Herkimer State University of New York is offered entirely online and culminates in an associate of applied science degree. This program prepares students for work in a business office in a health services location, including identifying the challenges and possible solutions facing healthcare organizations today. Courses include Medical Problems and Programs, Business Communications, Principles of Management, Medical Terminology, and Medical Coding. Graduates will have the ability to communicate underlying principles in the healthcare industry, as well as demonstrate the five levels of healthcare delivery and the major components of each, thus preparing them to handle business matters in any medical setting.

Program Overview:

Online Health Services Management Technology, AAS

  • Credits: 64
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $2,435/semester (resident); $3,750/semester (non-resident)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: MSCHE (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
7%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education

Profiling Online Associate Degrees in Healthcare Administration

Want to learn what goes into an associate degree in healthcare administration online? The profiles below give you some of the key details you need to know before applying to a program. Discover the extent of online learning available (partial or fully), the credit load, the cost, career prospects, and more.

Point University

Point University

Point University, a private, Christian institution, offers a fully-online, 60-credit hour Associate of Arts in Healthcare Administration degree to students interested in seeking entry-level positions in healthcare management and leadership, as well as those intending to continue on to complete their bachelor’s degree at Point or another four-year college or university. The degree curriculum consists of a combination of liberal arts-based general education classes and foundational coursework in healthcare administration and leadership. The program is presented 100% online in an asynchronous format, meaning that students can access classes and complete their coursework at anytime. The asynchronous format additionally offers students flexibility in total program length, although most students complete all degree requirements with two years of full-time study. Students enrolled in PU’s online AA in Healthcare Administration program enjoy tuition costs nearly 40% less than students in the school’s regular on-campus program. Out-of-state online students pay the same tuition rates as Georgia residents.

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University

OSU’s online Associate of Science in Health Care Administration degree, offered through its Oklahoma City campus, prepares graduates for entry-level support positions in a range of healthcare settings, including administration and management, billing and coding, marketing and sales, and customer care. All classes in the 63-credit hour curriculum are offered online. However, online classes are not self-paced, meaning that students are required to meet instructor-determined deadlines for assignments and tests. Some classes are also available on the Oklahoma City campus, and online students have the option of attending these classes in-person. Students complete a combination of general education coursework in subjects such as English composition, American government, psychology, sociology, and communications. Major-specific coursework subjects include healthcare management, health care provider relations, biological and medical terminology, and healthcare coding and billing. The program features a generous credit transfer policy that allows for the transfer in of a substantial number of previously-earned college credits. However, students must complete, at minimum, their final 15 credit hours through OSU-OKC.

Inside Look at Earning Your Healthcare Administration Associate Degree Online

Flexibility and convenience are the hallmarks of any good distance learning program, and online healthcare administration associate degree programs are no exception. Program curriculums and formats vary somewhat from school to school, but the academic study of healthcare administration lends itself particularly well to online study. Most programs feature asynchronous coursework that can be completed entirely online at anytime and from any location with high-speed internet access. Flexibility extends to degree completion times as well, with both full-time and part-time study options common.

Here are the answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions prospective students have about pursuing an online associate degree in healthcare administration:

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What Do You Learn in an Online Healthcare Administration Associate Degree Program?

The curriculum of your online associate degree in healthcare administration program will focus on the development of practical knowledge and skills in management and leadership as they apply to specific healthcare administrative roles and responsibilities. Core concepts and specific topics you’ll cover include:

  • Supervision, management, and leadership theories and practices.
  • Organizational structures of managed healthcare systems and facilities.
  • Critical thinking and decision-making skills.
  • Interpersonal and organizational communications skills.
  • Human resource management and practices.
  • Analysis and application of healthcare information, statistics, and data.
  • Medical records management and coding, including electronic records systems.
  • Accounting principles and their practical applications.
  • Medical terminology.
  • Applicable medical laws, regulations, and ethics.
  • Overview and analysis of current practices and trends in healthcare management and the broader healthcare industry.

Core Class Examples

Accounting Principles

Healthcare administration practice intimately involves budget management. Accounting principles courses provide students with foundational knowledge in the use of accounting information systems, analysis of transactions, the journalizing and posting of transactions, the creation and reading of financial statements, performance evaluation, and more. Students are also introduced to the use of accounting software programs.

Human Resource Management

Medical Law and Ethics

Medical Terminology

Principles of Healthcare Management

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How Long Does It Take to Earn a Healthcare Administration Associates Degree Online?

