Master of Health Administration

COVID-19 APPLICATION UPDATE: The GRE/GMAT requirement has been waived for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. For more infromation about our programs and how to apply, Click here to sign up to receive information about our upcoming virtual information session.

Highly Ranked Program

Ranked among the best health administration programs by US News and World Report and other external rating agencies, our Master of Health Administration (MHA) program is an “industry specific” MBA program — which means you will have rigorous business and management training while learning about the unique context of the health care and nonprofit sectors.

Reputation – We are consistently ranked in the top 5 in health administration programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Administrative Residency – MHA students are guaranteed a 12-month paid administrative residency with senior level healthcare executives.

Cutting-Edge Curriculum – Our carefully planned curriculum and real-world learning experiences reflect the rapidly changing healthcare industry, and authentically prepare students for success.

100% Job Placement – Most of our MHA graduates are offered an entry-level placement with the organization where they completed their administrative residency upon graduating.

Outstanding Alumni – Our students gain access to a network of over 2,500 alumni representing every sector of American healthcare.

Affordable Tuition – Tuition and fees are lower than non-resident tuition for comparable top-ranked programs.

Internationally-Renowned Faculty – Faculty members provide exceptional teaching while conducting nationally recognized and funded research programs.

Location – Richmond provides exposure to multiple major health systems and innovative care models in an urban learning environment.

Student Life – Our student-centric atmosphere and small class sizes allow students to develop meaningful and long-lasting relationships with faculty, staff, and alumni. Students entering our program are welcomed into a close-knit and caring community.

Required Year-Long Administrative Residency

As a third-year MHA student, you will participate in a 12-month paid administrative residency, an opportunity to be mentored by leading health care executives in major health care delivery organizations around the nation.

Leadership FocusA man and a woman standing in a hospital corridor.

The VCU MHA is differentiated from other top-ranked programs by our singular focus on healthcare delivery organization leadership

Our goal is for every graduate to be "Leadership Ready" in hospitals, physician practices, health systems and long-term care. Those who hire our graduates say they bring an exceptional executive presence to complement their content knowledge and skills. Successful applicants show evidence of personal achievement, scholarship, intellectual ability and professional promise for a career in health services administration.

We encourage you to browse this area of our site to learn more about the MHA requirements as well as some of our most successful alumni. For more information or to be added to our interest group to receive updates about information sessions and application reminders, visit the VCU MHA Program Facebook page or email healthadmin@vcu.edu.  

Information Sessions

Information sessions for students interested in the VCU graduate programs are held monthly throughout much of the year. The next session (virtual) will be held on November 15th at 10:00 am. Register HereCall-in information for virtual information sessions is provided upon registration.

All in-person information sessions are held in the College of Health Professions Building located at 900 E. Leigh Street Richmond, VA 23298. 

COVID-19 APPLICATION UPDATE: The GRE/GMAT requirement has been waived for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. For more infromation about our programs and how to apply, Click here to sign up for our upcoming virtual information session on January 13, 2021 at 12pm.

At the Department of Health Administration, admissions is all about the right fit. We want you to be in the right health management program for your background, career goals, learning style and personal interests. The program selects highly qualified applicants with 1-2 years of experience in some aspect of the health care industry. If this describes you, we encourage you to attend an informations session (virtual, held monthly), explore the FAQ section of this site, and email us at healthadmin@vcu.edu with any questions. 

Prerequisites: Prerequisite course work must be completed before enrollment in the program. To be eligible for admission, course work must include a 3-credit course in microeconomics, financial accounting, and statistics as well as working knowledge of college-level algebra. The courses should be 200 level or above. Required prerequisite courses must be from an accredited university or college and have been earned with a grade of C or higher within 5 years of application. To inquire whether a prerequisite course meets the admission requirement, please send the title and course description to healthadmin@vcu.edu.

Transcript: Your transcript should show a conferred or in-progress baccalaureate or graduate degree from a fully accredited college or university. An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale in undergraduate work and/or evidence of achievement in a substantial amount of graduate-level work is required. Transcripts from all postsecondary institutions (including community or junior colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs) are required.

