If one sentiment unites people from different backgrounds, beliefs, and economic strata, it’s this: Our healthcare system doesn’t work like it should. Those opinions exist on a spectrum from “Hey, it needs a little tweaking” to “TEAR IT DOWN AND START ALL OVER,” but no one thinks everything is perfect as is.
Working in healthcare management is one step toward improving the situation. This is a career for people who, as Towson University describes, “plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services,” adapting quickly to “changes in health care laws, regulations, and technology.” They are on the front lines of how patients experience healthcare, and their work has a direct impact on people’s lives. How many other careers can say that? To join the cause, check out the 25 best Bachelor’s in healthcare management.
What Is a Healthcare Management Degree?
Towson University puts it simply: “The business side of the healthcare system is just as important as the clinical side in ensuring patients receive the best possible care.” Healthcare management lies at the intersection of business and medicine, and how universities award the degree reflects that. Some do it via their school of business, whereas others include them with health services. In our top 25 programs is a mixture of Bachelor of science (BS) and BBA (Bachelor of business administration), and even a BAA (Bachelor of applied arts).
As East Carolina University describes, studying healthcare management involves “a working foundation in management and professional skills, while at the same time introducing the student to the healthcare delivery system and its many and varied issues and challenges.” Appalachian State University notes, “Healthcare managers are expected to demonstrate strong business skills tempered with the traditional medical mission of service to others.”
To wit, the healthcare management curriculum blends business-school fundamentals (accounting, operations, personnel oversight) with health courses that emphasize management more than medicine. Expect to take courses covering topics like healthcare ethics, policy, delivery systems, research, informatics, and medical terminology—among others—along with classes in statistics, accounting, marketing, human resources, risk management, information technology, and more.
Major coursework typically begins during junior year, though many of the programs in our 25 best Bachelor’s in healthcare management begin pre-major classes earlier, usually the first semester of freshman year. Nearly all of them require an internship (which necessitates a background check and drug test), sometimes in addition to a final project.
The average cost for a full-time, in-state program in our top 25 is $8,829 per academic year, with out-of-state students paying an average of $20,291. Those numbers drop for part-time students or others transferring into a program having some completed coursework or an Associate’s degree.
Careers for Healthcare Management Majors
Healthcare management contains multitudes—or, as Appalachian State puts it, “ a diverse array of organizational settings and management opportunities within these organizations.” A Bachelor’s degree opens up entry-level and mid-level job possibilities at doctors’ offices, hospitals, residential care facilities, government and international agencies, managed-care organizations (like HMOs and PPOs), insurance companies, retirement communities, pharmaceutical companies, nursing homes—the list goes on and on.
Many of the programs in our top 25 provide some guidance on career possibilities, like the University of Central Florida, which has a typical list: health information manager, health insurance specialist, health services administrator, human resources administrator, nursing home administrator, social/community service manager, training and development manager, etc. The job possibilities open up further with additional education like a master’s degree or doctorate, which provides additional instruction and/or specialization. Several of the programs in our top 25 offer concentrations within their degree programs, so students can further tailor their education to their interests and intended career.
For example, gerontology—informally, the study of old people—is a popular one, as the baby boomer population ages and the number of seniors requiring care increases. An aging population is partly why the field of healthcare management is expected to grow so rapidly.
Healthcare Management Salary Potential
Considering the field of healthcare management comprises different types of work at different kinds of places, from nonprofit to agency to the private sector, nailing down a “typical” salary can be difficult. Also, salary often depends on experience and training, so it follows that additional education and work experience lead to greater earning power. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, from the U.S. Department of Labor, does a good job providing guidance. Bonus: It has good news. BLS data for medical and health services managers—who “plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers”—make an average salary of $113,730, with a median salary of $99,730. Even better?
