Health care administrators, also known as health services managers and health care managers, direct the operation of hospitals, health systems and other types of organizations. They have responsibility for facilities, services, programs, staff, budgets, relations with other organizations and other management functions, depending on the type and size of the organization.
Unlike clinicians, health administrators or managers do not deal directly with patients on a day-to-day basis. Instead, they help to shape policy, make needed changes and lead our nation’s health-related organizations in a way that serves individual patients by helping to improve the health care system.
Some responsibilities of health administrators include:
- Structural and operational leadership within an organization.
- Administer quality reviews and incentivize quality improvements within their organization.
- Management and performance reviews of health care professionals.
- Manage adherence to regulation.
- Designing financial incentives.
- Managing budgets for health care organizations.
- Planning changes within health care organizations.
- Assessing competition within the industry.
- Facilitate communication across different departments and stakeholders within an organization.
- They work in a wide range of health care settings including: hospitals, clinics, community organizations, consulting firms, government organizations.
WHAT ARE THE ACADEMIC PREREQUISITES?*
In making decisions about admissions, healthcare administration schools consider a range of factors that may vary from one school to another. All prerequisite courses usually need to be completed with a grade of C or above.
Although no specific undergraduate courses are required for admission into MHA programs, the following courses are recommended, and courses in bold are highly recommended, if you have time in your undergraduate career.
|Economics||Economics of Health Care (ECON 245)
Principles of Economics (ECON 121)
Microeconomic Theory (ECON 262)
Macroeconomic Theory (ECON 261)
|Management Studies||Principles of Accounting (MGMT 225)
Managerial Accounting (MGMT 237)
Management (MGMT 251)
Corporate Finance (MGMT 281)
Marketing (MGMT 250)
|Statistics||Take at least one course in statistics, which can be in any department. However, taking additional statistics courses can be very helpful.|
|Philosophy||Biomedical Ethics (PHIL 250)|
|Sociology/Anthropology||Medical Anthropology (SOAN 267)|
Sample Course Timeline
Because prerequisite courses are highly variable for healthcare administration graduate programs, there is no set or suggested timeline. Students should consult with their academic advisors regarding course selection.
Sample Prerequisite Course Requirements for Admission to Graduate Programs
- List of top programs
- University of Michigan
- Johns Hopkins
- University of Minnesota
- General advice on health care management degrees
*Please note, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they complete all prerequisite coursework in the time required for admission. Please consult each school’s website for prerequisite requirements.
WHAT STANDARDIZED TEST WILL I NEED TO TAKE? Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
WHAT CENTRALIZED APPLICATION WILL I USE? Healthcare Administration, Management & Policy
Centralized Application Service
WHAT ARE THE EXPERIENTIAL PREREQUISITES?*
- Internship(s): It is recommended that you gain experience in the field through interning at a healthcare organization, a department of health, a community clinic, etc. Internships relating to business that are outside of the healthcare industry are helpful as well.
- Leadership: It is strongly recommended that you serve in a leadership capacity (president of an organization, academic tutor, service on an advisory board, etc.). Leaders can enhance their communication and organizational skills, as well as learn how to interact with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds
- Research: Research experiences such as summer research with a faculty member are beneficial as well.
- Work experience: Most programs prefer that you have at least a year or two of full-time work experience in the healthcare industry before applying. However, it is also possible to get in directly after your undergraduate education, particularly if you have relevant internship experience.
WHAT OTHER RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE AT ST. OLAF?
Study Abroad: Any health, economics or management study abroad programs could be helpful.
Facebook Health Care Alumni Page: A place to connect with relevant alumni.
Mayo Innovation Scholars: Evaluate projects submitted by the Mayo Clinic Ventures. For students with a background in the natural sciences, economics, management studies or mathematics.
Norway Innovation Scholars: A unique opportunity to spend four weeks in Norway performing market analysis, evaluating intellectual property issues, and creating a strategic plan.
People considering an MHA may also want to consider:
Masters of Public Health (MPH)
Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on Health Administration
WHO IS THE DESIGNATED ADVISING SPECIALIST?
Professor Ashley Hodgson (Associate Professor of Economics)
Office: Holland Hall 305 Phone: 507-786-3139 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Ultimately, it is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that they complete all prerequisite coursework and experiential opportunities required for successful admission to a Masters of Health Administration Program.
To download and print, please click on this link: Healthcare Administration