A Master of Health Administration (MHA) is an all-encompassing professional degree that provides the knowledge and skills needed for leadership positions in healthcare organizations. Because the degree takes a multidisciplinary approach, coursework touches on numerous facets of healthcare, administration and leadership. In addition to focusing on organizational management, the degree covers technology, finance, economics, ethics, policy analysis and quality of care. The MHA curriculum also includes strategic planning, marketing and legal aspects of healthcare management.
Graduates of MHA programs are prepared for administrative and executive positions in hospitals, long-term care facilities, managed care organizations, government health agencies, physician group practices and other organizations that deliver healthcare products and services. Within these organizations, healthcare administrators perform a wide range of duties that may include public relations, personnel management, purchasing, accounting, fundraising and program evaluation. Overseeing budget development, regulatory compliance, insurance and medical information systems may also be the responsibility of a healthcare administrator.
Featured Online Healthcare Programs
|MPH@Simmons||MPH@Simmons, the online Master of Public Health from Simmons College, is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global level.|
|MPH@GW||An innovative online Master of Public Health program offered by the top-ranked Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.|
|MHA@GW||Offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, this online Executive Master of Health Administration program is designed for healthcare professionals who aspire to become leaders in their field.|
Several other degrees cover some of the same ground as the MHA, but with a slightly different emphasis. The following is an overview of related healthcare degrees:
Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration: This undergraduate degree provides a foundation in healthcare leadership, ethics, finance, economics and human resources. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor’s degree is typically needed for entry-level management positions in the healthcare industry but master’s degrees are common among professionals with several years of experience who are in higher-level positions.
According to the Commission on Accreditation on Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the primary accreditation body for graduate programs in healthcare management in the U.S. and Canada, the complexity of the healthcare industry requires a level of skill and expertise that is not usually attainable at the undergraduate level. In many organizations, the MHA is seen as the essential first step in a managerial or executive-level career in healthcare administration.
Master of Public Health (MPH): This degree focuses on the causes and prevention of diseases. Coursework for the degree includes epidemiology, public health policy, biostatistics, behavioral health and health issues experienced by specific populations. In addition to working toward the prevention and treatment of disease, public health professionals promote healthy behaviors.
MBA in Healthcare Administration: An MBA with a healthcare concentration is offered through a school of business and focuses on the business aspects of healthcare delivery. Professionals who are already working in a healthcare field can develop practical business skills and management expertise by earning this advanced degree.
PhD in Healthcare Administration: The MHA is the highest degree earned by most healthcare administration professionals. The PhD is earned by those who are interested in pursuing a career in academia or as researchers in private or public sector research organizations.
Executive Master of Healthcare Administration: Executive MHA (EMHA) programs are designed for clinical and health management professionals who want to advance their careers while maintaining a full-time work schedule. Although the format and delivery of coursework is more flexible, the content should be the same as a traditional MHA degree.