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Program Requirements

The major in health care administration (reference number 559) requires a minimum of 73 semester hours and leads to a Bachelor of Science degree. A GPA of 2.5 is required to graduate. No minor or second major is required. The WKU Undergraduate Healthcare Administration major is credentialed by the Association of University Programs in Healthcare Administration (AUPHA). In addition, our Long-Term Care Administration Certificate is accredited by the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrators Board (NAB).

Please note the following as you plan your program of study:
A bachelor's degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours. Remaining hours may be earned through completing a Minor Program of Study, an Undergraduate Certificate, or additional electives or through a combination of these options.

WKU's Joint Undergraduate Masters Programs offer students an option to complete bachelor's and master's degrees in an accelerated timeframe. Students interested in a JUMP program should first meet with their advisor to determine what options are available. Find out more information about online JUMP programs.

Required courses for Health Care Administration:

  • ACCT 200: Introduction to Accounting – Financial (not currently offered online; course may be completed face-to-face at one of our campus locations (day and evening options are available) or course may be completed at another school and transferred in, with advisor approval)
  • AH 290: Medical Terminology – Course Description: A course designed to acquaint the student with the specialized language of medicine and to develop communication skills in areas where use of medical terms is necessary and appropriate.
  • ECON 202: Principles of MicroEconomics: Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. An introduction to basic descriptive, analytical and policy problems at the microeconomic level. The economic problems resulting from the disparity between human wants and the resources required to satisfy those wants will be studied with emphasis placed on the derivation and behavior of supply and demand functions and the role of prices in the allocation of scarce resources.
  • GERO 100: Introduction to the Aging Experience – Course Description: An introduction to a variety of topics involved in the study of aging. Considers such issues as worldwide changing demographics, increased diversity among the aged, intergenerational relationships, and biopsychosocial concerns of aging.
  • HCA 120: Health Literacy: Provides an introduction to health literacy from a consumer's perspective. Students will examine the current state of affairs in healthcare, identify medical challenges and learn how consumers can heighten awareness and better prepare to be their own best advocate.
  • HCA 247: Contemporary Healthcare Issues - Course Description: An introductory course addressing contemporary issues confronting the healthcare delivery system, patients, and medical professionals in American society.
  • HCA 340: Health Care Organization Management – Course Description: Examines the historic, social, political, and economic factors that shape the U.S. health care delivery system. Topics include the components of the healthcare delivery system such as medical office practices, hospitals, and long-term healthcare systems. Included are financial and non-financial resources found in the U.S., concepts of public health, quality of care and outcomes measurement, and strategies for improving access to care. The role of health care administration as critical to the system will be stressed. 
  • HCA 342: Human Resource Management for Healthcare Managers – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): HCA 340 or permission of instructor. This course explores human resource management issues experienced by supervisors within healthcare organizations. Course topics include core human resources management functions and skills (job analysis, recruitment, retention, selection, placement, training/education, performance evaluation, and compensation) related to clinical, administrative, and paraprofessional employees within the healthcare setting.
  • HCA 344: Health Systems Management – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): HCA 340 or permission of instructor. This course provides information and applications of general systems theory relative to organizations, operations, and decision analysis in health care delivery system components. The course will also explore the responsibilities, relationships, and trends of various departments in health facilities.
  • HCA 345: Long Term Care Administration – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): HCA 340 or permission of instructor. Introduce the special topics and operating environment facing long-term care managers today. Emphasis is on regulations, reimbursement, care delivery, and alternative delivery systems that deal with the elderly.
  • HCA 347: International Comparisons of Health Care System – Course Description: Cross country comparisons, including concepts of illness and healing within different cultural contexts; differing approaches to critical issues including access, quality of care, and cost containment; and methods of organization, financing and structuring of providers in various countries.
  • HCA 353: Quality and Patient Safety in Long-Term Care – Course Description: Application of quality management techniques with special emphasis on the types of populations, facilities, and expectations involved in long-term care service delivery programs.
