To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:
- Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
- Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15
Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria, using the weights specified:
- In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
- Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
- Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
- Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
- Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
- Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Clarkson College, Accessed April 2016, http://www.clarksoncollege.edu/health-care-business/degree-options/
- Dakota State University, Accessed April 2016, http://dsu.edu/academics/degrees-and-programs/health-information-administration-bs
- Dakota State University, Accessed April 2016, http://dsu.edu/academics/distance-education/online-degrees
- Davenport University, Accessed April 2016, http://www.davenport.edu/programs/business/graduate-certificate/health-care-management-grc
- Health Care Management Specialization, Wisconsin School of Business, Accessed April 2016, https://bus.wisc.edu/bba/academics-and-programs/majors/health-care-management
- Health Information 101, Accessed April 2016, http://www.ahima.org/careers/healthinfo
- Herzing University, Akron Campus, Accessed April 2016, https://www.herzing.edu/akron
- Herzing University, Madison, Accessed April 2016, https://www.herzing.edu/madison
- Herzing University, Birmingham Campus, Accessed April 2016, https://www.herzing.edu/birmingham
- Herzing University, Minneapolis Campus, Accessed April 2016, https://www.herzing.edu/minneapolis
- Herzing University, New Orleans Campus, Accessed April 2016, https://www.herzing.edu/new-orleans
- Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management Online, University of Scranton, Accessed April 2016, http://elearning.scranton.edu/mba/healthcare-management-specialization?cmgfrm=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F
- Medical and Health Services Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accessed April 2016, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
- Medical Records and Health Information Technician, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accessed April 2016, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm
- MS in Information Systems, University of Colorado Denver, Accessed April 2016, http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/business/degrees/ms/IS/Pages/Health-Information-Technology.aspx
- University of Minnesota-Crookston, Accessed April 2016, http://www1.crk.umn.edu/academics/online/healthmgmt/index.html
- University of Southern Indiana, Accessed April 2016, http://www.usi.edu/distance/programs
- University of Southern Indiana, Accessed April 2016, https://www.usi.edu/health/master-of-health-administration
- "What Can I Do with a Healthcare Administration Degree?" Houston Chronicle, Accessed April 2016, http://work.chron.com/can-health-care-administration-degree-10673.html
- What is a health information manager? University of Kansas Medical Center, Accessed April 2016, http://www.kumc.edu/school-of-health-professions/health-information-management/what-is-a-health-information-manager.html
- Healthcare Administration Degree, Ashworth College, Accessed June 2017, https://www.ashworthcollege.edu/associate-degrees/healthcare-administration/
- Associate Degree in Health Care Administration, Colorado Christian University, Accessed June 2017, http://www.ccu.edu/ccu/healthcareadministration/associate/
- Associate of Science in Health Care Administration (A.S.), California Coast University, Accessed June 2017, http://www.calcoast.edu/a.s.-associate-of-science-in-health-care-administration.html
- Online Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Administration, CSU-Global Campus, Accessed June 2017, https://csuglobal.edu/undergraduate/bachelors-degrees/health-care-administration-and-management
- Bachelor's Degree in Health Care Administration, Kaplan University, Accessed June 2017, http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/health-sciences/health-care-administration-bachelor-degree.aspx
- Healthcare Administration Degree Online, Southern New Hampshire University, Accessed June 2017, http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-healthcare-administration
- Online Master's Degree in Health Administration, Kaplan University, Accessed June 2017, http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/health-sciences/health-care-administration-master-degree.aspx
- Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Administration, Penn State Online, Accessed June 2017, http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/health-policy-and-administration-masters/overview
- Online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) Degree, Walden University, Accessed June 2017, https://www.waldenu.edu/masters/master-of-healthcare-administration
- Curriculum - Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA), Walden University, Accessed June 2017, https://www.waldenu.edu/doctoral/doctor-of-healthcare-administration/curriculum
- Doctor of Health Administration Degree Online, University of Phoenix, Accessed June 2017, http://www.phoenix.edu/programs/degree-programs/nursing-and-health-care/doctoral/dha.html
- Doctor of Health Administration, A.T. Still University, Accessed June 2017, https://www.atsu.edu/doctor-of-health-administration-degree
- Medical and Health Services Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2015, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
- Medical and Health Services Managers, O*NET OnLine, Accessed June 2017, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9111.00
- Health Care Administrator, Utica College Online, Accessed June 2017, http://programs.online.utica.edu/articles/core-competencies-for-a-healthcare-administrator
- Top 5 Skills and Qualifications for Health Services Administration, Monster, Accessed June 2017, https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/top-5-skills-and-qualifications-for-health-services-administration
If you can imagine yourself leading a collaborative team of health care professionals, a career in health care administration may be the right fit for you. Health care administrators coordinate the medical services that treat patients in a wide variety of health care settings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this field is experiencing growth as baby boomers age and use their health insurance coverage more often. Also, an increase in the use of electronic health records has created a demand for professionals with knowledge of health information technology and informatics systems.
