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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2016-2017

Last Updated 2016-04-11
Health Sciences MS

Health Services Administration



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

What to Know About the Program

The program is one of approximately seventy programs in the world which are fully accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), formerly known as the Accrediting Commission on Education for Health Services Administration (ACEHSA).

The Master of Science in Health Sciences: Health Service Administration Appeals to a variety of students including recent college graduates as well as professionals in the health field who are interested in broadening their knowledge of the business aspect of the health industry and advancing their careers. Still other students enter the program as a first step towards a PhD in Public Affairs or a related field.

The curriculum provides a course of study that includes an analysis of issues and trends in the health care industry, the study of the structure and leadership of health care organizations, strategic planning, financial management, and organizational strategies for change, research methods and statistics, and information systems for solving problems in the health care industry. Most students do a required internship. Coursework emphasizes oral communications, written communications, working in teams, and consultation with local healthcare organizations.

Transfer Credit

At the discretion of the Health Services Administration Program Director transfer credit will be considered and may be permitted on a case-by-case basis. For transfer credit consideration all courses must be accompanied by the official catalog descriptions and official transcripts noting the course in question. A maximum of 9 credit hours can be transferred in upon approval. For the university's regulations concerning transfer of credits for master's programs, refer to the current Graduate Catalog.

Graduation Requirements

According to the graduate catalog students must maintain a grade point average of at least a 3.0 ("B") for graduation. Additionally, a student may earn no more than six credit hours of "C" to graduate. A student who earns a third grade of "C" will be disqualified from further Health Services Administration studies.  In any course repeated, a student must earn a grade of "B" or better. A student who earns a grade of "D" or below will be disqualified from further HSA graduate studies. The following is an excerpt from the catalog and can be found at http://www.graduate.ucf.edu/currentGradCatalog/.

There is a minimum of 51 semester hours required for graduation.  Students must file their “Intent to Graduate” through MyUCF  (https://my.ucf.edu/index.html) the semester before his or her graduating semester.  Students are also encouraged to check their Graduate Plan of Study (GPS) regularly through MyUCF (https://my.ucf.edu/index.html) to ensure they are on track for graduation from the program.

Incomplete Grades

Students who earn an incomplete grade in a course will have until the end of the semester immediately following the semester in which the incomplete grade was earned to make up the course requirements.  Should the course work not be completed in this time frame, the incomplete grade will be changed to an F and the student will be disqualified from further HSA graduate studies.

Grading Policy

The grading policies of the Health Services Administration Program are as follows:

90-100 = A

80-89 = B

70-79 = C

However, this policy may be changed at the discretion of each faculty member. Therefore, it is important to review the syllabi for each of your courses to ensure that you are familiar with the policy being used.

A grade point average of at least 3.0 ("B") is required for graduation. Additionally, a student may earn no more than two grades (six credit hours) of "C" to graduate. A student who earns a third grade of "C" will be disqualified from further Health Services Administration studies. In any course repeated, a student must earn a grade of "B" or better. A student who earns a grade of "D" or below will be disqualified from further Health Services Administration graduate studies.

Curriculum

The Health Services Administration track in the Health Sciences MS program requires a minimum of 51 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree that includes 42 credit hours of required courses and a capstone course, three credit hours of an elective, and three credit hours of an internship. Students must pass a comprehensive examination at the end of their studies as part of HSA 6925 Capstone in HSA. The degree program also requires 6 credit hours of prerequisite courses which may be taken after admission into the program for those who do not score above 80% on the online assessments for each prerequisite course. Knowledge of personal computers is required.

Most required courses alternate between Fall, Spring and Summer semesters and are not offered every term. The term each course is normally offered is indicated in the course listing below. Students must meet with their academic adviser to develop a plan of study. A schedule of the program's curriculum can be found at the program website above.

Curriculum

The Health Services Administration track in the Health Sciences MS program requires a minimum of 51 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. This includes 42 credit hours of required courses, 3 credit hours of the capstone course, 3 credit hours of electives, and 3 credit hours of an internship. The degree program also requires 6 credit hours of prerequisite courses, which may be taken after admission into the program. Knowledge of personal computers is also required.

