Hospital Administration Degree: Time Requirements and Sample Program Curriculum

The health care industry needs more staff than doctors and nurses, whose education trains them to handle patients and medical conditions.

But there are other professionals not on the front line. One such worker is a healthcare administrator.

This position requires a hospital administration degree from an accredited school, such as a college or university program.

What can I do with a hospital administration degree?

Hospitals and medical facilities cant function without people who ensure that the ambulance and the emergency response team are properly maintained and prepared to respond to urgent situations.

  • The people working in the forefront are properly given training, motivation, and remuneration
  • Hospital and facilities are modernized and kept abreast with technological advances
  • Plans and budget are prepared and implemented
  • Billing and payment systems are in place; medicines and supplies are available
  • Whole medical facility is in the best possible condition with all its departments coordinating excellently.

If you think you are a person who has a knack for supporting people and organizations and works best from behind the scenes, then a degree in hospital administration is one you will appreciate.

What particular degree leads to a hospital administration position?

There are two degrees you could get a bachelors and/or a masters.

But if you are wondering: How long does it take to get a degree in hospital administration?

Heres the answer: A bachelors of science hospital administration degree will take four years to complete, and a masters degree in hospital administration will take two years after your bachelors.


The Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration (BSHA) is a healthcare management degree, which will help you develop skills and knowledge necessary for managing the business side of hospitals and medical facilities.

This will be an entry point for a career in healthcare management. It will also be a stepping stone for executive and supervisory positions, such as hospital administrator, clinical manager, and other key positions in hospitals.

You will be managing a fleet of professionals in your department or the whole facility.

What will I learn?

The BSHA integrates general education coursework with hospital administration-focused courses.

It will strengthen the foundation of your degree by giving special focus on marketing, human resource, finance, policy-making, planning and budgeting, and issues affecting the management of the healthcare industry.

The degree is geared at developing both the supportive role of healthcare administration students and their leadership potentials as future executives of hospitals, ambulatory and long-term care facilities, and community health centers.

What are the expected outcomes?

It is expected that completion of the degree in BSHA will bring out the best in the student with the following specific learning and skills:

a) leadership skills needed by healthcare administration professionals;
b) analytical thinking especially on the aspect of financial management;
c) application of theories of human behavior in organizations, specifically in the healthcare services setting;
d) grasp of health and healthcare delivery issues;
e) awareness of the moral and social responsibilities of healthcare administration professionals.

Sample bachelors degree in health administration curriculum

BSHA can be taken in in-campus and online formats. Most programs adopt the combination format, with some discussions taking place online and interspersed with actual classroom activities.

To qualify for graduation, a student must complete the required 120 semester credits of the degree.

This is usually completed after 8 semesters (fall and spring), and 4 terms of summer.

A full-time student will complete the degree requirements in a span of 4 years.

Most schools specify a certain cumulative GPA and you need to know this from the academic advisor of the school you have chosen to enroll in.

The general education courses will be around 70 semester hours in total, with 12 credits for Sciences, 18 credits for Social Sciences, 6 credits for Mathematics, 25 credits for Humanities, and 9 credits for electives. Courses focused on healthcare administration and health sciences will make up for 50 semester hours.

How does a typical curriculum look?

Assuming that a student enters the program with no prior credits, it is recommended to enroll during the fall semester because this is when the program regularly starts.

The first year will cover 30 to 32 credit hours on the following courses: Human Biology, Computers, Psychology, English and Speech, Algebra, Sociology, Medical Terminology, and Healthcare Admin.

The second year will be around the same number of credit hours with more advanced subjects, such as Microbiology, Immunology, Economics, Legal Issues in Healthcare, Ethical and Legal Dimensions in Health Science, Organizational Behavior, advanced Healthcare Administration courses, World Religions and Beliefs, Spanish, Healthcare Systems, Healthcare Marketing, and Healthcare Finance.

Third year students will find themselves more immersed in healthcare administration courses. There will be around 30 credit hours of courses in Business Communication, Accounting, Human Resources, Research, Nutrition, Statistics, more Healthcare Administration courses, Teaching, Intro to Healthcare Capstone Project, and general electives.

The final year will focus more on management skills strengthening with 30 or so credit hours required.

Some of the courses will be on Leadership and Management, Health Information Management, Ethical Issues about the profession, Quality Assessment in Healthcare, Policy and Planning, Epidemiology, Healthcare Operations Management, and a Capstone program.

What kind of job can i get with a hospital administration degree?

Students who have completed the BSHA will have opportunities for employment in entry positions in healthcare facilities, assisted living and nursing care homes, medical centers, doctors’ offices, and hospitals.

They will handle responsibilities supporting the medical fleet. These jobs will give them the necessary experience in the actual work setting and prepare them for possibly higher positions with more complex responsibilities.

To qualify for key positions in this work group, one must pursue higher levels of learning.

A student may consider taking up graduate studies, such as a master’s degree in health administration.

Masters studies

A degree in Master of Health Administration (MHA) requires completion of the 60 credit hours.

That should take between 18 and 24 months, and include 18 core courses and 2 electives with 3 credit hours each.

The core courses will be advanced levels of healthcare admin focusing on major subject areas, such as accounting, organization, economics and finance, policy, methods, strategic management, human resource, legal and ethical issues, project execution and closure, marketing, information systems, and operations.

There will also be healthcare electives that must be chosen from a list of options, and a summer internship in an actual healthcare setting.

Make decisions wisely when pursuing studies in this field. Make sure that the program and college you choose are recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

It may seem like an endless pursuit of education taking up so much time, resources, and effort.

It is not surprising, though, considering that graduates will someday occupy leadership roles in health systems and facilities that will decide how health services will be delivered to the intended clients.

I hope this has helped you with information about a hospital administration degree.