2024 Best Online Masters in Health Systems Management Programs

By Dr. Brianna Anderson
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on May 7, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
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Explore the best online masters in health systems management programs. Gain the expertise to lead and manage healthcare facilities effectively.

A masters in health systems management program helps prepare you to handle the behind-the-scenes operations that keep medical facilities running efficiently.

Best Online Masters in Health Systems Management Programs

Healthcare facilities are complex systems that involve many people, processes, and regulations. Effectively managing these organizations requires expertise in subjects like business, ethics, finance, law, and technology. An MS in HSM can help you develop advanced knowledge of these topics and sharpen your management skills.

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If you’re passionate about improving patient experiences and solving complex problems, a healthcare systems management masters degree could help you launch or advance a career in this in-demand field.

Universities Offering Online Masters in Health Systems Management Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Boise State University

Boise State University offers an entirely online program for a Master in Population and Health Systems Management. It can typically be completed in 5 semesters and is designed to be flexible to work with students’ schedules. Students in the program are given the opportunity to earn four different professional certifications from the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Boise State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

George Mason University

George Mason University offers an MHA in Health Systems Management that can be earned 100% online. This 45 credit program follows the same high standards as its on-campus equivalent. Most courses use an asynchronous format, and the program culminates with a capstone project. Students in the program can choose either the Health Care Quality concentration or the Executive concentration.

George Mason University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers an MBA in Health Systems Management. All courses are available online and are 8 weeks long. The program teaches from a Christian perspective and requires the completion of 54 credits. The curriculum consists of courses such as Legal and Ethical Principles in Health Care, Health Care Policies and Economics, and Strategic Management.

Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Kent State University

Kent State University offers a Master’s in Nursing Administration and Health Systems. The program is 100% online and designed to prepare students for mid- to upper-level management positions in healthcare. Students are required to complete 2 practicum courses to gain real-world experience. Accepted students may start in fall or spring semesters and enroll part-time or full-time.

Kent State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Montclair State University

Montclair State University offers a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Systems Administration and Policy. The curriculum emphasizes social justice and cultural competence. It seeks to prepare graduates for work in public and private healthcare settings. Prospective students with GPAs above 2.75 may apply without GRE scores.

Montclair State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Rivier University

Rivier University offers an online program for an MSN with a track in Leadership in Health Systems Management, which includes both business and nursing courses. Each business course is 7 weeks long, and each nursing course is 14 weeks long. The program requires the completion of 36 credit hours, which can typically be done in 2 years.

Rivier University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, Inc.

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology offers a Master of Science in Health Systems Management that can be earned online. This flexible program offers five start dates every year, and a full-time student can potentially finish the program in 12 months. Students in the program participate in a faculty-led travel experience and two on-campus leadership immersions.

Rochester Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Rush University

Rush University’s Master of Science in Health Systems Management has full-time and part-time enrollment options, and full-time students can typically finish in 2 years. The program provides small class sizes and offers paid internship opportunities. The curriculum consists of courses such as Human Resources Management, Health Care Accounting, and Finance Fundamentals.

Rush University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Delaware

The University of Delaware offers a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Health Systems Management. The program requires the completion of 36 credit hours, which can typically be done in 30 months. Each course is 7 weeks long. The curriculum consists of courses such as Performance Management and Program Evaluation, Seminar in Public Administration, and Health Economics.

The University of Delaware is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California offers an MS in Health Systems Management Engineering. The degree can be earned on campus or online. Full-time students can usually finish the program in 1.5 to 2 years. The program is often a good fit for students with bachelor’s degrees in the sciences or engineering.

USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Online Masters in Health Systems Management Programs

Man taking Online Masters in Health Systems Management

An online Master of Science (MS) in Health Systems Management (HSM) degree allows you to combine a passion for healthcare with solid business and management skills. You can learn about approaches and theories from various fields, such as computer science, economics, and epidemiology.

These subjects can help prepare you to coordinate, manage, and troubleshoot processes that allow healthcare facilities to function. You may also develop your interpersonal and leadership abilities through coursework and experiential learning opportunities like internships.

