Grad School Hub - Most Affordable Online Programs-01Healthcare managers are one of the biggest parts of a working healthcare system; that's why demand for online Master's in Healthcare Management degrees continues to rise. In America, the healthcare system is a behemoth, creating the need for more managers and professionals who can take on the administrative tasks with ease. There's no better way to meet that need than by getting an online degree.

Online degrees are the perfect solution for working professionals, many of whom are already working in the healthcare field. With flexible scheduling, asynchronous courses, and the ability to complete fieldwork experience in their own communities, students are flocking to online programs as an alternative to more expensive traditional programs. This ranking is a result of that demand.

All information needed for this ranking was pulled from the National Center for Education Statistics and its College Navigator database. Using the degree as a baseline, schools were vetted for gainful employment disclosures, academic retention rates, and more. An initial pool of 175 schools was created, and from there, the final 10 schools were chosen based on in-state graduate tuition rates. They are listed here in descending order based on affordability.

Ranking Low-cost Online Healthcare Management Master's

10. King University

Bristol, Tennessee

Online Master of Business Administration, Healthcare Management Specialization


Tuition: $9,024

King University confers an online Master's in Healthcare Management that is conveniently located within its MBA program. This program is 100 percent online and is built on the Case Method, a four-step learning process that includes a real world case study that students then discuss in teams. They then create a project that focuses on solving the issue at hand, giving students the ability to understand core concepts by seeing them in action. The program was designed for students who have a regionally accredited degree and at least two years of work experience in their field. It was also designed to be completed in 16 months, one of the shortest programs on this list. The degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework, practicums, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Health Care Systems, Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care, and Managed Health Care.

9. Brenau University

Gainesville, Georgia

Online Master of Business Administration, Health Care Management Track


Tuition: $8,996

A good option for a Master's in Healthcare Management online comes from Brenau University. This program, which is delivered wholly online, is designed for clinical professionals who are interested in moving into administrative and executive-level positions in their career. It is also possible for pre-service professionals to take on the degree, but they must first complete prerequisite courses prior to entering the program. Students will find that this program focuses on global business as well as healthcare management, making them viable candidates for positions abroad. The courses are all taught asynchronously through the school's virtual portal and have the same professors for online courses as the ones taught on campus. Students can expect to complete 45 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Ethics and Leadership in Healthcare, Law and Policy Development in Healthcare, and Organizational Systems in Healthcare.

8. Concordia University

St. Paul, Minnesota

Online Master of Business Administration in Health Care Management


Tuition: $8,550

Concordia University provides an excellent Master's in Healthcare Management degree. Available as a 100 percent online or hybrid degree, it is one of the most comprehensive programs available. The school also offers every student, traditional and online, the chance to enter the Concordia MBA Mentor and Managerial Application Portfolio program, which consists of an assigned mentor that helps each student with networking skills, internship experiences, and more. Students will also find that the MBA's curriculum lists health care management as a major, enabling students to take more courses in the field. The degree requires 42 credit hours of coursework, a managerial application portfolio, and a comprehensive exam for graduation. Sample courses include Health Care Informatics, Health Care Strategic Leadership, and Tools for Managerial Decision Analysis.

7. Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida

Online Master of Business Administration in Health Care Management


Tuition: $8,442

The MBA in Health Care Management at Saint Leo University is conferred through a 100 percent online or hybrid format. It was built with professionals in mind that have at least one year of work experience in the field. This degree is also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs as well as the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. This makes it a great choice for health care professionals interested in moving into executive-level positions in the industry. While internships are supplied for students, it is optional and not a requirement. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam; the degree can be completed in as little as one year with full-time study. Sample courses include Health Policy and Evaluation, Community Health Evaluation and Epidemiology, and Critical Issues in Health Care.

6. Stevenson University

Owings Mills, Maryland

Online Master's in Healthcare Management


Tuition: $8,040

Stevenson University's healthcare management master's online degree is perfect for working professionals who already work in the field; it was designed to provide an advanced understanding of the health care system. This 100 percent online program is taught in asynchronous format by practice healthcare managers, all of which also teach on campus. There are two concentrations available within this degree: Quality Management and Patient Safety and Project Management in Healthcare; the former concentration can also be earned as a separate 15-credit certificate. This program does require an internship for all students, but this can be done within their community. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, an internship, a capstone project, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Managerial Epidemiology and Statistics, Healthcare Management and Administration, and Healthcare Policy, Law, and Ethics.

5. Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, Utah

Online Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management


Tuition: $6,790

The online Master's in Healthcare Management from Western Governors University is in the form of a flexible and 100 percent online program. This degree was built for ambitious students who have previous experience in the field and would like to complete their degree requirements as quickly as possible. The school accepts credit hours from another regionally accredited university as well as provides students with the chance for independent study; the result is that some students can complete all the requirements in as little as six months. Students will find that a capstone project is necessary but practicums are optional. This program requires 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive exam for graduation. Sample courses include Service Line Development, Data-Driven Decision Making, and Managing Organizations and Leading People.

4. Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Online Master of Science in Healthcare Management


Tuition: $6,307

Students who are interested in a strong online Master's in Healthcare Management degree should take a look at Southeast Missouri State University. This program was designed for working healthcare professionals who are interested in advancing their careers. The program is comprehensive and focuses solely on healthcare management, allowing students to focus on advanced concepts and technologies that will face them in their new workplaces. This is a 100 percent online program that never requires students to attend campus; they are, however, invited to graduate on campus along with their traditional campus peers. This program requires 30 credit hours of coursework, an applied research project, an internship in a student's community, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Marketing for Health Services Organizations, Research Methodology in healthcare, and Management Communication and Leadership.

3. University of Texas at Tyler

Tyler, Texas

Online Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management


Tuition: $6,142

The University of Texas at Tyler provides students with an Association to Advance Colleges and Schools of Business-accredited online master's in healthcare management degree. This program was designed for healthcare professionals seeking to reach senior-level roles in the industry. Students will find that the online program consists of asynchronous courses that are delivered in the seven-week format. This enables students to work through the curriculum quickly, with many students completing this program in as little as a year with full-time study. There are no practicum or internships required for this degree; students who work full-time will find this program more flexible than others that do require this. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework as well as a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Introduction to the American Healthcare System, Healthcare Marketing in Contemporary Society, and Special Topics in Healthcare Management.

2. East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

Online Master of Business Administration, Health Care Management Concentration


Tuition: $4,656

East Carolina University confers an alternative to the online Master's in Healthcare Management degree. This program, the MBA with the Health Care Management concentration, is suitable for pre-service and working professionals alike. The program is delivered 100 percent online and provides students with the opportunity to earn a degree that melds business and health care management together. Courses are taught asynchronously and there are no requirements for an internship or practicum; these are optional. Students can expect to complete 40 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam prior to graduation. Sample courses include Financial Management of Health Care Organizations, Health Care Strategic Planning and Management, and Health Care Systems and Problems.

1. West Texas A&M

Canyon, Texas

Online Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management


Tuition: $4,402

West Texas A&M University offers a cheap online Master's in Healthcare Management degree for students who are interested in an accredited program that provides a pathway to becoming an administrator in the healthcare field. This specific program is highly rated for its 100 percent online format, the number of professors who are working professionals, and for its asynchronous format. Students generally complete this degree within 12 months with full-time study; five years in the maximum amount of time allowed for the program. Students should note that in order to enter the Healthcare Management concentration, they must have two years of work experience in the field prior to applying. Students can expect to complete 49 credit hours of coursework, an MBA portfolio, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Planning for IT in Healthcare, Business Communication for Health Care Managers, and Economics of Health and Medical Care.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Online Master's in Healthcare Management Degree?

Professionals who earn a graduate degree in healthcare management have a variety of career options available to them. Some of these include:

  • Health Care Consultant
  • Hospital CEO
  • Hospital CFO
  • Health Information Manager
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Medical and Health Services Manager
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Practice Manager
  • Pharmaceutical Project Manager
  • Medical Practice Manager

The above is just a few of the options available to professionals in this field, but there are others. Journalists and freelance writers in healthcare management are in high demand. Consultants and entrepreneurs are also necessary for the advancement of the field. The choice of career is really up to the professional, so students are encouraged to do research into any option that may be of interest to them.

How Much Can You Earn in This Field?

The salary range for professionals who earn a degree in healthcare management ranges from $81,000 to $200,000. This range depends on a professional's career position, the size of the company they work for, and what part of the country they are located in. Students should also note that this salary range does not account for any bonus compensation that may also be part of a job offer.

On the low end of the scale, healthcare managers make $81,000, which increases with more work experience and if they choose to move to larger companies. On the high end of the scale, Hospital CEOs and C-Level executives often make between $166,000 to $200,000 during the middle of their career.

