Bachelor's and Master's in Health Management and Administration in Massachusetts

Nearly a decade after Massachusetts’s first healthcare reform bill promising affordable health insurance to all residents was signed into law, 98 percent of the state’s residents were insured. That places it in the number-one spot in 2020 on the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Ranking report for being the state with the most insured residents.

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The large percentage of insured residents in the state combined with a swiftly aging baby boomer population drives the demand for medical and health services managers, landing this profession on Massachusetts’ list of jobs with the most annual openings for several consecutive years.

According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 16,310 medical and health services managers working in the state as of 2020. Over the decade leading up to 2028, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance projects this field will grow by 9.5 percent.

Healthcare Administration Degrees in Massachusetts

Working in healthcare administration requires, among other things, a postsecondary degree. Increasingly, this means a master’s degree in healthcare administration or a similar field.

Undergraduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management

Undergraduate degrees in healthcare administration or healthcare management serve as a solid educational foundation for entry-level healthcare management jobs in physician’s practices, nursing homes, and public health clinics, among others.

Most bachelor’s degree programs in healthcare administration are structured as Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA) programs, both of which prepare students to develop, plan, and manage healthcare operations for many types of healthcare facilities. These programs cover such topics as business management, public policy, health law and ethics, and healthcare delivery systems operations.

Core content in bachelor’s degree programs in health administration often includes:

  • S. healthcare
  • Global healthcare delivery systems
  • Healthcare economics and finance
  • Managed care
  • Human resource management in healthcare

Graduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management

Graduate degrees in healthcare administration serve as the minimum educational standard for many healthcare administrator jobs in Massachusetts. Graduates of these programs are adequately prepared to take on senior-level positions in settings such as major health systems, hospitals, and managed care networks, among many others.

Program Structure

Some of the master’s degree programs in healthcare administration located in Massachusetts include:

  • MBA in Global Health Management
  • MPH in Global Health Management
  • MHA in Healthcare

The structure and focus of master’s degree programs in healthcare administration is reflective of the schools that house them, whether schools of public policy, public administration, business administration, or public health. It is therefore commonplace to find these graduate-level programs structured as:

  • Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH) (health administration concentration)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) (health administration concentration)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA) (health administration concentration)

Many schools also offer dual degrees, such as:

  • JD/MHA
  • MD/MBA

In addition, master’s degree programs vary according to content delivery and the type of student they cater to. Master’s degrees in health administration may be structured as executive programs aimed at working professionals; residential programs aimed at traditional students receiving on-campus instruction; and accelerated programs for students completing both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. A number of institutions have begun incorporating online courses, while many employ a hybrid model, allowing students to complete some of their work online and some of it on campus.

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Admission Requirements

While some students opt to complete an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration, perhaps just as many pursuing graduate degrees in healthcare administration possess undergraduate degrees in the medical field or in areas such as business, finance, and accounting. Therefore, admission requirements for most master’s degree programs in healthcare administration do not specify an undergraduate major.

However, other admission requirements often include:

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA
  • Experience in healthcare administration (executive programs)
  • GRE scores
  • Admissions essay
  • Professional letters of recommendation

Program Content

Master’s degrees in healthcare administration and management, largely recognized as an industry essential, allow students to increase their knowledge and competencies in healthcare management in the areas of human resources, finance, leadership, and quality and process improvement.

These programs cover core topics such as:

  • Executive communications
  • Ethical and global foundations
  • Financial reporting and analysis
  • Finance
  • Marketing management
  • Managing organizations and people
  • Business analytics
  • Competition, innovation, and strategy

Many programs culminate in a master’s thesis or capstone project, usually in a specific topic of interest relevant to healthcare administration.

Healthcare Administration Jobs in Massachusetts

A number of recent job posts are showcase the wide array of healthcare administration and management jobs available to graduates of healthcare administration programs in Massachusetts. Although the following list is for illustrative purposes only, it does provide insight into the types of jobs that may be available in this exciting industry:

Administrative Director, Boston

Supports the budget and personnel management of director-level staff and oversees day-to-day administrative, operational, and financial management issues; master’s degree (MPH, MBA, MHA, etc.) required

Quality Improvement Project Manager, Woburn

Facilitates the development, implementation, and monitoring of health programs designed to achieve process reliability through initiatives so as to improve clinical quality and efficiency; degree in business administration, healthcare management or a related area is highly desirable

Senior Healthcare Practice Analytics Consultant, Waltham

Serves as the primary liaison between external leaders of nephrology practices and advises practices so as to accelerate practice growth and improve performance; requires a bachelor’s degree, with an MBA or master’s degree in healthcare administration or business administration desired

Manager of Quality and Compliance, Elder Service Plan, Cambridge

Plans, implements, and maintains the Elder Service Plan’s compliance with federal and state PACE regulations, including managing quality improvement/assurance activities as required by PACE; master’s degree in healthcare administration or the equivalent experience required

Resources for Healthcare Administrators and Managers in Massachusetts

From public policy to managed care settings, the need for healthcare administrators remains strong in Massachusetts thanks to a dynamic healthcare landscape in Boston, Worcester, and beyond.

The largest employers of healthcare administrators and managers are the state’s largest healthcare systems, which include:

  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
  • UMass Memorial Healthcare, Worcester
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
  • Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington
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Professional associations also serve as excellent resources for healthcare administrators and managers seeking to network with others and stay current on the latest trends and news in the healthcare industry:

2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for Medical and Health Services Managers.

Job growth projections sourced from the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2018-2028) database –

Salary figures and job market projections represent state data, not school-specific information.

Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2021.

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