Hero Image Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Management Programs 2021

Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Management Programs 2021

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Careers in healthcare management offer above-average salaries, strong job growth, and opportunities for career advancement. By blending business and healthcare, health managers help healthcare organizations improve their quality, comply with regulations, and manage their expenses. A bachelor’s degree in health management prepares graduates for roles like healthcare administrator, health information manager, and healthcare financial analyst.

Healthcare managers are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for healthcare managers will increase 32% between 2019 and 2029, significantly faster than projected growth for all other jobs. The field also reports high salaries, with a median annual wage of over $100,000.

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Our list ranks the most affordable health management programs to help prospective students balance their career goals with their budget. This article also explores career paths with a health management degree, common courses in the major, and scholarships for health management students.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Management Programs

Rank School Location
1 Mississippi University for Women Columbus, MS
2 Peirce College Philadelphia, PA
3 Drury University Springfield, MO
4 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
5 Lindenwood University Saint Charles, MO
6 Viterbo University La Crosse, WI
7 Misericordia University Dallas, PA
8 Concordia University-Chicago River Forest, IL
9 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO
10 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN

What Can I Do With a Health Management Degree?

Medical and health services managers coordinate healthcare in clinical departments, healthcare facilities, and medical practices. They analyze data to improve patient care, create goals for their organization, and implement strategic plans. Health managers also supervise staff members and manage finances.

Within the health management field, professionals specialize in many areas. For example, nursing home administrators oversee the staff, operations, and finances at long-term care facilities. Clinical managers set policies and goals for a specific department within a healthcare organization. Healthcare finance managers specialize in budgeting and financial management. Health information managers maintain and secure patient data.

A bachelor’s degree meets the typical entry-level requirement for health management careers. However, some employers prefer candidates with work experience or a master’s degree. After earning a health management degree, students can consider a master’s in healthcare administration, health management, or business administration to advance their career.

Accreditation for a Health Management Degree



Prospective health management majors should research accreditation before submitting applications. Accredited schools meet high standards for educating students and granting degrees. To earn accreditation, colleges and universities undergo a rigorous review from an independent accrediting agency. These agencies evaluate schools on their student learning outcomes, graduation requirements, and faculty qualifications.

Attending an accredited school can influence a health manager’s career opportunities and options for graduate-level training. Many employers look for candidates with an accredited degree, and applicants with an unaccredited degree do not qualify for most master’s programs. When reviewing a school’s accreditation, health management majors should look for a regionally accredited school. Students can check a school’s accreditation status using the U.S. Department of Education database.

In addition to institutional accreditation, programs may hold accreditation from a specialized accrediting agency. For example, many business schools hold programmatic accreditation. At the undergraduate level, health management programs often do not hold programmatic accreditation. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education accredits graduate-level health management programs.

FAQ


  • What do healthcare managers do?

    Healthcare managers oversee the administrative side of the healthcare system. They coordinate the delivery of services, manage the budget, and improve patient care.


  • Is there a high demand for healthcare administration?

    The BLS reports a strong need for healthcare management professionals, with a projected 32% job growth between 2019 and 2029.


  • What is the highest degree in health management?

    A doctorate in health management is the field’s terminal degree. Many healthcare administrators hold a master’s degree in health administration or business.


  • How long is a master's in health management?

    A master’s degree in health management generally takes two years for full-time students. Some programs offer an accelerated option to earn the degree sooner.


What Are the Requirements for a Health Management Degree?

Prospective students interested in a health management degree must first gain admission to a college or university. At most schools, applicants need a high school or GED diploma and must provide standardized test scores. Applicants may also need to submit recommendation letters, a resume, or an essay.

After gaining admission, some health management programs require prerequisite courses in business or healthcare management. Majors must meet graduation requirements to earn their degree. Depending on the program, they may need to complete a capstone project or thesis, general education requirements, and electives to graduate.

Courses in a Health Management Program



Health management majors examine the intersection of business and healthcare. They strengthen management techniques while also learning about the healthcare system. Unlike clinical healthcare training, health management focuses on the business side of healthcare.

During a health management program, undergrads study healthcare quality management, health informatics, and healthcare finance. These courses build strong research and analytical skills, which majors demonstrate in a capstone project or thesis. The degree prepares graduates for decision-making roles in healthcare organizations.

This section introduces courses offered in health management programs. While the exact classes vary depending on the program, our sample curriculum lists common courses.

