As healthcare facilities grow, in terms of both personnel and technological capacity, the need for talented healthcare administrators is growing as well. Data produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that healthcare administration careers are expected to rise much faster than the national average between 2018 and 2028.

Healthcare administration can be a great career move for workers in other administrative professions, but some formal education in the specific demands and terminology of the healthcare profession may be required. If you're thinking about an online healthcare administration degree, the information on this page can help.

We've got a list of the top colleges offering health administration degree programs, a rundown of what you're likely to study, a brief description of healthcare administration careers and more. Read on to get informed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Several institutions across the country offer fully online healthcare administration degree programs, allowing students to take all of their necessary classes without coming to campus. Some programs offer hybrid study plans that conduct some of their courses online and in a traditional classroom.
Students looking to earn their healthcare administration degree online should ask about the types of academic services available on the virtual campus. Tutoring, student advising and career counseling are three of the most important services to look for.
It's important that the college you attend has earned accreditation, both from a regional organization at the institutional level and for its individual health administration programs. Programmatic accreditation is provided by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

Best Online Colleges for Healthcare Administration in 2019-20

Enrolling in a healthcare administration degree program can be the first step toward a rewarding career — so it's imperative that you thoughtfully weigh your options. Whether you want to become an insurance contract negotiator, government lobbyist, medical office business manager or consultant, the right degree program can lay the foundation to help you achieve your aspirations. In order to help provide guidance when making this important decision, we have compiled lists of the best online colleges for healthcare administration on the undergraduate level. Continue reading to learn about these schools and the degree programs they offer.

1

Herzing University-Kenosha

Tuition & Fees
$14,000
Distance Education Participation
70%
Location
Kenosha, WI
School Type
4-year

HUK's Academic Focus: Herzing University specializes in education designed for adult learners by offering work-friendly class schedules and numerous online resources to help students succeed.

Featured HUK Resource: The Writing Center helps students learn how to draft effective papers from start to finish. It provides guidance on finding sources and writing essays.

Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Kenosha

Associate Degree

  • This 16-month program is offered entirely online
  • The health administration degree program emphasizes the development of useful workplace skills, such as critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills
2

Herzing University-Minneapolis

Tuition & Fees
$14,000
Distance Education Participation
59%
Location
St. Louis Park, MN
School Type
4-year

HUM's Academic Focus: Since 1965, Herzing University has been helping students get the education they need to enter a variety of fields. Whether students aspire to become a member of the healthcare, technology, public safety or legal profession, Herzing University can help guide the student toward achieving their goals.

Featured HUM Resource: In order to help students deal with the rigors of balancing college with their family and work responsibilities, Herzing University offers online mental health resources.

Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Minneapolis

Associate Degree

  • This health administration degree program is conducted entirely online, with multiple start dates throughout the year
  • Students take personal and professional development courses designed to help them with time management, goal setting, communication skills, personal budgeting and conducting a job search
3

Herzing University-Brookfield

Tuition & Fees
$14,000
Distance Education Participation
89%
Location
Brookfield, WI
School Type
4-year

HUB's Academic Focus: Thanks to its flexible class schedules and variety of degree options , Herzing University offers quality career education to students who want to advance in their current career or train for a new one.

Featured HUB Resource: Students can get a head start on their job search by using the job boards offered by Herzing's career services department. The school also offers interviewing, resume writing and networking assistance, as well as career development classes.

Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Brookfield

Associate Degree

  • Allows students to gain both professional and personal skills so they can become a well-rounded, successful healthcare worker
  • This program is offered completely online
  • Students can earn their degree within about a year and a half
4

Herzing University-Birmingham

Tuition & Fees
$14,000
Distance Education Participation
57%
Location
Birmingham, AL
School Type
4-year

HUB's Academic Focus: Herzing University has been dedicated to providing career education since its inception in 1965. Since that time, the school has grown to offer dozens of career training programs on the undergraduate level.

Featured HUB Resource: Herzing provides career services that help students write effective resumes and cover letters, make a great impression during a job interview and work the room during a professional networking event. Students and graduates also get access to a nationwide job database to help them find open positions.

Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Birmingham

Associate Degree

  • The health administration degree program offers "soft skill" courses to help them handle their personal finances, manage their time and set their goals
  • Students can move on to earn a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration after completing this program
5

Purdue University Global-Davenport

Tuition & Fees
$14,343
Distance Education Participation
100%
Location
Davenport, IA
School Type
4-year

PUGD's Academic Focus: Through the help of advisors that are part of community, civic and industry organizations, Purdue Global is able to offer degree programs designed to prepare students for the demands of the modern workforce.

