Online Health Care Administration Degree Courses

Explore many facets of the rapidly expanding health care industry in the Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Administration. Your curriculum will encompass subjects like managing health care workers, community and public health, and health issues' social implications.

Below you will find the courses for this program beginning with the introductory courses. You have a choice in this program, either to take a standard program composed of major course requirements, or you may choose to add a specialization. Please note that you must complete the major course requirements' capstone course before you can begin any specialization. Each specialization consists of four (4) courses, each worth three (3) credits.

Introductory Course

All Bachelor’s program students are required to successfully complete EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education as their first course. Students with zero (0) traditional college-level transferable credits are also required to successfully complete the Student Success Orientation prior to enrolling in credit-bearing coursework. Following successful completion of orientation, students are required to successfully complete EXP 105.

Student Success Orientation
The orientation is designed to provide students with a complete overview of the Ashford University experience, prepare them for success in their courses, and help them to self-evaluate their readiness to succeed in an online classroom setting. Students will be instructed on Ashford University policies and the learning resources that are available to them through interactive videos and assessments. Students enrolled in orientation must successfully complete all assigned activities.

EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education
This course is designed to help adult learners beginning their university studies to achieve academic success. Students will explore learning theories, communication strategies, and personal management skills. Adult learners will develop strategies for achieving success in school and work. Students will also be introduced to the University's institutional outcomes and learning resources. A minimum grade of C- is required to successfully complete the course.

Major Course Requirements

(36 credits, all courses are 3 credits. Courses are listed in the recommended sequence.)

HCA 205 Introduction to Health Care
This is an introductory course that explores the historical evolution of health care in the United States, its financing sources, technology, delivery of care and the stakeholders who comprise the health care system. The structure of the health care system, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, will be discussed along with the various components that influence health care such as legal, ethical, regulatory, and fiscal forces. Students will also explore other health care systems and examine the potential future of health care in the United States.

SOC 313 Social Implications of Medical Issues
An introductory course that provides learners with a basic foundation of human biology applicable to human service health and human services providers. The course explores basic human biology and its relationship to selected socio-cultural domains that are grounded in Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model of Human Development.

HCA 340 Managing in Health and Human Services: An Interdisciplinary Approach
An upper-level management course providing basic management theory for the beginning manager. Management challenges, human service environments, management theories, organizational design, program planning and implementing supervisory relations, managing finances program evaluation, leadership theories and teams in organizations are explored.

HCA 322 Health Care Ethics and Medical Law
Ethics and Medical Law is a course presenting the ethical and legal implications of health care administration. The unique legal aspects encountered in the provision of health services are analyzed. Concepts of access, affordability, health care interventions and human rights are interfaced with legal and ethical issues challenging the provision of health care services. Concepts of risk management, continuous quality assurance, guardianship, Institutional Review Boards, and needs of special and diverse populations provide discussion points in the course. The overlapping domains of ethics and medical law are examined. Case studies and discussion of ethical and legal precedent setting decisions are used to link theory with reality.

BUS 303 Human Resources Management
An introduction to the field of human resources management. Topics to be discussed include communication, motivation, and management of personnel. The course will include a review of current standards and practices as well as the legal environment as it pertains to the human resources field.

HCA 375 Continuous Quality Monitoring and Accreditation
This Course provides a foundational exploration of the concepts of health care accreditation and continuous quality monitoring. The concept of quality assurance is explored from a perspective of selected accreditation, regulatory, licensing and certification programs. The interface of accreditation and reimbursement is explored. Health information systems are used in the analysis of health care accreditation, government mandates, and regulatory activities as they impact consumer outcomes. Legal implications of quality monitoring are analyzed. Social, political, professional and organizational influences upon health services delivery are explored from a perspective of demand, special populations, financing and service delivery.

ACC 281 Accounting Concepts for Healthcare Professionals
This course is designed as an applied managerial and financial accounting course designed to provide healthcare decision-makers with fundamental concepts of healthcare accounting practices and procedures.

