The Master of Health Administration 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 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:5291Lean Sigma Principles: Applications in Health Care2
HMP:5310Quantitative Management in Health Care2
HMP:5315Health Information Systems2
HMP:5320Analytics for Health Care Management3
HMP:5410Health Economics I3
HMP:5610Health Policy3
HMP:6110Strategic Planning and Marketing3
HMP:6150Issues in Health Management and Policy3
HMP:6310Human Resources for Health Organizations2
HMP:6315Seminar in Health Care Ethics1
HMP:6410Financial Management of Health Institutions3
HMP:6610Legal Aspects of Health and Medical Care3
MBA:8140Corporate Financial Reporting3
MBA:8180Managerial Finance3
CPH:6100Essentials of Public Health1
Total Hours48


Students choose 12 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 and may carry up to 3 s.h. of credit. 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 Department of Health Management and Policy offers joint degree programs with the Tippie College of Business, the College of Law, and the Graduate College's School of Urban and Regional Planning. 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./M.B.A.

The joint Master of Health Administration/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./J.D.

The joint Master of Health Administration/Juris Doctor requires 123 s.h. of postbaccalaureate credit. The program is highly individualized, allowing 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 College of Law in the Catalog.

Joint M.H.A./M.A. or M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning

The joint Master of Health Administration/Master of Arts or Master of Science in urban and regional planning requires a minimum of 76 s.h. of graduate credit. The program gives students the opportunity to acquire expertise in community and health planning and prepares them to develop public policy alternatives that help improve the quality of life in cities and throughout regions. Students usually complete the program in three years. 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 graduate programs in planning, see Urban and Regional Planning (Graduate College) in the Catalog.

Applicants to the M.H.A. program 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 apply for admission to the Graduate College through the University of Iowa Office of Admissions. For detailed application information, visit HMP Degree Programs on the Department of Health Management and Policy website.

Applicants to the M.H.A. program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. No specific undergraduate major is required, but prospective applicants are strongly advised to complete introductory courses in accounting, economics, and statistics and to gain facility in using spreadsheet and presentation software. Applicants must have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00. Preference is given to applicants with a verbal score of at least 151 and a quantitative score of at least 151 on the revised Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (or a verbal score of at least 470 and a quantitative score of at least 640 on the old GRE). Applicants who have taken the GMAT (preferred score of at least 600), the MCAT, or the LSAT may submit their scores on those tests instead of GRE scores. Relevant work and volunteer experience are considered.

Applicants whose first language is not English and who do not hold a bachelor's or more advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States, Canada (except Quebec), Australia, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom or who are not permanent residents of the United States must score at least 100 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants who score 81-99 (Internet-based) are required to take English fluency courses. Applicants who score below 81 are not considered for admission.

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. Campus visits are encouraged, and personal interviews are required before admission. The admissions committee conducts telephone interviews with applicants unable to interview on campus.

A variety of financial assistance is available, including scholarships and awards, student loans, and 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.

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. Research assistants work 10-20 hours per week and must apply for reappointment each year. Research assistantships provide a stipend and some tuition assistance and entitle students to resident tuition.

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.