With today’s technology and online applications, there are many colleges and universities that offer courses for degree completion and continuing education. Working adults are always looking for ways to further their education and knowledge, but do not have the luxury of taking a sabbatical. Because of this factor, they look for online programs to fit into their schedule. One of these programs is a master’s in healthcare management.
What is a Master of Science in Healthcare Management (MSHCM)?
MSHCM degree programs are designed for professionals who desire to work or who are currently working in management positions. This degree offers individuals a wide variety of positions within medical and healthcare organizations and facilities. A degree like an MSHCM, not only offers advancement opportunities in medical management, it also provides a higher income earning potential.
Most university-based programs have standard admission requirements that could include the following:
- A minimum of a BS (or near completion) from an accredited college or university, including specific prerequisite courses
- At least two years of full-time employment, preferably in the healthcare field
- A GPA minimum of 2.75 – 3.0
- GRE or GMAT scores
- A current resume or curriculum vitae
- A personal statement (length requirement will vary by institution)
TOEFL scores may be required for applicants who are not native English speaking and for individuals that earned their degree outside of the United States that were not instructed in English. Because most of these programs are offered on a part-time basis, applicants with F-1 or J-1 student visas requirements cannot be accepted.
Programs designed for the completion of an MSHCM typically require about 30-36 credit hours of core course work, followed by a capstone project. These courses prepare graduates for the workforce by developing and promoting skills in key healthcare management domains. These domains may include leadership, finance, human capital management, quality improvement, and technology, as well as the strategies that are critical when establishing, overseeing, and guiding a successful healthcare organization.
Are online MS in Healthcare Management available?
Fortunately, there are programs available for the completion of an MSHCM degree that is entirely online. Most of these programs have the option to complete courses at your own pace and complement working professionals’ busy lives. According to the US News & Healthcare Report’s 2019 Best Health Care Management Programs, the following schools offer an MSCHM degree that can be completed exclusively online.
- John’s Hopkins Carey Business School (Baltimore, MD)- Offers online, onsite, or a combination of both that can be completed in as little as two years with the flexibility of up to six years. Their online program feature primarily asynchronous courses with a few recommended or required synchronous learning activities.
- Clarkson College (Omaha, NE)- The accelerated program with this college is offered 100 percent online and focuses on diverse leadership strategies. Their courses are scheduled with a start date every six weeks so that you can focus on one course at a time.
- Western Governors University Tennessee (Franklin, TN)- WGU’s online MBA in Healthcare Management program is designed for experienced healthcare professionals. This flexible program allowing you to advance as quickly as you’re able and offers flat-rate tuition in six-month increments.
- University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)- This online program offers three different concentrations in Healthcare Management that can be completed in as little as 12 months. One benefit of attending this school is that they do not require GRE or GMAT score for admission into this program.
Is there a difference between an MS in Healthcare Management and an MBA in Healthcare Management (MBA in HCM)?
There are some fundamental differences between these two types of degrees. The coursework for an MSHCM degree concentrates entirely on theory as it relates to healthcare management. These courses prepare students to focus on data and provide the knowledge to think analytically. In contrast, an MBA in HCM focuses less on theory and more on professional skills and application.
The difference in the degree concentrations, program options, course content, and cost are a matter of personal preference and needs. However, it is estimated that by 2024, approximately 2.5 million new healthcare jobs will be created and available to trained individuals in the United States. These new employees will need management level professionals to provide guidance and direction to accomplish their personal goals as well as those of the healthcare organization or facility. Because of this, there will be a significant need for well-educated individuals to fill management-level positions as well.
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