The first step to becoming a health administrator is to earn a bachelor's degree. While candidates with substantial experience may not be required to have more than an undergraduate degree, most will need to pursue a master's at minimum.
There is no specific bachelor's degree that is required for admission into a health administration master's program, so students have many study options at this level. Choosing a major that includes education in healthcare policy & law, marketing, human resources, information management, and healthcare financing is ideal.
A list of accredited health care management programs is available through the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
The following preparation timeline provides an example health administration curriculum:
|Grade Level||Example Courses|
For some smaller facilities, entry-level positions accept a bachelor’s degree as adequate, and is also accepted at the departmental level in these health care organizations and in health information management.
With a master's degree or higher being the entry-level qualifications for most health administrators, students must prepare themselves for the 3 hour and 45 minute, standardized, multiple choice exam covering analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning.
The GRE is broken down into six primary sections:
|1 Analytical Writing Section||
|2 Quantitative Reasoning Sections||
|2 Verbal Reasoning Sections||
|1 Unscored Section||
You can find study materials, GRE registration, and test scores on the GRE website.
Previously, most students opted for the traditional route of a master’s degree in health administration or public health. Today, however, students are looking into other options, including obtaining degrees in business with course concentration in health services management.
Some schools offer a joint master’s degree in business administration and public health. Others offer degrees in both health care management and law. A residency, fellowship or supervised internship may also be included in an academic program.
Medical and health services managers are required to be familiar with management principles and practices.
The standard credentials for most generalist positions in this field may include a master’s level degree in the following:
Master’s degree programs in healthcare management generally last two years and include classes in health care policy and law, marketing, health care financing, organizational behavior, human resources or other health care management topics.A supervised internship, residency or fellowship could also be included.
The preparation timeline below provides an example master's in healthcare management curriculum: