Bachelor's programs in health administration consist of core and general education courses. The main emphases are health information systems, managed care, and health policy. Master's degree programs can strengthen the management capabilities of those who are currently employed in the field, as they consist of research and healthcare administration topics. Both programs types often include internships or field experiences, as well.
Enrollment to a bachelor's degree will require a high school education, a college admission exam (if needed), and coursework in statistics, accounting, and microeconomics, while the master's will only require a bachelor's degree and work experience. Prospective students to these programs should verify that they are accredited by the appropriate organization before applying.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Health Administration
These students study management theory and develop the skills needed to manage budgets, supervise staff, and develop programs in a healthcare facility. The Association of University Programs in Health Administration certifies undergraduate 4-year programs.
The health administration curriculum is made up of general education coursework in writing, mathematics, basic sciences, humanities, and business. In addition, professional coursework may be offered on the following topics:
- Healthcare organizations
- Ethics in healthcare
- Health information system
- Managed care
- Health policy
Master's Degree Programs Health Administration
These programs prepare students to take on leadership roles in a healthcare organization. They learn about healthcare financial management and hone their management skills in a 2- to 3- year program. Executive programs are tailored for currently working professionals. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education accredits graduate programs.
Health services managers work within the complex healthcare environment to oversee healthcare delivery in a clinical department or facility. Thus, program coursework provides students with a variety of leadership, conceptual and technical skills. Students may take courses in team leadership, group dynamics, and management of human resources, along with courses in:
- Healthcare policy
- Financial management
- Legal issues
Career Outlook and Salary Information
Most health services managers work in hospitals and doctors' offices. Other places of employment are in the home healthcare field or the government. Employment for medical and health services managers was expected to grow 32% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than average. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the estimated average annual salary for medical and health services managers was $118,800 as of May 2020.
Health services managers will often need a bachelor's degree in health administration to get work, with a master's degree option available for those wishing to apply for higher-level management positions.