Pursuing a graduate degree program with a major in healthcare administration provides opportunities for anyone who is interested in high-level positions in healthcare organizations. Finding the right program requires a potential student to evaluate their unique academic needs before enrolling in a program. Prerequisites to a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) must first be completed on the undergraduate level.
Finding a Program
Programs are available both on campus and online. Potential students may find that completing a degree online offers more flexibility if work or family obligations make it difficult for them to attend on-campus courses. However, some students find that it is more difficult to complete online courses because of the personal discipline required of online students. Finding the right program is a matter of evaluating personal learning style and scheduling needs.
Online MHA programs are not difficult to find. Schools that offer an online MHA include Walden University, Kaplan University and the University of Maryland. On-campus MHA programs are available at universities across the country including the University of Minnesota, the University of Utah and Pacific University Oregon.
What can students expect to learn while enrolled in an MHA program? Coursework focuses on financial management, critical thinking, health law and communication. Students must display a thorough knowledge of the healthcare system in the United States before being awarded a degree. Many schools allow students to choose concentrations including law, ethics, government healthcare practices, marketing and long-term care.
Students may be given the opportunity to complete an internship with an established healthcare organization. These internships often require the student to examine the current operations of the organization in order to determine whether there are areas that can be improved upon. Pennsylvania State University offers this type of internship program for MHA students.
Prerequisites for MHA programs vary widely from one university to another. Some require that students complete an undergraduate degree in healthcare or business prior to enrollment. Minimum GPA requirements are common, but people who have graduated with an undergraduate degree with a low GPA are not necessary exempt from enrolling in an MHA program.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of healthcare administration is set to grow at a faster than average rate. Obtaining an MHA gives potential employees an advantage when searching for a job. Healthcare administrators make between $51,280 and $144,880 per year.
Healthcare administrators can manage a specific department of a healthcare facility or an entire organization. Employees typically work in clinics, hospitals and retirement homes. Healthcare administrators who work for large organizations with multiple locations may be required to travel between locations to ensure that the individual healthcare facilities are being run properly.
Pursuing an MHA degree is an excellent way to prepare for a career as a healthcare administrator. Forbes reports that this field is growing fast, and people who are interested in managing healthcare organizations can benefit from a formal education in the subject.