  • HCA 355: Nursing Facility Administration – Course Description: HCA 345 or permission of instructor. Cover the domains of knowledge associate with the national licensure examination for nursing home administrators along with other necessary knowledge for the administration of a long-term care facility.         
  • HCA 383: Healthcare Biostatistics Lab – Course Description: Permission of instructor. This course covers statistical applications in both MS Excel and SPSS. Basic familiarity with personal computers is assumed.
  • HCA 401: Fundamentals of Health Care Financial Management – Prerequisite: HCA 340 or permission of instructor. Principles of financial management for health care organizations. Financial ratios applicable to health providers and insurance companies; issues in the healthcare revenue cycle and value chain; recognizing sources of risk in reimbursement and addressing risk in financial plans.
  • HCA 440: Health Economics – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): HCA 340, 344, 345 or 346, and ECON 202. Examines the characteristics of the markets for medical services with emphasis on medical costs, competition, health cost inflation, health insurance, medical service markets, regulation, and economic strategies for health care managers. This course includes financing and cost-control in foreign health systems.
  • HCA 441: Legal Aspects in Healthcare – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): HCA 340 or permission of instructor. This course will examine the relationship between the health care system in the United States and the legal system. The component parts of the legal system, including the legislative, administrative and judicial functions will be reviewed. Current trends in the area of health care law will be studied.
  • HCA 442: Principles and Methodology in Health Planning – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): HCA 340 and 344. This course will provide theoretical foundations and methodology used in health planning. It will include the roles of government, health professions and consumers in the process of planning for health services, facilities and manpower.
  • HCA 445: Health Care Finance – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): HCA 340, 344, 345 or 346, 401, 440, ACCT 200, 201. Methods of financing health care will include a review of health care specific financial statements and quantitative methods. Students are expected to develop an understanding of the financial basis of cost accounting and managerial decision-making. The course covers the importance of managed care and an overview of managed care contracting.
  • HCA 446: Health Care Informatics – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): HCA 340. Consideration of the vital role played by the exchange of organizational information in support of clinical care and management decision making in today's health care environment.
  • HCA 447: Information Systems Lab – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor. This course includes hands-on instruction in computer hardware, operating systems, and database architecture. Basic familiarity with personal computers is assumed.
  • HCA 448: Health Care Analysis and Policy – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): HCA 445 and senior standing. Unifies the knowledge gained in the required course work for health care administration majors and prepares them for the internship experience. Individual primary research projects are required.
  • HCA 449: Internship in Health Care Administration – Course Description: Prerequisite(s): Completion of all program course requirements, general education and electives, minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and permission of the internship supervisor. The internship provides the student administrative experience with a health care provider or health related organization. Students are expected to secure the internship site during the last academic semester and are responsible for all university and facility requirements during the internship. Participating agencies will have a qualified administrator to serve as preceptor. Interns are not permitted to take other courses during internship. (Grading: Pass/Fail)
  • MATH 183: Introductory Statistics – Prerequisite: Satisfactory score on Math ACT and MPE, or COMPASS or KYOTE; or DMA 096C with a grade of “C” or better. Introduction to elementary probability theory. The analysis of data by means of frequency distributions and the statistics which describe them. The binomial and normal probability distributions. Statistical inference. Emphasis is on applied real world problems. Not accepted for credit toward a mathematics major or minor
  • PH 381: Community Health - Study of international, national, state and local health problems, and the governmental, voluntary and private sectors of the health care system. Emphasis is placed upon preventative strategies appropriate for contemporary public health concerns.
  • PH 443: Health and Aging – Course Description: Examines the multiple factors affecting health of older adults. The course will discuss normal changes in aging and how to promote health of older adults. Students are required to have hands-on field experience.

In addition to meeting the general education requirements (Colonnade) of the university, students must also complete the following pre-admission requirements (see Admission Requirements section): ECON 202; *BIOL 131 and MATH109. These courses should be completed prior to full admission into the program.

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 Last Modified 2/12/20