Lead in Healthcare Administration
- $627 per credit (36 credits total)
- 5 terms per year, each term is 10 weeks
- Transfer up to 12 graduate credits to reduce cost
- Complete in as few as 15 months or at your own pace
- Applicable to many roles in healthcare
- Focus on communication, critical thinking and analytics in healthcare
Master's in Healthcare Administration Program Overview
Healthcare administrators play a vital role in today's shifting healthcare paradigm – they ensure equitable quality and access to the best care through leadership. By earning your online Master of Science (MS) in Healthcare Administration degree program, you'll boost your qualifications to fill critical roles within healthcare organizations and advance your career in this vital industry.
Healthcare is a booming field. If you've set your sights on a leadership role in the healthcare field, but aren't interested in a clinical position, then a career in healthcare administration could be for you. Healthcare managers have the unique responsibility of applying business best practices in combination with applying the models, influences and complexity of the healthcare industry. It's a role that takes a combination of organizational leadership and strategic vision balanced with skillful collaboration among internal and external stakeholders.
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll receive the formal healthcare education necessary to advance your skills and complement your experience within the complex field of health administration. The master's in healthcare administration online program covers a variety of topics, including:
- Finance and economics
- Strategic planning
"With healthcare being one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States – and those currently in health care administrative roles retiring at record rates – graduates will be able to pursue a variety of career options in hospital, outpatient clinic or long-term care facility, home care agency roles managing entire organizations or specific departments," said Dr. Rebecca Arsenault, an adjunct faculty member at SNHU.
SNHU provides students with an array of accredited online healthcare degrees and online nursing programs. Our online MS in Healthcare Administration broadens our offering in this vital area, providing a more in-depth study of the healthcare industry for those ready to take the next step in their careers.
"In healthcare, the only constant is change and innovation," said Dr. Matt Frederiksen-England, an SNHU adjunct faculty member. "SNHU teaches nurses and healthcare administrators the philosophy about leadership, focusing on building a foundation that will allow post-graduates to adapt to the ever-changing environment. Students are provided the tools to be leaders who will help drive a better healthcare delivery system."
Learn how to:
- Demonstrate interpersonal skills, collaborative practices and cultural competence through communication
- Advance organizational development, promote effective use of human resources, enhance operations and give organizational direction by applying market analysis
- Monitor, analyze and interpret data for decision-making and strategic planning
- Assess information management systems within organizations
- Promote population health and strategic planning at the organizational level
- Support strategic planning, operations management and continuous quality improvement
Healthcare leaders are needed more than ever. As medical technology advances and each generation continues to lead longer lives, we can expect the need for more and more qualified healthcare professionals. At the same time, there is an increased focus, even scrutiny, on the rising costs of healthcare without an overall increase in patient outcomes. Healthcare leaders must have a firm grasp of the internal and external influences on healthcare including reimbursement models, quality and improvement measures, marketing and communication strategies, government impacts, finances and budget and how to lead teams through change.
And that's before you even consider a pandemic like COVID-19. A worldwide pandemic showed us how necessary it was to have healthcare leaders in a time of crisis. They navigated populations through uncertain times, everything from securing PPE to collaborating with community partners on how to contain the virus.
"I believe most of the world saw the importance of healthcare administrators and nurse leaders during COVID-19. When times were tough, the ones who still maintained employment were healthcare workers more than any other field," said Dr. Matt Frederiksen-England, an adjunct faculty member at Southern New Hampshire University. "Students earning an MS in Healthcare Administration are those who will be providing leadership to healthcare in the years to come.
In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the addition of more healthcare jobs than any other occupational group from 2020 to 2030 – offering about 2.6 million new job openings across the country.1 That's a jump of 36% since the 2018 prediction of 1.9 million.
