The Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) requires 60 s.h. of graduate credit earned in two academic years of full-time study. The program prepares students for a wide variety of positions in health care management. It is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of issues encountered by health care delivery organizations, and strong business skills. Graduates are well prepared to advance to senior executive roles in a variety of health care organizations.

Students work with their advisors to create a plan of study that incorporates required and elective course work that supports their career goals in areas such as operations management, managed care, or financial management. Required courses in management, economics, law, managerial finance, and financial accounting focus on health care applications. Students also may take course work in other University of Iowa departments and programs, such as business, urban and regional planning, and aging and longevity studies.

During the first year, students are introduced to the social, political, economic, and financial environments of health care organizations. The concepts, tools, and techniques necessary for effective management also are presented. During the second year, courses focus on in-depth health care applications of management concepts that integrate prior course work and develop skills in areas relating to students' special interests and career objectives.

Transfer credit and course waivers may be accepted, but all students are expected to complete a minimum of 54 s.h. at the University of Iowa during their course of study.

The Master of Health Administration requires the following course work.

Core Courses

HMP:5000Professional Development Seminar (taken four times for 1 s.h. each)4
HMP:5005Introduction to Healthcare Organization and Policy3
HMP:5200Healthcare Management3
HMP:5230Managerial Epidemiology1
HMP:5291Performance Improvement in Healthcare2
HMP:5310Healthcare Quality Management2
HMP:5315Health Information Systems2
HMP:5320Analytics for Healthcare Management3
HMP:5410Health Economics I3
HMP:5610Health Policy3
HMP:5810M.H.A. Internship1
HMP:6110Strategic Planning and Marketing3
HMP:6150M.H.A. Integrative Capstone3
HMP:6310Human Resources for Health Organizations1
HMP:6315Healthcare Ethics1
HMP:6355Leadership in Healthcare Organizations2
HMP:6410Healthcare Financial Management3
HMP:6610Legal Aspects of Healthcare3
MBA:8140Corporate Financial Reporting3
MBA:8180Managerial Finance3
CPH:6100Essentials of Public Health2


Students choose 9 s.h. of elective course work; they may count a maximum of 6 s.h. of elective credit earned outside the Department of Health Management and Policy toward the M.H.A. degree.

Summer Internships, Fellowships, Residencies

The department facilitates placement of M.H.A. students in required summer internships between the first and second years of study. Internships offer opportunities for practical experience interacting with executives in a health care setting. Internships are full-time positions that usually last 10-12 weeks. Students normally receive a salary or stipend, and in some cases, assistance with living arrangements.

Most M.H.A. students complement their academic training with a postgraduate fellowship or residency. Such experiences provide opportunities to observe, develop, and demonstrate management skills and to develop connections with colleagues. The department takes an active role in helping students identify and secure fellowship and residency positions.

Executive M.H.A.

The executive Master of Health Administration program requires 45 s.h. of graduate credit and typically is completed in two years. The program is designed for working professionals who wish to advance their knowledge and skills in order to become effective health care administrators. The program's objectives are to:

  • provide working professionals with advanced knowledge and skills in health care management;
  • position experienced professionals to become effective health care administrators; and
  • meet the need for leadership in transforming health care financing and delivery in dynamic environments.

The program's curricular emphases are basic administrative skills, administrative skills specific to health care, population health administration, and interprofessional health care administration.

Students in the program complete three courses each fall and spring semester and one course in each of two summer sessions. Courses are taught on campus by experienced faculty members and are supplemented with online resources. Instruction focuses on cases and teams.

For more information, visit EMHA Curriculum on the College of Public Health website and contact the Department of Health Management and Policy.

Joint Degrees

The Master of Health Administration offers joint degree programs with the Tippie College of Business and the College of Law. Students interested in combining an M.H.A. with a master's or professional degree in another field should discuss their plans with both academic units and indicate their interest when they apply to the M.H.A. program.

Joint M.H.A. (Business Subprogram)/M.B.A.

The joint Master of Health Administration (business subprogram)/Master of Business Administration requires a minimum of 75 s.h. of graduate credit. The program combines the traditional strengths of health management and policy with additional course work in management. Separate application to each degree program is required; applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the joint degree program. For information about the M.B.A., see Master of Business Administration Program (Tippie College of Business) in the Catalog.

Joint M.H.A. (Law Subprogram) /J.D.

The joint Master of Health Administration (law subprogram)/Juris Doctor requires 123 s.h. of postbaccalaureate credit. The program allows students to gain training in both health care management and law. Students usually complete the program in four years; they enroll only in law courses during the first year. Separate application to each degree program is required; applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the joint degree program. For information about the J.D., see Juris Doctor (College of Law) in the Catalog.

Applicants must apply through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) or the Health Administration, Management & Policy Centralized Application Service (HAMPCAS). All applicants also must submit the supplemental University of Iowa application fee. For detailed application information, visit HMP Degree Programs on the Department of Health Management and Policy website.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.

Students begin the program in fall semester. Personal interviews are required before admission; the admissions committee conducts Skype interviews with applicants unable to visit campus.

A variety of financial assistance is available, including scholarships and awards, student loans, and graduate research assistantships. Every effort is made to provide financial support to students who demonstrate need and maintain satisfactory academic standards. Some awards are offered in recognition of outstanding academic performance and experience, regardless of need.

Graduate research assistantships generally are awarded on the basis of student merit and the department's need. Assistantships afford valuable experience in health services research and management projects. Graduate research assistants work 10 hours per week and must apply for reappointment each year. Assistantships provide a stipend, some tuition assistance, and entitle students to the resident tuition rate.

Opportunities also exist for part-time employment both on and off campus. For information and financial aid application forms, contact the University's Office of Student Financial Aid.