What to Expect
A program in health-care administration is like business school with a
Stephanie Argentine was primarily interested in health administration,
but she took an indirect route. She chose an MBA program at the University
of Buffalo. Her undergraduate degree was in speech pathology.
Argentine notes that though many people pursuing a master's in health administration
have bachelor's degrees in fields like nursing or health sciences, a health
background is not essential.
"A health-related bachelor's degree is a nice addition to a resume if the
person has a sincere interest in that area, but it is not a requirement for
success in health administration," she says.
Working in teams on class projects is very common in her program,
she says. Many professors assign a few students to work on one project idea.
This way, students learn how to interact, communicate, analyze and solve
problems as a team.
Some people choose administration as their undergraduate degree, but since
master's programs in health administration teach you business skills, this
is not necessary. "I know some of my classmates who were undergraduate business
majors regretted the redundancy of their coursework," says Argentine. "There
is plenty of time to specialize at the graduate level."
Anita Marciniak took the master's program in health administration at the
Rochester Institute of Technology.
She says she averaged about 20 hours of homework per week for two
classes, which included reading, working on class projects or studying for
How to Prepare
Marciniak recommends that students coming into the program have basic computer
knowledge. In addition, a background in business and marketing can be
She also advises students not to fall behind in weekly assignments. "This
is not a walk in the park, and you must be ready to make a significant
commitment of time and energy. The key is to be focused on your goals
and committed to attaining them," she says.
"None of the work is particularly difficult, but there is a lot of it,"
says Argentine. "The name of the game is time management. This is how
real-world business is as well. Your daily tasks are not in the nature of
solving global warming or creating world peace, but in a multitude of tasks
which all require your attention."