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Hospital Management Graduate Degree Programs

Degrees in hospital administration, also known as hospital management, concentrate on providing quality care via good management techniques. Students in both master's and doctoral programs gain an understanding of the business side of healthcare.

Essential Information

Master's programs in hospital management are typically two years in length, and admission requirements usually include a bachelor's degree and prior healthcare experience. Doctoral programs can last anywhere from 3-7 years, depending on whether a student attends full-time or part-time, and the length of the dissertation process. Some schools may seek students with professional healthcare experience. Students may need a master's degree before gaining admission to a doctoral program. Some programs focus on science specialties like epidemiology, so a solid science and math background is helpful.


Master's Degree in Hospital Administration

Coursework encompasses ways to manage healthcare in different situations. Some programs also have a medicine focus, which helps hospital managers understand health issues. Courses in a hospital management master's degree program may cover:

  • The health care system
  • Health economics
  • Statistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Public health and law
  • Health technology

Master of Business Administration Degree with a Health Management Concentration

An MBA with a health management or health administration concentration focuses on the business of healthcare. Students in these programs may hope to start their own healthcare business or obtain high-level executive positions in healthcare organizations. Common courses include:

  • Marketing
  • Analytics
  • International business
  • Healthcare economics
  • Healthcare law

Doctorate in Hospital or Health Administration

Students who are interested in a hospital or health administration Ph.D. are typically more interested in studying health care and performing research about healthcare administration than in working in hospitals. As a result, Ph.D. coursework focuses much more on theory and research than on the professional hospital setting. Students learn healthcare administration theory, concepts and philosophy, which is tested by taking comprehensive exams and writing dissertations. They often contribute to research performed by faculty and may compete for government research grants. Courses in a hospital management graduate program may include:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Finance
  • Health policy
  • Dissertation credits

Popular Career Options

Students who pursue a master's degree in hospital management or health administration may work as administrators in hospitals or for the government. Students who earn a Ph.D. in hospital or health care management are usually interested in teaching at the college level. Specific job titles include:

  • Pharmaceutical consultant
  • Health analytics director
  • Health care finance manager or marketer
  • Hospital administrator
  • Governmental or pharmaceutical researcher
  • Health policy analyst or health care economist

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of medical and health services managers, which includes hospital administrators, will grow by about 17% between 2014 and 2024. Many managers will work for hospitals, but other employers include healthcare management companies and private health practitioners. In May 2015, medical and health services managers earned a median salary of $94,500, according to BLS figures.

A master's or doctoral degree in hospital management sufficiently prepares students with the skills to manage a healthcare facility, conduct consulting work, perform research, teach, and more. Depending on the program, students may need to have healthcare experience for admission, and they may be able to choose a specialty focus area during their studies.

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