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Accelerated Online Healthcare Administration Bachelor’s Degrees: Best in 2023

Discover how you can launch a healthcare administration career or elevate your job prospects in the field with our guide to healthcare administration certificates online.

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Do you want to be part of a system that saves lives? Does the sight of blood make you feel a bit icky? If you answered “yes” to both questions, a career in healthcare administration (HCA) might be your calling.

But even if you answered “no” to one or both those questions, you may still want to consider pursuing an accelerated healthcare administration degree online. Here’s why: The healthcare industry is constantly growing, so you’ll be well positioned for a career featuring salary growth, upward mobility, and plenty of opportunities. Plus, you can look forward to a far more predictable schedule than nurses or other healthcare workers — and significantly less blood.

If we’ve piqued your interest in a healthcare administration career, you’d probably like some details to fill out the picture. In this guide, we’re deep diving into the world of accelerated online healthcare administration degree programs. There are certainly traditional options out there, but accelerated offerings feature unparalleled levels of efficiency, affordability, and quality. And online programs provide the flexibility you need to pursue your degree while balancing work, life, and school.

Keep reading to learn more about some of the best programs available, how accelerated BHA programs work, questions to ask yourself before enrolling, and more.

Profiling Top Accelerated Online BHA Programs

To start, let’s look at some standout online accelerated healthcare administration degree programs. This will give you an idea of what these programs look like and allow you to start imagining yourself as a student. We’ve highlighted our top three picks in the highlights below.

While each of these schools has something unique to offer, they have a few things in common. First, they offer the flexibility you need to balance your other commitments. Their accelerated format means you’ll complete your coursework and be on the job market quickly, and each of these programs has a record of academic excellence that carries weight with employers. Finally, all our picks offer well-rounded curricula and opportunities to tailor your studies to your interests.

Now, let’s do some exploring!

If flexibility is at the top of your priority list, then consider Purdue Global’s ExcelTrack Online Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration. Instead of traditional three-credit courses, students can take as many one-credit courses as they want in each 10-week term for a flat rate of $2,500. This means that the more credits you take at a time, the less expensive your degree will be. ExcelTrack students also work entirely at their own pace during the term — no deadlines. So you have the autonomy to speed up or take breaks as needed.

Purdue’s unique class structure of offering only single-credit courses gives you an unprecedented amount of control. You can pursue your interests and career goals with laser focus while speeding past what you already know.

This ExcelTrack accelerated online healthcare management degree is designed for career professionals and returning students. Applicants must have three years of relevant work experience and at least nine transfer credits from another university.

Gwynedd Mercy University’s Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration might be a mouthful, but it’s an attractive option for those looking to complete a degree in about two years. Unlike BHAs, this degree is run through Gwynedd’s business school. So if your aspirations are financial, managerial, or focused on the bottom line, this extra dose of business education might be just the ticket.

This 100% online, asynchronous program is ideal for students who enjoy total immersion, yet it’s also open to anyone: Students can begin the program with zero credits. Rather than juggling multiple classes each semester, you’ll take one course at a time during five-week accelerated sessions. As a bonus, these short single-class sessions make the program highly flexible. It’s no sweat to take a session off when things get busy and pick back up when you’re ready.

The accelerated Online Healthcare Management Degree at WGU is another BSBA option designed to prepare you for leadership roles in healthcare settings. During your studies, you’ll have the option to explore a huge range of topics including risk management, emerging technology, and organizational behavior. Plus, you’ll boost your resume during your program, as you’ll also be eligible to earn certificates in business essentials, applied business skills, marketing, and human resource management along the way.

Like Purdue, WGU charges a flat fee of $3,755 per term — but classes here are three credits each. You’ll design a degree plan with a dedicated Program Mentor, study on your own schedule, and progress as you demonstrate course mastery. The program is asynchronous and fully self-paced.

But let’s say you’re more concerned about ROI than program design. Luckily, WGU has done the math for you, and graduates from their BS in Healthcare Management program see an average salary increase of $10,590.

Is an Accelerated Online HCA Program Right for Me?

With some high-quality options as context, now it’s time to figure out the answer to the big question: Is an online accelerated healthcare administration degree for you? While it’s a great option, it’s not for everyone — especially If your learning style, schedule, or study habits aren’t suited to the pace.

Before committing, it’s time for some serious self-reflection. Ask yourself these nine questions to help guide your decision. Remember though that answering “no” to a few of these questions isn’t a dealbreaker. Rather, these questions and answers can help you identify your strengths and challenges as you approach your degree program.

