The healthcare field in the United States continues to see major growth, creating greater demand for managers to effectively coordinate medical services and improve patient outcomes. One of the best ways to take on these important roles is to earn a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. Many accredited colleges offer their bachelor’s in healthcare administration programs online, making the path to a college degree more convenient. EduMed has the information you need to begin your research and find the right program for you. We’ve chosen a select few online bachelor’s in healthcare administration degrees from standout schools to get you started. Learn more about each program below.
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a private nonprofit university and one of the largest Christian universities in the world. Chartered in 1949, GCU has grown from a school of roughly 100 students to now more than 60,000, and that’s just the online student body. With more than 200 programs to choose from across both undergraduate and graduate levels, students have a variety of academic areas of study to delve into, including healthcare administration. Available both online and on-campus, GCU’s online healthcare administration bachelor’s degree program is designed to be completed in four years and focuses on the five specific areas of:
Communication and relationship management
Leadership and professionalism
Healthcare environment and business acumen
Financial management, information technology, and risk management
Organization dynamics and human resources
Each online course lasts seven to eight weeks and students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate. However, up to 90 of these credits may be transfer credits, which can drastically reduce the time necessary to graduate. Most online students can expect to pay $470 per credit hour although veterans (both active duty and reserve) will get a discount and pay only $250 per credit hour.
Founded in 1971, National University (NU) is the largest non-profit private university in San Diego, California. Unlike many traditional colleges and universities, NU’s primary mission is to provide post-secondary education and training to adult students. So it’s no surprise that NU offers a robust online and on-campus curriculum, with more than 100 programs to choose from. Ninety of these programs are entirely online, including the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration (BSHA). NU’s BSHA program is also an associate member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, also known as the AUPHA.
To provide the flexibility that nontraditional students demand, NU offers most of its courses in a special four-week format. This allows students to complete their course requirements faster and fit them more easily into an already busy schedule. To graduate, students must complete 180 quarter units. Healthcare administration students can also attend class on-campus at one of the 20 locations in California and Nevada.
Florida International University
As one of the largest universities in the state, Florida International University (FIU) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). With more than 100 fully online degree programs, FIU Online is one of the largest online education providers in the state. Within the healthcare realm, FIU Online offers several healthcare administration education options, including Health Services Administration, both at the master’s and bachelor’s levels. The bachelor’s program is one of the largest health services administration programs in the United States.
To earn a bachelor’s in healthcare administration online degree, students must complete 120 credit hours. Sixty of these credits will be in general education and prerequisite classes while the remaining 60 will be in foundation, core, and elective courses in health services administration. For in-state students, tuition is currently $228.81 per credit hour while out of state students will pay $345.87 per credit hour. Even though this degree can be earned entirely online, students will still have plenty of opportunities for faculty and peer engagement, with 24/7 access through interactive technology and personalized educational guidance from Success Coaches and faculty.
Getting Familiar with the Online Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration
Learning online provides maximum flexibility for those students who need it most. Each school tailors its online healthcare administration bachelor’s degree program curriculum to make it as easy as possible for students to take classes whenever, wherever, and however they want. Given the relative hands-off nature of the healthcare administration field of study, this means many online programs can be finished entirely online, with no campus visits or in-person curriculum requirements necessary.
Prospective students can expect a course load that allows them to graduate in less than four years or in as many as five or six. For instance, at some schools, classes are only four weeks long. This makes it easier for students to fit in classes into their busy lives. Classes will often be asynchronous to allow students to take classes on their own schedule. This flexibility means one of the biggest challenges for online students is maintaining the discipline necessary to stay on track with coursework and degree requirements. Read our FAQ section below to learn more about the curriculum of online bachelor’s healthcare administration programs.
What are the main topics that will be covered?
Before graduation, you should expect to cover several foundational topics, regardless of which program you choose to attend or what electives you decide to take. Examples include:
Leadership and management
Legal and moral conflicts in healthcare
Financial considerations of a healthcare organization
The application of information technology
Evidence-based healthcare services
Some of these topics may have their own dedicated class. Others might be learned through a combination of courses. Either way, these topics will provide a comprehensive overview of how to successfully manage a healthcare organization.
What are the key skills I will learn by the time I graduate?
Upon completion of an online bachelor’s program in healthcare administration, graduates can expect to be well-versed in the challenges and necessary duties that come with operating and leading a clinical or medical organization. Some of the unique skills students will have at graduation include:
Interpersonal and mediation skills to facilitate communication and cooperation among various departments and individuals with wide-ranging talents and educational backgrounds.
The ability to recognize ethical and moral dilemmas, as well as how to either resolve them or find experts to help make the best of an unwinnable situation.
Proficiency with accounting tools to analyze financial statements, projections, and billing processes.
Understanding of federal, state and local regulations and laws and how they apply to the healthcare setting.
Take statistical and epidemiological data and apply them to an existing clinical setting to improve patient and worker outcomes.
What are some common classes I should expect to take?
Each school will create its own curriculum for an online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. However, there will be some common classes that most students can expect to take, regardless of which school they choose. For example, there will be classes that cover the ethics, legal issues, and financial challenges of the healthcare environment. Let’s take a look at some of these courses in more detail.