Standardized test scores: All applicants must demonstrate a satisfactory score of at least 50th percentile on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT). Report test scores to HAMPCAS using the code 7474 (GRE) and LP8-QF-23 (GMAT). Note: this requirement has been waived for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.

Application Process

The Department of Health Administration uses a rolling admissions process. This means that we begin reviewing applications as soon as they are deemed complete. Applications open on September 1. The first interview days are held in November of each year and continue monthly until the class is full.

COVID-19 APPLICATION UPDATE: The GRE requirement will continue to be waived for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. 

Application Checklist:

  • Complete HAMPCAS Application
  • Request official transcripts

All applications for the MHA program must be submitted via HAMPCAS, the national centralized service that allows applicants to apply to health management programs across different colleges and universities throughout the U.S by way of a single, web-based application. 

To start the HAMPCAS application process visit the following link www.hampcas.org.

HAMPCAS Application

Application Materials

A complete application must include the following items (all submitted via HAMPCAS):

Transcript: Your transcript should show a conferred or in-progress baccalaureate or graduate degree from a fully accredited college or university. An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale in undergraduate work and/or evidence of achievement in a substantial amount of graduate-level work is required. Transcripts from all postsecondary institutions (including community or junior colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs) are required.

Resume: Your resume should demonstrate evidence of personal achievement, scholarship, intellectual ability and professional promise for a career in health administration.

Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose: Your personal statement is your opportunity to highlight your background, interests, plans, and decision to pursue a MHA degree. Most importantly, this is your opportunity to communicate your passion for the field of health administration and demonstrate why you are a good fit for the program and VCU. Applicants can also use the personal statement to explain any inconsistencies in other components of the application. Please limit personal statements to no more than two typed pages.

Three Letters of Recommendation: You must submit three letters of recommendation, preferably from academic and/or work supervisors who can speak to your character and leadership ability. 

Standardized Test Scores: All applicants must demonstrate a satisfactory score of at least 50th percentile on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT). Report test scores to VCU using the code 7474 (GRE) and LP8-QF-23 (GMAT). Note: This requriement has been waived for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.

Next Steps: Interview                                                                                                               

Eligible applicants will be invited to an on-campus interview day. The day includes meeting with three members of the Admissions Committee (consisting of faculty, students, and alumni/ae), question and answer sessions with current students, and a tour of the campus and our building. If you are selected for an in-person interview based on your application materials, you will be notified and an interview will be scheduled between November and March, depending on when you complete your application. 

After the in-person interview, if you have been accepted, you will receive an email with a link to complete the VCU Supplemental Information Application. This step requires a fee. Please DO NOT complete this step unless you have been notified of acceptance to the program.

International student? TOEFL is required. International students should contact the department directly regarding the administrative residency requirement prior to applying. The Office of International Admissions has helpful information for international applicants.

Dual degree applicant? Students must apply separately and be accepted by both programs of interest in order to pursue the dual degree.

MHA Program FAQ

If you really want to work in the health care service delivery industry, a master’s degree in health administration provides knowledge you need, and develops skills necessary for a leadership role in organization, financing, marketing, planning and management of health care services. 

The advantages of a traditional Master of Health Administration (MHA) program and a distance learning Professional Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) program – online degree include:

  • A core curriculum of business management coursework with health care content throughout, rather than just a few elective courses specific to healthcare, as is typical in MBA programs; and
  • The opportunity to apply health care focused knowledge immediately, recognizing that health care services are unique, for the treatment of persons often experiencing one of the most difficult situations in their lives.

Distinctive features of management positions in health care include:

  • Legal, regulatory, and reimbursement intricacies of, and differences between, for-profit, not-for-profit and government subsidized health care;
  • The core business of patient care, and how quality health care services are  conceptualized and measured;
  • The moral basis inherent in the delivery and support of health care services; and
  • Practice settings dominated by clinical professionals.