Am I comfortable with an accelerated pace of study?

Granted, the whole point of pursuing an accelerated healthcare administration degree online is to work quickly. It’s a good idea in theory, but some students find themselves feeling like they are drinking out of a firehose. Are you someone who revels in new ideas and loves the pressure of a fast-paced environment? An accelerated program can certainly offer that. However, if the idea of working at speed sounds stressful, don’t write off an accelerated BHA quite yet. You can look into part time or self-paced programs, or take breaks in between classes to catch your breath.

Am I comfortable with technology and online learning?

Now this consideration is a pretty big deal. Since online BHA programs are, by definition, online, you’ll be spending quite a bit of quality time with your keyboard. While you don’t need to be an expert hacker or Steve Jobs to excel at online learning, you should be familiar — or at least willing to become familiar — with the basics of internet browsing, video conferencing, online learning platforms, and the other technology that makes remote learning possible.

Can I learn independently?

Many online degree programs are asynchronous. This means that, while you’ll often have due dates to keep you on track, you are responsible for making time to complete your work each week. Without the structure of a traditional classroom, some students struggle to motivate themselves and end up falling behind. So, do you have a plan to set aside time for your classes? What strategies will you use to stay on track?

If self-starting isn’t your strong point, you still have options. Try looking into synchronous programs that require you to show up to a virtual classroom for real-time classes each week.

Do I have a keen interest in healthcare and administration?

For a career to be fulfilling long term, it helps if there is something that draws you to the work. So ask yourself what appeals to you about pursuing an accelerated healthcare administration degree online. Maybe you have a background in healthcare and see a management role as a great way to make a real difference in people’s lives. Or perhaps you’re looking for a behind-the-scenes way to improve patient care. These are great reasons to pursue this degree.

If you’re not sure of your interest specifically in administration/leadership, ask yourself if a more specialized degree option — like public health or nursing — offers more appeal.

Do I have prior commitments that might interfere with my study schedule?

Ideally, the stars will align, and the perfect opportunity to return to school will present itself. More likely, you’ll need to massage your schedule a bit to make room for studies. So think about your day-to-day obligations and see where you can find space. Can you sacrifice trivia night to learn new facts about healthcare leadership? Can you commute on public transportation so you can study en route?

Time can be one of the toughest variables to manage when it comes to returning to the classroom, so research online studying and time management tips to see if you can squeeze some education time into your schedule.

Do I have the necessary prerequisites or transferable credits?

If you don’t have the prerequisites, don’t stress. You can get them. However, it means that you might be looking at a longer degree timeline than someone with more credits under their belt. On the other hand, if you have lots of transferable credits, you might be surprised how quickly you can knock out your degree.

In either case, remember that different accelerated online healthcare administration degree programs have different policies around prerequisites and transfer credits. Do your research, and don’t hesitate to reach out to admissions counselors from your top-choice schools to see how you can apply your previous work to your new degree.

Is the financial investment worth it for me?

Even for the most affordable programs, tuition is a huge expense. On top of that, you might be losing out on promotions or better paying jobs while you are pursuing your degree. So it’s important to consider whether your investment in your education will likely pay off. Research the salary potential of your HCA job using resources from The Bureau of Labor Statistics or Payscale.com, specifically considering where you live (or would like to live). Will your future earnings justify the cost of your tuition?

Am I interested in beginning my career in healthcare administration as soon as possible?

Logically, the sooner you get your degree, the sooner you can start your career. So if you’re anxious to get onto the job market ASAP, an accelerated online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration is a logical choice. Plus, the sooner you start your HCA career, the sooner you’ll be ready to apply for promotions and bigger roles.

However, if you’re more of a slow roller, online accelerated BHA programs still have something to offer. Many of these programs offer flexibility to study part time or take breaks when you need them.

Am I motivated and disciplined enough to stick to an online study schedule?

Have you ever had a “quick break” turn into a TV marathon? Unfortunately, this scenario epitomizes one of the common traps of online learning. Without a set class schedule, strict deadlines, or peer pressure to study, it can be tough to stay on track. So are you the type of self-starter that can commit to their studies? If not, what strategies do you have in your back pocket to keep you on track? The best programs are the ones that you complete, meaning you must consider your learning style and have a plan in place to manage your time before the semester starts.

