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Masters of Hospital Administration Degree Program Overviews

In a Master's in Hospital Administration (MHA) degree program students learn about general business topics such as finance and human resources, along with healthcare-specific courses like healthcare policy and epidemiology for managers. In some cases these programs allow students to add emphases to their course of study, which could result in specialized experience in hospital administration.

Essential Information

An MHA is typically a 2- or 3-year program that combines classroom learning with real-world experience. In addition to other admission requirements, applicants to an MHA program should hold a bachelor's degree; professional experience in healthcare may also be required. Internships are common in MHA programs. Some programs may allow MHA students to simultaneously pursue a Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Health, or Master of Public Administration.

  • Program Levels in Hospital Administration: Master's degrees
  • Program Length: Two to three years
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree, possible completion of a management course, possible requirement of at least a year's experience working in healthcare
  • Other Requirements: An internship and state licensure

Master's Degree Programs in Hospital Administration

Healthcare ethics, human resources, finance and healthcare policy are commonly included in an MHA program. In addition to classroom work, most programs require an internship in a healthcare facility. Course topics may include:

  • Healthcare in the United States
  • Security practices
  • Leadership in healthcare
  • Cost management
  • Information technology
  • Healthcare law

Popular Career Options

Graduates of MHA programs can work in a variety of fields and settings, including hospitals, nursing care facilities, consulting firms, hospices and mental health organizations. These professionals are typically responsible for the organization and planning of the delivery of healthcare to the patients within a facility. Some possible career titles could include:

  • Healthcare executive
  • Health service manager
  • Healthcare administrator

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Beyond the master's degree level, administrative healthcare professionals can further their careers both through certification and doctoral programs. Certification can be earned through the American Health Information Management Association, which awards the Registered Health Information Administrator credential. Individuals planning to work in nursing care facilities must be licensed by the state, and those planning to work in assisted-living facilities may also require licensure.

At the doctoral level, students may specialize in areas such as quality improvement for healthcare facilities or in long-term care facility management. These programs can be designed to prepare students for either professional advancement, to positions like health system chief executive officer or chief financial officer, or for academic positions at universities.

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