13 Best MHA Programs in California – 2024

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Interested in a career as a healthcare administrator in the Golden State? Graduates of MHA programs in California manage and coordinate business activities in hospitals, clinics and physician practices throughout the state. While some California MHA students have had previous careers as healthcare professionals, others are set to enter the healthcare profession for the first time, and many MHA programs in the Golden State feature online coursework. Professionals with Masters of Healthcare Administration degrees earn $145,090 annually on average in California. Want to find out more? Keep reading to learn about the 13 best MHA programs in California for 2024.



(Based on our Ranking Methodology, we have ranked the 13 best campus-based and online MHA programs in California.)

1. University of Southern California - Los Angeles

Programs Offered: MHA (Campus) and EMHA (Online)

About the School: University of Southern California’s MHA, counted among the best MHA programs in California can be a befitting choice for someone like you seeking a bright career in healthcare administration. For more than 40 years, the college’s healthcare administration faculty has trained exceptional leaders who have strived to make a difference in the lives of people. The college’s favorable location amid hundreds of hospitals, insurance & medical technology companies not only opens up diverse learning experiences during your period of study but also after it, by offering exciting placement opportunities. Here, you have two options, the MHA on-campus option, meant for students straight out of college, and the executive online track, designed for mid-level professionals.

Program Details: Out of these two MHA programs in California, no matter which prorgam you enroll in when you leave the college, you will demonstrate vital professional competencies, emphasizing critical & analytical thinking, knowledge of business & management, policy & community advocacy, interpersonal communication & leadership. While the on-campus MHA requires completing 48 credits, the online executive track comprises 36 credits. Both the curriculums include core and elective courses, in addition to a residency. You will be educated on organizational & clinical effectiveness through information systems, patient safety & quality care, healthcare management & administration, evaluating the economic issues in a healthcare organization, and risk management. Regardless of the track, you will earn your degree within two years of full-time study.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for either of these accredited MHA programs in California, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, the college requires you to submit three letters of recommendation, your current resume, and a personal goals statement. Additionally, for the executive track, you also require having at least five years of related experience in healthcare.

Key Highlights

• Both these programs offer a 1000-hour residency before you transition into the workforce. This real-world learning experience is described as the most rewarding part of your training because you apply newly acquired knowledge to gather a deeper understanding of various areas of healthcare administration.
• USC offers an intimate learning environment, be it the in-person class or the virtual learning sessions, you will bond with faculty and peers in small classes of 15 to 25 students.

2. California State University-Long Beach - Long Beach

Programs Offered: MHA Accelerated (Hybrid) and MHA Traditional (Campus)

About the School: Upon earning an MHA in California or any other state for that matter, you will not only rise in the professional hierarchy but also greatly increase your earning potential. California State University prepares you for this dynamic role through two program options, one, an accelerated MHA and the other a traditional on-campus MHA track. Being a prominent institution in the state, the school has several diverse community partners that not only serve as great practicum sites but also enhance the quality of healthcare delivery within the community. The college values diversity and welcomes students from all races and ethnicities, and is especially recognized for serving Hispanic and Asian students.

Program Details: Counted among the best MHA programs in California, the college’s traditional and accelerated track combine high-quality didactic training with extensive field experiences. While the traditional track is designed for students without any work experience, for the accelerated track you must be experienced as a healthcare professional. Regardless of the track you enter, you require completing 45 credits. Some of the topics you study include healthcare care system, human resources management, financial management, legal & ethical aspects of healthcare management, research methods, managing population health, and quality improvement in healthcare.

Admission Requirements: Eligibility for admission requires you to have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, for both these master’s of healthcare administration programs in California, you are required to complete pre-requisite courses in financial accounting, microeconomics, and statistics before starting the coursework. If you are applying to the accelerated track, in addition to the above-mentioned requirements, you must also have at least five years of work experience in healthcare.

