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.
- 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 have successfully completed at least the first two semesters of coursework in the clinical program before applying to MHA. All applicants go through the formal admission process, 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. Pharmacy students must contact their program advisors before applying to the MHA.
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.
Students may add a course through the end of the first day of the semester. 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 . Students are required to notify the MHA program director before the first day of the courses the student wishes to audit.
Students typically are governed by the catalog that is in effect for the year that they enter the program. However, students are permitted to select a later catalog if degree requirements change.
Commencement for the MHA program is held in August. Students must complete all degree requirements in order to participate in Commencement, although they are not required to participate.
Full-time is 9 credits per semester; 5.0-8.5 is part-time. There are no minimum enrollment expectations per semester; full-time students cannot overload. MHA joint-program students may overload with permission from the MHA program director and their clinical program academic advisor.
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+” are 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 two semesters 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 “B-” 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.
Time Limit to Degree Completion
There is a four-year time limit to complete the MHA degree, If students need an extended period of time to complete the degree, the student may petition the program director, if the student is in good academic standing, has maintained the required 3.0 GPA, and has met all of minimum course grade requirements.
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.
Students receiving grades of Incomplete in more than two courses in a semester may be placed on Academic and/or Financial Aid Warning.
Students have two semesters to fulfill the requirements to remove an Incomplete grade. If an extension is needed, they may request one from the course instructor and the MHA program director.
Non-Degree Seekers Taking Courses
Non-degree seeking students are allowed to take MHA courses. The maximum amount of credits a student may take is 12 credits. There are no exclusions or other restrictions how courses taken by a non-degree seeking student applies the credits to the degree if the student were later admitted into the program.
The maximum number of credits taken by a non-degree seeker that could be applied to the degree is 12 credits. The non-degree seeking person has 2 years in order to apply the credits toward a degree.
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.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory academic standing requires acceptable academic performance/progress and demonstrated professional conduct through the curriculum, classroom etiquette, 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. Students will receive an academic warning in the first semester that their GPA falls below the required 3.0 minimum. If the student does not raise the GPA within two semesters, then the student will be placed on academic probation or possibly dismissed from the program, depending on specific circumstances. For example, over two semesters, if the student’s GPA continues to decline, then dismissal may be a possibility. Students may be suspended or dismissed immediately for any egregious academic activity such as cheating or professional misconduct that places other students, faculty, and/or staff in peril.
Academic Warning/Academic Probation
If a student is placed on academic warning/academic probation, the student will be required to complete a Remediation Plan and have it approved by the MHA faculty, in addition to correcting any professional or academic deficiencies outlined in the warning or probation letter from the MHA program director.
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.
Graduation with Academic Honors
Students earning a cumulative 3.80 GPA or higher will graduate With Distinction.
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. Students are required to complete a Transfer Request Form and stubmit it to the MHA program director at least two semesters prior to MHA program completion.
Leave of Absence/Readmission
Students may apply for a leave of absence for up to one year in length. No specific reason is required. To return to the MHA program after a one-year leave of absence, the student must contact the MHA 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.
Students are permitted to enroll in up to 10 credits of MHA courses without applying to the program or seeking the degree. If the student decides to apply to the program at a later date, these credits can be applied to the degree if they meet the minimum grade requirements.