Guide to Healthcare Administration Bachelor’s Degrees in California

When looking at healthcare administration degrees in California, there’s a lot to consider. This guide reveals the best bachelor’s degree programs and other key details you need to know before enrolling.

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Angela Myers

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Angela Myers is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about health, finance, and education. When she's not writing, you can find her reviewing books on her Instagram and TikTok. Angela received her degree in Professional Writing and Rhetoric from Elon University. Currently, she's traveling the world as a digital nomad.

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If you have a passion for healthcare but get squeamish watching medical shows, it might feel like the industry isn’t for you. Or maybe you’re more interested in the business side of medicine than in providing hands-on care. Either way, there’s an education path that allows you to make a difference without taking on a patient-facing role: a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration.

Not only is the healthcare administration field growing across the country, but it’s also specifically booming in California, with over 35% job growth expected this decade. Those with healthcare administration degrees in California can hold lucrative, in-demand jobs.

In this guide, we’ll showcase the best in-person and online healthcare administration bachelor’s degree programs in California and provide other essential information about the curriculum, admissions, costs, job prospects after graduation, and more.

What Are the Best Healthcare Administration Degree Programs in California?

When looking at healthcare administration bachelor’s degrees in California, “best” is a relative term. Every student has different needs when it comes to tuition, learning format, flexibility, and topics covered. However, we researched the field to identify stand-out programs, spotlighting three below that are a cut above the rest in terms of affordability, accreditation, academic quality, and student support. See who stands out as you get started on your college search.

California State University Long Beach

California State University’s Long Beach campus hosts one of the most attractive healthcare administration bachelor’s degrees in California. The four-year curriculum consists of major core courses, such as medical billing and healthcare financial management, and the opportunity to take electives in years three and four. Students can select six electives in any area they are interested in, such as gerontology or the economics of health. Since the program’s courses require in-class participation, all courses are offered in-person at the Long Beach campus. By the end of the program, students are ready to become industry leaders and are prepared to enter a variety of entry- and mid-level management positions across healthcare settings. Another unique benefit of the Long Beach campus is that it offers a reduced tuition rate and various scholarship opportunities for California residents. With full-time tuition estimated at just $5,742 per year for residents, it’s one of the most affordable healthcare administration degrees in California.

Pacific College

Pacific College is a great option for those wanting to get a healthcare administration degree online in California. Like many online programs in the state, this is a completion program, meaning students should already have an associate degree in healthcare administration or a related field. The ideal student is someone who already works in healthcare and wants to move into a management role.

Because of this, the online courses are offered at times that accommodate a working professional’s schedule, such as during the evenings or on weekends. The program’s curriculum also dives deeper into the field since students already have experience in healthcare. Courses cover every aspect of administration, from healthcare law to trending technologies. Not only does the program offer high quality, flexible education, but it’s also quite affordable at $350 per credit for both in-state and out-of-state students.

California State University Northridge

Students looking for a broad overview of the field, as well as the opportunity to specialize in a specific healthcare setting, should consider the program from California State University’s Northridge campus. In this healthcare administration bachelor’s degree program in California, students take a series of healthcare and business courses in their first two years of study. In years three and four, students complete higher level courses and at least one internship, providing valuable work experience that can be added to students’ resumes. Unlike other programs in the state, Northridge lets students specialize in one healthcare setting, such as hospitals, nursing homes, or managed care systems. This specialization gives them inside knowledge and an edge in the job search after graduation. They also offer online and in-person career resources, which are free to all students. While some support services are offered online, all classes must be completed in-person.

What Will I Learn in a Healthcare Admin Bachelor’s Degree Program in California?

Healthcare administration degrees in California are multidisciplinary in nature, meaning students can expect to take courses from different subject areas. The programs often mix healthcare courses, such as biology and medical terminology, with business courses, such as financial management and healthcare marketing. Many programs also require students to complete an internship, allowing them to add industry-specific work experience to their resume as well.

Let’s look at one example from a representative program. In a semester at California State University Long Beach, students might take:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Healthcare Personnel Management
  • Financial Healthcare Management
  • Overview of the Healthcare System

Other healthcare administration degrees in California allow students to specialize in an area of healthcare administration. For example, students at California State University Northridge specialize in a particular healthcare setting, such as hospital, nursing homes, or managed care systems. A student specializing in nursing homes might take courses in:

  • Introduction to Gerontology
  • Health Services for the Elderly
  • Current Trends in Care for the Elderly

No matter which program a student chooses, they should graduate with the necessary medical and business knowledge to work in healthcare administration.

What Are the Admissions Requirements for Healthcare Administration Degree Programs in California?

When applying for a healthcare administration bachelor’s degree in California, many of the admission requirements will be the same as for most degrees, including:

  • Submitting ACT or SAT scores
  • Sharing your GPA and a transcript of classes taken
  • Writing essays and short answers about what you’d like to accomplish in college
  • Providing a list of extracurriculars
  • Sharing letters of recommendation written by teachers or community members

Some schools have additional requirements; California State University Long Beach, for example, requires students to have a working proficiency in common technologies, like spreadsheets and presentation software. Once you’ve identified the program that’s right for you, make sure you review admission requirements on your school’s website.

