Online Master’s Programs in Healthcare Management: 2020 Guide

Find top schools and learn what it takes to prepare for leadership roles in healthcare.

Last Updated: 05/14/2020
——

Today’s Best Accredited Online Master’s Programs in Healthcare Management

If you’re ready for a career in healthcare management, the first step is to research the best educational options. There are several schools that provide online master’s programs in healthcare management, some of which will have exactly what you need to get your career in healthcare leadership on the right path. To help you decide, we’ve researched and vetted the top online master’s degrees in healthcare management from schools around the United States. Learn about the schools, review their programs, and see if the online master’s in healthcare management is what you need to succeed.

or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

#School NameTypeCostOnline ProgramsMore DetailsSchool InformationOnline StudentsAcademic CounselingCareer PlacementStudents w/Institutional AidMedian Earnings 10yrs After EntryAccreditation
1Stevenson UniversityStevenson, MDPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$1

The MHM degree at Stevenson University is a 34-unit program taught by practicing healthcare managers. It is designed for healthcare professionals who want to advance their career, or for qualified undergraduate degree holders looking to move into a new profession. Students can choose from two concentrations: Quality Management and Patient Safety or Project Management in Healthcare. Course titles include Management and Administration; Healthcare Policy, Ethics and Law; Finance Challenges; and Quality Improvement. Students may also opt for Stevenson’s 15-credit, online graduate certificate. Options are in Quality Management and Patient Safety. Stevenson does not require a GRE score for admission to either program.

Program Overview:

Healthcare Management

  • Credits: 34
  • Certificate Option: Online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Quality Management and Patient Safety
  • Total Cost: $670/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (internship)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationMSCHE
2Western Carolina UniversityCullowhee, NCPublic$$1

The School of Health Sciences at Western Carolina offers a wholly online Master of Health Sciences. Western’s program allows students to choose one of four concentrations. These are Emergency Care, Health Education, Health Management, and Nutrition. The Emergency Care option prepare students with skills in planning/research, organizational operations and educational strategies. The Health Education option focuses on assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The Health Management track delves into organizational management, financing, informatics and health care marketing. Core courses are in healthcare policy, research methodology, and statistics. A GRE is required for admission however applicants with an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.5 can apply for a GRE waiver.

Program Overview:

Health Sciences/Health Management Concentration

  • Credits: 33
  • GRE Requirement: GRE waivers for qualified students
  • Cost: $246.57/credit (in-state); $756.72/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online (internship)
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
68%
AccreditationSACSCOC
3George Mason UniversityFairfax, VAPublic$$$1

Mason Online is home to the MHA 47-credit program. Nine required courses make up the core leadership segment. Nine courses are required in organizational problem solving. Program outcomes include leadership proficiency in strategic business planning, comprehensive analytic and decision-making skills. Courses are 100 percent online. The in-person field practicum places students with professional healthcare organizations. In addition, students attend a week-long program in Washington, D.C. where they learn national policy and meet with Congressional membership, staff members, and organizations in advocacy. The degree program culminates in a Capstone Project guided by a healthcare organization. Applications are accepted throughout the school year.

Program Overview:

Health Administration in Health Systems Management

  • Credits: 47
  • Length: 32 months
  • Cost: $895/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (field practicum)
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAHME
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
28%
AccreditationSACSCOC, CAHME
4Brenau UniversityGainesville, GAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1

The accredited Master of Science in Organizational Leadership in Health Care (MHM/MBA) program at Brenau University is directed by the Department of Business Administration. Graduates earn the Masters of Business Administration degree and a certificate in Healthcare Management.  A total of 15 courses (39 credits) are required for gradation. It is designed to assist clinical professionals who want to move into management. The program emphasizes the development of management skills and tools for solving institutional problems and to guide planning, finances, and quality improvement responsibilities. A GRE is not required for admission but applicants must have earned a cumulative 3.0 GPA from an accredited undergraduate program.

Program Overview:

Organizational Leadership in Healthcare Management

  • Credits: 39
  • GRE Requirement: None
  • Cost: $713/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (field practicum)
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
90%
AccreditationSACSCOC
5Colorado Technical University-Colorado SpringsColorado Springs, COPrivate, For-Profit$$$1

The 48-hour online MHM degree program at CTU is generalist in nature. The leadership concentration is comprised of 20 credits, five courses. An additional 28 hours (seven courses) is devoted to core studies in statistics, organizational management, finance, health policy, law/ethics, and information systems. Concentration courses focus on HR management, economics, marketing, and quality improvement. The program requires a management Capstone project for graduation.  Online 8-week classes offer flexibility  to working healthcare professionals. The total cost of the degree can be reduced based on the applicant’s number of accepted college credits, military service, or a Corporate Alliances Grant. Potential students must submit an entrance essay.

