Sep 19, 2019  
Graduate Studies Catalog 2016-2017 
Graduate Studies Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Health Administration, M.H.A.

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Dr. Steven Szydlowski, Program Director

Michael Costello, J.D., MBA, Assistant Program Director

Today’s healthcare managers and leaders need special knowledge, abilities, and perspectives to work in complex healthcare systems and organizations. Courses in the nationally accredited graduate health administration program prepare people for challenging, dynamic management careers in the healthcare sector. The MHA program enables full-time and part-time students to acquire academic knowledge and competencies, develop practical skills, examine professional points of view, and engage in personal growth. Students are encouraged to work in healthcare settings during their academic studies so that they can connect classroom learning with real-world work.

The MHA Program

The Graduate Program in Health Administration was established in 1987. It has grown steadily and has graduated alumni who work in a wide range of positions and organizations. The program is designed to: 1. Prepare individuals to enter healthcare management and leadership positions; 2. Enhance the performance of individuals employed in healthcare management and leadership positions but who lack academic training and credentials; 3. Prepare individuals to enter or advance in a variety of healthcare staff positions; and, 4. Prepare individuals to advance in senior healthcare management positions.

Healthcare managers, administrators, and executives work in a variety of health related organizations and service delivery systems such as hospitals, long-term-care facilities, ambulatory care settings, physician group practices, social service agencies, rehabilitation centers, home health organizations, managed care organizations, insurance companies, and various planning and regulatory agencies. Depending on the position, they may be engaged in organizational management, strategic planning, community relations, education, finance, internal operations, corporate development, marketing, information systems, or other responsibilities. The MHA program can help people prepare for these and other healthcare administration jobs. Faculty mentors help students plan their careers and evaluate career and job opportunities.  The MHA program employs the Healthcare Leadership Alliance competency model.

Admission Requirements

The Health Administration program may require a GRE or GMAT score, depending on the strength of other qualifications and information submitted by the applicant.  New campus-based MHA students may start course work in the fall semester only.  Applicants for the campus-based MHA program are encouraged to apply by May 1 (prior to the fall semester of desired entry); however, applications received after this date and up to August 1 will be considered for admission on a space-available basis.  Applicants must be admitted before starting courses.  International students whose native language is not English must demonstrate their proficiency by submitting TOEFL scores.  Please refer to the International Student section for acceptable English proficiency tests, test score requirements and other information.

The campus-based Health Administration program accepts applicants with or without professional work experience.  Students accepted into the Health Administration program with little to no work experience are required to enroll in an administrative residency to gain practical experience.  Applicants should be prepared to discuss their career goals and employment possibilities with the program director during a personal interview, which is required prior to acceptance, and explain how they see the curriculum supporting their longer-term goals.


Students participating in field work experience are required to comply with the criminal background check and specific clearance requirements of the University and each facility to which he /she is assigned.  Prior to completion of twenty–one credits in the Master in Health Administration program, at which time students are eligible for placement in an internship, students shall undergo a criminal background check and program specific clearances at their own expense.

Information gained by the criminal background check and required clearances will be shared with the Facility as deemed necessary prior to clinical placement of students.  The Facility shall determine whether the results of the criminal background check and pre-field work clearances meet Facility requirements. As participation in field work experience is a required part of the curriculum and a requirement for graduation, denial of participation by any Facility may result in delay of graduation or the inability to graduate from the program.

Fieldwork includes administrative residency, internships, externships, clinical observation, directed studies and in some cases course projects. These clearances may result in additional fees to the student and generally include the following:

  • FBI fingerprinting;
  • State specific criminal background checks;
  • Child abuse clearances;
  • Two step TB testing;
  • Hepatitis B vaccination;
  • Flu vaccine;
  • History of immunizations and in some cases titer testing;
  • Drug screen panels.

Please note:  Additional testing could be requested by an organization.

On-Campus Program

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an American College or University which is accredited, or equivalent from an International College or University;
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 on a grading scale of 4.00;
  • Complete Graduate School Application;
  • Official Transcripts;
  • Three letter of reference from people capable of evaluating educational background and work experience or personal character;
  • Resume and career statement with career goals;
  • TOEFL exam for international students:
    • 550 Written Score
    • 210 Online Score
  • Personal Interview with the Program Director.

Online Program

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.00;
  • International students should score at least 575 on the TOEFL;
  • Minimum of three years work experience in a managerial or professional capacity with or without direct supervisory experience;
  • The applicant will submit an affidavit from a senior executive stipulating to the applicant’s management work experience;
  • The applicant will also submit three letters of recommendation, at least one of which should come from a different senior executive within the applicant’s organization;
  • Completed online application;
  • Students admitted into the online MHA program will not be permitted to take on-campus MHA courses unless required by course scheduling.

   Additional Notes:

  • Once admitted, students will complete a mandatory online tutorial on academic honesty and submit a signed statement agreeing to abide by the University’s academic honor code.
  • Students will also complete non-credit professional requirements same as on-campus MHA program.
  • Students will be able to join the University’s regular graduation ceremonies in Scranton.