The BLS expects the field to grow by 18% through 2028—much faster than the national average of 5%—meaning an additional 71,600 jobs will be added to the 406,100 that already exist. Salaries vary by geographical location, naturally, with health services managers in Washington, D.C., leading the nation at $145,760. New York, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Connecticut round out the top five, all of them besting the national average by at least $13,000 per year. That said, BLS data indicates Texas and California have the most health services manager jobs—30,010 and 34,510, respectively. Those who work in California earn an average salary of $125,770, while their counterparts in Texas pull down $105,450.
What Are the Best Healthcare Management Degrees?
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Western Governors University
Average Net Price
Salt Lake City, Utah
A lot of schools aim to offer flexible programs for professional students, then there’s Utah-based Western Governors University. As its website says, “You’re not committed to attend class at a certain time, complete homework on a given schedule, or log ‘attendance’ hours.” Students go through the material at their own pace, complete an assessment to pass a course, then move onto the next one. The degree is completed online, and most students finish within 30 months.
Western Governors University offers healthcare management as a concentration within a broader BS in business administration. Each of the concentrations within the BS takes the same four courses covering the basics of business. Students on the healthcare management track then focus on topics like ethics, delivery systems, operations management, research and statistics, financial resource management, and more. It all concludes with a capstone project.
The entire Bachelor’s degree consists of 41 courses, though students typically enter the program with 34 transfer credits. Much of the basic general-education requirements can be satisfied that way. In keeping with its flexible approach, WGU has minimal barriers to entry for its program: Students need only have a high school diploma, along with transcripts of any other coursework. The average price is also minimal: $6,380 for all students, regardless of location, making it one of the best deals on our list.
University of Central Florida
Average Net Price
The University of Central Florida lies in Orlando, FL, presumably in the four square blocks that aren’t part of an amusement park or tourist attraction. Maybe that’s why UCF offers its BS in health services administration online, because who wants to deal with that traffic?
Prospective students located near Orlando can still complete their coursework on campus, and their online counterparts will discover that not all electives or prerequisite courses are available on their computers (but all of the degree coursework is). The 120-hour degree features 36 hours of general education requirements, nine hours of common program prerequisites (statistics, microeconomics, and managerial accounting), 48 hours of degree coursework, a three-hour capstone (analyzing an existing healthcare organization), and electives. Degree classes cover topics like finance, U.S. healthcare systems, epidemiology, law and ethics, technology, research methods, and more. Students also complete an internship.
Admission requires transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, and an application essay. Florida residents can expect to pay an average of $4,478, and out-of-state students $19,810, both below average for the 25 best Bachelor’s in healthcare management.
East Carolina University
Average Net Price
Greenville, North Carolina
North Carolina’s so-called “Research Triangle” of Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill—home to Duke University, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University, respectively—gets all of the attention, but it isn’t everything. East Carolina, which lies in Greenville, has plenty to offer—and it was good enough for the likes of alumni Sandra Bullock and Vince McMahon.
The university’s Bachelor of Science in health services management is a hybrid program using online and on-campus classes. Full-time students work as cohorts to maximize collaborative possibilities. The degree requires 124 credit hours and offers two concentrations: one for working, credentialed practitioners (allied health management) and another for more traditional students (regular ol’ health services management). People in the former may earn up to 30 credit hours for prior training.
ECU offers plans of study for both paths. Traditional students focus on general-education requirements their first couple of years before diving into the degree work, whereas the working professional track presumes prior coursework covered the gen-ed material. Degree work covers the usual topics like delivery systems, ethics, leadership, research, finance, marketing, and more.
Admission to ECU is pretty typical, requiring transcripts and ACT or SAT scores, and the BS requires 33 hours of foundations curriculum with a minimum 2.5 GPA before degree work can begin. North Carolina residents can expect to pay $4,452, while outsiders need to cough up $20,729.
California State University-Long Beach
Average Net Price
Long Beach, California
Like other universities on our list, Cal State Long Beach blends management courses with healthcare in the curriculum for its BS in healthcare administration. But it designs its electives to provide specialized instruction for concentrations within the degree, such as long-term care administration, hospital management, managed care, and medical group practice management.
