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Successfully managing a hospital, medical facility, or other type of healthcare system requires a diverse set of skills, including leadership, business acumen, budgeting, marketing, and more. An online MBA in Healthcare Management gives students the opportunity to develop these skills and more while preparing for lucrative, in-demand positions like medical and health services managers and executives.

To help students find the right program for them, Intelligent.com compiled this list of the best online MBA in Healthcare Management programs for 2023. The research team reviewed dozens of programs on the basis of cost, rankings, faculty, and retention and graduation rates, and found these to be the highest quality programs currently available.

Additionally, Michelle Pickett, the director of the Academic Advising Center at Northern Illinois University, offers her insight and guidance to students interested in an online MBA in Healthcare Management. She answers questions regarding program cost and duration, admissions requirements, and what types of jobs are available to students with this degree.

Online MBA in Healthcare Management Program Overview

What is an MBA in Healthcare Management?

An MBA in Healthcare Management is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to lead and manage healthcare organizations’ “big picture” operations. This degree plan “…typically includes courses from both the business and healthcare fields,” says expert Michelle Pickett, and combines foundational business principles with a comprehensive understanding of the unique dynamics of the healthcare industry.

Most reputable MBAs in Healthcare Management degree programs have a robust curriculum that includes healthcare administration, policy, economics, and information systems courses. These programs often include additional courses in quality improvement and strategic planning to ensure a well-rounded education. “They may also require an internship to complete their program,” Pickett says. For students who value kinesthetic and immersive learning, this internship is a valuable component of their education.

With this degree, graduates can pursue various career paths within the healthcare industry. They often secure employment in hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, and non-profit organizations.

How long does it take to get an MBA in Healthcare Management?

For most students learning full-time, completing an MBA in Healthcare Management takes around 18 months to three years. However, the specific time frame can vary depending on the student’s availability, course load, the program’s structure, and any necessary prerequisites.

Prerequisites

Even before enrollment, most institutions have particular prerequisites required before engaging in graduate-level coursework. One of those prerequisites is having an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. “They may require that applicants hold bachelor’s degrees in a science, health science, or health administration area,” says Pickett. While a specific undergraduate major is only sometimes required, keeping an eye on each institution’s admissions policy is essential. Hence, you’re well-prepared when it comes time to submit applications. Additionally, applicants are typically required to submit standardized test scores, such as the GMAT or GRE, along with letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Mode of Learning

The mode of learning, whether asynchronous or synchronous, can also impact the duration of the program. Asynchronous learning refers to a self-paced approach, allowing students to access course materials and complete assignments at their convenience with specific deadlines. In these instances, students can complete the program at a faster or slower pace based on their progress.

On the other hand, synchronous learning involves real-time interaction with instructors and classmates through virtual classrooms or video conferencing. This format usually has fixed schedules and set durations for courses, potentially extending the overall completion time of the program.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time

Furthermore, the duration of an MBA in Healthcare Management can vary based on whether a student pursues the program part-time or full-time. Full-time students typically dedicate themselves to their studies exclusively and can complete the program in a shorter time frame, usually within 18 months to two years. Part-time students, who often balance work or other commitments alongside their studies, take more time to complete the program, with most students completing their degree in three years or more.

How much does an MBA in Healthcare Management degree cost?

On average, tuition costs for an MBA program in Healthcare Management range from $30,000 to $80,000 or more.

When considering something as important as cost, it’s crucial to consider your specific enrollment scenario, including whether you’re enrolling part-time or full-time and if you qualify for in-state or out-of-state residency. Part-time programs allow students to spread out the cost for a longer duration, while full-time students often see a higher tuition rate but offer an expedited timeline to completion. Additionally, in-state residents often benefit from lower tuition than out-of-state or international students, usually subject to higher fees.

It’s also important to consider that the cost of an MBA in Healthcare Management doesn’t stop at tuition. Additional expenses include fees, textbooks, course materials, and living costs. These expenses can significantly impact the overall cost of pursuing your degree.

While these costs add up, research the financial aid options available at the institutions you’re considering attending. Check out opportunities for scholarships, grants, and fellowships to see how you can best finance your education. Many programs also offer assistantships or tuition reimbursement options for qualified candidates.

