As a healthcare professional looking to advance your career, a Master’s of Health Administration (MHA) might be the natural next step. Many MHA programs can be completed in 1 year by having many pre-requisites completed in a previous degree program, by taking the optimal number of credits (15-18) per semester, or by receiving credit for relevant life and professional experience. Additionally, choosing a program with the option of online coursework may also allow for more schedule flexibility or potentially faster completion.
All of these factors can make a 1-year MHA finish a possibility, though it definitely requires discipline, determination, and a lot of dedicated time. In this guide we will outline several fast-track MHA programs that feature both in-person and online components that can be completed in 1-2 years depending on how much time you have to dedicate to an advanced degree. We will also cover costs, admissions requirements, and curriculum components so that you can make an informed decision about the next steps in your healthcare administration education.
Ohio University’s 1-Year Online MHA Program
The Master of Health Administration program at Ohio University is intended for current healthcare professionals in the middle stages of their careers. Typically students are looking to further develop their problem solving and communication skills to help take their healthcare organization to the next level. To do this, MHA students learn a variety of business, leadership, and healthcare-oriented skills such as financial management, research, conflict management, and personnel development.
The one-year MHA program online at Ohio University can be completed either full-time or part-time. Full-time students can finish the required 36 credits in just one year by taking four courses per semester for three semesters. Part-time students can finish in two years by taking two courses per semester for six semesters. Regardless of which path you choose, you’ll earn your degree 100% online. The curriculum is comprised of 11 core classes and one elective. Some of the core courses you may take include:
- Introduction to the U.S. Health Care Delivery System
- Health Law
- Health Policy
- Health Care Finance
- Ethical Issues in Health Care
As for electives, you’ll choose from Healthcare Leadership, Veterans Health, Health Policy, Health Informatics, Project Management, or a course that’s a part of a graduate certificate program. If you choose this option, you may want to consider adding a graduate certificate to your MHA degree. Most graduate certificates take nine credits to complete, including the three-credit elective.
Ohio University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The MHA online program is a candidate for accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
Students interested in applying to this one-year online MHA program must meet the following requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited post-secondary institution
- A minimum overall GPA of 3.0
- Completion of statistics and financial accounting courses, with at least a “B” in each class. A student who doesn’t meet this requirement can still be accepted but will need to complete the missing courses
- Curriculum vitae or resume
- One reference letter
- A professional statement of 250 to 500 words explaining the applicant’s accomplishments, goals, and why they want to enroll at Ohio University
While not required, applicants should have at least two years of professional experience in the U.S. healthcare system. The in-state tuition rate is $658 per credit and the out-of-state tuition rate is $677 per credit.
University of Southern Indiana’s 1-Year MHA Online
The College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Indiana offers an accelerated online Master of Health Administration program that you can complete in as little as one year. This program is intended for existing healthcare managers looking to enhance their leadership abilities or medical professionals interested in shifting their duties from clinical to supervisory.
To accommodate students’ needs, the University of Southern Indiana offers two MHA specializations. Post-acute care leadership focuses on teaching skills for improving the delivery of medical services to aging adults. Students interested in this specialty who don’t want an MHA degree can obtain this training with a graduate certificate. The second specialization is healthcare leadership, which focuses on organization-wide leadership theories as they relate to finance, employee management, and the law.
To further enhance the learning experience, the University of Southern Indiana hosts an annual leadership conference and a study abroad program in Germany, both of which provide extensive networking opportunities. The study abroad trip is optional, however students are expected to attend at least one leadership conference either virtually or in-person.
The entire one-year online MHA program consists of 36 credits at a cost of $432 per credit. Students enrolled in the accelerated online MHA program take two courses during each seven-week term. Students enrolled in the standard track take one course during each seven-week term. Students take 27 credits of core curriculum classes that cover topics such as:
- Health informatics
- Healthcare systems
- Economic healthcare analysis
- Human resources and employee management
The other nine credits cover classes in the student’s concentration. All courses can be completed online with no clinical requirements. For added flexibility, you can apply at any time and choose from six program start dates throughout the year. Applicants should provide the following:
- A completed application with a $40 application fee.
- A current resume or curriculum vitae
- Official transcripts for all post-secondary institutions
Florida Atlantic University’s 15-Month Online MHA
At Florida Atlantic University, students enroll in the College of Business Online Master of Health Administration Program can graduate in just 15 months. Unlike many other accelerated online MHA programs, Florida Atlantic University’s MHA has programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
You’ll complete the accelerated online MHA program’s intensive curriculum as part of a group. While this does reduce the flexibility you have to self-pace your learning, you can still complete your coursework asynchronously while benefitting from more student interactions and improved group learning. This accelerated online MHA program has start dates in summer, fall, and spring.
