Last Updated: October 22, 2020
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly one-quarter of all 2017-2018 master's program graduates earned their degrees in business. The MBA remains so popular in part because of its extensive specialization options, including information technology, entrepreneurship, finance, and healthcare management.
An MBA in healthcare management prepares graduates to pursue executive leadership positions in hospitals, insurance companies, biotech companies, and government agencies. For healthcare executives, one of the fastest-growing careers in the nation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 32% job growth between 2019 and 2029.
Many professionals in this field hold master's degrees, and prospective graduate students often choose to pursue a flexible online healthcare MBA. We invite you to read through the rest of this guide to explore the benefits of earning your MBA in healthcare management online. Start your program search with our comprehensive ranking of the top 10 degrees in the nation.
The 10 Best Online Healthcare MBAs
|1||University of Massachusetts Amherst||Amherst, MA|
|2||Northeastern University||Boston, MA|
|3||Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA|
|4||Ball State||Muncie, IN|
|5||University of Arizona||Tucson, AZ|
|6||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|7||Marist College||Poughkeepsie, NY|
|8||University of Colorado Colorado Springs||Colorado Springs, CO|
|9||East Carolina University||Greenville, NC|
|10||University of Scranton||Scranton, PA|
What Is Healthcare Management?
Public hospitals first emerged in the U.S. between 1860 and 1930, but it took time for them to grow into the major, multifaceted institutions we know today. The earliest healthcare management professionals were nurses, who took on a variety of administrative duties. Other early hospital superintendents included doctors, laypersons, and clergy.
Many of these superintendents received inadequate training, especially in business concepts like accounting, administrative statistics, and supply management. In response, Michael Davis founded the world's first graduate program in hospital administration at the University of Chicago in 1934. By 1990, over 50 similar programs had become available throughout the United States.
Today, healthcare management professionals enjoy extensive education options both online and on campus.
Graduates work in hospitals and dozens of other venues, including outpatient and residential care facilities, insurance companies, government agencies, and consulting firms.
Healthcare management professionals play an important behind-the-scenes role in the operation of medical and health services facilities. They plan, direct, and coordinate the services of their organization.
Specific duties vary by employer but often include improving efficiency and quality of care, ensuring facility compliance with laws and regulations, managing facility finances, and supervising staff members. While doctors and nurses work on the front lines, most healthcare executives and administrators work in offices, rarely interacting with patients.
Approximately 420,000 individuals currently work as health and medical services managers in the United States. The BLS projects a staggering 32% growth in employment from 2019-2029, primarily due to increased care demands of the aging baby boom generation.
Why Get a Healthcare Management MBA?
Some critics contend that earning an MBA might not be worth the time, money, and effort required. Certainly no credential comes with a guarantee of lifelong job security, but for the right candidate, the MBA remains a valuable education option. For healthcare professionals in particular, a specialized MBA in healthcare management can provide the knowledge and skills needed to advance in a high-demand field.
The major benefits of pursuing a healthcare MBA include:
- Expanded Business Skills: An MBA in healthcare management provides experienced health professionals with opportunities to develop and enhance business skills currently in high demand. Graduates possess competency in management, team leadership, budgeting, and workforce efficiency.
- Excellent Job Outlook: Healthcare executives and administrators enjoy one of the fastest-growing careers in the nation, according to BLS data. As the nation's demand for healthcare increases, the need for strong leadership grows accordingly.
- Income Potential: According to PayScale data, graduates with an MBA in healthcare management earn an average salary of $81,410. The BLS reports that the top 10% of healthcare executives take home more than $189,000 per year.
Ranking the Top 10 Online MBAs in Healthcare Management, 2020
With dozens of top schools across the country offering online healthcare MBAs, choosing your preferred program is no easy task. To help prospective students better evaluate their options, we compiled the following list of the top 10 healthcare management programs for distance learners.
Our rankings provide concise summaries of the most important information: curriculum content, program formatting and length, tuition cost, and admission requirements. Prospective students can use these summaries to inform their graduate school decisions.
