Master of Science in Healthcare Administration

Greenquist 304 • 262-595-2980

Natural and Health Sciences

Degree offered:
Master of Science

Academic Director: Lewis, Ph.D

Program Overview

This program is a collaborative online Master of Science in Healthcare Administration degree program offered jointly by UW-Parkside, UW-Stout, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Lacrosse, UW-Platteville with administrative and financial support from UW-Extension. This online M.S. in Healthcare Administration programs focuses primarily on adult and nontraditional students who hold an undergraduate degree and have the desire to continue their education to achieve a graduate degree.

The program is fully online and designed to provide a foundation for entry and advancement for professionals who are seeking management positions in the healthcare industry. The program’s multidisciplinary curriculum balances theory with real-world applications relevant to the current field and draws primarily from the following academic disciplines: healthcare, public health, information technology, business and communications. The M.S. in Healthcare Administration represents a fully online degree geared toward working professionals seeking to obtain advanced-level competencies in the areas of healthcare leadership, management, marketing, communications, law and policy, and quality and performance improvement. 

Goals of the Program

The University of Wisconsin Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program prepares patient-care professionals, hospital administration, or current management professionals to help accomplish the triple aim of improving access to care, impacting the quality of care, and reducing the overall cost of care in a variety of settings.


Graduates will:

  • Demonstrate professional communication and interpersonal skills appropriate for a healthcare setting
  • Demonstrate strategic leadership and decision-making skills necessary in healthcare
  • Evaluate operational performance across diverse healthcare organizations
  • Develop strategies to recruit, train, and retain an effective healthcare workforce
  • Evaluate financial strategies and techniques to meet healthcare organizational needs and goals

Admission Requirements for the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration

Admission to the Master of Science in Health Care Administration requires:

  • Prerequisite coursework in Elementary Statistics, Medical Terminology, and Oral Communication or Speech
  • Employment résumé
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement of not more than 1000 words

Admission exams, such as the GRE or the GMAT, are not required.

To be eligible for admission in full standing, a student must have an overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.00. Students who do not qualify for admission in full standing may be admitted on a trial enrollment justified by the admitting department and approved by the Academic Director of the MS in HCA. Students are allowed seven years from the date of admission into the program to complete degree requirements; extensions may be granted for extenuating circumstances.

Program entrance requirements and degree completion requirements are consistent with those of the other collaborative degree-granting institutions offering this program. Applicants should follow the instructions found in the Online Admission Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.

Requirements for the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (37 credits)

To graduate with a master of science in sustainable management students must satisfy all degree requirements for their home institutions.

Required courses:

HCA 700 U.S. Healthcare Systems 3 cr
HCA 705 Population Health and Epidemiology 3 cr
HCA 710 Health Communication 3 cr
HCA 715 Healthcare Technology, Data Analytics, and Information Governance 3 cr
HCA 720 Healthcare Financial Management 3 cr
HCA 730 Human Capital Management in Healthcare 3 cr
HCA 740 Healthcare Operations and Project Management 3 cr
HCA 750 Healthcare Quality and Performance Management 3 cr
HCA 760 Health Law and Policy 3 cr
HCA 770 Organization Development and Strategic Leadership in Healthcare 3 cr
HCA 780 Communicating Current and Emerging Topics in Healthcare 3 cr
HCA 789 Capstone Preparation 1 cr
HCA 790 Capstone 3 cr




Courses in Healthcare Administration (HCA)


U.S. Healthcare Systems
Prereq: None. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Introduces the many public and private elements of the U.S. healthcare system. Explores the historical, social and cultural, financial and economic, and political as well as regulatory factors, and how they interact to influence the delivery of care and services that affect individual and population health outcomes.

3 cr

Population Health and Epidemiology
Prereq: None. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Identifies and addresses epidemiology, biostatistics, including study design within a healthcare framework.  Applies these elements to individuals and populations while addressing critical public health perspectives across a broad spectrum from individuals to larger systems to improve the health of a community.

3 cr

Health Communication
Prereq: None. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Examines the analysis and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that impact health.  Explores 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.

3 cr

Healthcare Technology, Data Analytics, and Information Governance
Prereq: None. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Covers various topics including electronic health records; health IT privacy and security; health information exchanges; IT for revenue cycle management; utilizing technology to analyze healthcare data including MS-DRG data, hospital readmission data, medicare spending, and healthcare quality data; technologies for diagnosis and treatment; big data applications in healthcare.

3 cr

Healthcare Financial Management
Prereq: None. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Studies the principles of healthcare finance. Includes financial and management accounting, the financial reporting structure of healthcare organizations, healthcare financial statement analysis, costing and budgetary methods, sources of healthcare revenue and expenses, processes for healthcare billing, and capital investment decisions.

3 cr

Human Capital Management in Healthcare
Prereq: HCA 700, 720. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Examines complexities in human resource management strategies in healthcare organizations.  Provides knowledge and tools to develop high potential workforces using a people-centered approach to human capital management, organizational culture/climate, communication, and talent development to ensure competitive advantage in creating sustainable high-performance healthcare organizations in rural and urban settings.

3 cr

Healthcare Operations and Project Management
Prereq: HCA 715, 720. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Examines operations management techniques unique to healthcare processes.  Addresses solutions for operational issues in healthcare facilities and supply chain.  Highlights essential components of healthcare project management.  Emphasizes operational and management tools and techniques for healthcare project and process execution.

3 cr

Healthcare Quality and Performance Management
Prereq: HCA 715. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Provides an overview of quality models and risk management in healthcare.  Explore theories, concepts, skills, tools and environmental factors.  Focuses on measurement and analysis techniques, as well as real-world applications of quality approaches to implement and sustain performance improvements.

3 cr

Health Law and Policy
Prereq: HCA 700. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Studies the political, legal, regulatory, and ethical environments within which healthcare administrators operate.  Explores the legal frameworks related to the healthcare system, with an ethical focus. Considers the impact of political structure on healthcare policy, with an emphasis on the role played by healthcare administrators in policy advocacy.

3 cr

Organizational Development and Strategic Leadership in Healthcare
Prereq: HCA 730, 740, 750. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Explores organization development and leadership theories, including self-discovery of leadership potential and change leadership strategies applied within healthcare organizations.  As a blend of theory and application, course is designed for individuals to work toward identifying and facilitating broad-scale organizational change while employing strategic leadership practices in healthcare.

3 cr

Communicating Current and Emerging Topics in Healthcare
Prereq: HCA 715, 760. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Investigates current and emerging trends influencing healthcare such as healthcare policies and politics, ethics, emerging technologies, healthcare population/disease demographics and reimbursement models.  Explores differences between rural, urban and global settings.

3 cr

Capstone Preparation
Prereq: HCA 700, 710, 720, 730, 740, 750, 770. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Prepares the student for applied capstone course, including assisting with site identification, coordination and approval of placement and of a substantive work project while working with site mentor/supervisor.

1 cr

Prereq: HCA 700, 710, 720, 730, 740, 750, 770, 789. Freq: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Applies aspects of theory and dynamics of interprofessionalism in healthcare setting(s). Capstone work (minimum 150 hours) will be completed in partnership with site mentor/supervisors.  A substantive work project deliverable demonstrating summative application of previous coursework will be expected.

3 cr
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