How to Choose a Hospital Administration Degree + Online Options

In this article, we are going to describe why you would benefit from earning a master’s in hospital administration, or MHA. We will discuss the various types of master’s in hospital administration, how to select a program, accreditation and also to understand what the requirements are to work in this field.

What Is a Master’s in Hospital Administration?

A master’s in hospital administration is a graduate degree that is awarded to a student who has finished their degree in either hospital administration or health administration. Earning a master’s degree in this field is a smart decision if you want to have an exciting career in hospital management, or possibly in the management of a nursing home or a medical facility.

People in this profession have several very important jobs:

  • Improve the delivery of health care or hospital services
  • Come up with new hospital goals and objectives
  • Make sure that the facility that they are working in is completely up to date.

Why Earn a Master’s in Hospital Administration?

We recommend that professionals who want to work in the healthcare field but not in a clinical way should think about earning a master’s in hospital administration. We recommend it because the healthcare industry in this country is growing very quickly.

The age of the population as a whole is getting older, and people are retiring younger and still staying active in their older years. Therefore, health care services demand is on the upswing and there will be a great need for experienced and skilled administrators to manage all of the new health care facilities that will be coming online.

Higher Employment Expected

This fact is shown in US government data. The Labor Department states that health care employment generally is going to rise by 19% by 2024. This means that there will be a net job increase of at least 2.3 million. While a large chunk of those jobs will be clinical, there is no doubt that there will be more of a need for hospital and health administrators with a master’s degree.

Also, the same government data reveals that there also will be stronger demand for medical and health services managers. These types of workers often are known as health administrators and hospital administrators. The data shows that the field is going to grow by 17% by 2024, which is much faster than average.

Higher Salaries Expected

Because of the high level of responsibility the typical hospital administrator has, you would expect that a professional with this master’s degree would be well paid. The median salary for medical and health services managers was $94,500 in 2015.

Licensing and Certification

All states require that some types of health administrators have a license; this will depend upon the exact type of health administrator you are. For example, if you are a nursing home administrator, you would need to have a license, which is administered by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards.

Also, if you choose to, some other types of managers may decide to earn certification, although it is not mandatory:

  • American Health Information Management Association
  • American College of Health Care Administration

Online Master’s in Hospital Administration Degree Options

If you are confident that you would like to earn your master’s in hospital administration or health administration, you should consider the following programs:

Penn State University World Campus

The health care system in the future for America will have to focus on higher efficiency and quality via improved technology, organization and management. This is going to be a higher demand for new health care and hospital administrators to deal with the complex health care challenges we face, now and in the future.

The Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Health Administration will help you to combine your work experience in the health care field with a very strong education in business management education. This will expand your qualifications for the most challenging leadership positions in the health care world, and it will give you the tools to bring about change in a challenging and dynamic health care environment.

The online MHA from Penn State will give you opportunities to advance in your career as a health care professional in a hospital or heath care facility. This program is a partnership between the Penn State World Campus and the Penn State Department of Health Policy and Administration and the School of Public Affairs.

The online program builds upon the excellence and experience of the MHA program on the campus which was set up 25 years ago and was recently recertified by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

The majority of graduates from this program eventually take on a hospital or health care administration role in one of the following areas:

  • Hospital or health system
  • Medical group practice
  • Outpatient care facility
  • Home health care agency
  • Skilled nursing center
  • Insurance company
  • Consulting company
  • Federal or state regulatory agency or public health agency

Required classes in this two year, online graduate degree program are:

  • Financing Health Care
  • Leadership Ethics in Health Service Organizations
  • Health Services Organizational Behavior
  • Financial Management in Health Institutions
  • Managing Health Care Operations
  • Management of Health Services Organizations
  • Change Leadership in Health Services Organizations
  • Individual Studies
  • Introduction to Health Economics
  • Information Systems in Health Services Administration
  • Health Care Marketing
  • Human Resource Management in Health Care Organizations


When you are considering many different hospital administration programs for your master’s degree, be sure that the program has been properly accredited. You want to see accreditation for several reasons:

  • Future employers are sure that your program is of high quality.
  • You know yourself that the degree has a high amount of value and that what you are learning is what you need on the job.

The most respected accreditation agencies for this field is the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education or CAHME.


When you earn a master’s degree in hospital administration, you will know that you can earn a good salary and always have a good job available in just about any part of the country.