We use deliberate methodologies to compile all rankings. We evaluated 380 online and hybrid MBA programs with a healthcare management focus for this ranking, with the following factors weighted evenly:
- Estimated Tuition Cost: Tuition rates offer insight about average costs and return on educational investment. We evaluated each program according to the total base tuition rate estimate for the MBA. These calculations cover the entire degree cost with the exception of fees, books, and room and board. We sourced tuition data from the most recent data found on each program website. For schools offering lower tuition rates to in-state residents, we used these figures to display the lowest available tuition.
- Accreditation: Every program received a ranking based on its regional and programmatic accreditation. We evaluated schools accredited by one of the six regional agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For programmatic accreditation we ranked schools recognized by the most prestigious accrediting institutions for business programs: the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Schools with AACSB accreditation received our highest marks, since this designation is considered the top programmatic accreditation available for business programs.
- PayScale Early Career Salary: Using the PayScale College Salary Report, we collected early-career salary data to evaluate the financial return on graduates' educational investment. We evaluated median salary data for alumni from each master's program with up to five years of work experience.
- Prestige: Using data from U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review, the Financial Times, and Quacquarelli Symonds, we calculated a prestige score for each school based on its recognition in these highly respected rankings.
- Overall Graduation Rates: We examined data from the NCES showing overall graduation rates for each program. Schools with higher graduation rates received higher scores, since more students completed their programs.
#1 University of Massachusetts Amherst — Amherst, Massachusetts
|An online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration is featured at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst's Isenberg School of Management. This award-winning online MBA program carries a positive balance between tuition rates and a reported early-career salary for its graduates.|
The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers an online Master of Business Administration with Healthcare Administration specialization. This best-of-the-best 45-credit hour program is priced at $825 per credit hour making the total cost of tuition $37,125. Princeton Review has ranked this 100% online MBA as their 23rd best in the country, while U.S. News online recognized it as #12 among all other online MBA programs in the nation. A reported early-career salary for this degree comes in at $62,200. Working closely with the UMass School of Public Health, the Isenberg School of Management can give instruction that is relevant and up to date with current needs in the healthcare industry. Interested applicants are required to submit a $75 application fee, personal essay, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, resume, and GMAT score. This program consists of 11 required core courses, an elective course, and fourHealthcare Administration-specific courses which include, Financial Management of Health Institutions, Globalization and Health, Health Economics and Reimbursement, and Public Health Law.
With a reputation as one of the best public research universities in the nation, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the flagship campus among the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Located in the rural community of Amherst, Massachusetts, the school offers a scenic and pastoral setting with conveniences and major city attractions within reach. For eight years running the school has been named among the 100-best college values by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, and "best bang for the buck" by Money magazine. Receiving its top-tier accreditation through the AACSB and the New England Commission of Higher Education, the school reports a healthy 78% graduation rate. This four-year, public research university oversees almost 30,000 students seeking degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
Estimated Program Tuition: $37,125
#2 Northeastern University — Boston, Massachusetts
|The D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University offers an online Master of Business Administration with a Healthcare Management emphasis. This program is our second-best in the nation with a high early-career salary, stellar student satisfaction rates, and national prestige.|
An online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management is featured at Northeastern University's D'Amore-McKim School of Business. This award-winning online MBA program has been educating professional leaders for over a decade and achieved the ranking of fourth-best in the U.S./seventh-best globally by Financial Times in 2016. Princeton Review placed this program at its seventeenth best in the nation, and they are also seen listed with US News and World Report and Quacquarelli Symonds. The 50-credit 100% online MBA with a Healthcare Management specialization is divided between 13 core courses and five electives which include, Healthcare Finance, Healthcare Industry, Strategic Decision Making for Healthcare Professionals, and Introduction to Health Informatics and Health Information Systems. This 50-credit degree is priced at $1,513 per credit making the total cost of tuition $75,650, and graduates report an average early-career salary of $73,000.
With a main campus situated in bustling Boston, Massachusetts, Northwestern University lies within walking distance of many museums and historical attractions, including Fenway Park which is located just on the other side of the beautiful Back Bay Fens. Besides its main campus, NU features graduate centers for learning in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, Silicon Valley, California, and Toronto, Canada. Established in 1898, Northeastern is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university offering degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to its almost 20,000-member student body. Home of the Husky's, the athletic program at NU maintains 18 men's and women's varsity sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division I level. Accredited by the AACSB and the New England Commission of Higher Education, Northeastern reports a second-best-of-our-ranking graduation rate of 84%.