Key Highlights

• With the accelerated track, you will take two courses each quarter. Even though rigorous, this format sets a rather comfortable pace, especially considering that students enrolled in this program are mostly full-time working professionals.
• If you are enrolling in the traditional program, then during the last semester the college provides you an opportunity of practicing skills through an internship, for which you can choose your preferred placement site from more than 300 sites across the state.

3. California State University-Northridge - Northridge (Campus)

About the School: Are you an experienced healthcare professional who is keen on taking your career to the next level? If so, what better than that of healthcare administration, one of the fastest-growing careers in the nation. To get started, enrolling in one of the best MHA programs in California is a career move you will not regret as not only will you graduate with exceptional skills but the state’s expanding healthcare environment also offers an exciting employment outlook. California State University’s MHA program is one such option that can take you closer to your dream career. Keeping working professionals in mind, the college offers in-person classes in the evenings, so that you can conveniently juggle a job while earning a degree. The college has played a significant role in impacting positive change in healthcare delivery by preparing efficient leaders who are working in various healthcare organizations located in the Greater San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles areas.

Program Details: This MHA program in California is a 48-credit program that comprises 36 required credits, 9 credits in electives, and 3 credits in a culminating experience. Most students complete this program within three years by taking 3 courses each semester. However, you can either take anywhere from 2 to 4 courses and complete the program at your preferred pace. The curriculum educates you on leadership, health economics, managerial ethics & healthcare law, information management for decision making, quality assurance, and strategic planning in health administration. Additionally, the electives that offer a range of options require you to take three courses on a topic of your interest. Finally, towards the end, you are required to complete a culminating and field experience.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for this program, you must demonstrate your professional as well as academic achievements. This is because the college reviews applications holistically, evaluating the overall potential of a candidate instead of focusing only on the GPA. As such, a minimum GPA of 3.0 in your bachelor’s degree and one year of work experience makes you eligible to apply. However, it is preferred you have a GPA of at least 3.3 and work experience of 3 years and above. Also, the college requires you to submit a professional resume, three letters of recommendation, a personal goals statement, and all official transcripts.

Key Highlights

• This program is proudly one of the four MHA programs in California to have received the CAHME accreditation.
• To reduce the course load during the duration of the program, you can opt to complete electives during the summer semester.

4. California State University-East Bay - Hayward (Online)

About the School: If you are searching for online MHA programs in California to advance your career to leadership and management positions, then you are in the right place. California State University-East Bay’s MHA program prepares you for the dynamic healthcare industry through the flexibility of online classes. With a personalized learning experience, even though you take classes remotely, you will be in close contact with its committed faculty who are well versed with the online teaching medium. Designed for healthcare professionals with at least two years of experience, through this program, you will be trained to explore employment options in various types of healthcare organizations, be it for profit, non-profit or voluntary.

Program Details: This is a 34-credit program that requires the completion of eight courses with a minimum grade of C. The program is offered in a 100% online format, with most students completing it within four semesters by taking 2 courses per semester. The curriculum trains you in vital areas of healthcare administration, including the U.S. health care system, leadership & strategic planning, healthcare quality improvement, use of information technology in healthcare, financial management, and healthcare legal and ethical issues. Towards the end of this MHA program in California, you complete a capstone project where you apply the newly acquired professional skills to solve a healthcare management issue.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for this online MHA in California, you must have two years of full-time experience as a healthcare professional. Additionally, an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 is required. To fulfill the admission requirements, the college requires you to also submit a statement of purpose, a resume, and two letters of reference.

Key Highlights

• If you are someone without any prior health care work experience, the college also offers an on-campus MHA. This program offers in-person classes in the evenings and requires completing a 34-credit coursework.

5. Concordia University-Irvine - Irvine (Online)

About the School: Accredited MHA programs in California not only provide you the assurance of high-quality education matching to national standards but also make you a desirable candidate in the job market. Well, if you are aspiring for a career in healthcare administration, then Concordia University-Irvine’s accredited MHA program can take you closer to your goal by providing you excellent theoretical and practical training. Whether you desire to work in hospitals, health systems, non-profit organizations, or insurance companies, here, the college’s faculty, having vast experience in various fields brings rich insights to the classroom and greatly enhances learning.

