Masters in Healthcare Administration

What Do You Learn in a Masters in Healthcare Administration?

Obtaining a Master in Healthcare Administration may allow those working in the healthcare industry or those who wish to do so to gain access to skills and insights into the modern healthcare industry. This type of program, also called MHA, is often completed after earning a bachelor’s degree in some area of health care. In some situations, students may transition from working in nursing or another field into an administration role because they want to do more of the management and oversight type of work so necessary in medical centers, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other areas.

Completing a master’s in Healthcare Administration typically takes 35 to 50 or so credits. Often, this includes a mixture of courses. For example, it may include foundation courses to teach administrative skills and methods. Healthcare administration may allow students to take electives in areas that they enjoy or have an interest in. There may be some variation in opportunities here, allowing students to choose what is interesting to them. This may differ from one school to the next, though.

Those completing a master’s degree in healthcare administration may be looking to become leaders in the healthcare sector. This type of course work aims to prepare them to take on some of the challenges within these sectors and, in some cases, take steps to change the industry around them. Many of these courses may have a strong emphasis on deep instructional knowledge. Others may work closely with students to prepare them with modern and innovative skills.

Healthcare Administration Masters

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Top 25 Schools Graduating Students with a Masters in Healthcare Administration

These are the top 25 schools graduating students with a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration based on the number of students in the graduating class for 2019 to 2020 according to NCES:

College / UniversityGraduatesAcceptance Rate
University of Phoenix-Arizona524N/A
Capella University480N/A
Western Governors University404N/A
Colorado State University-Global Campus33599%
Walden University310N/A
Louisiana State University-Shreveport30884%
George Washington University29741%
Southern New Hampshire University27188%
Purdue University Global266N/A
Ashford University226N/A
Grand Canyon University22277%
Johns Hopkins University22211%
Ohio University-Main Campus21382%
University of Maryland Global Campus196N/A
University of Southern California18711%
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences16470%
Saint Joseph’s University15575%
Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs149N/A
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center139N/A
Webster University13857%
Drexel University12375%
California State University-East Bay12276%
Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global120N/A
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus11777%
Columbia University in the City of New York1085%

Healthcare Administration Courses May Include

Courses differ significantly from one school to the next. However, many master’s degrees in healthcare may focus on healthcare delivery administration, population health management, finance, business literacy, and problem solving to help students to develop professionally and as leaders in the field. Take a look at some of the common courses in this field of study:

1st course Introduction to Health Administration

Introduction to Health Administration

This is often an introductory course in the history and opportunities in healthcare administration. Topics covered may include delivery of healthcare, emerging public health, and healthcare partnerships. Course may also cover the use of analytics in big health data.

2nd course Introduction to Health Informatics

Introduction to Health Informatics

This course aims to introduce students to the use of informatics in health care. It may introduce the tools used to gather the data as well as how to interpret and use the data. Topics covered may include cybersecurity, health data privacy, and technology platforms.

3rd Course Project Management

Project Management

The purpose of this course is typically to introduce techniques in project implementation a lot of the time. It typically encompasses the use of healthcare technology and an understanding of the concepts and skills necessary to integrate and implement a project. Project management as a whole and not just in the healthcare industry may also be covered.

4th Course Healthcare Law and Ethics

Healthcare Law and Ethics

This course typically introduces the legal and ethical issues one may face as an administrator. Looking at the legal aspects of healthcare from all perspectives to gain insight and a better understanding of what may happen may also be included. Students usually learn the core concepts of healthcare law and ethics.

5th Course Leadership and Strategic Management in Health Settings

Leadership and Strategic Management in Health Settings

This course usually uses case studies to provide a background and teach various leadership and strategic management techniques. These are specific to the field of healthcare. The use of data, informatics, and insights help to create the base for this course many times.

6th Course Healthcare Finance and Revenue Cycle Strategy

Healthcare Finance and Revenue Cycle Strategy

This course typically covers the financial systems of the healthcare industry. A look at the economics and how they work in a cycle are covered may be covered. Understanding payor systems and providing and analyzing revenue are often a part of it as well.

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access

5 Most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about a Masters in Healthcare Administration

Completing a master’s degree in healthcare administration may help prepare students to work in managerial or leadership positions within the healthcare system. This may include working in positions such as chief nursing officer, executive director, administrator, vice president, director of patient safety, or director of risk management. The type of courses a student takes may play a role in the skills they learn for a specific focus area.

Often, a masters degree in healthcare administration takes about 2 years to complete for those attending their program full time. In some cases, courses may extend to 3 or more years for part time study. Accelerated programs may be available to some students to speed up the process significantly.

While this is a very personal decision, many people may find value in completing a master’s degree in healthcare administration. Some people may find it very rewarding because it could enable them to help more people or play a role in the changing environment of the health care industry. It may also help students make a difference in areas of technology, policy-making and public relations.

Schools often differ in what they require for students to enter into a master’s degree in healthcare administration. Many times, students may need to demonstrate that they have proficient skills in English and math. They may need to have completed an undergraduate degree in a related field. Placement tests may be necessary. Some schools may request that students submit a resume, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

For some people, this may be a good career for the opportunities it offers. Those who are looking for a challenging degree that includes doing meaningful work may find this to be a valuable place to work. It is often a fast moving and valued set of skills in some areas.

Find Funding for a Masters in Healthcare Administration & Management

Securing funding to pay for a master’s degree may be necessary for some students. NCES found that the average tuition for students completing a master’s degree in the 2018 to 2019 school year was $19,314. For those that may not want to pay that out of pocket, there are several options available that may help students to pay for their education. Here are some examples of these potential opportunities.

Scholarships

One option for some students is a scholarship. Scholarships may offer some key benefits including often not requiring students to repay those funds the future. It may be more difficult to obtain them since many require students to find them, apply for them, and then win the scholarship against other students who are also applying. However, many find it worthwhile to seek out this opportunity for the benefits it offers. It may be possible to find scholarships for a master’s degree in healthcare administration available.

AfterCollege/AACN $10,000 Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: The AfterCollege/AACN Scholarship is available to U.S. graduate and undergraduate students who are pursuing an education in nursing or a related healthcare field.

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: December 31

SkillPointe Foundation $1,000 Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The SkillPointe Foundation’s mission is to ensure everyone has access to training to become a skills-based professional working in construction, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, transportation and other fields. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older, of any ethnicity and educational background.

Amount: $24,000

Deadline: December 31

MGMA Leaders Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is a member organization in the healthcare industry. They offer educational certifications, access to industry research, networking and more. This scholarship supports individuals who demonstrate potential to contribute to MGMA’s mission of transforming healthcare.

Amount: $3,750

Deadline: May 15

Maxine Williams Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: The Maxine Williams Scholarship Fund is available for students currently enrolled in and have completed a minimum of one quarter or semester at a college-level medical assisting program accredited by CAAHEP with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Click here to learn more and apply today!

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: February 15, 2022

Federal Loans

Another one of the ways to potentially pay for a master’s degree is to use federal student loans. These are loans often provided to an individual to cover the cost of tuition, fees, and books, among other things. Federal student loans are typically backed by the U.S. government. While there are several options, there are some features that are consistent across many of them. At the master’s degree level, there may be fewer options to choose from than for an undergraduate degree. Still, there may be options available to help reduce costs for some students. Some of those include:

• Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These are typically available to graduate schools and professional students. Unlike direct subsidized loans, which are made available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need, direct unsubsidized loans usually do not have a need based requirement. More students may be eligible for them.

• Direct PLUS Loans: These are loans typically made available to professional or graduate level students. They are designed to pay for educational expenses that are typically not paid for through other loans. Eligibility for these loans is not based on financial need, though. However, some require a credit check to be performed, and borrowers may not qualify without meeting other requirements in some cases.

• Direct Consolidation Loans: These loans may enable a student to combine all of their undergraduate and graduate level federal debt into one new loan. This consolidation loan is typically provided after a student completes their education.

Students may wish to compare all options to determine which is a good option for their specific needs.

Private Student Loans

Private student loans may provide another avenue for funding master’s degree education in a healthcare administration program. These loans are a bit different because they may lack government rules (in some capacities) and may have different terms and conditions for borrowers. That is why it is often beneficial for students to gather as much information on these programs as possible if they plan to use them. Some of the key components to compare and learn about include:

  • Interest rates – they may be variable or fixed
  • Credit score requirements – often requiring students to have a credit score or income history is necessary
  • Borrowing amounts – some of these private student loans have a maximum that students may borrow per year or per lifetime
  • Refinancing and forbearance – these rules are different from federal loans in many cases
  • Loan terms –  when payments need to be made is also important.

Is chief executive a good career?

Those who work as a chief executive may take on numerous responsibilities in their job and role. These individuals typically determine and formulate policies within their organization and may work in private or public sectors. They may also coordinate and plan operational activities with other high levels of management. Their work often includes directing financial or budget activities to improve investments and increase efficiency. Often, they work to analyze operations to determine performance and then make changes as necessary to achieve underlying goals.

The day to day work activities typically include directing financial operations, organizational operations, projects, and services, analyzing data to assess the effectiveness of those programs, and developing policies.

