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Health Systems Administration MS

Program overview

The MS in health systems administration provides strategic skills for today’s health care leaders. Health care is rapidly transforming. The pace of technology, innovation, and government involvement are changing how, when, and where health care is provided, and who is providing it. Concurrently, health care consumers have high expectations for quality and responsiveness to their needs—delivered in a cost-effective manner.

To provide the skills needed for effective health care leadership, the health systems administration program builds on a foundation of courses in health care delivery innovation, systems thinking, quantitative skills, and leadership. The program is focused on, and meets the needs of, health care leaders as defined by professional health care organizations and government agencies.

The program is offered online, allowing students to pursue their degree while maintaining full-time employment in locations around the world. A distinct advantage of the program is the diversity of its student population, allowing for creative discussion and comprehension of global health care issues and how they relate to the standards and practices of the American health care system. The ability to share information and ideas, and to compare and contrast strategies, allows students a level of creativity and scope of practice not found in the traditional classroom.

A new accelerated format reduces the length of the program's courses to eight-week sessions, permitting students to complete their program in half the time of traditional semester-based programs.


The program requires 39 credit hours at the graduate level and can be completed in two years or less. Students may complete the program on a part-time basis. Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. Toward the end of their program of study, students complete a capstone project consisting of a community research experience. Upon matriculation, each student works with the program chair to develop a plan of study for their research experience.

Health systems administration, MS degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
HLTH-700 Research Methods 3
HLTH-715 Reinventing Health Care 3
HLTH-710 Health Governance and Economics 3
HLTH-740 Health Care Leadership 3
HLTH-717 Bioethics 3
HLTH-723 Human Resources in Health Care 3
HLTH-730 Finance for Health Care Professionals 3
HLTH-732 Health Insurance and Reimbursement 3
HLTH-737 Lean Sigma Application in Health Care 3
HLTH-760 Health Care Informatics 3
  Free Elective 3
HLTH-720 Health Care Planning 3
HLTH-797 Capstone 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 39

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in health systems administration, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university,
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above (or superior endorsement),
  • Submit two letters of reference from individuals who have the opportunity to observe the applicant’s work output,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work, 
  • Complete an interview with the program chair (for those without health care experience), and
  • Complete a graduate application.

It is recommended that applicants have a minimum of three years of experience in a health care or health-related organization as either a practitioner or manager. Applicants who do not meet this requirement may be asked to complete certain undergraduate courses as a bridge for the content knowledge required for the graduate program. They may also be required to complete a graduate level internship in health care prior to graduation.

All credentials must be submitted and reviewed by faculty prior to the completion of 12 credit hours of graduate work in the program.

Additional information

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.

Career Outcomes

Job Titles

Hospital administrator, nursing home administrator, clinical manager, consultant


Improve efficiency in health care facilities; quality improvement; direct activities in clinical areas; oversee finance, human resources, and information management.

Recent Employers

Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester General Hospital, Excellus/Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Preferred Care/MVP Healthcare, Unity Health System

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