Program Overview:

Healthcare Management

  • Credits: 48
  • Length: Varies by number of accepted transfer credits and military status
  • Total Cost: $29,280
  • Mode: Online

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
15%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
6Friends UniversityWichita, KSPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1

Friends University’s Master of Health Care Leadership degree was developed by industry professionals to address skills and issues in organizational management. Leadership courses cover the administration of the range of medical services including clinical and hospital management, acute and long-term care, hospice and home-health. The program ends in a major educational endeavor. Online students must complete a Capstone project. They may also opt for on-site international internships in locations such as South Africa, China, and England. A third on-site option is available with your current employer. Courses include foundation studies in business, technology and leadership. There is also a business/technology core and MHCL requirements in quality assurance, decision-making, strategic planning, aging services,  and system management. Applicants must have three years of professional experience in the field.

Program Overview:

Healthcare Management/Leadership

  • Credits: 30-36 hours
  • Course Lengths: 8 weeks
  • Costs: $631/credit
  • Mode: Online (off-line or international Capstone options)
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
98%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
7Rutgers University-New BrunswickNew Brunswick, NJPublic$$$$1

At Rutgers New Brunswick students can complete their MHM on a full- or part-time basis. The 36-credit program consists of 18 credits in core courses, 3 specialty courses and a 6-credit Capstone project.  Students have three distinct tracks to choose from to complete their degree.

The Healthcare Informatics track covers methodologies pertinent to applications, data analysis, and systems use for decision making. Graduates of the informatics track can go on to complete a Certificate in Healthcare Informatics. The Management and Leadership track is designed for current managers who want to advance their careers or for those moving into management. The Behavioral Management track is designed to broaden the skill sets of current mental healthcare managers and supervisors.

Program Overview:

Healthcare Management

  • Credits: 36
  • Number of Specialized Tracks: Three
  • Costs: $736/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
46%
AccreditationMSCHE
8George Washington UniversityWashington, DCPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$$1

The Department of Medicine and Health Sciences at George Washington University offers a 36-hour Master of Science in Health Sciences in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management degree. The program is conducted 100 percent online. The curriculum is focused on day-to day operational leadership skills in the pursuit of effective, cost-efficient patient care and safety. The program is designed for healthcare professionals seeking advancement into leadership roles. Courses include strategic communications, leadership/change, finance, informatics, human resource development. A three-credit practicum involves the creation of a healthcare operations proposal that addresses issues with their current employer or from a team of community partners.

Program Overview:

MS in Health Sciences in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: Two years
  • Total Cost: $35,280
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
75%
AccreditationMSCHE
9Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NHPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$1

Southern New Hampshire University’s entirely online MS in Management program can be completed in a year and a half. Courses include Healthcare Information Management, Human Behavior in Organizations, Corporate Communications, Biostatistics, Program Design, Quality Improvement, Strategic Human Resource Management, and Health Policy and Law.  Students in the program build leadership skills in finance and economics, law, policy, informatics, and strategic planning.  The final Capstone project is designed to determine the student’s expertise and leadership abilities. There is no GRE score required for acceptance into the program.  Students can apply at any time and are admitted throughout the five-term year. Service members may receive a 25 percent reduction in tuition fees.

Program Overview:

Management – Healthcare

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 15 months
  • Total Cost: $627; $470 military
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: NECHE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
39%
AccreditationNECHE

Grad School Profiles for the Online Master’s in Healthcare Management

Doing your research before committing to a degree or school is important, and knowing the fine details even more so. You want to get as clear a picture as possible about what it will be like to be an online student in a healthcare management master’s program. To help give you a better sense of what you can expect in terms of credit requirements, coursework content, and specialization options, we’ve profiled two healthcare management master’s programs offered online by two respected, accredited universities.

University of Arizona Online

University-of-Arizona

The University of Arizona’s online master’s in healthcare management allows students to complete the required 30 credit hour curriculum in about one year, giving students the skills they need to reach their career goals quickly. Core classes include financial accounting, healthcare economics, information technology, and organizational management. In addition, the school gives students the option to enroll in healthcare leadership, healthcare innovation, and healthcare informatics concentrations, so they can tailor additional classwork to their career interests. After they have gone through their coursework, students are required to complete a capstone project that allows them to research and develop a concrete plan that addresses a real-world problem that healthcare managers face.  

