The College of Public Health offers the Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree within the Department of Health Policy and Management. The MHA program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing careers in leadership and management positions in hospitals, health systems, consulting firms, and other healthcare delivery systems. The program’s goal is to provide foundational knowledge and professional skills that will prepare students for careers in healthcare administration.

The MHA program at the University of Georgia is dedicated to preparing early-career students to meet critical needs in healthcare. Our competency-based curriculum combines theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and experiential learning, giving students
the foundations to advance to management and leadership positions in hospitals,consulting firms, healthcare delivery systems, and public health organizations.

Our mission is supported by: (1) faculty, including experienced instructors from healthcare organizations, who equip graduates with skills in healthcare management,finance, strategic planning, and leadership; (2) the program’s cohort model and placement in the College of Public Health, which fosters critical thinking, teamwork,innovative problem-solving, and collaboration across health-related disciplines; and
(3) practical learning experiences where students build relationships with industry stakeholders.

The University of Georgia seeks to have a nationally recognized MHA program. We prepare graduates to excel as leaders who embrace a collaborative approach to leading effective health strategies and solutions to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes for individuals and communities in Georgia and beyond.

Collaboration, Continuous Improvement, Inclusive Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, and Professionalism.

The MHA program at UGA has received candidate approval from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Candidate status is an indication that a program in healthcare management has voluntarily committed to participate in a plan of self-improvement and is actively progressing toward the status of accreditation. Candidate status is not accredited status and does not guarantee eventual accredited status.

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The MHA curriculum includes courses in the core discipline of health administration, as well as courses specific to public health. The MHA student experience is enriched with career development, events, faculty support, and hands-on learning where teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills are applied to real-life management scenarios. The program is 54 hours total, including an internship and capstone project.

Year One

HPAM 7150 – U.S. Healthcare Delivery System (3 hours)
HPAM 7350 – Introduction to Quantitative Analysis (3 hours)
HPAM 7700 – Management and Marketing in Public Health Organizations (3 hours)
HPAM 7740 – Fundamentals of Health Care Accounting (3 hours)
HPAM 7910 – Professional Development Seminar in Health Administration I (1 hour)

HPAM 7410 – Health Informatics (3 hours)
HPAM 7600 – Health Economics (3 hours)
HPAM 7750 – Introduction to Healthcare Finance (3 hours)
HPAM 7760  – Public Health Law & Ethics (3 hours)
HPAM 7920 – Professional Development Seminar in Health Administration II (1 hour)

HPAM 7650 – Comparative Health Systems (3 hours)
HPAM 7900 – Internship in Health Administration (3 hours)

Year Two

HPAM 7250 – HR Management in Healthcare (3 hours)
HPAM 7400 – Policy Analysis in Public Health (3 hours)
HPAM 7500 – Organizational Behavior (3 hours)
HPAM 7550 – Quality Improvement in Health (3 hours)
HPAM 7930 – Professional Development Seminar in Health Administration III (1 hour)

DMAN 7560 – Healthcare Emergency Management (3 hours)
HPAM 7890 – Strategic Management in Healthcare Organizations (3 hours)
HPAM 7950 – Capstone Project in Health Administration (3 hours)

TOTAL: 54 credit hours

Program Competencies

Domain 1: Critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving

  1. Data-driven decision-making: Demonstrate the ability to analyze, understand, and explain data to inform decision-making.
  2. Financial management: Apply financial management and analysis principles using knowledge of accounting functions, insurance and reimbursement methods, and economic concepts.
  3. Organizational performance: Recognize how to allocate organizational resources for performance improvement and the role of organizational strategy in decision-making.
  4. Operations and business process management: Demonstrate understanding of essential operations management functions in healthcare and how to apply project management and quality management tools.
  5. Quality improvement: Understand continuous quality improvement concepts and skills to improve work processes, patient safety, and organizational performance.
  6. Risk management: Describe and understand sources of organizational liability and approaches to risk management for minimizing financial losses.
  7. Economic analysis: Comprehend the application of economic concepts and techniques to understand stakeholder and market behaviors and inform decision making

Domain 2. Management and leadership

  1. Human resource management: Understand HR processes for recruitment, hiring, retention, and separation/severance and elements of HR development designed to maximize employee performance.
  2. Information management: Knowledge of the role of IT infrastructure for health service
    delivery, quality improvement, business operations, and data management.
  3. Leadership and governance: Demonstrate an understanding of organizational governance,
    proficient leadership, and management to effectively lead in healthcare systems and
  4. Strategic planning: Recognize how to apply system and strategic thinking tools for decisions making, planning, and problem-solving.
  5. Organizational behavior: Demonstrate knowledge of how to apply organizational behavior
    theories and practices to cultivate an organization with high morale and satisfaction.
  6. Innovation, change and creativity management: Able to identify innovation opportunities
    in healthcare organizations and methods to initiate organizational change.

