The healthcare management field is experiencing tremendous growth. That’s especially true in California where over 18,300 new positions are expected to be created over the next decade — and that’s in addition to openings from turnover in current jobs. Whether you already work in healthcare administration and are looking to move up the ladder or want to pivot to a different field, earning your master’s in healthcare administration (MHA) can help you achieve your next career move.
This guide offers a comprehensive look at online and on-campus MHA programs in California. It includes a list of the best programs and many useful resources, information, and advice to help you succeed in an MHA program and as a professional in the healthcare management field. Keep reading to start your path towards earning your MHA by seeing which two schools in California topped our list of the best for the ’23-’24 academic year:
|#||School Name||Type||Tuition||Online Programs||More Details||School Information||Online Students||Academic Counseling||Career Placement||Students w/Institutional Aid||Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry||Accreditation|
|1||West Coast University-Orange CountyAnaheim, CA||Private for-profit||$||1||
The online Master of Health Administration program at West Coast University offers students a foundational education in the core areas of management with a focus on the healthcare industry, several tracks in which they can specialize, a flexible online format, and extensive resources. Students can complete the program in as few as 8 months or as many as 20, according to their schedules and obligations. Specializations include Informatics, Organizational Leadership, Project Management, and Public Health.
Master of Health Administration
|2||California State University-East BayHayward, CA||Public||$||1||
Cal State East Bay offers an online MS in Health Care Administration program designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed professionally. Students study concepts in organizational design as well as new models of health care delivery. This program is best suited for students who already have at least a couple years of work experience in the health care field and who aspire to work in positions of leadership and/or management.
Master of Science in Health Care Administration
Spotlight: Popular MHA Program in California
Below, we’ve spotlighted a popular MHA program in California to provide you with a good idea of what to expect when searching for the best program fit for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About MHA Programs in California
Inside Look at Online MHA Programs in California
Several online MHA online programs in California feature fully online coursework, including those at Concordia University Irvine and California Baptist University, while others feature a mix of online and on-campus components. Cal State Long Beach, for example, offers an accelerated program that combines online coursework with weekend classes at their main campus, and UCLA’s Online MHA program mixes asynchronous elements with live synchronous class sessions. Many online programs, such as the one through UCSF, also include multiple two-day on-campus immersion sessions and/or culminating capstone projects that integrate work experiences at a student’s current place of employment.
Before you enroll, have a clear understanding of which parts of a program are completed online and which aren’t. The substance of your studies – subjects covered and competencies gained – is the same regardless of whether a program is entirely online, entirely on-campus, or hybrid.
Earnings and Job Outlook for MHA Graduates in California
Regardless of which program you choose, knowing what to expect from the job market after you graduate is important. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about earnings and job outlook for MHA graduates in California.
Are healthcare managers with an MHA degree in high demand in California?
Healthcare administration for professionals working in California and throughout the nation is one of the hottest career fields and is expected to remain so for many years. As the U.S. Department of Labor figures below indicate, job growth for medical and health service managers, including healthcare administrators, is expected to increase by more than 30% in the U.S. overall and 35% in California through 2030. Compare that to job growth estimates of 9% for all other management occupations and 8% for all occupations combined for the same period.
Job Outlook for Medical and Health Services Managers in California (2020-2030)
Source: Projections Central
How much do healthcare managers with an MHA make in California?
For a professional occupation in such high demand, salaries of healthcare administrators are robust in the U.S. generally and in California specifically. This is evidenced by the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics salary estimates for medical and health services managers presented in the chart below. Salaries for healthcare managers in California are slightly higher but in line with those in the nation overall. The exception is for median salaries, which are nearly 20% higher in California compared to the nation overall.
What you’ll earn as a graduate of an MHA program in California depends on a combination of factors, including your specific employer, job title, geographic location, and level of professional experience in the healthcare field. Review the chart below to learn more about what you can expect to earn in your area.
Annual Earnings for Medical and Health Services Managers in California
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
Additional Resources for MHA Students in California
EduMed’s guide for finding and landing valuable scholarships to help you pay for your healthcare administration master’s degree includes descriptions of many school-based and external scholarships, advice on how to make your scholarship application stand out, and information on additional financial aid opportunities.
The WHA is a nonprofit professional organization with more than 200 members employed in leadership positions with health care providers, payers, support services organizations, and regulatory agencies throughout Southern California. WHA activities and services include educational and professional development forums, networking opportunities, and an annual scholarship for health administration graduate students.
This association for southern California health care professionals specializing in communications-related disciplines like public relations, business development, investor relations, community relations, and public affairs is an affiliated chapter of the Society for Health Care Strategy & Market Development.
The ACHE is a professional association of healthcare managers and administrators dedicated to healthcare leadership excellence. There are three ACHE-affiliated chapters located in California: the San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders represents professionals in San Diego and Imperial counties, the ACHE of Southern California represents professionals in all other So Cal counties, and the California Association of Healthcare Leaders represents professionals in the Northern and Central California Regions.
The UPD is a national honor society dedicated to academic excellence in the study of health care management. There are currently five California schools with UPD chapters: Cal State Chico, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Northridge, UCLA, and USC.