Most of the courses that make up the 120 semester units required to graduate are offered in the late afternoon or evening for working students. Included in the degree are 13-14 units of prerequisites in topics like statistics, biology, physiology, and more, along with general education coursework. Major course requirements cover topics like personnel management, the healthcare system, risk management, marketing, financial management, and more, including a pair of internships working 120 clock hours at a healthcare organization. There are also nine credits of upper-division coursework, electives, and something called the graduation writing assessment requirement, or GWAR, because the faculty at Cal State Long Beach are secretly fans of the long-running, costumed rock outfit.
Admission requirements vary by true freshmen (i.e., no college prior coursework) or transfers (who have completed some courses, but not a degree). Freshmen need a high school diploma and ACT/SAT scores, and transfers need at least a 2.0 GPA in prior coursework, a certain number of hours, and good standing with their last college. Everyone will need to pay $5,742 if they’re California residents and $17,622 if they aren’t.
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Auburn University’s BS in health services administration is the oldest such program in Alabama, and it was the first in the state to be accredited by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. The university itself ranks No. 104 in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, and counts Tim Cook among its long list of alumni. So prospective students could do worse than Auburn.
The 120-hour program is offered on-campus in Auburn, AL, and doesn’t come cheaply: Full-time in-state students pay an average of $9,624, with out-of-state folks plopping down $28,872. Students complete at least 30 hours of general education and prerequisite coursework (with a minimum 2.3 GPA) ahead of applying to the program, which gets going junior year. Courses include Health Care Policy, Principles of Management, Developing Care Organizations, Health Information Technology, and many others. There’s also a required internship for six credit hours and a capstone seminar during the final semester.
People who have completed more than 30 hours of college coursework qualify as transfers and need only transcripts with a 2.5 GPA for admission, along with core courses in English composition, math, history, and natural science. Freshman students with little or no college coursework need the full package of a diploma, ACT or SAT scores, and a personal essay.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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Describing its BS in healthcare management as “challenging and rewarding,” the University of Alabama at Birmingham also aims for specificity. The degree offers four tracks: general manager (for students looking for leadership positions), clinical manager (for people who are already credentialed or licensed), pre-professional (for students aiming for a professional or graduate program), and long term care administration (for students who want to pursue a career in that field).
The BS requires 86-95 hours of required courses, beginning with prerequisites in topics like accounting, finance, public speaking, and math. Required courses for the major run the gamut, covering broad topics like healthcare systems and organizational studies with more narrowly focused courses like Strategic Management in Health Care Organizations and Financial Management in Health Care Organizations.
Admission requires transcripts and ACT or SAT scores, and all students begin on the general manager track until they meet with an advisor to discuss a concentration. Certain concentrations, like a clinical manager, require students to have their licenses.
Unlike other programs, UAB students apply for the BS in HCM when they apply to the university. In-state students should plan to spend $8,568, with their out-of-state counterparts paying $19,704.
James Madison University
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James Madison University sits in Harrisonburg, VA, in the state’s verdant Shenandoah Valley and about 130 miles west of Washington D.C. The city was the first designated Arts & Cultural District and the first Culinary District in Virginia, and it’s home to the Virginia Quilt Museum if you get chilly.
JMU has a 120-hour BS in health services administration through its Department of Health Professions. It requires 40 hours of general education courses, with a pair of quantitative and scientific literacy courses for another six hours, then 74 hours of major coursework. Students dip their toes into health services administration their sophomore year with the introductory U.S and Global Health Care Systems, before diving in their junior year with courses covering gerontology, marketing, finance, statistics, and more. Their senior year includes an internship, among other courses.
Students apply to the program their sophomore year with a personal statement. Getting into JMU itself is pretty easy, as the school just needs transcripts. It also needs $6,935 for in-state students and $22,906 for their out-of-state counterparts.
