Online Programs

MS in Healthcare Management: Course Descriptions

Learning that Fuses Data, Technology and Delivery

The online MS in Healthcare Management is a fully online 36-credit degree program geared toward mid-career professionals in healthcare fields who seek a deeper knowledge of healthcare transformation. It integrates an evaluation sciences curriculum with education in healthcare reform and technology. Every course is experiential and project-oriented, providing you actionable skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis, leadership and technology that you can use today.

The online program consists of 12 courses, each eight weeks long, concluding with a capstone course that demonstrates your maturity and professionalism in strategic healthcare thinking informed by an understanding of data, technology, new models of care delivery and value-based payment.

A council of current, technology-focused healthcare leaders at top organizations such as Inova Health System, MedStar Institute for Innovation, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advised on the curriculum to ensure that it develops the current, relevant skillset needed today for professional success in the healthcare management field.


SPEX 600: Emerging Technology Trends
This course explores the current and potential impacts of new, emerging and rapidly evolving technologies on organizations and their operations across a range of industries and sectors. Topics include project design, data collection and data storage, as well as legal and privacy issues.

SPEX 610: Intercultural Communications for Professionals
Students learn to improve their intercultural competencies and communication skills, with a particular focus on aspects of intercultural communication highly relevant for technical experts and managers.

SPEX 620: Professional Ethics & Project Leadership
Explore professional ethics and leadership to maximize organizational and personal success across a wide range of disciplines and fields. Learn about ethical issues involved in working with clients and donors, professional correspondence, and managing monitoring and evaluation functions.

SPEX 630: Client Communications & Professional Consulting
This course provides the skills needed to collaborate with global partners and widespread teams and to effectively communicate with clients, internal and external customers, and members of the project team.

SPEX 660: Evaluation Sciences
This course explores quantitative and qualitative tools and methods for evaluating, presenting and communicating data (big and small). Learn how to summarize and communicate findings to stakeholders so that they make informed decisions that improve overall organizational quality and efficiency.

SPEX 670: Project Cost-Benefit Analysis
Designed specifically with the non-economist in mind, this course discusses recent developments in the theoretical and empirical cost-benefit analysis (CBA) literature, including welfare economics, the microeconomic foundations of CBA, CBA methodology, and current real-world practices of CBA.

HCS 600: Standards & Systems in U.S. Healthcare
This course evaluates the healthcare delivery system in the U.S. and the impact initiatives have on healthcare quality, cost and access. Students will become familiar with the costs involved, tiered services, preventative healthcare, trends in healthcare utilization, and the role of major providers and payers.

HCS 610: Principles of Health Information Technology & Innovation
This course introduces students to the principles and strategies used to acquire and use information technology to improve healthcare. Students will become familiar with current industry trends in healthcare IT and apply theories of innovation and quality improvement to design successful processes and strategies that will positively impact the quality of patient care.

HCS 620: Strategic Partnerships in Healthcare Transformation
This course surveys the evolution of healthcare organizations and insurance companies in a rapidly changing marketplace, including how strategic partnerships, mergers, and evolving business portfolios are allowing various types of healthcare providers to meet emerging market demands and better serve consumers. It overviews market trends in acute, post-acute, long-term, and ambulatory care services, and addresses how new changes in payments and the role of consumers are creating new strategic partnerships.

HCS 630: Managing Information Risk in Healthcare
This course will cover health information management as it pertains to patient safety and technical and organizational risks, including authoring, data security, securities breaches and plans, and data confidentiality. Students will be introduced to methods that ensure the appropriate use of data to reduce medical errors, and explore ways to manage privacy and security risks.

HCS 640: Evaluating New Models of Care Delivery & Payment
An overview of emerging models of care delivery and payment and their impacts on healthcare providers and patients, including healthcare cost, quality, and outcomes. Students will learn how to assess and best apply various types of care and payment models in a variety of circumstances based on prior experience with clinical integration, use of enabling technologies, and managing risk, in order to maximize a successful transition to value-based healthcare.

HCS 700: Healthcare Strategic Sciences Capstone
The final capstone is a culminating project that utilizes a set of skills that demonstrate maturity and professionalism in terms of strategic thinking in healthcare informed by an understanding of data, technology, new models of care delivery, and value-based payment.

To learn more about American University’s online MS in Healthcare Management program, call 855.725.7614 to speak with an admissions representative or request more information.