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Health Services Administration


Programs in health services administration prepare people to plan and manage health services organizations.

Health services administration programs include topics such as:


In health services administration programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Many community colleges offer associate degree programs in health services administration. An associate degree program usually takes two years of full-time study to complete. An associate degree prepares students to work as an assistant in health services administration.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs in health services administration. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in health services administration. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree and good grades. You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Your bachelor's degree should be in one of the following fields:

It may also be helpful to have some work experience related to this program of study. Examples of relevant experience include jobs as a health care provider or a business administrator.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this undergraduate program, you typically take courses such as the following:

Graduate Program Courses

Course work in graduate programs varies. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

The core courses are typically more thorough or more focused studies of topics introduced in the undergraduate program.

Some graduate programs require you to focus on one aspect of health services administration. Examples include policy analysis and health systems management.

In addition, many programs, both undergraduate and graduate, include clinical practicums in their curriculum. A practicum gives you valuable real-world experience in a health services organization by applying your knowledge and skills to administrative problems. You also benefit from the guidance and direct supervision of an experienced health services administrator. Practicums can last anywhere between three months to a year.

You could work in any setting related to health care. Possibilities include a hospital, a health maintenance organization (HMO), or an insurance company. Whatever the setting, you benefit from the guidance and direct supervision of an experienced health care administrator.

Things to Know

Consider pursuing the health care administration program of study if you're interested in applying health services administration-related issues to specific health care organizations such as hospitals or nursing homes.

Getting an associate or bachelor's degree in health services administration typically qualifies you to start out as an administrative assistant and work your way up. If you want to start out at a higher position, you should pursue a graduate degree in this program.

If you want to be a health care administrator in a nursing home, you need to be licensed. To get licensed, you need to have a bachelor's degree, pass an exam, and complete a certain amount of supervised practice. You also usually need to take continuing education courses to renew your license.


East Side Area

Big Bend Community College

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

City University of Seattle

Everett Community College

North Seattle College

Seattle Central College

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University (Spokane Campus)

Gonzaga University

Park University - Fairchild AFB

Statewide and Distance Learning

WGU Washington

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

Tacoma Community College

University of Washington - Tacoma

Tri-Cities Area

Columbia Basin College

Vancouver Area

Charter College--Vancouver

Yakima Area

Heritage University