Dec 06, 2023  
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Health Care Administration, M.S.

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Health Care Administration (M.S.) 48 units

Program Description

The M.S. in Health Care Administration (MS-HCA) program has been designed to provide working health care professionals with the knowledge, skill sets, and abilities needed to be effective health care administrators and managers. Health care delivery is undergoing rapid growth and change in the United States and around the world, a change that has accelerated in the 21st century. As a result, the responsibilities of health care administrators and managers are continuously being redefined. In this dynamic environment, organizations must manage for continuous improvement and maintain flexibility to respond to the latest challenges. This underscores the constant need for health care professionals to keep pace with new knowledge and gain new skills.

The MS-HCA program seeks to develop professionals who understand how to manage non-profit, for-profit, and voluntary health care organizations in effective and innovative ways and who can help health care organizations successfully meet the challenges of a rapidly changing environment. Students in the MS-HCA program acquire the analytical skills needed to explore new models of health care delivery and organizational design. They also develop the leadership skills needed to discover and implement creative solutions to problems in the current health care system.

Student Learning Outcomes

The Health Care Leadership Alliance (HLA), a consortium of major professional health care associations, has identified five competency domains in which all health care administrators and managers should have proficiency for workplace effectiveness: communication and relationship management, leadership, professionalism, knowledge of the health care environment, and business skills and knowledge. The MSHCA program has adopted these five competency domains as its program learning outcomes.

Students who graduate with an M.S. in Health Care Administration will be able to:

  1. Communicate clearly and concisely with internal and external customers, to establish and maintain relationships, and to facilitate constructive interactions with individuals and groups
  2. Inspire individual and organizational excellence, to create and attain a shared vision, and to successfully manage change to attain the organization’s strategic ends and successful performance
  3. Align personal and organizational conduct with ethical and professional standards that include a responsibility to the patient and community, a service orientation, and a commitment to lifelong learning and improvement
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the health care system and the environment in which health care managers and providers function
  5. Apply business principles to the health care environment; basic business principles include financial management, human resource management, organizational dynamics and governance, strategic planning and marketing, information management, risk management, and quality improvement

Career Opportunities

The need for health services managers and administrators is growing nationally and even more so in California. According to the US Department of Labor, health care is one of the largest industries in the US, and the second largest employer, with more than 11 million jobs. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the average annual health spending growth (6.1%) is anticipated to outpace average annual growth in the overall economy (4.4%) for the projection period of 2009-2019. By 2019, national health spending is expected to reach $4.5 trillion and comprise 19.3% of GDP.

While clinical care personnel are the frontline of the US health care system, health services managers and administrators play a significant role. They plan, direct, coordinate, and supervise medicine and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, and other health care organizations. According to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment in this field is expected to increase 22% from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations, with a projected need of 99,400 additional positions and an estimated median annual wage of $80,200. According to the California Employment Development Department (EDD), the projected growth in California is 18% for the projection period of 2006-2016, with an estimated median annual wage of $95,168. A master’s degree in health care administration, public health, health services management, or a similar degree is the standard credential for most positions in this field.

Special Features

The MS-HCA is designed for working adults and courses generally meet one night per week. No more than two courses per quarter may be completed in the MS-HCA program. Courses are offered in all quarters, including the summer quarter. Most, but not all, of the courses are offered in a hybrid format where the majority of the course sessions are in-person and some are fully online.Students are admitted as a cohort and follow a degree completion roadmap designed for that cohort.


The MS-HCA degree program is open to applicants planning a career or advancing a career in the health care field who have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Admission will be granted based upon the Admission Committee’s overall assessment of the student’s qualifications and academic/career potential, using the following criteria:

  1. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5;
  2. Statement of Purpose in pursuing the MS-HCA degree (a 1-2 page essay double-spaced, explaining who you are, your career goals and how the MS-HCA degree will help you achieve those goals, and why you believe you will be successful in the program);
  3. Two letters of academic and/or professional recommendation (on letterhead). The letter writers should include how they know you, if they think you would be successful in the program and why they think that;
  4. Professional resume/vita;
  5. All undergraduate/graduate transcripts. (These must be sent directly to University Admissions NOT the Department.)

All applicants must submit an online Graduate Admission application declaring Health Care Administration as a degree objective, and transcripts, at along with a non-refundable fee. In addition, applicants must also submit a statement of purpose, 2 letters of reference and a resume directly to the Department of Public Affairs and Administration at CSUEB, Dept of Public Affairs and Administration, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., MI 4122, Hayward, CA 94542-3040.

Please review the detailed application instructions on the Department’s website at

Student Standing and Progress toward the Degree

There are three categories of student status, which reflect student progress toward the degree: “Conditionally Classified Graduate” student, “Classified Graduate” student, and Advancement to Candidacy.

  1. Students achieve “Conditionally Classified Graduate” status when they have been admitted to the MS-HCA program, but have not yet completed the prerequisites for the “Classified Graduate” status in the MS-HCA program.
  2. Students achieve “Classified Graduate” status when they have satisfactorily completed the foundation course for the MS-HCA program or its equivalent, and satisfied the University Writing Skills requirement. (See “Prerequisites for “Classified Graduate” status below.)
  3. Students are Advanced to Candidacy when they have completed the core courses with a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA.

Prerequisites for “Classified Graduate” Status

As prerequisites to “Classified Graduate” status, students must satisfy the University Writing Skills Requirement and satisfactorily complete the foundation course:

  • STAT 1000 - Elements of Probability and Statistics Units: 5 or its equivalent (with a grade of “C” or better) or request to have the foundation course waived based upon other coursework completed in statistics.

For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at or call 510.885.3661.

Degree Requirements

The MS-HCA program requires completion of 48 quarter units consisting of required core courses and the capstone experience. Of the 48 units, at least 35 units must be completed in residence (transfer units are limited to 13 quarter units). No course numbered 1000 to 2999 (or the equivalent, if taken elsewhere) may be used as part of the 48-unit graduate degree program. STAT 1000 - Elements of Probability and Statistics, or its equivalent, must be completed as a foundation course with a grade of “C” or better prior to enrolling in 6000-level courses. Transfer units are rarely accepted in the MS-HCA program.

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained in all 48 quarter units taken to satisfy the degree requirements. Students who fail to maintain progress by falling below a 3.0 GPA in their graduate courses for two consecutive quarters will be academically disqualified by the university. All graduate degree requirements must be completed within five years.

Students accumulating more than 8 units of work graded “I” may not register for courses applicable to the degree until the “I” grades are removed.

Granting the Degree

Upon satisfaction of all requirements for the degree, the department will recommend that the candidate be granted the Master of Science Degree in Health Care Administration. Students must file for graduation by the second week of the quarter prior to the quarter in which they expect to graduate.

Curricular Requirements

Foundation (Prerequisite) Course (0-5 units)

Students must complete the foundation course (or its equivalent) with a grade of “C” or better:

Capstone Experience (4 units)

HCA 6899 serves as the capstone experience in the degree program. HCA 6899 must be taken as the last 4 units in the program. Students must satisfy the University Writing Skills Test requirement before they will be allowed to enroll in HCA 6899. A project has a strong practical action-oriented component accompanied by a written document. A project is directed by one faculty member.

Grades of “RP” (Report in Progress) may be given for a project that is not completed at the end of the quarter. The “RP” grade indicates that work is in progress, but that a final grade cannot be assigned until additional work is completed. The “RP” grade must be removed within four quarters or it will become an “F”.

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

In addition to departmental requirements, every student must also satisfy the university requirements for graduation as described in the Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate Admission and Degree Information  chapter in this catalog. These include the 32-unit residence requirement, the five year rule on currency of subject matter, the minimum number of units of 6000-level courses, the 3.00 grade point average, and the University Writing Skills Requirement. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at or call 510.885.3661.

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