Master’s in Health Administration Degree Programs
If your career goal is to find a senior position in the fast-growing field of health management, you’ll need to complete a master’s degree. This specialized professional program prepares you for a variety of advanced careers in a dynamic, fast-changing field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health administration is one of the fastest-growing sectors, with a projected growth rate of 32% between 2019 and 2029. With a master’s degree, salary potential also increases exponentially when compared to the earnings that come with a bachelor’s degree. According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the median salary for health and medical administrative services professionals increases from $55,000 with a bachelor’s degree to $80,000 with a master’s degree.
On this page you will learn more about getting a master’s in health administration, including:
What Can I Do With a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration?
A master’s degree in healthcare administration is often required for advancement to higher-level positions. Once you’ve achieved your master’s, you will open the door to the potential for a number of career pathways that wouldn’t be available with just a bachelor’s. Here are just a few examples of the different directions your career could take.
Different Career Paths in Healthcare Administration With a Master’s Degree
How to Get a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration
Because a master’s degree can lead straight to a specific career path, it’s important that your first step be to choose the right program for you. Most programs have a slate of core courses required by all students, with the option of additional specialty tracks, concentrations, or specific pathways.
Programs typically take two years to complete with a full course load, but many now provide the option of extra flexibility in the form of part-time coursework. Programs often require an internship and/or capstone project to demonstrate your cumulative learning upon completing the coursework.
Master of Health Administration Versus Master of Business Administration
While there are variations across degree titles, the most common are the Master of Healthcare Administration (M.H.A.) and the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.).
The simple difference between the two is that an M.B.A. provides a broad perspective of business in general, while the M.H.A. focuses on business as it relates to healthcare.
Thus, in an M.B.A. program you might take business courses such as accounting, finance, economics, marketing, management, and technology and information systems. There are master’s programs that offer a concentration in health administration, however, which is why this degree is one you might want to consider.
On the other hand, an M.H.A. program might focus on courses such as healthcare delivery and scheduling, health policies, ethics, and business management. If you are interested in working in hospitals or other healthcare facilities, this degree is probably for you.
Admission requirements can vary by program, so it’s important to look closely at them before applying. Typically, admission requirements include the following:
Types of Courses You Will Take
As discussed in the M.B.A. versus M.H.A. section, courses are likely to vary depending on which degree program you are enrolled in. However, in an M.B.A. program with a concentration in healthcare administration, you will take many of the same healthcare courses as you would in an M.H.A. program. Some of these might include:
How to Choose a Master’s Degree Program
Make sure to take the following considerations into account when choosing a master’s program:
Online Master’s Programs
With the growth of the healthcare industry, there is likewise a growth in online master’s degree programs in healthcare administration. This has opened up educational opportunities to students globally. In most programs, you’ll find the same high-quality education that colleges and universities offer in-person, in a convenient, flexible online format. Note that online programs are hybrid, meaning there is a real-world component that has to be completed offline.
Review the advantages and disadvantages and decide what’s best for you.
Advantages of online master’s programs:
Disadvantages of online master’s programs:
Licensure or Certification
Each state has different licensure requirements for healthcare management positions. In most cases, licensure or certification is not required, but it can help with job prospects. You should check each state’s requirements for your profession. The one field that does require licensure due to federal guidelines is nursing home administration. Beyond that, there are few across-the-board requirements.
Many professional organizations offer certification, such as the Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM), Certified Medical Manager (CMM), American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) certification, and Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS). Certification can provide you with a deeper learning experience and give you an edge when applying for a job.
Resources for Healthcare Administration Students and Professionals
Whether you’re on the road to earning your master’s in healthcare administration or you’re already in the field, there are many resources available to help you advance in your career and to maximize your work in the program. See our Healthcare Administration Resources page for more information.
HEALTH ADMINISTRATION SCHOOLS
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia