Applications for the Summer/Fall of 2013 are due February 15; applications received by May 1 will be considered on a space available basis. Our MHA Handbook, linked below, describes the application process and the program in detail. The Handbook supplements the information on our website. We encourage interested applicants to download and review our Handbook.
On behalf of our faculty and staff, I thank you for your interest in and support of our MHA Program. I encourage you to explore our website, MHA Handbook, and the related links. Our MHA newsletter is published twice a year. I welcome your feedback.
Michael Thompson, MS, DrPH
Associate Professor, Interim Coordinator, MHA Program
The program's philosophy of instruction is based upon an interdisciplinary approach that draws on the expertise of faculty from diverse disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. Program courses are taught by fulltime faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Belk College of Business and the College of Health and Human Services; and by a core of community partners with positions in applied health care settings. The MHA program was established in 1995, and since 1998 over 235 students have graduated from the program.
The Master of Health Administration degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Accreditation is a voluntary process, and represents a partnership that demonstrates commitment to continuously improve graduate education. The MHA program is also full member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA).
MHA Program Vision Statement: The vision of the Master of Health Administration program is to be a premier program developing healthcare leaders prepared to address the challenges of a changing healthcare environment.
MHA Program Values Statement: Our program values intellectual rigor, innovation, teamwork, mentoring, professionalism, ethical leadership, diversity, personal integrity, lifelong learning, and personal growth.
The Master of Health Administration (MHA) provides training in management, accounting, finance, epidemiology, quantitative methods, marketing and strategic management for health care organizations. It is interdisciplinary, focusing on leadership and management of people, resources, and services. The MHA program prepares students for a career in the management of the full range of programs, organizations, and facilities in health services and medical care: acute, post-acute, long-term, and managed care, in both the private and public sectors. MHA graduates are prepared to provide leadership in any health care setting.
The need for health care managers has increased dramatically. Career opportunities will continue to grow. There are excellent career opportunities in many health care organizations including, hospitals, ambulatory care, surgery centers, physician group practices, long term care (retirement communities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes), the pharmaceutical industry, and consulting. The MHA is offered for full-time and part-time students.
MHA Program Mission: The mission of the MHA Program at UNC Charlotte is to prepare students to improve the public’s health by managing health care organizations. Our philosophy of instruction is based on an interdisciplinary approach that draws on the expertise of faculty from diverse disciplines. Our mission is pursued through education, research and service to:
1. Provide qualified and motivated students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities that enable them to become health service administrators or policy analysts;
2. Contribute to the body of knowledge related to health care management, improvement of the delivery of health services, and the development, implementation and evaluation of health policy; and
3. Provide assistance and advice that contribute to improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of practitioners in the field, and the practice of health service administration in organizations and health related institutions.
MHA Program Educational Objectives: The MHA degree prepares students for careers in health services management in a broad range of health care organizations, in an evolving health care delivery system. Structured to meet the highest professional and accreditation standards, the program is designed to address the needs of: (1) experienced or mid-level health care administrative and/or clinical professionals, for promotion and further career advancement; and (2) individuals without previous experience in health administration, for entry and mid-level health care managerial positions, and to facilitate their advancement into senior management.
Competency-Based Educational Model, Evaluation Processes, and Domains
The conceptual model that underlies the design, organization, and sequencing of the UNC Charlotte MHA program was adapted from the Saint Louis University (SLU) MHA Competency Model. Selected competencies were identified in the SLU model based on their relevance to the UNC Charlotte MHA program. Our evaluation process includes the following steps: student self-assessment of individual competencies for each core course in the MHA program for the subset of competencies relevant to that course. Additionally, a larger subset of competencies drawn from across the six domains of the model is used for student self-assessments after the internship that usually occurs about mid-way through the program. Internship preceptors also complete an assessment. At the conclusion of the program, students complete a final self-evaluation.
Upon completion of the MHA program, students will demonstrate the following competencies, in six domains: Leadership, Critical Thinking, Science/Analysis, Management, Political and Community-Stakeholders Development, and Communication. The competencies that guide our program are described in detail in our MHA Handbook.