While the BLS considers 8% the average growth rate for all occupations, medical and health service managers are projected to have 32% growth through 2030 – meaning opportunities abound for MS in Healthcare Administration graduates. While salaries vary regionally, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $104,280 for medical and health services managers in 2020.1
Earning your MS in Healthcare Administration is a great choice in getting you closer to your goal of leading a healthcare organization. Healthcare administrators utilize their extensive knowledge of healthcare to take lead on issues related to organizational management. As a healthcare administrator, you’ll be in charge of managing and overseeing staff and processes in varying departments, floors, units or even entire facilities.
"Healthcare administrators support policies and processes for the delivery of care and services that impact our patient populations," said Dr. Toni Clayton, executive director of health professions. "It requires leaders to apply healthcare principles and methodologies as they manage people and processes."
That being said, good healthcare administrators must lead an organization by demonstrating business acumen as well as deep empathy for their team members, patients and clients. As a healthcare administrator, you might find yourself in charge of tasks such as:
- Assessing resource needs
- Budget preparation
- Demonstrating organizational leadership and representation
- Facilitating interdepartmental communications
- Implementing continuous quality improvement programs
- Informing recruitment efforts
- Leading and managing staff
- Making recommendations to improve financial position
- Managing health information
- Strategic planning
- Upholding compliance and regulation standards
According to the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), healthcare executives have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to improving the health of the citizens in the communities they serve. They also have the opportunity to work in thousands of health services organizations throughout the U.S. and the world, including:
- Consulting firms
- Disposable supplies and equipment
- Federal programs
- Home health agencies
- Insurance companies
- National associations (e.g. Red Cross or American Hospital Association)
- Nursing homes
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Physician group practices
- Private foundations
- State health departments
As a healthcare leader, you'll be responsible for managing growth in human capital, leading strategic planning efforts and being well versed in navigating the healthcare system that is heavily influenced by public policy and government leadership and legislation – all crucial in today's workforce.
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Healthcare Administration Degree
Why SNHU for Your Online Master's in Healthcare Administration
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 12 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, Southern New Hampshire University has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate your industry. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials — with no GRE or GMAT required.
Master's degree candidates must also submit a personal statement. Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance.
To apply, use the online application.
How to Apply
- Completing a graduate application
- Providing undergraduate transcripts
Courses & Curriculum
SNHU’s online MS in Healthcare Administration was designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in top healthcare administration positions. To ensure the program is on the cutting-edge of healthcare, the master's degree curriculum and coursework is regularly reviewed by an advisory board made up of healthcare professionals from a wide variety of occupations within the industry. With this vital input from industry experts, you can graduate from our program feeling confident that you're ready to take your career to the next step.
"Subject-matter experts develop course competencies based upon job skills identified by employers," said Dr. Rebecca Arsenault, an adjunct faculty member at SNHU. "From these skills-based competencies, course learning objectives reflect real-world skills that students will need as they seek employment opportunities.
Healthcare is a unique and complex industry that undergoes frequent changes based on developments in technology and medical practices, as well as political and policy changes. This means that leaders in the healthcare field need a strong understanding of the industry to successfully lead a medical facility or other healthcare organization. As such, the master's in healthcare administration online curriculum was developed by well-respected practitioners in the field and is aligned with standards from:
- The Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)
- The Healthcare Leadership Alliance (HLA)
Following these standards, our rigorous online MS degree program will focus on equipping you with the expertise required for top healthcare administration positions, including:
- Computational skills
- Critical thinking
- In-depth understanding of the healthcare environment
- Relationship management
- Societal and cultural context
SNHU's MS in Healthcare Administration will require you to take courses within 3 critical disciplines in healthcare administration – integrated health profession, organizational leadership and health information management.
"Students develop diverse expertise including day-to-day management, financial and reimbursement competency and other technical skills necessary to operate healthcare facilities and services," Arsenault said. "Students develop an understanding of the role of a healthcare administrator in leading teams, allocating resources for staff training and development and quality improvement initiatives and promoting community public and governmental relations."
Another benefit to the program is the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning.
"This program provides the option for students to participate in HEaRT (Higher Education and Real-world Training) Challenges, which are internship-type work experiences where students address a critical problem facing healthcare facilities across the country," Arsenault said. "Students then present their ideas and recommendations directly to industry experts."