Program Details: Counted among the well-known online MHA programs in California, to complete this program, you require completing 40 credits which most students finish within two years. Being a 100% online coursework, you can easily juggle a full-time job with this program. The curriculum emphasizes vital professional competencies including leadership, professionalism, interpersonal communication, knowledge of the environment, and business and financial skills. Before starting the program, the college offers an orientation that you can take either on-campus or online. The 40 credits are mainly required courses and include no electives. However, towards the end, the coursework includes a practicum in health service management.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for this MHA in California, you will have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, you must submit a personal goals statement, a professional resume, and all official transcripts.

Key Highlights

• Each course is seven weeks in length and you will complete the program taking one course at a time.
• The college hosts workshops twice a year, where you will interact with peers, faculty, and industry experts. This interaction can be done either on-campus or online, depending on whether you prefer to meet in person or via live online streaming.
• Concordia allows you to transfer a maximum of 2 graduate-level courses, provided they meet the requirements of the MHA coursework and you have earned a minimum of grade B in these courses.

6. Ashford University - San Diego (Online)

About the School: Do you see yourself as a leader in various types of environments such as hospitals, health care associations, clinics, skilled nursing facilities, or health service organizations? If so, the best way forward is to enroll in one of the best online MHA programs in California as not only will you equip yourself with excellent professional skills, but you will also be able to advance your career without keeping your current professional commitments on hold. Ashford University’s MHA can be a befitting choice as the college prepares you for leadership, emphasizing healthcare finance, quality improvement, health policy, law & ethics, information systems, and management of human resources. Besides, the college’s faculty who are well versed with the online teaching medium mentor you to excel, bringing in their rich experiences to the virtual classroom.

Program Details: This master of healthcare administration program in California is a 36-credit curriculum where you must complete 12 courses of three credits each. The coursework includes topics covering principles of healthcare administration, business intelligence, financial management, health care informatics, health economics, health policy, and health care ethics & law. You will also take courses in quality improvement, strategic planning & healthcare marketing, and global & population health. As a culminating experience, you will complete a project in a healthcare organization, where you will apply the theoretical MHA knowledge to practice.

Admission Requirements: To obtain admission into this MHA program in California, you must meet three levels of admission, conditional, provisional and full, after which you will be admitted. To start with, you must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.0. Also, the degree must be from an accredited university. The college requires you to submit all official transcripts, a professional resume, and a personal goals statement.

Key Highlights

• Although a bachelor’s degree in health administration is not required, the college’s BA in health administration will be a good first step, essentially if you are starting your journey towards a flourishing career in healthcare administration.
• The program offers courses in a six-week format, allowing you the flexibility of taking one course at a time.

7. California State University-San Bernardino - San Bernardino (Campus)

About the School: California State University-San Bernardino has been one of the major contributors of healthcare professionals to the state’s expanding healthcare workforce. If you are seeking to enroll in one of the popular masters of healthcare administration programs in California, then, here you will gain education through various interdisciplinary learning experiences to get prepared for the state’s dynamic healthcare environment. The college tries to individualize the learning experience by offering electives and a choice of completing either a thesis or a residency, to help you reach your individual career goals. Upon completing your education, here, you will be prepared to explore opportunities in various work settings including military health services, public health departments, and military health centers.

Program Details: This MHA in California is a 44-credit curriculum that spans two years of full-time study. Offered in the on-campus format, the program allows for ample networking opportunities with peers, faculty, and experts from the industry. You will learn about management and administration, health economics, financial systems, information technology in health services, health law & medical ethics, strategic planning and health services administration leadership, team & quality development, and communication and interpersonal skills. Additionally, to provide you with real-world exposure, the program includes a residency in healthcare administration. This residency requires you to complete 400 hours of professional work experience at a healthcare site mutually decided in consultation with the college faculty. Alternatively, you can also choose to complete a thesis instead of the residency, more so if you have relevant work experience in healthcare.

