The University of Alabama Birmingham is also featured in our ranking Top 30 Best Master’s Programs in Healthcare Administration.
Healthcare Administration at University of Alabama Birmingham
The Residential Master’s in Health Administration at UAB is entirely on campus with students completing about 55 credit hours of coursework over 4 semesters. All of the courses are pre-planned in order to prepare graduates for upper-level professional work. The curriculum provides a solid foundation in business practices as well as a baseline understanding of medical conditions and concerns. Many courses incorporate both disciplines like Health Economics, Health Care Financial Management, Health Care Marketing, and Human Resources Management in Health Services Administration. Upon completion of the required courses, students still must complete the residency portion of the program before graduating. This entails a 9-to-12-month paid work experience in the healthcare administration field. There are many opportunities to interview with companies before placement, and faculty work with students to secure suitable positions that relate to their future career goals. Upon completion of the residency, students receive their Master’s in Health Administration.
The Executive program is for working professionals who have at least 5 years of experience in the field. This format allows students to complete coursework online requiring only one week on campus per semester. The curriculum is identical to the residential program, but a residency is not required as participants are currently employed. Instead, one of the final classes is a capstone experience. Students spend three or four days experiencing how a major international healthcare organization functions. This provides a global perspective of the field.
About University of Alabama Birmingham
Beginning in 1860 as the Medical College of Alabama, the school underwent many transformations before officially becoming the University of Alabama in 1969. Located in Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama, UAB today offers over 50 different undergraduate programs and more than 100 graduate tracks with an enrollment of over 20,000 students in 2017. The School of Health Professions is made up of six departments, one is the Department of Health Services Administration which houses the Master’s in Health Administration program. Faculty throughout the department emphasize that the field is continually changing with advances in technology and stress the importance of implementing data science and analytic processes in all aspects of healthcare.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, the university overall ranks in the top third on a list of the Best National Universities. Additionally, in 2016, the magazine ranked the health administration graduate program #2 out of the 70 Best Health Care Management Programs in the United States.
University of Alabama Birmingham Accreditation Details
UAB is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges which certifies that the school provides a quality education and is being managed responsibly. This is an important benchmark for students because it allows them to be eligible for federal financial aid and student loans. Universities are re-evaluated every ten years, with University of Alabama next due in 2025. Some individual degrees within a university are evaluated by private industry-specific organizations. At UAB, both the Executive and Residential Master’s in Health Administration programs meet the standards for accreditation by the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
University of Alabama Birmingham Application Requirements
The UAB Master’s in Health Administration program enrolls new students for the fall semester each year with a priority application deadline of December 1st. Students can still apply after this deadline if there are any remaining available spots in the class. Applications for the on-campus program can be completed through UAB’s Graduate School portal or using the standardized application through Health Administration, Management, and Policy Centralized Application Service (HAMPCAS). This process requires students to submit a resume, a few essays in response to given prompts, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a $70 fee. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is required with a minimum GPA of 3.0, and GRE or GMAT scores are optional for all students. Along with strong academic abilities and achievements, the admissions board is looking for students who have communication, leadership, and team-building experiences as well as a passion for the health administration field. After all applications are reviewed, qualified students are invited for interviews in January and February after which admissions decisions are finalized.
The distance option for working professionals, the Executive MSHA, has an application deadline of June 15th, but students are encouraged to apply earlier in the year as the review process begins in January and requires an interview. The primary difference in admissions requirements is that this program is only available to applicants with at least 5 years of work experience in the field as well as current relevant full-time employment.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Most students complete the residential master’s program in 2 years as it requires about 55 credit hours. For in-state students, the total cost of tuition is approximately $30,000 with out-of-state students paying roughly $65,000. Tuition for the Executive program runs about $60,000 total. Along with helping students apply for federal financial aid and secure student loans, UAB’s School of Health Professions offers a variety of other ways for students to offset costs.
Upon admission, all students automatically become eligible for a variety of departmental scholarships that are awarded individually, based on a combination of need and achievement. Some of these include The Neeysa Davis Biddle Endowed Scholarship in Health Administration, The Beasley-Hall Family Endowed Scholarship in Health Administration, and The Howard W. and Shannon H.S. Houser Endowed Scholarship in Health Services Administration. Interested first-year students are also invited to participate in the UAB Health System student worker program which provides paid part-time employment with a professor in their field, and classes are scheduled in the mornings to accommodate afternoon work schedules. While there are a few scholarships available for the Executive program, most of these students turn to their employers for tuition assistance. Many companies will pay part or all of the tuition costs when employees are studying a subject relative to their industry.
Whether students choose the traditional residential route or the Executive program for experienced professionals, the curriculum provides a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare administrative field. Students learn business fundamentals and how they relate to healthcare and graduate with their Master’s in Health Administration from the University of Alabama Birmingham with almost a full year of on-the-job work experience.