Jun 17, 2024  
2021-2022 Governors State University Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Governors State University Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Health Administration, M.H.A.

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The College of Health and Human Services  graduate major in Health Administration is to prepare, educate and develop early and mid-career healthcare leaders in the evolving health services arena who will positively impact the wellbeing of the communities they serve.  The Program focuses on preparing students who traditionally have been under-served by higher education to serve in public, private, community-based, and federal healthcare settings including hospitals, integrated delivery systems, medical groups, and insurance providers. The vision of the program is to be the premier education program of minority, women, and under-served populations in health administration for developing leaders capable of shaping and impacting the health, business, and the communities they serve.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the graduate program in Health Administration, within each of 6 domains the student will demonstrate the following competencies:

Domain 1: Knowledge of Healthcare System and Delivery  

All MHA students must demonstrate knowledge about general and evolving issues in healthcare and be prepared to apply this knowledge to diverse health care organizations.

1.1 Healthcare Environment. Ability to explain issues and advancements in the healthcare industry. An underlying curiosity and desire to know more about things, people, and issues, including the desire for knowledge and staying current with health, organizational, industry, and professional trends and developments. It includes pressing for more precise information; resolving discrepancies by asking a series of questions; and scanning for potential opportunities or information that may be of future use, as well as staying current and seeking best practices for adoption.

1.2 Legal and Regulatory Application and Assessment. Ability to understand and explain the regulatory and administrative environment in which the organization functions (e.g. antitrust; Stark, ACA). This includes the ability to understand and explain corporate compliance laws and regulations.

1.3 Process & Quality Improvement. The ability to analyze and design or improve an organizational process, including incorporating the principles of high reliability, continuous quality improvement, and user-centered design.

Domain 2: Business and Management Knowledge 

All MHA students must master core business and organizational management skills in a healthcare context.

2.1 Human Resources Management. The ability to implement staff development and other management practices that represent contemporary best practices, comply with legal and regulatory requirements, and optimize the performance of the workforce, including performance assessments, alternative compensation and benefit methods, and the alignment of human resource practices and processes to meet the strategic goals of the organization.

2.2 Financial Skills. The ability to understand and explain financial and accounting information, prepare and manage budgets, and make sound long-term investment decisions.

2.3 Strategic Orientation. The ability to consider the business, demographic, ethno-cultural, political, and regulatory implications of decisions and develop strategies that continually improve the long-term success and viability of the organization.

2.4 Project Management.  The ability to plan, execute, and oversee a multi-year, large-scale project involving significant resources, scope, and impact.

2.5 Information Technology Management. The ability to see the potential for administrative and clinical technologies to support process and performance improvement. Actively sponsors the continuous seeking of enhanced technological capabilities.

Domain 3: Critical Thinking and Analysis 

All MHA students must demonstrate the ability to conceptualize, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information gathered from diverse sources.

3.1 Performance Measurement. The ability to understand and use statistical and financial metrics and methods to set goals and measure clinical as well as organizational performance; commits to and deploys evidence-based techniques.

3.2 Innovation. The ability to approach one’s work and the organization in new and breakthrough ways, including applying complex concepts, developing creative new solutions, or adapting previous solutions in promising new ways.

3.3 Analytical Thinking. Developing a deeper understanding of a situation, issue, or problem by breaking it down or tracing its implications step-by-step. It includes organizing the parts of a situation, issue, or problem systematically; making systematic comparisons of different features or aspects; setting priorities on a rational basis; and identifying time sequences, causal relationships, or if-then relationships.

3.4 Organizational Awareness. The ability to understand and learn the formal and informal decision-making structures and power relationships in an organization or industry (e.g., stakeholders, suppliers). This includes the ability to identify who the real decision makers are and the individuals who can influence them, and to predict how new events will affect individuals and groups within the organization.

Domain 4: Policy and Community Engagement 

All MHA students must demonstrate knowledge of the policy process at various levels of government, as well as the processes and methods required to change and evaluate organizational policy, and strategies to engage the community in multiple types of policy change.

4.1 Policy and Advocacy. Ability to effectively participate in discussions relating to health policy at the local, state, and federal levels.

4.2 Community Collaboration. The ability to align one’s own and the organization’s priorities with the needs and values of the community, including its cultural and ethnocentric values, and to move health forward in line with population-based wellness needs and national health agenda.

Domain 5: Communication 

All students must apply interpersonal and communication skills in valuable information exchanges with faculty, peers, and preceptors. This includes abilities such as listening and communicating clearly using nonverbal, verbal, and writing skills.

5.1 Communication Skills. Ability to facilitate a group; speak and write in a clear, logical, and grammatical manner in formal and informal situations to prepare cogent business presentations.

