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Best Bachelor's Programs in Health Services Administration

Oct 20, 2021

What is a Health Services Administration Bachelor Degree?

Health Services Administration is the planning, coordination, and facilitation of medical and health services. A range of career opportunities are open to those with a degree in health services administration, including health services management, medical administration, and health information management. A bachelor's degree in Health Services Administration is the first step in a career in this field, although further study will likely be required for career advancement. Typically, positions involve aspects of finance and healthcare, providing a bridge between these two professions. An aging population coupled with improved access to healthcare has increased the demand for healthcare services. The flow-on effect will see the need for health services administrators increase over the coming years.

The top schools offering health services administration programs include the University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, University of Pennsylvania, and Boston University.

The Best Bachelor's Degrees in Health Services Administration

Study.com has compiled a list of the very best bachelor's degrees in health services administration available. We have examined factors such as affordability and accessibility and come up with a list of degrees where practical skills and real-world knowledge are part of the package. These schools offer tools to help students succeed and provide a well-rounded and versatile education to meet the needs of an ever-changing industry.

1. University of Baltimore

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,096 78% 41% 97% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The University of Baltimore is at the top of our list for its degree in health services management. Students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Management and leave prepared to work in a variety of management positions within the health care industry as the curriculum prepares graduates for jobs in insurance, hospitals, pharmaceuticals or government agencies! The College of Public Affairs has dozens of scholarships available to students to help cover the costs of their education and make earning a degree more accessible to everyone. This flexible program also offers an acerated master's option, a flexible hybrid format, and the option to add a minor to create a custom program!

2. University of Detroit Mercy

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28,840 77% 67% 100% Yes Yes AP Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration at the University of Detroit Mercy in southeast Michigan can be earned through online classes or a traditional classroom setting, including evening classes for students who work during the day. Students can get valuable hands-on experience through the program's internship in a health care setting, which also counts as credits toward the degree. Those who have graduated from University of Detroit Mercy now hold positions at Blue Cross Blue Shield and Pfizer, among many other companies.

3. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,701 81% 50% 89% Yes Yes AP Credits

Next on our list is Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis' Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, which offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management. There are valuable scholarship opportunities at IUPUI specifically for students obtaining their health services management degree, including the Health Services Management Incoming Freshman Scholarship, and the HSM program hosts an interview day every year to help students find internships in health care organizations and nonprofits. The Fairbanks School of Public Health also affords opportunities to get involved with other students and share their knowledge and skills. One such organization is the Public Health Corps, where students can gain experience through public service.

4. Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$15,407 61% 84% 71% Yes Yes AP Credits

A Bachelor of Science in Health Administration degree from Rutgers University-New Brunswick prepares students for a wide range of health care-related careers since the courses are designed to allow graduates to take on supervisory and management position wherever they choose to go. Health services students are able to collaborate with likeminded students by joining the Rutgers Future Healthcare Administrators club, which focuses on networking and introducing opportunities to enrollees through campus events. Those enrolled in the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy can also pursue scholarships and fellowships to offset the cost of school, including the Ralph W. Voorhees Public Service Fellowship for those interested in serving their community.

5. Robert Morris University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$31,200 84% 65% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Robert Morris University is located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh, and it offers a flexible Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration degree that is available both on campus and online. Using the research-backed Health Leadership Competency Model, students take courses to gain understanding of human resources, ethics, finance and legal issues as they pertain to the changing landscape of health care. Students will complete their education with an internship experience that is tailored to their particular area of focus, to be sure they are ready to conquer their career plans.

6. Indiana University-South Bend

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7,527 78% 38% 93% Yes Yes AP Credits

The Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics at Indiana University in South Bend offers students a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Health Care Management. Classes in this program will prepare students for work in hospitals, long-term care facilities and private practices, clinics, and more. By pairing a health care specific knowledge with a business degree at Indiana, enrollees will gain valuable knowledge and experience in finance, marketing and other key business skills. Those in the program also have access to alumni, providing insight into their career paths after school and how to utilize the degree to the fullest.

7. Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$21,008 No Available Data (2019-2020) 69% 89% Yes Yes AP Credits

The Fort Lauderdale, FL, campus of Keiser University has a Bachelor of Arts in Health Services Administration program is designed to prepare graduates for work in the public or private sector to and provide them with skills in leadership, marketing, finance and more. The degree can be earned both online and on campus, to fit the needs of each individual student, and it concludes with a capstone project where students are able to apply all their new health management skills to a real-world problem.

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Tuition information is based on published tuition and required fees, per data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Health Services Administration Bachelor's Degree Concentrations

A degree in health services administration encompasses all aspects of managing a healthcare facility.

Most students studying health services administration will concentrate their studies a specific area, which could include:

  • Healthcare Law and Policy provides a foundation in the legal infrastructure that governs the management of healthcare facilities.
  • Healthcare Informatics incorporates elements of computer science and applies them to the storage and management of healthcare data.
  • Patient Safety and Quality combines aspects of financial management, ethics, advocacy, and safety systems as it applies to the management of healthcare facilities
  • Healthcare Management teaches how to combine business practices and healthcare policy in the management of healthcare facilities.
  • Healthcare Financial Management involves applying financial principles to healthcare, taking into account patient care and safety and legal regulation.

Curriculum for a Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Administration

The courses students can expect to take will vary depending on the program; however, students should expect to take classes in both finance and healthcare. These classes include:

  • Health Policy where students are taught the frameworks required to achieve health outcomes.
  • Hospital Management, which explores the leadership and decision-making aspects of running a healthcare facility.
  • Health Outcomes will teach students methods to develop and measure various therapies and interventions.
  • Electronic Record Management covers the legal responsibilities of managing patient data.
  • Healthcare Ethics introduces students to the complexities of decision-making in healthcare.

The courses required to complete the degree are a combination of core, elective, and general education courses. General education courses enable students to take classes out of their specialist discipline and contribute to a more well-rounded education.

Some schools have placed an increasing emphasis on students gaining experience outside of the classroom, with many programs offering internships, practicum placements, and international study opportunities. With many positions in health services administration requiring work experience and a bachelor's degree, these opportunities are becoming increasingly relevant when choosing a program of study.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor's in Health Services Administration?

The 120 credits required to complete a Bachelor's in Health Services Administration can usually be completed in four years if studying full-time. A number of programs provide students with the opportunity to accelerate this timeframe, offering key classes over the summer break. Some schools offer students accelerated learning tracks, which may involve the student completing some aspects of the program online, allowing them to dictate their own pace.

In addition, some programs have elements of experiential learning built into their curriculums, which may see students placed in organizations throughout the year. Some of these placements may take place over the summer break.

Accreditation for Bachelor's in Health Services Administration Degrees

Accreditation provides prospective students with a degree of certainty regarding a school's stability and the quality of the programs it offers. The accreditation process has private agencies independently review schools to ensure they meet certain quality standards and are financially sound. It is significant for students wishing to apply for governmental financial aid; a requirement of receiving aid is that the student attends an accredited school.

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) accredits schools offering programs in this discipline. Currently, CAHME provides accreditation to schools at a master's level only. CAHME accreditation can nonetheless provide students considering the bachelor's degree a level of insight into the quality of education offered at the respective school. It is increasingly relevant if post-graduate study is being considered.

Health Services Administration Licensure & Certification

There is no absolute requirement for health services administrators to obtain certification; however, certification will potentially create an advantage in a competitive job marketplace. It will open the door to opportunities at higher levels, with better employment conditions.

There are a range of different certifications in health services administration. The following organizations provide some of the more common certifications.

