Are there One-Year Online MHA Programs? 15-18 Month Programs?

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The short answer is yes!

While some online master’s degree programs require two years to complete, there are fully online master’s of health administration (MHA) programs that can be completed in 15 to 18 months, and graduate certificates that can be completed in one year (12 months). Online MHA programs are designed for current working professionals wanting to begin or advance their careers in leadership roles in the healthcare industry.

The online MHA degree and certificate programs featured here are open to individuals with no prior experience in the healthcare industry. Many universities are offering MHA degree programs in response to the rapidly growing need for educated and experienced administrative healthcare professionals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics has projected a 20 percent growth rate for medical and health services managers in the decade preceding 2026—a rate which is much faster than the national average. The increased need for healthcare professionals can be attributed to the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act and the booming healthcare needs of the large aging demographic in the United States, among other factors.

In response to these economic trends, universities have tailored their online degree and certificate programs to meet the needs of working professionals and their families. Two of the most attractive features of the online degree and certificate options are that students can complete their degrees online and remain in their current jobs without having to relocate in order to attend a face-to-face degree program.

Online MHA programs use web-based platforms and tools to deliver course content and facilitate interaction between students and professors. Some courses may meet in-person via video- or chat-based platforms once a week while other classes require weekly written contributions in online discussion forums. Courses can blend synchronous real-time meetings and asynchronous tasks with specific due dates. The types of interaction in online courses are at the discretion of the instructor and the program faculty.

While every online MHA program is unique in its delivery format and curricular requirements, there are also some commonalities. In addition to online coursework, several programs require a final capstone project or an issue-based research project informed by observations made during students’ hands-on practicum. Additionally, some online programs require hybrid campus immersions in which students must meet on campus for a number of consecutive days. Fully online programs, on the other hand, often have “virtual residencies” enabling students and professors to have face-to-face interactions from the convenience of their off-campus locations.

Course requirements for most online MHA degree and certificate programs include a combination of core and elective classes, allowing students to focus on an area of professional interest in healthcare. Common specialization tracks in this industry include long-term care, health informatics, and public administration.

Read on to learn about three fully online MHA degree and certificate programs.

Fully Online MHA Degree Programs That Can Be Completed in 12 to 18 Months

Arizona State University, Online Master of Healthcare Innovation (MHI)

The master of healthcare administration in healthcare innovation at ASU is designed to be completed in two years; however, students can complete the program in as little as one year if they attend full-time. The entirely online program has multiple start dates throughout the year and is designed to prepare graduates to be leaders in innovation and transformative roles in healthcare. Graduates find work in various healthcare careers, including data analysts, educators, consultants, and project managers.

The U.S. News and World Report ranked ASU’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation in the top 11 percent in the country for its master’s programs, and the school has partnerships with several major health care institutions, such as Mayo Clinic. The 34-credit MHA in health care innovation program includes 26 core credits, one three-credit elective, and a five-credit capstone final project. Students can also complete an optional internship. Courses include study leadership, change theory, application technology, entrepreneurship, and systems design programs. 

While ASU accepts students with various academic backgrounds, applicants must have a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher to enroll. Work experience and GMAT or GRE scores are not required for admission.

  • Location: Tempe, AZ
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $818 per credit
  • Program length:  One year full-time, two years part-time

Arizona State University, Online Master of International Health Management (MIHM) – Hospital Management Track

ASU’s hospital management track within the master of international health management (MIHM) program was created in partnership with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. Students learn healthcare leadership and management skills and are prepared for management roles across hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient clinics.

The 30-credit entirely online program focuses on patient-centered healthcare, economics, and finance in the hospital setting. The curriculum is broken into ten classes and focuses on both public and privatized healthcare systems. In the hospital management track, students will take courses in high-value patient-centered care, process engineering, healthcare economics and financial management, and healthcare leadership and workforce management.

To gain entry into the program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher with a 3.0 cumulative GPA from an accredited institution in the U.S. However, work experience, and GMAT scores are not necessary.

  • Location: Tempe, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $804 per credit
  • Program length:  One year full-time, two years part-time

Arizona State University, Online Master of International Health Management (MIHM) – Health Economics Track

ASU also offers a health economics track within the PLuS Alliance MIHM program. The PLuS (Phoenix-London-Sydney) Alliance partnership between ASU, King’s College London, and UNSW allows students to learn from institutions around the world about sustainability, global health, social justice, and technology and innovation. MIHM students will graduate with a truly global understanding of healthcare management.

The 30-credit program covers two core courses in healthcare management and finance and comparative healthcare systems. Students in the health economics track take four electives in healthcare systems and design, health economics, policy, and payment models, economic evaluation in healthcare, and healthcare economics and financial management—the latter two provided by UNSW.

Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher with a 3.0 cumulative GPA from an accredited institution in the U.S. They do not need work experience or GMAT scores to apply.