Estimated Program Tuition: $75,650
#3 Drexel University — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
|Drexel University offers an online Master of Business Administration with a Healthcare specialization at its Bennett S. Lebow College of Business. This 51-credit hour program sits at the #3 slot with elite accreditation, a high ROI, and national prestige.|
The Bennett S. Lebow College of Business at Drexel University features an online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare. Students interested in this program will want to research both the Accelerated and Flex option of this online MBA. The Accelerated format includes 24 months of part-time coursework where students are grouped into cohorts of 25-30, while the Flex option is spread out over a 42-month period of coursework for students with a more-demanding schedule. This 51-credit hour program includes two foundation courses, nine core curriculum courses, two flexible core courses, a capstone course, and three Healthcare Management-specific course including, Healthcare Business Practice I: Foundations, Healthcare Business Practice II, and Healthcare Business Practice III: Capstone. The total tuition cost for this online MBA is $64,005. Graduates couple this cost with a high average early-career salary of $75,500. This online MBA is featured in multiple prestigious rankings across the country, including US News and World Report, The Financial Times, and Quacquarelli Symonds.
Located in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Drexel University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit institution of higher learning which offers degree plans at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. With a current enrollment of almost 26,000, this is one of the nation's 15 largest private universities. The school was established in 1891 by Anthony J. Drexel, a well-known and respected businessman and philanthropist. Even with its rich traditions and histories, the school has maintained a reputation for utilizing cutting edge technology, apparent in its having one of the first online degree programs in the U.S. Drexel University is accredited by the AACSB and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Estimated Program Tuition: $64,005
#4 Ball State University — Muncie, Indiana
|An online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Economics, Policy, and Administration is featured at Ball State University's Miller College of Business. With the lowest tuition rate of our top 10 schools, this program is one worth considering.|
The Miller College of Business at Ball State University offers an online Master of Business Administration with a Health Economics, Policy, and Administration specialization. This 30-credit hour program is priced at only $296 per credit hour for qualifying students making the total cost of tuition $8,880. The impressive tuition rate is one of the lowest of all our programs ranked. This program also benefits from Ball State's remarkable accreditation through the AACSB and North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Two other notable characteristics of this 100% online MBA include its being associated with an early-career salary of $49,400 and its place among Princeton Review's best programs in the nation at #24. Requirements for admission into this program include a completed MBA application, GMAT or GRE score, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75, a resume, and four letters of recommendation. The ten courses that make up this online MBA consist of eight core courses and two elective courses which relate to the Health Economics, Policy, and Administration focus.
Ball State University gets its name from Frank C. Ball and his brothers who moved to Muncie, Indiana from New York City in hopes of growing their glass container business in the early 1900's. The Ball family purchased and then donated the land and buildings from a defunct teacher's prep school to the state of Indiana and the facilities were repurposed into what came to be known as Ball State Teachers College in 1929, and then Ball State University in 1965. Today, the four-year, public school oversees over 21,000 students seeking degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Ball State reports a 60% graduation rate and has been named by Princeton Review as one of the best universities in the Midwest for the past consecutive 12 years.
Estimated Program Tuition: $8,880
#5 University of Arizona — Tucson, Arizona
|The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona offers an online Master of Business Administration with a focus in Health Care. This program stands out with one of the highest reported early-career salaries from this ranking, averaging $74,000 from University of Arizona graduates.|
The University of Arizona's Eller College of Management features an online Master of Business Administration with a Health Care concentration. The 45 units of this 100% online MBA are divided between two tracks of 28 core units and 17 elective units specific to the Health Care specialization. For convenience, the program offers six annual start times and can be completed in as little as 14 months using the school's rotating "carousel format" which offers two sessions each semester that include two core courses and two electives each session. Enrolled students of this program are given a time limit for completion of up to four years. The cost per-unit of this 45-unit online MBA is $1,000 making the entire cost of tuition $45,000. The reported early-career salary associated with this degree is an attractive $74,000.
Located in Tucson, the University of Arizona's history predates the state of Arizona's being established by 27 years. The school, founded in 1885, is not only the oldest in the state, it is also the 5th largest with a student enrollment of 42,595. Today, this super-land grant public university offers degree plans at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Receiving its accreditation through the AACSB and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, UA reports a graduation rate of 61%. With a reputation for leading the way in space exploration and technology, the university houses an astronomical observatory mirror lab beneath its athletic stadium and has a program set in place to land a spacecraft on a nearby asteroid in 2020 to gain a better understanding of our solar system.
