How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters of Health Administration (MHA)?

You can get started in a health administration career with just a bachelor’s degree, but to be considered for top-level positions, you need a master’s degree. One master’s degree option in this field is a masters of health administration, or MHA. Some people resist going back to school for this kind of degree, since it means additional time spent on education, but with an MHA, you’ll qualify for many lucrative positions in the medical world, so this is usually time well spent.

To qualify for an MHA, you first need to get your bachelor’s degree. This typically takes about four years, though some students finish the program more quickly and other students only go to school part time and spend five or six years completing the degree program. From there, you can either continue on to get your MHA as a full-time student, or you can enter the workforce and get your MHA as a part-time student while you work.

The exact time you’ll spend getting your MHA depends on your status as either a full-time or as a part-time student. If you go to school full-time, which typically requires around 40 hours per week of work, you’ll find that most MHA degree programs take 12 to 24 additional months to complete, after you receive your bachelor’s degree. However, if you go to school part-time, the program could take much longer. Many programs limit students, so you must graduate within a certain number of years or your classes become invalid. However, it is common for MHA degree students to spend three or four years completing this degree.

After you graduate, you may have to go through a licensing program with the state, depending on your desired position. For example, if you want to be an administrator at a nursing home, you need a license no matter what state you live in. This isn’t required for all positions, but many employers like to hire administrators who are registered with professional organizations. Often, to b registered, you have to have work experience and pass an exam, so this may not be possible for up to a year or two after you graduate.

Once you have your MHA degree, you’ll be qualified for much higher salaries no matter where you work. Your exact earnings depend on your experience, your location, and the type of facility where you’re working (among other factors), but it is common for administrators to make six-figure incomes. Going through an MHA program will also prepare you for starting your own consulting firm, if that’s a route that interests you.

So, is the time (and tuition) spent on an MHA degree worth it? In most cases, for most students, the answer to that question is yes. You’ll be qualified for a better, more fulfilling job with a higher salary and more responsibilities once you graduate with your MHA, and the education will pay for itself in no time at all.

Top Online MHA Degrees and Other Health Programs

Walden University
Online MHA
Master of Public Health
Walden University — Walden offers an online MHA degree program that is sure to prepare students for a fruitful career as a health administrator. Jobs in a wide variety of healthcare settings will become available to graduates of this program, including insurance, offices, hospitals, supplies, policy, and more. Walden also offers a similar Master of Public Health program.
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Kaplan University
MS in Healthcare Mgmt
MBA in Healthcare Mgmt
Kaplan University — For anyone in the healthcare industry seeking an MS, Kaplan University offers an online Master of Science in healthcare management. This degree is perfectly suited for individuals pursuing upper-level management positions in hospitals, outpatient centers, doctors' offices, and more. Related degrees offered by Kaplan include an MBA in healthcare management.
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George Washington University
MBA in Healthcare
George Washington University — George Washington University, one of the nation’s largest educators, has online courses in addition to their onsite program for those who are interested in receiving a Masters of Business Administration in Healthcare. This degree is for students who want to pursue a high level or leadership position with in the healthcare field. Students will obtain necessary skills and knowledge like task prioritization, time management, and project planning.
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St. Joseph's University
MS in Health Admin
MS in Health Informatics
MS in Health Ethics
St. Joseph's University — St. Joseph's University confers an MS in healthcare administration that also is offered in two specializations: the ethics specialization provides a background in moral philosophy and covers subjects such as euthanasia, abortion, and artificially prolonging life; the informatics specialization focuses on health information technologies and record keeping.
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Southern New Hampshire University
MSM in Health Admin
Southern New Hampshire University — Southern New Hampshire University’s master's degree in Healthcare Administration is a 39 credit hour program that includes a 4 credit Capstone Research Project. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The curriculum is offered entirely online, and applicants must have an accredited bachelor's degree.
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Benedictine University
MBA in Health Admin
Accelerated MBA
Benedictine University — The MBA in Health Administration program at Benedictine University is a highly regarded educational track for students interested in healthcare management. The 96 unit credit curriculum features courses in Organizational Behavior, Business Statistics, and Health Behavior. The program offers an accelerated track for dedicated students.
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University of Southern California
MBA in Healthcare Mgmt
University of Southern California — USC’s MBA in healthcare management degree program prepares individuals for upper management positions within a variety of healthcare settings, including (but not limited to) private care facilities, hospices, hospitals, nursing clinics, insurance companies, and more. The degree is also available in a part-time option.
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Grand Canyon University
MS in Health Admin
Grand Canyon University — The MS in health administration online degree program from Grand Canyon delivers courses in ethics, finance, health administration, and management, helping to prepare students to become leaders in the healthcare profession upon graduation. Typical employers of graduates of this program include hospitals, healthcare clinics, and insurance organizations.
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Ashford University
MBA in Health Admin
MA in Health Admin
BA in Health Admin
Ashford University — The health administration programs at Ashford University explore many organizational aspects of healthcare system finance, strategic planning, and biostatistics as it prepares students for leadership positions. AU has added three programs online for health administration. The first is a Master's of Business Administration and the second is a Master's of Arts. FAU is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Suite 100, Alameda, California 94501, 510.748.9001, www.wascsenior.org.
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Liberty University
MPH in Health Promotion
MPH in Global Health
MPH in Nutrition
Liberty University — The public health master's degree programs from Liberty University are designed for mid-career professionals looking for increased responsibility within their healthcare careers. Liberty offers three specializations: health promotion, global health, and nutrition.
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Northcentral University
MBA in Healthcare Admin
DBA in Healthcare Admin
Northcentral University — Northcentral Unoversity's MBA in healthcare administration degree program focuses on the subjects of telemedicine, emerging technology, strategic management, and more. Because this is a business degree at its core, graduates of this program will be well prepared to enter numerous business fields. NCU also offers a DBA program in health administration.
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