George Mason University
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George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, offers three concentrations within its BS in health administration degree: health systems management, assisted living/senior housing administration (the first such program in the nation), and health informatics. The first is designed to prepare students to work in a variety of health organizations, whereas the second focuses on assisted and senior living. Health informatics is more tech-minded, preparing “graduates in theory and methods for using information processing methods,” per the university’s website.
Regardless of the concentration, the degree requires 120 credits: 38 of “Mason core” (communication, IT, arts, etc.), nine hours of required courses (health professions, medical terminology, and psychology), and then 73 hours of major and concentration coursework.
Admission requirements for freshmen include SAT/ACT scores, recommendations, and a personal essay. Transfer applicants with 24 or more credit hours need to submit their transcripts with a 2.75 GPA or better, an essay, and a résumé. Those who have less than 24 credits will need to include ACT/SAT scores. Students coming from out of state will need to fork over $32,520—well over our list’s average of $20,291—but Virginians have it a lot easier at $9,060.
Texas State University
Average Net Price
San Marcos, Texas
Formerly known as Southwest Texas State University, Texas State in San Marcos counts former president Lyndon B. Johnson among its alumni. These days Texas State offers much more than the limited options LBJ would’ve had when he graduated in 1930.
Like a Bachelor of health administration. The school breaks down the curriculum into three competencies: leadership (including change management and organizational climate), knowledge of the healthcare environment (personnel, law, systems), and business knowledge and skills (general, financial, and information management). Students begin major coursework their junior year, taking a hefty load of courses for three straight semesters—covering ethics, history, patient care, law, financial management, employment law, and more—before spending their final semester doing a residency that culminates in a final project.
A bevy of general-education courses precedes all of that, which students will need to complete (with a 2.75 GPA) before applying to the program. They’ll need to pass a writing exam, and submit a statement of purpose and a résumé for admission to it. Getting into TSU requires transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, and an essay. Price-wise, Texans will only need to pay $7,779, but non-Texans have to pay a premium, $19,399.
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Like so many other universities, Towson University—located just outside Baltimore in Towson, MD—began 150 or so years ago as a training school for teachers. These days, it’s the largest university in the Baltimore area and the second largest in the University System of Maryland.
As noted earlier, the website for Towson’s healthcare management program puts it well: “The business side of the healthcare system is just as important as the clinical side in ensuring patients receive the best possible care.” So the university’s 121- or 122-unit program aims for balance. Major coursework comprises 72 units, 24 of which come from a required business administration minor.
The 13 major classes are unsurprisingly comprehensive, covering gerontology, law, writing, managing human resources, research methods, and more. It culminates with an intense internship for 12 credits, wherein students work 40 hours per week for their final semester of study. Students are also required to submit a program portfolio at the end.
As a public university in Maryland, Towson keeps tuition affordable for in-state students ($6,826), with out-of-staters paying a lot more ($20,094) to study in the Baltimore suburbs. Prospective students who have completed some college coursework will need to contact the Transfer Student Center to review admission requirements, but regular freshmen will need to provide high school transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, and an essay. A résumé and letters of recommendation are optional but encouraged.
Appalachian State University
Average Net Price
Boone, North Carolina
Located in Boone, NC, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian State University was founded in 1899 to serve North Carolina’s “lost provinces.” What was called Watauga Academy eventually became Appalachian State, which holds its own among North Carolina’s distinguished universities. U.S. News and World Report ranks it No. 6 for Regional Universities South, No. 2 for Most Innovative Schools, No. 3 in Top Public Schools, and No. 2 for Best Colleges for Veterans.
Its BS in healthcare management goes back to 1972, when the university created it in response to the needs of health providers in the area. The 124-hour degree comprises 44 hours of general education requirements, two hours of free electives, and 75 hours of major requirements. The major coursework is split between 53 hours of healthcare management courses (covering research, economics, information systems, finances, informatics, law, and more) and 22 hours of “other related areas” such as accounting, business writing and communications, and marketing. During the summer between junior and senior year, students take a mandatory internship, where they work full-time in “a structured healthcare setting” for seven and a half weeks.