Healthcare Administration and Management , important skills for chief executives
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

To do this type of work, individuals may need to have good oral communication and expression, written comprehension, and deductive reasoning skills. They may also need some technology skills.

Those working in in this area typically need to have a master’s degree, though some employers may require a PhD of executive directors. They may need to come into the job with those skills as little on the job training is provided many times. They may need 5 to 7 years of experience.

2020 Median Salary for Chief Executives

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those working as a chief executive in 2020 earned the following. These are median salaries for based on their state:

StateSalaryStateSalary
Alabama$161,290Alaska$143,070
Arizona$158,440Arkansas$112,360
CaliforniaOver $208,000Colorado$182,030
ConnecticutOver $208,000DelawareN/A
GeorgiaN/AFlorida$182,900
IdahoN/AHawaiiOver $208,000
Indiana$145,770IllinoisOver $208,000
Kansas$144,060IowaN/A
Louisiana$194,250Kentucky$135,720
Maryland$197,770Maine$116,270
Minnesota$181,550MassachusettsOver $208,000
Montana$121,250MichiganOver $208,000
Nevada$191,430Mississippi$114,160
New JerseyOver $208,000Missouri$157,430
New YorkOver $208,000Nebraska$187,180
North Dakota$129,040New Hampshire$150,470
Oklahoma$125,880New MexicoN/a
PennsylvaniaOver $208,000North CarolinaOver $208,000
South Carolina$169,500Ohio$175,520
Tennessee$151,960OregonOver $208,000
Utah$146,930Rhode IslandOver $208,000
VirginiaOver $208,000South DakotaOver $208,000
Wisconsin$160,130TexasOver $208,000
WashingtonOver $208,000Vermont$131,090
West Virginia$139,330Wyoming$123,790

Is health services manager a good career?

Those with a master’s degree in healthcare administration may wish to work as a health services manager. This individual may work in clinics, managed care organizations, hospitals, public health agencies, or other organizations in this area. They typically plan, direct, or coordinate the health and medical services provided by those organizations. They may maintain computerized record management systems to store data while also directing and supervising the work of the medical, nursing, service, clerical, maintenance, and other personnel within the organization.

Their work may also include directing recruitment, hiring, and training of new employees. They may develop organizational procedures and policies and conduct fiscal operations. The day to day work they do may include developing information and computer systems, supervise employees, maintain operational records, evaluation employee performance, and conduct training programs.

To do this type of work, many may need to have good speaking, critical thinking, and active listening skills. They may need to have good oral expression and comprehension skills, problem sensitivity skills, and good judgement skills.

To do this type of work, individuals may need to have a master’s degree, with some organizations hiring those with a PhD. They may need to have 5 to 7 years of experience in a related field because little on the job training is provided.

Healthcare Admin Masters Programs , Important skills for health services managers
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

2020 Median Salary for Health Services Manager

In 2020, those working as a health service manager earned the following as a median salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

StateSalaryStateSalary
Alabama$82,610Alaska$108,740
Arizona$105,970Arkansas$78,810
California$130,640Colorado$109,100
Connecticut$110,260Delaware$111,930
Georgia$92,780Florida$95,810
Idaho$91,280Hawaii$124,850
Indiana$92,220Illinois$106,880
Kansas$89,090Iowa$80,980
Louisiana$94,800Kentucky$84,390
Maryland$118,520Maine$92,630
Minnesota$118,520Massachusetts$118,750
Montana$90,370Michigan$96,540
Nevada$111,690Mississippi$87,960
New Jersey$116,630Missouri$99,840
New York$134,310Nebraska$107,440
North Dakota$110,940New Hampshire$103,310
Oklahoma$83,040New Mexico$108,870
Pennsylvania$96,110North Carolina$103,940
South Carolina$94,600Ohio$94,350
Tennessee$93,270Oregon$116,060
Utah$90,950Rhode Island$116,020
Virginia$109,790South Dakota$101,320
Wisconsin$106,020Texas$100,320
Washington$119,380Vermont$96,680
West Virginia$97,420Wyoming$95,980
Sandy B CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Sandy Baker

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Sandy has extensive experience writing educational articles for topics ranging from online education to college degrees. She’s worked with several Ivy League colleges to create blogs, newsletters, sales material for recruiting as well as “how to manage” college lifestyle pieces. Additionally, she’s written for well-respected study abroad programs helping students to find international opportunities spanning the globe from South America to Africa and Asia.

Sandy’s experience also includes writing about financial aid, FAFSA, scholarship searches, and managing college loans and grants. This includes aiding both students and parents in managing the application and financial aid process from start to finish. Her writing in this area has been featured in The New York Times, Cleveland Magazine, and several blogs.

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