Health Systems Management MS

A degree driven by real-time employer demand

Health care administration and management jobs are growing by 20%, nearly four times the overall labor market growth. Employers need professionals with the leadership and organizational management competencies of an MBA with the specialized skills to manage within the unique intricacies of the health care industry.

The health systems management job market


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Employment Growth by 2030


Jobs in the Health Care Industry


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Program Highlights

Successfully managing strategy, finance, patient experience, and operations in the highly regulated and unique health care sector requires specialized competencies and expertise beyond a traditional MBA. The master of science in health systems management is the currency needed to advance and perform in health care systems today.

This degree focuses on the critical success factors driving health care systems today (guided by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Quadruple Aim):

  1. Improve the health of populations
  2. Enhance the quality of care for individuals
  3. Reduce the per capita cost of health care
  4. Improve the work-life of care providers



Flexible degree built around your schedule
This online degree offers five start dates per year and an accelerated course format which will allow you to complete your degree in half the time of a traditional, semester-based program. A full-time student can complete this degree in 12 months; a part-time student can complete the degree in 24 months. 

Plan of study 
This health administration master's degree is an applied, competency-based and industry-focused online degree. Students are provided the flexibility to pursue the degree full- or part-time, with 12-month and 24-month degree plans available, to accommodate professional schedules. 

Unique to this degree, you will have the opportunity to attend two on-campus leadership immersions and a faculty-led travel experience to study another health care system. The faculty strive to blend the flexibility of online learning with the value of face-to-face networking, interaction, and travel. All courses use a case-based, dynamic, and interactive focus on key health care topics including economics and policy, health IT and decision support, ethics, systems quality, and organizational learning.

Business and leadership courses prepare you to tackle issues involving financial management, quality improvement, operations, and strategy formulation—all within the context of real-world health care trends and challenges. You’ll be well prepared to develop, direct, and implement strategy and tactics that will shape the health care organizations of the future.

The MS in health systems administration program was built to support a set of professional competencies identified by the program’s advisory board, faculty and alumni. These 19 competencies fall under five domains and support students for success in the field of management and leadership in health care:

  • Knowledge of health care systems in the U.S.
  • Communications and interpersonal effectiveness
  • Critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving skills
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Professionalism and ethics theory and practice


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Curriculum packed with high-demand skills

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Salary Premium

Strategic thinking and project management skills will give you a salary premium in the workforce.

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Competitive Edge

Financial and patient safety skills will make you more competitive when searching for employment.

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Quality assurance and control skills will grow 39.5% by 2023.

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Data analysis skills will grow 82% by 2023.

Featured Profiles

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A rewarding return on investment

Andrea Strecker ’18

I chose RIT to pursue my master’s degree in Health Systems Administration from RIT because of the affiliation with Rochester Regional Health System, the self-paced program, affordability, and RIT’s...

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Portrait of Carlos Sosa.

Learning from experts in the field

Carlos Sosa ’20

I have a background in public health and have worked in health care for some years. I really wanted to understand what makes a hospital system tick. I chose RIT’s Health Systems Management master’s degree specifically because of their close working relationship with Rochester Regional Health.

View More about Learning from experts in the field


On-campus leadership immersion 

To best gain highly developed leadership skills, you will have the valuable opportunity to attend two on-campus, hands-on, application-based learning and networking experiences. You will work closely with your classmates and faculty on case analysis, problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership skills during these four-day sessions. This face-to-face training delivers skills and competencies which will continue to be developed in a virtual environment within the online courses to maximize your return on investment in skill development and practice. 

Travel course
One of the most distinguishing and attractive benefits of this health administration degree is the culminating travel course. During the final summer term, you will have the opportunity for a faculty-led travel experience in which you will conduct an intensive study of the locale’s health system in comparison to your native system. As your final project, you will use that experience to innovate a product or service. For those unable to travel, an alternative study option will be provided.

