- What Types of Online MHA Programs Are Available?
- Which is Better, an MHA or MBA?
- How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online MHA?
- What Do You Learn in an Online MHA Program?
- What Can You Do With an MHA Degree?
- Are Online MHA Degree Programs Accredited?
- How Affordable Are Online Master’s of Healthcare Administration Degrees?
The Best Online MHA Programs for 2020
Healthcare administrators manage the business operations of hospitals, clinics, and other health services organizations. They keep things running smoothly and efficiently to ensure the best level of care for patients. Advancing to high-level healthcare administrator roles often calls for a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree. Many working professionals are now turning to online MHA degree programs for their flexible class structure. To help you get started on your search for an online MHA program, we’ve put together a list of this year’s top accredited schools, starting with comprehensive descriptions of three of the very best.
What Types of Online MHA Programs Are Available?
Not all online MHA programs are created alike, and that’s a good thing because MHA students are not all looking to get the same things out of their degree studies. Finding the right program type can play a big role in a student’s academic success. Here’s a quick look at the various types of online MHA programs available to help you find the one that’s the right fit for you.
Which is Better, an MHA or MBA?
Anyone searching for a graduate-level degree in the healthcare administration/management field has more than likely run across several MBA degree programs offering specializations or concentrations in healthcare administration or healthcare management. And finding such programs leads to the inevitable questions, “What is an MBA with Healthcare Administration concentration and how does it differ from an MHA degree?” Generally speaking, an MBA with a Healthcare Administration concentration prepares business professionals to apply advanced banking and investment skills to their work with client healthcare organizations. An MHA, on the other hand, provides current healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to carry out the administrative operations of healthcare organizations as a direct employee.
There is, of course, major overlap regarding the topics covered and skills developed in these two degree programs. So, if you are still unsure which one is best for you, consider the following:
Choose the MHA if …
- You intend on pursuing an administration or management career at an organization within the healthcare field.
- Your main professional focus concerns the management of healthcare services and systems.
- You think of yourself as a “people person.”
Choose the MBA if …
- You want a career in banking or investment management that deals with organizations in the healthcare industry. You may also work with other non-healthcare industries as well.
- Your main professional interests are in the areas of banking and finance, particularly in how they apply to the healthcare business.
- You think of yourself as a “numbers person.”
A Look at MBA/MHA Dual Degree Programs Online
You’ve carefully examined your career goals and interests. You’ve taken a close look at programs for both MHA degrees and MBA degrees with a Healthcare Administration concentration. Still, neither degree seems to be quite the right fit. The right answer may be to earn both. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent schools out there that offer online MBA/MHA dual degree programs. These programs allow students to gain the knowledge and skills provided by both degrees individually, but in much less time.
Below are three examples of MBA/MHA dual degree programs that can be completed either fully or partially online:
How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online MHA?
The program lengths given below are typical of MHA programs offered online. The most accurate answer to this question, however, is that completion times vary – sometimes substantially – from program to program. So, be sure to carefully review the curriculums and graduation requirements of any and all MHA programs you’re considering before you enroll.
|Program Type||Full-Time Study||Part-Time Study|
|Standard MHA||1 ½ – 2 Years||2 ½ – 4 Years|
|Executive MHA||1 ½ – 2 Years||2 ½ – 4 Years|
|MHA/MBA Dual Degree||2 ½ – 3 Years||4 – 5 Years|
What Do You Learn in an Online MHA Program?
The purpose of MHA program coursework is to provide students with comprehensive skills and training in a broad range of topics that, taken together, make up the duties of an effective administrator of a large and complex healthcare organization. Those duties include:
5 Popular Courses in Online MHA Programs
What Can You Do with an MHA Degree?
MHA graduates can find challenging, in-demand, high-paying leadership and management careers in clinical settings like hospitals, medical clinics, doctors’ offices, and nursing homes. Careers can also be found in a wide range of non-clinical settings with governmental agencies, insurance companies, medical equipment suppliers, professional consulting firms, and more. Below is a small sampling of the job titles MHA graduates have in today’s employment market. All salary and job growth figures are taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.
|Career||National Job Growth (2018-2020)||Median National Salary (2018)|
|Clinical Manager||18% (Much Faster than Average)||$99,730|
|Healthcare Executive||6% (As Fast as Average)||$104,980|
|Healthcare Management Analyst||14% (Much Faster than Average)||$83,610|
|Health Information Manager||18% (Much Faster than Average)||$99,730|
|Public Relations/Fundraising Manager||8% (Faster than Average)||$114,800|
Are Online MHA Degree Programs Accredited?
Yes, online MHA degree programs are eligible to receive the same level of accreditation as campus programs. There are two types of accreditation to look for: institutional accreditation and programmatic accreditation. Institutional accreditation (accreditation of the college or university as a whole) for colleges and universities in the U.S. is administered by one or more national or regional accrediting agencies recognized by the Department of Education (DOE). Programmatic accreditation (accreditation of the particular degree program) for MHA programs in the U.S. is administered by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Relatively few online MHA programs you’ll currently run into are directly accredited by the CAHME, so make sure schools hold regional or national institutional accreditation at minimum. You can check the CAHME and institutional accreditation status of online MHA programs you’re considering by using this CAHME search feature, searching the DOE’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, and by visiting individual school websites.
How Affordable Are Online Master’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration?
Tuition prices and other costs associated with pursuing an MHA degree vary significantly from program to program depending on a variety of factors. In most cases, for example, students can expect to spend more on a program offered by a private school than one offered by a public school. Online MHA programs at public universities may offer a discounted rate for in-state residents. Below are examples of tuition prices (current as of fall 2019) taken from three online MHA programs:
To learn more on how to pay for your online MHA degree program, check out EduMed’s guide to financial aid and browse our list of healthcare leadership and administration scholarships.