Example Timeline of an Accelerated Online HCA Program

If all this productive soul-searching and exploration has you wanting more concrete details, now’s the perfect time to get down to brass tacks. What will you be learning, and what can you expect each semester? The specifics are unique to each program, and the timeline may vary depending on your transfer credits or necessary prerequisites. But let’s ground ourselves by looking at the structure of a typical two-year online accelerated healthcare administration degree program. The timeline below gives you a basic overview for comparing various programs.

Year One

Your first year is all about the basics and fulfilling prerequisites for future coursework. The classes you’ll take are designed to give you a solid foundation in the broad topics related to healthcare administration.

Common first-year healthcare courses will cover topics like human resources, ethics, information management, and finance. In some programs, you’ll be able to test your mastery of objectives through modules that grant college credit for what you already know.

If you have bandwidth as you check off these first-year requirements, check out the extracurriculars and student services that your school has to offer. Student clubs, volunteer opportunities, or professional groups can help you build community and stay engaged with your classes.

Year Two

In year one, you focused on core knowledge. Now it’s time to explore your specific interests or gain specialized knowledge. In your second year, you can look forward to more elective course offerings, including specialized healthcare topics like strategic planning, policy, and law.

Some online accelerated healthcare administration degree programs will require a capstone or final project to show skills integration and mastery.

Many programs prepare you for professional certificates during your course of study like Certified Medical Manager or Certified Professional in Health Care Risk Management. These certifications are attractive to your current or future employers and can often be earned with careful elective selection or taking a few extra credits.

Admissions for Accelerated Online HCA Programs

Now that you’re prepped for two years of coursework toward your accelerated online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, let’s take a step back and get you ready to nail your application. Now’s the time to let your unique skills, experience, and potential shine through a few of the more personal parts of the admissions process, like your resume or personal statement.

While every program is going to have its own specific criteria and requirements, you can expect to see some combination of the requirements below.

Academic Transcripts and GPA

Every program that you apply to is going to ask for your academic records from high school and any college or university you’ve attended. Admissions departments will use these records to evaluate your past academic performance, relevant experience, potential transfer credits, and potential for merit based financial aid.

Many programs will indicate a minimum GPA for applicants. While GPA is an important factor, it is not the ultimate indicator of your potential as a student. Your work experience, other achievements, and recommendation letters hold significant sway in the admissions process.

Essay or Personal Statement

Your personal statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself, your personality, and your potential to the admissions committee. You can strengthen your application by developing a compelling story that highlights your goals, strengths, experience, and interest in the field. These essays can feel awkward to write, but don’t let that deter you, as they can make all the difference in the application process. Because they are so important, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from the writers in your life.

Interview

Although interviews are becoming less common, you may have the opportunity to connect with an admissions team member face to face. If you have the chance, don’t pass it up. The more personal your application feels, the better your chances of success. When you interview, come prepared. Practice your answers to common questions and use your responses to highlight why you are such a great fit for the program.

Letters of Recommendation

Most programs will ask for one or more letters of recommendation as part of your application. If you are fresh out of school, consider asking instructors who are familiar with you and your work. If you are returning to school after some time in the workforce, a supervisor at work or at a previous job might be a good choice. In any case, whoever you ask should know you and your work well enough to provide a strong and in-depth recommendation.

Prerequisite Courses

Depending on the program and your background, you may have to demonstrate previous coursework to qualify for your specific accelerated healthcare management degree program. These prereqs may include courses in math, business, or health sciences that are foundational to your future classes.

If you don’t have the requirements you need, don’t despair. Talk to an admissions counselor, who may recommend pathways to get you the credits you need. Or you can look at your local community college or other online schools to complete your prerequisites before you apply.

Proof of High School Graduation or GED

A high school diploma or GED is almost always a non-negotiable when it comes to admission to accelerated healthcare administration degree online programs. If you’re still in the process of finishing your high school diploma, you may be offered conditional acceptance to start your program after graduation. If you’ve already graduated, a quick e-mail to your school administrator should get you a copy of your transcript. Alternatively, you can submit proof of your GED instead.

Resume or CV

Like your personal statement, your resume or CV is an opportunity to highlight what makes you unique. If your background is primarily academic, try using a CV format that emphasizes your academic achievements and extracurriculars. If you’re coming from the workforce, use a resume format to detail your work history and draw parallels between your previous work and the necessary skills for success in an HCA program.

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized test scores like those from the SAT or ACT are not always required for accelerated online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration programs. But if you have them and are happy with your scores, you’ll typically find a place to submit them in your application. If you don’t have test scores or aren’t happy with them, breathe a sigh of relief and stay focused on writing a stellar personal statement.