Health administrators manage a healthcare business (hospital networks, specialty clinics, treatment centers, physician practices, nursing homes, health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, insurance providers, medical supply/equipment companies, government departments, etc.) and keep it operationally sound. The profession includes people who plan, direct, coordinate, and supervise the delivery of healthcare – from middle managers to CEOs at organizations that range from sole proprietorships to major international companies. Healthcare administrators are leaders in business.
The University of Houston does not currently offer a degree program in Healthcare Administration; however, UH-Clear Lake offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Health Administrators typically do the following:
- Work to improve efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services
- Develop departmental goals and objectives
- Ensure that the facility in which they work is up to date on and compliant with new laws and regulations
- Recruit, train, and supervise staff
- Manage the finances of the facility, such as patient fees and billing
- Create work schedules
- Prepare and monitor budgets and spending to ensure departments operate within allocated funds
- Represent the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards
- Keep and organize records of the facility’s services, such as the number of inpatient beds used
- Communicate with members of the medical staff and department heads
Learn more about Health Administration:
- Explore Health Careers: Health Administration/Management
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)
- Health Career Connection
- Prospective Health Administration Student Information
- American Society of Healthcare Human Resource Administrators
- Degrees in health management/administration are available at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels.
- A 4-year baccalaureate degree, typically with a minimum 3.0 GPA, is the primary prerequisite for admission to a graduate program.
- Your undergraduate degree can be obtained in any field of study ranging from healthcare management and business, to biology, or even unrelated fields with extensive healthcare shadowing/service.
- Some coursework in economics and statistics is helpful, but not generally a requirement.
Degree Required: Many degrees will allow students to work in the field of Health Administration, including a master’s degree in health administration, health management, or public health. Degrees in business with course concentration in health services management or joint degrees–a master’s degree in both business administration and public health, for example, are also appropriate paths to working in this field. Look for a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.
Entrance Exam: Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Check with individual schools before applying. While some schools have a distinct preference, many schools will accept either examination.
Centralized Application Service: Healthcare Administration, Management & Policy Application Service (HAMPCAS). Not all programs participate in HAMPCAS. Check with each individual school to determine how to apply. Check with the program you are interested in to determine which term would be best for you to apply: Winter, Interim, Spring, Summer, or Fall.
Application Timeline: The HAMPCAS application opens in September of the year preceding planned matriculation. Different schools may accept students into health administration programs at different points throughout the year.
Recommendation Letters: The standard requirement by many health administration schools is to require you to have at least 3 letters of recommendation. Please be aware that schools may not appreciate receiving more application materials than required. It is in the best interest of all applicants to check the admissions criteria of each school before choosing your letter writers. You will want to carefully choose people who can confidently write about your demonstration of any/all of the following qualities: academic achievement, healthcare work experience, communication skills, general leadership skills, business skills, quantitative skills, and personal character.
Interviews: Many programs require an interview as part of the application process.