There are two main programs within health care administration: healthcare management and healthcare information management. Healthcare management tasks students with applying business fundamentals within a healthcare framework. In a healthcare information management specialization, the focus is on using information technology (IT) to solve common problems in the healthcare setting. An online program in either of these subjects can allow students to pursue a degree in this field while continuing to work.
Interested, but unsure where to start? Below, we give you the key information to start on the path to this career. You'll find the best online colleges for health care administration and get a clearer snapshot of the health care administration career outlook. Also, we'll provide you with a list of the degree options within this field, the typical material covered in these degrees, and some of the specific positions these degrees prepare you for.
Best Online Colleges for Health Care Administration in 2018
If you are looking for the schools that offer an online program in health care administration, here are the top ten. We have selected the colleges based on our own methodology, which takes into account several key factors that are important to online students.
Akron Institute of Herzing University
University of Minnesota-Crookston
Dakota State University
University of Southern Indiana
the goal of having them prepared on day one for a new career.
Yvonne Alles, MBA, DHA
Department Chair Allied Health
Yvonne Alles, MBA, DHA
Department Chair Allied Health
Q: What qualities make Davenport University's online health services administration major an outstanding program?
A: The HSAD program at DU has met the established criteria to be eligible for the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) certification. Our undergraduate program is reviewed for certification at least every six years and as part of this review process, we question, evaluate, and possibly amend our program structure, goals, and teaching methods. We have prepared our latest self study in 2015 and will be presenting this to AUPHA in June of 2016 in Kansas City where we fully expect approval for recertification. We are also accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) - North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Davenport HSAD program began in 1994 as a BBA. Of interest, I was one of the first graduates from this program. As a proud alumni of Davenport, I continued on to an MBA there with a health services emphasis. I now have my doctorate in health care administration (DHA) and am the department chair for Allied Health. This degree served me well as I also retired after 23 years from Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids where I worked in administration for the Health Information Management department. Including my time as an adjunct, I have worked for Davenport University for 20 years in total.
Davenport restructured the HSAD degree to a BBS in 2011. We offer the program at our Grand Rapids, Lansing, Warren, Livonia, and Global (Online) campus locations. Starting with 62 students in our first cohort, we now have close to 1,000 graduates who have completed the program at Davenport. Our students all complete a 120 hour practicum (internship) with the goal of having them prepared on day one for a new career. Our mission is to be renowned as a quality program designed to prepare graduates to excel in the 21st century in the provision of health care leadership and practice. We are dedicated to the career and personal success of each student.
Our students take 30 general foundational and science credits, 30 credits related to health professions in general, and then 60 credits related to their major. Within this structure, there are opportunities for an emphasis in human resource management, information technology management, leadership and sustainability, risk management, or we are willing to tailor a program for a specific pathway that may lead to a program needing even more science such as occupational or physical therapy.
Q: What support does Davenport offer their online student body?
A: While each physical location in Michigan has an Associate Department Chair to monitor the HSAD program, the Allied Health department of Davenport University also has a dedicated Associate Department Chair who oversees the portion of the program presented by the Global Campus. Online delivery offers improved access for students with disabilities. Advising and degree planning is available along with the bookstore, career services, and financial aid. Global campus life makes participation in many events possible. There is a special emphasis on military student services. Tutoring and a writing center are also available for our Global Campus students.
Q: How does the online program differ from the on-campus program?
