Health Services Degree Program Summaries

Oct 14, 2019

Individuals who are interested in a career in health services administration can enroll in a variety of degree programs to facilitate their goal. Options for degrees in health services include an associate's, bachelor's and master's programs.

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Essential Information

Undergraduate programs in health administration services or related fields provide students with foundational knowledge in the field through a combination of business and healthcare administration courses. These programs prepare students for entry-level management jobs or for further education. Master's degree programs offer advanced instruction in administrative topics. At all levels, students explore topics including staffing, healthcare law and budgeting. Most programs require internships in healthcare facilities. Graduates are eligible to sit for a variety of national credentialing examinations.

Common requirements for admissions include a high school diploma or equivalent for the associate's and bachelor's levels, and master's programs require a bachelor's degree, satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Associate of Science in Health Administration Services

The curriculum in this 2-year degree is designed to prepare students for entry-level supervisory and management positions in the healthcare industry. Coursework introduces students to administrative duties, professionalism, medical terminology and information technologies utilized in the collection and maintenance of medical records. An accounting course examines the financial aspects of the healthcare industry and a management course explores the role of the health services administrator as a leader in the delivery and management of health services. Towards the close of the program, students complete an internship experience in a medical setting.

Coursework is comprised of general education, management and healthcare administration courses, including subjects like computer applications, human resource management and managerial accounting. Topics of discussion include:

  • Community health
  • Electronic records
  • U.S. healthcare
  • Medical coding
  • Medical ethics

Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration

Designed for students who plan to pursue graduate studies in healthcare management and those who are pursuing management positions in the healthcare industry, the degree program includes introductory coursework in the business and management of healthcare organizations. The curriculum explores the role of the health services manager, which includes managing healthcare finances, human resources and the daily operations of a healthcare organization or facility. Coursework includes studies in accounting, health information management, healthcare law and ethics.

Courses in the program explore the history of the United States healthcare system, emerging issues in healthcare and healthcare policy. Topics of discussion in coursework include:

  • Organizational behavior
  • Health promotion
  • Long-term care administration
  • Epidemiology
  • Public health

Master of Science in Health Services Administration

The curriculum is designed for graduates of a healthcare related undergraduate degree or for individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in an unrelated area. Health services management courses include studies in research methods, management principles and theories and financial management. Studies in healthcare law introduce students to the legal side of health services management, including healthcare policies, regulations, legislation and ethical financial and management practices. Coursework in marketing explores marketing techniques for reaching communities in need of health services and promoting community health. Towards the close of the program, students complete a graduate research project and internship experience.

Graduate courses include subjects like economics, statistics, accounting, management and supply chain management. Course offerings include topics such as:

  • Community health programs
  • Reimbursement systems
  • Budgeting
  • Environmental health
  • Disease prevention

Popular Career Options

Graduates go on to careers in healthcare in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, insurance companies and more. Popular careers for graduates include:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Medical billing assistant
  • Office manager

A bachelor's degree in health services management can lead to middle and, eventually, upper management positions in health care organizations, facilities and government agencies. Job titles of graduates include:

  • Long-term care administrator
  • Health information manager
  • Community health coordinator

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers held approximately 372,670 jobs in the U.S. in 2018 ( The BLS also reported that jobs in this profession were expected to grow by 18%, much faster than the average for all occupations, between the years 2018 and 2028. The median annual salary of medical and health services managers as of May 2018 was $99,730.

Continuing Education Information

Associate's program graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) examination, offered through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). CMAAs are required to complete five continuing education credits every year to maintain certification. Graduates might also consider enrolling in a bachelor's degree in healthcare management.

Those who graduate with a bachelor's degree can enroll in a variety of advanced degree programs to improve job outlook and boost salary expectations. Degree options include a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration, Healthcare Management and Public Health.

Graduates of these programs are generally eligible to take the Nursing Home Administrators and Residential Care/Assisted Living certification examinations, offered through the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB). Graduates should refer to their state licensing boards for specific education and professional experience requirements.

Health service degree programs are available at an associate's, bachelor's or master's level. Popular career options for graduates often include an administrative assistant or health information manager.

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