Online MHA Programs Ranked by Affordability (2019-2020)

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Student loan debt is reaching epic proportions. In fact, media organizations like CBS and Forbes are calling it a debt crisis. Over 44 million students and professionals have student loan debt totaling more than $1.5 trillion in the United States. Yet in order to advance their careers and increase income, professionals are called upon to have advanced degrees in their field. This creates a need for more affordable master’s degrees.

In addition, professionals will want to seek out degrees where growth opportunities exist, the job market is expanding and salaries are attractive. Enter online MHA programs. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS 2018) data, medical and health services managers earn a median salary of $99,730 per year which comes out to almost $48 per hour. Median annual wages were highest in government industries and hospitals, with doctor’s offices and nursing home facilities being lower.

Jobs in this market are exploding and are expected to increase by 20 percent between 2016 and 2026 with the addition of 72,100 jobs. Healthcare administrators typically have at least a bachelor’s degree, but master’s degrees are becoming increasingly common for these positions. As such, in this article we cover online MHA programs ranked by affordability in 2019 to 2020.

Most Affordable Online MHA Programs (2019-2020)

Check out the ten most affordable online MHA programs by total cost.

These rankings are based on tuition data MHAOnline.com collected in 2019 from online MHA programs and closely related graduate degrees. Tuition information is as current as possible, being taken from the 2018-2019 or 2019-2020 school years as published by each school.

1) New England College MS in Management – Healthcare Administration

Topping our list as the most affordable online MHA program, New England College (NEC) offers a 100 percent online MS in management (healthcare administration). This program can be completed in one to two years and focuses on healthcare project management, healthcare systems, and healthcare administration. Students take courses such as professional and organizational ethics (a global perspective), organizational communication, and managerial economics. NEC provides excellent student support, including Pathways Academic Success Services for life planning and career services, mentoring, tutoring, and academic advising.

  • Cost per credit: $576/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $20,736 + fees

2) Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Online MS in Healthcare Administration

Southern New Hampshire University offers an MS in healthcare administration that can be completed in just 15 months at two courses per term. Areas of focus include healthcare finance, healthcare law and policy, planning, and informatics. Courses may include global health and diversity, biostatistics, and health policy and law. This degree curriculum is aligned with the standards put forth by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA).

  • Cost per credit: $627/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $22,572 + fees

3) Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota MA in Health and Human Services Administration

Coming in at second, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers an online MA in health and human services administration that can be completed in 24 months. Specifically designed for nursing home administrators, this degree seeks to prepare students to address issues faced in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Focus areas include quality of care, sustainability of systems and programs, healthcare regulations, and management of healthcare staff and economics. Courses may include strategic health and human services leadership; finance for health service administrators; and academic research, writing, and communications. This 100 percent online program is accredited by the Minnesota Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators (MN BENHA).

  • Cost per credit: $640/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $23,040 + fees

4) Ohio University Online Master of Health Administration (MHA)

Ohio University offers a 100 percent online master of health administration (MHA), designed for working professionals. As such, it can be completed in two years attending part-time at one course per seven weeks. This collaborative program offers classroom discussions with professors, fellow students, and healthcare professionals to ensure a well-rounded, real-world education. Focus areas include healthcare law, finance, and resource management, ethics, and quality of care. Courses may include human resource management in healthcare, epidemiology in health administration, and health law. Applicants must have two or more years of full-time professional work experience in health care to apply.

  • Cost per credit: $673/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $24,228 + fees

5) Utica College MS in Healthcare Administration

Utica College offers a 100 percent online MS in healthcare administration with three concentrations: acute care; nursing home administration; and service organization. It can be completed in two years taking six eight-week courses per year. Utica keeps class sizes small which fosters a more personal, student-centered learning experience.

Students complete courses such as healthcare systems: a continuum of care, human resources management, and leadership in marketing and strategic planning, as well as a final capstone course. Those taking the nursing home administration specialization are prepared to take the Nursing Home Administration (NHA) certification exam to become a licensed nursing home administrator.

