Why This Matters

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 72,100 MORE OF YOU BY 2026


    Changes in technology, government policy, and patient population are contributing to a 20% increase in the need for healthcare administrators in the next seven years.


  • LAND ONE OF 10 HIGH-PAYING JOBS WITH A MHA


    You’ll need an advanced degree to qualify for the best-paying jobs, like director of nursing, oncology coordinator, and chief healthcare technology officer.

  • EARN $20,000 MORE ANNUALLY WITH YOUR MHA


    A healthcare administrator with a master’s earns $71,400 per year, compared to $50,600 per year for someone with a bachelor’s. Many master’s-level jobs pay over $100,000 annually.

Our Research

Healthcare administrators are vital in ensuring hospitals and healthcare systems run smoothly and provide quality care. Their responsibilities include human resources, financial management, strategic planning, daily operations, and patient advocacy. The job’s complexities require the specific, advanced training a Master’s in Healthcare Administration provides.
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In evaluating the best MHA programs, we only considered programs that have regional accreditation. Also, many programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). This ensures that the program meets standards for quality healthcare management education, and that employers and certification boards will recognize the degree. We included programs that are delivered online, on-campus, and in hybrid format.

We only evaluated the cost of online programs, although many schools offer on-campus programs as well.

We evaluated each program’s reputation in the field, course strength and flexibility, and cost. Using this information, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each degree on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Master’s in Healthcare Administration are highly-recognized, affordable, and allow you to customize your degree. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 60+ hours to write this article
  • 171 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 307 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Healthcare administration is a dynamic field that requires leadership, organizational, interpersonal, analytical and technical skills that come as much from experience as education.Most MHA programs expect students to have some professional clinical or administrative experience in a healthcare center.

Individuals with several years of experience may qualify for executive MHA programs, which eliminate some admissions requirements and prerequisite coursework. Either way, if you wish to pursue an MHA, plan on gaining some hands-on experience first.

Certain programs, while delivered primarily online, require attendance in either a real or virtual classroom. In low-residency programs, students must attend in-person sessions occasionally throughout the program; the exact number of sessions and when they are held vary by program. Students in hybrid programs live-stream classes that other students attend in person.

While these programs offer more flexibility than on-campus MHA programs, it’s important to consider how the time and financial commitments of attending or live-streaming classes fit into your education plans.

Once you complete your degree, you will need to pass a certification exam to be eligible for most employment opportunities. Multiple agencies offer certification, and certain specializations, such as accounts management or information technology, require specific certifications. Additionally, individuals working in nursing care facilities must obtain a state-issued license. Find out if your program complies with your state’s licensing requirements.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching MHA programs:

  • Does this program offer the specialization I want? Some career paths require more specialized training in areas such as gerontology, informatics, or policy. If you want to concentrate in one of these areas, make sure that your program of interest offers the specialization you seek.
  • Is the program CAHME accredited? Earning your degree from an accredited program is a key advantage to obtaining future employment and certification, as it indicates a high standard of education and training.

Once you have identified the programs that interest you, research their application deadlines, processes and requirements, including work experience and standardized tests like the GRE or GMAT. This information is typically available on the program’s webpage; you can also contact the program directly if you have questions.

Funding your graduate education is another important consideration. Ask the schools you are applying to about scholarship and financial aid opportunities and deadlines. For individuals already employed in the healthcare field, your employer might offer tuition remission or reimbursement, or other financial support for earning your master’s degree.