10 Best MHA Programs in Illinois – 2024

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Do you want to become a leader in the healthcare sector? When you enroll in one of the many MHA programs in Illinois, you’ll learn how to tackle the technical and societal obstacles that challenge healthcare delivery in the U.S. at the systemic level. A Master’s in Health Administration degree can prepare you to become a hospital director, a group practice administrator, or a manager at a medical center. You’ll earn a top salary, too! In the Prairie State, the average MHA salary is $130,670 annually. Get started today by reviewing this list of the 10 best MHA programs in Illinois for 2024.



(Based on our Ranking Methodology, we have ranked the 10 best campus-based and online MHA programs in Illinois.)

1. University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago

Programs Offered: Residential MHA (On-Campus) and Executive (EMHA) (On-Campus)

About the School: Whether you are ready to launch your career in healthcare administration or keen on advancing to leadership levels, at University of Illinois, you will find an MHA program that is right for you. Counted among the best MHA programs in Illinois, the school offers both a traditional and an executive MHA track to suit the academic and professional needs of its growing student population. Equipped with marketable skills, the school’s MHA graduates are working in various positions across the state.

Program Details: The traditional MHA program is offered on-campus, while the executive program is an online track.

The traditional track is meant for students with little or no prior experience in healthcare. Based on your preference, you can complete this coursework either full-time or part-time. The curriculum comprises a total of 60 credits, including core courses, an elective course, a preceptorship, and a capstone project.

The executive track on the other hand, comprises 48 credits and takes two years to complete when enrolled full-time. This MHA program in Illinois includes a capstone project instead of a preceptorship. Because the executive track is typically designed for working professionals the capstone is supposed to be completed at the student’s workplace.

Regardless of the program, the core courses focus on health organizational leadership, quality management, healthcare human resources management, healthcare finance, health economics, and quantitative methods for healthcare management.

Admission Requirements: To qualify for admission, regardless of the program you are applying to, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, you must prepare to submit your resume, three letters of recommendation, a personal goals statement, and transcripts. If you are applying to the executive track, you require at least two years of professional work experience in healthcare.

Key Highlights

• The traditional MHA program stands out for offering a 12-month preceptorship wherein students apply their theoretical knowledge to practice in a healthcare organizational setting. The 12-month period starts at the end of the first year and continues until the second year of the program.
• The school reports an outstanding placement rate, having 100% of its MHA graduates suitably placed soon upon graduation.

2. Governors State University - University Park (Hybrid)

About the School: The healthcare field is rapidly expanding and so is the need for healthcare administrators. If you’ve made up your mind to enter this dynamic field, then the first step must be to obtain your training from one of the best MHA programs in Illinois. Governors State University’s MHA program is a great option you may want to consider. The college provides well-rounded training, covering every aspect of healthcare administration, from foundational concepts to advanced topics in research methods, quality improvement, informatics, and policy among others.

Program Details: This a 54-credit coursework that can be completed within two and a half years, if enrolled full-time. Alternatively, you can opt for the part-time program and enjoy the flexibility of a slower pace. Also, you can opt for either the on-campus or hybrid track based on your preference. On a full-time basis, you will take three courses per semester to complete the program within the stipulated time frame.

The coursework of this MHA program in Illinois trains you in the key areas of healthcare system & delivery, business & management knowledge, critical thinking and analysis, policy & community engagement, professionalism, leadership, and communication. The didactic courses mainly include organizational theories in health administration, healthcare policy, legal aspects of health care, and healthcare financial management. Also, the program emphasizes practical training and requires you to complete either an internship or a thesis project.

Admission Requirements: As a potential applicant to this master of healthcare administration program in Illinois, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, you must be prepared to submit your official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Also, it is preferred that you have completed courses in statistics, economics, and accounting before starting with your MHA coursework.

Key Highlights

• To accommodate the needs of working students, the MHA classes are held in the evenings, regardless of whether you enroll in the on-campus or hybrid format.
• As a student of this MHA program, you will be eligible to become a member of the Upsilon Phi Delta which is a national academic honor society. This society is an effective platform for professional networking and exploring learning opportunities.
• You can also get involved in the college’s Student Healthcare Management Association where you can enhance your MHA learnings through meaningful interactions and participation in leadership activities.

