Request Information

Download the degree guide for details on admission requirements, tuition, and courses.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
UW-La Crosse
UW-Parkside
UW-Platteville
UW-Stevens Point
UW-Stout

Healthcare and strategic management skills in one degree.

In the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration you’ll learn strategic management skills through coursework that focuses on the specialized needs of healthcare. Nearly every medical organization needs compassionate leaders who have in-depth knowledge of healthcare systems and the ability to manage in today’s dynamic and complex healthcare environments. As a graduate of the UW Healthcare Administration program, you’ll be qualified for leadership roles in a variety of healthcare settings, urban to rural.

  • Healthcare financial management
  • Technology, data analytics, and information governance
  • Strategic leadership
  • Healthcare law and policy
  • Quality and performance improvement
  • Communications and marketing
  • Human resources

Healthcare Careers Continue to Experience Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 32 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Key drivers of growth include continued high demand for healthcare services and an aging population.

You’ll find a range of rewarding job opportunities in every area of the country and in nearly any healthcare setting—hospitals, physician’s offices, surgical centers, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, insurance companies, veterans affairs systems, pharmaceutical companies, and medical supply vendors. As a healthcare administrator, you can have a significant impact on your organization, its employees, and the patients receiving care.

RELATED: Healthcare Administration Careers and Salaries

Who Should Apply?

The Master of Science in Healthcare Administration is designed for those who have experience in patient care, healthcare administration, or health information management, and those with non-healthcare management experience seeking a career in healthcare administration. Successful candidates will have a desire to improve the internal functioning of a healthcare system to improve the quality of patient care and services.

Courses are completed entirely online, an ideal format for busy professionals, especially those working variable shifts. You can watch lectures, participate in online forums with your classmates, and although assignments have deadlines, you can do homework whenever it’s convenient for you—all course content is accessible online from any device. Learn more about online learning with UW Extended Campus.

UW System Collaboration

The Master of Science in Healthcare Administration is a partnership of UW Extended Campus and UW-La Crosse, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Stout. Learn more about our campus partners and choosing a home campus.

UW Healthcare Administration faculty are either tenured faculty or working healthcare leaders serving as adjunct faculty. Specialty areas include: healthcare human resources, healthcare marketing, health IT, health compliance, epidemiology, nursing, long term care administration, and health information management.

Accreditation

Whether online or on campus, University of Wisconsin programs have a reputation for delivering world-class education and student support. Accreditation is your assurance that you will graduate with skills that are relevant to your field and valued by employers. The Master of Science in Healthcare Administration is approved by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Membership

The Master of Science in Healthcare Administration is a member of:

To be eligible for the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration students must meet the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree, in any discipline, from an accredited university (min. 3.0 GPA).
  • Prerequisite coursework: elementary statistics, medical terminology, and oral communication/public speaking. Relevant work experience may be considered in lieu of coursework.

Students with a GPA of less than 3.0 may be considered for provisional admission and should contact an enrollment adviser for more information. Program academic directors have the option to waive one or more of the above prerequisites based on student work experience and background.

You will also need to submit the following application materials:

  • Official college transcripts.
  • Your resume.
  • Two letters of recommendation (can be professional or academic).
  • A personal statement of up to 1,000 words describing the reasons behind your decision to pursue this degree.

Aptitude tests, such as the GMAT or GRE, are not required for admission.

This program has been developed for working adults and it is strongly encouraged that students have a minimum of 2 years professional experience before applying to the program.

If you need to complete a prerequisite course before applying, online courses are available through UW Independent Learning.

If you are not sure whether you meet these requirements, or which courses you need to take to satisfy prerequisites, contact an enrollment adviser by phone, 1-877-895-3276, or email learn@uwex.edu.

Application Deadline

All application materials need to be completed two weeks prior to the semester start to be considered for admission.

Starting your application early will ensure you have plenty of time to gather required materials (such as transcripts) and complete the University of Wisconsin System Online Admission Application.

How to Apply

While you are free to apply on your own, many prospective students find it helpful to speak with an enrollment adviser first.

Step 1. Select a home campus from our list of program partners: UW-La Crosse, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point, or UW-Stout. Learn more about our campus partners and choosing a home campus.

Step 2. Apply to your preferred home campus using the University of Wisconsin System Online Admission Application.

Step 3. Send your resume, personal statement, and letters of recommendation; and arrange to have your official college transcripts (from each institution you attended) sent to the graduate student admissions office of the home campus to which you applied.

13 Courses. 37 Credits. 100% Online.

Coursework in the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program focuses on developing the strategic management skills and healthcare insight necessary to make sound decisions for your healthcare organization. You’ll acquire competencies in healthcare administration through 13 required courses, including a capstone course typically taken during the final semester. There are no electives.

  • 11 healthcare administration courses (3 credits each)
  • Capstone prep course (1 credit)
  • Capstone project course (3 credits)

The final capstone course requires students to complete a fieldwork project with the goal of gaining valuable, hands-on experience. Students may be able to complete the project at their current place of employment, or arrange for online project work with an external organization.

>> Take a look at a UW Healthcare Administration course: HCA 705 Population Health and Epidemiology

CourseCredits

This course introduces the many public and private elements of the U.S. healthcare system. In it, you will explore the historical, social and cultural, financial and economic, and political and regulatory factors of healthcare delivery, plus learn how those factors interact to influence patient care and services and affect individual and population health outcomes.

HCA 700 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course identifies and addresses epidemiology and biostatistics, including study design within a healthcare framework. You will learn techniques for applying these elements to individuals and populations, while addressing critical public health perspectives to improve the health of a community, from the individual to large systems.

HCA 705 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course focuses on the use and analysis of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that impact health. You will explore topics such as the social construction of health, social support, literacy, survivorship, social and community issues, risk management, marketing and public relations, health messaging and promotional campaigns, theory application, and identity across contexts.

HCA 710 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course covers tech- and data-related topics in healthcare including electronic health records, health IT privacy and security, health information exchanges, IT for revenue cycle management, healthcare data analytics, technologies for diagnosis and treatment, and big data applications in healthcare.

HCA 715 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is a study of the principles of healthcare finance. You will explore topics such as financial and management accounting, the financial reporting structure of healthcare organizations, financial statement analysis, cost and budgetary methods, sources of revenue and expenses, processes for billing, and capital investment decisions.

HCA 720 course syllabus

3 Credits

Examine the complexities in healthcare human resource management strategies. Gain the knowledge and tools to develop high-potential workforces using a people-centered approach to human capital management, organizational culture, communication, and talent development, ensuring a competitive advantage in creating sustainable, high-performance healthcare organizations in rural and urban settings.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 720

HCA 730 course syllabus

*Students will be required to complete Institutional Review Board (IRB) training in this course and will follow the IRB process for assignments. The IRB is a federally-mandated review board which exists to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects.

3 Credits

This course explores operations management techniques unique to healthcare processes. It addresses solutions for operational issues in healthcare facilities and supply chain, and highlights essential components of healthcare project management. The curriculum emphasizes operational and management tools and techniques for project and process execution in a healthcare environment.

Prerequisites: HCA 715, HCA 720

HCA 740 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course provides an overview of quality models and risk management in healthcare. You will explore theories, concepts, skills, tools, and environmental factors, with a focus on measurement and analysis techniques and the real-world application of quality approaches to implement and sustain performance improvements.

Prerequisite: HCA 715

HCA 750 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is a study of the political, legal, regulatory, and ethical environments within which healthcare administrators operate. You will examine the legal frameworks related to the healthcare system, with an ethical focus. The curriculum considers the impact of political structure on healthcare policy, with an emphasis on the role played by healthcare administrators in policy advocacy.

Prerequisite: HCA 700

HCA 760 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is focused on organization development and leadership theories, including the self-discovery of leadership potential and change leadership strategies applied within healthcare organizations. As a blend of theory and application, the course is designed for you to work toward identifying and implementing broad-scale organizational change while employing strategic leadership practices.

Prerequisites: HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750

HCA 770 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course investigates current and emerging trends influencing healthcare today, including policies and politics, ethics, emerging technologies, healthcare population and disease demographics, and reimbursement models. You will explore and understand the differences between rural, urban, and global settings.

Prerequisites: HCA 715, HCA 760

HCA 780 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is designed to prepare you for the applied capstone course. You will assist with capstone site identification, coordination, and approval of placement; plus develop a substantive project to work on with your site mentor/supervisor.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 710, HCA 720, HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750, HCA 770

HCA 789 course syllabus

1 Credits

The capstone course is a culmination of all prior coursework and learnings. Each project is tailored to a student’s interest and career goals, and often results in job opportunities and professional connections.You will apply aspects of healthcare administration theory and dynamics of inter-professionalism in a real-world healthcare setting. Your capstone work (a minimum of 150 hours) will be completed in partnership with designated site mentor/supervisors. The end result will be a substantive project deliverable demonstrating the summative application of your previous coursework.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 710, HCA 720, HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750, HCA 770

HCA 790 course syllabus

3 Credits

As a student in the healthcare administration program you will be required to complete Institutional Review Board (IRB) training and follow the IRB process for research projects involving human subjects. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a federally-mandated review board which exists to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects.

