Inside Top Online A.S. Programs in Health Administration

What does it mean to earn an associate degree in health administration online? See 2021’s top programs, look inside the curriculum, compare costs, and discover your options for after graduation.

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Last Updated: 09/21/2021
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2021’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 2021.

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About the ranking

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Methodology for EduMed’s 2021 Best Online Programs

1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

2. Assign Weightings

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

Affordability

  • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021

# 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 Harrisburg Area Community CollegeHarrisburg, PA Public $$ 2

HACC’s two-year Healthcare Management Associate Degree program prepares students for entry-level administrative roles in medical offices and other settings. New students and transfers can take advantage of the school’s affordable tuition and may be eligible for even cheaper rates thanks to the nearly 200 scholarships funded by the HACC Foundation. Required courses for the 60-credit program build key skills in medical insurance procedures, managerial accounting, and organizational behavior. Each class results in credits easily transferable to 4-year institutions throughout Pennsylvania and across the country.

HACC delivers its healthcare administration curriculum entirely online using a traditional 15-week format. Students interact with peers and faculty using responsive virtual tools and can engage course content in gerontology, medical terminology, and other areas at a times and places convenient for them. Recent graduates landed positions as nurse administrators, clinical directors, and social services managers.

Program Highlights:

Healthcare Management – Associate in Applied Science

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $222/credit (in-state); $267/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: MSCHE (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
1%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
2 Minnesota West Community and Technical CollegeGranite Falls, MN Public $$ 2

Students enrolled in the online Healthcare Administrative Assistant Associate Degree program at Minnesota West Community and Technical College benefit from flat-rate tuition regardless of where they live. The 2-year course of study leads develops technical skills in billing and scheduling, medical bookkeeping, appointment management, and processing insurance claims. Coursework for the program ensures general education knowledge foundations in communications and psychology, ultimately building to specialized instruction in healthcare management. Key topics covered include disease conditions, documentation and information processing in healthcare, medical terminology, and public health policy.

The school provides virtual learning using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous experiences. All assignments, assessments, and class discussions occur online with each element administered by the same expert faculty that lead the on-campus program. The program also includes shorter seminars in marketing and healthcare administration designed to ready students for the workforce.

Program Highlights:

Healthcare Administrative, Assistant, A.A.S.

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $200/credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
4%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
3 Middlesex Community CollegeBedford, MA Public $ 1

A public, Massachusetts-based school, Middlesex Community College operates two regional campuses and remains the largest institution of its kind in the Bay State. MCC offers a range of programs in medicine and allied health, including an Associate of Science in Health Care Administration attainable in two years or less. The program focuses on healthcare accounting skills and effective managerial practices, preparing graduates for management positions in medical offices and other healthcare facilities.

MCC relies on hybrid learning formats to administer courses in medical vocabulary, statistics, healthcare office management, and other subjects. The school offers a select number of courses online each term and extends additional flexibility in delivery structure with classes in a 9-week or 15-week schedule. In addition to core coursework and general education requirements, each student completes two one-credit seminars, including an orientation session and a final career exploration experience right before graduation.

Program Highlights:

Health Care Administration: Association in Science

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $252/credit (in-state); $505/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
30%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
4 Iowa Central Community CollegeFort Dodge, IA Public $ 1

Iowa Central Community College administers a Healthcare Administration Online Program ideal for students interested in work as health information managers, documentation specialists, and medical laboratory technicians. Full-time students easily finish the program in two years or less, completing 66 credits that include core major courses and general education instruction. The program charges flat-rate tuition to all students and extends several scholarship opportunities to those studying healthcare administration. Classes explore a range of topics including gerontology and healthcare management, financial accounting, healthcare law and public policy, and informatics. ICCC delivers all courses across 8-week sessions using flexible and convenient learning tools that balance self-paced study with structured group interaction. The school also extends a 3-credit online experience course designed to ready students for digital learning. The program has six different start dates throughout the year.

Program Highlights:

Health Care Administration Online Program

  • Credits: 66
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $3,000/semester (in-state); $4,325/semester (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
62%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
5 Bossier Parish Community CollegeBossier City, LA Public $ 1

Students at Bossier Parish Community College benefit from two different Health Care Management tracks: a Professional Practice Concentration, AS for those pursuing entry-level management positions and a Health Studies Concentration, AS for students who want to transfer to a bachelor’s program. Both 60-credit courses of study build key skills in the tools and concepts required of healthcare administrators in a variety of settings. Recognizing the need to accommodate new students, busy learners, and working professionals alike, BPCC delivers the program using accelerated online methods. Discussion boards and video conferencing tools maximize flexibility, providing a platform for students to engage course material in statistics, healthcare law, insurance and risk assessment, healthcare informatics, and other subjects. Aspiring professionals in the health studies concentration can avail themselves of the school’s many articulation agreements and make a smooth transition to a 4-year program.

Program Highlights:

Health Care Management, AS

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $139/credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
13%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
6 Milwaukee Area Technical CollegeMilwaukee, WI Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
3%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
7 Northeast Texas Community CollegeMount Pleasant, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
21%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

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

Effective administration of any healthcare organization or facility requires a comprehensive understanding of human resource management. Subjects covered in this course include job analysis and planning, employee recruiting, employee training and skills development, employee performance review and management, compensation and benefits, labor relations, and staff diversity and equal employment opportunity. Issues surrounding the emergence of global human resource management in healthcare are also covered.

Medical Law and Ethics

Integrity in the administration and management of any healthcare organization is crucial and, in many cases, a matter of law. This course provides a foundational overview of both the underlying theories and concepts of ethical practices in healthcare administration, and the state and federal laws applicable to criminal acts, fraud, information security and management, patient privacy rights, and more.

Medical Terminology

A strong vocabulary of basic medical terms and phrases is essential to any job in a healthcare-related environment, including healthcare administration. Students in this course learn common terms used in connection with anatomical structures, physiological functions, therapeutic and diagnostic procedures, pharmacology, and imaging systems. Special focus is given to the structure (prefixes, suffixes, etc.) of terms.

Principles of Healthcare Management

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.

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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

Projected Job Openings (2018-2028):
23,100

Project Job Growth Rate (2018-2028):
11%

Medical records and health information technicians organize and maintain patient health information and data (in both paper and electronic systems) making sure that these records are accurate and accessible while also ensuring security and privacy standards are met. They meet with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare team members to gather information and clarify patient diagnoses to ensure records are complete and accurate.

Medical Secretary

Projected Job Openings (2018-2028):
96,400

Project Job Growth Rate (2018-2028):
16%

Medical secretaries perform common administrative and clerical tasks, such as creating and maintaining filing systems and files, scheduling appointments, preparing correspondence, medical charts, and other documents, and working closely with doctors, nurses, and support staff to keep their organizations running smoothly. Medical secretaries must possess a solid working knowledge of medical terms as well as a clear understanding of their organization’s rules and procedures.

Patient Representative

Projected Job Openings (2018-2028):
-51,600*

Project Job Growth Rate (2018-2028):
-2%*

The role of the patient representative is to assist patients in obtaining proper medical services and navigating through the treatment process. Patient representatives; ensure that patients understand recommended procedures and treatment options; address patient concerns and problems, and then direct those concerns to the appropriate staff members to reach proper resolutions; and coordinate communications between medical staff, patients and their family members.

*Figures for Customer Service Representatives generally.

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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.