Perhaps because of its mission to serve the region, App State has friendly admission requirements: transcripts and test scores (for anyone under 23). Transfer students with more than 24 hours of transferable coursework can skip the test scores. Also friendly? The price tag. App State costs an average of $4,242 for in-state tuition and $19,049 for out of state, both below average for our 25 best Bachelor’s in healthcare management.
University of Virginia-Main Campus
Average Net Price
UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies puts its mission simply: “We don’t care where you start. We care where you finish.” The school exists to help working adults who have some secondary education, either via an Associate’s degree or some other college coursework, complete their Bachelor’s.
How much do they need to have? At least 45 credits’ worth. That’s the minimum to enter UVA’s Bachelor of Professional Studies in health sciences management program. The university offers two tracks for admission: one for people with associate’s degrees and 60 transferable credits (with a minimum 2.0 GPA) and one for others with a high school diploma and 45-60 credits of college coursework. Applicants also need two essays and a letter of recommendation for admission.
Once in, they complete the degree online in three to four years. Classes are both synchronous (taking place at certain time and day) and asynchronous, where students complete coursework on their schedule. The degree requires 120 credits, 60 of which must come from UVA. Forty-six of those come from electives and major coursework, which include classes in ethics, research, population health, economics, American healthcare, and two capstone projects. General education accounts for the rest—notably, at least three credits “must deal substantially with a non-Western culture.”
College is an investment, particularly at UVA, where the average cost of $32,460—regardless of location—is significantly higher than other programs on our list.
University of New Hampshire-Main Campus
Average Net Price
Durham, New Hampshire
Look up alumni from the University of New Hampshire, and prepare for a bunch of hockey players. The school has produced more of them than any other type of notable alumni, which feels fitting for its BS in health management and policy. Who better to run a medical facility than someone from a hockey school, with all the ligament tears, broken collarbones, concussions, and other injuries that entails?
Located in Durham, in the southeastern corner of the state near the Maine border, UNH’s College of Health and Human Services offers a 128-credit program intended to prepare graduates for a variety of roles. Students take numerous courses whose titles begin with “Health”: issues seminar, economics, analytics, planning, ethics and law, policy, etc., along with others that don’t, such as Social Marketing or Epidemiology and Community Medicine. Students choose one of two tracks—public health and health services management—which account for two additional courses. The major coursework adds up to 81 credits, and it includes a 10-week field practicum, where students work 400 clock hours the summer between junior and senior year.
Prospective students should plan to submit transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and SAT/ACT scores for admission. They should also plan to spend, because UNH isn’t the cheapest place. In-state students will spend an average of $15,140, and their out-of-state cohorts $30,520.
Oregon State University
Average Net Price
Oregon State University—located about 80 miles south of Portland in Corvallis—offers health management and policy as a concentration within its BS in public health degree. Students can trek to OSU’s campus in Corvallis to earn the degree, or complete it online.
Regardless of the venue, the degree requires 75 credit hours of major coursework, which includes a 12-credit internship completed by working 360 clock hours in a public-health setting. The curriculum is built around six core courses (such as Economic Issues in Health and Medical Care and Health Care Law and Regulation) and 11 supporting courses covering the basics of accounting, marketing, microbiology, ethics, English composition, and more. Students also have the option to add a gerontology certificate to their degree with additional coursework and a field study.
OSU takes a holistic approach to its admissions criteria, weighing high school curriculum, GPA, and test scores, along with a personal résumé. Transfer students with more than 16 credit hours of transferable coursework need to meet GPA thresholds. Everyone gets to pay $9,120 (if they live in-state) or $28,365 (if they don’t), which places OSU on the pricier end of the 25 best Bachelor’s in healthcare management.
California State University-Chico
Average Net Price
“Chico State,” as it’s known to friends, is the second oldest university in the California State University system. It opened back in 1887 as the northern California branch of the state’s teaching college. These days it serves roughly 17,000 students, 98% of whom hail from California.
