Best Healthcare Administration MBA Degrees for 2022

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Healthcare administration is a rapidly growing profession in the United States. This may come as no surprise since the industry is already one of the largest and fastest growing in the nation. In fact, many towns and regions list healthcare systems as their top employers. The field may seem limited to hospital administrators only, but healthcare administration goes far beyond that.

Healthcare administration can include career paths in healthcare informatics, marketing, communications, management, and finance, among others. While these paths may have equivalents in the wider business world, healthcare professionals note that their industry has many unique issues and needs professionals who are trained especially for work in hospitals, clinics, and private doctor's offices.

This page is all about MBA programs in healthcare administration. If you are considering a business degree, take a look at the opportunities available in healthcare. You will be glad you did.

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What is an MBA in Healthcare Administration?

These days, any businessperson who wishes to get ahead and land a coveted corner office needs an MBA. That degree adds a level of credibility to anyone's resume and firms love to boast a team full of MBA degree holders. Since the degree itself allows students to choose a specialty, each MBA degree candidate can specialize their academic work to best suit their career objectives.

Thus, healthcare administration professionals seek out an MBA degree program that allows them to specialize in healthcare administration. Some programs may even offer specialties such as healthcare finance, healthcare marketing, or healthcare informatics. These concentrations are similar to a major in one's bachelor degree program. The core curriculum for an MBA degree program covers the business world in general so that all graduates have a foundational knowledge of business at the graduate level.

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What Can You Do with an MBA in Healthcare Administration?


Healthcare Consultant


This career is terrific, especially for younger healthcare professionals who don't mind traveling on a regular basis. A healthcare consultancy can take many different forms with some focusing on informatics or information technology. Other healthcare consultants might focus on matters of finance and thus help healthcare systems conduct mergers or acquisitions, stock offerings, or other matters of corporate finance.

Payscale.com reports that the average salary for healthcare consultants is just under $80,000. However, these professionals often earn a healthy bonuses in return for a job well done. Firms that consult on financial matters often are vested for a certain percent of the deal, which is then passed along to the professionals who made it all possible.

Chief Executive Officer


A healthcare MBA is virtually a requirement for this position. Healthcare CEOs frequently have many years of experience on top of their graduate degrees. While some may come to healthcare from other industries, a resume that is built on healthcare experience will certainly help any MBA degree holder rise to this top position.

CEOs in healthcare should have deep knowledge of matters such as healthcare policy and regulations, the current state of the industry, and a deep understanding of how to manage healthcare professionals. Though a CEO can come from the marketing, finance, or operations side of a healthcare system, they are often groomed as hospital administrators who have deep experience overseeing multiple departments.

Director of Operations


An MBA in healthcare administration will be vital for those who seek to attain a position as the director of operations in a healthcare system. These professionals must be well versed in all of the specific issues that are pertinent to the proper operation of a hospital or other health system or organization. For instance, they need to understand things such as how to order supplies for the emergency room and how much time their doctors should spend consulting with patients. There should be no detail too small or seemingly irrelevant for a director of operations.

Healthcare Administrator


These professionals are charged with overseeing large departments in a health system such as an oncology ward, the emergency room, or even a hospital's food service operations. There are also healthcare administrators who work in smaller-scale organizations such as a small clinic or a long-term care facility. They are also found working in government healthcare systems such as the Veterans Administration, correctional facilities, and in military healthcare systems on bases worldwide.

Human Resources Director


Human resources professionals in healthcare systems face special issues and challenges when it comes to hiring, firing, and creating benefits packages. These issues arise from the nature of their industry, where the employees they work with are comprised of a mix of licensed healthcare professionals, administrators, and even lower-level employees who work as food service employees, orderlies, and administrative assistants, to name a few. This makes a healthcare MBA all the more valuable since HR directors must be up to speed with all of the issues that impact each employment sector they oversee.