The knowledge you gain in this online information technology degree graduate program with an emphasis in HSM may help you handle the many responsibilities of a health systems manager. Duties will vary depending on your employer and role, but common tasks of a health systems manager include:

  • Authorizing expenditures
  • Creating staff schedules
  • Ensuring compliance with the latest healthcare regulations
  • Hiring and firing staff
  • Implementing new policies
  • Making ethical decisions
  • Maintaining records
  • Negotiating with vendors
  • Planning budgets
  • Supervising healthcare providers

To prepare you for these challenges, an MS in HSM program has you to study many relevant topics, such as:

  • Accounting
  • Computer sciences
  • Economics
  • Ethics
  • Healthcare policies
  • Human resources
  • Law
  • Management
  • Medical coding
  • Statistics

Healthcare facilities of all sizes—including hospitals, private practices, long-term care facilities, and outpatient centers—employ health systems managers to coordinate and supervise operations. Possible career paths for professionals with a graduate degree in health systems management include:

  • Healthcare administrator
  • Clinical director
  • Community college professor
  • Consulting health administrator
  • Health information manager
  • Health systems manager
  • Human resources manager
  • Medical coding specialist
  • Pharmaceutical quality manager
  • Public health program manager

An MS in HSM is a flexible degree that can prepare you for a range of positions in healthcare and other industries. If you’re interested in a leadership career, earning this credential could be a strategic next step in your professional journey.

Health Systems Management Careers & Salaries

Health Systems Management Careers & Salaries

A graduate degree in health systems management can help equip you for a range of positions in healthcare, research, and other fields.

There are careers for health systems professionals in a variety of medical centers and corporations. You might find employment in a facility that treats patients, like a hospital or rural health clinic. Your degree can also help you qualify for management positions in a medical supply company, a pharmaceutical corporation, and other businesses.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries of some careers related to health systems management.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Chief Executives $179,520
Financial Managers $131,710
Human Resources Managers $126,230
Training and Development Managers $120,130
Medical and Health Services Managers $101,340
Administrative Services Managers $100,170
General and Operations Managers $97,970
Facilities Managers $97,930
Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents $75,410
Social and Community Service Managers $74,000

The knowledge you can gain during your MS in HSM may also qualify you for employment in other areas. Some graduates work for consulting companies that advise medical organizations. Others work in government health agencies, nonprofit groups, or academic settings like community colleges and universities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that many of these positions will experience faster than average growth over the next ten years. For instance, demand for medical and health services managers will likely rise by 28% in this period, which is a much faster than average rate.

The expertise and skills that you can develop by earning an MS in HSM may help you secure a more senior or management position in your preferred area.

Health Systems Management Masters Curriculum & Courses

People taking Health Systems Management Masters

While the graduate courses in masters in health systems management programs differ from school to school, you may be required to take courses similar to these:

  • Healthcare Accounting: This course teaches you about financial accounting and reporting in healthcare facilities, along with the principles and regulations guiding these practices.
  • Healthcare Planning and Marketing: You’ll study various communication and marketing methods and theories, including advertising, consumer behavior, and strategic planning.
  • History of Medicine: This course provides a historical overview of diseases, the history of Western medicine, and modern innovations in healthcare.
  • Human Resource Management: You’ll learn strategies to effectively manage and support employees, including conflict management techniques, recruiting practices, and talent development methods.
  • Innovation Through New Technologies: You’ll examine how new and emerging technologies are reshaping today’s healthcare facilities and learn about technological challenges in the field.
  • Introduction to Healthcare Delivery: You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the history of healthcare, common challenges in the medical industry, health policies, and other introductory concepts.
  • Legal and Ethical Principles in Healthcare: You’ll study common ethical dilemmas and legal liabilities in the medical field and learn strategies to solve problems ethically.
  • Medical Device Regulatory Requirements: You’ll examine federal regulations for medical devices and learn about the processes companies must follow to receive commercial approval for new technologies.
  • Standards and Systems in US Healthcare: You’ll explore healthcare delivery in America and issues related to access and cost.
  • Statistics for Healthcare Management: This class covers concepts and methods in statistics as well as computerized statistical programs frequently used in healthcare facilities.

Your program may also provide opportunities for you to participate in internships, networking events, and research assistantships. These types of experiences might help you develop connections in your preferred field and gain hands-on knowledge.

Admissions Requirements

Woman preparing requirements for Health Systems Management Masters

Masters in healthcare system management programs can have unique application processes and requirements. You’ll often need to provide some of these documents when applying:

  • GRE or GMAT scores (only some schools require them)
  • Personal statements
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Official undergraduate transcripts

Before enrolling in a graduate program, you’re typically required to complete a bachelor’s degree in business, healthcare management, nursing, or another relevant degree. Some programs also require you to meet a minimum GPA during your undergraduate studies.

Program Accreditation

University offering Health Systems Management Masters

Colleges and universities that hold regional accreditation have demonstrated that they meet high-quality educational standards. Receiving a graduate degree in healthcare systems management from an accredited school has numerous benefits.

