Frequently Asked Questions About the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) Program

Is the MHA program online? How long is the program? How do I progress and finish the program?

Thank you for your interest in the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program! It is a great day to become a Dragon…! The MHA program is a combination of MHA, MBA, and Economic courses. The program is 100% online and follows the three semester (fall, spring, summer) academic calendar of MSUM. You would not need to travel to campus to complete your virtual work. Please note that not all courses are offered each semester, but you do have courses to select from for fall, spring, and summer semesters – please refer to our Course Progression Plan. The program does require summer session courses, so students must enroll throughout each year to complete the program in a timely manner.

You can find more information about our current and most recent graduating class in terms of demographics, as well as satisfaction, and other program information/data via the Student Outcome Data.

Most students enrolled in our program work full time. You can progress through the program at your own pace; meaning taking as many or as few credits that works with your lifestyle - actually the majority of our students are enrolled part-time in the program. Advisors work with students on their desired progression plan. Per University policy, you have ten years to complete your graduate degree. The speed of taking courses really varies. We see that many students working full time with families often take 1-2 courses per semester. The average course load is two courses or six credits per semester (fall, spring, summer). This would be considered part-time, but you would still be eligible for financial aid. At that pace, you can graduate in 7 semesters or just over two years. If you need to pause a semester, we work with you to help you obtain your graduate degree!

Is the MHA program accredited?

The MHA program is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, MSUM is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). CAHME is the gold standard for accreditation for healthcare management programs.

What can I expect for course work, learning, and assessments in the MHA program?

All your work occurs online. Any outside work in the program can occur at your organization and/or organizations within your area. For example, in MHA 638, students interview stakeholders at local organizations regarding a specific assignment. Your capstone can occur at your organization or another organization in your area. Most courses do require synchronous virtual meetings. You can access these meetings from anywhere! These meetings are set at the start of the semester (usually 3-4 total meetings per semester, per course). We recommend that students attend these class meetings live or view the recording (if unable to attend live). Otherwise, you complete all your work online. There are obvious due dates for assignments and other work in the program.

In this program, expect to experience learning and assessments via online discussion forums, quizzes, group activities, case studies, online modules, simulated case studies/experiences, written papers, PowerPoint projects, online Zoom meetings with breakout activities/presentations, exposure to other technology, and/or other assignments. Assessment of learning can occur via rubrics, quizzes, group evaluation quizzes/rubrics, and/or faculty review of written work. You can see more detail and our grading scale via MHA Student Handbook.

Is there an internship and/or final capstone project? What are the requirements of Capstone?

We do not require an internship or specific internship hours for the MHA program, but we do require a final capstone experience to receive your master's degree. Capstone I and II courses occur at the end of the program. These courses aim to align theory concepts with application into the capstone experience.

Capstone I is preparing for the Capstone II course, as well as looking at professional development. Capstone II is completed as one of the final courses in the MHA program. The purpose of Capstone II is to provide practical and theoretical experience based on recently acquired leadership and administrative theory. In the Capstone II experience, the student connects with a leader as an organizational mentor within the healthcare industry. The student should be wholly responsible for a major project determined by the leader and the student. The student and leader develop project goals and timeline. Based on the capstone experience, the student will develop a written project/executive portfolio conceived, managed, and researched by the student, which requires employing a concept learned and matched to an organizational need. At the conclusion of the project, the student will present the project to peers and faculty. The deliverable is a well-researched executive portfolio highlighting the key milestones of the capstone project. There are no pre-determined hours for this experience, but instead the focus is on the scholarly project/process.

What are examples of past capstone projects?

For the final capstone project, students typically find their own organizational site and mentor, which can be where they work. We just ask students to select a project topic that they normally would not do in their daily work. The capstone project might be working with another department, etc. If students are struggling to find a site, we work with them to find a mentor and site. Some examples that past students have completed for capstone projects:

  • Redesigning patient education materials with electronic referral creation within the EHR
  • Redesigning patient education materials with electronic referral creation within the EHR
  • Business plan for a new service and/or service line
  • Proposal regarding staffing matrix/guidelines
  • Any type of process improvement project that involves key stakeholders – identify gaps in current practice and propose a solution.
  • Designing and implementing employee engagement programs
  • Cost analysis of current product utilization – propose alternate products
  • Cost analysis of service lines – identify and propose solutions to improve ROI and/or increase operating margins
  • Strategic proposals related to improving a service line
  • Implementing community education programs
  • Ipad Initiative for Skilled Nursing Facility
  • Implement Eating Disorder Clinic
  • Improve Outcome Data Collection for Adult Weight Loss Program
  • Emergency Department Workflow Redesign
  • Developing a Recruitment and Retention Program
  • Reduce Hospital Associated Infections through Analysis of Environmental Cleaning, Hand Hygiene and Product Analysis
  • Administrator Engagement: An Action Plan for Success
  • Going from Good to Great- Increasing Patient Satisfaction Scores
  • Health Promotion-Policy Systems Environmental Strategies and Health Equity
  • Hospice Education to healthcare professionals/students & Volunteer Recruitment
  • Process Improvement - Medication Reconciliation
  • Implementing a Wellness Program to Combat Workplace Fatigue

Are there study abroad and/or global experiences?

We also offer study abroad/global health experiences that students can utilize toward their final capstone. For example, in 2023, students went to Italy (Rome and Florence) to learn about global healthcare. Students can apply two of their three capstone credits to that study abroad experience. Upon return, students would finish their one capstone credit with a small project at their organization or in their community (this might be an educational event, redoing a policy, etc.). We plan to continue offering study abroad experiences in future years. This depends on travel advisories.

What is the MHA program cost/tuition?

Our tuition for the MHA program is competitive and aligned with the market. Students can also enjoy the same in state and outstate tuition! More tuition/aid information.

In 2023-2024, the total cost for the program is around $31,000 (43 total credits, plus textbooks and resources). Students can compare our tuition to other online CAHME programs via this website. Students will find that MSUM is one of the most affordable, online, CAHME accredited programs! Note, we do not charge out of state tuition!

Further questions/information about application/financial aid:

If you have further questions about the program, please do not hesitate to ask. Direct any specifics about applying to the MSUM Graduate Studies office. Our program is becoming quite competitive, and we rank students on GPA, written essay, recommendations, and experience working in healthcare. We have a rolling admission process, depending on seats/availability in the program.

Access our website for more details on our program and application process.

You can also view some beneficial videos about Financial Aid and Application Instructions below:

Other, specific questions about the MHA program direct to:

Brandi Sillerud, DNP, MSN, RN, NEA-BC (She/Her/Hers)
Program Coordinator | Professor
School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership
Send Email | Phone: 218.332.0241218.332.0241
HA 213M
Program Coordinator, Master of Healthcare Administration | Professor | DNP, MSN, RN, NEA-B...

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