Credits 3
This course discusses the delivery system of health care in the US. Specifically, the course will review the current status of American health care including research into population demographics and health and the concept of wellness and prevention. Following this a review of international health care models will occur to consider best practice as alternative care models for consideration for the US. In addition, the students will develop, for their area of interest and expertise, a strategy for incremental or radical innovation in how we provide health care to our constituents.
Credits 3
This is the first of three courses in the HSA, MS program that require students to be on campus. These “immersion” courses will be scheduled over a long weekend and will entail full days on campus as well as pre- and post-course work completed online. The concept is to immerse students in a series of experiences to support their development as high function managers and leaders within the health care industry. This course provides a detailed examination of the core principles of management as well as characteristics and disciplines that are required by persons holding management and leadership roles in health care delivery organizations.
Credits 3
This course provides an examination of the roles and responsibilities of policy makers on the health care system and the resulting economic impact of their policies. Students will compare and contrast the regulatory functions of varying levels of government, the political process and economic impacts as they relate to health care systems as well as examine control issues, economic functions and regulatory trends in the United States. In addition, an assessment will be made of national health systems and national health policies of other countries as they compare to the United States.
Credits 3
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to evidence-based management practice in health care. The primary focus is to ensure that managers ask the right questions, use the best evidence available and make better decisions in carrying out their mission. Students will participate in the process of retrieval, appraisal, and synthesis of evidence in collaboration with other members of the health care team to improve processes and patient outcomes in diverse populations. Students complete an individual, final assignment demonstrating the ability to collect, document, and translate research (evidence) on the practice of health care management .
Credits 3
This course is designed to build innovative, customer-centered, thinking within the future leaders of the health care industry. This is accomplished with an introduction to the role of strategic decision making through the core principles of marketing (the 4’Ps). Students will also experience basic data base management, conducting an internal and external environmental analysis, primary and secondary data gathering and interpretation and the creation of a marketing plan to meet an unsatisfied market need or build volume for a health care product or service. Finally, the role of corporate communication will be interwoven throughout the course as it supports marketing success.
Credits 3
This course provides a basic understanding of health services financial management. We begin with elementary accounting concepts and then focus on financial statement preparation and analysis. Special topics areas include discounted cash flow, risk, capital investments evaluation, debt/equity financing, and financial decision making models such as break-even analysis, cash flow forecasting and the like.
Credits 3
This course builds on the foundational learning from Health Care Financial Management I: Principles & Practice. Course emphasis will be on for-profit entities within the health care sector. The course goes into greater depth on discounted cash flow analysis, risk, financial performance evaluation, capital investments, capital budgeting, debt, and equity financing. A key objective of this class is to develop the student’s ability to engage in long-term financial modeling. Students will complete a comprehensive financial forecast as their final graded assessment for this field of study.
Credits 3
This course will incorporate an examination of contemporary organizational systems thinking focusing on concepts relevant to health service organizations and their communities; emphasizing organizational quality, leadership, environment, strategy, structure, and processes. The course provides students with the evaluation of key factors affecting an organization’s system as well as their community, through quality and analytical thinking; allowing the student to apply theories that suggest an effective organizational response to such influences and change.
Credits 3
The challenges and complexities of the current health care environment require a skilled operations leader that will engage high performing teams, develop highly reliable processes, effectively manage expenses, and succeed in achieving desired outcomes in an increasingly competitive market. The increased focus on population health, payment reform pressure, the emergence of risk and value based payment models will challenge traditional healthcare organizations and require leadership focused on change management and performance improvement. The purpose of this course is to provide students the opportunity to analyze the health care organization using both qualitative and quantitative principles of operations management. It provides an integrated system and a set of contemporary operations improvement tools that can be used to make significant gains in any organization. This course is designed to provide the student with an overview of the field, and the ability to use some of the most commonly deployed operations tools and processes.
Credits 3
This is the second of three courses in the MHSA program that require students to be on campus. These “immersion” courses will be scheduled over a long weekend and will entail full days on campuses well as pre- and post-course work completed online. The concept is to immerse students in a series of experiences to support their development as high function managers and leaders within the health care industry. This course builds on the first Leading Health Care Systems course and provides a in-depth examination of advanced management and leadership knowledge, skills and values required of contemporary leaders within health care systems.
Credits 3
This course is intended to explore current challenges in the health care system, and how the ability to understand and apply health data and associated health care information technology (IT) tools can improve the quality and cost of health care services. Students will learn about regulations, standards, and rules which impact health IT. The course will include a review of current and future health care technology tools and associated data collection, storage and exchange practices; and utilize applied case studies allowing students to demonstrate their ability to use health care information technology systems and data analytics to improve patient and provider outcomes. The role of technology will also be explored as it relates to strategy, adoption levels, care settings, and patient engagement.
Credits 3
Having an effective organizational strategy is an essential component of all successful entities. Yet, practicing managers often engage in strategy formulation with very different conceptions of strategy and the strategic process. This course reviews the historical development of modern strategic theory and practice, with a focus on the works of Porter, Minztberg, and Barney. More importantly, the course will address and utilize various analytical frameworks which infuse the strategic process with intellectual rigor while retaining the essence of strategy that is innovative and creative.
Credits 3
This is the final of three courses in the MS HSA program that require students to participate in a first-hand analysis of a health system within the United States or outside our borders. The objective of the analysis is to critically examine and assess the structure, function and achievements of care delivery in a domestic or international health system. Students enrolled in this course must select either the domestic, international, independent study option as described by the program.

Earn a credential as-you-go

Earn the advanced certificate in health care finance and advance your career, all while working toward your master of science in health systems management. Four courses of the MS degree program may be fully applied toward a graduate advanced certificate.


The program is led by a team of faculty who are practice-based scholars with extensive experience in the field. Faculty members are accessible, offer constructive feedback on course projects and assignments, and are at the forefront of providing an educational experience in which students can learn and directly apply classroom theories and concepts to the real-world practice of health care management.

An advisory board of health administrators from around the country guides the development of the degree program to ensure the curriculum addresses today’s most pressing challenges for health care leaders.

Admission Requirements

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives.
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • No GRE/GMAT required 
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL or IELTS exams.


There’s so much more to learn about this in-demand master’s degree! Take a deeper dive for more information about admissions procedures, curriculum and course sequencing, the advisory board which works closely with RIT to keep this program on the cutting edge of health care management, the program’s competency model, and success rates of graduates.

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