The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health is introducing an online master of healthcare administration degree program in 2021. The degree will be the first of its type to be offered by a University of California campus.

The new graduate degree will launch as an online program to meet the growing need for health care management specialists by developing students’ skills in finance, strategic marketing, quantitative problem solving and analytics. The program extends access to UCLA’s high-quality education for students across the country. Graduates will be equipped to start or advance their careers and to make a difference in their own communities.

“The Master of Healthcare Administration program will provide a strong management foundation for professionals to excel in critical roles across the health care landscape, from hospitals to community clinics, and at biopharmaceutical companies, insurance firms and public agencies,” said Ron Brookmeyer, dean of the Fielding School. “We’re thrilled to add the MHA degree to our unique roster of opportunities for students who are dedicated to leading improvements in health care for both individual patients and communities as a whole.”

In the coming years California and the United States overall are expected to have greater demand for health care management specialists as the population expands and a substantial portion of the current workforce reaches retirement age. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 422,300 jobs for medical and health services managers in 2019, and there will be more than 555,000 such positions by 2029 — more growth over the next decade than any other occupational group.

“As the large baby boom population ages and as advances in health care information technology change the ways that providers use data, there will be an increased demand for experts in health care administration and leadership,” said UCLA professor Leah Vriesman, the head of executive education programs at the Fielding School’s Department of Health Policy and Management. “That means there are enormous opportunities to start or advance a rewarding career in a field that impacts people’s lives.”

The master of healthcare administration program will be ideal for professionals interested in management careers within health systems, including hospitals, clinics and nursing facilities; biopharmaceutical companies; large physician group management; insurance companies and health technology.

“We developed this program specifically for the challenges of health care administration roles, offering both conceptual knowledge and hands-on experience,” said Vriesman, who will lead the new program and continue as co-director of the UCLA Center for Healthcare Management. “In the online MHA, students will expand their professional networks and consult with health care organizations on real projects.”

The MHA degree program will limit enrollment to 40 students per course. Financial aid will be available; visit the UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships website for more information.

Applications will open in January 2021, and the first class is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2021.