Donovan Branche, program director
Katherine Harrison, Eileen Hinks, Carol Vogt

Health Care is a rapidly changing field. The leadership and administration of programs and organizations in health care requires knowledge, skill, and a strong sense of caring for others. The major in Health Care Administration prepares students to enter, or advance, into the management area in a variety of positions and organizations related to the health care field. The major can also be a springboard for graduate work in many related fields. The MBU Health Care Administration Program is the only endowed program of its type in the United States and Canada. It is also a fully certified undergraduate member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. The program has five named scholarships for Health Care Administration majors. The program also coordinates the Public Health minor.

Requirements for the Major in Health Care Administration

54 semester hours
HCA 101
INT 222
HCA 300
HCA 310
HCA 330
HCA 387 (minimum of three semester hours)
HCA 401
Two additional courses in HCA
BUAD 208
BUAD 230
BUAD 302
ANTH 208 or SOC 260
ECON 101

Senior Requirement: Successful completion of HCA 401 with a grade of “C” or higher

Requirements for Major in Health Care Administration with Emphasis in Public Health

Students seeking a BA in Health Care Administration with a Public Health emphasis must fulfill all of the requirements for the BA, plus the following:
HCA 125
HCA 225
HCA 250

Requirements for the Minor in Health Care Administration

18 semester hours
HCA 101
Three additional HCA courses

Requirements for the Certificate in Long Term Care Administration

29 semester hours
HCA 101
HCA 240
HCA 310
HCA 387 (must include at least 400 hours under supervision of a preceptor approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing Home Administrators)
INT 222

Requirements for the Certificate in Health Care Management

21 semester hours
HCA 101
INT 222
HCA 310
Three of the following: HCA/PHIL 230, HCA 240, HCA/BIOL 261, or HCA 330

Civic Engagement Opportunities and Global Awareness

  • Each major completes an internship of 150 contact hours or more. As all health care organizations attempt to improve the health status of the community they serve, so internships are a part of that effort at providing a “community benefit”. The work of the intern through daily activities and projects will reflect the “community benefit” — both inside the organization and perhaps outside the organization as well. The HCA 387 internship therefore satisfies the university’s civic engagement requirement of the Central Curriculum as well as the internship requirement of the HCA Program. In short, the “community benefit” aspect of the internship is tied to the helping of those served by the organization. It is integrated into the daily activities of the intern.
  • Almost every HCA course contains an international component.
  • Possible student placements are available in internships abroad.
  • HCA sponsored events on international themes are presented throughout the academic year.
  • HCA faculty conduct research and make presentations on international topics.

101 Introduction to Health Care Administration (3 s.h.)
This course introduces the nature, organization, and functions of the continuum that delivers health services in the U.S. health care system in a comprehensive fashion. Includes general management principles and practices as found in health care organizations. Analyzes the nature and role of health policy. Reviews the roles of health care providers, managers, and consumers. Current issues explored at global, national, state, and local levels.

125 Introduction to Public Health (3 s.h.)
This course provides an introduction to mission, functions, and scope of U.S. public health at local, state, and federal levels and to major 20th century public health achievements and 21st century challenges. Topics include: definitions of public health; emphasis on population, health promotion, and disease prevention; balancing individual rights vs. the needs of society; health disparities related to age, gender, race, and ethnicity; and the ecological view of health within the context of biological, social, and environmental determinants of individual and population health. The significant role of collection, analysis, and communication of surveillance data will be explored through readings and interpretation of current public health reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports). Alternate years.

222 Social Science Statistics (3 s.h.) (Q)
For course description, see INT 222 in the Interdisciplinary Studies listing.

225 Public Health Issues (3 s.h.)
Infectious diseases continue to challenge public health practitioners in the United States and globally. These challenges include emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, food and water borne outbreaks, pandemics, and bioterrorism. This course will analyze concepts of disease transmission and conditions that promote the emergence and re-emergence of diseases (for example, poverty, disasters, globalization, climate change, and disruption of ecological habitats); historical aspects of infection control and the changing landscape of infectious diseases; health care and community associated infections; the microbiome and its role in disease; prevention as well as recognition, investigation, and control of outbreaks (infectious and non-infectious); and the role of technological advances, including social media, in early recognition. Alternate years.

230 Medical and Health Care Ethics (3 s.h.)
This course provides an introduction to basic and intermediate principles and theories of ethics, especially as they are relevant to medicine and health care. These principles and theories are applied to current issues in medicine and health care, including: codes of ethics; caregiver obligations and patients’ rights; informed consent; medical experimentation; genetic engineering; death and dying; operational concerns inside health care organizations; access to health care; allocation of health resources including financial and human; social justice and health care policy. Cross listed as PHIL 230.

235 Women’s Health Care Issues (3 s.h.) (G, W)
This course explores current U.S. and global issues in women’s health and disease through discussion and writing. Topics include: reproductive and maternal health; chronic diseases and their global burden; effects of social policies on women’s health; and impact of gender-based violence, disasters, and conflicts on women. Students will evaluate internet health sources; analyze and utilize narrative as a means of reflecting on health and illness; and communicate health issues to specific audiences. Alternate years.

