Health Administration and Policy
- Undergraduate Programs
- Graduate Programs
- Master of Science in Health Systems Management
- Master's International
- Graduate Certificates in Health Systems Management
Bachelor of Science in Health Science
The BS in health science prepares students to become managers and clinicians in a variety of settings including hospitals; clinics; schools; community health, home care, long-term care, employee health, and managed care organizations; group medical practices; manufacturing, medical technology, and supply organizations; the insurance industry; and financial consultant services. Concentrations are offered in health systems management and in assisted living and senior housing administration. An accelerated pathway in health systems management is offered for students who have an associate in science degree in social services or allied health.
The health systems management traditional and accelerated tracks prepare graduates to serve in entry-level administrative and support positions in a variety of health-related agencies and organizations. The concentration in assisted living and senior housing administration provides graduates with the operational, marketing, resident care, and hospitality services skills required to become effective leaders and managers of assisted living and senior housing communities.
The program may be completed on a full- or part-time basis; the accelerated pathway for graduates of allied health or social services technical programs takes into account the needs of the adult learner. All pathways lead to completion of the objectives of the undergraduate BS program. A criminal background check is required of all students prior to beginning their internship. A minimum grade of C must be obtained in all HAP, GCH, and HHS courses.
Students must check with their advisor to ensure that all
university general education requirements have been met
prior to graduation. The internship requirement is 3 or 6 credits,
depending on the student's work experience in health, social services, or assisted living and senior housing sector, as determined by the program coordinator. In such cases, students substitute approved electives for internship credits.
Health Systems Management Traditional Pathway
* HAP 498 is taken for 3 or 6 credits, depending on student work experience as determined by the program coordinator.
HHS 465 satisfies the university synthesis requirement
Health Systems Management Accelerated Pathway for Students with an Associate's Degree in Allied Health
* On completion of bridge course HAP 334, students
are awarded 22 AP credits from the associate's degree program.
++ HAP 498 is taken for 3 or 6 credits, depending on the student's experience as determined by the program coordinator. The internship is taken in a health-related organization.
HHS 465 satisfies the university synthesis requirement.
Concentration in Assisted Living Administration
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* HAP 498 is taken for 3 or 6 credits, depending on student's experience as determined by the program coordinator. The internship is taken in assisted living and senior housing administration or hospitality services. Independent study will be used to complement the internship if necessary.
HHS 465 satisfies the university synthesis requirement.
Master of Science in Health Systems Management
This program provides students with the skills and tools to work as leaders and executive-level managers in evolving health systems, health policy analysts, or consultants and managers of electronic commerce and technology products and enterprises in the health system. The 39-credit curriculum was developed in response to the demand for advanced health management and policy preparation for a variety of health care and allied health professionals. Five concentrations are offered: executive management, health information systems management, health care security and privacy, health policy analysis, and assisted living and senior housing services management.
The program of study offers state-of-the-art technical and humanistic skills so that graduates may serve as leaders, managers, consultants, and health policy advisors and analysts in various settings. Graduates are prepared to work in public and private health care systems (including public health agencies); legislative arenas and policy-related professional and advocacy organizations; and health accreditation and regulatory organizations. The curriculum integrates concepts from a variety of disciplines such as business management, economics, philosophy, organizational behavior, information technology, social psychology, public policy, law, and ethics as they uniquely apply to health systems and technology management, assisted living and senior housing services administration, and health policy formulation. For example, the concentration in assisted living and senior housing services provides multidisciplinary education to support development and management and marketing of such services or entities, based on concepts of normal aging and integration and optimization with health-related services and systems to maximize and promote independence and quality of life for seniors.
