Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA) Degree Programs

For those who want to take on leadership and management roles in hospitals, health systems and healthcare businesses, a master’s in healthcare administration (MHA) may be beneficial. MHA degree programs cover a range of business and healthcare topics such as strategic planning, leadership, healthcare economics, health informatics, healthcare quality and more. If you’re intrigued by the business and management aspects of healthcare, this degree may be of interest to you. 

This page will help prospective students learn about typical master’s in healthcare administration program curriculum, admission requirements, length, accreditation and specializations. Keep reading to discover more about this degree program.

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What Is a Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degree?

A master’s in healthcare administration (MHA) degree, often presented as a Master of Health Administration or Master of Healthcare Administration, is a graduate-level degree for individuals interested in advancing their healthcare administration and management skills. Most MHA programs place an emphasis on leadership, which may be beneficial to current healthcare managers as well as those looking to get started in the healthcare management field.

In addition to on-campus programs, there are also online MHA programs available.

MHA Curriculum

MHA curriculum focuses on management and leadership in the healthcare industry. Programs may begin with an introductory course about healthcare systems. Core MHA curriculum consists of classes about organizational leadership, economics, finance, marketing, ethics and strategic planning. Key healthcare management courses may be about population health, healthcare policy and healthcare finances. Elective courses could cover a number of topics such as healthcare informatics, data visualization, human resources in healthcare organizations or business negotiations. 

Some MHA programs may offer degree specialties or concentrations. Examples of possible MHA specialties include Population Health, Organizational and Leadership Development, Healthcare Informatics and Healthcare Innovation.

The final part of some MHA curriculums is a capstone course. This integrates the knowledge and skills students have gained through study and field placements.

MHA Admissions Requirements

MHA requirements for admission vary by school but generally include a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA (usually 3.0 or higher), resume or curriculum vitae (CV), personal statement, official transcripts, letters of recommendation and graduate school application. Most MHA degrees don’t require applicants to have a bachelor’s in a specific area of study, though an undergraduate degree in a healthcare-related area such as biology or nursing may be beneficial. Some programs may require a GRE score or another standardized test score. 

Master’s in healthcare administration programs may also require or highly recommend previous work experience in healthcare or leadership. Some requirements could also include prerequisite courses. Taking these may refresh you on topics learned during undergraduate study or introduce you to new topics that may be covered while pursuing an MHA degree. 

MHA Program Length

An MHA degree may take as little as 12 months to complete when studying full-time, though it’s typical for a full-time MHA student to complete the program in two years. Part-time programs may take closer to three to five years to complete. How long it takes to complete your MHA degree may ultimately depend on how many credits your program requires, when courses are offered and whether you attend full or part time.

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Variations of Master’s in Healthcare Administration Programs

Master’s in healthcare administration programs may be labeled under various degree names. Two common graduate degree names related to the field are Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA). Despite the slight naming difference, both are still considered an MHA degree. You may also find programs referred to as a Master of Science in Healthcare Management. These are also considered MHA programs.

In addition to master’s in healthcare administration degrees, there are other degrees that pertain to healthcare administration such as a master’s in health services administration or Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management.

While each of these degree options prepares you for healthcare administration, their curriculums are slightly different. For example, an MBA in Healthcare Management may focus on business competencies more than a master’s in healthcare administration does. It’s possible the MBA program is more focused on accounting, financing and economics while it has a few courses highlighting healthcare policy and ethics.

You may also pursue a dual degree where one degree focuses on health and the other on business. Some common dual degrees are a Master of Public Health-Master of Business Administration (MPH-MBA) and a Master of Healthcare Administration-Master of Business Administration (MHA-MBA).

Is an MHA Degree Worth It?

A master’s in healthcare administration helps prepare students for leadership and management positions that seek to improve the healthcare system. If you want to know if an MHA degree is worth it, consider what you’ll learn during the program. As an MHA student, you may learn how to:

  • Use data to improve the quality and decrease the cost of patient care.
  • Manage healthcare acquisitions and mergers.
  • Grow your leadership skills to improve business and clinical outcomes.
  • Respond to healthcare challenges in provider and non-provider environments.
  • Understand healthcare information management systems. 
  • Use finance and economics to inform organizational decision-making.

Another thing that may make an MHA degree worth it is the potential for career advancement opportunities. While no program can guarantee you’ll get a job promotion, the skills you gain during a master’s in healthcare administration program could benefit your career trajectory. According to industry data, health management is a growing career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of medical and health services managers is expected to increase 32% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average across all occupations. The BLS notes that those with a master’s degree in health administration will likely have the best medical and health services management job prospects. In May 2020, the annual median salary for health managers was $104,280

Taking into account the job growth and salary potential of health management careers may help you decide whether or not an MHA degree is worth it for you.

Accreditation for MHA Programs

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) is the main accrediting organization for healthcare management and administration programs throughout the country. It’s also the only organization recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, a national accrediting body, that can accredit programs offering a professional master’s degree in healthcare management. 

To become accredited, a school must meet certain quality criteria set by CAHME. For university programs, CAHME offers benchmarking, mentorship and training activities. Accredited programs ensure quality education for students and assure employers that graduates are prepared for a wide variety of management responsibilities. As you search for MHA programs, make sure they’re accredited by CAHME. 