Online vs On-Campus for an MBA in Healthcare Administration


There are more online MBA programs than ever before. This option extends to healthcare administration students as well as those who seek a master of healthcare administration (MHA). For working professionals, an online master's degree just makes sense. They can pursue coursework in their free time and never have to leave their duties behind. Online degree programs also offer the same level of academic rigor and perhaps require more discipline and determination than a traditional, structured MBA degree program. After all, an online MBA in healthcare administration degree program still must be accredited the same as its traditional counterpart.

An online MBA option also enables healthcare professionals to complete a master's degree from far-away schools that might have otherwise required uprooting and moving many states away from home. Thus, online graduate students have far more options available than those who pursue traditional programs. However, online programs do lack the networking aspects of their traditional counterparts. Thus, many students seek hybrid online graduate degree programs that require that students visit campus, or other real-world venue, periodically through their degree program. This is a relatively new feature that MBA and MHA programs are adding so that students can form the interpersonal bonds that result in beneficial professional relationships.

Types of Healthcare Administration Master’s Degrees


  • Postgraduate or Post-MBA Certificate in Healthcare Administration:
    This is a terrific option for those students who wish to increase their academic credentials but who don't yet wish to commit to a full MBA or MHA program. A certificate takes only about a year to complete and provides credentials on top of graduate credits which can be used for a full degree later. Those who already hold an MBA should consider a certificate in healthcare administration if they are considering a move into that industry. Those who are adding to an existing MBA should consider an online graduate certificate program.
  • MS in Healthcare Administration:
    These two-year graduate degree programs are focused specifically on the issues that face healthcare administration professionals. Whereas an MBA degree program includes a core curriculum that is grounded in general business topics, the MS in healthcare administration degree only addresses topics through the lens of the healthcare industry. Though each program is different, many MS programs offer a core group of classes that address the primary areas of healthcare administration and then allow students to choose a focus area for their thesis or capstone project.
  • MBA in Healthcare Administration:
    This is a terrific option for students who may already have an undergraduate degree in business yet who are now seeking to take their healthcare careers to the next level. These degrees reinforce and build on general business knowledge with courses at the graduate level. Then students can choose a specific concentration, such as healthcare administration, or perhaps other healthcare specialties including healthcare informatics, healthcare marketing, or others, depending on the program. There are also dual MBA/MHA programs which allow students to complete both master's degrees in about three years. Students with both degrees may be considered a double threat as they can excel in both the healthcare and traditional business worlds.
  • Executive MBA in Healthcare Administration:
    These programs are for students who already hold executive positions in the healthcare industry. Typically, the minimum requirement is for students to have held their positions for five or more years. These programs are unique in that they focus on the issues that seasoned executives need the most. Thus, an executive MBA program might skip past the core business curriculum, which might be redundant or unnecessary for practicing professionals. These programs also enable students to meet and work with students who are at the same level of professional achievement. Since executive MBA programs are created with working professionals in mind, the courses often meet online, on the weekend, or otherwise provide a flexible schedule for students.

Sample Curriculum & Courses for Healthcare Administration


  • Evolution of the U.S. Healthcare System:
    This course provides a historical perspective for those in the healthcare industry. This is valuable in that students need to understand how shifts in the economy, politics, and healthcare technology have impacted their industry.
  • Healthcare Technology and Informatics:
    While many healthcare administrators needn't be steeped in technological issues, this course will provide a detailed perspective on these matters. After all, technology and informatics are vital to the success of any healthcare system.
  • Policy and Legal Issues in Healthcare:
    Since healthcare is a highly regulated industry, it’s vital for all professionals to understand the various legal issues that are involved. For instance, hospital administrators need to be aware of how their doctors might expose their hospital to risk by way of malpractice lawsuits.
  • Program Development and Grant Writing for Healthcare Professionals:
    Every effective healthcare administrator needs to learn how to conceive and develop new programs. This can involve issues such as logistics but also fundraising efforts from tradition venture capital sources but also by winning grants from the government or private foundations.