Introduction to Healthcare Management
Many health management programs begin with an introductory course on healthcare management. Majors study management theories, the healthcare system, and factors that shape healthcare organizations. Through readings, discussions, and assignments, learners explore key aspects of healthcare management. The class may also include practical activities like comparing strategic plans or interviewing a healthcare administrator. The course provides an overview of the healthcare management field, preparing majors for upper-division coursework.
Healthcare Quality Management
Healthcare administrators implement policies to improve quality and patient safety. Healthcare quality management classes introduce learners to the methods to assess quality and practices that improve quality. Students examine patient satisfaction and customer service in the healthcare sector. By studying healthcare quality management and examining case studies, health management majors learn how to develop, implement, and evaluate quality improvement plans.
Health Informatics
Healthcare increasingly relies on information technology to provide care and improve quality. Courses on health informatics look at the role of data in managerial decision-making, including the collection and communication of health data. Students learn about privacy rules and information systems security, ethical issues in health informatics, and information management. The course builds skills in information technology, data management, and healthcare databases, providing foundational skills for a health management career.
Healthcare Policy
Health management majors often take classes in healthcare policy to learn about the relationship between politics, the healthcare system, and the government. Learners explore factors like access to healthcare, affordability, and quality. They also examine the impact of policy on healthcare facilities, major issues in long-term healthcare policy, and the regulatory context for providing healthcare. The class may incorporate case studies to understand the relationship between policy and practice. Students gain an appreciation for the wider context of healthcare and prepare for leadership roles in shaping healthcare policy.
Healthcare Finance
This course examines the healthcare delivery system from a financial perspective. Topics covered include financial reporting, operational budgeting, and financial risk management. Students also learn about creating financial statements, managing capital budgets, and the relationship between the healthcare system and the insurance system. The course blends business, finance, and healthcare. Coursework prepares graduates for roles like healthcare financial analyst or manager.

Certifications and Licensure for Health Management Majors



Professional certifications can help healthcare management majors stand out in the job market. While health management careers generally do not require a license, certifications recognize experienced professionals with specialized skills. For example, finance specialists can earn the certified healthcare financial professional credential. By researching certifications, graduates can prepare for careers in their field.

Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional


The Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals awards the cHAP credential to healthcare administrators. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in health management and administrative experience can pursue the fast-track option to complete the certification sooner. Applicants must pass an examination that covers healthcare regulations, governance, and administrative skills.

Certified Medical Manager


The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management credentials certified medical managers. The certification recognizes healthcare office managers with at least two years of experience. A bachelor’s in health management degree meets the educational requirement. Candidates also take a three-hour, multiple-choice exam.

Certified Healthcare Financial Professional


The Healthcare Financial Management Association offers the CHFP credential for experienced financial professionals. Candidates complete two testing modules. The first focuses on the business of healthcare, while the second emphasizes operational excellence. In total, the two exams take 4.5 hours, with case studies and multiple-choice questions.

Professional Organizations for Health Management Majors



Professional organizations help health management majors transition from their program into the workforce. These organizations offer career development resources, including self-assessment tools and job boards. They also provide networking opportunities through annual conferences, local events, and chapters. Some professional organizations also offer scholarships for students pursuing a health management degree.


  • American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management AAHAM specializes in healthcare administrative management. The association shares best administrative practices in healthcare, hosts conferences to connect healthcare management specialists, and offers professional certifications. Members can also connect with other healthcare administrators at local events or strengthen their skills by attending webinars.

  • American College of Healthcare Executives ACHE serves more than 48,000 healthcare executives. The professional association promotes leadership, lifelong learning, and networking. Members can participate in 77 local chapters, pursue board certification in healthcare management, or attend the annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership to engage with other professionals. ACHE also offers a learning center with professional development resources and a career resource center.

  • American Health Information Management Association AHIMA advocates for specialists in health information management. The association offers several professional certifications, including the registered health information technician and registered health information administrator credentials. In addition, AHIMA provides educational tools, various publications, news to stay current in the field, and local events.

  • Healthcare Financial Management Association HFMA represents over 56,000 specialists in healthcare finance. The association offers educational resources, industry research, and strategic guidance to manage healthcare finance issues. Members benefit from career self-assessment resources, certifications, and a job bank to find career opportunities. HFMA also hosts events with networking opportunities.