Admission Requirements: To fulfill the minimum admission requirements for this program, you must have a baccalaureate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, a copy of your resume and a statement of purpose must be submitted.

Key Highlights

• To earn your MHA degree, you must have at least a grade of ‘B’ in all the MHA courses.
• To enhance your learning and professional resume, in addition to earning the MHA degree, here, you may consider completing additional certificate coursework in Finance, Accounting, and Information Systems.

8. Mount Saint Mary's University - Los Angeles (Campus)

About the School: Whether you come from a nursing background or any other healthcare career, if you are wishing an advancement in an indirect patient care role, then what better than healthcare administration. To kickstart this promising leadership career, enrolling in one of the best MHA programs in California will be the best bet. Mount Saint Mary’s University’s MHA program is one such option you may want to consider. With small-sized classes and affordable tuition costs, not only will you leave the college with thorough professional preparedness, but you will also earn the degree without breaking the bank. Moreover, the faculty who are well acclaimed have the work experience of working in varied professional fields. This conducive environment and well-rounded training grounded in liberal arts prepare you with a close understanding of various factors that influence healthcare delivery.

Program Details: This master of healthcare administration program in California is a 42-credit curriculum that spans two years. The program is designed for working professionals with on-campus classes conducted in the evenings, twice a week. Through this coursework, you will learn about health policy analysis, healthcare organization & management, project management, decision making, healthcare finance, legal & ethical aspects of healthcare, economics, accounting & financial management in healthcare and health policy design implementation. The program emphasizes practical learning and provides for real-world experiences at some of the prominent healthcare organizations in the area. The capstone project which forms the culminating experience requires you to apply theoretical skills in a practice setting. This experience serves as a transition before you step into the workforce.

Admission Requirements: To apply to this MHA in California, you must possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 in your undergraduate degree, which could be from any related discipline. To complete the online application, the college requires you to submit a resume, letters of recommendation, an application essay, and all official transcripts.

Key Highlights

• The college offers several financial aid opportunities that you can avail of to make your education affordable. Ensure you contact the college to know your eligibility.
• The classes are held at a campus location that is close to downtown Los Angeles. This central location not only makes it easier to reach the campus but also opens up a plethora of internship and placement opportunities in the bustling business district.

9. Trident University International - Chandler

Programs Offered: MSHA (Online) and DHA (Online)

About the School: Whether you are aspiring to kickstart a career in healthcare administration, or are desiring a doctorate in this promising field, Trident University International offers one of the few masters of healthcare administration programs in California that can lead to a DHA, should you desire to reach the pinnacle of education in healthcare administration. Here, regardless of whether you enter the MHA or DHA program, the college’s compassionate environment and excellence in online education also come at an affordable cost. Also, being 100% online, both the programs provide you the flexibility of continuing to work while advancing your education. As a student of this college, you will develop a strong base in vital areas of management, delivery systems, finance, human resource management, ethics, and regulations. The college’s faculty is committed to your journey and strives to prepare you for healthcare leadership not only for the national environment but even to take on pivotal roles, in the ever-changing global arena.

MHA Program Details: The MHA is a 40-credit curriculum that spans 18 months of full-time study. The coursework comprises required courses and electives, however, if you have no prior experience in healthcare, you may require completing additional credits in pre-requisite courses. Out of all the MHA programs in California, this program stands out for offering three concentrations in Conflict Resolutions Management, Health Care Quality Assurance, and Human Resource Management. Now, you may either choose to complete the MHA program with or without a concentration depending on your goals. If you choose any one of the three concentrations, you will require completing additional coursework of 8 to 12 credits.

