Online Accelerated Healthcare MBA Degrees
A master of business administration (MBA) with a focus on healthcare is often referred to as a healthcare MBA. A healthcare MBA, like a traditional MBA, requires a significant investment of time, resources, and commitment, but can be career-altering for those who work in healthcare and are considering a move into management.
Often, healthcare professionals with backgrounds in science, medicine, engineering, and information technology are encouraged to move into managerial roles as they move up in their careers. A healthcare MBA program can expedite that transition by providing healthcare professionals with skills that align the industry. The knowledge gained from a healthcare MBA aims to position graduates for leadership roles, higher salaries, and better opportunities in the healthcare industry.
However, healthcare MBA programs are not only beneficial to working healthcare professionals with years of experience in the industry. Many businessmen and women enroll in healthcare MBA programs so that they can learn about the business side of the healthcare industry and secure one of the many management jobs across a broad range of healthcare systems, medical centers, hospitals and hospital networks, clinics, rehabilitation centers, and public health organizations.
The foundational courses in healthcare MBA programs teach business management fundamentals while also challenging students to think strategically, and are similar regardless of the program students choose. In these courses, students explore fundamental business concepts in marketing, accounting, business ethics, finance, statistics, project management, and other business administration disciplines. Especially among AACSB-accredited schools (see below for more details about accreditation), only minor differences exist in these standardized core courses.
Outside of the core requirements, students take courses dedicated to management in healthcare settings. Different programs use different words for this set of classes (e.g., major, specialization, concentration). While the courses can vary widely from one school to another, they typically include topics like managed care, clinical management, healthcare information systems, and healthcare regulatory compliance.
The Benefits of an Online Accelerated Healthcare MBA Program
Innovative and online healthcare MBA programs, like those profiled below, can offer students tremendous flexibility advantages. That is because recent instructional technology advances now provide an online educational experience equivalent to instruction on campus, yet unconstrained by distance or time.
As a result, these online MBA programs offer tremendous opportunities to students who cannot leave jobs to attend classes on campus, or who wish to graduate from more reputable out-of-state universities without the expense and hassle of relocation. Additionally, personalized online education provides an attractive alternative for students to learn at their own pace; motivated and gifted students, in particular, can thrive at the accelerated pace made possible by these online MBA programs.
Online programs also can save students money. Even when tuition rates are identical, the online MBA programs typically present more cost-effective alternatives to on-campus programs because of savings on costs like relocation, childcare, and transportation.
The following guide presents six accelerated healthcare MBA programs offered entirely online as well as three outstanding faculty members from universities providing these innovative programs. Please note that completion times vary according to prior academic experience.
Professors To Know In Online Accelerated Healthcare MBA Programs
Edward Creppy, PhD - Benedictine University
Dr. Creppy joined Benedictine in 2013 as an adjunct professor in managerial economics for the school's MBA program. He has more than 18 years experience teaching, and he has worked for the Population Council, NAFTA, and the World Bank. His primary responsibility as a World Bank economist was analyzing data to formulate policy recommendations to enhance the economic performance of developing economies. Dr. Creppy earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from the City University of New York, a master's in finance from St. John’s University, and a master's and a doctorate in economics from American University.
Elaine Hollensbe, PhD - University of Cincinnati
Dr. Hollensbe teaches graduate classes in the management department at the University of Cincinnati. She has received four teaching awards from the Lindner College of Business, and she designs executive programs and workshops on leadership, team building, and work-life balance. Her research focuses on individual and organizational identity, work-home balance, and organizational identification. Her published papers have received national awards that include the Owens Scholarly Achievement Award, the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award, and the Outstanding Publication in Organizational Behavior Award. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communications from Iowa State University, an MBA from the University of Missouri, and a doctorate in organizational behavior and human resource management from the University of Kansas.
John E. Sawyer, PhD - University of Delaware
Dr. Sawyer serves as a professor of management in the Department of Business Administration, where he teaches organizational behavior and organizational development and change at the graduate level. He is also the associate provost for the school's office of institutional research and effectiveness. Dr. Sawyer’s research focuses on team performance in technology organizations, as well as judgment in team decision-making and negotiations. He has researched organizational culture at Dow Chemical, virtual teams at Cisco Systems, and management with DuPont Corporation. He has also consulted for companies like AstraZeneca, DuPont Pharma, Genentech, and Warner-Lambert. He earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from California State University at Long Beach, and a master's and doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Featured Online One-Year Healthcare MBA Programs
Courses in Benedictine’s healthcare administration program address the business of healthcare through courses developed and taught by faculty in the school’s master of public health program. In addition to foundation and managerial coursework, the healthcare administration concentration requires three additional courses in public health systems, environmental health, marketing of public health, or the business of healthcare. Each course also includes a mini-capstone experience so that students can apply course topics to real-world health care scenarios in a controlled environment under the direct supervision of their instructor. Projects include risk assessments, semantic differential survey tool applications, strategic blueprints, and grant proposals. This Catholic university’s program requires a total of 17 courses for graduation.