Featured PUGD Resource: The school's Academic Tutoring and Support Centers provide live online tutoring for those who need assistance with writing, mathematics and science, as well as webinars to teach students about technology topics.

Healthcare Administration at Purdue University Global-Davenport

Bachelor's Degree

  • This program, which is offered entirely online, emphasizes healthcare management, administration, policy, law and economics
  • The health administration degree program can be completed within two to four years
  • The school offers an internship to give students the chance to apply what they learned in class to real-world situations
  • Students can choose to apply for an accelerated degree option that allows them to begin earning their master's degree in the later years of their bachelor's degree program
6

University of Central Florida

Tuition & Fees
$6,368
Distance Education Participation
57%
Location
Orlando, FL
School Type
4-year

UCF Academic Focus: The University of Central Florida has been offering online degree programs for the last 20 years. Students can choose from 90 programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels that can be completed entirely online.

Featured UCF Resource: The UCF Library's online catalog and databases help students find articles in journals, newspapers and magazines. In addition, students can get a consultation with a librarian and watch tutorials to help them find the resources they need.

Healthcare Administration at University of Central Florida

Bachelor's Degree

  • The bachelors in healthcare administration program is designed to prepare students to take a managerial role in a variety of settings, such as ambulatory care centers, hospitals and long-term care facilities
  • Students in this program can also get the education they need to move on to an advanced degree program
  • A capstone course that focuses on healthcare administration theory is required
  • Students are required to complete an internship to get hands-on experience in a healthcare facility
7

Herzing University-Akron

Tuition & Fees
$14,000
Distance Education Participation
79%
Location
Akron, OH
School Type
4-year

HUA's Academic Focus: Founded by Henry and Suzanne Herzing, Herzing University offers career-focused degree programs that allow busy professionals to conveniently further their education to advance in their jobs. With programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels, students can move up the ladder in their current jobs or prepare for a second career.

Featured HUA Resource: Herzing University offers numerous personalized services to help students learn how to manage their time effectively, deal with the stress of earning a degree and make choices on which courses to take to help them reach their goals.

Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Akron

Associate Degree

  • Students can complete this associate degree online program in 16 months
  • The healthcare administration program emphasizes the development of skills that can be applied in both public and private healthcare facilities
  • Graduates leave with a strong foundation to help them succeed in the workplace or in a bachelor's degree program
8

Herzing University-Madison

Tuition & Fees
$14,000
Distance Education Participation
98%
Location
Madison, WI
School Type
4-year

HUM's Academic Focus: Herzing University offers degree programs with flexible course schedules to accommodate students who are navigating their education as they continue working full time.

Featured HUM Resource: Herzing University's library services give online students access to numerous sources they can use for their assignments, including journals, ebooks, newspapers and magazines. Also, librarians are available by email and chat to help students find the sources they need.

Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Madison

Associate Degree

  • Students can complete this degree entirely online
  • The program takes about a year and a half to complete
  • By the end of the program, students should have well-developed critical thinking, communication, time management and problem-solving skills
9

University of Phoenix-Arizona

Tuition & Fees
$9,552
Distance Education Participation
99%
Location
Tempe, AZ
School Type
4-year

UOPA's Academic Focus: The University of Phoenix is dedicated to offering online degree programs that help students learn the skills they need to enter their chosen field and develop their critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills.

Featured UOPA Resource: The school offers career services that include resume reviews, graduation transition plans and assistance with job search strategies.

Healthcare Administration at University of Phoenix-Arizona

Bachelor's Degree

  • This bachelors in healthcare administration teaches students how to evaluate risk, apply management practices, communicate in healthcare settings, and use data and technology to improve patient care
  • Students can choose one of four elective tracks to focus their studies on: retail health management, lifespan management, health information systems or health administration
  • Students are required to take a capstone course that focuses on healthcare strategy
10

Herzing University-Winter Park

Tuition & Fees
$14,000
Distance Education Participation
52%
Location
Winter Park, FL
School Type
4-year

HUWP's Academic Focus: Herzing University allows professionals to prepare for a myriad of jobs, including those in healthcare, information technology, legal services and business. These programs are conveniently offered online so that adult learners can fit their studies into their busy schedules.

Featured HUWP Resource: Students can not only get the ebooks, journals and newspapers they need from the school's library, but also assistance from a librarian on how to find and use the best sources for an assignment.