HCA 312 Health Care Finance
This course provides an introduction to health care’s fundamental financing concepts. The interaction of funding resources among government agencies and the private sector in the funding of health services is explored. Political and social policies contributing to the demand for health services are discussed. Cost control strategies such as managed care, fee for service and specified contractual arrangements provide the foundation for analyzing health care financing. Health services financing and disbursement systems are presented across the domains of for-profit, non-profit, public, grant funding and managed care. Focused attention is given to discussion of government financing of health services including, Medicare, Medicaid, and specific entities such as veterans administration and other categorical funding.

HCA 430 Special Populations
Special Populations is a topics course exploring health care services for special populations. The populations include: mental health, substance addiction, rehabilitation, geriatrics and selected specialty services. The course is problem focused emphasizing access, cost-quality issues and financing considerations. Health information data is utilized as resources for the analysis of demand, quality and cost-efficiency. Historical perspectives are presented as shaping factors influencing the present models of health services for special populations. Government mandates, categorical services, legal, ethical, and reimbursement issues are presented as driving forces in the provision of special population health services. Multidisciplinary models of special population health service models are discussed. Learners will develop a model program for a self-selected special population.

HCA 415 Community and Public Health
Community and public health is an introductory course exploring community and public health services in the well-being of a population. Regulatory mandates promoting public and community health are explored. The interface among community and public health services and the overall health care industry is explored. Legal and ethical imperatives emergent in public health services are discussed. Financing options are explored recognizing the role of categorical fiscal resources. Health care promotion and prevention strategies are explored in concert with the role of health care institutions and the public sector. Health information data is utilized in the planning of a community and/or public health project.

HCA 421 Health Care Planning and Evaluation
Health Care Planning and Evaluation utilizes health care research data, research protocols, and information systems in the planning, implementation and evaluation of health care programs meeting the health care needs of a diverse population. Historical perspectives are discussed in tandem with current health programs and future challenges. The impact of public entities in controlling the demand aspects of health services is discussed in light of regulatory legislation. Planning strategies to meet the needs of a diverse population are explored from both the public and private sector. Discussion of the efficacy and efficiencies of past and current programs provide opportunities for analysis of past and on-going service demand and client outcomes. Development of a health care model applying the concepts of reimbursement, supply and demand, contractual adjustments and patient mix in to the planning and evaluation process.

HCA 459 Senior Project
The Senior Project provides the learner a format for the integration health care concepts, exploring a self-selected health care topic. The Senior Project may be: 1) problem focused in which the learner identifies a health care problem or issue and conducts research on the topic culminating in a proposed solution: 2) or an observational research project on a self-selected health care topic.


You may also choose to delve deeper into other areas of health care administration when you add a specialization to your degree program. A specialization consists of four (4) courses, each worth three (3) credits each. These courses are taught online as part of your degree program. Choose from the following specializations:


BUS 362 Introduction to Entrepreneurship
This course introduces students to the opportunities and challenges associated with the creation and management of entrepreneurial organizations. The course focuses on the issues associated with starting and managing a new venture including recognizing opportunity, basic business planning, essential human resources management, introductory marketing, legal issues, location selection, funding, buying a business as well as discussing various exit strategies.

BUS 365 Creativity and Innovation
This course focuses on creativity and innovation as a process in organizations. The course also examines how individuals can be innovative in organizations and the challenge of building innovative organizations.

BUS 368 Venture Capital and Banking
This course examines financing the start-up of a new venture, from bootstrapping with personal resources or bank debt to equity investment by angel investors or venture capitalists. The course also covers the four main aspects of venture capital: valuation, deal structuring, governance, and harvesting.

BUS 433 New Business Strategy
This course is intended to provide prospective entrepreneurs with information and tools for evaluating opportunities for starting a new firm—how to choose markets for entry, when to enter, and what resources and capabilities it will take to enter and provide a platform for future growth.


BUS 215 Personal Financial Management
This course provides an introduction to the field of personal financial management and planning, focusing on the tools individuals and families employ to manage their financial affairs.

ECO 316 Financial Institutions & Markets
A study of money and capital markets concentrating on interest rate determination, the major public and private financial institutions in the U.S. economy, and the major types of financial instruments including bonds, equities, and derivative instruments.

BUS 401 Principles of Finance
Basic corporate finance is presented with the emphasis on risk and return, bond and equity markets, valuation of bonds and equities, present value analysis, internal rate of return analysis, and project analysis using the weighted average cost of capital.