A: The online program mainly differs from the on-campus program in delivery method only. There is standard content and classes are offered in a variety of ways from synchronous, asynchronous, and in a blended format. With our accreditation standards as a guideline, our syllabi, textbooks, program and learning outcomes, and approach to students is uniform. One other difference is that the global campus is able to take advantage of subject matter experts and accomplished practitioners from across the country. Our students can learn from administrators they otherwise would not have access to if they were in-seat students. Examples are instructors working at high level positions within the VA, within major health care facilities across the United States, and for those with entrepreneurial hopes, people operating as CEOs of their own business endeavors.
Degree Overview: Health Care Administration
Students who are interested in earning a leadership position in the health care field need to acquire extensive knowledge about the medical field, as well as strong workplace skills. This page discusses some of the possible courses that students in online health care administration programs might take, as well as some of the skills they may have learned by the time they graduate.
Online Health Care Administration Courses
The types of courses students take in health care administration programs can differ greatly depending on the school they attend and the degree level they enroll in. However, here are a few examples of classes students may find in programs on the undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Associate degree programs in health care administration are designed to prepare students for entry-level jobs in medical facilities and private practices. To this end, they may offer students the opportunity to take classes about medical terminology, office management, anatomy and physiology, health care delivery systems or medical policy.
- Online bachelor's degree programs in health care administration work to foster a deeper understanding of the field, which students can use as a foundation to enter the workforce or further advance their education. Classes that might be found in this program include areas such as epidemiology, health care quality management, health law and ethics, human resource management, organizational behavior and health care finance and economics.
- Workers who want to advance to leadership roles in health care administration can prepare by earning a master's degree in the subject. Programs on this level may offer classes about health care policy, financial management, strategic planning, business and interpersonal communication and health care marketing.
- The health care administration field is constantly evolving, in part because of the researchers that study how the system works. In order to contribute to the knowledge base of the field, professionals can earn a doctoral degree in health care administration. People who enroll in these programs may learn about the different methodologies used for conducting research, strategies for creating purpose statements and hypotheses, software for conducting a statistical analysis and ways to ensure research questions are sound.
Career-Related Skills to Develop
Health care administrators take on a great deal of responsibility, so they need many strong skills to rise to this challenge. Below are some of the skills that need to be harnessed in order to be successful in this position.
- Leadership. Health care administrators can be responsible for small or large teams, depending on the size of the organization they work for. In addition, these professionals are responsible for recruiting, hiring and training workers. Performing these duties for teams of any size requires strong leadership skills, which entails the ability to resolve employee conflicts, motivate staff members and oversee daily tasks.
- Legal. Although health care administrators do not practice law, they nevertheless need to keep abreast of the laws that affect the medical profession. The field is constantly changing, and professionals need to be familiar with current regulations and adapt their business practices accordingly.
- Communication. Written and verbal communication skills are imperative to be successful in this job. It is vital that health care administrators are able to effectively communicate complex procedures and policies to their teams.
- Detail orientation. From employee scheduling to patient billing, administrators need to pay attention to a myriad of details to help keep their organization running smoothly. Attention to detail is required to give proper consideration to each piece of a health care facility's puzzle.
Health Care Administration Specializations
The health care industry is competitive, so professionals who want to stand out from the crowd and take leadership roles in an organization may want to consider earning a certification that validates their knowledge and experience. There are several health care administration credentials that workers can pursue, including the following.
- Those who work in nursing homes may earn the Certified Assisted Living Administrator (CALA) and Certified Nursing Home Administrator (CNHA) provided by the American College of Health Care Administrators.
- The cHAP (Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional), issued by the Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals, is awarded to candidates after passing the organization's industry-specific examination.
- Professionals who work in medical offices can procure a Certified Medical Manager (CMM) credential from the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management.
- The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society awards certifications to health care executives with technology expertise. These designations are the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS), Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) and the Health Information Technology Professional (HIT Pro).
- The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management has certifications for workers who have proven experienced with financial management, such as the Certified Revenue Cycle Executive, Certified Revenue Integrity Professional and Certified Compliance Technician.
Health Care Administration Career Outlook
The career options within this field are vast and continuing to expand, and the health care administration career outlook is strong. Here are three positions that those with degrees in health care administration typically fill: