Healthcare Administration Graduate Programs

Learn what topics are covered in online and on-campus graduate degree programs in healthcare administration. Find out the admission requirements and get info about careers and salaries in the field. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Healthcare Administration Graduate Programs Are Available?

You can earn a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration, Master of Healthcare Administration or Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration. If you're looking to acquire additional skills, but don't have time for a degree program, you can earn a healthcare administration certificate. Certificate programs and courses in healthcare administration are also offered online.

Degree Options MS in Healthcare Administration, Master of Healthcare Administration, Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in a related field if applying to master's program, master's degree in healthcare administration if applying to Ph.D. program
Common Courses Financial decision-making, long-term patient care, public health, statistics, patient privacy laws
Mean Annual Wage (2014) $103,680 for medical and health services managers
Job Outlook 17% increase between 2014-2024 for medical and health services managers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Prerequisites?

All graduate programs require that you have a bachelor's degree, preferably in a healthcare, nursing or business-related field. Ph.D. programs look for applicants who've graduated from a master's program in healthcare administration.

What Will I Learn in a Graduate Program?

If you already work in the healthcare field and hold a bachelor's degree that doesn't provide you with the credentials needed to become an administrator, a graduate certificate program can provide you with the basic leadership and management skills required for many supervisory positions. In a certificate program, you'll learn how healthcare organizations are structured, how they make decisions and how to handle reimbursements from Medicare, state programs or insurance companies.

A master's degree program goes beyond the basic training of a certificate program by providing advanced courses in management, financial decision-making, statistics and information technology. You'll also learn about long-term patient care, patient privacy laws, public health and the framework of different healthcare systems. Some schools require that you complete an internship experience in a healthcare organization as part of your degree program.

Ph.D. programs focus on solving the organizational, financial and long-term care challenges of the healthcare industry, and you'll be expected to address one or more of these while completing a dissertation. You can also enroll in a Ph.D. program that combines healthcare administration with public health policy, which can prepare you for a career working with healthcare policymakers.

Can a Graduate Degree Help My Career?

After you earn a graduate degree in healthcare, you can work as a medical or healthcare services manager. Generally, you'll need at least a master's degree for most of these positions, as well as previous experience in a healthcare field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for medical and health services managers was expected to rise by 17% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This rise was attributed to the increased complexity of regulatory controls, medical privacy laws and the need to replace retiring professionals. In 2014, the BLS reported the average salary for medical and health services managers as $103,680.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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