Estimated Program Tuition: $45,000
#6 Florida International University — Miami, Florida
|Florida International University's Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business features an online MBA with a Healthcare concentration. This program is ranked well because of its combination of its stellar accreditation and prestige among the top ranking systems.|
An online Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Healthcare is offered at the Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business at Florida International University. In addition to the standard online coursework, this 42-credit hour, AACSB accredited program gives its students the opportunity to earn certification in Lean Six Sigma yellow and green belt, and includes three residency programs for application of principles taught by instructors. The total cost of tuition for this online MBA is $57,980 and can be completed in as little as 18 months with students taking two courses each eight-week term. This online MBA is seen listed among the top programs in the country in ranking systems from US News and World Report, The Financial Times, and Quacquarelli Symonds. Courses required for this degree include, Accounting for Managers, Corporate Finance, Managerial Decision Making in Health Economics, Management of Healthcare Finance and Reimbursement, and Management of Healthcare Organizations in the 21st Century. A reported average early-career salary from graduates at FIU is $58,100.
With an enrollment of almost 50,000, it is easy to see how Florida International University is one of the top-10 largest universities in the United States. This four-year, public university currently offers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels and reports a graduation rate of 58% among its students. Located in sunny Miami, Florida, the university oversees a diverse student body resulting in being named the #1 school in the nation for awarding bachelor's and master's degrees to Hispanic students. FIU got its start in 1969 when Chuck Perry (who would later be the school's founding president) met with three investors in the empty control tower of an abandoned Miami airfield to cast a vision for the university. Today, that control tower still stands in the middle of the campus of Florida International University to motivate students as they make their dreams and goals a reality through hard work and study.
Estimated Program Tuition: $57,980
#7 Marist College — Poughkeepsie, New York
|An online MBA with a focus in Healthcare Administration is featured at the School of Management at Marist College. This program makes our top 10 with elite accreditation, national prestige, and High marks for student satisfaction with a 78% graduation rate.|
The School of Management at Marist College offers an online Master of Business Administration with a Healthcare Administration concentration. This 36-credit hour program is priced at $780 per credit hour making the total cost of tuition $28,080. A reported early-career salary for this 100% online MBA is an attractive $56,600. Although this degree can be taken completely online, the School of Management offers optional residency weekends of coursework near New York City for those students with access to the campus. This 12-course program is divided between eight core courses and four Healthcare Administration-specific courses which include, Managing Organizational Change, US Health Care Policies and Systems, Ethical/Legal Issues in Health Care, and Critical Issues in Health Care. With new classes beginning twice annually, applicants into the online MBA program at the School of Management can begin the application process at any time. Potential students are required to submit an online Graduate Admission Application, $50 application fee, essay question responses, GMAT or GRE score, a current resume, and two letters of recommendation.
Overlooking the Hudson River, the 200+ acre campus of Marist University is in Poughkeepsie just between the capital city of Albany, New York, and New York City. This four-year, private, not-for-profit institution of higher learning features degree plans at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Current student enrollment at Marist is 6,474 and the school reports a favorable graduation rate of 78%. Besides its main campus in Poughkeepsie, Marist maintains educational centers in Manhattan, the surrounding regions, and as far as Florence, Italy. The school receives its excellent accreditation through the AACSB and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Estimated Program Tuition: $28,080
#8 University of Colorado Colorado Springs — Colorado Springs, Colorado
|The College of Business and Administration at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs features an online Master of Business Administration with a Health Care Administration emphasis. This program's ranking benefits from the school's excellent accreditation and a reported early-career salary of $63,300.|
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs offers an online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care Administration. This 100% online MBA can be completed with as few as 36-credit hours for students possessing the proper undergraduate academic experience or as many as 48-credit hours for those lacking an undergraduate business background. Priced at $2,290 per course, the total cost of tuition for this program is $27,480 for qualifying students. The College of Business and Administration reports an average completion time of 2.5 years for students maintaining employment and taking coursework on a part-time basis. Once the Foundation Courses of this degree have been completed or waived, students move onto seven Core Courses, then have access to the four Health Care Administration Emphasis courses which include, Health Care Administration, Health Care Policy, Health Care Ethics & Law, and Health Care Budget & Finance. To complete the program, students are given the choice of a Global Perspectives Elective.
