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Best MBA programs for Healthcare

Best MBA programs for Healthcare
The modern healthcare industry has realized the need for business management professionals to run its various facilities. MBAs with specialization in healthcare management are much sought after for their leadership and business skills.

Jobs for management graduates are on offer not only in hospitals but also in rehabilitation and long-term-care facilities, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and other organizations.

The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported in its 2019 handbook that healthcare management jobs are expected to grow 32 percent each year with a median annual salary of over $104,000.

We take a look at some of the best business schools that offer MBA programs with a healthcare focus, including dual degrees, and other schools that contribute professionals to the industry.

[Editor’s Note: Article has been updated in September 2021]

Top MBA in Healthcare

Here’s a list of some of the best business schools for healthcare specialization across the world. Keep in mind that many of these are 2 year programs, and the tuition fee list below is annual.

Anderson (UCLA)

The MBA program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, allows students to specialize in healthcare and another specific concentration through elective courses in the second year of the program. The healthcare management courses include “the business of healthcare from a global perspective,” health law, and quantitative analysis for health systems. The annual, full-time cost of attendance is about $67,800 (please check the school websites for the exact cost/tuition).

Columbia Business School

The Columbia Business School, Columbia University, New York, runs an MBA in Health and Pharmaceutical Management, which is a flexible program that enables students to choose the courses that they want. Students admitted to the Columbia Business School can avail the electives offered under the HPM program. The courses bring together economics, finance, management, marketing, operations, and strategy in the curriculum. The annual tuition for the full-time program amounts to about $77,400.

Darden (Virginia)

Healthcare management is offered as a dual degree (MBA/MPH) by Darden and the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia. They are trained about healthcare delivery, biotechnology, devices, policies, etc. The annual, full-time cost of attendance is about $72,800.

Foster (University of Washington)

The Foster School of Business and the School of Public Health of the University of Washington, Seattle, offers a “Concurrent MBA and Master of Health Administration” program. The three-year, full-time program is designed for early-career professionals. The annual, full-time cost of attendance is nearly $65,400.

Foster MBA in HealthcareDaniel Poston, Assistant Dean for Master’s Programs, Michael G. Foster School of Business, shared some insights with MBA Crystal Ball.Dan told us, “I would add that as MBA Program Director, I have been strongly encouraging new and current students to get beyond the widespread fixation on information technology companies like Google and Amazon and explore the explosion of opportunities unfolding in healthcare, including vast opportunities to mix technology with healthcare. Healthcare has not yet captured the imagination of most MBA students, but it should. Industry leaders keep telling my school this industry is still awakening to its vast need for MBA skills.”We asked Dan how the Foster MBA helps students interested in a career in healthcare. Here’s what he had to share.

“MBA students in our full time MBA and evening (part time) MBA programs have the ability to tailor the elective curriculum to their personal career objectives. Students may enroll in courses in other graduate programs at the University of Washington including the Master’s in Healthcare Administration, which offers many courses directly relevant to healthcare. Some students pursue a dual MBA/MHA program which can be completed in 3 years. There are also relevant courses to healthcare in the area of data mining and data analytics available in the UW School of Information. Further, our entrepreneurship program has some very specialized courses that mix MBA students with graduate students in areas like Medicine and BioEngineering which address opportunities in the healthcare startup sector. For example, we had a recent class in Neural Entrepreneurship.”

The Biotech & Healthcare Club at the Foster School of Business includes both MBA and Master’s in Healthcare students. This group has long hosted a speaker series inviting the CEOs of all the major healthcare firms in the Pacific Northwest to discuss the most recent issues they have faced and offer their thoughts on future pathways for the industry.

In the last three years, two recently retired CEOs, one from Biotech and one from Premera Health Insurance have served one year terms as guest faculty and mentors to MBA healthcare students.

As part of the program MBA students are required to work on projects for companies, some in the Seattle area and some in California. Students can express preference for industry sectors and companies. Each year, several of the options include projects for large hospitals and biotech companies as well as for smaller startups and tech-oriented companies in the healthcare space.

The MBA Career Management Center has ongoing connections with many companies large and small in healthcare, healthcare consulting and biotech.