Not the healthcare program you're looking for? If you'd like to enroll in a program geared more toward the business environment within healthcare, SNHU also offers an MBA in Healthcare Management. The MBA program was designed to focus more on the business skills necessary in building good leaders, and when paired with the healthcare management concentration, you can still dive deeper into issues like healthcare law, ethics and compliance.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|MS in Healthcare Administration|
|Courses May Include|
|MS in Healthcare Administration Online|
|HIM 500||Healthcare Informatics||Students will learn the history and current state of healthcare and how the industry uses information systems. Throughout the course students will discuss types of information systems, such as the electronic medical record (EMR), laboratory and radiology systems and more. Students will also study trends in new practices, such as telemedicine and home healthcare, and how they function in various healthcare settings. Finally, students will explore how these and other industry trends, with the use of technology, can improve patient care.|
|HCM 700||Healthcare Administration Capstone||This capstone course will integrate previous coursework and practical experience with a focus on authentic demonstration of competencies outlined by the program. Rather than introducing new concepts, students will synthesize and integrate prior learning to design, develop, and execute a capstone as a culmination of their studies. The course will be structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements and developing a well-thought-out, comprehensive project.|
|IHP 501||Global Health and Diversity||In this interprofessional course learners will explore major global health challenges and their impact on healthcare delivery systems. Topics explored include determinants of health, multiple approaches to advance health, social justice principles, and strategies to advocate for social justice. Learners will gain knowledge to apply social justice and human rights principles to address global health and wellness.|
|IHP 510||Marketing, Communications Strategies and Outreach||This integrated course will explore healthcare strategic planning from a marketing and public relations perspectives. Topics explored will include health literacy, communicating the message, use of media and social media, and advertising. Students will understand how to conduct market needs assessment and develop and evaluate a marketing campaign.|
|IHP 525||Biostatistics||This course provides students with a basic foundation of biostatistics and its role in public health and health sciences. The course covers the statistical principles that govern the analysis of data in public health and health sciences. Included in this course are exploratory data analysis, probability theory, confidence interval testing, hypotheses testing, power and sample size determination, and multivariable methods.|
|IHP 604||Healthcare Quality and Improvement||This interprofessional course will take learners through the process of healthcare delivery from a quality and safety lens. Learners will gain a deeper understanding of how quality is measured, tracked, and improved in healthcare. They will focus on organizational assessments, commonly used tools, and the application of analytical frameworks to identify the root cause of an event. Learners will gain knowledge of healthcare data relevance, use of change management principles and tools, and evaluation methods.|
|IHP 610||Health Policy and Law||In this interprofessional course, students will examine the ways that stakeholders and interest groups can influence health law and policies. Students will examine ways to articulate the needs of individuals, communities, and vulnerable populations based on cultural, socioeconomic, and political factors to key decision makers. They will explore concepts and principles of public health, health law, health policy, finance, and risk management in healthcare. Students will gain knowledge regarding health law and policy to inform decision-making.|
|IHP 620||Economic Principles of Healthcare||This course provides the student with a rigorous introduction to the micro- and macroeconomic theory to understand the healthcare landscape both from a financing and policy perspective. Topics explored include market behavior; demand theory; production and cost theory; decision-making in competitive and non-competitive markets, Gross Domestic Product determination; unemployment and inflation; and fiscal and monetary policy.|
|IHP 630||Healthcare Finance and Reimbursement||In this interprofessional course, students will explore healthcare reimbursement systems and financial principles relevant to strategic planning for healthcare organizations. Topics explored include revenue cycle management, governmental and non-governmental payment methodologies, and financial accounting principles. Students will gain knowledge of reimbursement methods and models, regulatory compliance requirements, and collaborative teamwork principles related to revenue cycle management.|
|IHP 670||Program Design, Planning and Evaluation||In this interprofessional course, students will explore program planning, design, and evaluation. Topics explored include needs assessment, cultural competency, ethics, and data analytics. Students will utilize project, financial, and resource management skills to achieve the outcomes of the proposed program. They will gain an understanding of how community needs assessments and resource allocation are used in program proposals. Students will also apply leadership skills that facilitate the program planning process.|
|OL 600||Strategic Human Resource Management||Examine key regulatory procedures and human resource requirements as they relate to applications in organizations. Analyze the strategic role of the human resource manager in performing functions of recruitment, hiring, training, career development and other contemporary processes within the organizational setting. Study concepts aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Body of Competency and Knowledge (BoCK).|
|OL 665||Leading/Managing Not-For-Profit Orgs||This course is a study of planning, budgeting, control and other management activities in the context of the not-for-profit institution.|
|Total Credits: 36|
Minimum Hardware Requirements
PC (Windows OS)
Apple (Mac OS)
Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.