The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to prepare graduates with an understanding of the larger sociopolitical, global health, and economic contexts in which the U.S. health system operates. It provides working professionals with leadership knowledge and managerial skills and abilities that contribute to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health systems and alignment of decisions and resources to optimize organizational and health-related public policy goals. Students examine social imperatives for access to health services and the feasibility, need, and mechanisms of market factors. They create links and alignment between public and private sectors and among voluntary, market, and regulatory forces in the context of a variety of public policy frameworks. Students explore the design and management of seamless systems of care, information technology, and services that support the providers of health-related care and services over the life span continuum, including assisted living and senior housing services. Using ethical principles, students explore approaches to improving access to care and services, the quality and safety of health systems and senior housing services and their integration to maximize quality of life and community health.Admission Procedures and Requirements
Health care professionals with a baccalaureate degree and at least three years of leadership experience in a health or related management, public policy, or technology field are eligible to apply. Applicants must submit the following: transcripts from all previous college-level studies, a letter of interest specifying study goals, a curriculum vita, and a complete Mason graduate admissions form. GRE or GMAT scores may be requested if the applicant does not have a graduate degree or has an undergraduate GPA lower than a 3.00. Applicants are competitively selected. Admitted students begin study in January and September each year. Provisional admission can be made for students whose undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.00, but whose work since school indicates a high likelihood of success in graduate work. Students admitted provisionally with lower than a 3.00 GPA must achieve a 3.00 GPA in the first 12 credits of graduate work.Program Format and Curriculum Features
The program schedule is geared toward working professionals. The usual schedule for students involves part-time study, comprising two classes (6 credits) per semester. Classes are held primarily in evenings, with some Saturday daytime classes. Selected courses also are available via the Internet.
Courses offer the following unique features:
- Content focuses on individual competencies in analytic decision making, and how services are provided across institutions and levels of care through integrated systems. Services are analyzed according to their effect on individual health status and enrolled populations, and how individuals and groups affect the use of health services and outcomes. Business functions are taught in the context of integrated systems versus individual institutions. For example, financial management examines how risk is incurred and distributed across multiple institutions.
- Management skills are taught from the contexts of leadership in learning organizations and as team leaders managing self-directed professionals across functional and specialized service units. Business and clinical decisions are integrated with competencies in information systems and data management for effective administrative operations in health-related organizations, clinical decision support systems, quality and safety improvement efforts (including evaluation of clinical outcomes), and interorganizational relations and operations.
- Managerial competencies are also taught relating concepts of integrated services and managed care, based on optimization of the delivery of care and services to targeted populations in the community and market. The curriculum prepares graduates to assess health risks, understand consumer behavior, and structure community networks, specialty services, and integrated health systems.
- Health policy curriculum teaches applied public policy skills that support the development and analysis of health policy and the management of political, legislative, and regulatory processes involving the financing and service delivery in the health industry and health-related technology and information management, and governing health professionals practice.
The program of study comprises 39 credits (three concentrations): 24 credits from the common core of the degree and another 15 from one of the five concentrations.
Note: If students have not had recent, broad, relevant experience in the U.S. health system, an additional 3-credit core course is required (HAP 678 Introduction to the U.S. Health System), bringing the number of credits required to 42.
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The MS in health systems management offers high-quality academic preparation in health care management, policy analysis, health information systems, health care security and privacy, and assisted living and senior housing management. Courses are scheduled at the Fairfax Campus and are offered evenings, weekends, and online. Mason is a public institution with excellent tuition rates for those who qualify for Virginia residency. Out-of-state students accepted into both the Peace Corps and the MS program who enroll as a cohort through CHHS are eligible for a 45.5 percent reduction in tuition rates. Students benefit from the university's proximity to Washington, D.C., by taking classes from leading professors in health policy and adjunct instructors working in government management or nonprofit settings. The Northern Virginia technology corridor provides an excellent location for students who wish to focus on management information systems.
The Master's International (MI), a joint program of Mason and the Peace Corps, enables participants to prepare for Peace Corps volunteer service while earning the MS in health systems management. Students apply separately to the Peace Corps and Mason. The 39-credit curriculum provides students with the skills and tools to work as leaders and executive-level managers in evolving health systems; health policy analysts; consultants and managers of electronic commerce and technology products and enterprises in the health system; and executive management of assisted living programs. An accelerated pathway is provided for Peace Corps volunteers to complete 30 credits in one year (including summer session). Three semester hours will be earned as internship credits for overseas Peace Corps service. Students return to Mason for their final 6 credits or take the 6 credits online.
