If you want to start or advance your career in the administrative side of healthcare, you may want to consider a masters in health services administration.
Graduates tend to pursue leadership roles in healthcare institutions, where they can flex their management, financial, and operational skills. They can also pursue administrative roles in healthcare organizations.
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Although these positions are not on the front lines with patients, they play a crucial role in making sure healthcare institutions run safely and efficiently.
Online Masters in Health Services Administration Programs
An online masters in health services administration program can help you pursue or advance a healthcare career that focuses on the leadership and administrative side of the field.
These programs are intended to teach you how to run a hospital, private practice, or other healthcare facility. While working toward a master’s in health services administration degree, you’ll likely study the following topics:
- Facilities management
- People management
- Financial analysis
- Compliance and legal requirements
- Medical ethics
This is not an exhaustive list, as health services administration is a broad field and can cover all types of organizational management topics. For instance, marketing, training and development, and statistics are also subjects that may fall under this umbrella.
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Your curriculum will likely include core classes and electives. Some programs also provide opportunities or assistance in obtaining internships, residencies, extracurricular activities, fellowships, and more. Graduates may also choose to pursue a variety of industry certifications, which could help increase job prospects or earning potential.
Generally, health services administration masters programs are designed to help prepare you for a career in healthcare leadership. There are a variety of sectors that require health services administrators, including health information, finance, regulatory compliance, and more.
Some professionals go on to become medical and health services managers, financial managers, facilities managers, and even chief executives.
Health Services Administration Careers and Salaries
Professionals with a masters in health services administration typically pursue work in the healthcare, management, and community and social service fields.
Careers in health services administration include leadership roles in health information, financial management, and office administration. Medical and health services managers can also be found in a wide range of health facilities. These types of roles are fitting for professionals who want to help people from a healthcare perspective but don’t want to be a clinical practitioner themselves.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some careers typically associated with health services administration.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$101,340|
|Administrative Services Managers||$100,170|
|General and Operations Managers||$97,970|
|Facilities Managers — Healthcare and Social Assistance||$81,150|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$74,000|
|Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars||$55,560|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that many of the careers aligned with health services administration are expected to experience faster than average growth over the next ten years. These include medical and health services managers (28% job growth), health information technologists and medical registrars (17%), and financial managers (17%).
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Some graduates choose to pursue a masters degree to build upon an already existing career, while others may want to break into this field for the first time. The jobs you qualify for could depend on your education, skills, experience, and a variety of other factors.
Health Service Administration Masters Curriculum & Courses
A Master of Science in Health Services Administration program can have varying curriculum from school to school. These are a few types of classes, though, that you may take as part of your program:
- Management and Organization in Healthcare: This course covers the basics of organization and management and how both factors can influence an institution.
- The Healthcare System: You’ll learn about all aspects of healthcare organizations, including resources, public health, providers, and more.
- Financing and Reimbursement of Health Systems: This class provides an introduction to finance as it applies to healthcare institutions, diving into accounting, financing models, and more.
- Organizational Behavior in Healthcare: You’ll learn about healthcare through different cultural perspectives, and you’ll look at various dynamics between healthcare professionals.
- Health Law and Legal Aspects of Management: This course covers patient rights, malpractice, surgical consent, and other legal issues that may arise in a healthcare organization.
- Principles of Statistics in Public Health: You’ll learn basic statistics concepts and how to apply them in a healthcare setting.
- Design and Management of Health Information Systems: This class teaches you how to make effective decisions as a manager, placing an importance on data-driven decisions.
- Introduction to Operations: You’ll learn how to record, evaluate, and improve operational efficiency in a healthcare organization.
- Management of Long-Term Care Systems: This course teaches you about various organizational and financial factors to take into consideration when managing long-term care facilities.
- Strategic Marketing: You’ll learn different ways to market a healthcare organization from a management perspective, including market research and promotional content.
In addition to courses like these, your program may include seminars, residencies, research projects, and more.
Admissions requirements can vary for different masters in health services administration online programs, but here are a few common ones:
- Bachelor’s degree
- Personal statement
- Minimum college GPA
- Letters of recommendation
Potential additional requirements can include a background check, an interview, or prerequisite courses like statistics. For international students, there may be an English proficiency requirement. Some schools also want to see GRE test scores. This is not the case for every school, so it’s helpful to check your desired program’s admissions requirements before taking the standardized test.
A school can be regionally accredited if it has met a series of academic quality standards. Masters programs often require applicants to have received their bachelors from a regionally accredited school.
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Many employers want to see that you earned your masters credentials from a regionally accredited school, so this may impact your future job search. To find out if the school you’re interested in is regionally accredited, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.
CAHME Accreditation for MHSA Programs
In addition to schools pursuing regional accreditation, health services programs can also pursue programmatic accreditation. The Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) is the preferred accreditation for health services administration programs.
The CAHME looks at a program’s academic courses, graduates’ career paths, and more to determine whether a program meets their standards for quality. Some CAHME accredited programs include schedules designed for students who are currently working as well.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you’re interested in pursuing financial aid for your masters degree, you can visit the Federal Student Aid website to see if you qualify for need-based aid from the federal government. They offer a range of opportunities you can apply for, the most common of which is student loans.
In addition, graduate students can often apply for direct unsubsidized loans, which means your school will set the amount of money you are able to receive. These types of loans do not ask that you demonstrate financial need. You can see if your employer offers tuition benefits as well.
What Is an MHSA Degree?
A Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) degree is designed to teach you about healthcare leadership, organizational operations, ethical decision-making, and other skills needed to run a medical facility. These degrees typically aim to help you prepare for leadership roles in healthcare organizations. These can include hospitals, private practices, long-term care facilities, and more.
MHSA degrees can cover a wide range of subjects that are often necessary to run a healthcare facility, including financial analysis, data management, training and development, and more.
What Can You Do with a Masters in Health Services Administration?
Many graduates with a masters in health services administration choose to pursue leadership roles in healthcare facilities.
Health services leadership roles can include financial managers, medical and health services managers, healthcare administrative services and facilities managers, and chief executives. Because these graduate programs cover office operations skills, some graduates also look for administrative roles in medical organizations.
The jobs you can qualify for with a masters degree in health services administration may depend on your additional education, concentration, skills, experience, location, and other factors. For instance, some professionals specialize in areas like health information or financial management.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Health Services Administration Masters Online?
The timeframe for graduating from an online health services administration program can vary. In general, a masters program can be completed in 1 to 2 years.
If you enroll in a 36 credit hour program that does not involve a thesis, you may be able to finish in as little as 1 year with full-time enrollment. This includes taking classes in the summer. If you’re pursuing a program with a thesis requirement, it may take longer to graduate.
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Other factors may influence your program length as well, including enrollment status, your schedule, your program’s credit requirements, and more.
What’s the Difference Between a Masters in Health Services Administration vs. Healthcare Administration?
While masters programs in health services administration and healthcare administration are similar in some ways, there are a few key differences between these programs.
A Masters in Health Services Administration may cover:
- Organizational development
- Executive-level leadership skills
- Facilities management
A Masters in Healthcare Administration may cover:
- Patient safety
- Quality of care
- Medical operations
Both degrees teach skills needed to help an organization run smoothly, but masters in health services administration programs focus more on a leadership-level perspective.
Is a Masters in Health Service Administration Worth It?
Yes, a masters in health service administration is worth it for many professionals. Careers associated with health services administration can be rewarding as they can help others and impact overall patient care. Many health service administration graduates also pursue leadership roles, where they may head up a facility, department, or team.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the roles related to health services administration are projected to experience faster than average growth over the next ten years. For instance, medical and health services managers are expected to see 28% job growth.
Universities Offering Online Masters in Health Services Administration Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Florida International University offers a Master of Health Services Administration. This program may be an excellent fit for students interested in pursuing advanced leadership roles in the field of healthcare. Students who attend fully online can often finish in 24 months, while students completing their requirements half online and half in-person typically finish in 18 months.
Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Midwestern State University offers an online program for a Master of Health Administration. It has specializations in Health Information Management, Medical Practice Management, Public and Community Sector Healthcare Management, and Rural and Urban Hospital Management. The program requires the completion of 45 credit hours. Most students can complete the degree requirements in 2 to 3 years.
Midwestern State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Mississippi College offers a Master of Health Services Administration. The program is centered on preparing students to manage financial and human assets in diverse settings within the field of healthcare. The curriculum consists of 10 classes that are typically completed over the course of 5 semesters. Classes meet conveniently online or in the evening.
Mississippi College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
National Louis University offers a Master’s in Health Services Administration. Students can choose a concentrate in Fundamentals of Design Thinking, Long-term Care Administration, or Public Health Leadership. The program can be completed online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format consisting of in-person and virtual classes. Students can potentially finish their coursework in just 20 months.
NLU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Regis University offers a Master of Science in Health Services Administration. The curriculum combines legal, financial, management, and administrative concepts that are essential to leadership roles in the field. Classes meet online, and each one is 8 weeks long. Most students can complete their requirements in 12 to 24 months depending on their chosen course load.
Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Robert Morris University offers a Master of Science in Health Services Administration. Potential classes include Strategic Planning and Marketing, Managing Healthcare Information Systems, and Ethical Issues in Health Services. On average, students can complete the program’s 42 required credit hours in 2 years of full-time study. All classes are housed online.
Robert Morris University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The Master of Business Administration program at State University of New York—Oswego offers a concentration in Health Services Administration. This program is designed for students pursuing advanced leadership roles in healthcare. The curriculum spans 45 credit hours. Classes are held primarily online and complemented by hands-on experience in the field.
SUNY Oswego is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Strayer University offers a 100% online program for a Master of Science in Health Services Administration. Students can select a specialization in Clinical Care Management or Public Health Management. The curriculum consists of 12 courses, and each course is 11 weeks long. Classes cover key concepts, like law and ethics, information systems, financial management, research methods, and strategic marketing.
Strayer University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of North Texas offers a Master of Science in Health Services Administration. Graduates often pursue careers as administrative service managers, human resource directors, and medical services administrators. The program utilizes a convenient online learning format. Students must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours to graduate.
The University of North Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Xavier University offers a fully online program for a Master of Health Services Administration. Potential classes include Financial Management of Healthcare Organizations, Quantitative Methods, and Quality Improvement Technology in Healthcare. Once students complete the program’s required coursework, they must complete a final year in a field-based internship. On average, students can complete the degree in 3 years.
Xavier University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Master in Health Services Administration Online
Do you want to make a difference in the field of healthcare? A master’s in health services administration may be a strategic degree path for you if you’re passionate about helping people and leading others.
If you’re a working professional, an online health services degree program could add some much-needed flexibility to your schedule. Whether you’re looking to dive into a new career or advance your current one, a masters program could help you grow your professional qualifications and marketability.
You can start exploring accredited universities today to see which masters programs in health services administration best match your interests and goals.