Massachusetts has long been at the forefront of progressive healthcare reform. Since 2006, Massachusetts has had a law on the books which requires all residents to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage; the state also provides free care to residents with incomes substantially below the federal poverty line, and medium-sized business owners provide healthcare for their employees.
It's no surprise then that Massachusetts ranks consistently among the top five states in the nation with regards to healthcare quality and coverage. And with a health administrator employment rate of nearly 4 per 1000 residents, this may be one of the best states in the nation for future health managerial professionals to pursue their degree, make contacts, and advance their careers in the industry.
The George Washington University’s (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences offers online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) programs for healthcare professionals, including a BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management.
Click for program information.
Common Master's in Health Care Administration Degree Concepts
Most MHA's follow a competency-based model, which means that their individual courses are centered around a smaller set of key competencies which have been deemed to be absolutely necessary for their profession. Most MHA students can expect to study the following competencies:
- Relationship Management
- General Management
- The Health Care Environment, with subsets in Finance, Policy, and Legal Issues
In addition, many MHA's require their students to complete a capstone project at the end of their degree plan. This generally entails students working in the field in order to research, evaluate, and propose changes for a current issue the industry is facing.
What Can a Health Administrator Do?
In Massachusetts alone, the health industry is expected to grow at a rate of 17 percent into the year 2024, with an estimated 65,000 new jobs available for professionals with health-related Master’s degrees.
In addition, data shows that salaries in the healthcare industry have increased by nearly 20 percent since 2006. Clearly, Massachusetts is a state with an abundance of opportunity for well-educated, qualified health professionals.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the mean annual salary for health managerial professionals is $128,730.
That average is far higher than the national average, with the majority employed in general hospitals and private clinics.
Online (and Onsite) MHA Programs in Massachusetts
There are a number of universities within Massachusetts which offer certified graduate programs for those seeking an MHA. Below, we have listed two options which are indicative of programs state-wide. However, you should investigate the specifics of any particular program which interests you.
Located six miles from a city with one of the highest standards of living in the world, Boston College is a private research university and one of the most prestigious on the East Coast.
Working professionals who might be interested in this university may be happy to know that BC offers a completely online program meant to provide students with the flexibility needed to balance their academic and professional lives.
This is a 46-credit program divided into 12 courses, with no mandatory electives.
As a private institution, Boston College does discriminate in pricing for out-of-state residents: any applicant can expect to pay a base fee of $1,144 per credit hour.
Students of this program can attend an on-campus session at the beginning of each school year, and then go on to complete a series of 6-8 week online modules over a typical duration of two years.
One particular benefit of this program is the high level of industry input and connections it maintains: prestigious institutions from Beth Israel to Mass General to North Shore Medical Center maintain an intimate relationship with the faculty and student body of BC’s MHA program, and contribute to the college’s high graduate employment rates.
University of Massachusetts
UMass is the largest public university system in the state. Depending on the campus chosen, there are different on-campus and online options for students to pursue their MHA.
UMass Dartmouth offers an online MHA which comprises 30 credit hours and can be completed on a full-time or part-time schedule. Uniquely, this program is available to aspirants who have not obtained an undergraduate degree, though such students are required to complete additional credit hours.
For business-minded students, Mass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management offers students an online MBA with a focus in Healthcare Administration, ranked the third best online MBA program in the nation by the Financial Times.
In addition to 34 credit of core courses, students choose 9 elective credits in health-oriented classes such as Health Disparities, Health Economics, and Ethical Issues in Public Health.
The Dartmouth program charges in-state students a base tuition of $1,659 per course.
A typical course varies from one to six credits. Out-of-state should consult with the Office of Admissions to learn more about their pricing schemes. Amherst’s campus charges graduate students a base tuition of $7,174 for a 12-credit semester; out-of-state students pay a higher fee of $15,724.
Additional fees apply for distance-learning programs, and as always, applicants are encouraged to investigate financial aid packages they may be eligible for. If you are interested in obtaining your MHA in Massachusetts, you might consider any of the options listed below.