Course availability for the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration varies each fall, spring, and summer. Course offerings are subject to change due to fluctuating enrollment. If you are a current student, please consult with your campus adviser prior to registration.

Summer 2021

Registration opens: March 8, 2021
Course preview week: May 25–May 31, 2021
Course dates: June 1–August 13, 2021

CourseCredits

This course identifies and addresses epidemiology and biostatistics, including study design within a healthcare framework. You will learn techniques for applying these elements to individuals and populations, while addressing critical public health perspectives to improve the health of a community, from the individual to large systems.

HCA 705 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course focuses on the use and analysis of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that impact health. You will explore topics such as the social construction of health, social support, literacy, survivorship, social and community issues, risk management, marketing and public relations, health messaging and promotional campaigns, theory application, and identity across contexts.

HCA 710 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course covers tech- and data-related topics in healthcare including electronic health records, health IT privacy and security, health information exchanges, IT for revenue cycle management, healthcare data analytics, technologies for diagnosis and treatment, and big data applications in healthcare.

HCA 715 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is a study of the principles of healthcare finance. You will explore topics such as financial and management accounting, the financial reporting structure of healthcare organizations, financial statement analysis, cost and budgetary methods, sources of revenue and expenses, processes for billing, and capital investment decisions.

HCA 720 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course provides an overview of quality models and risk management in healthcare. You will explore theories, concepts, skills, tools, and environmental factors, with a focus on measurement and analysis techniques and the real-world application of quality approaches to implement and sustain performance improvements.

Prerequisite: HCA 715

HCA 750 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is focused on organization development and leadership theories, including the self-discovery of leadership potential and change leadership strategies applied within healthcare organizations. As a blend of theory and application, the course is designed for you to work toward identifying and implementing broad-scale organizational change while employing strategic leadership practices.

Prerequisites: HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750

HCA 770 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course investigates current and emerging trends influencing healthcare today, including policies and politics, ethics, emerging technologies, healthcare population and disease demographics, and reimbursement models. You will explore and understand the differences between rural, urban, and global settings.

Prerequisites: HCA 715, HCA 760

HCA 780 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is designed to prepare you for the applied capstone course. You will assist with capstone site identification, coordination, and approval of placement; plus develop a substantive project to work on with your site mentor/supervisor.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 710, HCA 720, HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750, HCA 770

HCA 789 course syllabus

1 Credits

The capstone course is a culmination of all prior coursework and learnings. Each project is tailored to a student’s interest and career goals, and often results in job opportunities and professional connections.You will apply aspects of healthcare administration theory and dynamics of inter-professionalism in a real-world healthcare setting. Your capstone work (a minimum of 150 hours) will be completed in partnership with designated site mentor/supervisors. The end result will be a substantive project deliverable demonstrating the summative application of your previous coursework.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 710, HCA 720, HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750, HCA 770

HCA 790 course syllabus

3 Credits

Fall 2021

Registration opens: April 12, 2021
Course preview week: August 31–September 6, 2021
Course dates: September 7–December 17, 2021

CourseCredits

This course introduces the many public and private elements of the U.S. healthcare system. In it, you will explore the historical, social and cultural, financial and economic, and political and regulatory factors of healthcare delivery, plus learn how those factors interact to influence patient care and services and affect individual and population health outcomes.

HCA 700 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course identifies and addresses epidemiology and biostatistics, including study design within a healthcare framework. You will learn techniques for applying these elements to individuals and populations, while addressing critical public health perspectives to improve the health of a community, from the individual to large systems.

HCA 705 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course covers tech- and data-related topics in healthcare including electronic health records, health IT privacy and security, health information exchanges, IT for revenue cycle management, healthcare data analytics, technologies for diagnosis and treatment, and big data applications in healthcare.

HCA 715 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is a study of the principles of healthcare finance. You will explore topics such as financial and management accounting, the financial reporting structure of healthcare organizations, financial statement analysis, cost and budgetary methods, sources of revenue and expenses, processes for billing, and capital investment decisions.

