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 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 combining best business standards with highly focused principles, concepts, systems and practices 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
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.
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.
In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the addition of more healthcare jobs than any other occupational group from 2019 to 2029 – offering about 2.4 million new job openings across the country.1 That's a jump of 26% since the previous year's prediction of 1.9 million.
While the BLS considers 5% the average growth rate for all occupations, medical and health service managers are projected to have 32% growth through 2029 – 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, associate dean of healthcare professions at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). "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 and their patients. 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 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 our program feeling confident that you're ready to take your career to the next step.
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 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.
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||This course provides students with broad foundation in the structure of healthcare delivery systems; the political, financial and social constructs affecting the healthcare systems; and how policy and social determinants of health influence access, equity and outcomes in health. Utilizing this foundation and authentic real world scenarios, students will evaluate the efficacy of existing policy and interventions as well as lead interdisciplinary teams in the design of culturally relevant strategies to prepare students to advance the health for a specific population.|
|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||Gain a broad view of US healthcare quality including its evolution and trajectory given the dynamic US healthcare landscape and changing demographics. Explore key concepts including the integration of health information and technologies to promote healthcare quality at the organizational level.|
|IHP 610||Health Policy and Law||Students in this course examine the role of health law and policy in the healthcare system. Students explore concepts and principles of law, public health, health law, health policy, finance, legal control, and risk management, as well as their application to the healthcare environment through the lens of the professional discipline. Students evaluate the impact of health law and policy and multicultural, socioeconomic, and political factors on access disparities. Students examine ways to articulate the needs of individuals, communities, and vulnerable populations to consumers, health system officials, and government officials. Students also focus on the opportunities for key stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, to shape health laws and policies.|
|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||This course provides an in-depth exploration of the healthcare reimbursement system and financial principles relevant to strategic planning for the healthcare organizations. Topics explored include the healthcare reimbursement system, managed care, prospective payment, insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, financial and managerial accounting principles, and long-term financing and capital investments.|
|IHP 670||Program Design, Planning and Evaluation||This course explores program design, planning and evaluation utilizing needs assessment, data analysis, resource allocation, and evaluation methodologies. This course provides the student with a strong foundation in the development of a program proposal.|
|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|
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 give them the ability to enroll as part-time students while continuing to work full-time jobs.
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 quality and efficiency of services offered and advocating for patients. Depending on the environment you work, 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, healthcare administrators made a median annual salary of $104,280 in May 2020 – over $10,000 more than the reported $91,300 for median annual wages in all other management occupations.1
The BLS also reported 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 opportunity 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 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 profession, organizational leadership and health information management. These 3 areas of study will expose you to the healthcare knowledge and leadership skills necessary to success 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 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.
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 preferred 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.
Browse all your online healthcare degree options.
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 June 1, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (viewed June 1, 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.