Currently supported operating system from Apple.
8GB or higher
8GB or higher
100GB or higher
100GB or higher
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
SNHU Purchase Programs
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
- Laptop or desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- Note: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for Microsoft 365 plans for business, education and government.
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Graduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 15 credits|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a master's in healthcare administration worth it?
Deciding to earn your master's in healthcare administration could be a wise choice if you want to take your career to the next level. While it is possible to get a job in healthcare administration with a bachelor's degree, requirements vary by employer, job function and position title.
At SNHU, we believe learning is a lifelong journey. The MS in Healthcare Administration is a great degree option for those who have been working in healthcare and are on the leadership trajectory or for those looking to enter the field. It provides students with a breadth of knowledge in critical assets of healthcare including reimbursement, quality improvement, strategic planning and marketing for nonprofits.
Many prospective students worry about having to leave work or reduce working hours to earn their graduate degrees. SNHU's online programs have been carefully designed with the lives of busy working adults in mind. A great number of our students find that the online nature of our programs gives them the ability to enroll as part-time students while continuing to work full-time jobs.
"SNHU offered the program and flexibility that I needed as an adult student that allowed me to complete coursework on my time and schedule and at my own pace," said Bambi Dixon, Class of 2022 and full-time healthcare professional. "Once I started the courses and realized that I could set my schedule, it was easier to develop a routine and schedule to ensure that I didn’t ever miss a deadline for projects and assignments."
Caitlin Regan '21G also benefited from the online flexibility while working in her healthcare profession. "I liked that the classes were structured in a way that kept you on track," she said. "Yet I could still go at my own pace. This helped during times that I had to work overtime, or I planned to go on vacation."
What can I do with a master's degree in healthcare administration?
When you earn your master's degree in healthcare administration, you take a step in readying yourself for job roles such as healthcare administrator, healthcare executive and medical and health services manager – and could eventually lead to C-suite positions.
Healthcare administrator jobs go by many titles, so you’ll want to consider the area of expertise and type of facility you’re interested in working in throughout your job search. At this level in your career, you could find yourself managing and directing in spaces such as government, hospitals, nursing homes, doctors' offices and nonprofit organizations.
As a healthcare administrator, you could find yourself working with doctors, nurses, technicians, organization leadership and other healthcare workers. As a leader in your organization, you'll be responsible for ensuring the quality and efficiency of services offered and advocating for patients. Depending on the environment you work in, you could also find yourself interacting with patients and insurance agents regularly.
How much can you make with a master's in healthcare administration?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health service managers made a median annual salary of $104,280 in May 2020 – over $9,000 more than the reported $95,180 for median annual wages in all other management occupations.1
The BLS also reported the highest median annual wages for medical and health services managers in these top industries:
- Government. Work in government-funded positions at branches of the military, Veterans Health Administration, federal prisons and more.
- Hospitals. State, local and private hospital settings provide plenty of opportunities for healthcare administrators in a specific unit or wing – or manage the entire organization.
- Nursing and residential care facilities. With the baby boomer generation advancing in age, there's an increasing need for assisted-living facilities – meaning an increasing demand for administrators. Be aware, all 50 states require nursing home administrators to obtain licensure.
