Healthcare Administration

What Are the Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration?

What Are the Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration?
Online MHA programs can cost more than $1,800 per credit. Image from Unsplash
Christa Terry profile
Christa Terry December 9, 2019

Looking for an inexpensive MHA? We've compiled a guide to the most affordable online MHA programs in 2019-20—highlighting the program format, tuition, core courses, elective course options (when available), and features.

Article continues here

A Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree can qualify you for high-responsibility, high-paying leadership roles in the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, many MHA degree programs are expensive. That’s fine for healthcare professionals already earning substantial incomes (the student population for whom some of these programs are designed). But what about the rest of us?

Fortunately, a growing number of schools now offer high-quality online degree programs in healthcare management that don’t require students to go deep into debt. The trick is to find the one that suits your budget and career goals.

We’re here to help. We dug deep to find some of the cheapest online MHAs. These are master’s degree programs for healthcare management professionals who want to advance to leadership positions in:

  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practices
  • Labs
  • Government agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations

With an online degree in health administration from any of the universities listed below, you could become a:

But let’s back up. If your goal is to advance to one of the above positions, the first step is to find the right program, i.e., a program you can afford. In this guide to the most affordable online MHA programs, we’ll cover:

  • Are online MHA programs more affordable than on-campus programs?
  • Costs involved with online MHA programs
  • Are these Master of Health Administration programs as good as on-campus programs?
  • How to get financial aid for online MHA programs
  • Cheapest online MHA programs

Are online MHA programs more affordable than on-campus programs?

Not always, so be sure you read program guides carefully. In some cases, tuition for the online master’s degree is more expensive than tuition for the on-campus program. Why? Think of it as a convenience fee that some universities charge students for the privilege of earning a degree online.

The good news is that there are plenty of universities that don’t charge distance learners additional tuition for classes, so you won’t necessarily pay more for online degree programs. Some schools even charge lower tuition for online study.

Advertisement

“I’m ready for a degree!”

University and Program Name Learn More

Costs involved with online MHA programs

Now here’s some really good news. Even though you may not pay less tuition to get an online master’s degree, you will probably end up paying less overall. That’s because studying in an online MHA program doesn’t require you to commute (which usually means paying for gas, parking, and food). You also won’t incur the relocation and living expenses you’d incur if you had to move to attend the program. You may end up paying technology fees and other fees that on-campus students avoid. However, you will probably still end up saving money by choosing an online degree program over a traditional one.

Additionally, online degrees are more likely than on-campus degrees to accommodate part-time students. You probably will be able to continue working as you earn your degree online. The same program offered on-campus may require students to attend full-time, making work just about impossible.

Are these Master of Health Administration programs as good as on-campus programs?

The quick answer is a resounding yes. Once upon a time when the ‘net was new, choosing an online program could be a crapshoot. There were very few accredited online programs. Clunky tech made it hard to access courses and to hand in assignments. Streaming video and live class sessions were practically unheard of.

Nowadays, however, lots of universities with well-respected on-campus MHA programs have online degree pathways that are similar, if not identical, to the traditional programs at those schools. The most significant differences between online and traditional programs involve timing and delivery, not the curriculum or instructors. More important, most employers now recognize the parity between on-campus and online degrees. When it comes time to look for a job, you shouldn’t need to justify your online degree.

How to get financial aid for online MHA programs

At most colleges and universities, Master of Healthcare Administration students have access to the same financial aid, scholarships, and grants and apply for them the same way regardless of how they’re studying. The only financial assistance distance learners miss out on is assistantships.

Cheapest online MHA programs

For each of the online master’s programs in healthcare administration listed below, we’ve included tuition information, as well as the most relevant information to consider when choosing from among the available options: degree type, format, graduation requirements, core courses, electives, features, and concentrations. Just keep in mind that “affordable” is always subjective when it comes to master’s degree programs. You may still need to take out loans or apply for financial assistance to enroll in these programs.

