The Master of Health Administration program at the University of Georgia prepares early-career students to meet critical needs in healthcare.

The UGA Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree is housed within Department of Health Policy and Management with the College of Public Health. This 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 MHA program’s goal is to provide foundational knowledge and professional skills that will prepare students for careers in healthcare administration.


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.


The MHA at UGA

Mission

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.
Vision

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.

Values
  • Collaboration
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Inclusive Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism

Curriculum

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 55 hours total, including an internship and capstone project.

Year One

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

SPRING SEMESTER
HPAM 7410 – Health Informatics (3 hours)
HPAM 7600 – Cases in Health Economics and Economic Evaluation (3 hours)
HPAM 7750 – Finance for Health Administration (3 hours)
HPAM 7760  – Public Health Law & Ethics (3 hours)
HPAM 7920 – Professional Development Seminar in Health Administration II (1 hour)

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

Year Two

FALL SEMESTER
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)

SPRING SEMESTER
NEW – Emerging Topics in Healthcare and Leadership (3 hours)
NEW – Management and Leadership in Ambulatory Care (3 hours)
HPAM 7950 – Capstone Project in Health Administration (3 hours)
NEW – Professional Development Seminar in Health Administration IV (1 hour)

TOTAL: 55 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
    settings.
  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.

Where Our Students Work

The UGA Master of Health Administration program plays an active role in helping its students identify and secure internships and fellowships, as well as postgraduate employment opportunities.

Internship opportunities are available with –

  • Children’s hospitals ​
  • Healthcare recruitment and staffing​
  • Insurance companies​
  • Large health systems
  • Rural hospitals​
  • University Health Systems​
  • Locally owned health care facilities (e.g., assisted living, pediatric practices, primary care clinics)

Fellowship placements include –

  • Geisinger
  • USA Health
  • Emory Healthcare
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • HOPCo
  • Mount Sinai

Top employers include –

  • Wellstar Health System
  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Deloitte
  • Emory Healthcare
  • Northside Hospital
  • Northeast Georgia Health System
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Job titles include –

  • Administrative Fellow
  • Project Coordinator
  • Compliance Analyst
  • Program Manager
  • Healthcare Consultant

How to Apply

Step 1:  Apply to HAMPCAS

  1. Online HAMPCAS application and fee. MHA degree program applicants should apply via the Health Administration, Management & Policy Centralized Application Service (HAMPCAS). For detailed information, please visit the HAMPCAS Help Center.
  2. Official academic transcripts. These should be sent directly to HAMPCAS from the registrar or records offices at the institutions you attended.
  3. A resume/CV and statement of purpose. The statement of purpose is your opportunity to communicate to us how this program fits with your career and educational goals. You should also highlight your relevant experience and preparation for this program.
  4. Three letters of recommendation. List the names and contact information of at least three recommenders in your HAMPCAS application. Be sure to follow up with all your references/recommenders regularly to ensure that the recommendation process has been completed.

NOTE: Applications are not considered complete until all applicable fees are processed.

Step 2: UGA Graduate School Supplemental Application Fee

  • Beginning Fall 2024, applicants are no longer required to submit a supplemental UGA Graduate School application. However, a supplemental application fee is still required. The fee can be processed at this link (coming soon).

Application Deadlines and Updates:

  • September 3: Applications open for enrollment in the following Fall Semester.
  • January 5: Deadline to have a complete application submitted to be considered for available assistantships and other financial aid opportunities.
  • May 1: Final application deadline to be considered for Fall Semester admissions.

Prerequisites:

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.

More Information

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 55 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.

Join a Student Organization

UGA ACHE Student Chapter 

The UGA ACHE Student Chapter is an organization for undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in healthcare administration and management. Through seminars and networking opportunities, members will be able to gain insights and diverse perspectives from healthcare leaders from a variety of settings. ACHE student members will also take advantage of professional development, service and social events aimed at improving health and advancing the profession of healthcare management.

UGA IHI Student Chapter 

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) works to advance health care improvement and patient safety competencies in the next generation of healthcare professionals. The IHI Open School UGA Chapter is a face-to-face interpersonal organization for like-minded health professional students (undergraduate and graduate), residents, and health care professionals to interact and each gain critical skills to improve care.

UGA MHA Executive Board

The UGA MHA Executive Board works to make the MHA Program experience more engaging and enjoyable for our members, acts as a unifying force for the students of the MHA program in addition to providing a social and academic support network, and fosters a relationship between the MHA students and the faculty, staff, and administration of the College of Public Health/Master of Health Administration Program while acting as voice for the students of the program.

Committees include:

  • Professional Development
  • Service
  • Advocacy
  • Outreach
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Social
Meet our MHA Advisory Board Members
Contact

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

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