BUS 405 Principles of Investments
The study and analysis of securities and other forms of investments. Emphasis is on investment principles from the manager's point of view.

Health Care Informatics Systems

HIM 301 Introduction to Health Informatics
This foundational course details the history and factors driving the emergence of health informatics. In addition to emphasizing the concepts, terminologies and scope of health informatics, the course delves into health information exchanges, data standards, health informatics ethics, online resources and E-research. The course includes and overview of basic database architecture, design and file structure and data warehousing and data mining in healthcare.

HCA 417 Electronic Health Records
This course begins with an exploration of the evolution of electronic health records (EHRs) and then delves into the current forces driving the adoption of electronic health records. The components of EHR's are reviewed and the core functionalities of the EHR are examined. Major consideration is given to HIPAA and confidentiality regulatory requirements in terms of EHR management. In addition, the different methods of data capture and recording of data are reviewed, as well as a comparison of contents for an inpatient versus an outpatient EHR.

HIM 410 Health Informatics – A Systems Perspective
This course focuses on the behind the scenes components of exchange, standards and interoperability of information in healthcare. The course will evaluate informatics-based support resources to include evidence based practice, clinical decision support and transport protocols.

HIM 435 Analyzing Healthcare Data
This course is a synthesis of the major ideas, perspectives, and concepts gained from the study of health informatics. Students will learn about the construction and utilization of health care data sets; the use of computerized statistical packages in health care; and the role of health informatics in financial and performance improvement goals. The student will apply common performance improvement models and tools to develop data-driven organizational reports.

Human Resources Management

BUS 370 Organizational Development
The course overviews how, why, and when to integrate the behavioral sciences with human resources management principles to increase individual and organizational effectiveness. Students will also be introduced to many types of interpersonal, intra-group, inter-group, and organizational interventions that are used to effect comprehensive and lasting changes.

BUS 372 Employee and Labor Relations
The course provides students with both the common and complex issues related to human behavior in the workplace as it relates to employee relations, and an examination of relationships among unions, workers, management, laws and government regulation.

BUS 375 Employee Training
This course provides essential managerial-level comprehension of training theory and its practical applications in the business and management environment. Students learn the functions and duties of training: trainer/developer, the identification and assessment of training needs, program design and development, selection of delivery methods and means of instruction, the implementation of training programs, and evaluation.

BUS 434 Compensation and Benefits Management
This course reviews the fundamentals of wage and salary programs, including conducting salary surveys, defining compensable factors, adjusting pay structures, evaluating pay differentials, and relating pay to performance. Benefit programs and related employee incentive and service programs are also covered.

Information Systems

INF 231 Programming Concepts
An introduction to the methodology of programming and the construction of graphical user interfaces. Students are introduced to programming through the use of current programming languages. Emphasis is on structured design, coding, graphical user interfaces, event-driven programming, and documentation. A variety of programming problems develop skills in algorithm design, file processing data structures, and event handling.

INF 340 Business Systems Analysis
This course is a study of the business systems analysis and development processes for information systems in organizations. The course is focused on information concepts and methodologies associated with the development of business information systems, and their effective application in solving business problems. Students examine the major issues involved in managing information technology within the contemporary business environment and the relationship between organizational structures and information technology.

INF 322 Database Management Systems
This course provides an introduction to the concepts of database processing. An understanding of the physical and logical organization of data and the meaningful representation of data relationships are evaluated. Operational requirements of database management systems are also discussed.

INF 325 Telecommunications & Networking Concepts
This course introduces the fundamental concepts of computer networks and telecommunications in modern business contexts. The topics include the infrastructures, standards, and protocols in computer networks and business telecommunications.

International Management

ECO 320 International Economics
This course will focus on the environment of firms with particular emphasis on economic variables such as GNP, inflation, interest rates, exchange rates and international trade.

BUS 343 International Marketing
Examination of cultural, economic, and political factors that affect marketing of goods and services worldwide. Emphasis is on adapting the marketing strategies of domestic marketers to international operations and the institutional structure that exists in international markets. Marketing strategies of firms' operations within these markets are also examined.