What are the admission requirements of an MBA in Healthcare Management degree?

While some admissions requirements can vary, quite a few are standard. Here are some common admission requirements and prerequisites for an MBA program in Healthcare Management:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A completed undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is required to pursue graduate-level education. While specific undergraduate majors may not be mandatory, some programs prefer a background in business, healthcare, or another related field.
  • Work Experience: Many MBA programs, including those in healthcare management, prefer candidates with relevant work experience. The amount may vary, typically around two to five years. Some programs may waive this requirement for exceptional candidates or offer entry options for recent graduates.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Applicants may be required to submit letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to their academic abilities, professional experience, and potential for success in the program. The required letters may vary, but two to three recommendations are expected.
  • Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement: Applicants must often submit a statement outlining their career goals, reasons for pursuing an MBA in Healthcare Management, and how the program aligns with their aspirations. This statement allows applicants to demonstrate their unique passion, motivation, and fit for the program.
  • Standardized Test Scores: Many MBA programs require applicants to submit scores from standardized tests such as the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These tests assess quantitative, verbal, and analytical writing skills. However, some programs offer waivers for test scores based on specific criteria, like significant work experience or academic achievements.

The Top 50 Online MBA in Healthcare Management Programs

Best Online MBA in Healthcare Management Degree Programs
01

Fort Hays State University
01

Marist College
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The University of Texas at Tyler
01

Florida International University
01

Arkansas State University
01

Liberty University
01

Concordia University at St. Paul
01

Saint Leo University
01

Mount Vernon Nazarene University
01

Ohio University
01

Rivier University
01

Indiana Wesleyan University
01

The University of Scranton
01

Ottawa University
01

Walsh University
01

Portland State University
01

Tiffin University
01

New England College
01

Florida Tech
01

Southern New Hampshire University
01

Hofstra University
01

Utica University
01

University of North Carolina at Pembroke
01

DeSales University
01

GW School of Business
01

Widener University
01

Lamar University
01

Webster University
01

University of North Carolina Wilmington
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Clarkson University
01

University of Delaware
01

West Texas A&M University
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Fitchburg State University
01

West Liberty University
01

Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi
01

Western Governors University
01

Regent University
01

Minnesota State University Moorhead
01

Spring Arbor University
01

Maryville University
01

FAU College of Business
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University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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University of Southern Indiana
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Herzing University
01

Parker University
01

Messiah University
01

Florida Southern College
01

Colorado Christian University
01

Husson University
01

Southern Oregon University

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How We Rank Schools

We reviewed MBA in Healthcare Management programs offered online, on-campus, and in blended formats. However, programs that provide coursework entirely online may have required or optional in-person components like residencies or internships.

Many different accreditations exist for MBA programs, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). All listed programs are accredited by one or more of these bodies, ensuring that they meet the highest quality standards and that employers and certification boards will recognize your degree.

Once we narrowed our list of programs, we evaluated their reputation in the field, flexibility, cost, and course offerings. Using this information, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

MBA Degree Concentrations

Is a specialized MBA in Healthcare Management degree better than a general MBA degree?

The answer to this question depends on your individual career goals, as both specialized and general degrees have their merits and are worth considering.

For example, a specialized MBA in Healthcare Management is often considered better for students with specific career goals within the healthcare industry. These programs provide a focused curriculum that delves into the unique challenges and intricacies of managing specific healthcare organizations in the industry. Specialized coursework in healthcare policy, finance, informatics, and quality improvement allows students to develop the necessary knowledge and skills directly applicable to healthcare management roles.

Conversely, a general MBA in Healthcare Management offers a broader business education with a healthcare focus, providing a more versatile skill set applicable to various sectors in the industry. While a general degree can benefit students seeking a more comprehensive range of career options or who want to explore business roles outside of healthcare, a specialized degree can offer a more targeted and in-depth understanding of the healthcare industry.

What are some common MBA in Healthcare Management degree concentrations?