Most required courses alternate between Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters and are not offered every term. The term each course is regularly offered is indicated in the course listing below. Students must meet with their academic adviser to develop a plan of study. A schedule of the program's curriculum can be found at the program website above.

The Master of Science in Health Services Administration program offers courses in both mixed-mode and face-to-face formats. This program cannot be completed online.  Students with professional healthcare experience who are interested in an entirely online program can pursue the Executive Health Services Administration track in the Health Sciences MS Program. 

Prerequisites

Students must complete prerequisite course work, including knowledge of finance and economics. Upon admission to the MS-HSA program, students will be required to complete 2 prerequisite assessment tests. Students that receive a passing score of a 80% or higher will be exempt from taking the prerequisite in the respective area. These prerequisite courses may be taken after admission to the program.

  • HSA 5177 Foundation of Health Care Finance  (3 credit hours)
  • HSA 5436 Foundation of Health Care Economics  (3 credit hours)

Required Courses—45  Credit Hours

Core—42 Credit Hours

  • HSA 5198 Health Care Decision Sciences and Knowledge Management (3 credit hours) - offered Spring
  • HSA 6119 Health Care Organization and Management I (3 credit hours) - offered Spring
  • HSA 6128 Health Care Services Management (3 credit hours) - offered Spring
  • HSA 6155 Health Economics and Policy (3 credit hours) - offered Spring
  • HSA 6195 Management and Health Information Systems (3 credit hours) - offered Spring
  • HSA 6342 Health Care Human Resources Management (3 credit hours) - offered Fall
  • HSA 6385 Health Care Quality Management (3 credit hours) - offered Summer
  • HSC 6636 Issues and Trends in the Health Professions (3 credit hours) - offered every semester
  • HSC 6911 Scientific Inquiry in the Health Professions (3 credit hours) - offered Fall
  • PHC 6000 Managerial Epidemiology (3 credit hours) - offered Summer
  • PHC 6146 Health Planning and Policy (3 credit hours) - offered Fall
  • PHC 6160 Health Care Finance I (3 credit hours) - offered Fall
  • PHC 6164 Health Care Finance II (3 credit hours) - offered Spring
  • PHC 6420 Case Studies in Health Law (3 credit hours) - offered Spring

Capstone—3 Credit Hours

A final written examination experience is required of all students in the program. This requirement will be met through successful completion of the capstone course (HSA 6925). To successfully pass this course, students must earn a grade of "A" or "B."  There is one exception: students who earn no other "C" grades while in the HSA program will be permitted to pass this course with a grade of "C."

  • HSA 6925 Capstone in HSA (3 credit hours) - offered every semester

Elective Courses—3 Credit Hours

Choose one course from the following list:

  • HSC 6656 Health Care Ethics (3 credit hours)
  • HSA 6112 International Health Care (3 credit hours)
  • HSA 6512 Health Care Leadership (3 credit hours)
  • HSA 6128 Health Care Services Management (3 credit hours) - offered Spring
  • HSA 6536 Health and Medical Terminology for Health Administrators (3 credit hours)
  • HSA 5509 Health Care Risk Management (3 credit hours)
  • PUP 6607 Politics of Health Care (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 5660 Health Disparities: Issues and Strategies (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 5237 Writing for the Business Professional (3 credit hours)
  • GEY 5648 Gerontology: An Interdisciplinary Approach (3 credit hours)
  • Or an alternative graduate-level course at the discretion of the Program Director

Internship—3 Credit Hours

As a requirement for the Master of Science in Health Services Administration, students must complete an internship within the administrative realm of an actual health care organization. Students will work directly with the Director of Internships to select an organization of interest.  Students are required to fulfill 240 contact hours within their selected organization over the course of the semester, or approximately 18-20 hours per week. 