DHA Program Details: On the other hand, the DHA program which builds on your master’s degree either in healthcare administration or any other discipline requires completing 36 to 44 credits in core courses. These courses mainly focus on healthcare finance, healthcare delivery systems, quality assurance, research methods, and healthcare law & ethics. The coursework ends with a doctoral project. As a graduate of this DHA program, you can explore advanced careers in research, education, or management.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for the MHA program, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.50. As such, there is no requirement for a GRE or GMAT score. Whereas for the DHA program you must have a master’s with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, you must have at least three to five years of work experience in healthcare. Both the programs require the submission of all official transcripts.

Key Highlights

• Trident also offers one of the shortest online MHA programs in California, should you choose to enroll in the ‘Fastrac’ program of 12 months instead of the standard 18-month coursework. The quick pace is due to doubling the number of courses you take for three sessions where instead of taking one course per eight-week term, you take two courses to complete your coursework six months earlier than the 18-month program.
• The college also offers a dual degree in MBA and MHA. Should you decide on earning the dual degree, you will require completing 8 MBA courses and 7 courses in healthcare administration.

10. California State University-Bakersfield - Bakersfield (Campus)

About the School: As a future healthcare leader, if you are keen on serving in prestigious organizations, nationally and globally, then enrolling into California State University-Bakersfield’s MHA program can be given a thought. Known among the best MHA programs in California, here, the college’s outstanding faculty and supportive environment provide employable training that is in tune with the changing needs of the healthcare industry. The college has strong ties with several private, government, and non-profit organizations, thereby opening up enriching opportunities for internships. Equipped with the relevant tools, the college’s graduates are making a difference, playing leadership roles in a variety of work environments including hospitals, non-profit organizations, consulting companies, nationally as well as globally.

Program Details: This master of healthcare administration program in California builds on your previous professional experience and requires completing 36 credits. The program spans two years and requires completing core courses, electives, and an internship. During the first year, you will complete courses in analytic methods in administration, financial management, economic issues in healthcare, understanding the US Health care system, health policy, and project management. Thereafter, in the second year, you will master concepts in health policy, strategic management, research design, and legal & ethical issues in healthcare. Now, depending on your previous professional & academic background, you may require completing either the internship or elective coursework or even both. The final culminating experience leading to graduation is an applied research project where you will demonstrate the professional knowledge gained by applying it to the project.

Admission Requirements: To be considered for this MHA in California, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a resume, and all official transcripts must be submitted along with your online application.

Key Highlights

• You may be eligible to transfer up to six credits for any graduate-level coursework previously completed, provided you meet the eligibility requirements.
• The internship requirement may be waived off if you have a minimum of one year of work experience either in a managerial role in healthcare, as a specialist in the public sector, or in a supervisory role in the private sector.

11. National University - La Jolla (Campus or Online)

About the School: Master of healthcare administration programs in California that offer year-round enrollment are few. Well, if you appreciate the flexibility of starting with the program whenever you are ready, then National University’s MHA can be a befitting choice. Because the college offers monthly starts, you need not wait to begin with your MHA studies. Also, with a choice of online and on-campus classes, you can complete the courses in a format, based on your preference. Founded by a veteran, this college offers several benefits to students coming from the military, so that they can seamlessly transition to student life. Moreover, as San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, the college’s MHA which is also counted among the best MHA programs in California, not only offers high-quality education but also makes it rather accessible by providing considerable affordability in tuition costs.

Program Details: To graduate from National’s MHA program, you require completing 16 courses or 72 quarter units. The curriculum includes various aspects of healthcare administration, such as healthcare management, healthcare informatics, quality evaluation, healthcare law & ethics, health economics, public health research methods, healthcare leadership, and the US healthcare system. As a graduate of this program, you will not only graduate with exceptional professional skills but also leave the college with a close understanding of people’s skills and the various social factors that influence healthcare delivery.

Admission Requirements: Similar to other MHA programs in California, to be eligible for admission, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. Also, to fulfill the admission requirements, you must submit all official transcripts, a resume, personal goals statement, and letters of reference.