Hospital Administration

Well-organized students with a passion for efficiency may enjoy a concentration in hospital administration. This concentration focuses on managing and administrating hospitals and healthcare systems, including healthcare operations, financial management, strategic planning, and quality improvement.

Health Policy and Economics

Financially-savvy students with an aptitude for ethics may be well-suited for a health policy and economics concentration. Students in this field explore the intersection of healthcare, public policy, and economics. Students learn about healthcare policy development, related laws and economics, and regulatory issues.

Healthcare Informatics

Those interested in tech and data analysis will excel in healthcare informatics. This concentration combines healthcare management with information technology and data analytics. Students study healthcare information systems, electronic health records, data analysis, and leveraging technology to improve healthcare delivery and decision-making.

Pharmaceutical Management

Students leaning toward the pharmaceutical industry should consider pursuing a pharmaceutical management concentration. Students learn about pharmaceutical marketing, drug development and regulatory processes, supply chain management, and pharmaceutical sales.

Long-Term Care Management

Compassionate, personable individuals will thrive in long-term care management. This concentration focuses on managing long-term care facilities, like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation centers. It covers gerontology, healthcare for the elderly, long-term care regulations, and financial management of long-term care organizations.

Global Health

Open-minded and adaptable students will be well-equipped to pursue a concentration in global health. People in this field research international healthcare systems, global health policies, cross-cultural healthcare management, and global health disparities and issues.

Career Opportunities for MBA in Healthcare Management Degree Graduates

Career trajectories

With a strong business administration and healthcare management foundation, graduates with an MBA in Healthcare Management are well-equipped to pursue several career paths in various industry sectors.

  • Healthcare Administrator/Manager: Graduates can pursue managerial roles in hospitals, healthcare systems, clinics, or long-term care facilities. They oversee healthcare organizations’ operations, strategic planning, financial management, and quality improvement initiatives. Average annual salary: $101,340
  • Medical Device Manager: With a focus on the pharmaceutical or medical device industry, graduates can work in managerial roles within pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, or biotechnology firms. They may be involved in product management, marketing, sales, or regulatory affairs. Average annual salary: $79,629
  • Healthcare Policy Analyst: Graduates interested in the intersection of healthcare and public policy can work as policy analysts or researchers. They evaluate healthcare policies, assess their impact, and provide recommendations for healthcare organizations or government agencies. Average annual salary: $70,473
  • Healthcare Financial Manager: Graduates can work in financial management roles within healthcare organizations, insurance companies, or healthcare investment firms. They oversee budgeting, financial analysis, reimbursement strategies, and financial planning. Average annual salary: $128,720
  • Clinical Informatics Manager: Graduates with a concentration in healthcare informatics can pursue careers in managing clinical information systems, electronic health records, or health data analytics. They ensure the effective use of technology to enhance healthcare delivery, data security, and decision-making. Average annual salary: $122,161

Is an MBA in Healthcare Management degree worth it?

“Yes,” asserts Pickett, “earning this degree is valuable, especially for those currently working in the Healthcare Management field or looking to enter this field.”

You gain expertise in healthcare policy, finance, strategic planning, and operations management by obtaining an MBA in Healthcare Management. “Individuals in this field are open to a wide variety of careers in the healthcare management industry that provide professional growth opportunities,” says Pickett.

With positions in this field projected to increase by 28% by 2031, the demand for new workers is exceptionally high. Not only will you have job security on your side, but you can increase your earning potential by $31,000. This increase is a significant jump from the average annual salary of $77,709 by bachelor’s degree holders in this field, with many MBA holders seeing an average yearly wage of $108,656.

These items signify a high return on investment (ROI) for graduates with an MBA in Healthcare Management. The demand for individuals with healthcare experience and business acumen will likely remain strong, increasing the likelihood of career advancement and higher earning potential.

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How To Choose an MBA in Healthcare Management Degree Program

When choosing your MBA in Healthcare Management degree program, consider several factors to ensure you make the best decision for your professional future.

First, it’s essential to acknowledge that pursuing an MBA requires a significant time commitment. “Individuals should always ensure they have the time, energy, and resources to pursue a graduate degree,” says Pickett. “Graduate study requires a lot of focus, money, and energy to be successful.” As a prospective student, you should assess your current professional and personal obligations to determine if you can allocate sufficient time for graduate study. This reflection includes considering work schedules, family responsibilities, and other commitments that may affect your availability.