The history of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs predates the establishment of Colorado as a state. With a positive vote from the Colorado territorial legislature, the people of Boulder began to establish the University of Colorado there in 1861, yet would be delayed for 15 years by the impending Civil War. In 1902, the physical groundwork for UCCS was laid by Dr. Edwin Solly, having received a gift of 100 acres and $50,000 by founder of Colorado Springs, General William Jackson Palmer. Today the University of Colorado Colorado Springs is a four-year, public university which offers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to a student enrollment of almost 12,000. There are currently over 3,000 students involved in distance learning, while the school shows favorable signs of diversity apparent in its 31% of students being ethnic minorities. The school is accredited by the AACSB and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission and reports a graduation rate of 44%.
Estimated Program Tuition: $27,480
#9 East Carolina University — Greenville, North Carolina
|East Carolina University offers an online Master of Business Administration with a certificate in Health Care Management at its College of Business. This program features the second-lowest tuition rate of our top 10 schools ranked.|
An online Master of Business Administration with a Health Care Management certificate is featured at East Carolina University's College of Business. Utilizing the different tools and communication devices of chat rooms, email, live chats, and threaded discussions, students within the online MBA program at ECU get more than just a required time of mundane weekly online class through a webcam. This 100% online MBA consists of as little as 33 semester hours to complete for qualifying students, or can contain as many as 54 semester hours for students lacking the Foundation Courses required for the degree. Once students complete or are approved to waive the 21 semester hours of Foundational Courses, they will move onto 21 semester hours of Common Body of Knowledge Courses which include, Accounting for Decision Making, Financial Management, Organizational Behavior, and Management Science. The rest of this online MBA consists of five elective courses specific to the Health Care Management certification. This program is priced at $1,109 per course making the total cost of tuition $12,200. Graduates then report an average early-career salary of$52,300.
Established in 1907 with an original enrollment of 174 students, East Carolina University is a four-year, public university offering degree plans at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to the 28,289-member student body currently enrolled there. ECU is situated in Greenville, North Carolina and is one of 17 institutions of higher learning in the State University System. Receiving quality accreditation through the AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, the school retains a Carnegie Classification as Doctoral/Research University and Community Engagement. East Carolina University reports a graduation rate of 62%.
Estimated Program Tuition: $12,200
#10 University of Scranton — Scranton, Pennsylvania
|The Arthur J. Kania School of Management at the University of Scranton features an online Master of Business Administration with a focus on Healthcare Management. This 100% online MBA benefits from the University of Scranton's excellent accreditation through the AACSB and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.|
The University of Scranton's Arthur J. Kania School of Management offers an online Master of Business Administration with a Healthcare Management concentration. This 36-credit hour program is priced at $956 per credit hour making the total cost of tuition $34,740. Graduates couple this tuition cost with an early-career salary of$55,200. U.S. News and World Report ranks this program at the #91 spot among the best online MBA programs in the nation. As the school is a Jesuit university, the faculty stresses ethics and social responsibility throughout the educational program. Students interested in applying for admission into the Arthur J. Kania School of Management are required to submit an application, letters of recommendation, transcripts, a resume, and statement of intent. This MBA holds the elite AACSB accreditation, and the university holds a regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Originally named Saint Thomas College by founding father and Bishop of Scranton, the Most Reverend William O'Hara in 1888, the University of Scranton received university status fifty years later and today exists as a Catholic and Jesuit, four-year, private, not-for-profit university situated in the historic Hill Section area of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Today, the university houses three colleges — the College of Arts and Sciences, Kania School of Management, and Panuska College of Professional Studies, and oversees over 5,400 students seeking degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. The athletic program at UN sponsors 19 men's and women's sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division III level.
Estimated Program Tuition: $34,740
What to Expect From Healthcare MBA Programs
Learners pursuing an MBA in healthcare management online can expect to take 30-54 credits. Lower credit requirements commonly apply to students with prior education or employment experience that fulfills certain foundational requirements.