Dan told us about how Foster MBA students have taken up new opportunities in the healthcare sector.

“Several students in the past few years pursued the dual MBA/MHA degree and went to work for large consulting firms specializing in healthcare. The combination of these two degrees has been very appealing to this type of firm lending a strong healthcare legitimacy to the student’s resume.”

“One of the largest healthcare providers in the area has worked with Foster MBA Career Management to create a specific MBA internship program to enhance the pipeline for preparing MBA students to work in their companies. Other firms are now discussing similar concepts.”

Some of our most consistent MBA employers recruiting Foster MBA students are in the areas of healthcare, medical products, and biotech. All have facilitated career changers by not requiring prior experience in healthcare.

“A group of MBA students won this year’s MBA Business Plan Competition netting $50,000 toward a startup related to both healthcare and sustainability. MBA students were part of the team which won the Foster Healthcare Innovation Challenge, a healthcare specific business plan competiton.”


Fuqua (Duke University)

The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, North Carolina, prepares MBA students for the healthcare sector with its Health Sector Management program. The program has a strong focus on major healthcare issues such as financing options, organizational relationships, patient-provider relationships, and service delivery. The b-school offers healthcare management across its range of programs including the Daytime MBA Program, Cross Continent MBA Program, Weekend Program, and Global Executive Program. The annual, full-time tuition comes to about $70,000.

Goizueta (Emory University)

The Goizueta School of Business, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, conducts a “Concurrent MBA and Master of Public Health Course” along with the Rollins School of Public Health. Students attend the MPH degree in Atlanta’s Clifton Corridor, where Emory’s medical facilities are located. The annual, full-time cost of attendance for the MPH program, which can be completed in four semesters, is $66,500.

Haas (Berkeley)

The Haas School of Business, University of California, along with the University of Berkeley School of Public Health, offers a concurrent MBA/MPH with the School of Public Health that equips students with the knowledge and skills to come with usable solutions to improve the healthcare industry. A number of courses in healthcare management are offered at Haas, including biopharmaceuticals and health finance. Students attend courses in both schools and complete a three-month internship program in a health organizations. The annual, full-time cost of attendance is about $72,000.

Harvard Business School

The MBA with the Healthcare Initiatives at the Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Massachusetts, touches a wide range of functions and areas of the healthcare industry including research, education, and entrepreneurship to improve the practice of healthcare. HBS also promotes leadership development for the healthcare industry through the MBA program. The annual, full-time tuition is about $73,400.

Johnson (Cornell University)

The Johnson School of Business, Cornell University, New York, runs a two-year “Joint MBA and Master of Health Administration” program. Accounting, economics, finance, leadership, management, marketing, operations, and strategy are the main focus areas. Students have the flexibility to shape their curriculum to master specialized areas such as consulting, entrepreneurship, and finance for the healthcare industry. The annual, full-time cost of attendance is about $77,000.

Kellogg (Northwestern University)

Sharpening skills to handle the services or products of the healthcare industry is the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Illinois. The MBA program offers students keen on joining the healthcare industry its Health Management major. Kellogg’s Healthcare Program on Healthcare at Kellogg (HCAK) helps students increase their knowledge of business management concepts and healthcare policies and enables them to find key positions in the healthcare industry. The cost of the full-time tuition is about $76,000.

Kenan-Flagler (North Carolina)

The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business offers a a concentration in Healthcare program. Students can build a network of contacts and skills needed in the current healthcare industry landscape. The annual, full-time tuition comes to about $67,000.

McCombs (Texas)

The McCombs School of Business, University of Texas, offers an MBA program with a healthcare concentration that prepares students for roles in the healthcare, life science, and biotechnology industries. They acquire business skills and also a deep understanding of technology and policy issues that affect their industry. Students can engage with Austin’s biotech industry through the Austin Technology Incubator, American College of Healthcare Executives, and other initiatives. The annual, full-time tuition is about $58,000.