In order to help online students succeed, the University of Arizona Online provides various resources, including tutors and coaches who can provide guidance about course material and alumni mentors who offer advice on not only how to get through the program, but also how to navigate a job search after graduation.

UMass Dartmouth

UMass Dartmouth

UMass Dartmouth’s healthcare management master’s degree online is 30 credit hours that can to be completed within one year. Specific coursework covers advanced project management, accounting for decision making, organizational change, strategic cost management, and healthcare operations management. In addition, students are required to complete a master’s project or thesis in order to take the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired throughout the program and apply them to a workplace problem or research question. Students who did not study business as an undergraduate may be required to take prerequisite courses in accounting, economics, statistics, or finance.

To be admitted, students are expected to complete an undergraduate degree and take the GMAT exam or an equivalent. In addition, applicants should submit a current resume, recommendation letter, and a personal statement outlining what they want to achieve in their careers.

Accreditation for the Online Master’s in Healthcare Management

Healthcare management programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, which evaluates programs based on the quality of their curriculum and their ability to give students the skills employers are looking for. Schools go through a rigorous process to obtain and maintain their accreditation, so students can be confident that the program they’re enrolling in will set them up for success. Also, schools may be accredited by regional organizations, such as the Higher Learning Commission, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. More information on the importance of accreditation can be found in our guide to accreditation online.

Accreditation HCM
Accreditation HCM

In Focus: Online Master’s in Healthcare Management

To find the right school, prospective healthcare management students should look at the programs they’re interested in to understand exactly what each one has to offer. People will have several questions as they research, and the following section answers some of those questions to help them make an informed decision.

What do you learn in an online master’s program in healthcare management?

Every online master’s program in healthcare management is different, which means curricula across them can vary. However, there are some core courses that students can generally expect to find in these programs that provide the foundation they need to be successful in the field. Some of these include:

Healthcare Financial Management

The finances of the healthcare industry are unique, so this class is designed to teach students how to handle the expenditures that are common for the field. Specific topics may cover variance analysis, capital budgeting, and ratios. In addition, students may get the opportunity to analyze and interpret financial statements in order to deepen their understanding of healthcare finances.

Healthcare Informatics and Technology

Students in this course gain expertise in how technology and information are handled in a healthcare setting. The curriculum may cover data analytics, social media, the lifecycle of information technology, and electronic medical records.

Organizational Behavior

People who take this class learn about the roles and responsibilities of a leader in the healthcare field. After completing this course, students will understand how a healthy organizational culture is created, as well as topics like employee motivation, teamwork, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

Healthcare Marketing

Students in this course learn strategies on how to specifically present healthcare organizations to the public in order to attract and retain consumers. In order to do this, the class focuses on subjects like branding, market intelligence, and pricing strategies.

Healthcare Law and Ethics

This class covers the unique legal and ethical standards that healthcare organizations are expected to adhere to. Students learn about the specific policies that govern the field and how they affect all stakeholders, from healthcare administrators to facility employees to patients. In addition, people in this course will learn how to handle business in an ethical manner.


When choosing an online master’s program in healthcare management, it’s also important for people to consider the skills that they’ll learn from the course curriculum they’ll take. In order to ensure that they are well-prepared for the type of job they’re looking for, healthcare management programs may teach students the following skills.

  • Data analysis
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Technology
  • Interpersonal

What concentrations are available in MHM programs?

All students have a specific career path they want to follow, and to get closer to their goals, they should look for schools that offer a concentration that focuses on their interests. This section includes information on some of the common concentrations that can be found in healthcare management master’s degree programs.

Gerontology

Those who are interested in serving the needs of older populations in settings like nursing homes can enroll in this concentration in order to learn how to treat patients in this age group. Coursework covers the physical, emotional, and social needs of people in this age group and how administrators can create and execute policies that will address these needs.

Health Policy

The impact that policy has on how healthcare is delivered cannot be overstated, so students who choose this concentration get an in-depth look at how healthcare policies are created and the effects they have on medical facilities, and ultimately patients. The class may address the history of healthcare policy, effectively communicating with lawmakers and regulatory agencies, and contemporary issues in the field.

Healthcare Informatics

People who want to focus their studies on the role that information technology plays on the delivery of care can enroll in the healthcare informatics concentration, which covers the technology tools that are commonly used in the field. Specific class topics include programming, biostatistics, data mining and integration, and database applications.

How long does it take to earn a master’s degree in healthcare management online?

Depending on the program, students can generally complete an online master’s degree in healthcare management within one to three years. If they are studying part-time, students may be able to complete their degree in about four years. The time that it takes to graduate may be influenced by the requirements of the program, such as whether or not students need to complete a capstone project, thesis, or internship in addition to their classwork.

