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Bachelors and Masters in Health Management and Administration in South Carolina

South Carolina offers strong prospects for upward career mobility and top salaries for its professional workforce employed in the healthcare administration field. For example, the South Carolina Employment Security Commission projects that the number of jobs for medical and health services managers will grow by 24 percent over the ten-year period leading up to 2022. In 2014 this group of professionals earned an average annual salary of $89,220 statewide, and of all metropolitan areas in the United States, Florence had the ninth-highest concentration of medical and health services managers (US Department of Labor, 2015).

The factors behind the positive employment environment for health administrators have to do with state’s demographics and increasing access to healthcare services. The US Census reports that in 2014 the state’s population who was at least 65 years old totaled around 763,532 residents or 15.8 percent of the total populace. That’s higher than the national average, and represents a demographic that will continue to drive up the demand for healthcare services, and by extension, the demand for health services administration.

Executive Master of Health Administration Online – George Washington University

This web-based Master of Health Administration program allows you to earn your MHA through GWU’s respected Milken Institute School of Public Health without disrupting work and family life. This innovative program combines a web-based platform accessible from anywhere in the world with face-to-face online classes and immersions that allow you to get the most from your learning experience by collaborating with professors and peers.

Click here for admissions information.

Supported by a $141 million federal grant for community health centers as part of the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of South Carolinians who lack health insurance is also decreasing. A recent Gallup poll revealed that the number of residents with health insurance increased markedly in just a year’s time from 81.3 percent in 2013 to 84.6 percent in 2014. Like the state’s aging population, these newly insured residents will also increase the demand for health services, contributing to the demand for skilled professionals working in healthcare administration.

Health Administration Degrees Available in South Carolina

New students and experienced professionals in South Carolina have several choices when it comes to earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in health administration. These include online opportunities as well as programs located on college campuses.

Undergraduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management

Students can prepare for careers in healthcare administration by completing relevant undergraduate degree programs such as:

  • Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Healthcare Administration
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Services Administration

The bachelor’s degree program consists of at least 120 semester credits and takes around four year to complete. The first half is spent completing undergraduate requirements and prerequisite courses for the major. These initial 60 credits can often be fulfilled with a transfer associate’s degree.

The latter half of the programs consists of upper-division courses that focus on the major field of study. These can include classes that focus on topics like:

  • Healthcare resources, consumers, and payers
  • Principles of management, leadership, accounting, and advertising
  • Legal issues in the healthcare business environment
  • Health care informatics
  • Healthcare economics
  • Managerial economics
  • Operations and supply chain management
  • Organizations and information systems

Prospective students can find relevant programs online as well as in cities like:

  • Conway
  • Clemson
  • Charleston
  • Columbia
  • Florence
  • Greenville
  • Gaffney

Graduate Degrees in Health Administration

Experienced professionals already know that having a graduate degree in the field of health administration is quickly becoming the industry standard. Relevant programs include:

  • Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management or Administration
  • MHA/MBA dual degree program
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHA)
  • MSN/MBA dual degree program
  • JD/MSHA dual degree program

Common Requirements for Graduate Admission

While every school has its own admission requirements, programs will often admit students who have earned their undergraduate degree in any subject. Other common admission standards include:

  • Completion of course prerequisites
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA
  • Personal essay regarding academic or career goals
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Several years of professional work experience
  • Some programs require current employment in the healthcare industry

Graduate programs vary in length and credit load, ranging from 12-24 months and 30-60 semester credits. As the program nears completion students may be called upon to complete a capstone project or thesis paper. This can focus on a specific element within healthcare administration or serve as a program summary that ties important concepts together.

The core coursework that makes up the graduate program can cover topics like:

  • Advanced healthcare policy and law
  • Quantitative methods for assessing healthcare organizations
  • Decision making based on data and statistics
  • Strategy for management of large healthcare organizations
  • Global economics for healthcare managers
  • Medical informatics
  • Financial management for healthcare organizations

Prospective graduate students can find relevant programs online as well as in cities like:

  • Columbia
  • Central
  • Charleston
  • Rock Hill

Healthcare Administration and Management Jobs in South Carolina

Graduates who have earned their degree in the field of healthcare administration can apply for employment opportunities throughout the state. The following job descriptions are provided as illustrative examples only to give a sense of what South Carolina’s professional marketplace is like. These are sourced from a statewide survey of job posts completed in November 2015:

Tideland Health

  • Service Line Director for Oncology Services in Georgetown – Providing administrative leadership is the primary responsibility of this professional, including in the areas of regional strategies, enterprise growth, and the maintenance of network affiliations; candidates must have an MHA, MBA, or MSN
  • Lean Facilitator for Physician Practice in Murrells Inlet – Responsible for leading and facilitating staff events and projects that systematically improve efficiency; applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, organizational development, nursing, or a related field, while preferred candidates will have an MHA, MBA, or related master’s degree

Abbeville Area Medical Center

  • Chief Executive Officer – The CEO is responsible for all daily activities at this hospital, especially ensuring that staff fulfills all hospital goals and is held accountable for their performance; applicants must have an MHA or MBA

Bon Secours Health System in Greenville

  • Central Business Office Director – Provides leadership and oversees managerial financial decisions, especially as they relate to system-wide receivable accounts; preferred candidates hold an MHA or MBA, and may substitute related work experience for a master’s-level education

Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia

  • Office Manager – In charge of ensuring the patient care environment is efficient, safe, cost-effective, and exceptional; applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, such as in the field of healthcare administration or healthcare management, or a work-experience equivalent

Local Resources for South Carolina’s Healthcare Administrators

New graduates and experienced professionals can find a number of career and professional development opportunities in their local community.

Largest Employers of Healthcare Administrators and Managers

  • Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston
  • Spartanburg Regional Medical Center
  • McLeod Health in Florence
  • Carolina Hospital in Florence
  • Roper Hospital in Charleston
  • AnMed Health in Anderson
  • Bon Secours Saint Francis in Greenville and Charleston
  • Conway Medical Center
  • Aiken Regional Medical Center
  • Beaufort Memorial Hospital
  • Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach
  • Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston
  • Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas
  • BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

Professional Resources

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