How Long Does it Take to Get an MBA in Healthcare Management?

An MBA in healthcare management can be a real boon to those who are already employed in leadership positions within a hospital or smaller clinic. The unique skills taught as part of this program will give employees an even greater understanding of professional ethics in the healthcare field, as well as efficient management and compliance skills that will help the organization meet new demands enforced by the Affordable Care Act and other recent federal laws seeking to bring down the cost of healthcare and make it more available to all kinds of patients. This program was designed with professionals in mind, and is typically completed in an accelerated format that speeds up degree completion times considerably.

Completion Times Hinge on the Number of Credits Required

While the MBA might seem from the outside to be something of a standardized graduate-level pursuit, that’s hardly the case at today’s leading universities. Some MBAs require only 30 or 31 credits, while the average MBA requires 36 credits and the most extensive programs require up to 48 credits of study before students can receive their degree. Generally speaking, however, students are far more likely to be enrolled in a program that requires 36 credits or less from start to finish. Most universities offer MBAs in accelerated sessions paced evenly throughout the year, which allows their students to complete up to 18 credits per year without overextending themselves and causing issues with work schedules and responsibilities.

These accelerated sessions often last between seven and nine weeks, and require students to enroll in only one course. Some programs are cohort-based, meaning students will enter the university in a group and take each class with that same group of students, while others do not use the cohort system and allow the student to schedule their courses freely. In either case, the program completion time remains the same.

Full-Time MBA Programs Offer Faster Completion for Some Students

The part-time MBA program, described above, generally requires two years of the student’s time in order to finish. It’s a great fit for professionals who have already landed a management role in a healthcare organization, or those who have found professional employment in any other type of managerial role. For students who are pursuing their MBA without holding a full-time job at the same time, program completion times can be shortened. Full-time MBA programs cut at least six months from the time to completion, with students required to take four, nine-credit semesters to complete the degree requirements.

Because all MBA programs allow students to study throughout the fall and spring semesters, as well as during the summer, this includes three full-time semesters during the first year of study, and one full-time semester of study the following year. This fast-paced schedule isn’t for the faint of heart, however, since students will have to manage three graduate courses at any given time. Even one MBA course has been known to overwhelm some students, so choosing a full-time MBA track should be carefully considered for all of its possible pitfalls and stressors.

A Relatively Quick Graduate Program for Managers

Most MBAs are completed in two years. Even though this sounds like a pretty long time, it’s actually rather quick in the world of professional, graduate, and doctoral education. Students who are pursuing their MBA in healthcare management can choose from part-time or full-time arrangements, however, shortening or lengthening the program to fit their professional and academic needs as they see fit.

Additional Resource: What are the Best States in the U.S. to be a Healthcare Administrator?