5.2 Interpersonal Understanding. The ability to accurately hear and understand the unspoken or partly expressed thoughts, feelings, and concerns of others, especially those who may represent diverse backgrounds and very different worldviews. Levels of proficiency relate to the increasing complexity and depth of understanding, as well as openness to perspectives very different from one’s own.

Domain 6: Professionalism and Leadership 

All MHA students must demonstrate professionalism and leadership indicative of characteristics and abilities to influence others.

6.1 Professional & Social Responsibility. The demonstration of ethics, sound professional practices, social accountability, and community stewardship. Acting in ways that are consistent with one’s values and what one says is important.

6.2 Collaboration. The ability to work cooperatively and inclusively with other individuals and/or teams they do not formally lead; working together, as opposed to working separately or competitively

6.3 Team Leadership. The ability to lead groups of people toward shared visions and goals, from forming a team that possesses balanced capabilities, to setting its mission, values, and norms, and holding team members accountable individually and as a group for results.

6.4 Change Leadership. The ability to energize stakeholders and sustain their commitment to changes in approaches, processes, and strategies.

6.5 Achievement Orientation. Concern for surpassing standards of excellence. Standards may involve past performance (striving for improvement); objective measures (results orientation); outperforming others (competitiveness); challenging goals, or redefining the nature of the standards themselves (innovation).

6.6 Self-Awareness. The ability to have an accurate view of one’s own strengths and development needs, including the impact that one has on others. A willingness to address development needs through reflective, self-directed learning, and by trying new approaches.


The graduate major in health administration is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME),  PO Box 911, Spring House, PA 19477 may be reached by telephone at 301-298-1820 or by info@cahme.org . CAHME’s website may be viewed at www.cahme.org.

Special Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting university admissions criteria, applicants must meet the following:

  1. GPA. An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or a GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate study is required.  
  2. Official transcripts from each institution attended. Official transcripts of undergraduate degree are required. Transcripts not in English or obtained from institutions outside the U.S. must be accompanied by a certified translation and transcript evaluations by WES/ECE.
  3. English Language Proficiency. International applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  4. References (2). Two letters of recommendation that support the applicant for graduate study in health administration are required. Recommendation letters should come from previous academic faculty and/or professional peers, managers and supervisors. If the applicant has been out of school or unemployed for more than five years, he/she may petition for a waiver.
  5. Personal Statement. Describe your personal, academic, and professional background. Why did you become interested in the health care industry? Where do you foresee yourself in the future and how will the MHA degree contribute to your career goals? Please limit your personal statement to no more than 1,000 words.
  6. Interview. The admissions committee will review all completed applications and may require a brief interview via telephone, video conferencing, or in-person.

All required application material should be submitted by May 31 for Fall admission consideration and by November 15 for Spring admission consideration. Applicants can expect to hear program decisions between May through early June for Fall admission, and between November through early December for Spring Admission. 


GSU students and alumni (within past 5 years) are eligible for guaranteed admission to the Master of Health Administration program with an overall GPA of 3.5 or in the last 60 hours of undergraduate study at GSU. Undergraduate transcript is required. Letters of recommendation, personal statement, and interview are waived.

Required Preparation

The MHA program at GSU requires all entering students demonstrate proficiency in the following areas of study. These deficiency courses must be satisfied prior to taking MHA core courses: 

You may also be required to take the following two deficiency courses if your undergraduate study does not involve any course work in health care:

Admission to Candidacy

MHA Program at GSU is competency-based education that follows from its mission, vision and values. The competency model has six domains and a total of 22 competencies that students are prepared for. In addition to meet all university requirements for a master’s degree, MHA students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the self-assessment three times throughout your MHA degree study in addition to the self-assessment against each course. The three times of self-assessments include 1) Pre-program self-assessment conducted when entering MHA program; 2) MHA Candidacy Assessment conducted when applying for MHA Degree Candidacy; and 3) Post-program assessment conducted when exiting the program. Students enter the competency level scores into the Jaguar Assessment Guide (JAG) Excel spreadsheet for tracking the competency growth throughout the program.  
  2. Submit MHA Degree Candidacy Application upon completion of six 7000 level MHA courses -HLAD-7101  HLAD-7102  HLAD-7107  HLAD-7108  HLAD-7109  HLAD-7110  HLAD-7111  HLAD-7112  
  3. Apply no more than one course with a grade of “C+, C, or C-” toward degree requirements: When a student made a second “C+, C, or C” in a class, the student must repeat the “C” course only once to meet the degree requirements.

More detailed candidacy information and forms are available from the student’s advisor and can be found at https://www.govst.edu/mha/.

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