Degree timelines vary depending on program format and student preference. Accelerated options offer completion times as brief as one or two years, while programs with more flexible schedules may take three or more years to complete.
Fortunately for working professionals, even accelerated MBA programs tend to allow part-time enrollment. Many programs use 100% online learning to further meet the needs of employed students.
The healthcare MBA curriculum covers major concepts including managerial decision-making, healthcare policy, and healthcare business practice.
Some students may want to consider similar program options like a master's in healthcare administration (MHA) or an MS in healthcare management. We discuss these degree options in the next section.
In order to gain entry into a top MBA program, applicants must typically demonstrate a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5-3.0. Other common requirements include a personal essay, current resume, letters of recommendation, and GMAT scores.
Healthcare Management Degree Options
Three main avenues exist for healthcare leaders seeking graduate education: the MBA in healthcare administration, the MS in healthcare management, and the MHA. Each program offers a different experience and overall focus.
- The MBA in healthcare management is primarily a business degree with an added focus on the healthcare industry. Applicants may hold a bachelor's in business or another discipline.
- The MS in healthcare management focuses on the study and application of healthcare management while integrating business skills, theories, and strategies. Applicants may hold a bachelor's in business, healthcare, or another discipline.
- The MHA takes place in a clinical health setting and primarily focuses on applied healthcare, with several business courses also required. Applicants need a relevant bachelor's and clinical healthcare experience.
The primary benefit of pursuing an MBA in healthcare management over an MHA or MS degree is the flexibility offered by its extensive business curriculum. Graduates with an MBA can pursue executive and administrative opportunities both within and beyond the healthcare industry. The more focused curriculums of the MHA and MS degrees typically limit graduates to leadership careers in healthcare.
Popular Healthcare Management Courses
During the completion of an MBA in healthcare management, students take a combination of business core, concentration, and elective courses. Whereas undergraduate degrees rely heavily on lecture-style courses and weekly homework assignments, graduate programs typically place a greater emphasis on class discussion and long-term projects.
No two MBAs are exactly alike, but you can expect to encounter a similar course plan regardless of the school you attend. Courses commonly required in an online healthcare MBA include:
- Managerial Accounting: This course provides an overview of the language and concepts of managerial accounting. Students learn to use accounting as a tool to support managerial decisions in communication, monitoring, planning, and resource allocation.
- Operations Management: This course teaches healthcare leaders how to build innovative, high-performance organizations. Coursework covers essential concepts, tools, and practices. Topics include capacity management, process mapping, demand planning, and forecasting.
- Healthcare Finance: This course invites students to analyze the U.S. healthcare system through principles of economics and financial management. Coursework emphasizes creative problem-solving as students focus on real-world issues, case studies, and healthcare industry models.
- Business Law: Managers need a basic understanding of business law. This elective course introduces critical fundamentals of contract law, corporate law, employment law, and bankruptcy. Coursework examines and evaluates the ways in which legal issues impact business operations.
- MBA Capstone: Working alone or in small teams, the culminating experience of an MBA requires students to integrate prior learning to address a real-world business problem. Deliverables typically include an extensive project and written report.
Financing your Healthcare Management Degree
Higher education involves a significant investment in the United States. Before you commit to any degree, make sure you have a plan to pay for it.
Grants, scholarships, and employer assistance programs stand out as the best financial aid options to pursue. They require no repayment and few hoops to jump through. Teaching assistantships and part- or full-time work can also provide some financial cushion, but they also require significant time commitments.
Finally, students can seek out loans to cover the cost of attendance. Healthcare MBA students often find high-salary career opportunities after graduation, which can make it easier to pay down loan amounts in a timely fashion.
What Jobs Can a Healthcare Management Degree Get You?
The MBA is one of the nation's most popular degrees for good reason: it opens doors. An MBA provides an extensive set of highly transferable skills, which means this degree can prepare you to take on leadership positions across virtually every industry and sector.
An MBA in healthcare management offers additional industry-specific knowledge to enhance your broad business skill set. Students learn how to uniquely apply strategic decision-making, accounting, and management concepts to healthcare environments like hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient facilities. Graduates can also work in adjacent industries and settings, including government, insurance, and public health.
