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Health Care Administration

The right choice for you

Health care administration (HCAD) is the ideal management career for those who also want to make a positive difference in the lives of others. HCAD administrators plan, direct, coordinate and supervise the delivery of health care services at organizations such as assisted living facilities, group homes, outpatient clinics and hospices. They must balance the unique health care needs of the people they serve with dynamic changes in their industry, such as evolving integrated health care delivery systems, technological innovations and complex legal and regulatory environments.

Graduates of the UW-Eau Claire program are prepared for a variety of managerial positions in the health care field, such as nursing home administrator, human resources director, marketing manager, pharmaceutical salesperson, HMO underwriter, and health care consultant. Our program also provides an excellent preparation for those going on to graduate school and positions in the acute care sector (hospitals).

Why major in HCAD?

The U.S. health care system is faced with the challenge of expanding health care services to serve an aging population. As the Baby Boomers age, the senior population, our largest consumers of health care services, is growing in number. They are the health and aging services recipients of the future, but they are already influencing today's changes.

Services once provided in the hospital setting are now being provided in alternative settings such as outpatient clinics, rehabilitate care facilities, home care and hospices. At the same time, care which was once provided exclusively in nursing homes is being delivered in new settings including assisted living facilities, group homes, adult day-care centers and home care.

This expansion of services from hospitals through a range of intermediate alternatives to home care provides new and expanding opportunities for qualified health care administrators with baccalaureate education, particularly in the post-acute care sector of the continuum. The demand for health care administrators is predicted to grow faster than other careers in coming decades.

Comprehensive Health Care Administration Major

76 credits/no minor required

The Health Care Administration program prepares students to make a positive difference in the lives of others by joining efficient management practices with dedication to service. The program prepares students for success through a curriculum that includes a strong liberal education core and a broad background of major-specific coursework in business and health care administration. The program also helps students develop communication, teamwork, and problem solving skills, which are highly valued by employers.

The UW-Eau Claire HCAD program is accredited by the National Board of Examiners for Long Term Care Administrators. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Nursing Home Administrators licensure exam in Wisconsin, Minnesota and many other states.

Health Care Administration major

Graduates of the Health Care Administration program will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure...

  • that resident rights, quality of care, and quality of life can be maximized by assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating resident services.
  • they can facilitate a comprehensive human resources program that recognizes the need for effective engaged employees to successfully deliver resident centered care.
  • they can facilitate a comprehensive fiscal management program to achieve the organization’s financial performance objectives and to provide ongoing resident services.
  • they are providing an environment and atmosphere that promotes, protects, and provides resident centered care and quality of life.
  • innovation and strategic direction in alignment with organizational mission, vision, values, and purpose; effectively managing resources to ensure maximum performance and impact; integrating skills needed for daily management of the facility; implementing systems and nurturing relationships to ensure success in a complex and dynamic industry.

Applying to the health care administration program

All students interested in majoring in health care administration must apply for admission to the program. The health care administration program accepts applications for a limited period of time each semester. Transfer students may apply for admission to the HCAD program when they apply to UW-Eau Claire.

When do I apply? The HCAD program accepts applications for admission to the program twice each year. Watch your email and the College of Business website for application deadlines.

Priority Admissions (October) 

  • Students must have at least 28 credits completed (typically fall semester of sophomore year)
  • Minimum GPA of 3.25 (resident and overall)
  • HCAD 101 has been taken or is in-progress this semester

Standard Admissions (March)

  • Students must have at least 42 credits completed (typically spring semester of sophomore year)
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75

*The spring admission process 15 months before the student hopes to begin practicum is the LAST HCAD ADMISSION process for the student to be accepted to the following year’s cohort.

**Conditional Admission may be considered for those below the minimum GPA on a space-available basis. 

Rolling Admission. Between March and September, IF space allows, we can consider, on an individual basis, any student, transfer student or second degree student who demonstrates they are a good candidate and can complete all required coursework in the upcoming year, prior to going out on practicum the following June. 

  • Students should submit a completed application to Kylie Holmstadt in Schneider 400C.
  • HCAD faculty will review and make a decision on a rolling basis.
  • Depending on timing, the process for practicum placement will vary.

If you're unsure about when you should apply this semester, please see your ARCC advisor in Old Library 2100. 

HCAD application links and downloads. Click on each item below to download the document. 

Important Dates

Priority Applications for the HCAD program are due Friday, October 11, 2019.

Standard Applications for the HCAD program are due Friday, March 6, 2020.

Please see your ARCC advisor for assistance in completing your application and to have it reviewed and signed by them prior to submitting.  If you have general questions about the HCAD program or major, please speak with your HCAD faculty mentor.

Completed applications should be submitted to Kylie Richter in Schneider 400C by 4 pm on the application due date. 

Practicum Experience

The Health Care Administration practicum is an integral part of your education, allowing you to apply your skills and classroom knowledge as part of a leadership team. It consists of 50 weeks at an affiliated health care facility. Upon completion of the practicum, you will be ready to begin performing as a leader and manager in health care.

The practicum consists of three components:

1. Fundamental skills development. You will gain a basic understanding of the day-to-day activities occurring in a health and aging services organization by observing and/or assisting employees in each department or functional equivalent.

2. Broader knowledge development. You will complete core units in resident service management, quality management systems, human resources management, information use and systems, financial management, and marketing and public relations.

3. Capstone leadership projects. You will gain management and leadership experience by taking a lead role on significant projects and/or tasks which you will develop and complete during your practicum. 

While in the practicum, you will receive UW-Eau Claire credit for the courses taken at the affiliated institution and pay full tuition and fees to the university. Practicum students receive a stipend to help defray living costs. 

Practicum Placement

You will apply for admission to a practicum cohort the year before beginning the experience. Cohorts begin each May.

Positions for practicum experience are highly competitive and the HCAD program doesn't guarantee placement in a practicum. Since academic achievement plays a part in selection of students for a practicum, minimum resident and total GPAs of 2.75 are required. Students unable to secure placement in a practicum should meet with their adviser as soon as possible to discuss future options.


American College of Health Care Administrators
Founded in 1962, ACHCA is a non-profit professional membership association which provides superior educational programming, professional certification, and career development opportunities for its members. Our chapter at UW-Eau Claire is a student chapter focused on volunteering and providing students with the opportunities to succeed in the professional world of healthcare.

Interested in joining?  Visit their website and Facebook page for more information.


administrator helping elderly

Thinking Health Care Administration? Learn more about CHAASE.

Immerse yourself in applied research and hands-on activities, and work side-by-side with health and aging services providers and professional associations across the country through the Center for Health Administration & Aging Services (CHAASE).

Learn More
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