Michael Costello, JD, 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 and is framed by our Jesuit emphasis on ethics and education for justice. The program 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.
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.
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 letters 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.
- 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 of 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 or professional 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.
- 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.
- Students admitted to the on-campus program may not take on-line courses and students admitted to the on-line program may not take on-campus courses.
- Upon program completion, both on-campus and online MHA students are invited to participate in the University’s graduation ceremonies in Scranton.
- Both the on-campus and online MHA programs use a HLA Competency Model.
- Student learning outcomes of the online MHA program will be similar to those of the on-campus MHA program. The programs 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 MHA Program
The MHA program requires 44 credits plus fieldwork for the degree. The curriculum consists of 41 core credits, 3 elective credits, and fieldwork, which is typically 8 credits. 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 five 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. Fifth, students must complete an Excel tutorial. These requirements are further explained in the separate Non-Curriculum Requirements Manual.
In order to provide increased non-classroom based competencies, the Department of Health Administration & Human Resources has developed a new program for our Masters in Health Administration students called Fit-for-the-Profession. The purpose of the program is to provide a faculty-based interdisciplinary approach to further developing and enhancing our students behavioral and “soft skills” through a select series of extracurricular activities and other professional interactions. It is expected that this additional professional exposure and redundancy of activities will better prepare our students to function in an active workplace environment and better meet the needs and expectations of their future employers.
At the onset of each students first year in the MHA program, each student will be assigned to a three-person faculty team to include their academic adviser, executive-in-residence career advisor and residency fieldwork advisor. In collaboration with the student, this interdisciplinary group will serve as professional advisory team for each student’s unique and ongoing needs in respect to coursework selection, career advising/monitoring and internship/ residency fieldwork placement. The interdisciplinary group will be the student’s individualized “Fit-for-the-Profession Advising Team.”
In addition to evaluation of academic competencies, the student will be continuously evaluated relative to his/her 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 http://www.ache.org/ABT_ACHE/code.cfm. 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
As with the on-campus program, the online MHA program consists of 41 core credits, 3 elective credits, and fieldwork. The fieldwork in the online MHA consists of a 3-credit internship.
Courses are offered in six 8-week terms each academic year in a web-based delivery format. Computer applications are utilized throughout the curriculum; therefore, entering students are expected to have proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet, and internet applications. While the vast majority of coursework can be completed according to your own schedule, some courses require synchronous elements in order to remain aligned with CAHME accreditation requirements. Some courses will require one to three hours of synchronous learning over eight weeks that may cover course overviews, lectures, faculty-student discussions, review of assigned case studies, etc. At these times, students and faculty must log into the course at a predetermined time as specified in individual course syllabi.
The capstone course, HAD 509 - Administrative Issues, is normally taken in the final semester prior to graduation, and draws upon the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed throughout the MHA program. A 3-credit 150 hour internship is required (HAD 580). HAD 580 can be taken contemporaneously with HAD 509 or immediately after HAD 509.
The University of Scranton MHA degree provides the opportunity for a several specializations: Global Health, Health Informatics and Population Health Management. Each of these specializations requires 3 courses but only adds 6 required credits to the MHA curriculum. For compliance with Federal Financial Aid Regulations, students enrolled in the campus-based MHA program may only complete specializations that are offered in the campus-based format and students enrolled in the on-line MHA program may only complete specializations offered in the on-line format during the special terms.
*Effective August 26, 2019 courses have pre-requisites
Foundation Courses (12 credits) taken in first year
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 (Required for Specialization- see below)
- HAD 526 *- Grants Writing and Management
- HAD 582 - Directed Study (1-3 cr.)
- HAD 584 - Special Topics
(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)
Additional Required Courses for Specialization in Global Health
- HAD 517 - Global Health Management
- HAD 596 - European Health Systems (Study Abroad Component)
- HAD 595 - South American Health Systems (Study Abroad Component)
Additional Required Courses for Specialization in Health Informatics
- HINF 520 - Introduction to Health Informatics
- HINF 550 - Community Health for Health Informatics
- HINF 570 - Public Policy for Health Informatics
Additional Required Courses for Specialization in Population Health
- HAD 540 - Epidemiology and Population Health Management
- HAD 541 - Population Health and Systems Science
- HAD 542 - Population Health Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Credits for On Campus Program: 44 credits + 3 or 8 credits for fieldwork
Credits for Online Program: 44 credits + 3 credits for fieldwork
Credits for MHA with Specialization in Global Health or Health Informatics Programs: 53 or 58
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).
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.
Students in the Global Health Specialization will achieve six program level outcomes/competencies beyond the 25 covered by the regular MHA program:
1) Explain the ethical, social, and environmental consequences of local and national decisions on global health systems;
2) Analyze major elements of global health systems to derive solutions to complex problems;
3) Apply cultural, historical, and scientific perspectives using applied research techniques to plan and evaluate solutions to global health challenges;
4) Articulate personal values in the context of personal identities to recognize and contemplate diverse positions on social, civic, and population health problems;
5) Comprehend multiple worldviews, experiences, histories, and power structures on important issues; and
6) Initiate and engage in meaningful interaction with people from other cultures in the context of health problems and solutions.
The Global Heath Specialization is available to both on-campus and online students. It requires 6 credits in addition to the regular MHA curriculum (a total of 50 credits plus fieldwork). Students in this specialization are required to take HAD 517 - Global Health Management in place of the current 3-credit elective in the MHA program and two additional travel courses HAD 595 - South American Health Systems and HAD 596 - European Health Systems.
In addition to tuition, students will be required to pay program/travel expenses associated with HAD 595 and HAD 596, which historically ranged from $3300 - $3500 per travel course.
This specialization provides students the opportunity to learn about and experience the growing field of Health Informatics. It provides students with additional skills and competencies beyond HAD 523 - Health Care IT Management.
The Health Informatics Specialization is only available to online students. It requires 9 credits in addition to the regular MHA curriculum, but 3 of those credits could be taken in place of the 3-credit elective in the MHA program. Thus, the program requires a total of 50 or 53 credits plus fieldwork. Students in this specialization are required to take HINF 520 - Introduction to Health Informatics, HINF 550 - Community Health for Health Informatics and HINF 570 - Public Policy for Health Informatics.
Population Health Specialization
This specialization will provide students additional skills (beyond the traditional graduate program structure) that are necessary to address the growing demand for individuals that are able to improve the overall health of populations and engage patients in a plan to improve their individual health. This specialization supports select competencies from the 27 specific competencies covered by the MHA program. The Population Health Specialization is available to both residential and online students. It requires nine credits in addition to the regular MHA curriculum. Three of the nine credits could be taken in place of the current 3-credit elective in the MHA program: thus the program requires a total of 50 or 53 credits plus fieldwork. Students in this specialization are required to take HAD 540 - Epidemiology and Population Health Management, HAD 541 - Population Health and Systems Science, and HAD 542 - Population Health Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach.
A 15-credit-hour certificate is available for people who want advanced education in healthcare management but who do not wish to pursue a full graduate degree. Students complete three required courses and select two electives after completion of the first two required courses.
Applicants should have prior professional experience in the healthcare field and may begin in any semester during the year. Anyone interested in the certificate should arrange an interview with the Graduate Health Administration Program Director. Regular admission requirements and graduate procedures must be met. Once admitted the established tuition and three-year tuition guarantee becomes effective for campus based students only. (Online students are subject to yearly tuition changes). Once accepted, the student must complete the agreed upon program of study within three years. No courses from other institutions may be transferred for the certificate.