Executive MHA

Advance your management and leadership skills while working full-time.

Specifically designed for employed executives, physicians, and health care professionals, this program will allow you to advance your management and leadership skills and capabilities while continuing to work full time.

Why Minnesota?

  • Efficient: Earn your MHA degree in 25 months, with limited time on campus
  • Flexible: Primarily online curriculum gives you the flexibility to complete your studies amidst your busy schedule.
  • Exposure: The diverse student body represents many aspects of the health care industry, from integrated health systems to federally qualified health care centers to acute care settings to long-term care.
  • Personal: Each cohort consists of 30–35 students, resulting in an intimate, but highly competitive, program.
  • Accreditation: The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation Health care Management Education, the gold standard in graduate health care education.

Saudi Arabia Program

In May 2012, the Executive MHA program launched an academic program with King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Over the course of the program, MHA faculty visit KFMC two or three times per year for classroom lecture exchanges. Course content is delivered by way of an online platform.

IMG_1532 copyThe curriculum includes a focus on management of complex, integrated health systems, including the expanded role of physicians, providers, managers, and leaders in those systems.

Learning is supported by alumni involvement, innovative leadership projects, and support from peers, faculty, and staff.

The Executive MHA program is designed for practicing executives, physicians, and other health care professionals seeking to advance their management and leadership capabilities. Specific features of this design include the following:

  • The 42-credit 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 on 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.
  • Students complete the MHA degree in 25 months.
  • The program is designed to minimize interference with work and family. Most of the coursework is online and asynchronous; students spend only 22 days on campus over 25 months; students take no more than 2 courses at a time.
  • The program builds on the practical application of learning to the participant’s organization. Students develop and introduce innovation into their organizations.
  • The program is based on a learning cohort model in which students start the program together and progress through the same curriculum, providing myriad opportunities for students to learn and work together.


The MHA program maps its curricula to competencies developed by the National Center for Health care Leadership (NCHL), a broad-based nonprofit organization representing all sectors of health care. The UMN MHA program was one of four university programs in health care administration that piloted the competencies in 2003.

Those competencies are now essential elements of the accreditation of graduate programs in health care administration conducted by the Commission on Accreditation of Health care Management Education (CAHME).

See the competencies

Jean AbrahamCore faculty are recognized for ongoing research into vital health care issues. Affiliated faculty represent the wide spectrum of the health care industry.

Jean Abraham

James W. Begun

Jon B. Christianson

Leslie A. Grant

Peter Huckfeldt

Pinar Karaca-Mandic

Tuition for the 25-month Executive MHA program starting spring 2017 is $63,630, at $1,515 per credit. Additional university and program fees apply. See SPH Tuition & Fees for more details.

Other Costs to Consider

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul is an international airport hub, offering convenient, affordable flights if traveling into Minneapolis for on-campus requirements.
  • Tuition and fees cover scheduled meals and receptions during on-campus sessions as well as other aspects of program support.
  • Students are responsible for costs of transportation and lodging.
  • Students are expected to bring a portable computer to the on-campus sessions.

Each cohort consists of 30–35 students. There are many more applicants than slots in the program, resulting in highly competitive admission. The cohort will generally comprise three categories of students: applicants with the MD or DO degree, applicants with other post-baccalaureate degrees and applicants with bachelor’s degrees.

Using a rolling admissions process, the program admits students into each of the categories, maintaining a minimal number of slots in each category for late applying students. Early applicants are advantaged in this process.

Admission to the program is decided by the Executive MHA faculty with the advice and counsel of an admissions committee. Admission to the Executive MHA requires the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 or completion of a post graduate degree.
  • At least three years management or clinical leadership 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.
  • The program reserves the right to require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) as part of the admissions process. (Note: clinicians and administrators with extensive experience, and applicants who have achieved comparable scores on similar examinations may be exempted from this requirement.)
  • A letter of intent describing career interests and the relevance of the MHA degree to the applicant’s personal development.
  • Three letters of recommendation.

Review & Admissions Process

Each degree and certificate program has its own admissions committee composed of faculty members from that area of study. The committees review applications for evidence of the applicant’s intent and purpose in studying public health, past academic performance, program-specific academic potential, professional and life experience, English fluency (where required), and other factors such as an applicant’s compatibility with faculty expertise and program direction.

International applicants, see additional requirements.

IMG_1523 copyA diverse student body represents many aspects of the health care industry from integrated health systems to federally qualified health care centers from acute care settings to long term care.

An In-Depth Look at Current Students

Cohort 6

31 students (45% female, 48% hold post-graudate degrees including M.D., Au.D., CRNA, M.A., PharmD)

Work at such companies as the Mayo Clinic, UMN Medical Center, Cottage Health System, Allina Health, Deloitte Consulting, Optum, and Swedish Medical Center.


  • 45% Health care managers
  • 29% Physicians
  • 10% Clinicians
  • 6.5% Health care executives
  • 6.5% Academic health faculty
  • 3% Pharmaceutical sales

Cohort 5

35 students (51% female, 26% hold post-graduate degrees including M.D., M.S.W., M.S., J.D.)

Work at such companies as Gunderson Health System, UMN Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, DaVita Dialysis, BlueCross BlueShield, and University of Colorado Hospital.


  • 60% Health care managers
  • 20% Physicians
  • 8% Clinicians
  • 6% Health care executives
  • 3% Health care consultants
  • 3% Laboratory scientists

Executive MHA Student Profiles

Wegmiller SmilingThe Minnesota MHA Alumni Association is the oldest, largest, and most active alumni network of its kind. A high quality, responsive network of expertise stretches across the country and around the world.

Alumni are deeply committed to the program and its students. They serve as instructors, mentors, preceptors, and guest lecturers.

Erin Reinhardt 2 copyThe U.S. health care delivery marketplace is consolidating and a result are integrated health systems, which refers to a clinical care, business, and delivery model where most, if not all, physicians are 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 Executive MHA addresses the need for advanced leadership and management education for clinical and administrative professionals in integrated health systems. Most health care provider organizations face a shortage 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.

Therefore, the job opportunities for Executive MHA students will be good, especially for applicants with work experience in health care and strong business and management skills. Medical and health services managers held about 283,500 jobs in 2008. About 38 percent worked in hospitals, and another 19 percent worked in offices of physicians or in nursing and residential care facilities. Many of the remainder worked in home health care services, federal Government health care facilities, outpatient care centers, insurance carriers, and community care facilities for the elderly.

Executive MHA In-Depth Career Information (PDF)

Mohamed Eid

This program was a key element of my professional and career development which widened my horizon and successfully prepared me to take on bigger responsibilities.
–Mohamed Eid, MD, MS, MHA ‘12, Vice President of Clinical Development, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Novo Nordisk, Toronto, Canada

Application Deadline

Applications to the Executive MHA program are accepted on a rolling basis.  Contact Tom Giliam (gilli032@umn.edu) with questions or if you plan to apply.