3. University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign - Urbana-Champaign, (On-Campus)

About the School: A relatively new offering among the MHA programs in Illinois, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s MHA training started in 2017. With a new-age curriculum, here you will be mentored by healthcare leaders in a close-knit classroom. The in-person format opens up ample opportunities for close interaction with faculty and peers. Besides, the career fairs and career coaching that the college organizes help MHA students secure promising career opportunities even before graduation.

Program Details: This is a two year-coursework that requires the completion of core courses, and electives, including an internship and a capstone. Throughout your training, you learn about the organization of healthcare, principles of epidemiology, health economics, health policy, biostatistics, and health finance. Also, you learn about operations management in healthcare, strategic planning, and healthcare quality. Besides, you must take two electives in the second year of the program. Also, the internship requires completing 200 hours of practical experience at a healthcare organization. Upon completing the 52-credit coursework, you can explore varied positions in finance, quality improvement, patient care, human resources, and policy development.

Admission Requirements: This master of healthcare administration program in Illinois takes in candidates who have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. To fulfill the other admission requirements, you must submit a personal goals statement, a resume, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.

Key Highlights

• As an MHA student, you can participate in Public Health Professionals and the Future Healthcare Executives organizations, where you can meet like-minded aspiring healthcare administrators and build meaningful professional connections.
• The college offers MHA students financial assistance of $500 which can be used towards professional development activities such as events and conferences. You can apply for this award each year of your MHA program.

4. University of St Francis - Joliet (Online)

Concentrations: Data Science in Health Care, Leadership in Healthcare, Management of Long-Term Care, Population Health, and Quality Improvement in Health Care

About the School: Ever since the inception of the MHA program in 1980, the University of St Francis has been training competent healthcare managers from all walks of life. Its MHA program stands out for offering students five in-demand focus areas to choose from. Besides, here, MHA education is designed in tune with the ever-evolving trends of the healthcare industry to prepare graduates to lead in diverse healthcare settings across the nation.

Program Details: This MHA program in Illinois comes with five concentration options; Data Science in Health Care, Leadership in Healthcare, Management of Long-Term Care, Population Health, and Quality Improvement in Health Care.

Regardless of the concentration you choose, the total credits required for graduation are 36, including 15 credits in MHA core, 9 credits in electives, and 12 credits in concentration-specific courses. The core courses strengthen your knowledge in human resource management, medical sociology, healthcare finance, healthcare law, and healthcare ethics. Thereafter, you complete electives from a range of course options.

If you choose the data science concentration, you will obtain skills in health information and analytics, whereas the management of long-term care concentration focuses on the physiological and psycho-social issues in long-term care. On the other hand, the population health concentration emphasizes health program planning and evaluation of health equity & diversity. The quality improvement track is designed to teach you strategic management in healthcare, healthcare quality management, and risk management. If you enroll in the leadership in healthcare track, you will select four courses from any of the other four concentrations.

Designed for working professionals, the program regardless of the concentration is offered through flexible online classes. Also, to provide students with the benefit of in-person interactions, the college offers a few elective courses through on-campus classes, once a week in the evenings.

Admission Requirements: One of the few online MHA programs in Illinois that do not require a fee to apply, application to this MHA program requires you to have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Also, you must have paid work experience in healthcare for at least two years. Additionally, the college requires you to be savvy with Word and spreadsheets.

Key Highlights

• The college’s faculty comprises active healthcare leaders who hold pivotal positions in healthcare research and consulting. They bring their valuable real-life experiences to the classroom.
• The college offers an affordable tuition cost compared to other masters of healthcare administration programs in Illinois. Besides, if you are from a defense background, you can expect financial benefits to further reduce your cost of education.

5. Loyola University Chicago - Chicago (Online)

Concentrations: Healthcare Business Intelligence, Healthcare Community Engagement and Partnership, And Post-Acute Care Administration

About the School: If you are looking for faith-based MHA programs in Illinois, then Loyola University Chicago may have an option. Being a Jesuit institution, the college offers MHA training that is grounded in Jesuit values. Also, in addition to offering competitive tuition costs, the college offers several scholarships and financial aid opportunities to MHA students. Besides, if you prefer a flexible study schedule, then here you will complete your education through flexible online classes.