They can take advantage of Chico State’s cheap tuition, $5,742, but the roughly 2% of students who come from elsewhere should plan to spend $17,622. The university offers a BS in health services administration, which is composed of 57 units of major coursework. On the curriculum are introductory courses for financial and managerial accounting, along with management classes for health services organizations and principles in health services. There’s also the usual topics like statistics, community health, multicultural health, laws and ethics, and healthcare delivery systems. Students complete an internship and a health services administration capstone seminar.
Chico State uses a formula for admission—which favors students from the surrounding area—but applicants should plan to submit SAT/ACT scores and a high school transcript.
California State University-Northridge
Average Net Price
Los Angeles, California
Among them: people with a BS in health administration. The 120-unit program focuses on “learning-centered courses, community partnerships, advocacy, and scholarship,” per its website. General-education requirements account for 36 credits, with other required units adding 13, leaving 71 credits of major coursework. That begins with lower-division classes in biology, math, psychology, and sociology, before proceeding to upper-division core courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, and a health services overview.
The real core of the major comprises 33 units in administration, law, health planning, finance, and more, with electives allowing for further specialization in hospital administration, gerontology, and others. Like other programs on our list, CSUN requires an internship at an approved agency for 180 clock hours.
Because CSUN is part of the Cal State system, it has the same tuition as its sibling in Chico: $5,742 for in-state and $17,622 for out-of-state students. It also uses the same formula for admission, but applicants should plan to send their high school transcript and SAT/ACT scores.
Charter Oak State College
Average Net Price
New Britain, Connecticut
The tagline on the website for Charter Oak State College is “Degrees without boundaries,” and the university isn’t speaking figuratively. The Connecticut school offers its programs exclusively online, so there really aren’t boundaries. Well, sort of. Connecticut residents pay less ($7,440) than their out-of-state counterparts ($9,792), but either way, Charter Oak is cheap.
The university specializes in degree-completion programs, providing people who have associate’s degrees or other college coursework a means for earning their BS in healthcare administration. The degree requires a minimum of 42 credits of major coursework, in classes like Health Care Systems and Administration, Financial Accounting, Human Resource Management, Leadership in Health Care Administration, and others covering finance, economics, healthcare principles, etc. It concludes with a capstone project.
Because Charter Oak aims to help adults complete their degrees, its admission requirements are minimal, and its online application can be completed in minutes. The university is also generous with transfer credit, accepting up to 87 hours.
Oregon Institute of Technology
Average Net Price
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Considering the university’s name, it should come as no surprise that Oregon Tech offers its BS in healthcare management online as well as on campus. But those who travel to Klamath Falls, home to Oregon tech, can enjoy its proximity to beautiful Crater Lake National Park and its bright skies—it’s known as “Oregon’s City of Sunshine,” an uncommon resource in the gloomy Pacific Northwest.
The university’s BS in healthcare management offers three concentrations: administration, clinical, and radiologic science management. Administration is the widest option, as it “builds a broader base of understanding of healthcare in the U.S. and its systems, policies, and challenges.” Students on this track complete a medical sociology minor. The clinical track is open to students certified in an allied health field interested in more supervisory roles. They earn 44 credits for their registry work. The radiologic science management option is for people currently registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists who want to run a medical-imaging facility or department. They earn 89 credits for previous work.
Clinical and radiologic students begin the program as sophomores, while administration students spend their first year boning up on foundational classes in psychology, sociology, writing technical reports, healthcare marketing, and more. Oregon Tech operates on the trimester system, so it crams a lot into each academic year. The degree requires 181-205 credit hours, depending on the track. Each track ends with a capstone project or internship.
True first-year students will need their SAT/ACT scores and self-reported high school GPA, and students who have 24 semester credits will need a 2.25 GPA or better for admission. When it comes to price, Oregon Tech is right about average for in-state ($8,498) and significantly above average for out-of-state ($27,048) among the 25 best Bachelor’s in healthcare management.
