What is a Bachelors in Healthcare Administration Degree?

Hospitals are more than simply places where people go to restore their health or get treated. Like any other type of business, hospitals needs professionals that can plan, direct, coordinate, and administer their everyday activities. To this end, many colleges and universities offer the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration degree. Sometimes abbreviated as BSHCA, this degree functions as the entry point of a health care management career. The degree is also known by other title variants, such as B.S. in Health Care Management, B.S. in Health Administration, or B.S. in Health Systems Management.


In a BSHCA program, the student not only learns about the health care system, but also essential business skills. Candidates would have to understand the principles and practices of health care administration, law, management, economics, and policy. Since they are trained to think and act as leaders, students will learn how to effectively oversee teams or groups, in addition to solving problems through critical thinking, making decisions via understanding of health delivery systems, and handling and applying health care-related research. Finally, health care administration undergraduates should be able to analyze and uphold the ethical, professional, and legal standards of health care administration.


A typical B.S. in Health Care Administration program contains courses that teach about the health care industry from an administrative and managerial perspective. Traditional topics include health care delivery systems, database management, software applications, health care informatics, computer systems, business ethics, office management, and organizational behavior. Also included are general education courses, which include English composition and college algebra. At the end of the program is a capstone project, which is supposed to demonstrate the student’s ability to implement and execute the program’s objectives. Like virtually all undergraduate programs, the BSHCA is formatted to last four years, with up to 120 credits required for graduation. Some educational institutions offer part-time or distance learning/online options.


With a B.S. in Health Care Administration degree, graduates are prepared to work as entry-level supervisors in a variety of medical workplaces, which include hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and residential and outpatient care centers. Positions or titles available to graduates include health care administrator, medical services manager, nursing home administrator, health information manager, medical billing administrator, and case manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities in health care administration are expected to increase by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020; this is faster than the average for all occupations in the United States. Pay for health care managers is also exceptionally good. The BLS reports a median annual wage of $84,270 in May 2010, with the top 10 percent making above $144,880.


A B.S. in Health Care Administration is generally considered fine for getting a managerial or administrative job in health care. However, some graduates go back to school to get a Master of Science degree—not just for increasing the chances of higher pay or professional advancement, but also for a higher level of health care management training. As a result, the M.S. degree is just as popular as the B.S., if not more.

No time to attend classes?  Check out these MHA Online programs!