Healthcare Administration at Herzing University-Winter Park

Associate Degree

  • The health administration degree program gives students an overview of how healthcare is delivered in public and private organizations
  • Students are required to also take general education classes that help them develop their mathematics, speaking and writing skills
  • Students can complete their degree program in 16 months online
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Healthcare Administration Program Overview

Healthcare administration degree programs can teach you about the systems side of the healthcare industry, from personnel and inventory control to computer systems and data distribution. Here's a brief explanation of some common concepts that you're likely to cover on the path to your degree:

  • Healthcare information technology (HIT). Data management is a big part of the healthcare landscape. Aspiring healthcare administrators who understand the materials and methods of HIT may find their skills in especially high demand at larger healthcare facilities that deal with extensive patient data. This subject may be covered in the general health administration degree curriculum, or it may be reserved for students who choose to specialize in health data or analytics.
  • Community health. The ability to understand community attitudes about health and healthcare can be a big help in some healthcare administration careers, particularly those who are aiming for positions at government agencies or elsewhere in the public sector. Studying community health can give you knowledge about how to analyze health trends at the community level and insight into the steps that can be taken to improve any present issues. An advanced degree, like a master's in healthcare administration, may be necessary for some top community health jobs.
  • Healthcare ethics and law. A number of conflicts can arise in the delivery of healthcare across a diverse, intercultural population, and training in healthcare ethics can help prepare you to meet the challenges of these conflicts when they cross your path. Healthcare and the law are also closely intertwined, from the regulation of pharmaceuticals to providers' scope of practice.

Continue reading for more about what you can learn in an online healthcare administration programs on the associate and bachelor's level.

Earning an Online Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration

How long does an online associate program in healthcare administration take?

Generally, a full-time online associate program in healthcare administration can be completed in two years.

What are the requirements to start an online associate program in healthcare administration?

While most online healthcare administration colleges have specific requirements for admission, generally those who want to enroll in an associate degree program should have a high school diploma or equivalent and at least a 2.0 grade point average. Also, students may be required to earn a high score on the SAT or ACT.

Why earn an online associate in healthcare administration?

This degree level helps you enter the healthcare administration field quickly. It can also be a way to prepare for a higher-level degree program. If you are already in healthcare you can earn this degree to increase your skills and other qualifications for career advancement.

Degree Timeline

Year One

Introductory coursework:

The first year of a healthcare administration degree program lays the framework for future courses. During this time, you take classes that familiarize you with healthcare administration concepts, the history of the field and processes of the healthcare system.

General education:

You can also expect to take general education classes to round out your healthcare administration studies, such as coursework in English, mathematics and sociology.

Year Two

Healthcare administration electives:

Further along in the health administration degree program, you can explore your specific interests by taking electives. Some of these courses may cover medical terminology, office management, anatomy and physiology, health care delivery systems or medical policy.

  • 1.Common Courses
    • Ethics and bioethics
    • Medical coding, billing and insurance
    • Medical office procedures and financials
    • Healthcare information technology
    • Basic anatomy and physiology
  • 2. Common Careers:
    • Insurance verification clerk
    • Medical receptionist
    • Credentialing specialist
    • Patient intake clerk
    • Electronic medical records specialist

Earning an Online Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Administration

How long does an online bachelors in healthcare administration take?

An online bachelors in healthcare administration can typically be completed in about four years as a full-time student.

What are the requirements to start a bachelors in healthcare administration?

You are generally expected to have a high school diploma or GED, a 2.0 grade point average and a high score on the SAT or ACT. You may also be able to transfer into a four-year program if you've already earned an associate degree in healthcare administration.

Why earn an online bachelors in healthcare administration?

An online bachelors in healthcare administration can help you if you're new to the field and learning the fundamentals as well as the skills needed to land a job. A bachelor's program can also give you the opportunity to choose a specialization in order to study a specific subsection of the field. This more advanced information can help current healthcare administration professionals who are looking for career advancement.

Degree Timeline

Years One and Two

Introductory healthcare administration coursework:

When you begin a bachelors in healthcare administration program, you can expect to learn the basics of healthcare administration, including the U.S. healthcare system, healthcare information systems, health law and ethics and operations management.

General education classes:

You can expect to take general education classes in areas such as mathematics, art, psychology, sociology and English.

Electives:

To build on the content of required classes, you may choose electives that cover psychology of human relations, contemporary social problems, global environmental public health and health information technology.

Years Three and Four

Exploring a specialization:

Once you have a basic understanding of healthcare administration principles, you may select a specialization that can help you meet your education and career goals.