Domain 3: Communication and interpersonal effectiveness

  1. Personal communication and presentation skills: Able to prepare and deliver effective written and oral business communications while demonstrating the ability to provide and receive constructive feedback.Relationship management: Work successfully in teams to achieve a shared vision or goal while demonstrating cultural competence, empathy, and emotional intelligence.

Domain 4: Professionalism and ethics

  1. Ethical decision-making, compliance, and integrity: Identify how to integrate legal and regulatory frameworks and professional ethics considerations in decision-making.
  2. Professionalism in interfacing with other professionals: Demonstrate ability to work effectively with other professionals, exemplifying responsibility and accountability.

Domain 5: Knowledge of the Healthcare System and Population Health

  1. Health law, policy, regulation, and compliance: Demonstrate an understanding of the performance, structure, and environment of the healthcare system, including how the health system is managed, regulated, and governed.
  2. Social determinants of health and strategies to advance community health: Demonstrate understanding of the roles of social determinants of health, health disparities,and social responsibility in resource allocation, management, and health system planning.
Frequently Asked Questions

Are GRE or GMAT scores required for admission?

No, we currently do not require standardized test scores such as the GRE or GMAT for admission to the MHA program. Students may choose to include GRE or GMAT scores for consideration with their application, but this is optional and not required.

Is the program traditional in format or can it be completed online?

The MHA program is a traditional, on-campus format with classes based on the UGA Health Sciences Campus in Athens, GA. While there may be a few online or evening course offerings, the majority of the curriculum is completed on-campus, during the day.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The MHA program of study requires 54 credit hours over 5 semesters, which takes 2 years to complete.

Are students allowed to attend the program on a part-time basis?

The MHA program is a cohort-based program with a structured curriculum and no elective courses. Due to this, most courses are only offered once a year, thus the timeline for completion would vary for students wishing to enroll on a part-time basis.

Are graduate assistantships available?

Graduate assistantships within the department and college are limited and typically not available. Many students who have assistantships obtain those through grant-funded projects or working with faculty in other departments and colleges. Students interested in obtaining a graduate assistantship are encouraged to explore opportunities available within the entire university community.

Is the MHA available on the UGA Gwinnett campus?

No, all MHA coursework is completed on the UGA Health Sciences Campus in Athens, GA.

Is the MHA application completed through SOPHAS?

No, the MHA application is completed through the HAMPCAS. Application instructions are located under the “How to Apply” section.

How to Apply

Applicants to the MHA program must apply through HAMPCAS  and through the UGA Graduate School.  The MHA application opens in on September 3 and the deadline to apply is February 15. Applications received by this deadline will receive full consideration. Applicants will be notified of decisions regarding admission in March.

Step 1:  Apply to HAMPCAS

  • Online HAMPCAS application and fee. MHA degree program applicants must apply via the Health Administration, Management, and Policy CAS (HAMCAS).  For detailed information, please visit the HAMPCAS Help Center.

Sept 2: Apply to the UGA Graduate School

Application Requirements:

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Entrance Test Scores (Optional; not required.)
  • Application Processing Fees
  • Current resume or CV
  • Three recommendations by Discipline Specific Academic Advisors or Employers
  • Personal Interview
  • Personal Statement of Academic and Professional Background and Career Objectives


All students must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. There are no graduate credit hour requirements prior to admission to the program.

Students who do not have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a public health discipline are required to take a public health foundations course (PBHL 7100) during their program of study.


MHA Program Director:
Jessica Smith
311B Wright Hall
Email: [email protected]

MHA Program Manager:
Courtney Chaffin
310 Wright Hall
Email: [email protected]