Scholarships for Health Management Students

Students earning a degree in health management can explore various scholarships. Professional organizations, government agencies, and private foundations offer scholarships to undergrads studying healthcare management or healthcare administration. In addition to the following opportunities, students can research scholarships at their school or in their state.

Richard Stull Essay Competition

Who Can Apply: Offered by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the essay competition supports undergraduates earning a healthcare management degree. Applicants submit an essay on a topic in health management, such as financial management, government relations, or strategic planning. Recipients must attend a health management program that participates in the ACHE Higher Education Network.
Amount: $3,000

NIH Undergraduate Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The National Institutes of Health offers an undergraduate scholarship to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Full-time students at an accredited school pursuing a career in a health-related field, including health management, may apply. The scholarship requires a minimum 3.3 GPA and evidence of exceptional financial need.
Amount: Up to $20,000

TxHIMA Evelyn L. Cockrell Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The scholarship supports undergraduates pursuing a degree in healthcare, nursing, or a related field. Applicants must enroll in at least 12 credits per semester. The scholarship also requires two recommendation letters. The committee may interview some applicants as part of the process.
Amount: Varies

Union Health Foundation Health Career Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Union Health Foundation offers multiple scholarships for students attending accredited healthcare programs, including health management programs. Applicants must live in certain Illinois or Indiana counties, be enrolled full time, and demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA. The committee also evaluates applicants based on financial need.
Amount: Varies

Bill and Mary Russell Health Care Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The scholarship supports undergraduates pursuing a degree in healthcare, nursing, or a related field. Applicants must enroll in at least 12 credits per semester. The scholarship also requires two recommendation letters. The committee may interview some applicants as part of the process.
Amount: Varies

Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Management Programs 2021

  1. Mississippi University for Women
    Location

    Columbus, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1884 as the nation's first public women's college, Mississippi University for Women (MUW) has admitted students of all genders since 1982. The Columbus-based school offers one of the most affordable health management programs in the Southeast.

    Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, MUW's bachelor of business administration with a concentration in healthcare management features online course delivery for the final two years of the program. The 120-credit curriculum examines subjects such as statistical analysis, economics, marketing, and leadership from a healthcare perspective.

    Distance learners enjoy access to library resources, tutoring, and other services. MUW allows students to transfer in up to 75% of their degree requirements. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. MUW is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. Peirce College
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Peirce College is a private, nonprofit school that serves working students. Available fully online, Peirce's 121-credit bachelor of science in healthcare administration helps graduates build the skills and knowledge necessary to launch health management careers.

    The program balances general education requirements with training in business and healthcare fundamentals. Lower-division requirements in communication, mathematics, and anatomy develop students' interpersonal skills, medical knowledge, and quantitative reasoning skills. Upper-division courses cover topics like health information technology, reimbursement practices, research methods, and electronic health records.

    Peirce allows students to move freely between online and in-person course delivery, even within a single class. Transfer students can apply up to 90 credits toward the health management degree. Peirce is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  3. Drury University
    Location

    Springfield, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private university based in Springfield, Missouri, Drury University (DU) maintains affiliations with the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ. The school's online bachelor of science in health services management ranks among the most affordable programs of its kind.

    Health management students can choose from two tracks. The 45-credit degree-completion track is designed for current healthcare professionals pursuing career advancement, including allied health personnel and registered nurses. The 117-credit dual health degree cohort track allows learners to earn their health management degree concurrently with a bachelor of science in nursing from Cox College. Degree-seekers in both tracks take courses in leadership, psychology, communication, finance, and behavioral science.

    DU awards a $500 scholarship to all incoming students. Military students and spouses pay a discounted tuition rate. DU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. Gardner-Webb University
    Location

    Boiling Springs, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Gardner-Webb University's bachelor of science degree-completion program in healthcare management provides career training with a Christian perspective. The 60-credit program admits applicants who have completed general education requirements.

    Students learn to apply principles of human relations management, operational management, and organizational behavior to healthcare settings. Guided by a faculty advisor and professional preceptor, candidates culminate their degree with an internship experience.

    Incoming students may transfer up to 96 credits toward the degree. Articulation agreements with North Carolina community colleges facilitate a seamless transition for local learners. Health management degree-seekers may qualify for a variety of institutional scholarships reserved for business students.

