MHA – Masters in Healthcare Administration Degree

The Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree is becoming much more prevalent throughout the United States. Many current nurses with their Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or other healthcare professionals with their undergraduate degree, decide to get their MHA degree to fast-track their career to become a Healthcare Administrator. The Healthcare Administrator role has many opportunities in management and running hospitals or different healthcare businesses. 

This page will help prospective MHA students learn about admission requirements, the MHA curriculum, and potential career opportunities in the field. If on-campus classes are difficult for you to make, there are 8 CAHME accredited MHA programs online available for you to consider.

Consider featured accredited online MHA programs seeking applicants for a Master’s of Health Administration:

The Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University’s online Master of Health Administration is for aspiring leaders with at least three years full time experience. With the program’s interactive design, students learn from each other’s experience as much as they learn from faculty. Click for Admissions Information.

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What is a Masters in Healthcare Administration Degree?

A Masters in Healthcare Administration is a graduate level degree for professionals & prospective students who are interested in seeking to further their skills in healthcare administration and management. This MHA degree enhances knowledge of health policy, health economics, management, quality improvement, leadership, finance, etc. This is an option for those getting started or already working in healthcare administration who currently have at a minimum, a BA or BS in a related field.

MHA Curriculum

The Curriculum and classes for an MHA program are focused on management and leadership in the healthcare industry. An introductory class into healthcare systems will usually start the course work. The core curriculum will consist of classes teaching organizational leadership, economics, finance, marketing, ethics, and strategic planning. These classes will build off of and incorporate previous work experience. The final part of most MHA programs is a capstone class. This will integrate knowledge and skills gained through study and work to showcase the competency of the student.

Specialties or concentrations within the masters in healthcare administration program may be offered by the university as well. Each of these will have additional classes required for graduation. These classes help to further specialize the individual. Examples of these specialties are Principles of Health Informatics and Comparative Healthcare systems.

Admission Requirements of MHA Program

Admission Requirements for the MHA or similar degrees consist of a baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA (usually 3.0 or better), a resume / CV, personal statement or letter of application, official transcripts and letters of recommendation. Some programs will require a GRE score or another standardized test score. 

Various schools have masters in healthcare administration requirements that include (or highly recommend) some amount of previous work experience. Depending on the student and the program, some will require or strongly recommend pre-requisite courses as well. These will refresh individuals on past topics learned or teach specific concepts that may be new since the individual received a bachelor’s degree. 

Program Length

An MHA degree can take as little as 18 months to complete when taken full-time. For most students, it may take a couple of years to gain the degree for a few different reasons, such as taking classes part-time, courses not being offered every semester, and the selected program chosen may have a higher number of credits needed to graduate.

Variations of Masters in Healthcare Administration Programs

Health administration programs are gaining popularity and can be labeled under various degree types. The most common type of master’s degree relating to the field is the Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA); however, this degree may have different name variations based on the university. Some universities include management within the degree name or might only contain the word “health” and not “healthcare,” but still considered an MHA. 

In addition to Masters in Healthcare Administration degree, there are a few other degrees that pertain to healthcare administration – Masters in Health Services Administration, Master of Business Administration specializing in Healthcare Management, and Master of Science in Management specializing in Healthcare Administration.

Each of these degree options prepare an individual for healthcare administration in slightly different ways with minor differences in focus of material. For example, compared MHA with MBA in Healthcare Management, the latter will focus on the business competencies, such as corporate finance, operation management, corporate law, etc., with a few courses highlighting healthcare system administration, health economics, and other courses applicable to administration and management in the healthcare sector.

There is also the option of obtaining dual degrees where one degree focuses on health and the other on business. The more common of the dual degrees are Masters of Public Health-Masters of Business Administration (MPH-MBA) and Masters in Healthcare Administration-Masters of Business Administration (MHA-MBA).

Is MHA Degree Worth It?

A masters in healthcare administration provides great opportunities for those looking to grow into leadership positions and those looking to learn how to better structure the healthcare system. Continue reading to discover the benefits of MHA degrees.

Most undergraduate degree holders, or professionals currently working in the healthcare field, who are looking into MHA programs are often ready to expand their knowledge and develop into a professional ready to take on a leadership role. Those prospective students are interested in learning the skills to:

  • Use statistical, quantitative, and economic analyses to inform decisions about policies that affect diverse populations and healthcare organizations
  • Effectively manage organizational change and promote excellence.
  • Use alternative financing mechanisms when needed to manage the organization
  • Lead human resources in diverse work environments.
  • Manage information resources to assist in effective administrative decision making and clinical management.
  • Utilize leadership skills to improve both business and clinical outcomes 

Another benefit of a masters in healthcare administration is that due to its growing need and popularity, these programs are becoming frequently available online. By attending an online MHA program, students can work as a full-time employee in their current job while taking classes online.

