Health Administration

Get a graduate degree

Go beyond and stand out. Add to what matters most: your education.

Graduate programs

Master of Health Administration

Michael Merrigan, Graduate Director
Glass Hall, room 403; Phone 417-836-3092

Program description

The Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree is a College of Business degree that includes several interdisciplinary courses contributed by other colleges on campus. The program is designed for students holding at least an undergraduate degree who wish to further their careers in the management of health organizations including integrated systems, hospitals, group practices, long-term care facilities, clinics, managed care organizations, and other types of health organizations. The program can be completed in as little as two years. Students with little or no undergraduate work in business are welcome, and will normally require additional time for completion.

The MHA program is accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Admission requirements

  1. The student must have received at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. The student must have a GPA of at least 2.75 for the last 60 hours of academic work and submit a score on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or equivalent standardized exam.
  3. Students who do not meet the admission requirements, but who show indication of high promise will be considered for probationary admission.
  4. All other University and Graduate College requirements for admission to a degree program will also apply.  Qualified applicants may enter the program at the beginning of any semester.  

Applicants from foreign countries whose native language is not English are required to submit scores on the TOEFL.  Normally, TOEFL scores of 79 on the internet-based test.

Degree requirements

The program requires a minimum 36 hours of graduate credit plus any necessary prerequisite courses.

Core requirements - 30 hours

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
ACC 688 Healthcare Accounting Concepts 3 hrs
FIN 788 Healthcare Financial Management 3 hrs
MGT 701 Health Services Organization 3 hrs
MGT 702 Managing Healthcare Organizations* 3 hrs
MGT 703 Health Law and Ethics* 3 hrs
MGT 704 Human Resources in Healthcare Organizations* 3 hrs
MGT 705 Strategic Management of Healthcare Organizations* 3 hrs
MGT 711 Measurement and Management of Quality in Healthcare* 3 hrs
MGT 764 Organizational Behavior and Leadership 3 hrs
MGT 770 Leadership Development 3 hrs
  Core Total: 30 hrs

*Course prerequisites may be required.

Electives - 6 hours

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
ITC 761 Management Information Systmes* 3 hrs
ECO 604 Health Care Economics* 3 hrs
HLH 750 Programming Approaches in Wellness/Health Promotion 3 hrs
MGT 790 Seminar in Management 3 hrs
PBH 720 Epidemiology 3 hrs
PBH 740 Health Behaviors 3 hrs
PBH 756 Introduction to Public Health

3 hrs

PBH 783

International Health and Infectious Disease

3 hrs

PLS 754 Seminar in Health Policy 3 hrs
  Elective Total: 6 hrs

*Course prerequisites may be required.

Research requirement

Significant supervised quantitative and qualitative research projects in MGT 701, MGT 703, MGT 711, PLS 754, PBH 720 and culminating in the capstone MGT 705 course. Satisfies the research requirement of the Graduate College.

Executive MHA option (EMHA)

The Executive MHA Option is only available on a contractual arrangement with a specific healthcare organization, who makes it available to a select group of students, typically a cohort, who are employed or affiliated with the healthcare organization and have significant professional experience. The MHA Program will be presented in a format referred to as the Executive MHA Option or the EMHA. From a curricular viewpoint, the EMHA is structured similarly and requires 36 graduate course credits, however, the sequencing presentation format and mix of core and elective courses will be designed in such a way as to maximize benefits to working professionals such as physicians, senior clinicians and healthcare executives.

GMAT/GRE scores are not required for admission to the EMHA, however, the applicant will need to provide documentation verifying at least 3 years of professional experience.

For EMHA students, prerequisite requirements for the core program courses will be satisfied through appropriate prior course work, relevant professional experience or by an individualized study program developed and supervised by the EMHA Program Director.

The credit hour costs for classes taken by students enrolled in the EMHA program are assessed at a higher rate than the traditional MHA offerings due to additional expenditures associated with the program.

