Purdue offering new online master’s degree in health administration

WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue University is offering a new online Master of Health Administration degree designed to train the next generation of health care administrators and to boost the skills and careers of early-career administrators already in the field.

Purdue Online graphic

The online master’s program, now accepting students for fall 2021, will cover a range of health administration-related skills, from strategic planning to workforce management, and methods and tools to ensure cost-effective quality care and patient safety.

The 40 credit-hour master’s program allows students to enhance their skills in areas such as leadership, operations, quality improvement, and business and communications aspects of health care administration. Students also can take components of the program to earn certificates. Certificates will be available in Healthcare Leadership in 2021, and Healthcare Operations and Healthcare Quality Improvement in 2022. Students who earn a certificate can transfer the credits to the full master’s degree.

Potential students need a bachelor’s degree, ideally in a health-related field, although that is not required. The program will require a commitment of about 15-20 hours per week.

Richard Mattes, head of Purdue’s Department of Public Health and Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science.

“Twenty-first-century health care requires leaders who have the skills and tools to succeed in helping their organizations thrive,” said Richard Mattes, head of Purdue’s Department of Public Health and Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science. “We developed this online Master of Health Administration to be comprehensive. It will teach students numerous advanced analytical techniques that will not only be invaluable on day one of the job but also for more advanced administrative roles throughout their careers in health care.”

The bottom line: The Master of Health Administration is a rigorous, fully online, asynchronous program that will provide students a strong background in the policies and practices of the health care system, said Mattes and Stewart Chang Alexander, associate professor of public health.

Students will learn skills and knowledge in budgeting, financial reporting, capital projects and financial forecasting while also learning data analytic techniques, which are essential for the 21st-century health care leader.

Courses in the program cover the business, finances and economics of health care in America, the structure of health care organizations, organizational behavior in health care and health care workforce management.

Other topics include managing complex health care operations, data-driven decision-making in health care, information-powered patient care, and transforming health care quality and delivery. Elements of strategic planning, marketing, public policy and law also are covered.

“Our courses are designed to help students become effective leaders by providing them the tools to succeed, which is why each course centers around hands-on skills acquisition,” Chang Alexander said.

The Master of Health Administration also requires a capstone course that provides meaningful hands-on experience and opportunities for professional networking. Students’ ability to evaluate critical problems, effectively lead a team, and execute appropriate solutions will be highlighted during this experience.

The program incorporates competencies and skills from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership and has plans to seek Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education accreditation in the future.

Faculty from Purdue’s College of Health and Human SciencesDepartment of Public Health and elsewhere around campus collaborated to develop the program with Purdue Online enlisted to help deliver it. In addition to Purdue faculty, the instructors include health care leaders, administrators and managers with extensive applied experience.

Purdue recognized a need in the workforce for more professionals trained in health care administration. Moreover, Purdue’s undergraduates in public health regularly go on to earn master’s degrees in health care administration elsewhere. Now, they can do so through Purdue. At the same time, Purdue graduate students in public health-related fields have expressed a desire for additional training in health care administration. The new master’s degree and certificates include such courses.

For more information about Purdue’s new online Master of Health Administration and to apply, visit the program webpage.

Information Greg Kline, gkline@purdue.edu.

Sources: Richard Mattes, mattes@purdue.edu, Stewart Chang Alexander, alexan90@purdue.edu, Cody Mullen, cjmullen@pudue.edu.