BUS 357 International Business
Students examine functional areas of business from an international perspective. The importance of differing cultural and political assumptions in business is also addressed.

BUS 450 International Finance
An examination of the international aspects of corporate finance and investing, the course covers balance of payments, foreign exchange with emphasis on exchange rate determination, exchange risk, hedging, and interest arbitrage, international money and capital markets, international financing, and international banking.

Long-Term Care Management

SOC 304 Social Gerontology
This course focuses on social stereotypes and prejudice against the aged, discrimination, friends and family, care giving, living environments, demography, senior political power, legislation, elder abuse, and death and dying.

PSY 317 Cognitive Functioning in the Elderly
This course explores cognitive functioning in later life including biological, socioeconomic, environmental, cognitive adaptation, and life history factors influencing cognitive function as an individual progresses along a developmental continuum. The major psychological constructs of self concept, socialization, and thinking processes are presented. Etiology, interventions, education, and support systems are discussed.

HCA 442 Contemporary Issues in Aging
This course presents significant major interdisciplinary aging issues and controversies drawn from biological sciences, medicine, nursing, psychology, sociology, gerontology, public policy, and social work. With an emphasis on critical thinking, divergent views and perspectives of aging phenomenology are explored through the reading and research of selected articles and reports covering current topical content.

HCA 444 Long-Term Care: The Consumer Perspective
This course examines the role and impact consumers have in long-term care decision making and provision of care. Factors and challenges influencing consumer choices are explored within the context of long-term care improvement in both institutional and community settings. Current topical issues such as customer/provider relationships and quality of care are overviewed in this course.

Project Management

INF 342 Project Quality Assurance
This course will address topics as defining, planning, executing and closing projects. We will introduce an overall framework for managing projects, describe how to set up a project, and provide a forum for sharing practical techniques for managing projects. Several topics are discussed, including how to build a project plan, risk management, issue management, project marketing, communications, quality assurance, project measurements and the psychology of project management.

INF 336 Project Procurement Management
Designed to develop the basic knowledge base of project managers and project procurement managers, this course emphasizes partnering between buyers and sellers to create a single culture with one set of goals and objectives. Students will discover the key areas in procuring outside services and products – from the initial decision to buy through final contract closeout. They will recognize what must be done for success in the six key project procurement management processes: procurement planning, solicitation planning, solicitation, source selection, contract administration, and contract closeout. They will also formulate the make-or-buy decision, prepare an effective procurement management plan to guide the team, and use outsourcing for maximum benefit. Lessons and best practices from procurement theory and experience are also presented.

INF 337 Integrated Cost and Schedule Control
Effective cost and schedule management are cornerstone activities of each project. Students will determine how best to plan the execution of a project scope, to consider stakeholder budget and schedule constraints, to use different methodologies, and to establish the performance measurement baseline. They will also discover keys to identify potential cost and schedule overruns and master the tools and techniques to compare actual work accomplished against established plans, as well as work accomplished against actual expenditures. By identifying early warning indicators, students will gain greater insight into potential risk areas and take the necessary corrective action to keep the project in control.

INF 410 Project Management
This course provides the foundational principles and techniques to plan, execute, and manage complex projects. Topics include workflow analysis, quality control, and performance evaluation.

Public Administration

PPA 301 Principles of Public Administration
An introductory examination of the characteristics of the public organization and its impact on society including analysis of the principles of public administration, personnel issues, budgetary activities, legal dynamics, as well as historical development of the field are included.

PPA 303 Finance for Public Administrators
This course addresses the principles of state and local financing of government, sources of public revenue, objects of public expenditures, problems of fiscal administration, emerging policy issues involving land use and taxation, spending and budgeting, intergovernmental cooperation, debt financing, financing for economic development, and privatization. Prerequisite: ECO 203.

PPA 305 Budgeting for Public Administrators
This is an introductory course in government budgeting dealing with public revenue, expenditure policies, and politics of the budgetary process while addressing current issues and challenges in this field.

PPA 401 Urban Management
This course is an introduction to formal and informal elements of urban management systems addressing the exploration of alternative approaches to dealing with problems arising from rapid urban growth.

If this program fits your personal and professional goals, contact Ashford University at 866.711.1700 to learn more, or request additional information.