Why This Matters

  • EARNING POTENTIAL OF $100,000 OR MORE PER YEAR

    The median annual wage for healthcare administrators was $100,980 in 2019. With a master’s degree, you are likelier to advance to executive positions with more responsibility and even higher pay.

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 133,200 MORE ADMINISTRATORS BY 2029

    As our large baby-boom population grows older, there will be increased demand for healthcare services, facilities, and the administrators who work behind the scenes. Employment is projected to grow 32% over the next decade.

  • 97% OF U.S. HOSPITALS USE EHR TECHNOLOGY

    With trends pointing toward even greater use of EHR data in the future, job prospects are particularly favorable for MHA candidates with knowledge of healthcare technology and data analytics.

Our Research

We reviewed master’s in healthcare administration (MHA) degrees offered in-person, online, and in blended formats. As graduate programs, most are conveniently designed to meet the needs of students who are already working full-time in the field. The nature of MHA coursework is amenable to online learning, allowing you to earn an accredited degree while sticking to your own schedule.

Our list of the best master’s in healthcare administration features programs accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), which uses measurable criteria for excellence in healthcare management education. We also include programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and regional accreditation agencies. These provide an additional benchmark of quality and ensure a wide variety of degree options recognized by employers.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 67 hours to write this article
  • 159 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 334 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Master’s in Healthcare Administration

The Best Master's in Healthcare Administration
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Healthcare administrators typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the field, but most employers prefer candidates with master’s degrees and some work experience in an administrative or clinical role. For example, a healthcare administrator may begin their career as a medical records technician or registered nurse. Some MHA programs even include up to one year of supervised experience in a hospital or other healthcare setting.

By combining real-life work experience with a master’s in healthcare administration, your job outlook is favorable. Over the next decade, employment of healthcare service managers is projected to grow much faster than other occupations. Medical group practices will become larger and offer more complex services, and the widespread use of electronic health records will also increase demand for candidates who are knowledgeable in health information technology.

As a prospective healthcare administrator, you might also be considering a master’s in business administration. While an MBA provides broad, general training in management, an MHA combines business-related courses, such as medical terminology, hospital organization, health economics, and health information systems. In other words, an MHA is a more specialized degree that can give you a distinct advantage if you plan to build a career in healthcare.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when considering a master’s in healthcare administration program:

  • Am I eligible for this program? If you’re interested in a career in healthcare administration, an MHA degree provides the leadership, organizational, analytical, and technical skills you need to succeed. Master’s degree programs in healthcare administration are not limited to those who already have a bachelor’s degree in the field. Many students have backgrounds in communications, business, nursing, and other areas.
  • What licensing or certifications are required? All states require licensing for healthcare administrators who work in nursing homes. Though requirements vary by state, most ask for the completion of an approved training program and state-specific or national licensing exam. A license is typically not needed in other areas of healthcare administration, but you may choose to become certified in your specific area of practice, whether it’s healthcare office management or health information management.

Once you’ve identified a few MHA programs that interest you, compare the schools’ admissions requirements and application deadlines. You can usually find this information on the university’s website, but consider contacting the program directly to ask questions and express your interest. Remember to apply to your top-choice schools as early as possible to improve your chances of acceptance and financial aid.

Several kinds of financial aid are available to help lower the cost of your master’s in healthcare administration. Complete the FAFSA form to be considered for a wide range of federal and state grants. Most universities also offer low-interest federal loans and information about scholarships based on financial need or academic merit. If you’re already working in the healthcare field, be sure to ask your HR department if employee tuition assistance is included in your benefits plan.