Many health care organizations will require that students complete a background check, which may include, but is not be limited to, law enforcement finger printing, state driving records, credit reports, and criminal records check. The cost of the background check is the student’s responsibility. Background checks may take time to complete and, subsequently, could delay the student’s internship placement. It is advised that, in the semester prior to the internship, the student contact the organization directly to obtain further information on the organization’s background check requirements. Students who have potential background issues must contact the Director of Internships to schedule an interview in order to discuss the impact on field placement. The Health Services Administration Program cannot guarantee internship placement or subsequent degree completion for students who do not pass background checks

  • HSA 6946 Internship (3 credit hours) - offered every semester (Pre requisites: 24 credit hours completed in the program)

Students with 3 or more years of relevant health care management experience may qualify for a research-based internship option and are advised to contact the Director of Internships.

Independent Learning

Independent learning is demonstrated throughout the curriculum through the process of inquiry and dialogue. Tangible research projects, scholarly papers, internships, and the capstone experience also contribute to the self-development of our students.

Additional Program Requirements

Students must maintain a program of study and graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher and can only graduate with a graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Additionally, students may not earn more than six credit hours of “C” grades while in the program. Students who receive more than six credit hours of “C” will be dismissed from further study in the major. A student who earns a grade of “D” or below will be dismissed from further study in the HSA program. In any course repeated, a student must earn a grade of “B” or better.  The Health Services Administration program generally does not use plus/minus grading.


Timeline for Completion

MS-HSA Program Grid

The coursework required in the MSHSA Program addresses many significant areas relevant to the healthcare environment.  These areas have been identified as an overview of the health system, the internal and external environments, quantitative tools, and operational management.  The material learned in these areas is then further demonstrated and applied in a Capstone course and a required Internship.  Due to class size considerations, course overrides will not be available.  This scheduling grid is a suggested plan of course offerings.  Course offerings are contingent upon enrollment levels and faculty assignments.  

Preparatory Courses 

Recommended Preparatory Courses (if applicable) 

 

Prerequisites-6 credits

 

 

 

Course Number

Course Name

Sum

Fall

Spr

HSA 5177

Foundation of Healthcare Finance or equivalent

 

 

HSA 5436

Foundation of Healthcare Economics or equivalent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Core Required Courses-42 Credits

 

 

 

 

Course Number

Course Name

Prerequisites

Sum

Fall

Spr

HSA 5198

Healthcare Decision Sciences and Knowledge Management

 

 

 

HSA 6119

Health Care Organization and Management I

 

 

 

 

HSA 6128Health Care Services Management   

HSA 6195

 Management and Health Information Systems

 

 

 

HSA 6155

Health Economics and Policy

HSA 5436 (Economics)

 

 

HSA 6342

Health Care Human Resources Management

 

 

 

HSA 6385

Health Care Quality Management

 

 

 

HSC 6636

Issues and Trends in Health Professions

 

HSC 6911

Scientific Inquiry in the Health Professions

 

 

 

PHC 6000

Managerial Epidemiology

 

 

 

PHC 6146

Health Planning and Policy

 

 

 

PHC 6160

Health Care Finance I

HSA 5177 (Finance)

 

 

PHC 6164

Health Care Finance II

PHC 6160 (Finance I)

 

 

PHC 6420

Case Studies in Health Law

 

 

 

 

Internship-3 Credits

 

 

 

 

Course Number

Course Name

Prerequisites

Sum

Fall

Spr

HSA 6946

Internship

24 credit hours

 

Elective-3 Credits

 

 

 

 

Course Number

Course Name (Select one)

Prerequisites

Sum

Fall

Spr

HSC 6656

Health Care Ethics

 

 

 

HSA 6112

International Health Care

 

 

 

HSA 6512

Health Care Leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HSA 6536

Health and Medical Terminology for Health Adminstrators

 

 

 

HSA 5509

Health Care Risk Management I

Register w/ ce.ucf.edu

 HSA 5XXX

 Health Care Risk Management II

  Register w/ ce.ucf.edu 

  

PUP 6607

 Politics of Health Care

 

     Occasional

 

 

 ENC 5237

 Writing for the Business Professional

 

   

  

 

 

Capstone-3 Credits

 

 

 

 

Course Number

Course Name

Prerequisites

Sum

Fall

Spr

HSA 6925

Capstone

HSA 6128, HSA 6119, HSA 6342, PHC 6160, PHC 6164, HSA 5198, HSC 6911, HSA 6385

 

* Required prior to enrolling in Capstone 

Please visit UCF’s website (www.ucf.edu) where you will find a complete copy of the graduate catalog plus other pertinent information.  If you have further questions, please contact us at:
HSA Program e-mail address:  hsainfo@ucf.edu

Course Schedule

 Internship requirement:

Students are required to complete the Graduate HSA Internship Orientation one semester prior to the internship. This course is a 12-16 week, non-credit webcourse, designed to guide students through the internship application and selection process.