Trends in health care management point to a future of rapid change confronting managers in new and diverse health care delivery settings. While the number of acute hospitals is expected to decline, there will be an increase in alternative health care facilities on local, regional and statewide levels. As funding sources for health care delivery undergo modification complexity in health care administration will increase. Masters prepared health service managers may work as chief or executive administrators, assistants to chief executives, or as directors and mangers of departments and units. Some examples of the settings where MHA graduates work include: hospitals and hospital systems, physician practices and clinics, long term care facilities, managed care organizations, consulting firms, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, local/state/federal health agencies, health insurance companies, and medical supply and equipment manufacturers. For more information on the occupational, career, and income opportunities available to MHA graduates please see the "Careers In Health Services Management" section below. The population of the metropolitan Charlotte region (which includes 18 contiguous counties in North Carolina and South Carolina) is one of the most rapidly growing in the country, and currently exceeds 2.5 million people. Health care facilities are among the largest employers in the region and offer expanding opportunities for health care professionals.
The Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree prepares students for exciting careers in health services management for a variety of health related institutions in an evolving health care delivery system. Structured to meet the highest professional and accreditation standards, the program is designed to address the needs of current health care managers, clinical professionals who anticipate future administrative responsibilities, and pre-professionals who wish to prepare for an entry-level career in health care administration.
The Master of Health Administration is a 51 hour degree program. Students take 45 hours of core courses including a 3 credit hours internship, and 6 hours of elective courses. Administratively located within the Department of Public Health Sciences, it is an interdisciplinary program with courses taught by faculty from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Belk College of Business and the College of Health and Human Services. The Master of Health Administration degree program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME); and the Department of Public Health Sciences is a member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.
Students may enroll in the Master of Health Administration program on a full-time or part-time basis. Classes are scheduled primarily in the evenings at the UNC Charlotte main campus and at UNC Charlotte Center City.
Master’s prepared health service managers may work as chief or executive administrators, assistants to chief executives, or as directors and mangers of departments and units. Examples of the settings where MHA graduates work include: hospitals and hospital systems, physician practices and clinics, long term care facilities, managed care organizations, consulting firms, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, local/state/federal health agencies, health insurance companies, and medical supply and equipment manufacturers.
Admission Criteria and Application Requirements
MHA Admission is considered annually, for a summer or fall start. Applications are due by 15th February for full consideration. General requirements for Master's students at UNC Charlotte can be found on the Graduate Admissions website at: Graduate Admissions Information.
Applications for the MHA program must be submitted through an online system called Apply Yourself through the website at UNC Charlotte. The website includes general admission requirements. All applications must be made on-line. Applicants should review the requirements thoroughly before applying. Questions regarding the general application process should be directed to the UNC Charlotte Graduate School.
1. A Bachelor's degree is required before students can enroll in the MHA program. An official transcript of undergraduate work is required. Applicants who are in the process of completing a Bachelor's degree should submit an official transcript of all coursework taken.
2. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores are required and must be submitted as part of application process.
3. As stated on the UNC Charlotte website: "International students are required to submit proof of English language proficiency by submitting official test score results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)."
4. Three letters of recommendations must be submitted from persons who can reflect upon the applicant's prior academic and/or professional performance and capability for serving as a health care administrator.
5. The applicant must provide a career goal statement and a current resume.
Admission Criteria: Regarding standardized tests, the academic standard preferred by faculty is that applicants have a GPA of at least a 3.0, and combined verbal and quantitative GRE percentile scores of at least 90 (or the equivalent GMAT score). We use a portfolio approach to evaluate applicants: An applicant's portfolio consists of reference letters, previous professional experience, goal statement, grade point average in undergraduate and previous graduate work (if applicable), and standardized test scores. The portfolio approach allows us to address the limitations of standardized test scores. For mid-career students, the portfolio approach accommodates undergraduate work completed many years previously, which may not reflect the applicant’s current skills and motivation for graduate study. The portfolio approach allows us to balance GRE scores with GPAs and letters of recommendation.
Applicants with a variety of undergraduate degree specializations have the potential to be successful in the program. Individuals with records of high quality professional experience who do not fulfill the formal requirements should discuss with the Director of the Health Administration Program other factors that may have a bearing on admission.
Course of Study
Each student is required to complete 45 hours (15 courses including the Internship) in the core curriculum. These courses offer a basic body of knowledge, skills, and values relevant to health services administration. Additionally, students will select 6 credit hours (2 graduate courses) in elective studies. A student may choose to use the two elective courses to complete a thesis. Students are encouraged to select courses that meet individual professional needs. Electives are available in several areas including health information technology, management specialties, long term care, community health, and non-profit organization.
