There are several factors that should be considered when choosing a Healthcare Administration program to purse your Master's degree. One such consideration is the application requirements of the schools that you are interested in. Every school has different requirements based on what degree you are pursuing and typically the route in which you will earn your degree such as online classes versus a traditional classroom based learning method. Doing some research prior to applying can save you some headaches down the road. The best place to find the admission requirements is on the school's website. If you are unable to find the information there or have questions, don't hesitate to contact the school itself.
Here are a few common requirements to expect:
Having earned a bachelor's degree is a universal requirement when it comes to getting admitted into a graduate level healthcare administration program. Some may worry that they do not have a bachelor's degree with a major that will get them admitted into a healthcare administration program. Colleges know that people occasionally change their career choice and that is why they do not require you to have any specific major to get admitted. There is typically only one requirement when it comes to your bachelor's degree. The degree must have been earned from an accredited learning institution.
Something to consider when picking a school is if they require a particular work experience to enter their program. There are schools like Bellevue University that require a specific number of years of experience in the healthcare field. Bellevue requires it's applicants to have two years of healthcare experience and submit a resume as proof of that experience. If you don't have the two years of experience Bellevue will still admit you if you have a letter of commitment from a healthcare organization that will support you during school5. It is believed that the student will do better if they have the practice experience to apply the lessons they have learned to. That doesn't mean that you will not be able to get into a program without work experience or a letter of commitment. There are plenty of schools that will have other options available when it comes to work experience. Eastern Michigan University will allow their students to participate in a 240 hour health administration internship in place of the healthcare work experience requirement3. Then there are schools that do not require any healthcare work experience like the University of Scranton2.
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
The GRE is a common graduate level college entrance exam that most schools require when applying to a healthcare administration program. Take as an example the University of Michigan that requires all applicants to pass the GRE with a specified minimum score to be admitted1. That doesn't mean that you won't be able to get into a healthcare administration program if you don't score well on the GRE. There are schools that do not require the GRE or only require it in certain situations. Franklin University will only require you to complete the GRE if you graduated with a bachelor's degree with a GPA less than 2.754. Then there is also Eastern Michigan University that does not require the GRE at all3. Even if you are not attending a school that requires the GRE, it is still a good idea to take the exam. In the application process you want to differentiate yourself from the other applicants and a good score on the GRE can do just that.
The admissions process may seem like a daunting one, particularly if you have never been through it or if you have been out of school for a long time. Just remember that it is a manageable process and you have options. When you have questions about a requirement in particular you should contact the school. The schools always have people there to help you along the way with any questions you may have and can on occasion put you in touch with someone who has been through their program.
1. Admissions & Funding Information for M.H.S.A. and M.P.H Degrees. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2014, from University of Michigan: http://www.sph.umich.edu/hmp/programs/masters/admissions.html
2. Graduate Health Administration Program (MHA). (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2014, from The University of Scranton: https://matrix.scranton.edu/academics/pcps/hahr/programs/health-admin/graduate/index.shtml
3. Health Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2014, from Eastern Michigan University: http://www.emich.edu/chhs/hs/hlad/admissions/
4. Healthcare Master's Degree Program Admission Requirements. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2014, from Franklin University: http://www.franklin.edu/healthcare-administration-masters-degree-program-admission-requirements
5. Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA). (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2014, from Bellevue University: http://www.bellevue.edu/degrees/graduate/healthcare-admin-mha/admissions.aspx
John Tune is a healthcare professional and a freelance writer. He has worked in the healthcare field for over 14 years. John knows healthcare management and how to succeed in the field. He started working as a unit secretary in an Emergency Room and through hard work and education he worked his way up to being a member of the hospital leadership team. Google+ Profile