    Gardner-Webb's business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  5. Lindenwood University
    Location

    Saint Charles, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private, nonprofit university, Lindenwood enrolls about 8,000 students annually across its St. Charles, Missouri, campus and online division. With asynchronous course delivery and multiple yearly start dates, Lindenwood's online bachelor's in business administration with an emphasis in health management offers a convenient degree path for working professionals.

    Lindenwood's program provides instruction in core business subjects such as finance, accounting, management, and business law. The curriculum includes 51-53 credits of upper-division coursework in addition to general education requirements. The health management emphasis encompasses 12 credits of healthcare-related electives.

    All students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. A designated military-friendly school, Lindenwood supports military members through its Veterans Affairs Center. Lindenwood is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

  6. Viterbo University
    Location

    La Crosse, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A small, private university, Viterbo is located in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Catholic school offers an online bachelor of business administration in healthcare management through its Dahl School of Business. Catering to students with prior academic experience in business or healthcare, this degree-completion program accepts applicants with bachelor's or associate degrees, as well as those with college credits but no degree.

    Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, Viterbo's health management program features general business courses in subjects such as statistics, accounting, marketing, and economics. Students also explore the business side of healthcare through industry-specific classes addressing healthcare informatics, policy, management, and legal and ethical issues. Required courses in theology and servant leadership reflect the school's Franciscan affiliation.

    In addition to other institutional scholarships, Viterbo reserves several scholarships for business students and transfer students. Viterbo is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  7. Misericordia University
    Location

    Dallas, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Misericordia University students can earn a degree in health management online in as little as 2.5 years. Based in Dallas, Pennsylvania, the private Catholic university offers an accelerated bachelor of science in healthcare management designed for business and healthcare professionals. Online learners pay a lower tuition rate than on-campus students.

    The program features general business coursework that develops management and leadership skills. Learners study topics like healthcare-specific finance and reimbursement practices, marketing, and strategic planning. Additional classes examine healthcare law, global healthcare, and current trends in the field.

    Students may receive transfer credit for vocational experience through prior learning assessments or exams. The program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Misericordia is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  8. Concordia University-Chicago
    Location

    River Forest, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Part of the Lutheran-affiliated Concordia University System, Concordia University Chicago (CUC) offers a fully online bachelor of arts in healthcare management. Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the program prepares graduates for leadership positions in diverse health services settings. Students take one class per accelerated eight-week term, and they can transfer up to 67 credits toward the degree.

    The 128-credit curriculum includes general education courses in the humanities, science, and theology. Organizational management classes provide a background in management principles and practices. Healthcare management coursework familiarizes learners with the field and provides industry-specific training. Students culminate the degree with an independent study project.

    All newly enrolled CUC students receive a merit-based scholarship or admission award. Additional institutional awards are available to transfer students, Lutheran students, and military service members. CUC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  9. Maryville University of Saint Louis
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Maryville University's health management programs equip students with the practical skills and theoretical background they need to succeed in the field. The private, nonprofit school's fully online bachelor of science in healthcare management caters to current healthcare and business professionals. Tuition is the same for all distance learners regardless of residency.

    Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the 128-credit curriculum emphasizes ethical practice, professionalism, technical competencies, and communication. Students learn to manage revenue cycles, communicate with patients and colleagues, and navigate healthcare informatics. They culminate the degree with a hands-on practicum and an independent capstone project.

    Asynchronous course delivery, rolling application deadlines, and three yearly start dates offer flexibility for students balancing their education with work and personal obligations. Transfer applicants can apply up to 98 credits from previous college experience or professional certifications toward the degree. Maryville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  10. Concordia University-Saint Paul
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A nonprofit, Lutheran-affiliated school, Concordia University, Saint Paul (CSP) ranks as one of Minnesota's most affordable private colleges. CSP's bachelor of arts in healthcare administration prepares learners for a variety of in-demand health management careers. The 40-credit, upper-division program accepts applicants who have completed general education requirements with a minimum 2.0 GPA.

    Admitted students follow a 10-course sequence to earn their health management degree. Classes address leadership, communication, finance, economics, and decision-making in a healthcare context. Students gain familiarity with healthcare systems and compliance and regulatory requirements. Additional courses examine diversity and global issues in healthcare.

    Online students enjoy access to a variety of services, including career development resources and a collective of alumni mentors who can help them achieve their educational and career goals. Active-duty military students receive a tuition discount. CSP is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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