Internship:

To apply what you have learned in the classroom to real-world healthcare administration settings, you may have the opportunity to complete an internship.

Capstone course or project:

Some schools can require a capstone course or project that allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the course material. You may be required to take a comprehensive examination covering the department's curriculum.

  • 1.Common Courses
    • Ethics in healthcare
    • Health information management
    • Health law, regulation and policy
    • Healthcare accounting and budgeting
    • Healthcare delivery
    • Management in healthcare organizations
    • Medical sociology
  • 2. Common Careers:
    • Nursing home administrator
    • Clinic administrator
    • Medical office business manager
    • Dental office administrator
    • Chiropractor office manager

Healthcare Administration Job Outlook

There's a sunny job outlook for graduates of healthcare administration programs, according to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). The rapid pace at which new healthcare administration careers are being added to the healthcare workforce is a big part of that optimism, as well as a mean annual salary well above the overall national average.

Below, we'll look at some of the specifics of the healthcare administration careers to help you better understand what you can expect once you've graduated and you're ready to enter the workforce.

What does a healthcare administrator do?

Sometimes called healthcare executives or health services managers, healthcare administrators are responsible for the planning, coordination and direction of medical and health services. Some positions may entail managing an entire healthcare facility, while others may focus their attention on a specific department, a single clinical area or a select group of physicians.

Here's a short list of general duties that healthcare administrators may be asked perform on the job:

There are several types of healthcare administrators who concentrate on specific areas of healthcare management. Here are a few examples of specialized positions in the field:

How to become a healthcare administrator

The baseline educational requirement for this career is a bachelor's in healthcare administration, and O*NET reports that around 65 percent of medical and health services managers hold that level of degree.

It's also possible to get into an entry-level position in the field with a healthcare administration certificate or associate degree, but it may require previous experience as an assistant healthcare administrator, billing specialist or other relevant occupation. Close to 20 percent of working healthcare administrators in 2019 held only an associate degree.

You may not need a degree that's specifically focused on healthcare administration to land a job in the field, either. Here are a few other subjects that healthcare administrators might study, according to the BLS:

Work experience in a related role, particularly administrative or clinical work in a hospital or other health facility, is often preferred by employers hiring healthcare administration staff. Nursing home administrators, for example, often have experience working as registered nurses.

Depending on the type of facility where you find a job, it may be necessary to obtain a state license before you can officially begin working. Check with an advisor at your school for more insight into the licensing requirements in your state.

Healthcare Administration Certifications

Certified Healthcare Administrator (CHA)

Offered by the Healthcare Administrators Credentialing Commission (HACC), the CHA credential is an entry-level certification that ensures you meet the basic qualifications for the profession.

Requirements: Four years' health administration experience for bachelor's degree holders; three years' experience for those with advanced degrees.

Exam Format: As an experiential credential, the CHA does not require an exam.

How long does the certification last: Renewable after three years

AAHAM Certified Revenue Cycle Specialist (CRCS)

This certification is provided by the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) and focuses on the financial management of a medical facility.

Requirements: Membership in AAHAM and one year of employment in a healthcare revenue capacity is recommended before taking the exam.

Exam Format: Three sections of multiple-choice questions with a total time limit of two hours

How long does the certification last: Three years; recertification can be achieved either by retaking and passing the exam or joining AAHAM and completing continuing education units.

Certified Healthcare Auditor

The American Institute of Healthcare Compliance offers this certification, which can be a benefit to healthcare administrators whose careers are focused on compliance.

Requirements: Experience with HIPAA, OSHA, insurance claims and medical coding and documentation is recommended.

Exam Format: 100 true/false, multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions with a three-hour time limit; open study materials are allowed.

How long does the certification last: Must be renewed each year; 6 continuing education units must be completed annually to recertify.

Professional Organizations

Membership in a professional organization can provide you with networking and career opportunities that may be hard to find otherwise. Here are a few of the U.S. professional groups for healthcare administrators:

This organization of more than 48,000 members provides discounts on continuing education programs, exclusive career resources and an online member directory.
Along with its certification exams, AAHAM offers a membership package that includes a job bank and virtual access to hospital associations nationwide.
Several levels of AHIMA membership are available to suit your professional situation. Students and new graduates can join with reduced membership dues, and premier members get VIP access to conventions.
Healthcare administrators who focus on the financial side of the profession can access specialty certifications and more than 70 hours of online education opportunities each year through HFMA membership.

Related Rankings

There are a few other job fields out there with a similar working environment to healthcare administration careers. Check out our pages for the following degree fields if you're looking to explore:

Sources