Along with employment flexibility, earning a healthcare MBA can also lead to high income potential. Two popular positions for graduates — medical and health services managers and top executives — come with median six-figure salaries, according to the BLS.
Take a look at just a few career options for MBA graduates below.
Medical and Health Services Manager: Commonly employed by hospitals, nursing facilities, and government agencies, medical and health services managers plan, direct, and coordinate services. These top administrators work to improve efficiency and care quality, ensure legal compliance, manage finances, and maintain vital records.
- Required Education: Employers commonly prefer candidates with master's degrees, though a bachelor's can sometimes satisfy minimum requirements.
- Job Outlook: +32%
- Median Annual Salary: $100,980
Top Executive: Top executives develop plans, strategies, and policies to help an organization meet its goals. In the healthcare industry, top executives often work for large hospital systems, insurance companies, and government agencies. Common duties include managing activities, consulting with staff, and identifying ways to cut costs or improve performance.
- Required Education: Many top executives hold a master's degree. Some employers accept a bachelor's.
- Job Outlook: +4%
- Median Annual Salary: $104,690
Management Analyst: Management analysts, also known as management consultants, suggest ways for an organization to improve its efficiency. Common tasks include analyzing financial data, interviewing personnel, and helping management initiate changes. Management analysts regularly find opportunities in the healthcare and insurance industries.
- Required Education: This degree requires at least a bachelor's. Some employers prefer to hire MBA candidates.
- Job Outlook: +11%
- Median Annual Salary: $85,260
Selecting Your Healthcare Management MBA Program
A ranked list of top degrees offers a great place to start your degree search, but it should not be the only resource a prospective student relies on to select an MBA program. Additional key factors to keep in mind include:
- Location: If you plan to pursue an MBA in healthcare management online, a campus location might not make much of a difference in your decision-making process. However, some degree plans may include optional or required in-person components. Location can also impact tuition costs based on state residency.
- Accreditation: Make sure to attend a school with accreditation from a recognized regional or national accrediting body. To ensure you receive the best education possible, search for MBA programs with accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the International Accreditation Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
- Cost and Financial Aid: On the low end, the total tuition cost for an MBA program falls around $10,000. On the high end, total tuition can cost more than $100,000. Look for a program you can reasonably afford, and explore all of your financial aid options to keep costs down.
Why Should You Get an Online MBA?
Since their emergence in the '90s, online college programs have battled their fair share of negative stigma. Critics assume the quality of remote learning simply cannot compare to a traditional classroom experience.
However, a 2018 Learning House study found that 85% of students respondents felt their online courses offered the same or better quality than their in-person courses.
Deciding to pursue your MBA in healthcare management online grants you remarkable flexibility. Online learners taking asynchronous courses study at their convenience — anywhere, any time — and the structure of MBA programs often permits students to maintain their current employment while enrolled.
In fall 2018, approximately 30% of graduate students enrolled exclusively in online courses, according to the NCES. Joining these growing ranks could prove one of the best decisions you ever make, but before you commit to an online education, take time to consider the following questions:
- Does my schedule allow the time required to succeed in an online program?
- Do I have access to an adequate at-home learning environment?
- Can I meet the program's technology requirements?
- Am I comfortable communicating primarily through digital tools like discussion boards and email?
For the right degree candidate, online learning provides an excellent way to balance obligations, graduate faster, and take ownership of your education.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an MBA in healthcare management worth it?
Earning an MBA in healthcare management online can be an excellent investment for a motivated healthcare professional. This degree provides transferable business and leadership skills, an excellent job outlook, and high income potential.
What can I do after an MBA in healthcare management?
With an MBA in healthcare management, you can pursue executive leadership opportunities in hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient facilities. Graduates also find work in consulting, government, and the insurance industry.
What kind of healthcare management degrees are there?
The most popular healthcare management degrees for graduate students include the MBA and the MHA. The MBA focuses more broadly on business and management, while the MHA offers a greater emphasis on the healthcare industry.
What does a healthcare manager do?
A healthcare manager, also known as a healthcare executive or healthcare administrator, helps to plan and direct the services of a healthcare facility. Healthcare managers work on budgeting, recruitment, legal compliance, and business strategy.
Are healthcare managers in demand?
Healthcare management ranks as one of the most in-demand career fields in the nation. Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects a 32% growth rate in employment of health and medical services managers.