Bellevue University

  • Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration
  • Format: 100 percent online
  • Tuition: $585 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 36 credit hours
  • Core courses: Leadership and Team Development; Health Information Technology and Administration; Quality Management; Legal, Ethical, and Compliance Issues; Organizational Design and Delivery Systems; Healthcare Finance; Operations Management; Strategic Management for Healthcare Organizations; Human Resource Management
  • Elective courses: None listed
  • Concentration options: None listed
  • Features: Cohort-based program; program integrates hands-on, applied learning with theory; meets Quality Matters (QM) Review Standards; regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Colorado State University – Global Campus

  • Degree: Master of Health Administration
  • Format: 100 percent online
  • Tuition: $500 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 36 credits over one to two years
  • Core courses: Fundamentals of Research and Writing; The U.S. Healthcare System; Organizational Behavior and Human Resources in Healthcare; Health Law and Ethics; Quality and Performance Improvement in Healthcare; Operations Management in Healthcare Organizations; Healthcare Finance; Healthcare Information Systems; Organizational Management: Strategy and Execution; plus a healthcare management internship
  • Elective courses: Business Strategy in the Global Economy; International Trade; Global Financial Management; International Business; Decision Theory in a Global Marketplace; Managing Dynamic Environments; Dynamics of Power in Organizations; Examination of Modern Leadership; Principles of Population Health; Healthcare Change Management, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship; Health Informatics & Population Health Analytics; Population Health Program Assessment, Implementation, and Evaluation; Project Management; Contracts, Procurement, and Risk Management; Project Metrics, Monitoring, and Control; Project Management Office (PMO)
  • Concentration options: International Management; Population Health; Project Management; Organizational Leadership and Change Management
  • Features: Online students are eligible for financial aid and scholarships; Colorado State University partners with more than 2,200+ employers to offer tuition discounts; no set class times; monthly class start dates; the tuition at enrollment is the tuition students pay throughout their time at the school

Louisiana State University – Shreveport

  • Degree: Master of Health Administration
  • Format: 100 percent online, full-time or part-time
  • Tuition: $12,473.90 ($415.80 per academic credit)
  • Graduation requirements: 30 credits over two years (though the program can be completed in as little as 10 months by motivated students)
  • Core courses: Healthcare Organizational Behavior; Healthcare Human Resource Management; Healthcare Systems; Healthcare Law and Ethics; Healthcare Marketing; Healthcare Informatics; Healthcare Finance; Healthcare Economics; Healthcare Policy; Healthcare Strategic Management
  • Elective courses: None
  • Concentration options: None listed
  • Features: Three start dates per year; accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; no experience in healthcare is required to apply; students who have completed bachelor’s degree programs not related to healthcare administration are welcome to apply

Midwestern State University

  • Degree: Master of Health Administration
  • Format: 100 percent online
  • Tuition: $213.85 per credit hour plus fees
  • Graduation requirements: 45 credit hours over two to three years
  • Core courses: Health Services Administration Foundations; Health Care Financial Management; Health Care Organization Behavior & Management Theories; Managerial Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Health Services Research; Health Care and Personnel Law; Health Care Marketing and Microeconomics; Health Informatics; Health Systems Engineering and Quantitative Methods; Capstone: Health Services Operational and Strategic Management
  • Elective courses: Public Health – Determinants of Health Disparities – A Comparative International Perspective; Health Care Personnel; Health Systems Analysis; Managed Care Organizational Structure in the 21st Century; Health Administration Problems; Long Term Care Administration; Health Services Research; Health Care Ethics; Managerial Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Healthcare Demographic Analysis; Prison Health Care
  • Concentration options: Health Information Management; Medical Practice Management; Public and Community Sector Health Care Management; Rural and Urban Hospital Management
  • Features: An MHA Graduate Coordinator helps students design a customized degree plan; program was designed specifically for working professionals; face-to-face workshops and seminars are offered on-campus during the academic terms for interested students; students can earn a Graduate Certificate in Health Services Administration; scholarships are available

