Pacific University’s Master of Healthcare Administration Program is designed for working professionals, and prepares graduates to become leaders in the challenging and rapidly evolving field of healthcare management. The curriculum is blended, which means that for every class, there is an online and onsite component, with all onsite classes held in the evenings on Friday and all day on Saturday, every other weekend. Because most courses are team taught with Pacific University faculty and healthcare professionals from the field, MHA students learn about the challenges and issues that healthcare administrators face today, and thus they can immediately apply learning from the classroom to their own work in the profession. The design of the curriculum ensures that the skills and competencies that students develop are immediately applicable and relevant, and represent the skill sets in demand for career-oriented healthcare managers.
In addition, students from the clinical programs of Pacific’s College of Health Professions may apply to a joint-degree program, where they are able to fulfill credits in the MHA program with courses from their clinical program, and earn the MHA degree concurrently or immediately following completion of the clinical degree. These joint programs fit the mission of inter-professional education within the MHA Program, the College of Health Professions, and Pacific University, and add substantial diversity and expertise to the classroom and learning experience of all MHA students.
The Master of Healthcare Administration Program prepares working professionals for leadership roles in middle and senior-level healthcare management positions for all types of health and social services organizations. Graduates have the confidence, skills, knowledge and competence to help create a healthcare system that works to improve the health of individuals and communities. The degree program is designed to broadly train generalist managers and administrators to fill a variety of leadership roles in the healthcare delivery system.
Student Learning Outcomes
Student Assessment Methods
The MHA program has a blended curriculum, with each course having an online and onsite component. The on-site component of each course is held at Pacific University’s Hillsboro campus (Oregon). This campus includes a medical library, and eight other health professions programs. The blended curriculum means that each course begins with online work, followed by four to six onsite classroom sessions (depending on the number of course credits) on Friday evenings and Saturdays. In addition, the MHA program has a block curriculum design, which means that every semester students complete three courses but take only one course at a time.
Students must complete a Capstone Project and submit a Capstone Paper based on an assigned case study, a comparative analysis of a relevant healthcare management topic, or an independent applied research project (with academic advising and program director approval); students may spend 12-18 months developing the capstone project (independently or working in assigned teams), and present the analysis and findings to faculty and students.
Joint Program Options
- MHA / Audiology
- MHA / Occupational Therapy
- MHA / Pharmacy
- MHA / Physical Therapy
- MHA / Physician Assistant Studies
- MHA / Psychology
- A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
- A minimum 2.75 GPA in undergraduate coursework
- A minimum of two years of professional work experience in healthcare management, business administration or a clinical field
- Note: Standardized tests for GRE/GMAT are not required
Submit the following to firstname.lastname@example.org :
- A completed application form http://www.pacificu.edu/mha/admissions/documents/MHAFullApplication.pdf
- A three-page (maximum) essay on your professional goals and how the MHA program relates to the achievement of your goals
- Official transcripts from each college and university attended
- Two reference letters (one must be from a supervisor or employer)
- $50 application fee (this fee may be waived for early applicants; check with Graduate Admissions at email@example.com)
The applicant pool is competitive and screened by the MHA Admissions Committee, which includes faculty and administrators. Selected candidates are invited to campus for required in-person and group interviews to evaluate interpersonal and communication skills, passion and motivation, and fit with the program.
Selection is based on: depth and breadth of undergraduate preparation; commitment to community service and healthcare management, ethics and leadership; professional work experience; personal motivation; strength of evaluation letters; written and oral communication skills; and analytical thinking skills as assessed during the personal interview and applicant team exercise.
It is strongly recommended that applicants complete one-semester undergraduate courses in applied statistics for the social sciences, microeconomics, accounting, Microsoft Excel, and an overview course of the US healthcare delivery system or comparative healthcare systems. Current knowledge of these disciplines will prepare students for the rapid pace and rigorous curriculum, and help ensure student success.
Admission is not dependent on whether a student has taken these courses, but doing so will ease the transition into the program and demonstrate the applicant’s commitment to success. Courses taken at a community college are acceptable. Also, efficient working knowledge of basic computer software (Microsoft Office, including Excel) is mandatory. Students who lack basic computer software and other technology skills, such as internet and web conferencing, will not be successful in the program or the field of healthcare management.
Admission with one of the Joint Program options
It is expected that applicants from the CHP clinical programs already have successfully completed at least the first year of coursework in the clinical program before applying to MHA. All applicants go through the formal admission process for the MHA, and are evaluated using the same criteria established for the general MHA degree. However, these applicants do not need to submit transcripts or recommendation letters. Contact the MHA Program Director for more information regarding specific application requirements.