Most healthcare administration associate degree programs consist of approximately 60-66 credit hours of coursework which normally requires one-and-a-half to two years of full-time study to complete. Online programs, however – particularly those whose coursework is presented asynchronously – typically offer both full-time and part-time options that allow students to tailor their studies to fit their busy lives. This means students may be able to take up to three or four years, sometimes longer, to finish all degree requirements. Flexibility in class choices, degree completion times, and other study options depends on the particular program you choose, though. Be sure to carefully review the specific curriculum requirements for all programs under consideration before enrolling.

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How Much Do Online Healthcare Admin Programs Cost?

Costs of online healthcare administration associate degree programs vary, often substantially, from program to program. Common factors impacting costs include type of school (two-year community vs. four-year, public vs. private) and student’s place of residency (within or outside the program’s home state). Below are the current tuition rates for three online programs to give you an idea of how much you may be paying for yours. Keep in mind, however, that total program costs will likely also include application and other fees, as well as the cost of books and supplies.

Florida Tech

Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech)

Associate of Arts in Healthcare Management

Total Credits: 64

$510/credit

Iowa Central Community College

Iowa Central Community College

Associate in Professional Studies in Health Care Administration

Total Credits: 66

$240/credit (in-state residents);
$322.50/credit (out-of state residents)

New England College

New England College

Associate of Science in Healthcare Administration

Total Credits: 60

$415/credit

For comprehensive information on funding your degree program, check out EduMed’s comprehensive guide to financial aid and find scholarship opportunities.

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Will My Online Healthcare Associate Degree Credits Transfer to a Bachelor’s Program?

In most cases, yes. The majority of healthcare administration associate degree programs feature curriculums and individual courses that meet specific requirements for healthcare administration or management bachelor’s degree programs at their schools and other four-year colleges and universities. Not all programs do this, however, so prospective students are advised to confirm credit transferability prior to choosing their associate degree program – whether they intend to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree or not.

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What Can You Do with an Online Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration?

There are two primary career paths one can take after earning a healthcare administration associate degree. The first is to continue on to a four-year college or university bachelor’s degree program in healthcare administration, management, or closely-related major. The second is to head directly for the job market. For those intending to immediately start their careers upon graduation, there’s good news. Many entry-level positions in the field offer solid wages and enjoy robust job growth expectations over the next decade. Below is a small sampling of popular positions available to healthcare administration associate degree holders. Job growth and growth rate figures are taken from the Department of Labor’s BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook and O*NET OnLine websites. 

Administrative Medical Assistant

Projected Job Openings (2018-2028):
154,900

Project Job Growth Rate (2018-2028):
23%

Healthcare administration is about leadership, even for entry-level employees. In this class, students are taught to be effective and efficient leaders through an examination of leadership issues and behaviors.  Specific topics covered include the scope of management, organization, decision-making, direction of staff and employee motivation, strategic planning, styles and processes of leadership, and more.

Medical Records/Health Information Technician

Medical Secretary

Patient Representative

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How Much Can I Make with a Healthcare Administration Associate Degree?

Lots of elements factor into the salary you can expect to earn in an entry-level healthcare management job, including the specific job duties and responsibilities, type and size of the employer (hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, etc.), and geographic location (region of the country, urban vs. rural setting, etc.). Below is a look at national median salary figures from the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook and O*NET OnLine for the above-described jobs:

CareerNational Median Salary (2018)
Administrative Medical Assistant$33,610
Medical Records/Health Information Technician$40,350
Medical Secretary$37,760
Patient Representative$33,750

Education and Career Advancement Options After Earning Your Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration

Earning an associate degree in healthcare administration is an excellent way to get your foot in the door of a career in the healthcare management field. An entry-level administrative position at a hospital, outpatient clinic, doctor’s office, long-term care facility, or similar setting a will provide you with the work experience necessary to move up the career ladder. But experience is not all you’ll need. Real career advancement will require continuing on with your formal education to earn a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, healthcare management, or closely-related major. And obtaining a top-tier supervisory position will likely mean completing a master’s degree program as well.

This chart will give you an idea of some of the career and education advancement paths you can follow once you’ve obtained your healthcare administration associate degree:

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Understanding Accreditation for Online Healthcare Administration Associate Degree Programs

Proper accreditation of any degree program you choose is of primary importance, including online programs. There are two forms of accreditation of college degree programs in the U.S. — institutional and programmatic. Currently, there are no agencies that specifically accredit healthcare administration associate degree programs, whether they’re offered online or on-campus. The colleges and universities that offer these programs, however, are accredited by a national or regional agency recognized by the Department of Education (DOE). Accreditation information can almost always be found on college or university websites or by searching the DOE’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. If you’re having trouble locating accreditation status information online, however, be sure to contact the school directly.