What Experience is Necessary to Start an MBA in Healthcare Management 

Earning an MBA in Healthcare Management can be a great way to enhance your career, but do you have the right experience to excel? Many potential students wonder if they're really qualified to lead health care teams or if they need a few years of entry-level health industry work beforehand. There's no right answer to this question. Carefully consider your financial needs, undergraduate studies, and long-term goals so you can make the right decision about gaining experience before enrolling.

Related Resource: Top 20 Online MBA in Healthcare Management Program 2018

Will Your Undergraduate Degree Affect Your Graduate Studies?

Graduate programs want to see a commitment to health care administration in your background. If you majored in public health, nursing or another health-related field as an undergraduate, you've already shown your commitment to the field. If you're changing careers, universities will want to know why.

Master's programs advisors also want to know that you have the academic ability to succeed at your studies. They'll examine your undergraduate transcripts to evaluate your GPA. If you have a low average (under 3.0), it can affect your chances of admission. That's where career experience in the health field comes to the rescue. A few years of relevant experience can overcome a bad undergraduate performance, especially if you're willing to take a few classes now to show your commitment. Some schools offer a post-baccalaureate preparation program designed to get you ready for graduate school. Acing these programs can greatly boost your admission chances.

How Can You Pay for Your Master's in Health Care Management?

Professional graduate programs rarely offer scholarships, research fellowships, or teaching assistant opportunities. You're expected to pay for your classes on your own. That means student loans, depleting your savings or getting an employer to pick up the bill. If you're already working in the health care field, your job might offer tuition reimbursement for relevant coursework. You can save serious money by working during school, especially if you're willing to take business classes part-time while working full-time.


Many MBA programs require you to take the Graduate Readiness Test, or GRE. This exam measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing, three important skills for graduate school success. A high score on the GRE allows you to skip many of the admission requirements for a master's program. So what can you do if you're not a good test taker? Don't worry; your dreams of working in health care management aren't dead. You can counteract a low test score with workplace experience or a great essay.

What Are Your Goals with Your Graduate Degree in Health Care?

A business degree with a focus on health care administration opens many career paths. You can become a consultant, work for an insurance company, or enter management at a hospital or health care facility. Think about your future employees and how you can gain their respect. If your dream job is managing clinical efficiencies, it's a good idea to build clinical experience before enrolling so you're not just another suit. If you don't plan to work directly with providers, you can enter school directly.

Only you can make the best decision for your future. If you have further questions, reach out to potential graduate programs and ask them if you're qualified for their MBA in Healthcare Management programs.

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