HCA 720 course syllabus

3 Credits

Examine the complexities in healthcare human resource management strategies. Gain the knowledge and tools to develop high-potential workforces using a people-centered approach to human capital management, organizational culture, communication, and talent development, ensuring a competitive advantage in creating sustainable, high-performance healthcare organizations in rural and urban settings.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 720

HCA 730 course syllabus

*Students will be required to complete Institutional Review Board (IRB) training in this course and will follow the IRB process for assignments. The IRB is a federally-mandated review board which exists to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects.

3 Credits

This course explores operations management techniques unique to healthcare processes. It addresses solutions for operational issues in healthcare facilities and supply chain, and highlights essential components of healthcare project management. The curriculum emphasizes operational and management tools and techniques for project and process execution in a healthcare environment.

Prerequisites: HCA 715, HCA 720

HCA 740 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course provides an overview of quality models and risk management in healthcare. You will explore theories, concepts, skills, tools, and environmental factors, with a focus on measurement and analysis techniques and the real-world application of quality approaches to implement and sustain performance improvements.

Prerequisite: HCA 715

HCA 750 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is a study of the political, legal, regulatory, and ethical environments within which healthcare administrators operate. You will examine the legal frameworks related to the healthcare system, with an ethical focus. The curriculum considers the impact of political structure on healthcare policy, with an emphasis on the role played by healthcare administrators in policy advocacy.

Prerequisite: HCA 700

HCA 760 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is focused on organization development and leadership theories, including the self-discovery of leadership potential and change leadership strategies applied within healthcare organizations. As a blend of theory and application, the course is designed for you to work toward identifying and implementing broad-scale organizational change while employing strategic leadership practices.

Prerequisites: HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750

HCA 770 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course investigates current and emerging trends influencing healthcare today, including policies and politics, ethics, emerging technologies, healthcare population and disease demographics, and reimbursement models. You will explore and understand the differences between rural, urban, and global settings.

Prerequisites: HCA 715, HCA 760

HCA 780 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is designed to prepare you for the applied capstone course. You will assist with capstone site identification, coordination, and approval of placement; plus develop a substantive project to work on with your site mentor/supervisor.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 710, HCA 720, HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750, HCA 770

HCA 789 course syllabus

1 Credits

The capstone course is a culmination of all prior coursework and learnings. Each project is tailored to a student’s interest and career goals, and often results in job opportunities and professional connections.You will apply aspects of healthcare administration theory and dynamics of inter-professionalism in a real-world healthcare setting. Your capstone work (a minimum of 150 hours) will be completed in partnership with designated site mentor/supervisors. The end result will be a substantive project deliverable demonstrating the summative application of your previous coursework.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 710, HCA 720, HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750, HCA 770

HCA 790 course syllabus

3 Credits

Spring 2022

Registration opens: November 8, 2021
Course preview week: January 18–January 24, 2022
Course dates: January 25–May 6, 2022

CourseCredits

This course introduces the many public and private elements of the U.S. healthcare system. In it, you will explore the historical, social and cultural, financial and economic, and political and regulatory factors of healthcare delivery, plus learn how those factors interact to influence patient care and services and affect individual and population health outcomes.

HCA 700 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course focuses on the use and analysis of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that impact health. You will explore topics such as the social construction of health, social support, literacy, survivorship, social and community issues, risk management, marketing and public relations, health messaging and promotional campaigns, theory application, and identity across contexts.

HCA 710 course syllabus

3 Credits

Examine the complexities in healthcare human resource management strategies. Gain the knowledge and tools to develop high-potential workforces using a people-centered approach to human capital management, organizational culture, communication, and talent development, ensuring a competitive advantage in creating sustainable, high-performance healthcare organizations in rural and urban settings.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 720

HCA 730 course syllabus

*Students will be required to complete Institutional Review Board (IRB) training in this course and will follow the IRB process for assignments. The IRB is a federally-mandated review board which exists to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects.

3 Credits

This course explores operations management techniques unique to healthcare processes. It addresses solutions for operational issues in healthcare facilities and supply chain, and highlights essential components of healthcare project management. The curriculum emphasizes operational and management tools and techniques for project and process execution in a healthcare environment.

Prerequisites: HCA 715, HCA 720

HCA 740 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is a study of the political, legal, regulatory, and ethical environments within which healthcare administrators operate. You will examine the legal frameworks related to the healthcare system, with an ethical focus. The curriculum considers the impact of political structure on healthcare policy, with an emphasis on the role played by healthcare administrators in policy advocacy.

