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Online Master of Arts in Healthcare Administration

Online Healthcare Administration Courses

Targeted Courses to Suit Your Career Goals

The curriculum for the Online Master of Arts in Healthcare Administration. at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is built on a foundation of core competencies that give you the skills and confidence to pursue your career goals.

The degree program consists of courses totaling 33 credit hours which can be completed in about 24 months given continuous enrollment or less if your schedule allows.

Core Courses (33 credits)

  • This course focuses on graduate academic and professional writing skills within the health sector, including voice and style, ethical use of source material, and revision. Students learn to identify and evaluate resources relevant to the research, writing, and communication process with an emphasis on the health sector.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Analyze and synthesize a variety of credible sources relevant to a research question
    • Integrate source material into academic and professional writing, including correct use of summary, paraphrase, and quotation, along with a proper citation
    • Evaluate various modes of organizational and health-related communication, including emerging technologies
    • Apply various communication styles, including variations found within diverse cultural, gender, and generational groups

  • This course explores the skills required for effective, ethical financial management within the health sector. Students analyze and interpret financial statements, create and evaluate operating and capital budgets, and incorporate general principles of financial management.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Relate the historical context of healthcare financial management, theory, and concepts to the current state of the health sector
    • Create and evaluate an operating and capital budget for an organization
    • Examine the reimbursement requirements and regulatory compliance on financial performance, including exploration billing and collections practices
    • Analyze and evaluate the financial statements of organizations in the health or human service sectors
    • Use the tools of financial forecasting, planning auditing programs, reporting systems, and control needed to make managerial decisions within the health sector

  • This course evaluates the fundamentals of current healthcare and human services delivery systems in the U.S. Topics include health sector regulatory and financial systems, delivery operations, and organizational design theories.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Compare the evolution of various types of services for vulnerable individuals and populations
    • Analyze the impact of social, economic, political, and regulatory forces on planning and objective setting
    • Evaluate the emergence of organizational designs, operations, and governance in the health sector
    • Analyze the factors influencing organizational outcomes and consumer/patient/client satisfaction
    • Assess and analyze how the health sector financing and policy, care management, private health coverage, and government programs and reforms (including Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA) impact the cost, quality, experience, and outcomes of care and delivery systems within the U.S

  • This course examines core areas of talent acquisition and retention, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and employee development, including culturally responsive practice and system design. It emphasizes the application of effective and ethical human resource management principles for organizations within the health and human service sectors.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Outline the key components of human resource management and the value added by this functional area, including the essential components of effective job analysis and design, development of position descriptions, and fundamental employee health and safety programs
    • Identify current and emerging human resource issues and scenarios within health sector organizations and relevant laws, regulatory requirements, and industry best practices impacting them
    • Analyze the broad role of human resource management within the health sector, including workforce recruitment, development, evaluation, engagement and retention programs, succession, and strategic planning to maximize resident/patient/client quality of life, quality of care, and workforce satisfaction and engagement
    • Understand how human resource, change management, and leadership development programs are planned, implemented, and evaluated to address diversity, inclusion, and culturally responsive practices
    • Negotiate, interpret, and implement contractual and financial agreements, including those related to organized labor, managed care, vendors, and consultative services

  • This course examines the ethical, legal, and culturally relevant dimensions of the U.S. health sector, including not-for-profit, for-profit, and public health systems. Topics include ethical issues, public policy, stewardship, and compliance standards impacting healthcare finance and delivery; frameworks for ethical decision making; socio-economic impacts on public policy; and strategies for influencing the policy-making process within the health sector.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Apply frameworks for ethical administrative decision-making
    • Analyze policies and laws impacting the delivery and financial operations of services for vulnerable individuals and communities
    • Evaluate the effect of current policies, payment systems, and regulatory agencies on quality and system performance
    • Examine and evaluate policy environment and solutions while exploring ways to influence the creation and implementation of public policy

  • This course explores applied theories and skills of leadership and management within the health and human service sectors. Leadership styles and culturally responsive approaches to decision-making are examined. Topics such as governance, vision and mission, strategic planning, business decision support, and promotion of sustainable, ethical organizational growth and organization stewardship are explored.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Illustrate roles, relationships, and legal responsibilities for administration, board members, departmental managers, clinicians, staff, external stakeholders, and suppliers
    • Articulate an overview of the scope and roles within strategic planning and external relations (market research, marketing, public and communication relations, communication, media, and government relations)
    • Communicate organizational vision and manage internal communication and cross-functional teamwork
    • Analyze organizational board governance systems for effective implementation of shared vision and mission
    • Evaluate strategies for promoting and leading organizational change
    • Evaluate ethical standards and decision-making models for health and human service administration

