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The Master of Health Administration (MHA) in Health Systems Management program prepares students with the knowledge and skills to work as leaders and executive-level managers in evolving health care organizations. The curriculum was developed in response to the demand for advanced health management preparation for a variety of health care and allied health professionals to be employed in hospitals, health systems, consulting and regulatory entities, medical practice groups, ambulatory clinics, managed care organizations, and government agencies in both the public and private sectors of health care.

The program of study offers state-of-the-art technical and humanistic skills so that graduates may serve as leaders, managers, and consultants in various settings. The curriculum integrates concepts from a variety of disciplines such as business management, economics, finance, philosophy, organizational behavior, marketing, information technology, social psychology, public policy, law, and ethics as they apply to the administration of health care organizations.

The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to prepare graduates with an understanding of the larger sociopolitical, global health, and economic contexts in which the U.S. health system operates. It provides working professionals with leadership knowledge and managerial skills and abilities that contribute to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health systems and alignment of decisions and resources to optimize organizational and health-related public policy goals. Students examine social imperatives for access to health services and the feasibility, need, and mechanisms of market factors. They create links and alignment between public and private sectors and among voluntary, market, and regulatory forces in the context of a variety of public policy frameworks. Students explore the design and management of seamless systems of care, information technology, and services that support the providers of health-related care and services over the life span. Using ethical principles, students explore approaches to improving access to care and services and the quality and safety of health systems and their integration to maximize quality of life and community health.



Health care professionals with a baccalaureate degree and one to three years of recent experience in health or a related management or technology field are eligible to apply. Applicants must meet the admission standards and application requirements specified in Graduate Admissions. Applications to the MHA program should be submitted via the Health Administration, Management & Policy Centralized Application Service (HAMPCAS). The application process is competitive, and applications are considered for the fall and spring semesters. For application deadlines and detailed application requirements, refer to the CHHS Admissions website.  


For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Transfer of Credit

Students may transfer a maximum of 12 credits from graduate courses taken at other institutions or taken at Mason in non-degree status. Transfer credit is subject to university and college policies and must be approved by the program director and the dean. Students who enroll initially through non-degree studies should seek course advising through the department and should submit their application to the MHA program in their first semester of study.

Program Format

The program schedule is geared toward working professionals. The usual schedule for students involves part-time study, comprising two classes (6 credits) per semester. Classes are held primarily in evenings, with some Saturday daytime classes. Selected courses also are available via the Internet.

English Language Test Score Thresholds

International students whose scores on the English Language Tests are below the thresholds required by the program must take EAP 508 Graduate Communication in the Disciplines III  (Credits: 4) in their first semester of study and earn a grade of B (3.0) or higher.

Test Overall Listening Reading Writing Speaking
TOEFL IBT 100 24 26 24 23
TOEFL PBT 610 59 60 62
TOEFL CBT 253 24 25 26 N/A
PTE 65+ Subsections: 68+
IELTS 7 7 6.5 7 6.5

Banner Code: HH-MHA-HSMG

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 46-47

The program of study comprises 46-47 credits: required courses (40-44 credits) and two electives (6 credits). International students whose scores on the English Language Tests are below the thresholds required by the program are required to take EAP 508 - Graduate Communication in the Disciplines III (Credits: 4) in their first semester of study and earn a grade of B (3.0) or higher. As a result, their elective requirement will be reduced from 6 to 3 credits. This will increase the degree requirements for these students from 46 to 47 credits.

Required Courses

HAP 602Statistics in Health Services Management3
HAP 621Organization Behavior and Healthcare Leadership3
HAP 678Introduction to the U.S. Health System3
HAP 686Quality Improvement in Health Services3
HAP 702Managerial Accounting in Health Care3
HAP 703Financial Management in Health Systems3
HAP 704Contemporary Issues in Health Systems Management3
HAP 705Strategic Management and Marketing in Health Care3
HAP 707Human Resource Management in Healthcare3
HAP 715Health Economics3
HAP 740Management of Health Information Systems3
HAP 750Legal Issues in Health Administration3
HAP 789Pre-Capstone Professional Development Seminar1
HAP 790Capstone Practicum in Health Systems Management3
International students whose scores on the English Language Tests are below required thresholds are required to take EAP 508 Graduate Communication in the Disciplines III in their first semester of study.
EAP 508Graduate Communication in the Disciplines III4
Total Credits40-44


Complete six credits of the following: 13-6
Select one health insurance course:
Essentials of Health Insurance and Managed Care
Health Policy and Government Payment Systems for Health Care Services
Select one policy course:
Health Policy Development and Analysis
Health Policy Leadership
Total Credits3-6

International students required to complete EAP 508 will have a reduced elective requirement from 6 to 3 credits.