Applicants must submit a completed application for graduate admission along with the nonrefundable application fee; the application for Virginia in-state tuition rates for those claiming eligibility; original transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities; resume; and a letter of interest specifying study goals. Scores from a standardized graduate admissions test are not required but may be requested of students who do not have a graduate degree or an undergraduate GPA less than 3.00. Applications are reviewed throughout the year for admission to the fall or the spring semester, although new students may take their initial course during the summer session. Students accepted into the program but waiting for notification of acceptance from the Peace Corps may begin
their master's program but will not be eligible for tuition
support until they are accepted in the Peace Corps.
For more information, call the Peace Corps regional office at 1-800-424-8580. For the Fellows/USA program, call the above number and then extension 1440.
Graduate Certificates in Health Systems Management
Certificate in Health Care Security and Privacy
The curriculum is expected to enhance the skills of directors responsible for information and physical security at area hospitals, nursing homes, public agencies, insurance companies, and other health care agencies. The curriculum improves the effectiveness of these directors in bringing about change within their own organization and coordinating activities with counterparts in public and private agencies.Requirements
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree. They must submit the Mason application and two letters of recommendation. Knowledge of the health care system and design of databases is not required, but students without this knowledge are required to take additional courses. Application is made through CHHS.Program of Study
Students are expected to have broad health care experience or complete HAP 678, and knowledge of health care databases or complete HAP 709 or INFS 601.
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Courses can be taken in any sequence. The recommended sequence is in the order of course numbers.
Certificate in Assisted Living and Senior Housing Administration
This 15-credit certificate is offered as part of the overall program in assisted living and senior housing administration within CHHS. It provides multidisciplinary education in
assisted living and senior housing services management, including marketing, normal aging, and integration and optimization with health-related services and systems to maximize and promote quality of life for seniors. Courses enable students to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information relative to the aging population, the evolution of assisted living and senior housing services within the U.S. health system, the application of business practices to these services, and current regulatory and policy issues. An additional focus is on biological, psychological, and social aspects of healthy aging, including those that support quality of life and independence for seniors with special needs (i.e., memory issues and dementias).
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Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in a health-related field or business administration or management, or a nonhealth or business bachelor's degree and a minimum of two years professional experience in the health care industry. Students must complete all courses with a 3.00 GPA to earn the certificate.
Certificate in Quality Improvement and Outcomes Management in Health Care Systems
This certificate prepares working clinicians and administrative support staff in health care organizations to implement quality-improvement initiatives and manage populations of patients to optimize efficiency and effectiveness of care and services. Participants acquire the knowledge and ability to work in interdisciplinary health care teams using the tools and techniques of statistical process control, and selected methods and tools from operations research and quality improvement. In addition, they use information management technology and qualitative decision-making applications to identify opportunities for clinical and administrative improvement, support decision-making optimization, and improve health-service outcomes for identified populations.Certificate Requirements
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree. Application is made through CHHS.
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Note: A course in basic computer skills (credit or noncredit) and HAP 678 Introduction to the U.S. Health System (mandatory for students without recent working experience in the U.S. health system) are considered optional for students who already possess the requisite knowledge and skills. They are required for those who do not.
To earn the certificate, students must complete all courses with a 3.00 GPA.
Certificate for Health Information Systems
This certificate prepares clinicians and health care managers to develop and manage health information systems and electronic commerce services. Students learn the development and management of systems and service related to patient records, enterprise data management in health industry, and Telehealth. The certificate is ideal for people with technical and programming skills who have been promoted to new managerial positions in the health care industry and wish to enhance their understanding of health care issues and management techniques. It is also ideal for clinicians and managers with little background in database management who wish to gain more skills and understanding about organizing health databases.Admission Requirements
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree. No prior computer programming training is needed, although knowledge of HTML language is assumed. Application is made through CHHS.Program of Study
The certificate is composed of 15 credits. If the student does not have recent, relevant experience in the U.S. health industry, HAP 678Introduction to the U.S. Health System (3 credits) is required, thus bringing the number of required credits to 18.
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