  • This course examines the project management and quality improvement frameworks and processes in the health sector. The frameworks and processes outline key terminology, context, sequencing and life cycles, organizational designs and evaluation, and the roles of stakeholders.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Apply project management tools, quality improvement terms, frameworks, and processes in the context of the health and human services settings
    • Identify project integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resource requirements, communications, risk, and procurement management process inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs
    • Analyze stakeholder needs and expectations and unique aspects in the health sector
    • Assess tools and strategies to effectively manage projects within organizations in the health sector to advance quality, cost, satisfaction, and value improvement
    • Identify approaches to apply change management, process/performance/quality improvement, and project management to improve the performance within the health sector
    • Develop and integrate creative, adaptive strategies that promote positive change and innovation

  • This course covers the collection and analysis of data to support administrative, operational, financial, and clinical decision-making and regulatory compliance. The course also covers roles that information systems and technologies serve in the health sector, types of computer-based health information systems, and issues related to data privacy, confidentiality, integrity, stewardship, and availability.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Locate and describe regulations and strategic uses of data and information for healthcare, long-term care, or human services
    • Use historical and real-time data to make decisions through predictive analytics
    • Differentiate between the advantages (opportunities) and disadvantages (risks) of information technology when applied to the delivery of care and services within current and anticipated systems
    • Identify specific technologies available for the collection, analysis, retrieval, storage, and dissemination of information
    • Address how technology and predictive analytics can support the planning, implementation, and evaluation of current and future administrative, clinical, financial, and operational service programs
    • Analyze the effectiveness of standardized vocabularies and classification systems, and identify how these systems impact delivery of care
    • Understand the ethical and management challenges which exist with information technologies in the health and human services sectors

  • This course examines the practices and procedures associated with ethical financial practices in the health sector. Public policy, ethics, stewardship, and the economic forces that influence organizations within the health sector are explored.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Evaluate budget decisions and common economic variables to advance the financial viability and growth of organizations within the health sector
    • Describe and interpret how market forces and public policy may affect the financial operations of a healthcare entity, including the emergence of risk-adjusted and risk-sharing models for population health management
    • Develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate financial policies and procedures that comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
    • Review and demonstrate an understanding of contract negotiation and implementation, including the anticipated impact on an organization
    • Identify and establish policies, procedures, and practices to mitigate risk and safeguard the assets of the organization

    Prerequisite(s): HA 610 Financial Practices in Healthcare Administration

  • This course focuses on leadership principles designed to create and sustain organizations and programs in the health and human services sectors through the creation and implementation of vision, mission, and reflective practices. Leadership styles coupled with personal, cultural, and ethical awareness are evaluated.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Identify and synthesize ethical and culturally responsive management and leadership principles and styles in the health and human services sectors
    • Create a vision and mission to optimize health and human service system performance, including exploration of emerging and innovative system design, technology, and partnerships
    • Compare strategic planning models to best support the organizational mission
    • Evaluate and apply best practice change management to ensure the application of the system, workforce, data, and technology-oriented solutions

Capstone Course (3 credits)

Students who have completed the Healthcare Administration Certificate may use all the credits toward the M.A. in Healthcare Administration.

  • In this course, students integrate theory and findings from contemporary practices and literature identified in an in-depth study of a health sector administrative topic.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Complete a study that poses a research question, synthesizes related literature, and analyzes gaps in the literature to find potential areas for additional research
    • Participate in an experiential activity regarding healthcare and human services administration
    • Articulate and integrate learnings from the core health and human services curriculum and the experiential activity

    Prerequisite(s): All required coursework

Stackable Graduate Certificates

Add a Healthcare Administration Graduate Certificate designed to accelerate your degree and help you achieve your goals faster. This Saint Mary’s Accelerator requires the completion of 12 credits and adds only six additional credits (two courses) to your degree program, allowing you to complete extra credentials while saving time and money.

Share Your Success

Saint Mary’s supports your success by providing you with the tools necessary to not only achieve your professional goals but to share them with the world—especially the digital world.

As part of our commitment, Saint Mary’s offers an opportunity for you to be awarded digital badges. Digital badges are a graphic verification representing your achievement after completing a specific online course or program.

State Requirement Information

  • Effective August 31, 2024, the MA in Healthcare Administration program will no longer be accredited by the MN Board of Executives for Long Term Services and Supports (BELTSS) accreditation as meeting state educational requirements for Nursing Home Administrator (NHA) licensure in Minnesota. Due to this, we will no longer be accepting new students into the licensure pathway track of the MA HHSA program after the Fall 2022 semester. Contact Dr. Amy Heinz, at, with any questions. This program is not intended or designed to meet educational requirements for long term care or nursing home administrator licensure in any jurisdiction.

  • This program is not intended or designed to meet educational requirements for nursing home or long term care administrator licensure in any jurisdiction. ​

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