Another organization you may come across is the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA). AUPHA is not an accrediting body, but it is a global network whose members include colleges, universities, individuals and organizations dedicated to  health administration education. The AUPHA website can be used to search for programs or connect with career resources. If you’re comparing MHA programs with health informatics or health information management programs, the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) is the relevant accrediting body.

FAQs About MHA Programs

Some common questions about master’s in healthcare administration programs and admission requirements are answered below. 

What are prerequisites for MHA programs?

Typical MHA program admissions requirements include having a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and completing prerequisite coursework. It’s also typical to submit a resume or CV, personal statement, official transcripts and letters of recommendation with your graduate school application. Some MHA programs may require or prefer that you have previous healthcare and/or management experience. Some programs may also require a GRE or another standardized test score. 

Should I get a master’s in healthcare administration?

That decision ultimately comes down to your personal interests and professional goals. If you’re particularly interested in healthcare management or want to prepare for a leadership position within your healthcare organization, an MHA degree may be worth it. To decide whether or not you should get a master’s in healthcare administration, examine MHA curriculums to see if the topics are interesting and offer professional value to you. 

Explore Master’s in Healthcare Administration Programs

Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of MHA programs. The program locations and formats are listed as well so you can decide which programs are best suited for you.

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School NameProgram NameLocationOn Campus or Online
Columbia UniversityMaster of Health AdministrationNew York, NYOn Campus
Des Moines UniversityMaster of Health Care AdministrationDes Moines, IAOnline
George Washington University
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Master of Health AdministrationWashington, DCOn Campus and Online
Georgia Southern UniversityMaster of Health AdministrationSavannah, GA On Campus
Governors State UniversityMaster of Health AdministrationUniversity Park, ILOn Campus
Indiana UniversityMaster of Health AdministrationIndianapolis, INOn Campus and Online
Johns Hopkins UniversityMaster of Health Administration 
Master of Science in Health Care Management
Baltimore, MDOn Campus and Online
Medical University of South CarolinaMaster in Health AdministrationCharleston, SCOn Campus and Hybrid
Pennsylvania State UniversityMaster of Health AdministrationUniversity Park, PAOn Campus and Online
Saint Louis UniversityMaster of Health AdministrationSt. Louis, MOOn Campus and Hybrid
Seton Hall UniversityMaster of Healthcare AdministrationSouth Orange, NJOn Campus and Hybrid
Suffolk UniversityMaster of Healthcare AdministrationBoston, MAOn Campus and Online
Temple UniversityMaster of Health AdministrationPhiladelphia, PAOn Campus and Online
Texas A&MMaster of Health AdministrationCollege Station, TX On Campus and Hybrid
Texas State UniversityMaster of Healthcare AdministrationSan Marcos, TXOn Campus and Hybrid
The Ohio State UniversityMaster of Health AdministrationColumbus, OHOn Campus
The University of Alabama at BirminghamMaster of Science in Health AdministrationBirmingham, ALOn Campus and Hybrid
Tulane UniversityMaster of Health AdministrationNew Orleans, LAOn Campus
University of ArkansasMaster of Health AdministrationLittle Rock, AROn Campus
University of Central FloridaMaster of Health Administration – Health Services Administration Track
Online Executive Master of Health Administration
Orlando, FLOn Campus and Online
University of FloridaMaster of Health AdministrationGainesville, FLOn Campus and Hybrid
University of Illinois at ChicagoMaster of Healthcare AdministrationChicago, ILOn Campus and Hybrid
University of IowaMaster of Health AdministrationIowa City, IAOn Campus
University of KentuckyMaster of Health AdministrationLexington, KYOn Campus
University of MarylandMaster of Health AdministrationCollege Park, MDOn Campus and Online
University of MemphisMaster of Health AdministrationMemphis, TNOn Campus
University of MiamiMaster of Health AdministrationCoral Gables, FLOn Campus
University of MinnesotaMaster of Healthcare AdministrationMinneapolis, MNOn Campus and Hybrid
University of MissouriMaster of Health AdministrationColumbia, MOOn Campus and Hybrid
University of North CarolinaMaster of Healthcare AdministrationChapel Hill, NCOn Campus and Hybrid
University of North Carolina at CharlotteMaster of Health AdministrationCharlotte, NCOn Campus
University of North FloridaMaster of Health AdministrationJacksonville, FLOn Campus
University of North TexasMaster of Health AdministrationFort Worth, TXOn Campus
University of OklahomaMaster of Health AdministrationOklahoma City, OKOn Campus
University of PittsburghMaster of Health AdministrationPittsburgh, PAOn Campus
University of ScrantonMaster of Health Administration
– Health Informatics- Global Health 
Scranton, PAOn Campus and Online
University of South CarolinaMaster of Health AdministrationColumbia, SCOn Campus
University of South FloridaMaster of Health AdministrationTampa, FLOn Campus
University of Southern CaliforniaMaster of Health AdministrationLos Angeles, CAOn Campus
University of the Incarnate WordMaster of Health AdministrationSan Antonio, TXOn Campus and Hybrid
University of WashingtonMaster of Health AdministrationSeattle, WAOn Campus
Virginia Commonwealth University Master of Health Administration
Master of Science in Health Administration
Richmond, VAOn Campus and Hybrid

Information last updated April 2021

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