Prerequisite: HCA 700

HCA 760 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course investigates current and emerging trends influencing healthcare today, including policies and politics, ethics, emerging technologies, healthcare population and disease demographics, and reimbursement models. You will explore and understand the differences between rural, urban, and global settings.

Prerequisites: HCA 715, HCA 760

HCA 780 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course is designed to prepare you for the applied capstone course. You will assist with capstone site identification, coordination, and approval of placement; plus develop a substantive project to work on with your site mentor/supervisor.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 710, HCA 720, HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750, HCA 770

HCA 789 course syllabus

1 Credits

The capstone course is a culmination of all prior coursework and learnings. Each project is tailored to a student’s interest and career goals, and often results in job opportunities and professional connections.You will apply aspects of healthcare administration theory and dynamics of inter-professionalism in a real-world healthcare setting. Your capstone work (a minimum of 150 hours) will be completed in partnership with designated site mentor/supervisors. The end result will be a substantive project deliverable demonstrating the summative application of your previous coursework.

Prerequisites: HCA 700, HCA 710, HCA 720, HCA 730, HCA 740, HCA 750, HCA 770

HCA 790 course syllabus

3 Credits

The Master of Science in Healthcare Administration was developed with advice from experts across various healthcare disciplines to prepare patient-care professionals, hospital administrators, or management professionals for successful leadership roles in a variety of healthcare settings.

Program outcomes are based on current standards and best practices. Upon completion of your master’s degree, you will be able to:

Demonstrate communication and interpersonal skills appropriate for a healthcare setting.

  • Display emotional intelligence skills and techniques necessary for conducting crucial conversations and conflict resolution with staff, patients, residents, and family members.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills including listening, oral, written, and non-verbal.
  • Demonstrate presentation skills that emphasize audience awareness.
  • Display professional behavioral skills that reflect an awareness of ethics, diversity, and generational dynamics.
  • Recognize and acknowledge the differences that exist between rural and urban healthcare settings.

Evaluate operational performance across diverse healthcare organizations.

  • Assess technologies, data analytics, and data governance needs in various healthcare delivery settings.
  • Demonstrate the critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving skills necessary in a healthcare environment.
  • Apply continuous quality improvement and risk management techniques for operations, supply chain, and project management in a healthcare setting.

Develop strategies to recruit, train, and retain an effective healthcare workforce.

  • Develop a people-centered, culturally competent approach to employee recruitment, training, retention, and satisfaction that considers the wide variety of roles and responsibilities in a healthcare workforce.
  • Assess and apply recruitment and development strategies that show awareness of the unique challenges faced across diverse healthcare settings.
  • Apply effective human resource practices and policies in compliance with healthcare’s legal and regulatory requirements.

Evaluate financial strategies and techniques to meet organizational needs in a healthcare environment.

  • Develop, track, manage, and explain healthcare capital and operating budgets.
  • Assess and apply appropriate payment and reimbursement models for unique healthcare settings.
  • Effectively apply financial management and reporting skills in making operational and strategic decisions in a healthcare environment.

Tuition is a flat fee of $725 per credit whether you live in Wisconsin or out of state, and financial aid is available for students who qualify.

There are no additional course or program fees, however, textbooks are purchased separately and are not included in tuition. You will not pay segregated fees (fees in addition to tuition that cover the cost of student-organized activities, facility maintenance, and operations) and you will not be charged a technology fee. If software or special technology is required in one of your courses, it will be provided to you and is included in your tuition.

Financial Aid

Financial aid may be available to you as a returning adult student and is awarded by your home campus. Learn more about our campus partners and choosing a home campus.

Contact your home campus financial aid office for details:

Please check with your home campus regarding minimum credits required to qualify for financial aid as a full- or part-time student.

Ways to Pay for Your Degree

As a returning adult student, you may consider the following sources of financial aid to help with the cost of your online degree:

  • Grants—award is usually based on financial need. Grants, unlike loans, generally do not have to be repaid.
  • Scholarships—usually based on academic merit, financial need, or other criteria, awarded by a wide range of organizations. Scholarships do not need to be repaid.
  • Loans—a loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. Student loans are available from the federal government, private sources such as a bank or financial institution, or other sources. Federal student loans usually have lower interest rates than private loans, and offer flexible repayment plans.
  • Military benefits—aid available to eligible veterans and current members of the military.
  • Tuition reimbursement—a benefit offered by companies to their employees to help pay for education. Ask your human resources department if your company offers this benefit.
  • Education tax benefits—research possible tax benefits with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Your first step when applying for federal and state financial aid is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).