  • Location: Tempe, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $804 per credit
  • Program length:  One year full-time, two years part-time

Arizona State University, Online Master of International Health Management (MIHM) – Health Informatics Track

The health informatics track within ASU’s online MIHM program takes a data-driven approach to healthcare management. Students learn healthcare leadership and management skills so that they can work in management within various healthcare settings, from hospitals to private practices. 

The 30-credit program offers students a look into cutting edge research in health monitoring technology and big data analysis to improve patient health. The curriculum focuses on patient-centered healthcare, economics, and finance in the hospital setting. Students in the health informatics track take the following classes: applied biostatistics in medicine and informatics, the fundamentals of health informatics, health informatics database modeling and applications, and healthcare systems and design. All classes are available entirely online.

While previous work experience and GMAT scores are not a requirement, applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher with a 3.0 cumulative GPA from an accredited institution in the U.S.

  • Location: Tempe, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $804 per credit
  • Program length:  One year full-time, two years part-time

Arizona State University, Online Master of International Health Management (MIHM) – Quality Improvement in Healthcare Track

The quality improvement in healthcare track within the online master of international health management (MIHM) program hones in on improving patient outcomes. The master’s program was created in partnership with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia as part of the PLuS Alliance, which means that students will take classes created by ASU as well as UNSW. All classes are available online.

The 30-credit program includes ten classes, each lasting 7.5 weeks, which teach students how to lead and manage healthcare facilities. This includes skills across policy, economics, finance, safety, and development. The four classes in the quality improvement in healthcare track include high-value patient-centered care, process engineering, health leadership and workforce management, and clinical governance and risk management.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher with a 3.0 cumulative GPA from an accredited institution in the U.S. They are not required to submit previous work experience or GMAT scores.

  • Location: Tempe, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $804 per credit
  • Program length:  One year full-time, two years part-time

Liberty University, Online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)

Liberty University offers a fully online master of healthcare administration (MHA) degree program. The aim of this 48-credit program is to equip students with an understanding of core disciplines of informatics, public health, and nursing. With a strong emphasis on informed decision-making, students in this program learn how to incorporate strategic planning, business management techniques, and financial models and principles in future management roles.

Courses taught in this program provide students with the knowledge and tools necessary to succeed in leadership roles in healthcare organizations. Core courses include management of operations personnel, legal compliance, and quality assurance.

Liberty University features 12 different specialization tracks to meet the professional interests and needs of their students: accounting, finance, general, human resources, leadership, marketing, nonprofit management, project management, public administration, public relations, strategic management, and supply chain management and logistics.

Southern New Hampshire University, Online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers a 36-credit fully online master’s degree in healthcare administration. An ideal option for professionals aspiring to work in the healthcare industry in non-clinical administrative roles, this program provides its students with a rigorous curriculum focusing on the business standards, principles, concepts, systems, and current best practices of the healthcare industry. A variety of subject areas including finance and economics, law, policy, informatics, and strategic planning are taught in order to ensure equitable quality and access to healthcare for all.

SNHU’s program curriculum is reviewed regularly by a wide range of healthcare professionals in the industry. In response to the rapid expansion of the field of healthcare administration, SNHU is committed to continuously assessing the validity and practicality of its curriculum by aligning it with standards set forth by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) and the Healthcare Leadership Alliance (HLA).

Graduates of this online MHA program are equipped with the expertise needed for top healthcare administration positions. Skills emphasized in this program include communication, computational abilities, critical thinking, societal and cultural context, leadership, and relationship management in healthcare environments.

  • Location: Manchester, NH
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,881 per credit
  • Program length: 15 months

Fully Online Certificate Programs That Can Be Completed in 12 to 18 Months

The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Graduate Certificate in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management

The graduate certificate in clinical operations and healthcare management at GWU is an excellent option for those wishing to learn more about clinical procedures without dedicating themselves to a full master’s program. 

The 18-credit program teaches students how to improve the quality of care across healthcare operations and communicate effectively within this context. Furthermore, students can apply their certificate to the master of health sciences (MSHS) in clinical operations and healthcare management should they wish to deepen their expertise.

This post-bachelor’s certificate can be completed in the spring, summer, or fall terms and is 100 percent online. Campus visits are not required. Applicants must have previous clinical research or healthcare experience to gain admission.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $980 per credit
  • Program length: 18 months

The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Graduate Certificate in Correctional Health Administration

The graduate certificate in correctional health administration is one of the first of its kind in the U.S. It was created to prepare students for careers as healthcare administrators within correctional healthcare facilities. The curriculum was designed by Dr. Newton Kendig, a retired assistant surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service and former medical director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It focuses on the unique challenge of providing quality care to incarcerated patients and designing healthcare services plans for this population.

