Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees & Schools Guide

Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Administration Career Options & Salary

Overview of a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration


A bachelor's degree in healthcare administration prepares a student to work in the front office of a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or similar healthcare facility. A healthcare administrator works with all staff in order to plan, manage, and coordinate the staff, budgets and funding, insurance, policies and procedures, and health records at a facility or a department within a healthcare facility. They also must ensure that their facility or department meets the current changing legal, regulatory, and technological needs of their patients. Thus, the healthcare executive ensures that all aspects of providing for patients come together to ensure a quality healthcare experience.

A bachelor's degree in healthcare administration was not offered a few decades ago. At that time, students who graduated from business school would go on to employment as healthcare administrators. Today, with so many laws that specifically regulate the healthcare industry, rapidly changing with the conversion at facilities from paper to electronic billing and patient care information, students now attend a bachelor's program that provides both the grounding in business issues, such as accounting, economics, and business writing as well as the necessary education in the healthcare industry: specific issues of healthcare organization, finance, management, administration, and legal issues.

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Healthcare Degree & Career Paths


PROS

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is expected to be a 20% increase in demand for healthcare administrators through 2024. This is a demand that is far greater than most professions. Because of this, most people will be able to land entry-level employment in the field with just a bachelor's degree and an internship.

    Also, with a bachelor's degree and an internship, students can earn one of a few certifications in the field, which can help their employment prospects. A bachelor's degree is the entry level for professionals in the field.

CONS

    According to the University of Villanova, some healthcare facilities require that healthcare administration candidates possess a graduate degree in the field, such as a Master's of Public Health, a Master's of Public Administration or a Master's in Healthcare Administration. There are also master's degrees that are for very specific concentrations in the field, such as a Master's degree in Long-Term Care Administration.

    Also, candidates for nursing home administration positions will not be able to land a position without licensure within their state. According to the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards, state guidelines for licensure of nursing home administrators vary. Generally, the candidate will need to have earned their bachelor's degree, complete their state's training regimen, and pass the national examination. There are also states that have their own licensing examination.

Certificate vs. Bachelor's


In the field of healthcare administration, the certifications that one can earn require a bachelor's degree. Some of the certifications offered in the field for those with a bachelor's degree include:

  • Executive Certification (CRCE): This certification is completed via an examination that tests a candidate's business, healthcare, communication, and critical thinking skills.
  • Professional Certification: This certification deals more with the financial and billing issues in the industry.
  • Specialist Certification: This certification validates one's capacity to resolve accounts and deal with customer service and collections.
  • Certified Compliance Technician: This certification demonstrates mastery in compliance issues, such as HIPPA, regulatory sanctions, and abuse issues.

What Healthcare Administration Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?


Regardless of the names listed below, the degree offered is basically an amalgamation between learning the business issues of finance, economics, accounting, and management with specific healthcare industry issues that include healthcare organization, finance, management, administration, policy, legal issues, and electronic healthcare records.

Students who simply complete a business degree with the hopes of employment as a healthcare administrator will find stiff competition from those who possess one of the hybrid business/healthcare degrees listed below:

  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences

Admission Requirements


There is a misconception that online programs have less strict requirements for admission. This is often untrue. In fact, online programs often have more strict requirements because they don't just field students right from college. Online programs often recruit students who have been employed in an industry and seek advancement.

Some requirements for admission to a Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration include:

  • A 2.5 to 3.0 GPA
  • Letters of recommendation by teachers or employers
  • A letter of intent
  • Required SAT or ACT scores

How long does it take to earn a Healthcare Administration Bachelor's?


How long your program will take mostly depends on how much time you can devote to your studies. Students who are able to focus upon school full-time will likely be able to complete their programs in around four years. Students who attend part-time will likely be able to complete their programs within 6-7 years. Students who have to work and attend school usually take longer than four years to complete their bachelor's degree program. Some programs offer accelerated options and these programs can be completed in around three years.

Potential Careers in Healthcare Administration with a Bachelor’s


  • Nursing Home Administrators:
    Nursing home administrators are charged with the management of staff, finances of the facility, building upkeep, and more. They must ensure that residents at the facility are provided with quality care and meet state licensing requirements.
    Average yearly income: $88,300
  • Clinical Managers:
    Clinical managers are responsible for the management of one department of a facility, such as the surgery, physical therapy, or nursing department. They manage budgets, staff, and department goals and procedures.
    Average yearly income: $98,400
  • Health Information Managers:
    Health information managers ensure the acquisition, maintenance, and security of patient records and facility data. They have to stay abreast of changes in laws and technology. They also manage employees who enter data into medical records. This is a key field in healthcare administration that is growing. According to the University of Villanova, it is a great idea for healthcare administration candidates to get as much training as possible in this rapidly changing field because candidates with skills in electronic health records are going to find more doors open for them than candidates with other strengths in healthcare administration.
    Average yearly income: $55,700
  • Insurance Underwriter:
    Insurance underwriters are the personnel who decide if a certain procedure is funded by insurance or not. They must evaluate risk in order to determine coverage amounts and limits.
    Yearly average income:$69,800
  • Social Services Manager:
    I– A social services manager or community services manager works in a healthcare facility to provide social service support to patients that have unique challenges and problems.
    Yearly average income:$52,300

