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Overview of Master Degree Programs in Medical and Health Services

Majors Overview August 10, 2018

This article talks about master’s degree programs in medical and health services and their education requirements, coursework, career options, job and wage outlook.

Master Programs in Medical and Health Services

The Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) and the Master of Health Administration (MHA) are two graduate programs that schools most commonly offer in the field. Full-time students can complete each of these programs within two years. Schools also offer executive master’s degree programs that combine intensive weekend sessions with distance learning numerous times a year, and that they can complete in two years.

Incoming students, especially those seeking admission to the online programs, may need to have prior work experience, along with an undergraduate degree in a related area. Students may have to complete capstone projects, theses, and internships before they can graduate; mentoring relationships with professionals in the field may be necessary for some schools for their students.

Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) Program

A variety of subjects are in an MHSA degree program, including healthcare, business, and law. The program also incorporates courses covering human resources management, organizational behavior, and clinic administration. Full-time students can complete the degree in 2-3 years.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students – including hospital administrators, physicians, and registered nurses – to have extensive, relevant experience in the field, along with a bachelor’s degree.


The emphasis of program coursework is on research, public health, and economics. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Evaluating health programs
•Research methods in health services
•Applied Biostatistics
•Medical Biometry
•Medical geography

Career Options

Graduates may seek careers with governmental agencies, hospitals, and consulting firms. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Medical project coordinator
•Healthcare Manager
•Government bureaucrat
•Hospital administrator
•Health researcher

Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program

The primary focus of graduate education in health administration is on managing medical facilities, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, and clinics. Students in a master’s degree program in health administration complete courses in data analysis, financial management, and medical facility administration. Graduate students learn leadership skills related to numerous areas affecting health administration; these include corporate planning, public health, law, medical ethics, and healthcare communications. Students enrolled in this professional degree, which incorporates field experience may have to complete a thesis.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to attend an interview, pay a processing fee and submit an application, along with Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and a statement of purpose.


Program coursework combines core classes with various electives. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Healthcare accounting
•Healthcare law
•Healthcare Organizational Behavior
•Medical Logistics
•Ethics in Medicine

Job and Wage Outlook

Medical and health services managers are expected to see a higher-than-average job growth of 20%, over the 2017-2027 decade. In May 2017, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $98,350 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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