Management Fundamentals in Health Care Organizations Certificate

This certificate program provides students with the fundamentals of healthcare management. It includes coursework in the design of health care delivery systems, health economics, cost accounting in health care, introduction to health care finance, teamwork in health care, and an introduction to management principles in health care.

The program includes the core courses of the Executive MHA, but is for individuals who do not desire a full MHA, including those working in health care organizations who are interested in developing a better understanding of management.

The Management Fundamentals Certificate is designed for employed executives, physicians, and other health care professionals seeking to advance their management and leadership capabilities.

Specific features of this design include:

  • The curriculum parallels the first portion of the Executive MHA curriculum. Students in the certificate who decide to pursue the Executive MHA can apply to that program and, if admitted, complete the degree by finishing the Executive MHA curriculum.
  • The curriculum includes a focus on the management of complex, integrated health systems, including the expanded role of physicians as providers, managers and leaders in those systems.
  • Program faculty are actively involved in applied research with health systems with a focus on integrated health system performance.
  • The on-campus sessions invite alumni and expert speakers to participate with students in symposia and other learning events.
  • Student complete the certificate in eight months.
  • The program is designed to minimize interference with work and family: most of the coursework is online and asynchronous; students spend only eight days on campus over eight months.
  • The program builds on the practical application of learning to the participant’s organization.
  • The program is based on a learning cohort model in which all students start the program together and progress through the same curriculum, providing myriad opportunities for students to learn and work together.

The School of Public Health Master of Health care Administration (MHA) program is in a unique position to offer this certificate. Our program holds a position of prominence among U.S. health care administration programs and is currently ranked as the No. 2 program by U.S. News and World Report.

Our alumni lead institutions throughout the country and remain connected to and engaged in the program’s progress. In addition to involving alumni as speakers in the on-campus sessions, the May session is intended to specifically attract significant alumni involvement.

The May session combines extended learning opportunities for students in both the Executive MHA and the Regents Certificates and draws alumni to participate in discussions of emerging issues in health care administration, financing and policy.

Students are admitted in cohorts that progress through the program together. Students must complete 14 credits to be awarded the certificate; 12 or more credits are awarded through completion of five online courses.

Agenda & Courses (all PubH XXXX)

Students participate in the January on-campus sessions in August and May and complete a two-credit face-to-face course during the first on-campus session.

  • January: Eight days on campus
  • Spring Semester: Three courses
  • Summer Session: Two courses

6565 (2 cr) Health care Delivery, Design & Innovation (Zismer)
Welcome dinner, panels and speakers, intro to five courses

 Spring Semester
6556 (2 cr) Health & Health Systems (Christianson)
6535 (3 cr) Accounting for Health Services (TBD)
6751 (2 cr) Principles of Management in Health Services Organizations (Begun)

Summer Session
6557 (3 cr) Health Finance I (TBD)
6568 (2 cr) Interdisciplinary Teamwork in Health care Services (Mosser)


Students in the certificate are expected to master basic skills in management, teamwork, accounting and financial analysis in health care organizations. For clinical professionals and others working in the health care industry, these skills are critical to the development of their careers and to their mobility within the organization and the field. Specific outcomes expected to accrue to those who complete the certificate include:

  • Enhanced ability to lead work teams or departments.
  • Expanded ability to make decisions about the most efficient use of resources.
  • Improved teambuilding abilities.
  • Better grasp of policy and other system-wide perspectives, and accompanying ability to better participate in strategic decision-making in the organization.
  • Deeper understanding of the role of management and of other professionals in health care organizations.
  • Larger conceptual framework on which to base learning and other developmental activities in the future.

See more information about the learning model and competencies

Other than the admission requirements, there are no prerequisites. Admission to the certificate is decided by the MHA faculty, with the counsel of an admissions committee. Requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • At least two years experience in a health care organization
  • Current employment in a health care organization which affords the opportunity to apply the assignments in the coursework, or an agreement with such an organization in which the applicant is not employed
  • Letter of intent describing career interests and the relevance of the certificate to the applicant’s personal development

In addition, applicants whose native language is not English or whose education was completed exclusively at an institution(s) whose language of instruction is not in English must prove English proficiency.

Because the coursework in Certificate 1 is the same as that of the Executive MHA, some enrollees in the certificate may decide to pursue the Executive MHA after completing the first or second semester of the certificate. Students interested in that option will be required to meet the requirements for admission to the Executive MHA.

Tuition for the program is $1,560 per credit. Additional fees cover books and materials provided through the program. Students are responsible for costs of transportation, lodging, and most meals for on-campus sessions.

Note: All students in the Management Fundamentals certificate will be expected to bring a personal computer to the on-campus sessions.

The U.S. health care delivery marketplace is consolidating. Integrated health systems are forming in rural and urban markets at an accelerating rate. “Integrated Health System” refers to a clinical care, business and delivery model where most, if not all, physicians required to meet a health system’s mission and clinical care goals are integrated with hospitals in a unified business structure.

As health systems reach a critical mass of integrated physicians, operating economics are changed such that more traditional hospital and medical group performance benchmarks, reference points and decision-making models become less useful to leaders. Likewise, traditional approaches to strategic and business planning and related predictive modeling are less applicable given the nature of the relevant performance metrics of integrated health systems.

The Management Fundamentals Certificate addresses the need for basic management education for clinical and administrative professionals in integrated health systems. Most health care provider organizations face a crisis in the availability of qualified management talent. In the next decade, a significant proportion of current managers in these organizations are expected to retire. This situation is exacerbated in integrated health systems where clinical professionals will be moved into top management positions.

Application Deadline

Spring (January) Term: December 1

Contact Info

Administrative Director
Thomas Gilliam, R.N., M.B.A.