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Master’s Degree Programs in Healthcare Management Overview

Majors Overview October 30, 2017

This article talks about master’s degree programs in healthcare management and their education requirements, coursework, career options, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.

Master’s Programs in Healthcare Management

Enrollees in a Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Care Management program learn leadership and general management principles along with the policies and laws of the healthcare industry. The program provides an in-depth perspective of the organizational and business structure of the healthcare industry to augment decision-making and general problem-solving practices. Program graduates can expect to become adept at effectively managing the delivery of healthcare services in various settings. Specific concentrations may be available, including internal auditing, informatics, education, nutrition, or operations. These programs are offered fully or partially online by some schools.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, regardless of the major. Incoming students with undergraduate degrees in unrelated majors may have to complete some prerequisite courses, such as microeconomics or statistics.


Program coursework is devised to allow the exploration of the specific nuances of the healthcare industry, and a strong grasp of the policies and laws governing the American healthcare system. Business and healthcare management training are typically in the coursework. The coursework may also feature the basic structure of successful organizations, with an emphasis on topic areas such as marketing, accounting, and personnel management. Business topics focus on how an institution operates, and the application of those principles to healthcare courses to cover specific laws, policies, and procedures.

Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Health marketing research
•Health resources management
•Healthcare law
•Healthcare cost management
•Health care ethics
•Conflict resolution

Career Options

Healthcare managers’ duties involve overseeing the business and medical practices in health service organizations, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. A master’s degree program aims at preparing students for professional management roles in these environments. State licensure would benefit those seeking careers in nursing care or assisted living facilities. Program graduates can choose from possible job positions such as:

•Biotechnology consultant
•Pharmaceutical Analyst
•Medical clinic manager
•Hospital administrator
•Health educator
•Public health engineer
•Informatics specialist

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2016, health and medical services managers brought in an average annual wage ranging between $96,540 and $150,560 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). These professionals mainly found employment at hospitals; they were paid the highest wages by pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies and the systems design services industry. The health and medical services management field is expected to see a 20% job growth over the 2016-2026 decade (BLS).

Continuing Education Options

Graduates may seek entry-level careers or opt for continuing education at the doctoral level, such as in healthcare management, health administration, or public health policy management. Specialization in areas such as executive administration or health informatics might be allowed through concentrations in these programs. Program graduates from doctoral programs can seek careers in management, research, or college-level teaching positions.

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