Online Masters in Health Services: Degree Summary

Find out about online health services courses and in which master's degree programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

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Essential Information

An online master's program in health services prepares students to be administrative leaders of healthcare organizations. Online master's degree programs in health services are available as master's degree programs in health services management, health administration and health management.

These online programs take about two years to complete. Applicants are required to hold a bachelor's degree and have several years of healthcare experience. While some programs are available fully online, others are offered in hybrid formats that require students to complete periodic on-campus visits to take part in seminars and communicate with classmates. Additionally, some programs may require students to complete a field experience or internship.

Master's Degree in Health Services

Healthcare organizations function like businesses and require someone to make educated and critical decisions. An online Master of Science in Health Services Management or Master of Health Management program can train medical administrators for supervising clinical staff, developing institutional plans and influencing public image. Leadership strategies and financial management skills are among the subjects taught in such programs. All students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Common Coursework

To become health services executives, program participants take courses in finance, human resources, policy and leadership. Students study healthcare organization operations and interactions with scientific, religious and public institutions.

Law and Ethics in Healthcare

Students learn about legal issues, such as liability, contracts, negligence, documentation, labor laws and claims settlement. This course also covers patient rights and provider-client relationships.

Administration and Organization of Healthcare

This course examines the structure of healthcare systems from a business perspective. Students learn to set goals for the organization and develop clinical decision-making strategies.

Information Systems

Aspiring healthcare service managers prepare to appraise and select software for electronic data maintenance. The course teaches about required security to protect patient information.

Learning Environment

Students can complete their health services program within two years, and courses are available completely online. Most schools recommend that applicants have a several years of administrative or clinical experience in healthcare. Communication with teachers and other students takes place by e-mail, Internet discussion forums and online chat.

Personal computers must be equipped with a CD drive, but a DVD drive is also encouraged. Some schools may have security and file transferring software to download. Current browsers and operating systems are recommended.


Career Information

Healthcare administrators work in physicians' offices, nursing care facilities, outpatient facilities, hospitals and home care agencies. According to the BLS, medical and health services managers had a median annual wage of $94,500 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS expected employment in this field to increase by 17% - much faster than the average for all occupations - between 2014 and 2024. Job prospects were anticipated to be best for individuals with business management skills and healthcare experience.

Online master's degree programs in health services and related fields cover the administrative aspects of the healthcare field, such as legal issues and financial considerations. Graduates are prepared to seek managerial positions within medical institutions.

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