Note: Joint-degree applicants from Pacific’s clinical Pharmacy program are required to be reviewed first by the Pharmacy faculty in addition to the MHA program faculty.
MHA students must meet the requirements of all Pacific University, College of Health Professions, and MHA Program policies and procedures, including professional standards of conduct established by the field of healthcare administration and management, and those listed elsewhere in the university catalog or other program and school publications.
A student is considered registered only after needed approvals from faculty advisors and instructors have been obtained, the student’s term classes have been entered into the University’s computer registration system, and tuition and fees have been paid. The University reserves the right to cancel or restrict the registration of students who are delinquent in meeting their financial obligations to the University. For information about adding, dropping or withdrawing from courses, please contact the Program Director.
Due to the structure of the MHA curriculum, students may add a course until the first day. Students may drop a course without record on their transcript through Monday after the first class meeting; after this period, students may withdraw from a course through 60% of the course offering and a W will appear on the transcript. If a student must leave during a semester, courses that have been completed will receive a grade, and the transcript will show no record of courses that have not started.
With the permission of the MHA program director and the course instructor(s), students may audit any MHA courses except MHA 675 , MHA 680 , MHA 685 , MHA 691 , and MHA 692 .
All students are expected to attend classes regularly and promptly. Students who miss classes will be held responsible for all in-class course assignments and exercises. It is the responsibility of each student to immediately notify the Program Director and the specific course instructor(s) prior to class, if the need for an excused absence is anticipated.
Students have the responsibility to take all scheduled course assessments on the announced date/time. Students who report to the class late on an assessment day will not be given any extra time to complete the assessment/examination.
An absence from an assessment/examination shall be considered “excused” if it occurs due to any of the following situations (valid documentation may be requested):
- Hospitalization of the student or an immediate family member;
- Death in the student’s immediate family (i.e.; spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, guardians, etc.);
- Summons of the student to appear for jury duty or before a court; and
- Any reason that has been approved by the Program Director or course instructor(s) in advance.
The following grades are used: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, F. A+ may be used for assignment grades only; this grade cannot be earned as a final course grade.
Students must complete all course work with satisfactory grades and maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA, at a minimum. No grade lower than a “C+” is acceptable in any course, with no more than seven credits of “C+” accepted toward the degree for the entire 49-credit program. Capstone Seminars I & II (MHA 691 /MHA 692 ), MHA 650 - Health Services Research & Project Mgt , MHA 675 - Internship , and MHA 685 - Applied Research Project must be completed with a grade of “B” or higher.
If a student receives a grade lower than a “C+” in any single course, the student will be given an academic warning, have one semester to achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0, and will be required to retake the course in order to remain in the program. If the student fails to achieve a 3.0 GPA and/or when retaking the course receives a grade that is lower than a “C+” during the allotted time, the student will be placed on academic probation with the possibility of dismissal from the program.
If a student earns more than seven credits of “C+,” the student will be required to retake courses and achieve a grade of B- or higher when retaking each course. Students are required to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. If the student earns a single grade of “F” in any course in any given semester, the student will be dismissed from the program. If the student fails to demonstrate consistent and adequate academic progress in completing the program curriculum within the four-year time limit and/or toward completing the capstone project, applied research project or an internship, the student may be dismissed from the program.
Instructors may issue a grade of Incomplete only when a major portion of a course has been completed satisfactorily with a grade of “C+” or higher and there are extenuating circumstances such as health emergencies, previously unanticipated demands on the job, disability, family circumstances or other emergent situations that prevent the student from completing all course requirements by the end of the semester. Please see the section on “Academic Policies and Procedures” in the University Student Handbook for a full description of the Incomplete grade.
The instructor(s) and the student must agree upon a plan that outlines the remaining coursework, and establish a deadline by which all outstanding course work will be completed and submitted to the instructor(s) for evaluation and assignment of a final course grade. This plan must be submitted to the MHA Program Director for approval in advance. Students may take up to two academic semesters to make up any incomplete course work. If the incomplete course work is not completed within two semesters, the Incomplete automatically converts to a grade of “F” and the student may be dismissed from the program. If the course is related to the student’s Capstone Project, the student may not begin/continue work on the Capstone Project until all Incomplete grades have been removed. Incomplete grades must be completed with a grade of “B-” or higher, with exceptions noted above.
Students receiving grades of Incomplete in more than two courses in a semester may be placed on Academic and/or Financial Aid Warning.
Faculty may request an extension of an Incomplete grade (before the expiration date of the Incomplete) by notifying the Registrar’s office.
A grade can be changed within two years of completion of an MHA course if there is an error in calculating or recording the grade. In this case, the course instructor must complete and submit a grade change form to the Program Director.
Acceptable academic standing requires satisfactory academic performance and progress through the curriculum, appropriate professional conduct, effective computer and interpersonal skills, and adherence to university policies and procedures. Students who have been identified by the faculty to have deficits in any of these areas may be required to complete additional courses, assignments, exams or other evaluative methods, above and beyond those required in the general MHA curriculum.
MHA students must complete all course work with satisfactory grades, which means maintaining a cumulative 3.0 GPA, at a minimum. No grade lower than a “C+” is acceptable in any course, with no more than seven credits of “C+” accepted toward the degree for the entire program
Evaluation of Student Progress: Year 1/Academic Warning or Probation
Upon completion of three semesters of course work in the MHA Program, the faculty will evaluate the academic and professional performance of each student to determine whether or not they may proceed into the second year of the program. Some students may be required to retake courses or pass a qualifying examination in order to continue in the program.
Others may be counseled to improve their professional conduct and required to meet with faculty coaches to develop specific skills. Students who fail to consistently demonstrate a level of professionalism as defined by MHA policies and the healthcare management profession code of conduct may be dismissed from the program, regardless of acceptable academic record.
A student placed on academic/professional misconduct warning or academic/professional misconduct probation will be required to complete a Remediation Plan and have it approved by the MHA faculty and the Program Director, in addition to correcting any professional or academic deficiencies outlined in the warning or probation letter from the MHA Program Director.
Students will be given regular feedback on their progress in the program. A student who is not performing adequately according to the academic and professional standards will receive notification through written feedback and/or individual advisement.
Students have the responsibility to conduct themselves, both individually and in groups, in a manner that promotes an atmosphere conducive to teaching, studying and learning. Students are expected to uphold academic and personal integrity, to respect the rights of others, to refrain from disruptive, threatening, intimidating, or harassing behavior, or behavior that is harmful to themselves, other persons or property.
If any instructor detects instances of plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, misrepresentation, failure to appropriately attribute reference materials or the reuse of a student’s written materials from other courses on any exam, paper, assignment or other work submitted by a student, or the submission of the work of another student as your own work, the result will be an immediate failure of the course, with a grade of F, and referral for possible institutional action including expulsion from the program. All students enrolled in MHA courses are required to complete and pass a training course on plagiarism during the first semester of the program.
In cases of flagrant or intentional violations of the University Code of Academic Conduct or the University Code of Student Conduct, a student may be removed from the MHA program without previous warning, at any time.
Time Limits to Complete Degree
Students taking the general MHA program or those in a Joint Program must complete all degree requirements within four years of entry into the program. Students in a Joint Program with another CHP Degree must complete all MHA degree requirements within two years of entry into the MHA program.
Graduation with Academic Honors
Students earning a cumulative 3.80 GPA or higher will graduate With Distinction.
Normal Course Load
Nine credits is considered a full-time course load; five credits is considered half-time. Students are not permitted to take more than nine credits in a single semester without permission from the Program Director and course instructor(s).
Up to six graduate semester credits of course work from a regionally accredited academic institution, with an earned grade of “B” or higher, may be considered for transfer into the MHA program, but only after matriculation into the Program. In no case will credit be given for previous work that has not been formally evaluated or graded. Credits taken for pass/no pass basis are not transferable. Internships, experiential learning, inter-professional case conferences and courses, independent study, capstone courses, and research courses also are non-transferable. Contact the Program Director for more information.
Leave of Absence/Readmission
Students may apply for a leave of absence, of up to one year. To return to the MHA program after a one-year leave of absence, the student must contact the Program Director in writing during the semester immediately preceding the desired semester of return. If a student decides to return to the program after a period greater than one year, the student must submit an Application for Readmission. Any student who completes additional college-level course work at another academic institution while on a leave of absence from the MHA program must submit official transcripts from all colleges attended during the absence from Pacific University. If a student is on academic warning or academic probation at the time a leave of absence is granted, the student may be required to demonstrate competency through additional course work at another regionally accredited educational institution and/or formally reapply to the MHA program before readmission. Contact the Program Director for more information.
Learning Support Services (LSS)
Pacific University is committed to providing an educational environment that is accessible to all students. Services and accommodations are available to students who are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you require accommodation in any course, contact the Director of Learning Support Services for Students with Disabilities. The Director will meet with you, review the documentation of your disability, discuss the services Pacific University offers, and help identify any accommodations you may need for specific courses.
Please see: http://www.pacificu.edu/about-us/offices/learning-support-services