The Master of Business Administration (MBA) has long been one of the most popular professional degrees in the U.S. During the 2011-2012 school year, it even surpassed the master’s in education for the first time as the most conferred graduate-level degree and accounted for one-quarter of all master’s degrees awarded, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
What’s behind the MBA’s ongoing popularity? Start with its broad acceptance by employers and the flexibility of its many possible curricula and formats. For example, at the George Washington University (GW), students can earn an online MBA degree with a specialization in healthcare. The online healthcare MBA program is rigorous, competitive and delivered by an accredited institution. Plus, its 100 percent internet-based delivery provides maximum convenience for busy professionals.
Overview and key requirements of the online healthcare MBA program at GW
The MBA program at GW educates students in core concepts of business management, finance, strategic decision-making and healthcare operations, with additional topics covered through both healthcare-specific and general electives. It is designed to prepare healthcare professionals with practical business knowledge they can apply in common environments from hospitals to insurance payer offices.
A total of 55.5 credit hours of coursework are required for program completion. There are 31.5 mandatory credits in the MBA core and 12 each in the two main elective categories. The requirements are spread across 3-credit-hour courses that run for an entire semester (14 weeks) and 1.5-credit-hour ones that last only seven weeks.
Students have extensive flexibility in how they approach the online MBA. They may customize their courses of study through the wide range of eligible electives from the GW Schools of Medicine & Health Sciences, Public Policy & Administration and Law, in addition to the main School of Business. These classes may also be applied toward additional MBA graduate certificates from GW. The core itself includes the following 12 requirements:
- Business Ethics & Public Policy
- Decision Making and Data Analysis
- Financial Accounting
- Foundational Management Topics in Healthcare
- Global Perspectives
- Managerial Accounting
- Microeconomics for the World Economy
- Operations Management
- Organizations & Managing Human Capital.
- Strategic Management
All classes in the MBA track can be completed online, making the online program a fluid and comprehensive path to an MBA at GW. At the same time, it has the same level of quality and rigor students expect from traditional education since the individual instructors are the same for both online and on-campus classes at GW.
For admissions consideration, applicants need a bachelor’s degree and must submit a standard application form containing materials such as transcripts and a professional letter of recommendation. The specialized program requirements consist of at least three years of professional work experience — preferably in the healthcare sector — and scores for either the Graduate Record Examination or the Graduate Management Admission Test, where applicable.
A Closer Look at The Demographics of the GW Healthcare MBA Program
The GW MBA attracts students from diverse backgrounds, with varied career goals. For example, 24 percent of healthcare MBA candidates at GW have more than 26 years of experience, while 23 percent have 10 years or fewer.
With that level of variance, it is no surprise that they come from a highly representative cross-section of healthcare leadership: They are surgeons, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, directors of medical services, CEOs, health IT administrators and many more. Thanks to the ability to fulfill all MBA requirements from the comfort of home, there’s also considerable geographic diversity: more than half of all states are represented.
The most common reason students pursue an online MBA degree from GW — cited by 37 percent of students responding to a survey — is to expand their knowledge of the healthcare industry. After that, the most frequently cited motivation is the search for professional advancement (34 percent). Rounding out the top five are the satisfaction of earning the degree (29 percent), the desire to move to a management or supervisory role (24 percent), and becoming more competitive on the job market (also 24 percent).
What draws these students to the GW healthcare MBA program specifically? It starts with the completely online format, which was a key differentiator for more than one-third of the demographic survey respondents. GW’s reputation as well as that of its MBA in healthcare were also pivotal for many applicants.
What Are The Most Common MBA Online Degree Outcomes?
Newly minted MBAs have the credentials to stand out in the rapidly growing and evolving healthcare sector. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that employment in this industry will expand 18 percent, or much faster than the average for all occupations, from 2016 to 2026, adding 2.4 million jobs — the most of any occupational group.
Senior-level medical and health services managers are expected to see even faster expansion, at 20 percent over the same timeframe. MBA graduates with years of relevant experience are especially well-situated to compete for these in-demand and high-paying positions, to pursue other leadership roles within their organizations, or to start their own firms.
No matter which professional avenues GW MBA graduates ultimately pursue, they always have the advantages of an advanced degree from a widely recognized institution. GW’s general accreditation is through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, while the School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Both institutions have been ranked in the upper echelons of postsecondary schools by U.S. News & World Report.
The George Washington University’s Health Care MBA program’s unique combination of a health industry focus, fully online format and rich selection of rigorous courses make it a perfect fit for today’s healthcare professionals.