Options to Advance


Candidates who finish a graduate program are able to find more employment in the field than those with bachelor's degrees alone because some facilities require their candidates to possess a graduate degree. Graduate degree programs in healthcare administration tend to be two or three years in duration. There may be a supervised internship as a part of the graduate program.

Also, as discussed above, there are certificate programs available in the field for candidates who have their bachelor's degree in healthcare administration that will also help them secure better employment in the field. Still others in the field advance by taking on more responsibility. Some healthcare administrators become executives within their organization. Top-level executives within the healthcare industry tend to have graduate degrees.

Best Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration (BSHCA) Programs


Whether you prefer a traditional program or an online program, it is important to choose a program that is regionally or nationally accredited.

  • University of Alabama
    Birmingham, Alabama

    The University of Alabama offers four tracks for healthcare administration students, as well as some accelerated track options. There is a general track, a track for students who intend to go on to graduate school, a clinical manager track, and a long-term care administrator track. Some of the tracks have a higher criterion for admission. There is an internship that will require a background check and a drug screening. Also, there are minimum GPA requirements to remain in the program.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management - Multi-track
  • University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    The UofM program has a long-term care track that prepares students to sit for their state and national licensure exams with no further preparation required. Their healthcare administration program is one of the top-ranked programs in the nation. The coursework includes technology, healthcare, and technology classes as well as classes on leadership.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Health Management - Multi-track
  • University of Michigan – Flint
    Flint, Michigan

    One of the few schools that has been accredited through the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, Flint also provides an internship program within the BS in Healthcare Administration. There is a regular and an Honor's track. There is also a portfolio that must be approved as a condition of graduation.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration – Honor's Track
  • University of Maryland, University College
    Largo, Maryland

    UMUC has been open since 1947. Their BS In Health Services Management contains coursework in healthcare marketing, legal and ethical issues, and management of healthcare facilities. One can stay with UMUC for one's master's degree as well.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management
  • Rush University
    Chicago, Illinois

    Rush offers a Bachelor's of Science in Health Sciences. Students who wish to gravitate towards healthcare administration will want to take the leadership and community wellness concentration. Rush is renowned for its medical and nursing education. This is a bachelor's completion program. They require that students have taken some very carefully chosen lower-division courses and have maintained a 2.75 GPA in their associate degree before admission to Rush.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Leadership and Community Wellness Concentration

Traditional Schools Offering a BS in Healthcare Administration


  • University of Central Florida
    Orlando, Florida

    Regionally-accredited UCF has over 60,000 students. One can pursue their bachelor's through doctoral degrees online with UCF. UCF's Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration students will perform a capstone program. In order to continue in the program, students are required to keep a minimum GPA of 2.5. However, if a student would like to complete graduate work at UCF as well, they will need to maintain a 3.0 GPA or better. A discount for online classes rivals their in-state tuition fees. Students who have an associate degree and would like to transfer must have a minimum 2.0 GPA.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration
  • University of Memphis
    Memphis, Tennessee

    Regionally-accredited UofM's Healthcare Administration Bachelor's program includes courses such as healthcare human resources, writing, and policy issues. There are lab courses offered in nutrition, anatomy, and physiology. An internship and a senior capstone project are completed in tandem. One must have a 2.0 GPA on all college coursework completed prior to applying for the program. If you are out-of-state, you will pay a higher rate.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Old Dominion University
    Norfolk, Virginia

    Old Dominion's BS in Health Sciences is not only regionally accredited, it also has received one of the few accreditations from Association of University Programs in Health Administration. Old Dominion's program combines population health, epidemiology for managers, and courses on health policy. There is also an internship at the end of the program. Out-of-state students will pay a bit more for the program.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
  • Drexel University
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Regionally-accredited, Drexel's Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration requires students to take courses in statistics, behavior of organizations, and accounting. Students will also take courses in healthcare law and policy as well as management of health services. There is no thesis or capstone required. One may only enter this program two years after they have graduated from high school. A minimum college transfer GPA required is 2.5.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Champlain College
    Burlington, Vermont

    Champlain is regionally accredited and offers a completion Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration. One must have at least an associate degree and can transfer a maximum of 90 credits. The minimum college GPA required for admission is 2.5. There is no requirement that the associate degree be in the field. Courses include management of clinical systems, health finance and economics, and healthcare communications. There is a capstone in the form of a research project.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration