Programs and Degrees

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Master of Health Administration (MHA)


Program Description

programs and degrees

The MHA program offers the most widely accepted management degree in the U.S. healthcare system. Graduates are employed with public and private hospitals, ambulatory care organizations, long-term care institutions, health maintenance organizations, insurance companies, multi-institutional systems, and other organizations concerned with the planning, delivery, and financing of personal health services. The program has been fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) since 1971. The MHA program resides in the Health Systems Management and Policy Concentration in the Department of Global Health Systems and Development of the School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, a CEPH-accredited school. CEPH requires that the students pursuing the MHA degree be “grounded in basic public health knowledge,” specifically that they “obtain a broad introduction to public health, as well as [an] understanding of how their discipline-based specialization[s] relate[s] to achieving public health goals” with not less than three semester hours of credit devoted to these requirements. CAHME requirements are embodied in the Program Competencies delineated below.

MHA Program Mission Statement

The mission of Tulane University’s MHA program is to train future managers and leaders who strive to improve the delivery of health services in diverse settings. We do this by delivering a degree program that draws on the multi-disciplinary expertise of our faculty who create and disseminate knowledge that improves managerial practice and strengthens health systems worldwide.

MHA Program Vision

We envision a future where the influence of our scholarship and the performance of our graduates enhance quality of life by improving health systems worldwide.

MHA Program Values


We maintain these core values:

  • Commitment to excellence
  • Collaboration and collegiality
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Innovation and risk taking
  • Balance among our life commitments
  • Celebration of our accomplishments


Program Competencies

Broad Introduction to Public Health/Discipline’s Relation to Achieving Public Health Goals

The CEPH basic public health knowledge areas include epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health systems management, and the biological, social, and cultural aspects of health and disease. The following courses provide both a broad introduction to these knowledge areas as well as provide an understanding of how health administration and management relate to achieving public health goals: BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics; GHSD 6050 Health Systems Concepts; GHSD 6120 Foundations of Management; GHSD 6170 Quality Management in Health Care; GHSD 6190 Ethical Concerns for Health Care Managers; GHSD 6210 Health Law and Regulation; GHSD 6380 Organizational Behavior; GHSD 6890 Health Market Analysis–Epidemiological, Social, and Behavioral Considerations.

Domain: Leadership and Management

  1. Articulate an organizations core purpose, core values, goals, and envisioned future, and use these principles to guide group and strategic organizational activities. (Leadership)
  2. Demonstrate and employ the fundamental skills of team learning, collaborative action, and professional network development. (Leadership)
  3. Engage, motivate, and empower others to act toward achievement of group or organizational goals. (Leadership)
  4. Formulate a personal ethical code to guide future professional behavior and use it to develop and articulate a personal leadership philosophy. (Leadership)
  5. Recognize and promote employee diversity and cultural sensitivity as critical components of organizational success. (Leadership)
  6. Apply appropriate methods and tools of human resource management including assessing and justifying workforce needs and hiring, motivating, developing, and terminating employees to increase organizational effectiveness and workforce productivity. (Management)
  7. Identify, measure, track, and respond to the perspectives and needs of major stakeholders. (Management)
  8. Identify appropriate information systems (both hardware and software) that support operations and reporting, and use the information gathered for decision-making and control processes. (Management)
  9. Apply the basic theories of management science to the improvement of quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of organizational processes. (Management)
  10. Explain and apply accounting and financial information to demonstrate and establish organizational priorities, create and manage budgets, improve operational efficiency, and produce fiscal stability. (Management)
  11. Describe the role of socioeconomic, environmental, cultural, and other population-level determinants of health on the health status and healthcare of individuals and populations. (Leadership and Management)

Domain: Communication and Interpersonal Effectiveness

  1. Develop,organize, prioritize, and present information clearly and concisely in both oral and written formats. (Communication)
  2. Actively listen to, interpret, and respond to the ideas and thoughts of others in a professional manner (Communication and Professionalism)
  3. Employ effective communication skills to organize and manage meetings, projects, and teams, and to communicate with different audiences. (Communication)
  4. Identify the respective roles and functions of governing boards, executive management, and the medical staff in healthcare organizations and recognize approaches for establishing and maintaining effective relationships among these groups. (Interpersonal Effectiveness)

Domain: Professionalism and Ethics

  1. Formulate a personal ethical code to guide future professional behavior and action and articulate a personal leadership philosophy. (Leadership, Professionalism, and Ethics)
  2. Actively listen to, interpret, and respond to the ideas and thoughts of others in a professional manner. (Communication and Professionalism)
  3. Identify and employ legal and ethical considerations in dealing with sensitive information. (Interpersonal Effectiveness and Ethics)

Admission Requirements

Students must meet the School's requirements to be considered for admission. A baccalaureate degree is required for admission to the MHA degree program. The ideal educational preparation would include study in the natural, social, and behavioral sciences, mathematics, economics, business and humanities. There are no specific educational prerequisites since no one undergraduate major is preferred above others. 

Minimum admission requirements include a 3.0 or better undergraduate GPA, and scores on a standardized admission test (e.g., the GRE). The program generally seeks raw scores on the GRE tests ten percent the school-level standard or equivalent scores on the GMAT. MCAT or LSAT scores may be submitted and the MHA admissions committee will determine whether an additional test will be required. 

The MHA admission committee may recognize particularly strong service or professional experience, or strong recommendations as balancing elements for test scores or an undergraduate GPA just below the normal threshold. While students with post-baccalaureate work experience are preferred, about half of each MHA class comes to Tulane directly from undergraduate degree programs.

Graduation Requirements

To meet the graduation requirements, the MHA student will complete no less than 60 semester hours of academic credit. These hours comprise a 51 credit-hour health systems management core (including BIOS 6030), an administrative residency (that also fulfills the practicum requirement), 9 credit hours of electives, and a culminating experience. See Model Course Schedule.

MHA Management Core Requirements (51 credits)

[Prerequisite/Co-requisite Course(s) listed in brackets]

BIOS 6030 Introduction to Biostatistics
GHSD 6050 Health Systems Concepts
GHSD 6120 Fundamentals of Management
GHSD 6170 Quality Management in Health Care
GHSD 6190 Ethical Concerns for Health Care Managers
GHSD 6210 Health Law and Regulation
GHSD 6320 Managerial Communications
GHSD 6360 Human Resource Management
GHSD 6380 Organizational Behavior
GHSD 6450 Health Economics [GHSD 6030 or 6050 strongly recommended]
GHSD 6500 Introduction to Health Care Accounting
GHSD 6540 Managerial Accounting [GHSD 6500 or ACCN 6010] 2
GHSD 6550 Dynamics of Payment Systems – Policy and Function [GHSD 6500 or ACCN 6010; GHSD 6450 or FINE 6110; GHSD 6540 or ACCN 6020]
GHSD 6710 Quantitative Decision Models [BIOS 6030] GHSD 6780 Information Systems
GHSD 6890 Health Market Analysis–Epidemiological, Social, and Behavioral Considerations
GHSD 6910 Administrative Internship I
GHSD 6920 Administrative Internship II [GHSD 6910]
GHSD 7170 Strategic Management & Planning for Health Care Organizations [GHSD 6050; GHSD 6360, 6380 or MGMT 6110; GHSD 6500 or ACCN 6010; GHSD 6540 or ACCN 6020; GHSD 6890; GHSD 7580 or FINE 6010] 3
GHSD 7580 Financial Management [GHSD 6500 or ACCN 6010; GHSD 6540 or ACCN 6020; GHSD 6450 or FINE 6110]
GHSD 7660 Health Policy Analysis [GHSD 6050]
GHSD 6710 Quantitative Decision Models [BIOS 6030]
GHSD 7910 Administrative Residency I [GHSD 6910, 6920]
GHSD 7920 Administrative Residency II [GHSD 6910, 6920, 7910]

Electives (minimum of 9 credits)

MHA students may meet the minimum elective hours with other GSHD courses or other graduate-level courses with advisor approval. In addition to the minimum elective hours, there may be additional elective hours equal to the number of credit hours of any required courses waived on the basis of prior coursework. Any such additional elective credits may be satisfied using any other GHSD courses, or, with advisor approval, other courses outside of GHSD.

Culminating Experience

The culminating experience for all Master of Health Administration students is an oral comprehensive examination. All students must successfully complete the culminating experience to graduate. The purposes of the culminating experience are:

  • To evaluate the student's decision-making ability and integration of the didactic and experiential phases of the program as they relate to the knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors of the health professional;
  • To assess competency model, curriculum, and faculty effectiveness in preparing students for their respective careers; and 
  • To assure program quality through faculty assessment of student competencies overall.

The oral comprehensive examination in the MHA program consists of four questions and a case study. The four questions assess specific knowledge in the MHA program competency domains, while the case study tests the student's ability to integrate material taken from all areas of the curriculum through the analysis of a complex situation.

An interdisciplinary faculty team will select a single case for each day of the exam and will draft multiple questions for each of the four competency domains. The case study will be distributed to student s 24 hour prior to the examination, giving them time to prepare a formal presentation. Upon arrival for their oral examination the next day, students randomly select four questions, on each from each of the competency domains.

Each student will have 30 minutes to prepare his or her answers to the questions before being joined by a faculty committee in the examination room. The student will be given the opportunity to choose the order of the examination. That is, the student may begin with the formal case study presentation, to last approximately 20 minutes, or may begin with responses to the examination questions, allowing approximately 5 to 10 minutes for each answer depending on the question content.

The faculty will use a four-point scoring grid to assess student achievement in the four competency domains and the case. This objective evaluation method also provides a way to externally validate students' self-assessment of their competency development, measured as they move through the program. To pass the exam, a student must earn a minimum passing score in all four competency domains by all three examiners for both portions of the exam.

The student will receive unofficial results immediately following the examination. The official confirmation of the examination outcome will be sent in writing within two weeks of the examination. Students who fail to complete the examination successfully have the opportunity to retake the examination during the following academic semester. The maximum number of times the examination may be taken is twice.

Administrative Residency

The Administrative Residency Program is designed to provide practical experience for MHA graduates, meet experiential learning accreditation requirements of the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), and enable students to make an immediate contribution to the management process. The Administrative Residency has three options:

  1. Integrated Administrative Residency - a 9-month locally based experience that typically begins in the spring of the student's first year.
  2. Summer Administrative Residency - a 12- to 14-week experience that occurs during the summer between the student's first and second years. This residency allows greater flexibility by allowing students to seek and participate in opportunities locally, nationally or abroad.
  3. Post Didactic Residency - This residency experience is identical to the Summer Administrative Residency except that this residency occurs after the end of the second year of the program.

For more information:

Vanessa J. Bailey, Program Coordinator
Phone: 504-988-1313
Fax: 504-988-3783
Location: Tidewater Building,  19th Floor





1440 Canal Street | Suite 1900 | #8346 | New Orleans, LA 70112 | 504-988-5428