McCombs MBA HealthcareMBA Crystal Ball reached out to the McCombs School of Business to find out more. Here’s what we got to know from Edward G. Anderson Jr. (Director, Healthcare@McCombs) and Kristie J. Loescher (Director for Education and Community Engagement, Health Care Initiative).McCombs established the MBA Healthcare Concentration in 2010. Since then, they have continued to develop this program, including a course on the Healthcare Business Ecosystem, an MBA healthcare technology practicum, and the creation of the Healthcare Innovation Fellows (HIF).The Healthcare Business Ecosystem course introduces students to the ecosystem of the U.S. healthcare industry. Starting in Spring 2017, Healthcare@McCombs and Dell Med’s Texas Health Catalyst are partnering on a new MBA practicum (Healthcare Technology Commercialization Practicum) that will give students the opportunity to work on real healthcare startups and work directly with the inventors and innovators. Students will learn about new ventures and startups, the FDA approval process, and more.

Other classes included in the Healthcare Concentration include Service Operations Management and Healthcare Operations Management.

McCombs MBA Healthcare JobsThere are also a classes in the nursing school that are included as electives in the Concentration: Budget and Finance in Healthcare, Health Informatics, Leadership Development in Healthcare Professions, Quality and Safety in Healthcare.

The mission of the Healthcare Innovation Fellows (HIF) is to promote the McCombs School of Business as a program that produces business leaders with the capability to impact the healthcare industry through innovation. The HIF brings healthcare industry key opinion and thought leaders to campus to engage and discuss with Fellows how healthcare is changing, innovating, and what their respective companies or institutions are doing.

You can read more about the HIF here

Ed and Kristie shared a few examples of how McCombs MBA students including those with a Healthcare Concentration, had managed a career change into a range of healthcare jobs:

  • Karthik Narasimhan transitioned from pharma sales to healthcare industry consulting with Strategy&
  • Rishi Desai transitioned from financial analysis (general business) to a consultant with RD Consulting, providing Strategy Development, Strategic Planning and Operations/Analytics to Mid-sized Healthcare firms.
  • Dan Ledeen transitioned to medical device development at MedTronics.
  • Ben Berg transitioned to healthcare consulting, having interned at Janssen Pharaceuticals last summer.


Olin (Washington University)

The Olin School of Business, along with the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, Missouri, offers the dual MBA/Master of Public Health program. Students participate in a summer internship program after the first year of their MBA and a practicum after the first year of their MPH. Students are able to pursue careers in hospitals, healthcare consultancies, pharmaceutical companies, and policy think-tanks. The program takes about 30 months to complete, and the annual, full-time cost of attendance works out to about $50,000.

Owen (Vanderbilt University)

The Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, in Tennessee’s Nashville, known as the US healthcare industry’s capital city, offers a concentration in  Healthcare in MBA.  The annual, full-time cost of attendance is nearly $63,000.

Ross (Michigan)

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, allows its students to integrate their business management curriculum with their interest in healthcare management. The curriculum, elective courses, and experiential activities are so designed that they develop students with leadership capabilities. The annual cost of attendance of the full-time program is about $72,000.

Sloan (MIT)

Healthcare managers and administrators who are the best in their field are what Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Business produces through its MBA with Certification in Healthcare. Sloan’s specialized program readies students for the pharmaceutical, biomedical, consulting, and management roles in services delivery systems, research, and entrepreneurship. The annual, full-time cost of attendance is nearly $79,000.

Yale SOM

The School of Management at Yale University, Connecticut, has an “Executive MBA—Leadership in Healthcare” program that follows the same curriculum as the school’s full-time MBA program. As part of the 22-month program, students spend two months “in residence” and every other Friday and Saturday on the school campus. The annual, full-time cost of attendance of the course works out to about the cost of a full EMBA, about $200,000.

Stern (NYU)

NYU Stern offers a Healthcare concentration in their full time MBA program. Students get skilled in areas like the biotechnology industry, drug development, financial analysis, healthcare entrepreneurship, innovation and other complex healthcare systems. The cost of the program is about $79,000.

Tepper (Carnegie Mellon University)

The Tepper School of Business and the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania,  jointly offer the “Concurrent MBA and MS in Healthcare Policy Management” program. For the five-semester program, which begins in August, students pay tuition for two semesters at Tepper in their first year, for two semesters at Heinz in their second year, and for one semester at Tepper. The annual, full-time tuition amounts to about $70,000.