Courses in Health Administration (HADM)
Core MHA Courses (45 hours)
HADM 6100. Introduction to the US Healthcare System. (3) Cross-listed as HCIP 6100 and MPAD 6172. Overview of healthcare delivery in the United States including organizational structures, financing mechanisms and delivery systems, with particular attention to program formation. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6104. Health and Disease. (3) Cross-listed as HCIP 6104. Principles and methods of epidemiology including definitions and models of health, illness, and disease; modes of transmission of clinically important infectious agents; risk factors and chronic diseases; and insights into existing studies and paradigms of health promotion and disease prevention. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6108. Decision Analysis in Healthcare. (3) Cross-listed as HCIP 6108. The study of selected quantitative management tools useful in the analysis of managerial decisions. Includes a review of basic descriptive and inferential statistics, applied probability distributions, forecasting methods, statistical process control, queuing, transportation and assignment modeling, and linear programming. The emphasis is on applying quantitative decision making methods to the operational problems facing healthcare organizations. Familiarity with computers and computer software will be important for success in this course. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6116. Accounting for Healthcare Management. (3) Basic concepts and techniques of collecting, processing and reporting financial information relevant to healthcare institutions. Emphasizes a conceptual understanding of financial accounting, technical tools of cost accounting, including budget preparation and analysis, and interpretation of financial statements. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6120. Health Economics. (3) Examination of the economic context of health services delivery and policies, and application of economic concepts to the healthcare sector including supply and demand, elasticity, regulation, competition, and cost effectiveness analysis. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6124. Marketing in Healthcare. (3) Provides an in-depth understanding of the essential concepts of marketing and their application to healthcare. Students gain a working knowledge of marketing tools and how to use them in the context of healthcare. Students build practical applied skills in analyzing healthcare marketing problems and developing healthcare marketing programs and strategies. Students also expand their understanding of the differences and similarities between health services and social marketing. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6128. Human Resources Management. (3) Examines human resources management as it applies to health services institutions, including compensation benefits, personnel planning, recruitment, selection, training and development, employee appraisal and discipline, union-management relations, and quality management. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6134. Quality and Outcomes Management in Healthcare. (3) Cross-listed as HCIP 6134. Examination of the concepts and practices of quality management, performance improvement, and assessment of outcomes in healthcare delivery settings. Designed to provide an in-depth understanding of basic concepts and frameworks and of their applicability and relevance in specific situations. Examples of topics to be covered include: process reengineering, service improvement, continuous quality improvement, accreditation standards, patient satisfaction, outcome measurement, teamwork, and case management. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6138. Healthcare Finance. (3) Prerequisite: HADM 6116. Fundamental financial management concepts and tools for healthcare institutions, including financial statements and attributes, capital acquisition and allocation, investment analysis, capital and cash flow management, and contractual relationships. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6142. Health Policy Development. (3) Cross-listed as MPAD 6174. Prerequisite: HADM 6100/MPAD 6172. Examination of the formulation, adoption and implementation of public policy for health services delivery and healthcare through federal, state, and local political processes. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings or Weekends)
HADM 6145. Organization Behavior in Healthcare. (3) Introduction to organizational theory with applications to healthcare systems, including organizational design and inter-organizational networks/alliances. Examination of communication and leadership skills development, including conflict, labor, and dispute management. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6146. Information Resources Management. (3) Cross-listed as HCIP 6146 and NURS 6162. A study of the use of information management to improve the delivery of healthcare. Information resource management includes methods and practices to acquire, disseminate, store, interpret, and use information to provide healthcare in a more efficient, effective and economical manner. Emphasis is placed upon information as central to the ongoing operations and strategic decisions of healthcare organizations. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6150. Health Law and Ethics. (3) Cross-listed as HCIP 6150. Analysis of ethical and bioethical problems confronting healthcare delivery systems. Selected legal principles and their application to the healthcare field, including corporate liability, malpractice, informed consent, and governmental regulation of health personnel and health facilities. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings or Weekends)
HADM 6154. Strategic Management of Health Services Organizations. (3) Prerequisites: All core courses except HADM 6146 and HADM 6150. Analysis of strategic planning, managing and marketing concepts, techniques and tools within the healthcare industry, including organizational capability analysis and business plan development. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6400. Health Administration Internship. (3) Cross-listed as HCIP 6400. Prerequisite: HADM 6100 and 15 additional hours of core course requirements. Offers administrative experience in a healthcare setting for students. The initial assumption is made that students participating in the internship experience have had limited hands-on exposure to healthcare administration. Graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis. (Fall, Spring, Summer)
HADM 6800. Health Administration Independent Study. (1-3) Guided individual study in an issue related to health administration arranged with a faculty member or supervised experience in an administrative setting in a program or entity within the healthcare delivery system. Graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis. May be repeated for credit. (On demand)
HADM 6999. Health Administration Thesis. (3) Production of independent research relevant to health administration which demonstrates contribution to professional knowledge through systemic investigation. Graded on a Pass/In Progress basis. (Fall, Spring, Summer)
HADM 7999. Master's Degree Graduate Residency Credit. (1) Meets Graduate School requirement for continuous enrollment during final term prior to graduation when all coursework has been completed.
