Hospital Management Degree Programs and Majors

Generally, students interested in becoming a hospital manager earn a degree in health administration. Find out what kind of programs are available along with what courses to expect, in addition to continuing education opportunities and job prospects.

Essential Information

Bachelor's-level studies in health administration tend to focus on business areas that are applicable to healthcare settings, such as finance, accounting, and marketing. Students in master's degree programs will learn more about health-related topics, such as epidemiology and healthcare information systems. They will also have the opportunity to participate in an internship at a hospital or medical center. Some programs may even be available partially online

Bachelor of Science in Health Administration

A four-year bachelor's degree in health administration prepares students for administrative positions in healthcare settings from hospitals to private practice. Students learn about managed care, community health, research, and management. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graduates may find job opportunities as administrative assistants or assistant managers in hospitals (www.bls.gov). Prospective students planning on applying to a bachelor's degree in healthcare management need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may require incoming students to have a minimum GPA.

Coursework in a hospital management bachelor's degree program teaches students about the functions of administrators in healthcare settings, from using technology to long-term healthcare plans. The following are some of the typical courses found in these bachelor's degree programs:

  • Healthcare delivery
  • Marketing for healthcare
  • Accounting
  • Healthcare finance
  • Healthcare planning

Master of Health Administration

While two-year Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) programs are the most common degrees for hospital managers, graduates with public health and business administration degrees may also be qualified for health administration careers. Students applying for entrance into a master's degree program in health or hospital administration typically need a bachelor's degree. Additionally, they may need to submit GRE scores and transcripts with an application in order to be considered.

This graduate program in hospital management teaches students the skills to assess and formulate plans for hospital facilities, financial systems, information systems, policies, marketing campaigns, and human resources. The following are some of the courses offered in a master's degree program in health administration:

  • Financial management
  • Quantitative analysis for healthcare administration
  • Epidemiology in health planning
  • Strategic marketing in healthcare
  • Health information systems
  • Ethical issues in healthcare

Continuing Education Information

Individuals with a bachelor's degree in health administration who want to work in health information management can become certified as a Registered Health Information Administrator by the American Health Information Management Association.

Individuals who pursue careers as administrators in nursing care facilities will need to complete a training program and receive licensure from the state. Licensing may also be necessary for some assisted living facilities.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Job opportunities for medical and health services managers are expected to grow at a rate of 17% between 2014 and 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS. The median salary for health service managers as of May 2015 was $94,500.

Individuals who'd like to learn the skills needed to oversee hospitals and other health services centers can earn bachelor's or master's degrees in health administration. These programs teach students how to effectively run a hospital and manage the day-to-day activities therein, as well as qualify graduates for certification and licensure.

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