Minnesota State University Moorhead

  • Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $494 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 43 credit hours
  • Core courses: Healthcare Economics; Marketing Management; Human Resource Management; Healthcare Quality and Regulatory Management; Research and Evidence-Based Practice; Healthcare Law and Ethical Decision Making; Applied Healthcare Financial Management; Health Program Planning and Evaluation; Healthcare Policy and Reimbursement; Health Information Systems; Operational Strategy and Systems Leadership; Healthcare Operations Management
  • Elective courses: Managerial Accounting; Organizational Behavior; Healthcare Delivery Science; Project Management
  • Concentration options: None listed
  • Features: 91 percent job placement rate for program graduates; program adapted from the Healthcare Leadership Alliance common competency domains; designed for working professionals; students take classes at their own pace; fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; opportunity for dual enrollment with an MS in Nursing with Nursing

Montana State University

  • Degree: Master of Health Administration
  • Format: Online (plus a two-day on-campus Professional Seminar each semester and an internship for MHA students who do not have a background in healthcare management)
  • Tuition: $466.65 per credit in-state tuition; $705.10 out-of-state tuition
  • Graduation requirements: 48 to 51 credit hours in 20 to 24 months
  • Core courses: Professional Seminar; Healthcare Systems; Statistics for Health Care Administration; Evidence-Based Management Research & Evaluation Methods; Managerial Accounting & Budgeting; Healthcare Finance & Reimbursement; Managerial Epidemiology & Population Health; Health Economics; Health Operations Methods; Health Quality Techniques; Rural-Frontier Healthcare Management; Healthcare Marketing & Strategy; Health Informatics & Information Systems; Healthcare Human Resources; Health Policy; Health Law; plus a capstone project
  • Elective courses: None listed
  • Concentration options: None listed
  • Features: Most courses are accelerated; WICHE eligible; 92 percent of graduates are employed in the healthcare field; flexible scheduling; fast-paced eight-week academic terms

Ohio University (Main Campus)

  • Degree: Master of Health Administration
  • Format: 100 percent online
  • Tuition: $25,338 ($654 per credit hour) for Ohio residents; $26,022 ($673 per credit hour) for non-residents
  • Graduation requirements: 36 credit hours over two years (six semesters)
  • Core courses: Introduction to the U.S. Health Care Delivery System; Information Systems for Health Services; Leadership of Health Organizations; Research and Quantitative Methods for Health Services; Health Policy; Evaluation and Quality Improvement in Health Care; Health Care Finance; Health Law; Epidemiology in Health Administration; Human Resource Management in Health Care; Strategic Planning and Marketing in Health Services; Ethical Issues in Health Care
  • Elective courses: None listed
  • Concentration options: None listed
  • Features: No GRE or GMAT scores required to apply; three start dates per year; financial aid is available; online students are welcome to visit the Ohio University campus to take advantage of student services and related programs; online students are eligible for financial aid

Oklahoma State University (Main Campus)

  • Degree: Master of Science in Health Administration
  • Format: Online or in-person
  • Tuition: $230.45 per credit hour (online or on-campus) for Oklahoma residents; $360 per hour (online only) for non-resident students
  • Graduation requirements: 32 credit hours
  • Core courses: Survey of Health Care Administration; Leadership Methods and Styles in Health Care; Research and Evaluation Methods in Health Care; Legal Issues in Health Care
  • Elective courses: Health Care Accounting and Auditing; Entrepreneurship and the Health Sciences; Organizational Leadership in Healthcare; Human Resources in Healthcare and Public Administration; Intro to Global Health; Health Care Compliance; Financial Structures in Health Care Organizations; Ethics in Health Care; Emerging Global Infectious Diseases; Relief Development in Global Health; International Health Systems; Advanced Cases in Health Care Finance; Advanced Leadership Methods and Styles in Health Care; Health Care Informatics; Patient Safety, Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Concentration options: Leadership/Entrepreneurship; Administration
  • Features: No prior healthcare experience required; a non-thesis option is available; students can take Management, MBA, Operations, and Marketing courses with advisor approval