Examination Requirements

Comprehensive Exam Requirements

A final written examination experience is required of all students in the program. This requirement will be met through successful completion of the capstone course (HSA 6925). To successfully pass this course, students must earn a grade of "A" or "B." There is one exception: If a student has not yet earned a "C" in the program, the student may pass this course with a grade of "C."

Independent learning is demonstrated throughout the curriculum through the process of inquiry and dialogue. Tangible research projects, scholarly papers, internships, or our capstone experience also contribute to the self-development of our students. The research study and final report will focus on reviewing and analyzing contemporary research in a student’s particular specialization within the profession in order to help students acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to research-based best practices in that specialization area.

Graduate Research

For information regarding faculty research interests, research publications and research resources for students visit the Research webpage  on the Department of Health Management and Informatics website.

Financial Support

Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see Financing Grad School on the UCF Graduate Studies website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.

Key points about financial support:

  • If you are interested in financial assistance, you are strongly encouraged to apply for admission early. A complete application for admission, including all supporting documents, must be received by the priority date listed for your program under "Admissions."
  • You must be admitted to a graduate program before the university can consider awarding financial assistance to you.
  • If you want to be considered for loans and other need-based financial assistance, review the UCF Student Financial Assistance website at finaid.ucf.edu and complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, which is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Apply early and allow up to six weeks for the FAFSA form to be processed.
  • UCF Graduate Studies awards university graduate fellowships, with most decisions based on nominations from the colleges and programs. To be eligible for a fellowship, students must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time. University graduate fellowships are awarded based on academic merit and therefore are not affected by FAFSA determination of need.
  • Please note that select fellowships do require students to fill out a fellowship application (either a university fellowship application, an external fellowship application, or a college or school fellowship application). For university fellowship applications, see Financing Grad School.
  • For information on assistantships (including teaching, research, and general graduate assistantships) or tuition support, contact the graduate program director of your major.
  • The Department also offers a variety of in-house scholarship opportunities to students in the program.  Students will be made aware of these opportunities when they arise throughout the academic year.  The ACHE essay contest, McGaw scholarship, and HSA Alumni Scholarship are just a few of the opportunities available to students.

Graduate Student Associations

Graduate Health Network (GHN)

GHN is an organization that serves the needs of UCF students interested in a career in healthcare management.  For more information, contact the Faculty Advisor, Kourtney Nieves, PhD or visit the Department of Health Management and Informatics website.

Professional Development

Internships allow students to work within health care organizations in order to gain valuable, hands-on experience not readily available from classroom situations.

Fellowships are opportunities of scholarship that are offered to students that are currently in a graduate program and/or students that have recently graduated from a graduate level program [a post-graduate].

For information regarding internship and fellowship opportunities visit the Internship and Fellowship webage  on the Department of Health Management and Informatics website.

Job Search

Health care is the fastest-growing industry in the nation and the second largest industry in the state of Florida. The industry offers a variety of career opportunities in health services administration, which encompass much more than hospital care. Health services administrators deal with the business aspect of the health-care industry. They may work for organizations with health-care facilities or for organizations that do business with healthcare facilities. Prospective employers include research and development firms, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, computer software firms, physician practices, home health-care agencies, retirement centers, free-standing clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, durable medical equipment companies, public health centers and managed-care organizations. Health services administrators are often responsible for million-dollar budgets and hundreds of employees. The complexity of the job, challenge of leadership and motivation, and delivery of efficient and effective high-quality health care combine to make health services administration a rewarding and demanding career.

For more information including places of employment visit the Career Opportunities webpage on the Department of Health Management and Informatics website.

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