Can I Earn My Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Online in California?

Are you looking for flexibility in your degree program? If so, an online program might be for you. You’ll find plenty of great healthcare administration degrees in California that are fully online or offered in a hybrid format.

When a program is fully online, students attend sessions by logging in from anywhere with a good Wi-Fi connection. Most online programs, including the program at Pacific College, require students to log into class at a specific time and require in-class participation. This is called synchronous online learning, whereas asynchronous learning means you can complete classwork when it’s convenient to your schedule.

Another way to complete part of your healthcare administration degree online in California is to choose a hybrid program. In these programs, certain classes are offered completely online, while others are in person. California State University Stanislaus, for example, lets students choose from a mixture of fully online, partially online, and fully in-person courses.

From our research, online programs are offered more often than hybrid programs in California, though students do have options to pursue their degree either fully online or fully in person. Online programs are also more popular as an accelerated option for those who already have their associate degree in healthcare administration or a related field.

Quality Examples of Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs in California

What’s the Job Market Like in California for Healthcare Admin Graduates?

California is a great place to live if you’re looking for high-paying job opportunities. As you can see from the charts below, graduates with healthcare administration degrees in California get paid more than the national average, and there’s predicted to be a higher number of healthcare administration positions open in California than in other states. Cities like Santa Rosa and San Jose boast even higher salaries, suggesting where you live in California can impact how much you might make after graduating.

Yearly Earnings for Medical and Health Services Managers in California

10th PercentileMedian Earnings90th Percentile
United States$60,780$101,340$205,620
Bakersfield, CA$56,750$99,330$188,890
Chico, CA$59,260$119,590$190,470
El Centro, CA$55,470$103,380$167,450
Fresno, CA$58,280$119,540$206,780
Hanford-Corcoran, CA$59,810$119,910$207,890
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA$62,390$112,240$206,950
Madera, CA$74,310$119,280$208,000
Merced, CA$58,900$98,330$167,550
Modesto, CA$74,050$126,080$206,780
Napa, CA$74,900$127,670$205,350
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA$61,700$120,840$208,000
Redding, CA$59,270$98,500$161,510
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$60,660$102,100$190,470
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA$62,790$131,060$208,000
Salinas, CA$63,120$130,750$200,570
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA$61,140$123,090$206,950
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$74,400$151,980$208,000
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$78,690$162,310$208,000
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA$60,680$101,020$175,980
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA$62,790$108,160$208,000
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA$59,010$125,520$207,590
Santa Rosa, CA$74,520$135,040$208,000
Stockton-Lodi, CA$61,340$121,730$206,780
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA$77,070$162,500$208,000
Visalia-Porterville, CA$59,900$101,870$165,990
Yuba City, CA$59,160$119,020$205,520

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

Employment Outlook for Medical and Health Services Managers in California (2020-2030)

New JobsJob Growth RateAverage Annual Openings
United States139,60032.5%51,800

Source: Projections Central

Additional FAQs About Earning Your Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration in California

How long do healthcare admin bachelor’s degree programs in California take to finish?

Getting a healthcare administration bachelor’s degree in California usually takes four years, or eight semesters. There are ways students can get their degree faster, such as if they enter college with AP or dual-credit courses that allow them to opt-out of general education requirements. You’ll also find some accelerated programs, such as the accelerated program at Pacific College. These are usually designed for students with an associate degree or work experience in the field.

To give you a better idea how long your degree might take, here are the average graduation times for five of the state’s most popular programs:

How much do California healthcare admin bachelor’s degree programs cost?

Healthcare administration degrees in California can be a pricey investment, but if you choose the right degree and budget accordingly, it can be well worth it. When looking at tuition rates, it’s important to note that financial aid (which we’ll discuss in greater detail below) can lower the out-of-pocket cost. To get a better idea of how much a healthcare administration bachelor’s degree in California costs, check out the average price per credit of three popular institutions:

What type of accreditation should a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration in California have?

When choosing a program, you want to make sure it’s accredited. If not, employers and other academic institutions might not view your degree as valid. For a healthcare administration bachelor’s degree in California specifically, you have two accreditations to look for:

Can I get financial aid to help pay for my healthcare admin bachelor’s degree program in California?

Paying for a healthcare administration bachelor’s degree in California can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Many universities, state-funded organizations, and nonprofits offer financial aid for students. When looking for financial aid options, consider:

When researching scholarships, here’s a general rule: The more specific they are, the better your chances of being a recipient. By applying to California-based or industry-specific scholarships, the competition is narrowed compared to more general scholarships. Better yet, you can apply to industry-specific scholarships only available in your state, such as those offered through the state of California’s healthcare scholarship program.

For more tips to make college affordable, check out our financial aid guide, the best place to start your search for financial aid.