There are many ways to make a difference in the healthcare industry. If you don’t want to become a doctor or nurse, another possibility is obtaining a master of health administration (MHA) and doing behind-the-scenes work for patients and hospital professionals.
But what if you aren’t sure how to get started with your MHA degree? What if you’re confused by all of the schools and programs out there? Here are just a few pieces of advice for figuring out the right path to take.
1. CHECK ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
First things first: What do schools look for in prospective MHA candidates? Do some research and figure out what kind of bars that you need to clear. You might be asked for everything from GPA scores to personal essays, and knowing these requirements in advance can help
you prepare your resume just right. It can also stop you from forgetting anything important when it’s time to submit your application.
2. UNDERSTAND THE PROGRAM
How many credits will you need to graduate? What are the required courses for first- and second-year students? When does the program begin? Does the school offer rolling admission, or will you have to wait for a particular application season? Ask these questions
before you commit to any specific university.
3. CONSIDER ONLINE CLASSES
Gone are the days when you had to sit in a classroom to get a degree. It’s the 21st century, and you can find both courses and entire degree programs for online MHA seekers. Not only is it more convenient, but it can also save you money in the long run, too.
4. MIND YOUR BUDGET
Speaking of budgets, make sure that you talk to a financial aid advisor before you decide that a certain school is too expensive. There might be loans or grants that can help, and if nothing else, many schools are willing to work out payment plans with prospective students. You might be able to afford a more prestigious university than you think.
5. LOOK AT THE CURRICULUM
This is especially important when considering an online MHA degree. Since you won’t have the chance to talk to any instructors or department heads in person, you’ll need to be absolutely sure that you understand the curriculum. This includes both day-to-day work and any capstone projects at the end of the program.
6. RESEARCH THE STAFF
Where did the professors go to school? Have they written any articles for medical journals or other industry publications? Are they recognized names in their field? You’ll want to learn from people who actually know what they’re talking about, so don’t be shy about digging into their credentials. The only way that you’ll feel confident in your choice is through research.
7. MARK YOUR CALENDAR
MHA programs can be completed in as little as two years, but this isn’t a guarantee. Just a possibility. You’ll have to truly devote yourself to the task if you’re serious about getting your degree as soon as possible, so be sure to talk to an academic advisor about things like courses, credits and semester schedules.
Getting your MHA will take time, dedication and a willingness to work hard. If you aren’t afraid of rolling up your sleeves and applying yourself, however, you could have a degree before you know it!