Accreditation for MHA Programs

The number of MHA programs have been increasing over the years making it difficult for students to decide which program is best suited for them. To help determine this, students should see if the program is recognized by an accrediting authority. Accredited programs ensure that the school’s curriculum is high quality and that students will meet the criteria needed to be successful in their career.  

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) is the main accrediting organization for health administrative programs throughout the country and the only organization recognized to grant accreditation to individual academic programs offering a professional master’s degree in healthcare management education by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. By having accredited programs it helps students get a feel for the quality of their educational experience and allows for employers to know that future employees are well prepared for the wide variety of management experiences they will need to handle. For students interested in learning more about the importance of accreditation, visit our online MHA programs page.

There are additional organizations that grant accreditation to programs that are closely allied with healthcare administration and management and/or have healthcare administration and management specializations within them, such as business or nursing.

These additional accrediting organizations for healthcare administration and management include: the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), International Accreditation Council for Business Education, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Certification within Public Health Administration

The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) offers a certification for healthcare managers awarding those who pass the exam the title of Certified Medical Manager. This certification was created to recognize managers with exceptional knowledge, skills, and experience. It is a 3 hour, 200 question exam that tests the candidate in nine domains: Revenue Management, Risk Management, Human Resources, Finance, Contract Management, Business Management, Technology and Data Management, Clinical Performance Reporting, and Patient Clinical Education and Practice Marketing. 

Explore Masters in Healthcare Administration Programs

PublicHealthDegrees.com has compiled a comprehensive list of MHA programs. This should allow prospective students to easily discover which Masters in Healthcare Administration program is best suited for them!

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Master’s of Health Administration Programs

Earn your degree in as few as 24 months
45 credits • GRE not required • Live Classes

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University of Alabama Birmingham
Birmingham, AL · Traditional and Online Format
Concentration(s) Available: Environmental Health Science, Epidemiology, Health Behavior, Health Care Organization and Policy

Columbia University
New York, NY · Traditional Format

Des Moines University
Des Moines, IA · Online and Hybrid Format
Concentration(s): Available: Nursing Home Administrator License

George Washington University
Washington, DC · Traditional and Online Format

Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA · Traditional Format with Applied Public Health Concentration in Online Format
Concentration(s) Available: Applied Public Health, Biostatistics; Community Health, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Policy & Management

Governors State University
University Park, IL · Traditional and Hybrid Format

Indiana University
Indianapolis, IN · Traditional Format

John Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD · Traditional and Online Format

Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC · Traditional Format

Ohio State University
Columbus, OH · Traditional Format

Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA · Traditional and Online Format

Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO · Non-Traditional, Hybrid Format
Concentration(s) Available: Behavioral Science and Health Education, Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Global Health, Health Management and Policy, Maternal and Child Health, Public Health Practice

Seton Hall University
South Orange, NJ · Traditional and Online Format

Suffolk University
Boston, MA · Traditional Format
Concentration(s) Available: Healthcare Management Performance Improvement and Data Analytics; Healthcare Management and Leadership

Temple University
Philadelphia, PA · Traditional Format

Texas A&M Health Science Center
College Station, TX · Traditional Format

Texas State University
San Marcos, TX · Traditional, Online, and Hybrid Format

Tulane University
New Orleans, LA · Traditional Format

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, Arkansas · Traditional and Online Format

University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL · Traditional and Hybrid Format

University of Florida
Gainesville, FL · Traditional and Online Format

University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL · Traditional and Hybrid Format
Concentration(s) Available: Healthcare Finance; Population Health Management; Physician Relations; Organizational Leadership; Strategic Marketing and Planning

University of the Incarnate Word
San Antonio, TX · Traditional Format

University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA · Traditional Format

University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY · Traditional Format

University of Maryland
College Park, MD · Traditional and Online Format
Concentration(s) Available: Behavioral and Community Health (online option available); Biostatistics; Epidemiology; Environmental Health Sciences; Health Equity; Health Policy Analysis and Evaluation; Physical Activity; Public Health Practice and Policy (Online)

University of Memphis
Memphis, TN · Traditional Format

University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL · Traditional Format

University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN · Online, Non-Traditional, Hybrid Format

University of Missouri
Columbus, MO · Traditional and Hybrid Format

University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC · Traditional , Non-Traditional, Hybrid

University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, NC · Traditional Format

University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL · Traditional Format

University of North Texas Health Science Center
Fort Worth, TX · Traditional Format

University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
Oklahoma City, OK · Traditional Format

University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA · Traditional Format

University of Scranton
Scranton, PA · Traditional and Online Format
Concentration(s) Available: Health Informatics; Global Health

University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA · Traditional Format
Concentration(s) Available: Long-term Care; Ambulatory Care

University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC · Traditional Format

University of South Florida
Tampa, FL · Traditional Format

University of Washington
Seattle, WA · Traditional and Hybrid Format

Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA · Traditional Format