Key Highlights

• Here each course takes four weeks to complete. So, each month you will focus on one topic at a time. This format also helps you to accelerate the pace of the program, allowing you to graduate sooner.
• The college offers on-campus classes at more than 20 locations across the state. So, if you prefer taking in-person classes, reaching a college site will never really be too far.

12. University of California-San Francisco - San Francisco (Online)

About the School: If you are searching for short MHA programs in California that can make you a healthcare leader in as little as one year, then you may want to learn about the MHA program offered by the University of California-San Francisco. Here, within 12 months, through an online medium of learning, you can obtain an advanced degree without keeping your current work obligations on hold. The college provides an interprofessional environment where students from four disciplines of pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, and nursing collaborate to enhance healthcare delivery at every level. This spirit of collaboration forms the very basis of this interdisciplinary MHA program.

Program Details: This program which starts both in fall and spring is one of the few online MHA programs in California that offers you the option of completing the culminating capstone project at your current workplace. Also, in addition to the online classes, the college offers three on-campus sessions, out of which one is the orientation session held before the start of the program. The curriculum is designed to educate you on health systems research, health finance & economics, leadership, healthcare policy, healthcare economics, policy & decision making, healthcare quality, and healthcare systems management. You also learn about the various aspects of interprofessional healthcare administration and the concepts & principles of leadership & management. The 36-credit program ends with an evidence-based interprofessional capstone project that can be undertaken at the healthcare organization you are currently working.

Admission Requirements: Similar to other MHA programs in California, to be eligible for admission, you must have an accredited bachelor’s degree. Also, you must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, you are required to have experience of at least six months, having worked full-time in a healthcare setting.

Key Highlights

• You will take three courses per quarter to complete the total 12 courses of this MHA within the stipulated time frame of four quarters or 12 months.
• As a student of this program, you will have free access to the university’s vast online library which includes journals, databases, and a plethora of e-books.

13. Loma Linda University - Loma Linda (Online)

About the School: No matter whether you are a clinician, registered nurse, pharmacist, analyst, technician, supervisor, or manager, if you are keen on taking your career to the highest level of leadership, then you must consider a career in healthcare administration. To start with, enrolling in one of the accredited MHA programs in California, will be the most prudent step. Loma Linda University’s MHA is one such program that can help you advance your career with future-ready skills. The school of public health that offers this innovative program has proudly received accreditation since 1967, in addition to the program accreditation by the CEPH, indicating high-quality education that matches national standards. For the past 50 years, this program has successfully produced several leaders who have made a difference to the health of millions of Californians.

Program Details: Known among the best online MHA programs in California, this 62-credit curriculum requires two years of full-time study. The curriculum is designed to impart skills through a rigorous online coursework which is complemented with meaningful hands-on experiences at its Medical Center, schools of nursing, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, behavioral health, and allied health professionals, and several other partner organizations. You will gain expertise in various aspects of healthcare education, including, managerial epidemiology, public health fundamentals, healthcare finance, healthcare economics, healthcare law & ethics, and health care delivery systems. You also learn about management of human resources, quantitative methods in healthcare management, health quality management, and ethical issues in healthcare administration.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for admission into this program, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. As such a GRE score is required, however, if your GPA is above 3.2, the requirement may be waived off. Additionally, the college requires you to have completed pre-requisite courses in accounting and microeconomics from an accredited college.

Key Highlights

• For students coming with a clinical degree or sufficient healthcare experience, the practicum experiences which form an integral part of this MHA program may be completely or partially waived off.
• While most students prefer the full-time schedule, the college also offers a part-time schedule where the duration of the program can be stretched to four years. However, if you opt for the part-time schedule, you may not be eligible to apply for financial aid.
• If you are an employee of Loma Linda University, you may be eligible for a substantial fee reduction.



What are the Total Number of Accredited MHA programs in California?

As per the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), currently there are 3 accredited Master’s in Healthcare Administration programs in California.

Total MHA Programs
in California

MHA Programs in Other Cities & States