Program Details: This MHA program in Illinois offers three concentrations; healthcare business intelligence, healthcare community engagement and post-acute care administration, so you choose a focus area based on your career goals and interests.

Regardless of the track you choose, you will complete coursework comprising 37 credits. You will take online classes as part of a cohort and complete the program within two years. The core courses prepare you as an interprofessional healthcare leader by strengthening your knowledge in organizational management and ethics, healthcare finance, healthcare information systems, quality & patient safety, and managerial epidemiology. You also learn about strategy & leadership in healthcare organizations.

The healthcare business intelligence track includes nine credits of specialty coursework in healthcare data analytics and business intelligence. On the other hand, the community engagement track focuses on healthcare community engagement & partnership, whereas the coursework in acute care administration trains you in post-acute care healthcare delivery. All three concentrations include a specialty capstone experience. In addition, an elective also forms a part of your coursework, which can be taken from a wide variety of options.

Admission Requirements: To qualify for admission, you must have an accredited bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, the college requests submissions in form of a resume, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation. Also, you must have completed courses in accounting, economics, and statistics with a minimum grade of B.

Key Highlights

• To enhance your learning experience, this MHA in Illinois offers immersion weekends, wherein you apply your theoretical knowledge to practice in a variety of healthcare settings. In addition, the application of knowledge is emphasized through a capstone project and case competitions.
• Should you aspire to complete your MHA degree as a generalist, you can choose the generalist track instead of the concentrations. The generalist track requires completing a total of 37 credits in core courses, elective courses, and immersion experiences. The electives are to be chosen from the concentration courses.

6. Southern Illinois University - Carbondale (Online & On-Campus)

About the School: Whether you prefer the convenience of online classes or desire the personalized connection of in-person classes, at Southern Illinois University, you can choose a format based on your preference. In addition, regardless of the format you choose, you will be mentored by an expert faculty who is invested in your professional success from day one of the program. Besides, to make its MHA education accessible, the college offers several scholarships and financial aid opportunities, having almost 80% of students receiving some sort of financial assistance.

Program Details: This is a 42-credit coursework that takes 24 months to complete. This master of healthcare administration program in Illinois focuses on effective healthcare operations, human resource management, leadership in healthcare, healthcare informatics, managerial epidemiology, evidence-based management, and finance management in healthcare.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for this MHA in Illinois, the college requires that you have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.7. In addition, you must submit your transcripts, a resume, and a personal goals statement to complete your application.

Key Highlights

• This MHA program in Illinois provides you with a choice of completing either an individual research project, a residency, or an internship, depending on your career goals.
• The college offers a dual degree, combining skills in healthcare administration with health informatics. So, upon graduation, you earn a master’s in healthcare administration and a master's in health informatics.

7. National Louis University - Chicago (Blended)

Concentrations: Fundamentals of Design Thinking, Long-Term Care Administration, and Public Health Leadership

About the School: Do you see yourself playing varied roles of either a clinical director, mental health program manager, or maybe a director of nursing? If you aspire to advance your career to these management positions, then you must first apply to one of the best MHA programs in Illinois. National Louis University’s MHA program can be a great option as the college not only prepares you with a solid foundation in healthcare administration, but also offers three focus areas in fundamentals of design thinking, long-term care administration, and public health leadership.

Program Details: Counted among the reputed master of healthcare administration programs in Illinois, this 36-credit MHA program can be completed, by either choosing the generic track or any of the three concentrations. The core courses train you in key competencies of leadership in health, healthcare policies, ethical & legal issues, strategic management in healthcare, project management applications, and marketing in healthcare.

The fundamentals of design thinking track includes courses in innovation through empathy, ideation & communication, and prototyping and user testing. On the other hand, the long-term care administration track trains you in the financial management & governance of long-term care, and resident services management. Whereas., the public health leadership track focuses on public health systems, environmental health, applied epidemiology, and health promotion.

Admission Requirements: To qualify for this MHA program in Illinois, regardless of the track you choose, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, you are required to submit three references, a personal goals statement, and a resume.

Key Highlights

• The college offers transfer credits for prior courses you’ve completed, provided you have the approval of the faculty.
• Should you desire a second degree of an MBA in General Management and Health Services concentration, you will be able to transfer 15 MHA credits towards it and complete it sooner than you think.

