Tuition: How Much Do Online MHA Programs Cost?

The U.S. population is both aging and increasing in size. Furthermore, due to the American Care Act, many more Americans have access to health insurance. With all of these changes happening at once, the healthcare industry needs new strategies to provide the best care and health administrators who have all the knowledge and skills required to face a constantly changing healthcare landscape.

As care needs to expand and shift, the healthcare system demands a whole new force of healthcare managers willing to step up to the challenge of creating innovative methods and strategies for more efficient and effective care delivery. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the job growth percentage for this profession is projected to be almost an incredible six times the national average for all occupations (5 percent). By illustration, the demand for medical and health services managers is expected to increase 28 percent between 2021 and 2031, resulting in a projected increase of 136,200 new jobs.

In response to the growing demand for healthcare services and those who manage them, many universities, business schools, and schools of public health are making their master of healthcare administration (MHA) programs available outside of college campuses.

Asynchronous online MHA programs (where students can watch lectures at the time of their choosing) are designed for working professionals who don’t wish to relocate, or quit their current job while leveling up their skills. Synchronous online programs (where classes occur in real-time) allow folks to attend lectures from anywhere they have access to the internet. Whether asynchronous or synchronous, online programs provide working professionals with greater flexibility when learning how to administer the complexities of healthcare systems.

Read on for MHA cost considerations, and examples of what MHA programs offer at different price points.

Considerations When Looking at the Cost of an MHA

While the general capabilities mentioned above are built into most online MHA degrees, not all are built the same. Before applying, prospective students should consider several factors when looking at the price tag for an MHA program.

Number of Credits

For the most part, more expensive programs require students to complete more credits. There are exceptions to this rule, like the University of Southern California’s 36-credit executive master of health administration. At $80,784, the program is on the more expensive side of the spectrum despite having fewer required credits for graduation. This program is designed for more experienced professionals with a minimum of five years of work experience, hence its title as an “executive” program. Most MHAs consist of 36 to 64 credits.


It’s no secret that students learn best when they learn from great teachers. This is also true in MHA students. The skills and knowledge that an MHA graduate obtains rely heavily on the quality of the instructors from which he or she learns. Because online programs typically boast a distinguished faculty that provides the same quality of instruction as the on-campus learning experiences, prospective students may want to look for resonance. Generally, the most prestigious schools have more experienced, accomplished, and awarded professors.

Asynchronous Versus Synchronous Learning

In addition to the instructors, a prospective MHA student should consider how instruction occurs. Some programs build consistent access to instructors into their programming through synchronous learning—i.e., where students and professors are online together simultaneously—or through smaller class sizes.

Asynchronous learning can allow more flexibility regarding when and how students complete the curriculum, but may also offer less consistent direct access to professors. Although not universal, more expensive programs tend to have more synchronous learning experiences and smaller professor-to-student ratios than less expensive programs.


Networking can be a driving consideration for some students. For example, an MHA student seeking career advancement within his or her company may not find networking to be as important as someone who is interested in changing careers or employers. More expensive programs may present students with more valuable peer-to-peer networking opportunities because they tend to have a higher work experience threshold for applicants.

They may also have on-campus requirements, such as in-person immersion experiences or residencies. The opportunity for face-to-face interaction with peers, professors, and industry professionals may result in deeper networking opportunities than programs that are 100 percent online.

Rankings and Institutional Recognition

Generally, there is a correlation between the cost of a program and its ranking. Higher-ranked programs tend to be more expensive. Students who wish to transition careers or employers may value brand recognition and program ranking more than others. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the top health schools annually according to peer assessment surveys from deans, administrators, and faculty.

Program Accreditation

Accreditation is an avenue academic programs take to demonstrate the quality of their educational experience. Although graduating from an accredited program is not required to work in healthcare management, it provides prospective employers with a rubric to judge the quality of a candidate’s education.

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) focus on accrediting healthcare management programs. There are also several business-specific accrediting bodies, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). More costly programs are more likely to have prominent, industry-specific accreditation than more affordable programs.

Opportunity Cost

When considering an MHA’s cost, a prospective student may want to consider factoring in opportunity cost. MHA programs, even online, may require students to reduce their work hours, leave their jobs, or use vacation time to attend on-campus immersive or residency experiences. Before deciding on a program, students should ensure the bump in pay they expect to get following graduation will outweigh the cost of attendance plus the temporary reduction in salary that may occur as a result of program participation.

Program Highlights at All Cost Levels

Online MHA programs are available at a range of costs. Keep reading to learn more about programmatic offerings at different price points. Please note that all rankings are from U.S. News & World Report.

Program Highlights

High-Premium MHA Programs

George Washington University

The MHA@GW is one of the more costly online MHA programs available. Part of the driving force behind GW’s high cost is student access to instructors. GW sets up one-on-one discussion sessions with professors and keeps the student-to-instructor ratio to 15 to one.