For instance, the federal government as well as most employers only provide financial aid opportunities to students who attend accredited schools. Plus, some state boards and professional organizations only allow graduates of accredited schools to take certification or licensure exams. You can visit the US Department of Education’s website to verify a school’s accreditation status.

CAHME Accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) is the preferred accrediting body for health systems management programs. Online programs with this credential are recognized as providing high-quality education in the evolving field of health management.

Many healthcare employers prefer to hire graduates of CAHME accredited programs, so enrolling in a program with this accreditation may open more career opportunities. In addition, you can typically transfer course credits more easily between CAHME accredited programs.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Health Systems Management Masters Financial Aid

You can explore a variety of financial aid resources that may decrease the upfront expenses of your masters program in health systems management.

The federal government provides several forms of financial assistance to qualifying graduate students. You can apply for student loans, and you may also be eligible to apply for federal and state grants and scholarships, though grants are less common for grad students.

Your school may also offer tuition assistance to eligible students through graduate assistantships, tuition waivers, and other initiatives. You can also see if your current employer provides education funding. You can visit the Federal Student Aid website to learn more about federal aid opportunities.

What Is a Health Systems Management Degree?

Medical & Health Services Manager discussing with hospital staff

A health systems management degree is an interdisciplinary program that can help prepare you for an administrative or leadership career in the healthcare field. You’ll explore various subjects related to healthcare and leadership, such as economics, philosophy, and statistics.

Throughout your studies, you can learn administrative techniques, business principles, and management skills that can help prepare you to design, maintain, and supervise healthcare processes. While completing this degree, you may also develop soft skills that are relevant to an administrative or management role.

For example, you could potentially hone your communication, conflict-resolution, leadership, organization, problem-solving, and team management abilities.

What Can You Do with a Masters in Health Systems Management?

General and Operations Manager & hospital staff discussing

A master’s in health systems management degree can help you qualify for administration or leadership careers in the healthcare system and other industries.

Many HSM graduates secure management jobs in healthcare facilities, such as clinics, hospitals, and retirement homes. A masters degree in this field can help prepare you for a variety of roles in these settings. Some professionals work as health information managers, health systems managers, medical records managers, medical coding specialists, clinical directors, and office administrators.

Just as with online database management degree program graduates, graduates of HSM degree programs may also pursue positions in consulting firms, government agencies, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters in Health Systems Management Online?

Woman taking Masters in Health Systems Management online

Many online masters programs in health systems management require students to take 30 to 36 credit hours. If you enroll in the program full-time and take classes year-round, you can typically complete it in 1 year. A master’s thesis may extend the program by one or two semesters, depending on how quickly you research and write your project.

Many online programs also allow you to take courses part-time. This approach can lengthen your time to complete the degree, but it may enable you to balance your studies more effectively with family, work, and other commitments.

What’s the Difference Between an MBA vs. Master in Health Systems Management?

An MBA in Health Systems Management and an MS in Health Systems Management have similar names, but these degrees have a few key differences.

MBA in Health Systems Management Masters in Health Systems Management
  • Prioritizes concepts and subjects related to business and leadership
  • May make it easier to pivot to a management role outside the medical field
  • Focuses more on topics related to healthcare
  • Typically for those who want to specialize and remain in the healthcare industry

While a Master of Business Administration (MBA) will also cover broader business topics, an MS in HSM will allow you to develop deeper healthcare-specific knowledge.

Is a Masters in Health System Management Worth It?

Medical/Health Services Manager and staff working together

Yes, a masters in health systems management is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for medical and health service managers are expected to increase by 28% over the next ten years, which is much faster than average.

A career in healthcare systems management may also offer personal fulfillment. Professionals in the field can help improve the lives of patients and providers by increasing access to healthcare and making medical services more efficient. You might also have the opportunity to integrate innovative technologies that save lives.

Getting Your Master’s in Health Systems Management Online

Man pursuing Masters Degree in Health Systems Management Online

Much like with other online technology management degrees, an online masters in health systems management may help you qualify for leadership positions in a variety of settings, including healthcare facilities, corporations, and government agencies.

In this graduate program, you’ll explore many subjects related to business and healthcare, such as accounting, communication, and the history of medicine. With this knowledge, you could potentially help organizations increase efficiency and deliver a higher standard of patient care.

If a masters in health systems management sounds like the right path for you, you can begin your graduate journey today by exploring accredited universities.

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