shutterstock 1498897802Healthcare careers involve clinicians, nurses, and countless others that perform direct patient care; however, careers are available for those interested in healthcare not related to direct patient care. Healthcare administrative jobs are available for those interested in non-patient care related areas. This will allow you to be involved in healthcare, but not at the bedside with patients. The focus of healthcare administration blends business, finance, policy and procedures, leadership, and the delivery and management of healthcare systems.

Healthcare administrators work behind the scenes to plan, direct, and coordinate all medical and healthcare services. Entry-level and high-level careers are available for those who complete a Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree.  You may think that a job title with that much responsibility would take several years to complete. On the contrary, most Master’s in Healthcare Administration degrees are graduate level degrees that take about 2 years to complete. Healthcare administrators manage facilities, clinical areas, clinical departments, and medical practice. They verify that medical facilities run smoothly and efficiently. Some Master’s in Healthcare Administration degrees require Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) standardized exams as part of the admission process. Many universities offer 100% online courses to complete MHA degrees and some wave the GRE exam depending on other qualifications of applicants. 

Healthcare administration is promising for future graduates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an 18% growth for healthcare administrative jobs over the next ten years. This is 13% more than the national average for all occupations. This growth is promising for new graduates eager to start a career in healthcare administration.  You may be surprised to discover that healthcare administrators have a higher projected growth than doctors, surgeons, or nurses. Now is the time to get a degree in healthcare administration. Clearly, there is a current and future need for healthcare administrators.

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 MHA admission requirements

Colleges that offer Master’s in Healthcare Administration degrees all have different admission requirements. In general, all colleges require an undergraduate degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale. Some undergraduate degrees that would translate well into MHA programs include: business, information technology, nursing, biology, statistics, law, medicine, industrial engineering, psychology, and accounting or finance.

Most programs do not require GRE examinations, but most require a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. GRE exams are computer-based standardized exams that test basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, data analysis, college-level vocabulary, analytical writing, and verbal reasoning. The GRE is used as a tool to determine success in graduate school, although not all graduate schools require the GRE for MHA degrees.

Many colleges require a current resume, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and experience in healthcare management or related field. A current resume is viewed to see work and professional experiences. Letters of recommendation help academic committee members get a sense of an applicant’s personality, work ethic, and past performances. Statements of purpose help students stand out from other applications by outlining professional goals and career paths. Experience in healthcare is often required, due to the nature of the degree and its’ heavy involvement in the healthcare industry. Healthcare is a unique industry that needs specialized training.

Online MHA programs

Several online programs are available for a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration. Online courses are available at several colleges throughout the United States. Some colleges require one or two days on campus, but most are 100% online for the entire program. Hybrid programs offer mostly online sessions, with Saturday classes. The following are 100% online colleges offering MHA degrees:

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Master of Healthcare Administration- 49 credit hours- GRE required; 1 campus visit per semester; three years of healthcare managerial experience is preferred.
  • Colorado State University at Global Campus: Master of Healthcare Administration-36 credit hours; GPA 3.0 minimum (lower GPAs may require GRE exam).
  • Mississippi College: Master of Health Services Administration-30 credit hours; GRE required; 1 year of healthcare-related experience preferred.
  • University of St. Francis: Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration-36 credit hours; 3.0 GPA required; 2 years of professional management experience preferred.
  • American University: Master of Science in Healthcare Management- 30 credit hours; no professional experience in healthcare needed.
  • Clarkson College: Master in Healthcare Administration-39 to 46 credits; 3.0 GPA
  • University of Central Florida: Executive Master of Healthcare Administration-44 credit hours; GRE required; three years of healthcare management experience preferred.
  • University of Denver: Master of Science in Healthcare Management with concentrations in global health program management; health data informatics and analytics; healthcare policy and regulatory leadership; managing legal issues in healthcare; medical and healthcare information technologies; strategic leadership in healthcare organizations; and supply chain management- 48 credit hours; 2.5 GPA; non-specified time frame experience in healthcare management or related field.
  • T. Still University of Health Sciences: Master of Healthcare Administration- 48 credit hours; 2.5 GPA.
  • Florida Atlantic University: Executive Master in Healthcare administration-30 credits; GRE required; 3.0 GPA.
  • Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health: Master of Business Administration in Healthcare- 42 credit hours; no GRE required; 3.0 GPA.
  • Marist College: Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration; 3.0 GPA or 2.75 GPA with 10 years of professional experience.
  • Simmons College: Master of Healthcare Administration-50 credit hours; 1 year of full time work experience in healthcare industry
  • Regis University: Master of Science in Health Sciences-32 credit hours; GRE required: 3.0 GPA; two years of professional experience in healthcare.
  • The University of West Florida: Master of Healthcare Administration-41 credit hours: GRE required; 3.0 GPA.

Many opportunities exist to gain an MHA degree. Online degree programs allow working professionals to obtain graduate level-training.

Overall, graduates of MHA programs are trained experts in healthcare administration. Healthcare administration is a mixture of many disciplines which incorporates accounting, finance, leadership, healthcare planning and delivery. Healthcare administration is very specialized; however, online programs are available, and many do not require the GRE examination for program acceptance. Completing an MHA degree will take less time than anticipated, with promising career options post-graduation. If you are looking to start a career in healthcare, but do not want to do direct patient care, healthcare administration may be the path to take.

Tessa Chatham

Master of Science (M.S.), Nursing Education| Aspen University

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Nursing| Texas Christian University

Bachelor of Arts (B.A), Psychology and English| The University of Texas at Arlington

October 2019

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