Best MBA Schools in Healthcare Administration


Yale University Location
New Haven, CT
Retention %
99%
Graduation %
96%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$130,000
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
6:1
Lake Forest Graduate School of Management Location
Lake Forest, IL
Retention %
88%
Graduation %
75%
Accreditation
No
Average Salary
$110,000
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
12:1
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Location
Amherst, MA
Retention %
91%
Graduation %
83%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$99,200
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
17:1
University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Location
Minneapolis, MN
Retention %
87%
Graduation %
80%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$105,300
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
14:1
California State University-Long Beach Location
Long Beach, CA
Retention %
87%
Graduation %
73%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$92,000
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
24:1
University of Detroit Mercy Location
Detroit, MI
Retention %
82%
Graduation %
73%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$100,900
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
11:1
Baylor University Location
Waco, TX
Retention %
88%
Graduation %
79%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$100,900
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
13:1
Marist College Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
Retention %
88%
Graduation %
85%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$82,800
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
16:1
University of Delaware Location
Newark, DE
Retention %
91%
Graduation %
82%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$92,100
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
15:1
Georgia State University Location
Atlanta, GA
Retention %
82%
Graduation %
53%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$103,000
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
26:1
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Frequently Asked Questions


What certification should I get in addition to an MBA in Healthcare Administration?

This depends on your job title. For instance, if you work in a hospital IT department, you could earn a certification in information security, database management, or in one of many programming languages. If you are involved in a developmental position, you could seek a certification in grant writing or business development. However, those who work in healthcare consulting could seek certification in project management and human resources directors might become certified in compensation or organizational psychology. No matter what certification you earn, your employer is sure to reward you handsomely. Further, additional certifications will certainly benefit your next job search.

What are the differences between an MBA in Healthcare Administration and a regular MBA?

An MBA in healthcare administration is a business degree that focuses its coursework on issues that directly impact healthcare. Since healthcare is such a unique industry that blends business objectives with healthcare outcomes, this focus is especially worthwhile for these students. A regular MBA covers business topics in a general fashion. The issues addressed in a typical MBA finance course, for instance, won't include matters such as delayed payments from insurance companies, non-profit status, and government regulations. However, that is not to say that a person with a regulate MBA can't excel in healthcare, but they may still wish to return to school for a graduate certificate in healthcare administration.

Who Should Consider Getting This Degree?

An MBA in healthcare administration is a terrific idea for students who have, or are about to, complete a bachelor's degree in business or healthcare administration. They may even be in accelerated MBA or MHA programs that allow them to complete both undergraduate and master's degrees in five years. The degree is also terrific for healthcare professionals who desire to move up the ladder into management or to the C-suites. Even healthcare providers such as nurses or physician's assistants should consider an MBA in healthcare administration if they would like to shift over to management. Some doctors also enroll in MBA programs to help them start and manage small clinics or private practices.

How to Choose the Right Program


  • Do you have time to go back to school?
    Time is a huge issue for many aspiring MBA students. For those who need to continue working full-time, it may seem impossible to enroll in a full-time MBA program. However, there are many part-time and executive MBA programs that cater to working professionals. There are also online opportunities for students who find that the perfect program is too far for commuting or in a town that is too expensive for their budget. Healthcare professionals should keep in mind that when they invest the time and energy required to complete an MBA in healthcare administration that their careers can break through to the next level.

  • Is this a long-term career path for you?
    Before anyone enrolls in a master's degree program, they should first make sure that they intend to apply that degree to their career path. This decision should be taken quite seriously because an MBA in healthcare administration will focus a resume towards one specific industry and will therefore make it harder to find a position in another field. It may be helpful to consider that this is a master's degree and graduates will be masters of that one specific thing. Thus, even before you fill out an application, you should be dedicated to the healthcare industry and a career in healthcare administration. It will help to focus your long-term career goals in your admission essay.

  • What kind of networking opportunities are available?
    Networking is one of the most important parts of an MBA or any graduate program. When you seek out an MBA program for healthcare administration, look for ways the program supports networking and inter-student interactions. Online programs try to address these issues by offering on-campus events and there are also hybrid programs that are designed to meet the needs of online students while requiring on-campus time to help facilitate networking.

