Healthcare MBA Programs in California

Within the state of California, a range of options exist for students who wish to earn a Master of Business Administration focused on the healthcare industry.

Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with focus in healthcare can set up graduates for leadership positions within this growing industry. In this article, readers can learn more about MBA in healthcare programs that are available in the state of California and what it would take to earn this degree.

MBA in Healthcare Programs in California

University of California Irvine

UC Irvine offers an MBA with a concentration in Health Care Management and Policy. The program requires two years of full-time study to complete. The Center for Healthcare Management and Policy sponsors a yearly Health Care Forecast Conference that can benefit students. Weeklong global residencies can provide comparative international education for students as well.

University of California Berkeley

At UC Berkeley, students can pursue a joint MBA/MPH (Master of Public Health) for a specific concentration in health management. The school of business and the school of public health partner to provide this opportunity to those wanting to pursue work in the healthcare industry. There is a wide range of healthcare electives and co-curricular opportunities offered through the program. Berkeley is also a founding member of the Business School Alliance for Health Care and hosts an annual conference.

California Coastal University

Located in Santa Ana, California Coastal University has an MBA program with a focus in Health Care Management. The program is self-paced, and is completed in an online format. Students may begin the program at any time. California Coastal University aims to integrate the student's professional experiences with their academic programming.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University offers an MBA with a Health Services specialization. Students can choose a full-time day program, or a part-time format with classes in the evening. Many students participate in internships or consulting positions as part of their course of study. All students complete a final capstone experience, consisting of either a business consulting course or the completion of a thesis.

California Miramar University

Students can pursue an MBA with a focus in Health Care Management at California Miramar University in San Diego. The program may be pursued in an online or hybrid environment. The student association offers a range of workshops and community development programs. This school also has a commitment to working with students connected to the military, offering support for both active duty military personnel and veterans.


Admissions to MBA programs can be competitive. Applicants should typically expect to provide transcripts, recommendations, a personal statement or essay, and a resume. Many programs require standardized test scores, with GMAT or GRE results accepted. Professional work experience in the business world is typically preferred.

Program Description

Students enrolled in an MBA program typically begin their course of study with a series of core courses, which may include marketing, finance, and organizational behavior. Upon completion of these foundational courses, students enrolled in a healthcare management MBA will focus on this specialization. Internships or other experiential opportunities may be a component as well. Read on to learn more about some MBA courses that students may take that concern healthcare management.

Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Commercialization

This course may provide a background in the economic and management issues that are faced by biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. Specific topics may include research and development, pricing, joint ventures, and governmental regulations. Attention could be paid both to established companies and to start-ups within this industry.

Organization and Management in Health Care

A course in the organization and management of healthcare may consider such organizations as a whole, and then move into individual leadership issues that arise in such organizations. Within this course, students could be introduced to the major challenges facing healthcare organizations, including organizational change. They may hone their leadership and communication skills in facing such challenges.

Health Care Economics

This course could provide an introduction to both the macroeconomic and microeconomic theories of health care. Students may review why it is different than other industry sectors. Students might learn about economic evaluation and an analysis of the current US or global heathcare markets.

Legal Issues in Health Care

Those with business leadership positions in healthcare organizations will be required to be cognizant of a range of legal issues that may be faced by such enterprises. Students may be presented with a range of legal concerns that are frequently encountered, such as quality assurance and resource allocation, through a case study method. The ethical dimension of these problems could be presented as well.

The Health Services System

This course will provide an overview of the current status of healthcare institutions in the United States. Payment structures, including HMOs, insurance, and federal programs, may be examined. Students could also be introduced to the providers of healthcare within the system.

Students who wish to seek leadership positions within the healthcare industry may consider earning an MBA with a focus in healthcare. Students who pursue this degree will encounter coursework focused on developing leadership and knowledge of the industry, and may also have the opportunity to gain hands-on skills through MBA projects.

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