Park University

  • Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration
  • Format: 100 percent online
  • Tuition: $580 per credit hour (discount available for active military, dependents, and veterans)
  • Graduation requirements: 36 credit hours
  • Core courses: Management of Health Information Systems; Healthcare Finance; Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare Administration; Organization of Healthcare Delivery Systems; Healthcare Economics and Payment Systems; Healthcare Organizational Behavior and Leadership; Healthcare Operations Management; Healthcare Strategic Management and Marketing; plus a capstone project
  • Elective courses: Varies by concentration
  • Concentration options: Disaster Emergency Management; Finance; Homeland Security; Human Resource Management; Global Business; Management Accounting; Management Information Systems; Project Management; Quality and Innovation Management; Marketing; Business Analytics
  • Features: Local students can take blended courses offered at participating campus centers; Park University has some MHA concentrations available that students won’t find anywhere else

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

  • Degree: Master of Health Administration
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $557 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 42 credits over two years
  • Core courses: United States Healthcare Systems; Leadership in Healthcare Administration; Quality Management and Performance Improvement; Health Services Administration; Healthcare Financial Management; Research Methods; Healthcare Informatics; Ethical and Legal Perspectives; Strategic Human Resources Management; Strategic Planning and Management; plus a capstone project
  • Elective courses: Long-Term Care Operations & Administration; Healthcare Marketing; Gerontology; Administrative Practicum; Health Policy and Politics
  • Concentration options: Catholic Health Leadership
  • Features: Accredited by the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long-Term Care Administrators; four start dates per year; no GMAT or GRE scores required to apply; no application fees; there’s a fast-track MHA option for students in specific Saint Joseph’s College undergraduate health administration programs; MHA students can earn various Health Administration Certificates

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Degree: Master of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Format: 100 percent online
  • Tuition: $627 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 36 credit hours over as little as 15 months
  • Core courses: Healthcare Informatics; Global Health and Diversity; Marketing, Communications Strategies, and Outreach; Biostatistics; Healthcare Quality and Improvement; Health Policy and Law; Economic Principles of Healthcare; Healthcare Finance and Reimbursement; Program Design, Planning, and Evaluation; Strategic Human Resource Management; Leading/Managing Not-For-Profit Orgs; plus a capstone project
  • Elective courses: None listed
  • Concentration options: None listed
  • Features: No professional experience requirement for applicants; school is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education as well as several other accrediting bodies; five start dates each year; strong student and alumni support network; no GMAT or GRE required for admission

University of Maryland – University College

  • Degree: Master of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Format: Online and hybrid
  • Tuition: $480 per credit hour for Maryland residents; $659 per credit hour for non-residents
  • Graduation requirements: 42 credit hours within five years
  • Core courses: Intercultural Communication and Leadership; Statistics for Managerial Decision Making; Introduction to Health Care Administration; Information Technology for Health Care Administration; The U.S. Health Care System; The Business of Healthcare; Public Health Administration; Long-Term Care Administration; Financial Management for Health Care Organizations; Strategic Financial Management in Healthcare; Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration; Health Care Institutional Organization and Management; Strategic Issues in Healthcare Leadership; plus a capstone project
  • Elective courses: None listed
  • Concentration options: None listed
  • Features: Program focuses on financial and statistical analytical skills; program prepares students to take the Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives certification exam; the program will accept up to six transfer credits

University of Southern Indiana

  • Degree: Master of Health Administration
  • Format: Online plus three required intensives (two to two-and-a-half days each) scheduled to complement the online learning
  • Tuition: $392.76 per credit hour plus fees
  • Graduation requirements: 39 credit hours over six semesters
  • Core courses: Health Care System; Biostatistics; Health Care Economics; Epidemiology; Legal & Ethical Issues in Health Care; Health Informatics; Operations Research in Health Care; Health Care Leadership; HR & Labor Relations in Health Care; Managerial Accounting in Health Care; Competitive Strategy in Health Care; Health Care Finance; plus a capstone project
  • Elective courses: None listed
  • Concentration options: None listed
  • Features: Scholarships are available; program graduated 36 students in 2017, the last year for which data is available

How useful is this page?

Click on a star to rate it!

Since you found this page useful...mind sharing it?

Questions or feedback? Email editor@noodle.com

About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

To learn more about our editorial standards, you can click here.


Share

You May Also Like To Read


Categorized as: Healthcare AdministrationNursing & Healthcare