Admission requirements

In addition to the contractual requirements above, each student will also need to meet the following admission requirements:

  1. Completion of a regionally accredited undergraduate degree.
  2. Completion of 3 or more years of professional experience.

Accelerated MHA option

Undergraduate majors in the College of Business may apply for admission to the Master of Health Administration (MHA) program during the second semester of their junior year. If accepted, up to 6 hours of 700- or 700-level College of Business classes taken in the senior year may be counted toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. As an MHA graduation requirement, students exercising the accelerated MHA option will be required to have had one year of professional experience or a 3 hour internship.

Before enrolling in a course that will apply to both the undergraduate program and the master's program an undergraduate student must:

  1. Be accepted into the accelerated program.
  2. Receive prior approval from the graduate program director, department head, and Dean of the Graduate College. This is done by using a Mixed Credit Form.

Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed prior to the end of the Change of Schedule Period for the course(s). See the Graduate College for further information.

Admission requirements

  1. Completion of 80 or more hours at time of application.
  2. An overall GPA of 3.00 or better.
  3. A score of 450 or better on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Academic standing

A student who fails to attain a 3.00 GPA after completing the approved program may enroll for additional course work not to exceed 6 hours to raise the GPA. The course work will be approved by the Graduate Program Director and the Dean of the College of Business.

The maximum class load for a full-time student is normally 12 hours per semester. An overload is permitted only after students have demonstrated their ability to achieve an outstanding graduate record at this university. Students employed on a full-time job generally should not enroll for more than 6 semester hours. All other University and Graduate College requirements governing grading and attendance will apply.

To enroll in graduate courses in the College of Business, a student must be admitted to a graduate program in the College of Business or have special permission. Students not meeting one of these conditions can be dropped from the course(s) at any time during the session involved.

MPH-MHA Dual Degree

Students can obtain dual degrees in health administration and public health at Missouri State University. Students who successfully complete the program will receive both a Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. A total of 12 hours of coursework can be applied to both programs, reducing the time required to obtain both degrees separately.

Public health and health administration are increasingly important areas in health care and medicine. Information, resources, technology, research and new challenges are expanding tremendously in the fields of public health and health administration and it is important to have a trained workforce that can bridge these two areas of health care and medicine. The successful completion of dual degrees in public health and health care administration provide students with a unique set of knowledge, skills and abilities that enable graduates to communicate relevant health information; account for health care priorities, policy and delivery; manage crises; and address major health concerns at the level of a population. All these activities are information intensive to support professional decision-making, practice and action.

The dual MHA/MPH degree program provides graduates with interdisciplinary knowledge, skills, and abilities to address challenges on a local and global scale. This dual degree program offers a course of study that emphasizes effective management and responsible oversight within the health care delivery system and focus on identifying, resolving, and preventing health problems that affect communities and populations. Beyond these foundations, both programs challenge students to lead their organizations toward satisfying the future demands and needs of their communities.

There is overlap between the MHA and MPH programs, which enables students to complete both degrees in a streamlined process. The MHA has a core requirement of 35 credit hours while the MPH has a 42 hour requirements. Currently there are three courses (9 credit hours) jointly shared by the two programs.

In addition, there is a joint collaborative relationship between the two programs in terms of the Capstone Project in Public Health (PBH 799 - 3 credit hours) with the Program Director for the MHA program serving on the student's Capstone Committee. In keeping with the traditional approach to dual degrees, there is a reduction in overall hour requirements for both degrees. While separately the two degrees require a total of 78 credit hours, under the joint degree program students could earn the two degrees in 66 credit hours.

Applicants to the joint MHA/MPA must be admitted into each program separately and must adhere to the admission requirements and prerequisite courses stipulated by each program. The student's decision to complete the joint MHA/MPH degree must be declared to the MHA and MPH Program Directors before the end of the second semester of the first year in either program.