You must attend a two years of graduate school and complete an internship, administrative residency or fellowship to earn a master's degree in health administration. A four-year bachelor's degree is a prerequisite, though no specific major or set of courses is required for acceptance into a health administration program. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education maintains a databases of accredited programs in the United States. These are usually part of a university's School of Public Health.
To apply for admission to a health administration program, students need to pay a fee and complete an application, which generally requires writing a statement of purpose and a personal statement. Attachments include letters of recommendation and a resume. Students must submit their college transcripts and scores from the Graduate Records Exam, Graduate Management Admissions Test or Medical College Admission Test. Schools such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham require an on-campus interview of applicants who meet minimum standards.
The health administration program contains two tracks: a residential format for new graduates of a baccalaureate program or career changers, and an executive track for people with at least five years of experience in the health care industry. The residential track generally has a practicum; the executive format may require a capstone project.
The program core curriculum covers health care systems, health policy, epidemiology, and law and accounting related to health care. Business management courses such as quantitative methods, marketing, finance and operations management form another component of the program. Electives include health care informatics, public health politics, leadership development and health insurance.