Elective Courses (6 hours) (Elective core can be drawn from any of the University's graduate offering)
HADM 6200. Health Insurance and Managed Care. (3) Fundamentals of managed healthcare systems, including risk arrangements, compensation, incentives, quality assurance, financing, and public programs. (On demand)
HADM 6204. Trends and Issues in Health Administration. (3) Cross-listed as MPAD 6176. Examination of current issues confronting healthcare managers and an assessment of programs and management responses to emerging trends in the healthcare filed, including delivery systems, marketing/competition, financing, and/or epidemiological changes. (On demand)
HADM 6210. Medical Practice Management. (3) Cross-listed as HCIP 6330. A comprehensive study of medical practice management and the issues, tools, and techniques to resolve those issues. Provides the student with an understanding of the financial and regulatory issues that influence today's medical practice with an insight into the cultural, human resource, and governance issues that make physician practices unique among healthcare organizations. (On demand)
HADM 6212. Health, Aging, and Long Term Care. (3) Overview of the health status of an aging U.S. population, with a focus on long-term care. Topics include: demographics of an aging society, health status of older people, societal values related to aging and long-term care, informal care giving, the formal service provision system, relevant public policies, and challenges for the future. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings)
HADM 6216. Long Term Care Administration. (3) Overview of the long-term care system, with an emphasis on older persons. Class content includes the exploration of issues surrounding the provision of long-term care, identification of the various components of the long-term care system, and discussion of the role of health administration within the long-term care system. (Fall or Spring) (Evenings or Weekends)
GRNT 6211. Administration of Aging Programs. (3) Cross-listed as MPAD 6211. Focus will be implementation of public policies and programs for the aged and the development and administration of these programs. Students will become familiar with the process through which policies are transformed into aging programs and the budgetary, management and evaluative considerations that must be taken into consideration. (Alternate years)GRNT
SOCY 6138. Social Organization of Healthcare. (3) Focuses on the structures and operations of healthcare institutions and providers. The topics covered include the socio-historical development of the existing healthcare system, healthcare occupations and professions, professional power and autonomy, professional socialization, inter-professional and provider-patient relations, healthcare organizations and the delivery of services, and how social change affects the healthcare sector. (On demand)
UNC Charlotte offers several Graduate Certificate programs. Elective courses can be used to fulfill, in part, the following Graduate Certificates: (1) Graduate Certificate in Gerontology; (2) Graduate Certificate in Health Information Technology and (3) Graduate Certificate in Community Health
Positions as a graduate administrative assistant may be available. Grant funded assistantships may be available as well. Students seeking assistantships should contact the Office Assistant assigned to the Department of Public Health Sciences.
Each student in the program is required to demonstrate professional experience in the health care delivery system. This requirement is demonstrated through an internship experience in a health care delivery setting. Students complete at-least 160 hours of administrative internship experience with the selected organization during the semester of enrollment in the HADM 6400 Internship course. Internship is graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis. The internship is described in detail in our MHA Handbook.
Note: A criminal background check and drug screen are among the internship requirements. Students who fail these screening measures and who are unable to be placed in an internship face dismissal from the program.
The only exemption permitted for the MHA internship is for the highly experienced health care manager who is currently employed at senior levels in a health services organization. Such individuals may substitute additional three hours of prescribed graduate course work. The Student must obtain approval to be exempted from the internship from an faculty advisor and the Program Coordinator.
Each student is assigned a faculty advisor. In addition, the MHA Coordinator serves as the back-up advisor for all students. Students are expected to meet with their advisor on a regular basis to plan their progression through their program of study. Any course substitutions and selection of electives must be endorsed by the advisor and approved by the MHA Coordinator in writing.
Financial Aid Information
For information about financial aid, we ask that students and applicants contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at UNC Charlotte. A small number of graduate assistantship positions are available at UNC Charlotte for master’s students.