With 120 hours of immersion work and a culminating oral presentation, MHA@GW students must dedicate a larger portion of their studies to in-person work with peers, faculty, and other healthcare leaders. In addition, prospective students must have at least two years of full-time healthcare experience.

  • Tuition: $91,750 for the full program ($1,835 per credit)
  • Number of credits: 50
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Program length: Two to four years
  • Top Ranking: #7 for healthcare management graduate programs; #62 overall for national universities

Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins flexible MBA in healthcare management, innovation, and technology requires 10 days of immersion where students interact with their classmates, professors, alumni, and other business leaders. The school promises online coursework as rigorous as in-person coursework and offers students all the same amenities as on-campus students.

Applicants must have two years of relevant professional experience, and the school states that 75 percent of part-time MBA students reported receiving a salary increase while 80 percent received a promotion.

The curriculum of this program includes courses such as frameworks for analyzing healthcare markets; emerging frontiers in health technologies and strategies; health innovation and evaluation; fundamentals of healthcare systems; healthcare financing and financial management; and healthcare law and regulation.

  • Tuition: $97,200 for the full program ($1,800 per credit)
  • Number of credits: 54
  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
  • Program length: Two years
  • Top Ranking: #7 for healthcare management graduate programs; #7 overall for national universities

Moderately Priced MHA Programs

George Mason University

George Mason’s two-year online MHA in health systems management is taught by the same “industry-shaping experts” as its on-campus counterpart. Students must complete a capstone practicum working with a healthcare organization over six to eight weeks.

Students will be required to choose a concentration in either healthcare quality or executive concentration. The program also includes a virtual opportunity to interact with healthcare policymaking in Washington D.C. This includes recorded and live online panel discussions with fellow students, Capitol Hill policy-makers, faculty, and policy experts.

The program’s 45-credit curriculum includes courses such as statistics in health services management; leadership and organizational behavior; the role of government in healthcare and public health; quality measurement and evaluation; health economics; and management of health information systems.

  • Tuition: $40,275 for the full program ($895 per credit)
  • Number of credits: 45
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Program length: 30 months
  • Top Ranking: #20 in most innovative schools; #32 for healthcare management graduate programs

University of Scranton

The University of Scranton offers a 47- to 52-credit MHA program taught by a faculty of expert practitioners. Programming is 100 percent online and does not require any residencies or immersions. However, students are expected to complete a 150-hour internship, which may present networking opportunities. In addition, the University of Scranton requires applicants to have three years of professional work experience.

Students in this program will take 16 courses, including one internship with 150 hours of fieldwork. They can choose from two specialization options (health informatics and global health) that add nine credits and 150 hours of fieldwork to their curriculum.

The curriculum includes courses such as healthcare law; human resources management; healthcare economics and policy; leadership in healthcare organizations; administrative issues; healthcare planning and marketing; healthcare ethics; and healthcare IT management.

  • Tuition: $43,240 to $48,760 for the full program ($920 per credit)
  • Number of credits: 47 to 52
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Program length: 30 months
  • Top Ranking: #5 for regional universities north; #41 for healthcare management graduate programs

Most Affordable MHA Programs

Utica University

The 36-credit MHA program at Utica University is one of the least demanding programs in terms of required credits. Whether an applicant is currently working in healthcare administration or wishes to enter the field, this 36-credit online program provides students with the skills and knowledge required for pursuing exciting and new advancement opportunities in a variety of healthcare organizations.

The program’s eight-week online format allows graduates to pace their plan of study to their professional and personal lives. Students who take three credits per eight-week session can complete this program in just two years. Utica also helps students with career planning.

The curriculum includes courses such as healthcare accounting processes; healthcare financial management; ethical and legal issues in healthcare; marketing and strategic planning in the service sector; human resources management; healthcare information systems; and data analysis for healthcare leaders.

  • Tuition: $24,840 for the full program ($690 per credit)
  • Number of credits: 36
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP); Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Program length: Two years
  • Top Ranking: #28 among top performers in social mobility

University of Saint Mary

Saint Mary offers one of the country’s most affordable healthcare management programs. The online master of business administration (MBA) with a focus on healthcare management can be completed in as little as one year.

Students can complete the program in about two years if they take one class per eight-week term and in about one year if they take two classes per term. Most courses are asynchronous to provide the schedule flexibility needed by working professionals. Students can visit the campus and participate in live chats and discussion boards.

This 33-credit program includes courses such as healthcare informatics and technologies; leadership and business operations in healthcare; legal and ethical issues in healthcare; marketing management; organizational management; and managerial finance.

  • Tuition: $19,734 for the full program ($598 per credit)
  • Number of credits: 33
  • Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
  • Program length: One to two years
  • Top Ranking: #43 among top performers in social mobility
Becca Brewer, MEd
Becca Brewer, MEd

Becca Brewer is building a better future on a thriving earth by healing herself into wholeness, divesting from separation, and walking the path of the loving heart. Previously to her journey as an adventurer for a just, meaningful, and regenerative world, Becca was a formally trained sexuality educator with a master of education.