The 15-credit program covers the fundamentals of correctional healthcare, correctional healthcare delivery, and correctional healthcare oversight. Graduates can apply their certificate to the master of health science (MSHS) in correctional health administration should they wish to continue their studies. The program only has two start dates (spring and fall) and can be completed entirely online with a six-credit correctional setting practicum. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher and relevant healthcare or correctional work experience.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $980 per credit
  • Program length: 12 months

The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Graduate Certificate in Health Services and Outcome Research

The graduate certificate in health services and outcome research teaches students how to make better decisions through research design and advanced quantitative methods. The program was designed for practicing physicians, medical students, nurses, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals and medical students who wish to lead research activity. 

The 100 percent online program includes 18 credits, which can be completed in 18 months. Students take courses in biostatics translational research, decision making and economic evaluation in healthcare, and grantsmanship in translational research. Applicants for this post-graduate certificate must have completed a master’s degree or higher; however, work experience is not a requirement.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $980 per credit
  • Program length: 18 months

The University of Scranton, Executive Certificate in Health Administration

The executive certificate in health administration at the University of Scranton provides students with the business and administration skills they need to enter the healthcare administration field. Taught by the same faculty from the full master of healthcare administration (MHA) degree, the 15-credit certificate can later be applied to the master’s program for those who wish to further their studies. 

The CAHME-aligned executive certificate includes courses in healthcare organization and administration, healthcare financial management, and health services and systems. Students also take two health administration electives. They can complete the program in just ten months, and they graduate with a strategic set of skills that can make an immediate impact on the job. Applicants must have at least three years of professional or supervisory work experience and a bachelor’s degree or higher.

  • Location: Scranton, PA
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Tuition: $940 per credit
  • Program length: Ten months

The University of Cincinnati, Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Administration

The healthcare administration graduate certificate at the University of Cincinnati was created for professionals who wish to be at the helm of healthcare facilities. They learn about the financial, economic, and managerial components of leading an organization, whether they are in hospitals, clinics, or networks of healthcare facilities.

An attractive feature of this certificate is its reasonable tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students—under $800 per credit. Students complete 12 credits, divided evenly between elective and core courses. Coursework includes the organization and delivery of health systems administration, the healthcare marketplace, health economics, the principles of leadership, healthcare finance, and health policy, among others.

With three start dates, the program is designed to be completed in 18 months or more. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher but are not required to have previous work experience.

  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $747 per credit
  • Program length: 18 months

The University of Cincinnati, Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Operations

The graduate certificate in healthcare operations takes a more focused approach to healthcare administration through the lens of policy and regulation. This program is designed for those who wish to learn more about how the law applies to the industry and how they can organize and manage the delivery of healthcare.

The 12-credit program includes eight to nine core credits and three to four elective credits. The core coursework covers the organization and delivery of health systems administration, healthcare operations management and health quality, and healthcare quality management. Students can choose electives in healthcare finance, systems management, the healthcare marketplace, health policy, health information and technology, and global health systems.

With three start dates, the affordable program is designed to be completed in 18 months. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher but are not required to have previous work experience.

  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $747 per credit
  • Program length: 18 months

The University of Cincinnati, Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Finance

The University of Cincinnati designed a graduate certificate in healthcare finance for those wishing to be more involved in the financial side of healthcare, specifically the affordability of care. The focus is on helping patients know how to pay for medical care in the short-term and long-term. 

The interdisciplinary program is delivered jointly by the university’s College of Allied Health and the Lindner College of Business to provide a rigorous business education. Students can complete the 13-credit post-bachelor’s certificate in 18 months through the completion of three core courses and one elective. The core courses cover the organization and delivery of health systems administration as well as two courses in healthcare finance: one on analysis, the other on decision making. 

The affordable program has three start dates throughout the year. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher but are not required to have previous work experience.

  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $747 per credit
  • Program length: 18 months

American University, Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management

American University offers a fully online graduate certificate in healthcare management that can be completed in 12 months. This 12-credit certificate program consists of four courses designed by expert healthcare sciences professionals to ensure that relevant competencies, industry trends, and standards are focal points of the curriculum. This certificate program aims to teach students to make data-driven decisions in a values-based financial model of healthcare.

Students in healthcare management take four required courses: data-driven decision making; standards and systems in U.S. healthcare; the principles of health information technology and innovation; and evaluating new models of care delivery and payment. Courses are taught by current practitioners in healthcare management who bring decades of professional experience to their instructional roles. One of the courses features an optional face-to-face experience at the Washington D.C. campus.

Students can immediately apply the skills they learn to their current careers and earn a graduate certificate in 12 to 15 months. For those wanting to pursue further study at American University, the 12 credits earned in this certificate program can be applied towards the online master’s of science in healthcare management degree program.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: Middle Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
  • Tuition: $1,759 per credit-hour
  • Program length: Nine to 15 months

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