South Carolina's economy is growing, slowly but surely, and its health industry represents an important chunk of this growth.
According to researchers at the College of Charleston, different factors of economic growth in the state have been higher than the national average: job creation is expected to grow 2.1 percent throughout this year, the unemployment rate is dropping, and personal income is on the rise.
Yet the greatest challenge for South Carolina is a labor shortage of highly qualified professionals. For its health industry, this is perhaps more important than ever.
Over nine percent of South Carolinians remain uninsured, and E.R. wait times are some of the longest in the country (source). Qualified, experienced administrators are needed not just for the sixty-one hospitals in the state, but also the hundreds of private clinics, nursing homes, outpatient centers, and other aspects of the health industry.
If you are a health professional, and are looking to advance your career, a Master's of Health Administration might go a long way in South Carolina.
Common Master's in Health Care Administration Degree Concepts
Certified MHA programs can range anywhere from thirty to seventy credit hours in length. This wide variation speaks to the complicated, interdisciplinary nature of the degree plan, and how different universities approach it.
Generally, students of such a program are introduced to health-related concepts in fields such as economics, law, and ethics, in addition to human management and leadership coursework.
Below, we have listed just a few classes you are likely to see variations of in any MHA program.
Introduction to Health Policy
This and similar courses aim to provide a framework for understanding the different dimensions of health policy in the United States. Students are introduced to the working of our nation's legal system, and are taught about some of the most important health-related policies of our time.
Healthcare Financial Management
As administrators, MHA recipients interact with the financial aspect of healthcare on a daily basis. These courses provide conceptual and practical knowledge of the different facets of healthcare finance. Students are equipped with the skills necessary for the application of financial management techniques, in order to lead finance-related decision making in a healthcare environment.
Leadership of Healthcare Organizations
Leadership is a critical competency of any MHA program. This course provides an introduction and an overview of the principles of leadership and management in healthcare. Generally, these courses integrate theory with a substantial practical element, which might include workshops, group projects, and analysis of real-world situations.
Health Administration Career Statistics in South Carolina
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, currently employs over 5100 professionals as health managers and administrators. Their average annual salary is $95,980 (source).
As we noted above, the state's economy is growing faster than the national average, but struggling to attract highly qualified professionals, especially in the health industry.
If you are interested in pursuing your MHA, a South Carolina university might be the perfect fit, and a great way to advance your career after graduation. You may wish to consider any of the options listed below.
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.
MHA Programs Available in South Carolina
Those interested in studying at a South Carolina university have numerous options. Below, we have listed a few examples which are indicative of the wider offer.
Medical University of Carolina
The MUC offers a CAHME-accredited MHA program with two tracks: a Residential format for those students with minimal professional experience and who can engage with a full-time schedule of coursework; and an Executive format for students with several years of professional experience, and who wish to balance their graduate degree plan with their career.
Students of the residential track complete 67 hours of credit over a two-year span. In addition to the on-campus coursework, students build connections with industry professionals in the region, including a six-week internship program sponsored by the university.
Executive track students complete their coursework almost entirely online: students are required to visit the campus during one long weekend per semester. The degree comprises 54 credit hours, and is generally completed in two to three years.
In-state residents can expect a base tuition of $8,525 for a full-time semester in either the executive or residential track. Out-of-state residents are charged $12,454 per semester for the residential track, and $9,400 for the executive track.
Additional costs are to be expected, and these numbers should not indicate the total cost of your education.
University of South Carolina
The state’s largest public university offers a number of degree options for those interested in the field of health administration: an MHA, a dual Juris Doctorate / MHA, and a Master of Public Administration / Master of Public Health.
If you are interested in any of these dual degree specializations, you should visit the university’s website (source).
The CAHME accredited MHA program also includes a 28-month professional track, which requires only once a month of weekend classes in addition to online coursework. Students of either track also complete a final capstone project, in which they address a real-world problem of their choosing within the health industry.
Full-time in-state students can expect to pay a base tuition of $6,825 per semester, while out-of-state students are charged $14,598. Students of the executive track are charged $568 per credit hour and $1216 per credit hour, respectively. Additional technology fees apply.