    For those in online MBA programs, look for opportunities to get together with your fellow students or look for local alumni events. These get togethers can be purely social in nature, perhaps meeting for a ball game or a dinner party. However, these experiences can enhance one's business education with a building network of like-minded professionals.

  • Does earning this MBA provide a significant return on investment (ROI)?
    Most of those who enroll in MBA programs are thinking in terms of how their educational dollar will be repaid in terms of salary and professional status. Generally speaking, an MBA will boost your salary, often before you graduate. To help ensure that the degree generates a healthy return on the investment, look for programs with national accreditation. In fact, many tuition reimbursement programs will be more generous when the program has national credentials. Keep in mind that even online MBA programs can boast national accreditation from the AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE.

  • Consider the student outcomes for each program
    Educational statistics are a terrific way to gauge your long-term outcomes in a program. Thus, investigate each program's retention rate, graduation rate, and student-to-faculty ratio, among other statistics. The retention rate will tell you how many students return after a year in the program. This number should be high, as should the program's graduation rate. Finally, the student-to-faculty ratio can provide insight into the student experience on a daily basis. When the ratio is lower, individuals are certain to get more from classroom discussions while finding instructors more accessible. MBA students may also research the reported salaries from their program's alumni.

  • Make sure the program in accredited
    Accreditation is absolutely imperative in higher education. After all, those who may hold degrees from non-accredited undergraduate programs may find it nearly impossible to gain admission to accredited MBA programs. For MBA programs, students should first look for programs that boast credentials from either the AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. Those are nationally recognized accreditation agencies and the programs that earn their approval often have well-known reputations. At the least, students should seek out master's degree programs in healthcare administration that hold regional accreditation from CHEA-approved agencies. While it may be easy to select an MBA program based on word-of-mouth or general reputation, always investigate and confirm their actual accreditation status prior to enrolling in any program.

Professional Organizations


  • Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals:
    Healthcare administration professionals should consider joining AHCAP. They offer members benefits including events and education. AHCAP offers members a lifetime of career enhancement and professional satisfaction.
  • American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management:
    The AAHAM offers its members terrific benefits that will enhance any career. They offer a job bank for those seeking new opportunities, an exclusive member's social network, and periodicals packed with vital information that is vital to the healthcare community.
  • Healthcare Administrators Association:
    The HCAA is an organization that is dedicated to the healthcare administration community nationwide. They have been around for over 40 years and have enhanced the careers of many healthcare administrators before you. They even offer health plans for their members.
  • American College of Healthcare Executives:
    This may be a terrific organization to join after graduating with an MBA in healthcare administration. The organization has chapters throughout the United States as well as educational resources, career development tools, and more.
  • Professional Association of Health Care Office Management:
    Office managers who are working in the healthcare arena are encouraged to join PAHCOM. Members are typically professionals who work in small doctor's offices or clinics. They are entitled to resources that include educational opportunities, certifications, and deals from select vendors.

Potential Scholarships to Consider


  • Fleury Yelvington Fellowship in Health Administration
    This foundation offers healthcare administration students the opportunity to fund their studies free of interest rates. Note that this fellowship is only available to students of the University of Florida Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy.
  • Shaul MBA/MHA Scholarship
    To qualify for this scholarship, students must have an undergraduate degree in business; specifically accounting, finance, or operations. Students should express an interest in healthcare delivery systems. This scholarship is primarily available to students of the University of Florida Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy.
  • Bachrach Family Scholarship for Excellence in Healthcare Administration
    This is a $5,000 scholarship award that is available to students who are enrolled in any CAHME accredited residential graduate program in healthcare administration. Students must be full-time, entering their second year, and female.
  • David A. Winston Scholarship
    This generous scholarship promises $10,000 to each of the 20 winners. The scholarship is available to any student of health policy in an accredited college or university. Applicants should submit materials such as their transcripts and recommendations from faculty and colleagues.
  • UPD Scholarship Program
    This scholarship program was instituted in 2013 and rewards winners who demonstrate academic excellence. The award is $500 and requires current AUPHA membership. In fact, the award is disbursed through individual chapters to members they deem most worthy.

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