Accelerated Bachelor's to Master of Health Administration (MHA)

The Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s (ABM) program offers highly motivated Health Services Administration students with an interest in the Master of Health Administration the opportunity to complete their B.S. in Public Health and earn an MHA degree in an accelerated format.

A Master of Health Administration (MHA) is a professional degree focused on the organization, delivery and management of healthcare and public health systems and services. It is the premier program for those seeking to lead the health systems of the future.

The WVU MHA program prepares students for promising careers leading innovative, population health-oriented health systems. Graduates leave our program with the skills necessary to work in a variety of healthcare and public health settings such as hospitals, medical group practices, long-term and rehabilitation care facilities, behavioral health systems, healthcare consulting firms and health departments. Students will also be excellently prepared for post-graduate administrative fellowships.

As the only program in West Virginia to be granted membership in the Association for University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), West Virginia University MHA students and faculty have exclusive access to a resource-rich network, maintaining the program's delivery of cutting-edge health administration and policy education and training.

Program Overview

The MHA program at WVU focuses on providing students with both a breadth and depth of knowledge in areas critical to success as an administrative leader in the health sector, including:

  • Health Services and Operations Management
  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior
  • Health Finance and Economics
  • Health Policy, Law and Ethics
  • Managerial Decision Making
  • Health Information Systems
  • Healthcare Quality and Outcomes Management

Internship Experience 

All MHA students complete a health administration internship as a required component to the MHA program. Internships allow MHA students an opportunity to apply the skills they are learning in the classroom in practical ways that make an impact. A variety of placement opportunities are available through the program’s local, state and regional partners in healthcare and public health systems and services. Students working full-time can complete the internship with their current organization.

Professional Development and Career Readiness

The MHA program incorporates professional development seminars to assure our students are equipped with the essential skills and professionalism required of today’s healthcare leaders. Monthly professional seminars address topics such as: networking, resume writing, job interview skills, etiquette, conflict resolution, negotiation, emotional intelligence, and other essential leadership skills.

Learning Goals

Students will achieve a specialized set of health administration competencies, including:

  • Strong foundational knowledge of the history, principles, theories, frameworks and current issues in public health. 
  • Health and healthcare dynamics, including the structures, policies, processes and institutions that make up the U.S. healthcare system.
  • Basic human, fiscal and physical resources needed for accomplishing organizational goals.
  • A personal management philosophy that integrates health services management and leadership concepts, knowledge and skills.
  • Principles and practices of health services management and leadership to identify and solve organizational problems.
  • Communication and relationship management:
    • Building collaborative relationships
    • Negotiation and conflict resolution skills
    • Professional written communications and oral presentations
  • Leadership skills
    • Self- and team-leadership
    • Promoting and managing change
    • Evidence-based methods for decision making
  • Professionalism
    • Personal and team accountability
    • Honest and ethical behavior
    • Community engagement
  • Knowledge of the Healthcare Environment
    • Examine critical issues in health systems and services
    • Articulate the impact of health policies
    • Explain the major determinants of population health
  • Healthcare Business and Analytic Skills
    • Financial and human resources management
    • Strategic planning and data-driven decision making
    • Project management

Required Courses

The ABM program requires completing 141 credit hours, including coursework for WVU general education foundations, public health foundation courses, Health Services Administration major courses and Master of Health Administration program courses.

Core courses cover health administration and operations management, health systems leadership, healthcare finance, strategic planning, project management, health policy and health economics, among others.

Each student will develop a Plan of Study. It is important to follow this plan to complete all degree requirements and graduate on time.

Students in the ABM program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 throughout their enrollment in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Students in the ABM program will complete all 35 credits of MHA courses, 14 credits of which will be “shared” by both degree programs. This means the ABM curriculum will allow students to substitute required graduate program courses for required bachelor’s program courses. Unless given specific permission by the Dean's Office, students admitted to the ABM program must maintain full-time continuous enrollment during fall and spring terms. Enrollment requirements in the summer term of year four are completing a 350-hour internship (HPML 626, 1 credit) at the graduate level.

Students' eligibility to remain in the ABM program will be evaluated at the end of each semester. Students failing to meet program or University standards will be placed on program probation for no more than one semester, after which they will be terminated from the ABM program. Terminated students and students who choose not to continue the ABM program will be eligible to receive their bachelor's degree after completing the traditional bachelor's degree requirements.

View WVU Catalog for Required Courses

Admissions Guidelines

In order to be admitted to the ABM program, applicants must:

  • be enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Health Services Administration major.
  • have a minimum GPA of 3.5.
  • earn a minimum grade of A in PUBH 205: Writing for Public Health Audiences by the time they start the ABM.
  • have completed a minimum of 60 credits, but not more than 75 credits.
    • Transfer students must have completed 24 credit hours as degree-seeking students at WVU before applying.
  • complete the Qualitrics application (open October 1 to March 1).
  • not be enrolled in a dual degree or certificate program.

Students apply using a Qualtrics application form that requires a resume, personal statement and two letters of recommendation.

Students applying to the ABM program cannot have any documented infractions with the WVU Office of Student Conduct or any external law enforcement agencies.

Applications are due by March 1, with program admission decisions communicated by the end of the spring semester. An established ABM admissions work group reviews applications.

View WVU Catalog for Admissions Guidelines