School of Business & Economics

Master of Healthcare Administration - FAQs

What is the Master in Healthcare Administration degree?

The Master in Healthcare Administration (MHA) is a graduate degree program that prepares students for middle and upper management positions in the healthcare industry. Healthcare administration is a profession that applies a variety of organizational concepts to manage the resources of health facilities. The term "Healthcare Administration" is used here as an inclusive term describing health administration, health services management, health planning and evaluation, health policy, institutional marketing and public relations, and related activities. Graduates will gain competencies to plan, organize, direct, control, and coordinate the resources of health-related organizations.

Who should obtain this degree?

Healthcare administration is one of society's most important and growing fields offering a wide range of professional opportunities and management challenges. The MHA degree is for individuals, including those already in the healthcare, who possess a bachelor's degree and aspire to management positions in hospitals and integrated delivery systems, managed care organizations, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, consulting firms, and other similar healthcare settings.

What are the MHA degree requirements and how long will it take to complete the program?

The degree requirements are:

  • 45 graduate credit hours (15 courses)
  • Maintenance of a 3.0 grade point average
  • Up to nine credits of graduate work (B or higher) may be transferred from other related graduate programs subject to the approval of the Assistant Dean for Graduate Business Programs

Length of time of completion:

  • Two and a half (2½) years, including summer semesters, as a part-time, evening program (6 credit hours per semester).
  • Once admitted, a student must complete the program within six years
  • There are no residency or internship requirements.

What are the entry requirements for this degree program?

Upon receipt of a completed application packet, the Faculty Admissions Committee will consider the following information in making a recommendation of admission. All applicants will be required to submit the following items to be considered for admission.

  • Evidence of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution (e.g., SACS). The committee will also review an applicant's graduate record where applicable.
  • Two sets of transcripts from all colleges/universities attended must be submitted with the WSSU application form.
  • Scores from Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Resume that highlights relevant work experience in the healthcare sector
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Evidence of satisfactory writing skills which will be assessed based on the applicant's admission essay that describes personal goals as well as academic, professional objectives for graduate study, how the chosen program will help achieve these objectives, and reasons for pursuing the degree at WSSU.
  • Students will be admitted to the MHA program only during the Fall semester.

What is the profile of an average student enrolled in the MHA program?

The average age is 38 years old with a GRE score of approximately 1000 (combined verbal and quantitative scores) and work experience of 11 years. Students work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care, health policy research centers, health insurance, laboratory, and other clinical settings. There is also substantial diversity with respect to race and gender among our students.

Why is WSSU offering this degree?

WSSU is a premier regional institution that consistently ranks among the best public universities in the South. The Master in Healthcare Administration program supports the mission of Winston-Salem State University to offer high quality educational programs that support the economic development of the Piedmont Triad region. This region is home to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Forsyth Medical Center, and the Sara Lee Center for Women's Health and has the reputation as a regional and national center for medical research, development, and treatment. It is estimated that the medical and allied industries in Forsyth country (where WSSU is located), comprises more than 12% of the area's total employment, creating over 5,000 jobs over the last eight years. The healthcare industry is considered to be the largest single "growth" industry and is expected to maintain its growth pace as more biotechnology and life science firms expand their operations in this area. WSSU's MHA program provides an excellent opportunity for professional development and career advancement while working full-time in our community.

While racial/ethnic minorities represent 25% of the U.S. population, less than 2% of senior-level positions in healthcare organizations are held by women and minorities. Inadequate minority representation in senior-level healthcare management may result, in part, from the lack of institutions like WSSU offering accredited healthcare management programs. It is our intent to fill this unmet need through the MHA program.

What are the benefits of obtaining this degree?
(source: The Association of University Programs in Health Administration)

The benefits are:

  • The ability to enhance your career opportunities: In addition to more traditional careers in healthcare management, graduates work in many other areas including: pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, public health agencies, management consulting, banks and other financial institutions, long-term care facilities, professional societies and state and Federal agencies.
  • An increase in choice of locations: Graduates of healthcare management programs are able to find numerous employment opportunities in areas ranging from small rural communities to large metropolitan areas and throughout the world.
  • Excellent earning potential: Students pursuing healthcare management careers have excellent earning potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services managers earned an average annual salary of $84,980 in 2007. Senior healthcare executives with more experience and achievements can earn $200,000 or significantly more.
  • Career flexibility: The core skill set you develop in a healthcare management program provides a competitive advantage within the healthcare sector. In addition, these skills transfer readily across a variety of industries, providing flexibility for non-health sector positions as well.
  • Management and advancement potential: There is an excellent career ladder-and many people also take on roles in different sectors of the field over the course of their careers.

What is the earliest that I can enroll in this degree program?

Students are admitted to the MHA program during the Fall or Spring semesters. Applicants must submit their application package before June 15 for Fall or November 15 for Spring consideration

Is this program accredited?

All WSSU programs have been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern States. The Commission’s mission is the enhancement of educational quality throughout the region and it strives to improve the effectiveness of institutions by ensuring that institutions meet standards established by the higher education community that address the needs of society and students. SACS serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees.

In addition, the MHA program is being reviewed for accreditation by the Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). CAHME is the primary accrediting agency for graduate programs in healthcare management in the United States and Canada.

I already have a job in the healthcare field. Can I shorten my program by receiving credit for my work experience?

While credit may be given for previous graduate work (if it is from an incomplete degree), there is no credit awarded for work experience, even if it is in a healthcare setting.

Whom should I contact to get additional information about the MHA program?

For additional information about the MHA program, please contact:


Dr. Zagros Madjd-Sadjadi
MHA Coordinator
Professor of Economics
RJR Center, Suite 109
School of Business and Economics
Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, NC 27110
336-750-2335 (f)

Winston-Salem State University

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Winston-Salem, NC 27110

Phone: (336) 750-2000

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