This class is a primer for the basic concepts of accounting, budgeting, and billing within the healthcare context. Students learn how to use financial analytics to review expenditures, create management assessments, and measure productivity.
Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare
Students learn the fundamental principles and rules concerning laws in the healthcare realm as well as ethical principles that govern management decisions in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Students also study the guidelines that help them navigate the moral and legal dilemmas that commonly arise in a healthcare delivery setting.
Information Technology in Healthcare Management
By taking this course, students learn the basics of information technology, including principles of the internet, e-commerce, data management. This class will also teach how to apply these technologies and theories to maximize the effectiveness of healthcare delivery services.
This class examines the theories underlying how workers interact and operate within an organization. Students analyze the principles of group dynamics, human psychology, motivation, culture, politics, work environment, and technology, specifically within a business setting.
Management Principles for Healthcare Administrators
This course teaches students the proper and effective management of healthcare human resources. Concepts cover a range of management contexts, including recruitment, hiring, firing, training, increasing diversity, and healthcare operations.
In this writing-based course, students demonstrate the integration and synthesis of concepts learned in previous classes by applying them to an actual issue or concern in the healthcare industry.
What are the typical admissions requirements?
Because the bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration is an entry-level degree, college admissions requirements typically match requirements for other bachelor’s degree programs, such as:
Completion of an application.
Payment of an application fee.
Submission of academic transcripts, such as from high school or other post-secondary institutions.
Admission exam scores, such as from the ACT or SAT.
Entry into the actual healthcare administration program may be a separate process and require completion of basic general lower-division education coursework and prerequisites with a minimum GPA. There are usually no requirements for prior experience in the clinical or healthcare field. However, such experience will be very useful when looking for post-graduate employment.
How long does it take to earn a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration?
Online degree programs offer tremendous flexibility in how and when a student completes coursework. Therefore, the time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration can vary greatly. For example, a full-time student will usually be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in approximately four years of study. In contrast, a part-time student may take five or six years to complete the healthcare administration bachelor’s degree. But this longer timeline has the advantage of allowing students to continue working or take care of other personal or family responsibilities while attending school.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration
Accreditation is the process by which an independent body reviews a school or program to confirm that it meets a basic level of education quality. At the postsecondary level, there are two primary types of accreditation: institutional and programmatic.
Institutional accreditation can be broken down into two types: regional and national. Most schools will have regional accreditation, where an accrediting agency will have jurisdiction over a specific region of the United States. National accreditation is similar to regional accreditation, except the accrediting body can accredit any school across the country.
Examining the Cost of a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Online
When choosing an online bachelor’s degree program in healthcare administration, price matters. There are many variables that can go into the actual cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, type of school, and prior educational experience. To give you a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay, we’ve featured three online programs and their tuition costs by price per credit hour.
Jobs and Salaries You Can Get with Your Online Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration
Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration can open a wide range of professional opportunities. While the bulk of graduates will likely work in a hospital, medical office or other healthcare facilities, there are many other places to find work, such as government agencies and insurance companies. Many of these positions have above-average job growth prospects and pay above the national average.
One of the reasons these jobs are in demand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the anticipated growth in health care services in the United States. With an aging population and more people having access to medical care, there will be a strong need for individuals who can properly manage the delivery of that medical care.
Administrative services managers, sometimes known as business office managers, work on handling the day-to-day tasks healthcare or other business organizations may require. Administrative services managers sometimes have job duties that overlap with healthcare executives but will tend to focus more on short-term tasks, such as department monitoring, supervising clerical employees, or handling maintenance requirements.
10% Growth from 2018 to 2028
Median National Salary
$96,180 as of May 2018
Additional Experience/Training Needed
Prospective administrative services managers can improve their professional prospects by gaining real-world experience in the area in which they intend to work. Therefore, it’s especially helpful for that experience to be in the medical field, such as working as nurse, facilities staff, or human resources manager.
Also referred to as medical or health services managers, healthcare administrators handle the operations of a health care organization. This includes tactical duties, such as employee recruitment and training, scheduling, and regulatory compliance as well as the implementation of various initiatives and programs. Healthcare executives may also have the responsibility of creating strategic plans for a health care organization, such as budgeting, creation of long-term growth goals, and department reorganization.
18% Growth from 2018 to 2028
Median National Salary
$99,730 as of May 2018
Additional Experience/Training Needed
While not always required, many employers will expect healthcare executives to possess a master’s degree. It’s also helpful to have prior management or clinical experience.
Health insurance claims examiners make sure health care claims have been properly adjusted and submitted. The claims examiner will confirm the proper submission of a claim, double-check the analysis of the claims adjuster and either confirm, deny, or modify the original decision. They might also refer the claim to a claims investigator for more information.
4% Decline from 2018 to 2028
Median National Salary
$65,900 as of May 2018
Additional Experience/Training Needed
Depending on the position and company, a health insurance claims examiner will need prior health insurance experience, such as working as a claims adjuster. It also helps to have a background in the healthcare field.