The curriculum in the accelerated online program consists of 30 credits, is 100% online, and has no residency requirement. The curriculum is the same as the on-campus MHA program. Of the 30 required credits, 24 credits consist of core classes, such as:
- Research Methods for Healthcare Management
- Healthcare Finance
- Introduction to Healthcare Systems
You can complete the remaining six credits by taking elective courses that address healthcare information technology, long-term care operations, and public health. In addition to the core courses and electives, you’ll complete a special Leadership Bootcamp course during your first semester. The total program cost is $27,000, regardless of your state residency. Florida Atlantic University accelerated online MHA program students also receive:
- Full access to seminars and workshops
- Professional development assistance
- Access to a program advisor
- One-year student membership to the American College of Healthcare Executives
This accelerated online MHA program requires students to apply by providing:
- Official college or university transcripts
- A completed application
- Proof of completing a bachelor’s degree in any subject and a minimum 3.0 GPA in their most recent 60 undergraduate credits
- A resume or curriculum vitae showing at least four years of professional or healthcare -related work experience
- Two letters of recommendation
- A statement of purpose explaining why the applicant wants to earn an MHA degree
Note that some students may be required to complete an interview. Applicants aren’t required to take the GRE or GMAT.
University of Louisville’s 2-Year Online MHA Program
The University of Louisville’s Online Master of Science in Health Administration is designed for current healthcare professionals looking to take the next step in their field. The program is built around students with well-established careers.
The admissions process is streamlined to make it easier for busy professionals to apply. For example, there’s no GRE or other admissions test requirement. All you need to do is complete an application (this includes three letters of recommendation and a personal statement), pay the $65 fee, submit your official transcripts showing your undergraduate and/or graduate academic credits, and participate in an interview.
Incoming students are strongly recommended to have at least five years of managerial or supervisory experience in the healthcare setting. This requirement leads to greater collaboration because of the experience classmates bring to the program. Applicants don’t need a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare or business-related field.
All classes are 100% online. This accelerated online MHA program requires you to complete 57 credits, which are taught in an asynchronous format for maximum flexibility. That said, you may occasionally need to attend a scheduled meeting or learning event. Most students take two to three classes every eight-week term and earn their degree in two years. Students may also follow a slower pace by enrolling part-time. The curriculum uses the University of Louisville’s Population Health Leadership Competency Model, which emphasizes peer-learning and evidenced-based practices. Students with prior college or graduate credits may transfer up to six credits toward their University of Louisville accelerated online MHA program. The tuition rate is $465 per credit.
This accelerated online MHA program is accredited by the CAHME. The curriculum also helps graduates become eligible for various professional certifications, such as Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Medical Group Management Association, Healthcare Financial Management Association, and the American Association of Medical Assistants.
Southern New Hampshire University’s 15-Month Online MHA Program
Southern New Hampshire University is an academic leader when it comes to delivering high quality online learning, and its Master of Science in Healthcare Administration is no exception. Combining organizational leadership and strategic vision with collaboration among stakeholders, the curriculum is comprised of 36 credits at a cost of $627 per credit. Some of the classes students can expect to complete are:
Graduates of the accelerated AA in nursing program are able to:
- Global Health and Diversity
- Healthcare Finance and Reimbursement
- Health Policy and Law
- Healthcare Quality and Improvement
- Healthcare Administration Capstone
This curriculum was created by taking into consideration professional standards from the Healthcare Leadership Alliance and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. Therefore, students will learn about a variety of topics, such as:
- Information technology in the healthcare setting
- Organizational theory and behavior for healthcare employees
- Public health
- Healthcare law
- Executive leadership
- Strategic organizational planning
- Risk assessment
Each academic year consists of five 10-week terms. A highly motivated student can graduate from this accelerated online MHA program in just 15 months. Or students can enroll part-time and graduate in about two years. One way for students to accelerate their degree even more is with Southern New Hampshire’s generous transfer policy. Students can satisfy as many as 12 of the 36 credits with coursework completed at another approved and accredited institution.
To make learning as convenient as possible, students complete their courses asynchronously, meaning they can attend class anytime and anywhere. Although the curriculum is delivered online, students still have the opportunity for hands-on learning through HEaRT (Higher Education and Real-world Training) Challenges. These are similar to internships in that students receive work experience while addressing a major problem encountered by healthcare providers. Students also get the chance to receive feedback from industry leaders and professionals.
Prospective students interested in this accelerated or part-time online MHA program can apply at any time, with an admissions decision coming within days of submitting a complete application. To apply, students do not need a GRE, GMAT, or other admission test. However, they must provide:
- A completed online application
- A personal statement
- A GPA of at least a 2.75 (students with lower GPAs may receive a provisional acceptance)
- A copy of all undergraduate transcripts
Accreditation for Online MHA Programs
Schools understand that students want to graduate as quickly as possible. There’s a limit to how quick a program can be, though; a top-notch program must provide sufficient coursework to deliver a quality education. One way to ensure a degree you’re earning meets quality standards is to only enroll in accelerated online MHA programs that are accredited.
Generally speaking, there are two types of accreditation to look for. First, there’s regional or institutional accreditation, which applies to an entire school. At a minimum, any one-year online MHA program you decide to attend should be offered by a school that has this type of accreditation. Make sure the accrediting organization is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Second, a specific program can be accredited. The importance of programmatic accreditation varies, depending on the field of study. Accreditation is optional for online MHA programs, so many of them won’t have programmatic accreditation. However, some online MHA accelerated programs have programmatic accreditation, such as from CAHME or AACSB.
Once you decide which accelerated online MHA program you want to attend, you must apply and get accepted. Depending on your prior academic and work experience, this could be easier said than done. To learn more about the admissions process, check out this guide.
Even if you know you want to earn your MHA, you may not be concerned about graduating in one year. Learn more about top MHA programs that consider other variables, such as affordability, flexibility, and student support.