There are four Staff Corps in the Navy devoted to health-care delivery to Sailors, Marines, and their families and beneficiaries: Medical, Nurse, Dental, and Medical Service. Of these, the Medical Service Corps comes closest to being the linchpin of the entire system, particularly its Health Care Administration (HCA) Section. The specialties that fall under the HCA umbrella are absolutely vital to the operation of any health-care organization. Health Care Facilities Planning, Patient Administration, Medical Logistics Management, Operations Research, Financial Management, General Health Care Administration—these are just some of the essential functions performed by the officers in the Medical Service Corps.

Because of the size and scope of the Navy Medicine enterprise—63,000 personnel providing care for over a million eligible beneficiaries—applicants for the HCA component of the Medical Service Corps must meet extremely high academic standards to ensure they understand best practices in both business and financial operations as well as in health-care delivery.

Related Medical Service Corps Items
As a general rule, officer candidates seeking a career in the HCA section must have either an MBA or a Master’s Degree with a major in Health Care, Health Policy, Hospital Administration, or Health Service Administration (applicants with an MBA must have concentrated in Health Care Administration) and graduated with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Further, they must have earned their degrees in programs that are accredited by one of three organizations: the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, the Council on Education for Public Health, or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

One other type of Master’s Degree is accepted by the Medical Service Corps: a Master of Public Administration with a concentration on health-care administration earned in a program that is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

But just as with the age requirements, the Medical Service Corps can grant waivers to promising candidates whose academic credentials fall short in one of these areas. For example, applicants who have earned the appropriate Master’s Degree at a school not accredited by one of the aforementioned institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, particularly if they are exceptionally qualified (they must have work experience in a field related health care, however).

In fact, the applications of candidates with a Baccalaureate degree who majored in Health Care, Health Service Administration, Hospital Administration or Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care Administration may also be considered for admission into the Corps, but there are multiple caveats that must be met before they are accepted. Those interested in apply for the Medical Service Corps can find detailed information in the MSC Program Authorization 115 at the Navy Personnel Command Web site.

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