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The Online Master of Health Administration Degree

The health care system of the future must focus on greater efficiency and quality through improved technology, organization, and management. There is growing demand for new leaders who can find solutions to the problems we face, both now and in the future.

A Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Administration (M.H.A.) can help you combine your health-related work experience with a strong business management education, expanding your qualifications for challenging leadership positions in health care and giving you the tools to lead change in a dynamic environment.

Penn State has over 25 years of experience in providing quality graduate level health administration programs and currently offers a residential MHA program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). The expertise and curriculum currently offered residentially is now being offered in the online format to meet the unique needs of working professionals.

Penn State World Campus

An online M.H.A. degree from Penn State can provide opportunities for advancement in your career as a health care professional. The degree program is a collaboration between Penn State World Campus and the Penn State Department of Health Policy and Administration and the School of Public Affairs. This partnership connects you with faculty from a highly ranked program, with 25 years of experience guiding student learning. Experienced faculty, the residential MHA program's 4,000+ alumni, and professional contacts help maintain the focus on emerging and complex health care leadership challenges.

The online learning format offered by Penn State World Campus makes it possible for you to fit a degree program into your life. The flexibility of studying when and where you want can give you the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge you need to make critical decisions that can affect the lives of patients and employees while maintaining your current role.

Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We strive to create an online learning environment that brings you as close to the face-to-face experience as possible.

M.H.A. Curriculum

The M.H.A. curriculum can provide you with a fundamental understanding of management and health services. The courses have been designed to prepare you for the requirements of increased accountability, organization, and management.

Inspired by the fields of health care and business management, Penn State's 49-credit online M.H.A. program can help you gain a solid foundation of knowledge that combines both of these disciplines. The curriculum emphasizes competencies in ethical leadership, critical thought, and oral and written communication, as well as a broad understanding of the U.S. health care system. Areas of study include:

  • financing health care
  • clinical issues for health services management
  • quality improvement in health care
  • health care marketing
  • health economics
  • health law
  • information systems in health services administration

Career Opportunities for Graduates

Steady job growth in health care is projected for the next several years. As a graduate of the program, you could obtain an administrative, management, or executive position in one of several health care-related organizations, including:

  • hospitals and health systems
  • medical group practices
  • clinics and outpatient care centers
  • home health care agencies
  • skilled nursing facilities
  • insurance companies
  • consulting firms
  • federal regulatory and public health agencies

Who Should Apply

The rapid evolution of the health care environment through changes in population demographics, legislation, regulation, policy, and technology means that updating your education is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. If you have work experience in health care and want to enhance your applied business management skills, Penn State's online M.H.A. program was designed for you. As an applicant to the program, you should have strong academic preparation, reference letters addressing your commitment to the profession, and GRE/GMAT scores (waived for applicants with five or more years of experience).

"The beauty of the online M.H.A. program is that it provides students who are living all over the world the same educational opportunity as students who attend the residential program, but without having to relocate to University Park."--Chris Calkins, director of the M.H.A. program.

Learn more about our students by reading the M.H.A. Online Student Profiles.

Next Steps / Apply

For more information, please go to Penn State’s World Campus website.

Interested in applying? Click here to begin the graduate school application.