8. Rasmussen College Illinois - Rockford (Online)

About the School: Rasmussen College’s MHA program can launch your career in healthcare administration in as little as 18 months. Besides, this MHA in Illinois trains you through convenient online classes that can be taken and completed at any time and from anywhere. Moreover, here, your training is aligned with the changing needs of the interdisciplinary healthcare industry.

Program Details: Through this 48-credit curriculum, you will develop strong critical thinking and decision-making skills. The 12 courses that you must complete for graduation teach you health policy, healthcare information systems & technology, and healthcare quality management. Also, you will be equipped with a professional skill set in leadership, population health, and strategic planning.

Admission Requirements: Similar to other online MHA programs in Illinois, to qualify for this program you must have completed your undergraduate education, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, you must submit your transcripts, a resume, a personal goals statement, and three letters of recommendation.

Key Highlights

• The college offers its MHA courses through a unique Empowered Learning format. As the name suggests, this format of classes is empowering, allowing to you tailor your study model to your specific needs.
• Here, because the college offers competency-based learning, you can save money by not taking a course you are already knowledgeable of. Meaning, through transfer credits, or self-directed assessments you can demonstrate your competence and reason out why you may not need to take a particular course.
• Rasmussen offers military students several benefits in terms of enrollment and funding support.

9. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science - North Chicago (On-Campus)

About the School: No matter your professional background, at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science’s MHA program, you will be groomed for success in the field of healthcare administration. The interprofessional environment the school offers owing to its several health profession degrees provides students with an enriching interprofessional learning environment. Further, the impetus for interprofessional training is apparent from its graduates holding pivotal positions in interprofessional healthcare environments across the state.

Program Details: This master of healthcare administration program in Illinois is offered with part-time and full-time schedule options. While the full-time program takes one year to complete, the part-time track can be finished within two years or a maximum of five years. The 46-credit coursework requires the completion of 37 credits in core courses and two 3-credit electives. Your MHA education will focus on healthcare law & ethics, strategic planning, accounting & financial management, statistics for health professionals, healthcare policy, and marketing in healthcare.

Admission Requirements: To fulfill the application requirements, you must foremost, have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75. In addition, you must submit three letters of recommendation, transcripts, a personal statement, and a resume. While relevant professional experience is not necessary, you must have at least one year of work experience, preferably in a healthcare field.

Key Highlights

• The MHA program closely monitors your progress through course exams, projects, reflection papers, board postings, and through the final e-portfolio course.
• The college accepts up to nine transfer credits from an accredited institution, provided you have earned a minimum grade of B. If allowed the transfer, you will be able to save considerable time and money.

10. Northwestern University - Evanston (Online)

About the School: If you are keen on advancing your career what better than the dynamic field of healthcare administration. Not only is this one of the fastest-growing healthcare jobs in Illinois, but as a healthcare manager, you will be highly respected in a healthcare organization. To enter this field, you must consider obtaining your degree from one of the best MHA programs in Illinois. Northwestern University’s MHA program can be an excellent option for someone who wants to stay ahead of the competition in this in-demand field. Because the college offers this program in partnership with the university’s school of medicine, you gain an edge by obtaining skills in critical thinking and interprofessional collaboration.

Program Details: This MHA program is offered online through a flexible format, so you can take classes at your convenience. To graduate, you require completing 12 courses in vital topics such as change management & leadership in healthcare, financial management, data-driven healthcare management, strategic management, and healthcare innovation. The program ends with a capstone where you will integrate your theoretical knowledge and apply it to practice in a healthcare organizational setting.

Admission Requirements: To gain eligibility for admission, you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Also, your minimum GPA must be 3.0. In addition, it is preferred that you have relevant work experience of at least a year. To fulfill the application requirements, you must also keep your transcripts, statement of purpose, resume and references ready for submission.

Key Highlights

• The tuition cost at this MHA program is competitive, compared to the best online MHA programs in Illinois. In addition, the college offers several financial aid opportunities that eligible students can avail of to further reduce tuition costs.
• The joint expertise of the faculty of the school of healthcare administration and the school of medicine opens up unique learning opportunities inside as well as outside the classroom.



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

As per the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), currently there are 2 accredited Master’s in Healthcare Administration programs in Illinois.

Total MHA Programs
in Illinois

MHA Programs in Other Cities & States