Applicants do not need prior healthcare experience to be admitted to this program.

  • Cost per credit: $690/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $24,840 + fees

6) Maryville University Master of Health Administration (MHA)

Maryville University offers a 100 percent online master of health administration (MHA) degree with four concentrations: data management; healthcare strategies; population management; and senior services. Following the competencies of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the MHA curriculum focuses on professionalism, leadership, business knowledge and skills, the healthcare environment, and communication.

The curriculum is very collaborative and interactive, utilizing online chat, conference calls, and online discussions. Courses may include healthcare technology, healthcare law, ethics and risk management, and population health management.

  • Cost per credit: $714/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $25,704 + fees

7) Queens University of Charlotte Master of Health Administration (MHA)

Queens University of Charlotte offers a 100 percent online master of health administration (MHA) that can be completed in 24 months. Focus areas include improving patient care and outcomes, cost-effective measures, and management of healthcare organizations.

Through hands-on experiences, students learn to assess and redesign existing policies, create and implement new policies, streamline current processes, and evaluate and improve spending. Queens University offers many online tools for collaboration, including Skype web conference, shared blogging, and social media tools. Applicants must have two years of healthcare work experience to apply. Courses may include clinical issues in health services management, quality improvement in healthcare organizations, and strategic planning and marketing for healthcare organizations.

  • Cost per credit: $735/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $26,460 + fees

8) Regis College Master of Health Administration (MHA)

Regis College offers a 100 percent online Master of Health Administration (MHA) that can be completed in as few as 24 months on a part-time basis. Focusing on healthcare cost and delivery from a political and policy level, students learn to promote social justice and high-quality affordable healthcare for all socioeconomic levels.

A key aspect of this program is student discovery and development of their strategic management style. Included in the degree plan is a field experience encompassing 100 hours in a healthcare setting. Courses may include concepts in health administration, healthcare quality management, and health ethics and law.

  • Cost per credit: $775/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $27,900 + fees

9) University of Cincinnati Master of Health Administration (MHA)

The University of Cincinnati offers a master of health administration (MHA) that is 100 percent online and can be completed in two years on a part-time basis. Students take two to three seven-week courses each session. This degree seeks to educate professionals in leadership, business management skills, and quality of care improvement. Students complete several core courses, concentration courses, and a capstone in which a project is presented to faculty and fellow students. Courses may include health systems management, health policy, and healthcare marketplace.

  • Cost per credit: $747/credit
  • Number of credits: 39 credits
  • Total cost: $29,133 + fees

10) Saint Joseph’s University MS in Health Administration (MHA)

Finishing off our top ten list, Saint Joseph’s University offers an online master of health administration. In addition to a general path, there are two concentrations available: informatics and organizational development and leadership.

This online MHA degree can be completed in two to three years and is 100 percent online. Students study complex ethics in relation to healthcare and learn to lead organizations while balancing cost and patient quality of care. Students in the informatics concentration work with data to improve patient outcomes, lower costs, and facilitate communication between healthcare professionals, medical teams, and patients and their families.

Students in the organizational development and leadership concentration study team leadership, group dynamics, organizational change, and systems thinking, in addition to core concepts. Healthcare work experience is preferred for applicants. Courses may include financial management of healthcare organizations, health services research, and ethics of healthcare.

  • Cost per credit: $870/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $31,320 + fees

Other Affordable Online Programs Related to Health Administration

There are several other online healthcare programs that may not fall directly into the MHA programs category, yet are still related, which offer healthcare professionals and students a variety of paths to choose from, depending on career aspirations and personal interest. These may include programs in healthcare informatics, healthcare MBAs, and health information management. Check out other affordable master’s programs in healthcare below.