How much will a master’s in healthcare management online cost?

Just as programs differ in terms of their curriculum, the cost for an online master’s in healthcare management depends on the school. Factors that may influence how much students pay include whether or not they qualify for in-state tuition, how much financial aid they can receive, and how long it takes for them to work through their classes. Here’s a look at the standard costs of two different online master’s in healthcare management:

Arizona

Arizona State Online

  • Resident tuition: $895/credit
  • Non-resident tuition: $895/credit
Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

  • All student tuition: $627/credit
  • U.S. servicemembers receive a 25% tuition discount

Paying for a Master’s in Healthcare Management

After finding the program that suits their needs, healthcare management students should think about how they are going to pay for their education. Several options that students can pursue in order to cover the cost, including the following:

1 Scholarships

Students may be able to receive a scholarship from their school or academic department, depending on what program they enroll in. In addition, students may be able to win scholarships from industry organizations, such as the American College of Healthcare Executives, the National Association of Health Services Executives, and the American College of Medical Practice Executives. These awards may be provided based on academic performance and financial need. Our scholarship page has additional information on successfully applying for scholarships.

2 Financial aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is used by schools to determine how much financial aid students are eligible to receive based on their household income. For more information on how to obtain financial aid, check out our complete guide to financial aid for healthcare students.

3 Grants

Students who demonstrate financial hardship may be eligible to receive grants. This form of financial aid is provided by schools, non-profit organizations, or government agencies. In order to qualify, students need to provide information about their finances.

4 Tuition Reimbursement

Some organizations provide tuition reimbursement for workers in order to invest in their professional development. Students who are employed as they earn their master’s degree in healthcare administration may be able to qualify for this type of benefit from their employer. In order to find out what’s available, they should consult their company’s human resources department.

5 Research Assistantship

Some schools provide funding for students in exchange for working with the professors in their department on research projects being conducted. These programs may cover students’ tuition or provide a stipend.

After Your Online Master’s in Healthcare Management

Before enrolling in a degree program, it’s important for prospective students to research the industry and specific career they want to pursue. The following are some answers to common questions people may have about where an online master’s in healthcare management can take them after they graduate.

Are there any licenses or certifications I need to get?

Those who want to work in an administrative role at a nursing home or assisted living facility may be required to earn a state license. In addition to completing a state-approved degree program, licensing requirements may include passing an examination and having a certain amount of work experience. Other healthcare management graduates may not be required to earn a license, but they may choose to get a voluntary certification in order to demonstrate their knowledge and dedication to the profession. The American Health Information Management Association, the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management, and the American College of Health Care Administrators are among the industry organizations that provide these credentials.

HCM licenses
HCM certification

What can I do with a master’s in healthcare management?

There are several avenues that people can take in their careers after they’ve completed their master’s in healthcare management degrees. Whether they want to work in a hospital, nursing home, doctor’s office, or outpatient care center, graduates can leverage their education to pursue high-growth management and executive careers in the healthcare field. In addition, people may choose to use their master’s degree as a stepping stone to continue their education in order to become a healthcare researcher or college professor. The graphic below illustrates some of the careers healthcare management graduates obtain.

HCM Flow
HCM Flow

How much can I earn with an online master’s in healthcare management?

After advancing in their education, healthcare professionals can command healthy salaries. The amount of money they can make generally is determined by where they are in their career and where they work. The following table demonstrates the salary spectrum for management careers in hospitals and nursing facilities, which are the two most common places where healthcare managers work.

CareerEmploymentEntry-LevelEarly CareerMid-CareerExperiencedLate Career
Management Occupations – Hospitals218,560$66,790$85,070$110,090$146,760$203,990
Management Occupations – Nursing Facilities106,680$45,630$59,180$78,500$103,680$137,610

Related Degrees

Whether people want to advance in the healthcare field or make a career change from another profession, there are several opportunities for them to continue their education to get to where they want to go. The following are some examples of the degree options that may train students to help them reach their career aspirations.

Online MBA in Healthcare Management

These degree programs are designed for those who want to apply managerial principles to the healthcare field, but are interested in focusing their studies on the business side more than the healthcare side. Graduates may become entrepreneurs or work as hospital administrators, health services managers, policy analysts, and pharmaceutical project managers.

Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration

These degrees are for those who want to learn how to manage the daily operations of a medical facility or specific department within a practice. People who earn these degrees can go on to work as a health care consultant, nurse manager, clinic manager, and chief operations officer.