Many students looking to earn master's degrees in health services are professionals with extensive, relevant experience, like physicians, hospital administrators or registered nurses. They are usually interested in becoming leaders in health services within hospitals, governmental agencies and consulting firms.
These programs are available as a Master of Health Services Administration or a Master of Health Administration.
A bachelor's degree in a related area and completion of a standardized test, such as the Graduate Records Examination (GRE), are required for admission. An interview and statement of purpose may also be necessary. These programs usually take two years of full-time study to finish, and might be available online. Internships, theses, and/or capstone projects are often required prior to graduation. Some programs initiate mentoring relationships for their students with professionals in the field. Applicants to these programs may need to meet experience requirements, especially in the online programs. Executive master's degree programs are also available, which combine distance learning with intensive weekend sessions several times a year.
Master of Health Services Administration
An MHSA degree program covers various subjects, like business, health care and law, and includes coursework covering organizational behavior, human resources management and clinic administration. The program content that graduate students in this area learn emphasizes public health, research and economics. A graduate program in health services might include the following courses:
- Medical biometry
- Applied biostatistics
- Evaluating health programs
- Medical geography
- Research methods in health services
Master of Health Administration
Graduate education in health administration concentrates more on the management of medical facilities, such as doctors' offices, hospitals and clinics. Students hoping to earn a master's degree in health administration take courses in financial management, data analysis and medical facility administration. Graduate students are trained to become leaders in many areas affecting health administration, such as public health, corporate planning, medical ethics, law and healthcare communications.
Most MHA degree programs include core classes with a variety of electives. Courses common to the health administration program may include:
- Medical logistics
- Healthcare organizational behavior
- Healthcare accounting
- Ethics in medicine
- Healthcare law
Popular Career Options
With a health services master's degree, students might be prepared for employment with hospitals, governmental agencies and consulting firms. Common career titles may include:
- Hospital administrator
- Government bureaucrat
- Medical project coordinator
- Health researcher
- Healthcare manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 17% increase in employment opportunities for health and medical service managers from 2014-2024. These workers earned a median annual salary of $94,500 in May 2015.
Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) programs prepare students for leadership roles in the industry, as they learn about a number of related topics, such as ethical and legal matters, financial management, statistical elements, research and organizational behavior.