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Founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell, Liberty University describes itself as an “evangelical liberal arts institution” that trains “champions of Christ.” But students studying its BS in healthcare administration spend most of their time on the more Earthly concerns of working in the U.S. healthcare system. (Well, after they take eight hours of Christianity & Contexts.)
Liberty’s 120-hour program is offered exclusively online via eight-week courses, with most students taking three and a half years to finish it—or less, considering the university allows up to 75% of the degree work to be transferred. Major work begins with three foundational courses in business computer apps, probability and statistics, and organizational behavior, before 57 hours of upper-level work kicks in. It covers all the usuals: accounting, legal and ethical issues, operations management, economics, healthcare informatics, and more. Electives round out the rest.
Liberty University prides itself on what it calls the “three As”: affordability, accessibility, and academic quality. Where affordability is concerned, Liberty charges $15,837 for all students—lower than the out-of-state average, though about twice the in-state one. For accessibility, students need only supply college transcripts and self-certified high school info for admission. Academic quality? At No. 19 on our list, Liberty is no slouch.
University of South Dakota
Average Net Price
Vermillion, South Dakota
Located in the far southeastern corner of South Dakota, the state’s namesake university hosts about 10,000 students. Many gravitate toward the Beacom School of Business and its Bachelor of Business Administration, of which health services administration is a part.
The 120-hour degree requires 70-75 hours of major coursework, all of it completed at USD’s campus in Vermillion, SD. Unlike other degrees where students don’t get a taste of their major until junior year, first years at USD start working through their pre-major business core classes first semester. Each semester finds them checking off one or more of those prerequisite courses until 48 hours of major coursework begins in earnest junior year.
The curriculum offers a mélange of business and health care courses, like Business Finance, Business Statistics, Health Services Administration Law and Policy, and Health Economics. Coursework hits all of the expected points of resource management, law, policy, marketing, organizational theory, and more. It also includes an internship, usually completed in the summer between junior and senior year.
If nothing else, USD has cost going for it: At $7,451 for in-state and $10,815 for out-of-state, it’s well below the average cost of other programs in our 25 best Bachelor’s in healthcare management. Admission is pretty typical for first years: ACT/SAT scores, high school transcript, good grades. Transfers need at least 24 credit hours and a 2.0 GPA. Once at USD, students need to apply to Beacom, and for that they need to have completed 45 semester hours with a 2.5 GPA or better.
University of Minnesota-Duluth
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The University of Minnesota’s outpost in the state’s fourth-biggest city began as a teaching school, but it’s been part of the UM system for more than 70 years, where it outperforms its “regional university” status. U.S. News and World Report ranks it No. 7 in Top Public Schools, and its Bachelor of Business Administration in healthcare management claims to have a 100% placement rate.
Offered via the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, UMD’s BBA in healthcare management is a 120-hour program with 98 hours of major coursework. Because it’s offered through Labovitz, the curriculum leans heavily on business. In fact, the healthcare management coursework boils down to 21 credit hours in the areas of organization and management, ethics, quality management, an internship, and a trio of other supporting courses (such as Medical Informatics). The rest of the coursework focuses on business, from operations management and marketing to writing, organizational behavior, and a suite of pre-major requirements.
First-year and sophomore students are admitted to the program as pre-business majors, with coursework beginning junior year. Admission to UMD is pretty simple, requiring only transcripts and ACT/SAT scores. Entrance to the business school requires a 2.6 GPA. Tuition costs $12,016 for in-state and $17,134 for out-of-state students.
University of North Florida
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Is the University of North Florida a school or resort? While more than 17,000 students matriculate there to study under nearly 600 faculty, the 1,000-acre campus in Jacksonville boasts “miles of walking trails, zip lines, a lazy river, and other recreational opportunities.” What, no parasailing?
Jokes aside, UNF notes that its hometown is “one of the most dynamic health services marketplaces” in the U.S., with 15 hospitals and a Mayo Clinic satellite—not to mention the many, many seniors who live out their golden years in Florida. Unsurprisingly, UNF’s Brooks College of Health—which awards the Bachelor of Health Administration degree—attracts the most students of UNF’s colleges.