  • American Association of Healthcare Administration Management (AAHAM) offers two certifications. Initially, certification is for Certified Revenue Cycle Specialist (CRCS), with those achieving the certification eligible for Certified Revenue Cycle Executive (CRCE). The two-hour exam required to achieve CRCS is offered online three times a year. There is an ongoing continuing education requirement for both certifications.
  • American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) offers two certifications: Certified Nursing Home Administrators (CNHA) and Certified Assisted Living Administrators (CALA). While a bachelor's degree is preferred, candidates with an associate's degree are eligible for consideration.
  • American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) offers certification known as the Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). This certification's requirements are extensive. They include a master's degree, five years experience in an executive position, and community and civic volunteer work, among other things.
  • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) offers certification known as Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS). This is available at an entry-level with a high school diploma, the minimum requirement. Those with a bachelor's degree and five years of experience are eligible to apply for the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information Management Systems (CPHIMS) certification.
  • Professional Association of Health Care Office Management provides a Certified Medical Manager (CMM) certification, which has a minimum requirement of 12 post-high school credits and at least two years of industry experience.

Should I Get a Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Administration?

A degree in health services administration is most suited to those who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare but do not wish to work in a clinical capacity. An interest in finances is also required, while interest in law and policy and computer science may also prove advantageous, depending on the specialist area of interest.

Common skills and personal attributes of those pursuing a career in this field include:

  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities
  • A sound technical knowledge

If students aim to reach the top echelon in the field, they must be willing to commit to post-graduate study in the future.

The field is experiencing a period of considerable growth, which shows no signs of abating. The technological advances in telemedicine and electronic record management are likely to fuel further growth, as is the increasing trend by the healthcare industry towards the adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Administration?

A wide range of opportunities exist for those with a bachelor's degree, including opportunities on the international stage. The material covered in the bachelor's degree provides a solid grounding in a number of areas; however, the electives chosen by the student will, to a degree, dictate career opportunities. With a bachelor's degree, the student will have access to entry-level positions across a range of different areas.

Employment settings range from those in small private medical practices to large healthcare facilities. The health services administration field fueled by growth in the health sector generally is expected to experience strong growth in the immediate future. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a growth rate of 32% between 2019 and 2026. This is notably higher than average.

How to Become a Registered Health Information Administrator

A Registered Health Information Administrator is responsible for the management and storage of patient health records and ensuring the relevant legal and ethical requirements are adhered to. A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for positions as a health information administrator, although it is not uncommon for organizations to require a master's degree. Entry-level positions account for 2.8% of the jobs in this area.

To become registered in the field, a certification is required. This certification is most commonly obtained from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

According to Payscale, the average salary for Registered Health Information Administrators was $67,426 in February 2021. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted growth of 8% in this area between 2019 and 2029.

How to Become a Health Services Manager

A health services administration degree also gives students the chance to pursue a career as a health services manager. The health services manager is responsible for all aspects of running healthcare facilities like hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. The duties they perform include creating and maintaining budgets, staff management, compliance with laws and regulations, maintaining quality standards, and negotiating service contracts.

Although a bachelor's degree is considered the minimum educational requirement for entry into this field, the reality is most organizations require the candidate to have a post-graduate qualification.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a health services manager was $100,380. Growth of 32% is projected between 2019 and 2029, with 133,200 new jobs being created in the area. The facility's size and location will impact salary, with large metropolitan hospitals paying the highest salaries. The states with the most competitive salary packages are the District of Columbia, New York, Hawaii, and California.

Professional Organizations in Health Services Administration

There are a range of different benefits gained from joining a professional organization. These include access to research, events and conferences, continuing education opportunities, professional support, and regular updates on the industry.

There are several professional organizations related to health services administration. Three of the more prominent organizations are as follows:

  • The Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHAP) provides members with a range of educational opportunities, including free webinars and an annual conference. It has a stated mission of providing support to healthcare administrative professionals. The organization also provides various tools that support the development of networks and professional support groups among its members. A unique aspect of AHAP is the exclusive, members-only job bank it hosts.
  • The American Association of Healthcare Administration Management (AAHAM) is orientated towards professionals focused on the revenue cycle within healthcare facilities. It provides the current news and developments in the area and a host of continuing education opportunities. The AAHAM facilitates peer and professional support through a range of networks. Different chapters are available throughout the US. The organization also has a strong online presence.
  • The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) has more than 48,000 members throughout the world. One of the main functions of the ACHE is providing members with access to continuing education opportunities. The organization also keeps members appraised of the latest developments in the field. Several scholarships are available through the ACHE.