240 Long-Term Care Administration (3 s.h.)
The historical development of long-term care and the role of health policy. Analysis of the roles played by long term care facilities/organizations like nursing homes, home health organizations, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation centers, continuing care retirement communities, and organizations that deal with chronic health care concerns. Issues include medical, organizational, legal, financial, human resources, and communication. Holistic approach covers physical, mental, and social well-being. Tours/analyses of long-term care facilities included. Alternate years.

245 Health Care Policy, Politics, and Law (3 s.h.)
Analysis of the factors that shape health care policy in the United States, including public policy and various types of health care policies, government structures and institutions responsible for making health policy, important actors in the health reform debate and implementation, and their strategies to influence policy. The stages of the policy process are exemplified in case studies of several significant health care policies, and health care law is reviewed. Health reform efforts at the national, state, local, and institutional levels are analyzed. Cross listed as POLS 245.

250 Global Health Care (3 s.h.) (I)
Much can be learned about the U.S. health care system by comparing it to the operation of other countries’ systems. Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Australia are among the countries that are explored by considering the elements of history, philosophy/values, levels of care, provider/manager/consumer roles, and delivery systems. Comparisons are made in terms of the health status of a population served. The course also includes review of health issues facing the international community (e.g., communicable and noncommunicable diseases, emergencies, etc.). Alternate years.

261 Epidemiology (3 s.h.)
The fundamentals of distribution and determinants of health and disease in populations. Epidemiology is applied to formulation/assessment of health care and public health management decisions since it is the basic science of public health and it utilizes principles of the scientific method. Epidemiology includes applications to: morbidity and mortality, and disease prevention and wellness, as well as, disease transmission, diagnostic and screening tests, population studies and study design, and determination of causation. Includes evaluation of peer-reviewed journal articles for study design and proper conclusions and recognition of study limitations and potential biases. Cross listed as BIOL 261. Alternate years.

277 Colloquium (3 s.h.)
Special topics dealing with current issues facing health care administration.

287 Internship (3 s.h.) (C)
Off-campus experiential learning on an exploratory basis in health care facilities and health related organizations. Community service/benefit component required. Placement through the Health Care Administration Program. Forms must be submitted at registration. *Prerequisites: HCA 101 and sophomore HCA major status. Must be taken P/NC.

300 Health Care Research Methods (3 s.h.) (R)
This course introduces the fundamentals of research in health care, including institutional review boards; qualitative and quantitative methodologies; working with primary and secondary data; health services research; and evaluation studies. In addition, students will identify and develop a topic for the senior project in HCA 401 Senior Seminar, undergo a program approval process for the topic, prepare and submit IRB forms as appropriate, and complete drafts of several components of the senior project — the purpose, research question, research methodology, significance to the field of health care administration, and a literature review. HCA majors must receive a grade of “C” or better in HCA 300 to enter HCA 401. *Prerequisite: INT 222.

310 Health Care Strategic Management (3 s.h.) (O)
Course focuses on a variety of methods utilized in the organization of health care facilities and the delivery of services. The nature of planning is analyzed with particular attention paid to health policy, and strategic thinking and management, including internal and external environmental assessments. Health status of populations served will be addressed as it relates to population health management. Organizational behavior is analyzed in depth including leadership aspects. Different ways to organize and deliver care are analyzed such as Accountable Care Organizations and Patient Centered Medical Homes. Course focuses on managing change, as seen in health reform efforts, the influence of payment systems, leadership, and technological and scientific innovations. Case study methodology used. Strategic management tools of analysis are reviewed and used. Alternate years.

320 Economics and Finance of Health Care Systems (3 s.h.)
Investigation of the factors and forces at work in setting health care costs and impacts of those costs. Analysis of demand and supply concerns, reimbursement systems, insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, governmental regulations, legal issues, accessibility, budgeting processes and planning, and human resources concerns. Health care financial management tools and techniques are presented and used. Cross listed as ECON 320. *Prerequisites: ECON 101 and BUAD 208. Alternate years.

330 Issues in Health Care Finance (3 s.h.)
Analysis of the nature and operations of health insurance in the United States, including purposes of the various plans (HMO, PPO, IPA, CDHP,, etc.) and how they work. Offers provider, manager and consumer perspectives. Analysis of the integration of health care delivery systems and financial aspects, including funding principles and practices, systems of reimbursement (like capitation, fee-for-service, and value-based) , and the role of health information technology. Strategic initiatives reviewed such as population health management, growth of companies and services, etc. Examines public policy initiatives. *Prerequisite: HCA 320. Alternate years.

387 Internship (credit varies) (C)
Off-campus pre-professional experiential learning in health care facilities and related organizations. Projects are under the supervision of a qualified professional on-site as well as a health care administration faculty member. Community service/benefit component required. Placement through the Health Care Administration Program. Forms must be submitted at registration. *Prerequisites: junior or senior HCA major status. Student must have a 2.0 GPA in the HCA major, a cumulative GPA of 2.0, and a “C” in HCA 101 in order to enroll in this course. Must be taken P/NC.

401 Senior Seminar (3 s.h.) (M)
The capstone course for the HCA major. Synthesizes material from the entire curriculum. Focus on health care administrators as professionals. Classroom material is integrated with experiential learning through a major research project. This is the last course taken in the program by HCA majors. HCA majors must earn a grade of “C” or better in HCA 401 to satisfy the senior requirement for the HCA major. *Prerequisites: HCA 300 with a grade of “C” or better, HCA 387, and senior HCA major status.