The degree requires 78 credits of major-related coursework, comprising 15 credits of prerequisites, three credits of requisites (The Language of Healthcare), 12 credits of electives, six credits from an internship, and 42 credits of major requirements. The university also offers a BHA with an aging services concentration. The coursework hits the usual marks, covering managerial epidemiology, the U.S. healthcare system, health economics, long-term care, marketing, etc., along with a capstone to be completed the semester prior to the internship.
At $3,853, UNF is the second cheapest option for in-state students among our 25 best Bachelor’s in healthcare management, and at $16,199 for out-of-state students, it still lies well below the list’s average of $20,291. Its admission requirements are also reasonable, as UNF needs only transcripts and SAT/ACT scores. Transfer students need to have earned at least a 2.0 GPA on any previous coursework.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Average Net Price
While it’s hard to compete with the University of Wisconsin’s main campus in Madison—one of the nation’s best college towns—UW-Milwaukee offers plenty for the 26,000 students who study there, with its urban campus in a highly livable, vibrant city. The school is a big research university, which dovetails nicely with its BS in health care administration, and the College of Health Sciences offers the most health-related degree programs in Wisconsin.
Although the College of Health Sciences awards the degree, BS students complete a minor in business administration as well (“to reinforce strong management skills,” says its website). The 124-credit degree begins pre-major coursework first semester of the first year, with students taking three health-related classes right out of the gate. That continues each semester until junior year, when the heart of major coursework kicks in, with courses like Healthcare Quality Management, Post-Acute Care and Management, Law for Healthcare Consumers and Professionals, and others. Students also complete a semester-long internship.
Applicants to UW-Milwaukee will need ACT/SAT scores, transcripts, and a personal statement. Transfer students can skip the test scores if they have more than 12 transferable credits or are over 21. They won’t need to spend much, though: UWM costs $8,091 for in-state and $19,370 for out-of-state tuition.
Central Michigan University
Average Net Price
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Located smack-dab in the middle of Michigan in Mount Pleasant, Central Michigan University at least lives up to its name. Mittenheads need only flip over to their right palm and point to the center to show where they’re earning a Bachelor of Applied Arts in health administration.
Excluding general education and other non-major coursework, the degree requires 54 hours of health administration classes. Among the 45 hours of requirements are courses covering health informatics, biostatistics, health planning, community health, law, finance, marketing, and others, ending with a capstone internship. Students also take three hours of economics and six hours of electives that offer further insight into gerontology, behavioral health, managed care, resident care, and more.
Central Michigan keeps its admission requirements minimal, requiring only a high school transcript and SAT/ACT score. For admission to the major, students will need a 2.5 GPA or better in at least 30 hours of preparatory coursework. They’ll also need a little more money than some other programs: $12,093 if they’re from Michigan and $22,881 if they aren’t.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Average Net Price
If nothing else, Florida A&M has affordability going for it: Floridians pay a scant $3,152, the cheapest in-state tuition among the 25 best Bachelor’s in healthcare management, and their out-of-state counterparts pay $14,524, the fourth-cheapest option in our list. But the university boasts more than affordability; it’s the only historically black university on our list and among the 11 schools in the State University System of Florida.
As an HBCU, its Bachelor of Science in healthcare management aims to prepare racial and ethnic minority students for positions in the healthcare industry. Its 120-hour curriculum includes a 13-week field practicum among a suite of courses covering healthcare delivery, medical terminology, health law, information systems management, long-term care, research, policy, business communications, and all the other subjects typically included in a degree of this type.
Admission to the university requires transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, a 500-word essay, and two letters of recommendation for first-year students. Others with some coursework under their belts submit the same, but skip the essay and letters of recommendation.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out the 10 best online Bachelor’s degrees in healthcare administration and the 20 best Bachelor’s in health informatics!