  • The online MHA program will use the HLA Competency Model similar to the on-campus MHA program.  
  • Student learning outcomes of the online MHA program will be similar to those of the on-campus MHA program. The program will be assessed using an existing assessment plan and related techniques
  • Because of the delivery format and special needs of working professionals, students will be surveyed on an annual basis on how to improve convenience and effectiveness of course scheduling and delivery


On-Campus Program

The MHA program requires 44 credits plus field work for the degree. The curriculum consists of 41 core credits, 3 elective credits, and fieldwork. Students entering the program take early foundation courses HAD 500 , HAD 501 , HAD 505 , and HAD 519  . These courses serve as prerequisites for more advanced courses in the curriculum and establish basic skills, competencies, and core knowledge. Healthcare management requires practical applied experience, so students do field work under the guidance of a preceptor as part of their graduate studies.

An 8-credit 6-month administrative residency (1,000 hours) is generally required for students with no prior applied healthcare management experience.

Other types of fieldwork include an internship (3 cr.), externship (1 cr.) or directed study (1-3 cr.). Prior to starting the fieldwork, students must meet specific requirements mandated by the host site. The specific fieldwork requirement for each student is discussed during the admission interview and during the student’s studies.

There are four non-credit requirements, which help prepare students for health care administration jobs and must be completed to graduate. First, all students are expected to join the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and the Program’s Student Chapter, ACHE Higher Education Network, or join a comparable professional association. Second, students must have and interact regularly with an identified external mentor. Third, all students must perform 24 hours of community service with healthcare or related organizations. Fourth, students must complete the University’s online academic integrity tutorial. These requirements are further explained in the separate Non-Curriculum Requirements Manual.

In addition to academic competencies, the student is continuously evaluated on commitment to the program and the profession, and on personal and emotional characteristics and qualities related to successful professional performance. The program adheres to the American College of Healthcare Executive’s Code of Ethics, available at To quote from the Code’s Preamble, “The purpose of the Code of Ethics of the American College of Healthcare Executives is to serve as a standard of conduct for members. It contains standards of ethical behavior for healthcare executives in their professional relationships. These relationships include colleagues, patients or others served; members of the healthcare executive’s organization and other organizations; the community; and society as a whole.” Feedback on progress is provided by the student’s mentor on a regular basis.

Online MHA Program

Framed by our Jesuit emphasis on ethics and education for justice, the online MHA curriculum will, in principle, be the same as the on-campus MHA program described in the University of Scranton Graduate Catalog. It will require 47 credits, including the 12 credits of foundation courses. 

Courses are offered in six 8-week terms each academic year in a web-based delivery format. The capstone course, Administrative Issues (HAD 509), is normally taken in the final semester prior to graduation, and draws upon the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed throughout the MHA program. Computer applications are utilized throughout the curriculum; therefore, entering students are expected to have proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet, and internet applications.

A 3-credit 150 hour internship is required (HAD 580  ).

On Campus Course Requirements

Required Foundation Courses (12 credits)

Additional Required Courses

Elective Courses (3 credits required)*

  • HAD 510 : Hospital Administration
  • HAD 512 : Medical Practice Administration
  • HAD 513 : Long Term Care Administration
  • HAD 517 : Global Health Management
  • HAD 526 : Grants Writing and Management
  • HAD 582 : Directed Study (1-3 cr.)
  • HAD 584 : Special Topics

Fieldwork Courses

(3 or 8 credits required, which depends upon prior work experience & will be determined at time of Admission)

  • HAD 580 : Internship in Health Administration (3 credits)
  • HAD 581 : Administrative Residency (8 credits)
  • HAD 583 : Externship in Health Administration (1 credit)

Credits for Degree: 44 credits + 3 or 8 credits for fieldwork


Online Course Requirements

Foundation Courses (12 credits)

Elective Courses (3 Credits Required)*

  • HAD 510 : Hospital Administration
  • HAD 512 : Medical Practice Administration
  • HAD 513 : Long Term Care Administration
  • HAD 517 : Global Health Management
  • HAD 526 : Grants Writing and Management
  • HAD 582 : Directed Study (1-3 cr.)

Additional Required Courses

  • HAD 504: Human Resources Mgt.
  • HAD 521: HC Financial Mgt. II
  • HAD 522: HC Operations and Quality
  • HAD 523: HC IT Mgt.
  • HAD 525: HC Ethics
  • HAD 508: Leadership in Health Admin.
  • HAD 502: HC Law
  • HAD 515: HC Planning and Marketing
  • HAD Free Elective*
  • HAD 506: HC Economics and Policy
  • HAD 509: Administrative Issues
  • HAD 580: Internship in HC

Credits for Degree: 47 credits


On-Campus Program

The graduate health administration program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). This accreditation reflects the commitment to and achievement of national standards for graduate healthcare administration education. Further, the program maintains full graduate membership in the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA).

Online Program

The online graduate health administration program has received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and full program membership with AUPHA.

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