CHESO is a graduate student society for future healthcare executives from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. CHESO is designed to meet its members’ professional, educational, and leadership needs; to promote high ethical standards and conduct; and to provide opportunities for members to learn from one another as well as those in the healthcare executive profession. We strongly encourage all MHA students to join and participate in CHESO.
The term "health services manager" describes people in many different positions who plan, organize, coordinate, and supervise the delivery of healthcare. Health services managers include both generalists (administrators who manage or help to manage an entire institution or system), and health specialists (administrators in charge of specific departments or services found only in the health care sector).
Why a Career in Health Services Management?
A career in health services management combines features many would describe as highly desirable including:
√ The opportunity to work in a professionally challenging environment on some of the most critical issues and problems in our society.
√ The personal satisfaction of knowing your work makes a difference to the health and well being of people in your community.
√ Serve in visible and important leadership positions in your community.
√ Jobs that offer a broad range of roles encompassing many different skills, organizational settings, scope of responsibility, and interests.
√ The potential for advancement and financial rewards that go with executive responsibility.
The health care sector is a large component of the US economy. Expenditures on health care account for a growing share (almost 14%) of the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Currently 1 in 6 new jobs in the American economy is in the health care sector. While the majority of these new jobs are for actual care givers, an ever increasing share of these jobs are going to health services managers. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) reports that employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow faster than average (increase 21-35%) relative to all other occupations in the first decade of the 21st century. Given an aging population, as well as population increases from immigration, there is no reason to believe there will be a reversal in these trends.
Opportunities for managers will be related to the areas of growth in the industry. Job growth is forecasted to be particularly good in home healthcare, long-term care, managed care organizations, and consulting firms. The USBLS reported that in the year 2000 medical and health services managers accounted for 250,000 jobs. About 40% were in hospitals, and 20% were in nursing and personal care facilities and physician clinics. The remainder worked in a variety of settings including facilities run by state and local governments, home health agencies, medical laboratories, and social service agencies.
Master's prepared health services managers can work in organizations where either health care is delivered or organizations that support the delivery of health care. Entry-level MHA graduates can expect to hold positions such as supervisor, clinic or program coordinator, and department manager in larger organizations, or managing directors of smaller organizations. The potential for job advancement is great because many health care organizations are large, with multiple levels of management responsibility through the chain of command. Some examples of the settings where MHA graduates work are:
Finding Career Information
Below are listed several sources you could use to further explore what health services management is about, and the type of career opportunities that are available.
Applications for full-time and part-time study are admitted for the fall; students have an option to begin in the summer. For full consideration, applications are expected by February 15. Applications received after February 15 will be reviewed until the University deadline, currently: May 1, space permitting.
The University Catalog, application forms and materials can be obtained from:
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte NC 28223-0001
The current Schedule of Courses is available online here.
Michael Thompson, MS, DrPH
Ms. Melissa Smith, MSPH
MHA Program Administrator
Dr. Christopher Blanchette, Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services
Dr. William P. Brandon, Metrolina Medical Society Distinguished Professor of Health Public Policy, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Adjunct Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services
Dr. Larissa Huber, Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services
Dr. Jim Laditka, Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services
Dr. Sarah Laditka, Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services
Dr. Crystal Piper, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services
Dr. Elena Platonova, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services
Dr. James Studnicki, Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, and Irwin Belk Endowed Chair in Health Services Research, College of Health and Human Services
Dr. Rosemarie Tong, Distinguished Professor in Health Care Ethics, Center for Professional and Applied Ethics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Adjunct Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services
Christopher Blanchette, PhD, Associate Scientist and Director, Center for Pharmacoeconomic and Outcomes Research, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
Peggy Burke, MBA, CPA. Corporate Director, Internal Audit and Compliance, Novant Health, Inc.
John Carew, PhD, Director, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Carolinas Healthcare System
David Dougherty, MBA., Associate Graduate Faculty
Thomas S. Elmore, MBA, FACHE. Vice President of Growth & Development, Novant Health Inc.Agnes Ozelkan, PhD, Instructor, Mechanical Engineering Department, UNC Charlotte
Angela Sanford, MBA, Vice President Research and Finance, Carolina HealthCare System
Stephen Wagner, PhD, Vice President, Carolinas HealthCare System
Dr. Michael Thompson
Interim Coordinator, Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program
Department of Public Health Sciences
College of Health and Human Services
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
Email: MHA Program@uncc.edu