According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook, in order to work in Healthcare Management candidates must hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree. In order to be considered for top-level management positions candidates will require a Master’s Degree. A Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration should focus on principles in management, leadership skills and dealing with situations that might arise in a hospital or healthcare setting. Earning a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration (MHA) allows career advancement as an administrator in a variety of healthcare organizations including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, insurance agencies and other residential centers.
There are many factors that influence the length of time to earn a Master’s Degree. The decision to pursue a degree on a part time or on a full time basis will be the most determining factor in the length of time for completion. Accelerated or fast track programs allow students to earn their degrees in a shorter timeframe with fewer credit hours. Fast track options are available to students with proven excellence in their academics and often require more intense full time study. Many students feel that the intensity of these fast track programs create an engaged learning process, and helps them to earn better grades.
Pursuing a Masters Program on a Full Time Basis
If you pursue a Master’s Degree on a full-time basis, it will generally require a time commitment of forty hours each week, with total completion taking generally two to three years. If you have a particular area of interest in the field, you may be able to focus on it during your studies. Many full-time programs allow an opportunity for real-world experience working in a healthcare facility during a summer program between your first and second years. However, some schools require a third year, in which students work in a full-time, paid internship or fellowship position.
Pursuing a Master’s Degree in a Part-time Program
Many Master’s Degree programs allow flexibility for those people currently working or with other time commits by allowing them to pursue their education on a part time basis. Part-time study usually takes a little longer (two to four years) for completion because the program requirements work around your schedule. For further flexibility in learning style classes are often available online, in the evenings and on the weekends. Many programs limit students, so you must graduate within a certain number of years or your classes become invalid.
Online Healthcare Management Programs
The average length of time to earn an online Master of Healthcare Administration is between two and three years. The majority of Master’s Degree Programs can be taken online, however all Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) accredited programs require some on campus study. The time necessary to complete a Master’s Program varies for each student, based on when they start the program, the amount of credits taken each semester, working commitments and whether the student takes fall, spring, winter or summer courses. There can be a maximum number of years after date of acceptance to complete degree requirements. Most universities online programs require 60-70 course credits for completion of the program.
How To Choose the Right Healthcare Administration Program
When choosing a format for pursuing a Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration, it is important to choose a format that will suit your particular time requirements. Each student will have their own goals and commitments and these should be kept in mind. With so many options, there is a Master’s in Healthcare Administration Program that will fit almost every need.