Why a Masters in Hospital Administration + Online Option

This article describes the masters in hospital administration degree program, some of the subjects and courses that the degree covers, and why this degree could significantly help you advance your career. It also presents a high-quality online masters in hospital administration program that you may want to consider enrolling in.

What Is a Masters in Hospital Administration?

A master in hospital administration (MHA) degree program usually takes between two and three years to complete and combines classroom learning with an internship or other real-world practical experience. Different schools are able to set their own admission requirements, but most will require a relevant bachelor’s degree and a number of years of professional experience within a health care-related field. Sometimes, the MHA is delivered in combination with a master of business administration (MBA), master of public health (MPH), or master of public administration (MPA).

Some of the issues that are included in a good MHA program focus on health care policy, finance, human resources, and health care ethics. Some of the most commonly included course topics are:

  • Information Technology
  • Cost Management
  • Leadership in Health Care
  • Security Practices
  • Health Care in the United States

Why Earn a Masters in Hospital Administration?

Upon completion of a masters in hospital administration, you may choose to become certified in specific areas of health care administration, or you could move on to a doctoral degree program. The American Health Information Management Association offers a number of certifications, including the Registered Health Information Administrator credential. Furthermore, the MHA degree may be sufficient for licensure for those who wish to work in assisted living facilities, depending on which state they live in.

Those who do want to move on to doctoral degree level studies can choose among various areas of specialization. These include long term care facility or health care facility quality improvement management. These programs produce graduates who can take on even more advanced professional careers, such as health systems chief financial officer or chief executive officer, those who wish to become researchers, and those who want to take on university faculty positions.

The MHA degree itself can also prepare students to enter the workforce in a variety of advanced management and leadership positions. They become experts in areas, such as leadership and management, and also health care ethics, for instance. Hence, this type of degree provides graduates with a great deal of personal satisfaction and job security.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that medical and health services managers had a median salary of $96,540 per year as of May 2016. However, this is at the bachelor’s degree level. Those with a graduate degree or above are more likely to find themselves in the top 10% of earners, who earn $172,240 per year or more. The BLS has also reported that there will be a 17% increase in demand for these professionals from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the national average and will translate into some 56,300 new jobs.

Online Option for Masters in Hospital Administration

University of Southern California

If you are interested in a masters in hospital administration, you may want to consider the Executive Master of Health Administration program offered by the Sol Price School of Public Policy of the University of Southern California (USC). This degree program focuses on making the overall health care delivery system of greater quality and more efficient. The approach of the degree program is outcomes oriented and value based. It looks at issues, such as health care access, risk assessment, population management, implementation, and health care innovation. Furthermore, students learn how to develop confident, qualified, health care employees, cultivate better relationships between patients, clinicians, and organizations, and essentially create greater transparency.

The degree program encourages students to significantly broaden their scope, going above and beyond the standard foundations of finance and management, and seeing instead the bigger picture. This includes the required long terms strategies required for the future of the health care industry. It also encourages students to take on a global perspective in terms of industry reform, organizational evolution, regulatory and statutory issues, societal health, and health care policy.

The program, which is delivered online, can be completed in as little as two years. It provides students with the opportunity to interact with industry experienced faculty, but also with industry guest speakers who regularly make important contributions to education and research in health care policy and management.

The degree also encourages students to build a professional network with their fellow students, including those looking at different health care facets. USC has a reputation for excellence and fosters support for public service. Students break through geographic and disciplinary boundaries, always being in the pursuit of greater knowledge. USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and also has some very impressive rankings, including, according to the U.S. News & World Report:

  • #3 of 15 health policy and management schools
  • #4 out of 272 public affairs schools
  • #23 out of 272 best universities in the country

The degree includes foundation courses, core courses, and capstone courses, all of which must be completed. The foundation courses are:

  • Leading People and Health Care Organizations
  • Healthcare Economics, Finance, and Reimbursement

The core courses are:

  • Managing the Organization’s Financial Health
  • Managing and Improving Health
  • Health Information Systems
  • Quality of Care Concepts
  • Information Technology Management Systems in Health Care

Finally, the capstone courses are:

  • Strategic Management
  • Development and Monitoring of Quality and Patient Safety and Outcomes
  • Managing Risk
  • Operational Efficiency Processes in Health Care Organizations
  • Frontline Issues in Health Services Administration and Policy

Those who graduate from an MHA program can work in a variety of health care-related fields, including mental health organizations, hospices, consulting firms, nursing care facilities, and hospitals. Typically, they run the organization and to plan the delivery of how health care is delivered to patients within the facility that they work for. Some of the roles they regularly take on include:

  • Health care administrator
  • Health services manager
  • Health care executive


Clearly, by earning a master in health administration, you can significantly advance your career. There are numerous options available to you, including furthering your own education or taking on positions of leadership and management anywhere in the global health care system. Essentially, you will be responsible for making sure health care organizations can deliver their work in patient outcomes, while at the same time ensuring they can manage financially.

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