Program accreditation
Commission on Accreditation of Health Management Education

Program goal

The Master of Science in Health Administration program mission is to prepare practicing professionals for management and leadership positions within complex health care organizations.

The overall purpose of the Department of Health Administration in which the M.S.H.A. is housed is to provide top quality education, research and service related to the organization and administration of health care services. The department also has a major research program and is involved in a wide range of public service activities, including professional development programs for health services administrators and other health professionals. 

The mission of the Department of Health Administration is to prepare, support and connect exceptional leaders who shape the healthcare industry. This is accomplished through:

  1. Educating the next generation of health administrators and enhancing the skills of the present generation
  2. Preparing a new generation of health services researchers and educators
  3. Creating and disseminating basic and applied knowledge about the management, organization, financing, function and performance of the health care system
  4. Serving people in the public and private sectors of the health care system

These activities, when mutually reinforced among all key people — faculty, staff, students, alumni — elevate the department to a premier status in the United States.

The M.S.H.A. program is designed for self-motivated, mature and experienced professionals who are seeking advanced preparation in management and administrative roles that ultimately lead to executive positions in complex health services organizations. The curriculum emphasizes leadership in career progression as well as strategic and operational management of health care organizations. The program is nationally accredited and taught by faculty shared with the department’s nationally ranked M.H.A. program. 

Student learning outcomes

Goal/domain Competency Description/learning outcomes
Communication and relationship management:
Interpersonal communication Build collaborative relationships and negotiation skills
Writing skills Prepare business communications
Presentation skills Demonstrate effective oral communication and presentation skills
Leadership
Leading and managing others Hold self and others accountable for organizational goal attainment
Change management Promote and manage change
Ability for honest selfassessment Demonstrate reflection through self-assessment
Systems thinking Be able to assess the potential impacts and consequences of decisions in a broad variety of situations
Problem-solving and decision-making Apply evidence-based decision-making techniques to health care questions
Professionalism
Personal and professional ethics Adhere to ethical business principles; exhibit ethical behaviors
Professional and community contribution Participate in community service; balance professional and personal pursuits
Working in teams Create, participate in and lead teams, including interprofessionalism
Knowledge of the health care environment
Health care issues and trends Demonstrate knowledge of circumstances causing major changes and reform in U.S. health care delivery
Health care legal principles Discuss and critically analyze health-related legal principles including standards, regulations and risk management.
Health policy Articulate the impact of select health policies on the delivery of health services
Population health and status assessment Understand and explain the major factors in health status to health care professionals
Business and analytical skills
Financial management Demonstrate the ability to compile and analyze financial data; develop capital, operating and cash flow budgets; analyze investment data; pro forma development
Human resources Apply methods and techniques related to the management of health care organization employees and professional staff
Organizational dynamics and governance Understand and be able to explain the roles, responsibilities, structures and influence governing bodies hold in health care organizations
Strategic planning Ability to perform environmental analysis; discern competitive strategy; formulate business strategy based on evidence
Marketing Analyze and assess markets, market segmentation, strategy, change and innovation
Information management/ understanding and using technology skills Apply techniques and methods to plan, design, implement and assess information flow and communication
Quality improvement/ performance improvement Apply concepts of process improvement and patient safety to relevant problems
Quantitative skills Analyze data and interpret quantitative information
Planning and managing projects Design, plan, implement and assess projects related to performance, structure and outcomes of health services
Economic analysis and application Analyze and apply economic theory and concepts to business decisions

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

All enrolled students will receive a student handbook at orientation.