Next, Pickett recommends focusing on whether full-time or part-time study is best for your needs. “While full-time study allows completion sooner, being able to sacrifice other areas of their lives will be required to complete the degree at such a rapid pace.” She raises an important point — while full-time programs offer an immersive experience with a focused curriculum and quicker completion time, part-time programs allow students to continue working while pursuing their degree. Those who want to keep their current job or have other commitments they cannot step away from often prefer this option.

Lastly, consider your learning preferences and circumstances to determine if you are better suited for in-person or online learning. “Online programs are more convenient for those working full-time or unable to travel to a traditional college campus to take their classes,” says Pickett. “However, online programs will require that students have the technical set-up (internet connection, computer/laptop, dedicated space in their home for school, etc.) to be successful in their studies.” While online learning offers flexibility by allowing students to study at their own pace and from any location, some students may prefer in-person programs for face-to-face interaction and immediate feedback.

Considering these factors, you can confidently pursue an MBA in Healthcare Management that aligns with your lifestyle, career goals, and preferred learning style.

5 Steps to Earning an Online MBA in Healthcare Management Degree

1. Make sure it’s the right choice

The key to making the right choice, Pickett says, lies in the quality of your research. “It is imperative for students to fully research programs and determine how their ultimate career will impact their life and lifestyle,” she asserts. It’s essential to assess your career goals and the industry requirements, which can help you determine if an online MBA in Healthcare Management will provide the necessary skills and knowledge to advance your career in the healthcare sector. Analyzing job market trends, networking opportunities, and the program’s alum network can help you gauge a program’s potential impact on your professional growth.

2. Research schools and programs

To conduct effective research, you should first explore the specific requirements and admission criteria of each program you’re interested in to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. While some admissions requirements are relatively standard, others, like minimum GPA and standardized test scores, may vary depending on the institution.

It’s also important to consider the program’s accreditation, duration, flexibility, and any on-campus or residency components associated with the online MBA.

Pickett encourages students to further research by engaging with the program’s faculty and current or former students. “Researching these programs includes talking with faculty and alumni while also understanding the program’s academic requirements.” Alum networks and social media groups related to healthcare management or online education can be valuable resources for gathering insights and connecting with students who have completed similar programs.

3. Prepare for tests and applications

A systematic and proactive approach is vital when preparing for tests and applications. After researching the application requirements and the deadlines of the programs you’re interested in, you should have a good idea of the standardized tests required, like the GMAT or GRE. Use study materials, practice tests, and online resources to familiarize yourself with the test format and content. Consider enrolling in a GMAT or GRE prep course to increase your chances of doing well on these exams.

It’s also time to prepare your application materials, including your statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. By completing these tasks ahead of time, you can reflect on your accomplishments and career goals effectively.

4. Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

While MBA degrees can certainly be expensive, there are various financial aid opportunities to help you reduce the financial burden.

The best way to begin is to research scholarships and grants tailored explicitly for MBA students in healthcare management. Many organizations, foundations, and academic institutions award these financial aid options based on merit or need. You should carefully review these opportunities’ eligibility requirements and application deadlines and submit your applications accordingly.

You can also explore your federal grants or loan eligibility by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Some students may be eligible for a Pell Grant, which does not have to be repaid, while others may be eligible for federal loans. While federal loans often have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms than private loans, it is still important to thoroughly understand the associated terms before accepting them.

Some MBA programs also offer assistantship or fellowship programs where students can work part-time or intern while receiving financial support or tuition waivers.

5. Select your program

Now that you have comprehensively evaluated your financial aid options and considered your personal preferences and goals, you can select the right program for your MBA in Healthcare Management.

Weigh the pros and cons of each program, and consider additional factors like program reputation, curriculum content, faculty expertise, and career services. The program’s cost and financial aid availability should also be balanced against your anticipated ROI.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can make an educated decision and confidently select the program that best aligns with your academic and career goals.