Tuck (Dartmouth College)

At the Tuck College of Business, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, the students of the graduate healthcare management degree program form a small, closely knit group, who get individual attention from their professors. Elective courses include biotech, management of healthcare organizations, investing in healthcare, and the economics of the healthcare industry. The cost of attendance of the annual, full-time program is about $77,500.


Whether it is for healthcare industry, pharmaceutical, biotech, government, or insurance careers, the MBA in Healthcare Management at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, is an invaluable asset. Wharton MBAs with healthcare specialization progress to executive roles in a range of organizations and sectors. The annual, full-time cost of attendance is about $83,200.


Other top business schools for Healthcare specialization

Among other schools that offer MBA programs with specialization in healthcare are:

Other top business schools in USA contributing professionals to the healthcare industry include:


Best MBA in Europe for Healthcare

Schools in Europe that contribute professionals to the healthcare industry include:

More here on Careers in Healthcare Management

Also read these related articles:
Why doctors are joining MBA programs
MBA in Canada vs India decision for Healthcare marketing applicant
Masters Degree in Healthcare

Resources: 1, 2, 3, 4 | Image credit:, McCombs

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7 thoughts on “Best MBA programs for Healthcare”

  1. I am a doctor from India ( MBBS) looking to do an MS in a STEM list field that will be best suited for my medical background. Please recommend some good courses and universities. I had written to a few program coordinators but I was informed that their Masters were not accredited with STEM even though the subject was on the STEM list for eg. Bioinformatics , Medical Biotechnology. This has left me confused, i don’t want to sign up for a course that will not allow me to avail of the extended OPT option. Thanks in advance.

  2. Hi,
    I have 10 years of experience in operation and maintenane in Telecom, IT, BPO & Healthcare sector in India and Abroad too.

    Want to do MBA from Farward.

    Pl guide me.

  3. Dear Sameer,
    Myself Dr. Akash Salunkhe, Ph.D. in chemistry from University of Mumbai (2005).

    Having total 10 years exp into Pharma R&D Lab (Analytical Research and Development), worked previously with;
    (1) Gharda Chemicals
    (2) Inventia Healthcare
    (3) USV Limited
    (4) Rubicon Research Pvt Ltd.

    Plus I am having 02 years of experience in R&D Quality Assurance and currently working as Senior Manager – Quality Assurance at Unosource Pharma Ltd (Head R&D Quality Assurance).

    Query: I want to do Executive MBA, please suggest good college / University from India with moderate fees. I have got two options (A) Welingkar with 60,000 INR fee for 02 years and (B) Alliance University Bangalore (1.6 Lacs fee for 16month course). Please suggest any options if available with similar fees.

    Query: In which field I should do my specialization in EMBA (Executive MBA), to boost my career. I am staying at Navi Mumbai.
    I feel options for me are Operations, General MBA, Pharma Management. Please suggest.

  4. @Kishore: For the exact reason that you’ve shared (it’s confusing for outsiders to guess), it’s best that you check with the folks who offer the degree. Just as you’ve been doing. Depending on others for something that’s so program specific isn’t a good idea.

    @Antule: Assuming you meant MBA from Harvard, let’s move farward forward.

    We’ve written this article that may help you understand what Harvard Business School looks for.

    @Akash: I’m not aware of any good GMAT MBA program that can match the budget you have in mind. Here’s the list of top MBA programs in India that we generally help candidates with.

  5. Hi Sameer
    Hope you are doing good
    I am a bpharm graduate and did my PGDM in pharmaceutical management from SIESCOMS with a total work experience of more then 5 years currently working as a brand manager in Sun pharmaceuticals. I am in a double mind to pursue 1 year mba from ISB/ IIM or not. What will be your advice on the same.

  6. I’m bE in ECE (2013) , want to do mba and choose healthcare management and marketing as the electives. Will MGSM be a good choice or deakin university in Australia? Looking at the job markets in Canada and us , will it be good to apply to any of the colleges there?

  7. Hi , I have done my BHMS, with aTwo correspondence PG Diplomas in Hospital and Health Management , Clinical Research. I have more than 4 years of experience in Clinical operations, Health Management, quality , I wish to do my full time MBA (preferably one year) in Healthcare from a reputed institute in Mumbai. Kindly suggest .


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