What Other Kinds of Health Services Administration Degrees Are There?

A bachelor's degree in Health Services Administration opens the door to a raft of other educational opportunities, including post-graduate certificates, master's degrees, and doctorates, which may be essential if long-term career aspirations include leadership roles. For students who are uncertain whether health services administration is the right career path, the associate's degree may provide a useful introduction to the discipline and inform further study.

Master's degrees and certificates offer the focused study of a specific aspect of health services administration that may not be as accessible with a bachelor's degree given the core course requirements that must be fulfilled.

Associate Degrees in Health Services Administration

Generally, associate degrees in Health Services Administration provide students with a well-rounded overview of the broader field. Although an associate degree may lack the specificity of the bachelor's degree, it will open the door to many entry-level positions, such as coding, medical billing, or transcription. The 60 credits required will usually take two years of study and can, in most instances, be credited toward the bachelor's degree in the future. Most associate degree courses include courses in healthcare terminology, healthcare management and administration, and healthcare delivery.

Master's Degrees in Health Services Administration

A master's degree in Health Services Administration will likely be required for career advancement, especially into leadership positions. Building on the knowledge gained in the bachelor's degree program, the master's degree allows students to develop a more in-depth understanding of certain aspects, such as law and policy, strategic planning, and healthcare finance. Master's programs usually offer a degree of flexibility to accommodate working professionals and full-time students, with most programs requiring the completion of 36 credits, made up of core classes, electives, and experiential learning.

Doctoral Degrees in Health Services Administration

Two types of doctorate programs are available.

A Doctor of Healthcare Administration is referred to as an applied doctorate. This qualification focuses on preparing students for executive positions in healthcare. Students develop an evidence-base through their studies which can be applied to real-world situations to inform their decision-making. A doctorate in Health Services Administration will enable students to pursue top leadership positions in health services administration, including hospital CFO, CEO, and COO.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is more suited for those looking to become teachers and researchers in the area. It focuses on developing processes, experimenting, and investigating the best solutions and practices in the field.

The concentrations of doctoral degree programs allow students to focus on specialist areas such as high-level management, public health, health policy development, or health informatics. There is considerable latitude within doctorate programs for students to focus on the areas of health services administration that interest them most.

The doctoral dissertation is the core component of any doctorate program. Most students will choose their doctoral dissertation subject early in the program so that the coursework they are required to complete can be focused on this area. There is no time limit on how long it takes to achieve a doctorate; however, students can expect to spend at least a year of their doctoral dissertation.

Certificates in Health Services Administration

There are two types of certificate offered in the Health Services Administration field:

  • Post-bachelor's graduate certificates are offered to students who have completed their bachelor's degree.
  • Post-graduate certificates are available to students as an add-on to a master's degree.

Both certificates provide students with a short, intensive period of study with a range of flexible options available to accommodate those working. The credits gained completing either certificate can be credited toward further study in the future.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Information for Bachelor's in Health Services Administration Degrees

Governmental financial aid in the US is determined based on need. To be considered for financial aid, prospective students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to apply for grants, loans, and work-study packages. These applications can take some time to process, so it is recommended students apply early.

In addition to federal financial aid, states may offer financial aid packages. Details of the financial aid packages available in each state are available from the relevant state grant agency.

Some schools also offer financial aid to students. Details of the available packages are available on the financial aid page of the respective school's website or the office at the school.

A range of different scholarships are available from private organizations, including CAHME. Most of these scholarships focus on a specific area of the health services administration, and students excelling in that area are encouraged to apply. The details of the various scholarships are available on the CAHME website.

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