Prospective students have a number of options for choosing the right program to pursue for a healthcare administration degree online. Some considerations to take into account include the delivery of the program, curriculum requirements, and institution and program accreditation.

Importance of Degree Accreditation

Finding an accredited university and enrolling in an accredited program in healthcare administration offers many benefits for graduates. In addition to acknowledgement by other educational institutions for possible transfers or using credits for an advanced degree or certificate program, graduates will also benefit from employer recognition.

Accreditation ensures that universities are following federal standards for delivering education, including all aspects of a degree program from classroom instruction to instructor qualifications to administrative operations. Program accreditation is provided by industry-specific councils or boards and further places guidelines on disciplines for preparing students for the workforce. In healthcare administration, additional information on this accreditation can be reviewed at the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education website.

Online Undergraduate Curriculum

Numerous accredited online undergraduate programs can be found throughout the United States, offered by both traditional brick-and-mortar institutions as well as those that operate solely online. Students will complete general education courses along with the courses specific to the healthcare administration degree program.

Typical courses included in a healthcare administration degree program include categories specific to the healthcare industry in strategic management, marketing, law, financial management, employment law, human resources, information systems, ethics, and organizational healthcare. Some online program also often incorporate a fieldwork practicum or internship component in order to provide students with practical application and observation of the practices and knowledge gained in the classroom.

Online Graduate Curriculum

Like an undergraduate online degree program, prospective graduate students looking for an accredited master's or doctorate program also have many options to choose from. In addition to coursework, these programs typically involve extensive research in the healthcare administration field and might include credit for previous work experience or experience gained through an internship or externship during the program.

Some common courses in a master's degree program for healthcare management include healthcare statistics, leadership in healthcare organizations, risk management, advanced marketing for healthcare operations, assessment of community health, and health information assessment. Each of these courses is helpful for building the skills and knowledge needed in a healthcare administration career position.

Related Resource: Starting a Career in Healthcare Administration

Careers in Healthcare Administration

Healthcare administrators work in a wide range of environments and with a number of different types of organizations. Healthcare administration professionals are needed in hospitals, rehabilitation and long-term care facilities, pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, insurance firms, educational institutions, government agencies, and many others.

Healthcare administration graduates might work as hospital administrators, human resources directors, nursing or clinical managers, and other executive, middle, and upper level management positions. In each of these types of healthcare administration positions, helpful skills to bring into the career from an education include communication, risk management, technology, economics, decision making, creative thinking, problem solving, and strategic management.

The possibilities for careers in healthcare administration as well as the increasing demand for qualified professionals are reasons to consider entering into this field. For prospective students looking for an accredited program at the undergraduate or graduate level, there are a number of healthcare administration degree online options to choose from.