The healthcare management field is lucrative for professionals, but actual salaries depend on their career path. With higher wages comes more responsibility, and that can be a difficult concession to make for many professionals. However, regardless of position, professionals in the healthcare management field make above average salaries no matter their job title or region.

What are the Various Disciplines of Healthcare Management?

Healthcare management is an interdisciplinary field that consists of healthcare, business, economics, and politics. Because the American healthcare system is complex, it also encapsulates a variety of other disciplines that deserve mention.

Many healthcare managers focus on administration and management. This can include accounting, finance, human resources, organizational leadership, and psychology. They are involved in making sure their organization, clinic, or hospital runs smoothly, so having an understanding of all of these disciplines is necessary in order for them to complete their work effectively.

Some healthcare managers also focus on policy and regulations. This means they must have an understanding of law, policy, health and safety regulations, government, and more. They are responsible for a great deal of the legalities that come with running a healthcare company, so they need to ensure they are updated on all of the key regulations at the local, county, state, and federal levels.

There are some professionals who specialize in one form of healthcare management or another. For example, a nursing healthcare manager may need to understanding nursing better than a manager who focuses on substance abuse facilities. The list can go on, but these are just some of the disciplines that are at play in the healthcare management field.

Is Business Accreditation Necessary for a Degree in Healthcare Management?

Many students believe that business accreditation should not be necessary for an online Master's in Healthcare Management. The opposite is actually true, especially if a student chooses to pursue an MBA with a healthcare management specialization. There are a few good reasons for this.

One, if a student takes on an MBA in Healthcare Management, they are getting a degree in business with a specialization in the healthcare field. This means that the student understands that there is a relationship between business and healthcare, especially in the United States. Students often will realize this when working on an internship or if they choose to pursue a practicum.

Two, because the healthcare industry is one of the major players in the business sector, it can be a smart move for a student to take on an accredited business degree. It's critical for students who wish to become C-level executives, as most of their responsibilities lie on the business side of the field. It can also be a great way to network while still in school; business degrees often have a requirement for internships, which can lead professionals to make working relationships a reality prior to graduation. Those internships can also result in job offers.

But accreditation is more to do with the quality of a program and what additional opportunities lie ahead for a professional than anything else. Accreditation from the AACSB or the IACSB shows that a program adheres to strict standards that result in qualified candidates that are needed in the industry. In some cases, accreditation can also lead to certification in a variety of healthcare management jobs, something that can propel a student into a profession that is as rewarding as it is challenging.

Finally, accreditation offers students the chance to get comfortable with the business side of healthcare management at the top levels. Everything from budgeting to scheduling is under a healthcare manager's control, so it's important to understand how one decision will affect an entire organization or healthcare system. Students are advised that business accreditation, while not necessary for a degree in healthcare management, can be a huge benefit that pays off dividends in the future.

Is it Possible to Apply for Entrance Into a Healthcare Management Program Without Previous Experience in the Field?

It is possible to enter some online graduate healthcare management programs without previous work or educational experience in the field. This includes some of the programs that are listed on this ranking.

Students are advised that finding an online Master's in Healthcare Management that provides entry for pre-service professionals can take some time. That's because many of these programs were designed for working professionals and provides only advanced courses in subjects that are already known to these professionals. It also makes it easier for schools to provide other electives, core curriculum courses, and work experiences for these students.

However, it remains a possibility that some students can enter into these programs. Some programs have a pre-service professional entry route for students. The main requirements are an accredited undergraduate degree, references, and GRE or GMAT scores. Most of the time, acceptance is conditional and at the sole discretion of the department.

Pre-service professionals will find that they may have a lot of prerequisite courses that are required before they enter the actual program. These are foundational courses in healthcare management and must be completed in order for the student to be up to speed when they enter the curriculum. A student will not be able to complete their degree without these courses.

It may also be a requirement that students with no work experience take on a practicum or an internship during their program of study. This is to ensure that the professional is keeping up with the curriculum and can successfully apply the concepts and skills they've learned in the classroom to the workplace. The internship may be highly encouraged, but most of the time is mandatory for these students.

Healthcare management is a challenging but rewarding career for any professional. With a variety of career options and the ability to specialize in one particular field, the possibilities are endless for an ambitious student. Professionals will now be able to begin the process of researching schools with this ranking that are not only online and flexible, but also affordable programs in Master's in Healthcare Management.

GSH Staff
July 2018

This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Most Affordable Master's in Healthcare Management Online for 2018.