- Offices of physicians. Private physicians' offices of all disciplines rely on healthcare administrators. This includes primary care, dentists, walk-in clinics and more.
- Outpatient care centers. Look for opportunities at organizations offering outpatient services such as minor surgeries, rehabilitation treatments, mental health services and substance abuse treatments.
How long does it take to get a master's in healthcare administration?
Most students can expect to earn their master's in healthcare administration in about 2 years.
At SNHU, the length of your degree program is dependent on how many courses you choose to take each term. Though our online graduate healthcare administration program was designed to fit the lives of busy learners, and many of our students opt to study part time while maintaining full-time jobs, SNHU affords students flexibility by allowing students to take one or two courses per term. This means you can complete your degree in as few as 15 months as a full-time student.
How do I get a master's in healthcare administration?
To enroll in a master's in healthcare administration program, you will need to have already earned your undergraduate degree.
While your bachelor's degree does not have to be in healthcare for admission into SNHU's MS in Healthcare Administration, we want to ensure that students come equipped with the foundational knowledge to be successful in the program. After review of your undergraduate transcripts, you may need to take 1-2 courses prior to beginning the MS in Healthcare Administration program.
Our master's in healthcare administration curriculum requires you to take courses in integrated health, organizational leadership and health information management. These 3 areas of study will expose you to the healthcare knowledge and leadership skills necessary to succeed in a healthcare administration role.
After completing the master’s in healthcare administration program, you’ll have been given the knowledge and skills to demonstrate 4 competencies that the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) has identified as critical to succeeding in the field:
- Computational skills
- Critical thinking
- Societal and cultural context
SNHU does not require GMAT or GRE scores for admission into our graduate programs. You can apply at any time and receive an admission decision within days of submitting the required documents. And since we have 5 graduate terms per year, a new term start is always right around the corner – meaning you don't have to wait to start your degree program.
How much does a master's in healthcare administration cost?
The cost of a master's in healthcare administration varies depending on a few factors including where you decide to earn your degree and whether or not you have credits to transfer in.
Choosing to earn your degree online at SNHU is a great choice if you're looking for an affordable, quality program. We accept up to 12 transfer credits for our graduate programs, which could save you time and money.
Barring any transfer credits you might have, SNHU's 36-credit master's in healthcare administration program has a total tuition cost of $22,572. This figure is not inclusive of additional costs such as fees and course materials.
But that number also doesn't include financial aid that you might apply and qualify for. Our Student Financial Services team is on hand to help you create a customized payment plan that makes SNHU's already-low tuition even more affordable.
Starting the application process can be an integral part of your research in finding the right degree, so you can understand exactly how much your specific program will cost you.
"Over several months, I researched different schools, but I kept coming back to SNHU," said Caitlin Regan '21G. "I liked that it is a nonprofit, and I loved that tuition rates were lower than most."
What degree is needed to run a hospital?
Educational requirements for landing a position as an administrator, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, president or vice president of a hospital vary.
Because hospital administrators are in charge of large organizations with multifunctional teams, many years of prior experience in the healthcare field is often required by employers hiring for upper-level healthcare administration positions. A master's program – such as a master's in health administration or MBA degree – is also emphasized by employers at this level because it provides both the leadership skills and technical healthcare knowledge one needs to run a hospital or healthcare system. This is often in addition to a medical degree at the doctorate level.
Many people in high-level healthcare roles come from clinical backgrounds such as nursing. Take Suzanne Rapoza ’15G, a graduate of SNHU's master's in healthcare administration program. She spent well over a decade as a nurse at a senior living facility before moving into roles like VP of health resources and executive director of a memory care community. As her career and responsibilities grew, she realized she had extensive experience as a nurse but little knowledge of the business side of the facility.
With the encouragement of the president and CEO, she pursued a master's degree in healthcare administration, which Rapoza said encompassed a lot of what she had lacked previously in her education – the management piece, the leadership, the finance, the marketing. "That whole other component was really covered in every part of the program," she said.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2)
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm (viewed Sept. 14, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (viewed Sept. 14, 2021)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2According to more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.