Utica College MBA in Healthcare Management

Utica College offers an online MBA in healthcare management that can be completed in two years or less. Utica College is known for small class sizes, excellent student support services and faculty support, and affordable tuition. Students in this program study ethical decision-making skills, important business skills such as finance, statistics, accounting, and marketing, and team-building. The two final capstone courses allow students to demonstrate learned skills through an applied project.

  • Cost per credit: $650/credit
  • Number of credits: 30 credits
  • Total cost: $19,500 + fees

Liberty University Online Master of Science in Health Informatics

One affordable program related to health administration is Liberty University’s online master of science in health informatics (MSHI) program. It is designed to be completed in just 1.5 years, but students can take up to five years. The degree is 100 percent online. Students study healthcare informatics in relation to improving the patient experience and outcomes. Courses may include project management, health informatics, and biostatistics.

  • Cost per credit: $565/credit residents, $615/credit non-residents
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $20,340 + fees (residents); $22,140 + fees (non-residents)

Southern New Hampshire University Online MBA in Healthcare Management

SNHU offers a 100 percent online MBA in healthcare management which provides students with a combination of healthcare business practices and how to manage real-world healthcare issues. By focusing on organizational issues, healthcare informatics, and healthcare administration, the degree helps students improve patient care through better understanding of healthcare challenges and management of healthcare information. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and can be completed in just 15 months.

  • Cost per credit: $627/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $22,572 + fees

Southern New Hampshire University Online MS in Health Information Management

Another degree offered through SNHU is their online MS in health information management, which can be completed in just 15 months by taking two courses per ten-week term. Offering a combination of three study areas including computer science, data analysis, and business, the MSHI prepares students for a career in healthcare technology. Courses may include health information governance, data management and data quality, and managing compliance. The degree program is 100 percent online.

  • Cost per credit: $627/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $22,572 + fees

University of Saint Mary MBA in Healthcare Management

The University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas, offers an online MBA in healthcare management. This program keenly focuses on business management skills in healthcare such as ethics in healthcare, corporate responsibility, a global perspective, and the dynamics in the workplace including communication and collaboration. The degree can be completed in just one year for those with a business background. Healthcare management concentration courses include leadership and business operations in healthcare, healthcare informatics and technologies, and legal and ethical issues in healthcare. This program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

  • Cost per credit: $630/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $22,680 + fees

Maryville University Online MBA in Health Administration

Maryville University offers a 100 percent online, accelerated MBA in health administration that is ACBSP-accredited and can be completed in just 14 months. This accelerated program can also be completed part-time in about 26 months. Participants in this program combine economics, ethics, finance, and marking with healthcare administration issues to create a well-rounded health administration degree.

MBA courses may include strategic marketing, organizational behavior and development, and business economics. Healthcare administration concentration courses include healthcare operations, healthcare law, ethics and risk management, the healthcare industry and its impact on healthcare management, and population health management.

  • Cost per credit: $714/credit
  • Number of credits: 39 credits
  • Total cost: $27,846 + fees

University of Cincinnati Master of Science in Health Informatics (MHI)

The University of Cincinnati offers a 100 percent online master of science in health informatics (MHI) that can be completed in two years. Educating students in health informatics, this degree promotes the use of information technology to improve patient care and outcomes, as well as affecting community and global health decision-making. MHI students also have the option to add a health information security certificate to their program. Courses may include health informatics, health information legislation, privacy, and security, and project and program management.

  • Cost per credit: $747/credit
  • Number of credits: 36 credits
  • Total cost: $26,892 + fees

Find an Affordable Online MHA Program

With the rising costs of education, graduate programs may have seemed like too expensive of a proposition. But the programs listed above can open up some options you might not otherwise have considered. Not only are they convenient and affordable, most can be completed in just one to two years. With the growing need for healthcare professionals with master’s-level education, these programs can provide a career pathway without the heavy burden of more expensive tuition costs. For a complete, detailed listing of schools offering online MHA and related graduate healthcare programs, please check out our online school profile list.

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