- Location: Lisle, Illinois
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)
- Tuition: $600 per credit ($38,400 for the full 64-credit program), but students with an educational background in business may be eligible to waive up to four foundational courses (16 credits)
- Program length: 12 to 24 months
Students in this healthcare management program will take 12 credits in healthcare industry and healthcare practice management, medical law, ethics, and risk management, healthcare practice management operations, and quality and population health management. They must complete eight more core courses to graduate. Maryville does not require previous business experience, GMAT or GRE test scores, or application fees. However, students do need to complete coursework in financial accounting and economic statistics before enrolling.
- Location: St. Louis, Missouri
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
- Tuition: $758 per credit ($30,333 for the full 40-credit degree)
- Program length: 12 to 16 months
The UC Carl H. Lindner College of Business offers a healthcare administration concentration within its accelerated online MBA program. This concentration requires two core courses, the first on health systems administration, organization, and delivery, and the second on the economics of the healthcare marketplace. The concentration also requires two elective courses selected from topics such as health policy, health quality, and healthcare finance. The university also offers three similar online healthcare MBA programs with concentrations in operations, finance, and regulatory policy. The curriculum includes 12 credits in one of these concentrations, along with 26 credits in core courses.
- Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, AACSB International
- Tuition: $890 per credit ($33,820 for the degree) for part-time,in-state students; $905 per credit ($34,390 for the degree) for part-time, out-of-state students; $800 per credit ($30,400 for the degree) for full-time, in-state students; $815 per credit ($30,970 for the degree) for full-time out-of-state students
- Program length: 12 to 24 months
Please note that the following three programs can’t be completed in only one year, but offer students the opportunity to complete their studies in less than two years.
The Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics offers two forms of healthcare emphasis within their MBA program. The first is a healthcare concentration, which requires students to take three seven-week intensives, in population health informatics, e-service management in healthcare, and patient experience and engagement. The second is a healthcare major, which requires students to complete the same intensives as those in the concentration track as well as two more courses on leadership and innovation in population health and finance for healthcare delivery. These programs require 44 credits for graduation, and students can complete the MBA degree entirely online in as few as 16 months. The college requires an undergraduate degree with a 2.8 GPA, two years of work experience, and GRE or GMAT scores. An entrance exam waiver is available based on GPA, work, and math education history.
- Location: Newark, Delaware
- Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, AACSB International
- Tuition: $812.50 per credit ($35,750 for the full 44-credit program)
- Program length: 16 to 36 months
The George Washington University School of Business differentiates its online healthcare MBA from its on-campus program by allowing students to personalize their curriculum to align with their professional goals. Students take 12 hours of general electives from the business school, as well as 12 hours of healthcare-focused electives from other schools at the university. For these latter courses, topics include patient safety systems, the clinical research industry, and epidemiology. Students may also complete an additional certificate offered by the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences in disciplines like health care quality, integrative medicine, or clinical research. The 31.5-credit program includes two courses on global trade along with a healthcare management foundations course—unique among the schools surveyed for this guide. Along with a bachelor’s degree, the school requires the GMAT but offers waivers for applicants with at least five years of work experience. Employer reimbursement and monthly payment plans are available for tuition, although the school charges $1,000 to process an applicant’s personal statement.
- Location: Washington, DC
- Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
- Tuition: $1,765 per credit ($97,958 for full 55.5-credit program)
- Program length: 21 months or less
Admission Requirements for Online One-Year Healthcare MBA Programs
There are several standard application requirements for students wishing to enroll in one of the programs above. These include:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Competitive GPA from an undergraduate programs
- GMAT or GRE scores; can be waived for students with several years of relevant work experience
- One or two years of professional experience in a healthcare, business, finance, or technology organization
- Completion of prerequisite courses for candidates without an undergraduate business degree or business experience
- A personal statement of objectives
- Letters of recommendation
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for international students
Educational accreditation means that a university offers a curriculum that adheres to quality assurance standards in academic disciplines. In the United States, external private, non-profit organizations evaluate educational institutions and certify that the schools comply with applicable standards by awarding accreditation status. Below are several organizations that provide accreditation for business schools.
Formerly known as the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB has provided quality assurance services to accredited business schools since 1916. In general, AACSB-accredited schools have high-quality faculties, deliver relevant and challenging curricula, and provide educational and career opportunities not found at other schools. The AACSB has awarded accreditations to about 780 schools in 90 countries—mainly those affiliated with major research universities. Only about five percent of the 16,000 schools granting business degrees around the world have met the AACSB’s rigorous accreditation standards, and 90 percent of the Economist's 2016 top full-time MBA programs are AACSB-accredited.
The newer ACBSP was founded in 1989 to accredit schools, including two-year institutions like community colleges, with an emphasis on teaching instead of the research emphasis common to the AACSB-accredited institutions. The ACBSP focuses on tangible learning outcomes and quality improvement, especially as workforce demands change. About 2,983 ACBSP-accredited programs exist worldwide.
This third agency, the IACBE, believes academic quality and excellence in business education should be measured regarding the educational outcomes of an academic business unit relative to its mission, rather than by prescriptive standards relating to academic resources.