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Arnold School of Public Health

MHA in Health Services Policy and Management

The Master of Health Administration (MHA) program prepares students for a career in the management of health services organizations in the private and public sectors, ranging from direct service providers (hospitals, clinics, long-term care settings) through the ancillary industries (health insurers, quality review organizations). In addition to the core public health disciplines, the MHA program provides training to develop competencies [pdf] in management, accounting, finance, information technology, quantitative methods, leadership, and evaluation and planning – all geared for health care organizations. 

The MHA is offered in a full-time format for traditional students and in a weekend format for working professionals. 

Program Highlights

Learn from Industry Experts

Two thirds of our instructors are nationally known experts in their fields who are also current practitioners.

Hands-on Experience from Day One 

You'll have the opportunity to work in a health care setting through a graduate assistantship while studying, gaining experience year-round.

Gain Leadership Skills

We prepare you for leadership roles in health care organizations from leading teams and managing facilities to strategic decision making for health care services.

Nationally Recognized

Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

students in a classroom looking at the presenter


What You'll Study

Courses include critical thinking and problem-solving in health services organizations. You'll gain management and leadership competencies, plus understand professionalism and ethics. You'll study accounting, law, policy and principles, as well as community perspectives and physician practice management. View academic bulletin.


The MHA program’s mission is to prepare health care administrators and leaders to have the competencies required for effectively managing health systems and the proficiencies for strategically addressing the social and population health responsibilities of healthcare organizations. The MHA program will serve to prepare the health care leadership workforce in South Carolina, throughout the United States, and beyond (Adopted Fall 2021).

The MHA program will aspire for excellence and will be a resource for excellence in graduate health care management education. The program will prepare well trained graduates ready to assume or progress to leadership positions in healthcare arena. The MHA Program will serve as a networking/integrating resource for alumni, practitioners and leaders in health services in South Carolina and beyond (Adopted Fall 2021).

Community: The MHA Program actively engages and collaborates with community partners and stakeholders through experiential learning, alumni and practitioner involvement, placements in high quality graduate assistantships, fellowships and jobs.

Diversity and Inclusion: The MHA program attracts a diverse group of individuals, supports diverse students, alumni, health system and organizations, and embraces respect for diversity and inclusion of all persons.

Impact: Through inquiry, discovery and workforce development, the MHA program will improve health and well-being of the serving communities, population, and health systems.

Integrity: The MHA Program adheres to the highest standards of honesty, fairness, stewardship, professional responsibility and scholarly ethics.

Learning: MHA Students are center of the program. With its outstanding faculty and staff, strong practitioner complement, the MHA Program provides diverse and dynamic educational and experiential opportunities for all learners.

Leadership: The MHA Program equips leaders with necessary skills to become change agents in health systems, their communities, and the field.

Student-Centric: Student bonding and cohesion is a priority for the MHA Program which provides support to ensure an organic network growth among each cohort’s peers.

Professional Development: The MHA Program will drive strength of all partners, students, and alumni through continuous networking and connections and cultivate a learning environment where students thrive to be life-long learners rather than just a graduate.

The USC MHA program prepares healthcare managers with both the competencies required to manage effectively in a market–driven health care system and an understanding of the approaches needed to address the social and population health responsibilities of healthcare organizations. The goal is to prepare: (1) individuals without previous health services management experience for entry-level managerial positions and facilitate their advancement into senior management; and (2) experienced health service professionals for promotion and further career advancement.


Graduate Assistantship Opportunities 

A key strength of our MHA program is that, subject to availability, we identify opportunities in health care organizations in the greater Columbia area for traditional track students to interview for compensated graduate assistantship (GA) positions (10-20 hours a week).  Graduate assistantships provide a stipend to help offset living expenses.  In addition, out-of-state students who have a graduate assistantship have their tuition reduced to in-state rates.


Earn While You Learn

In 2023, 100% of our students secured a Graduate Assistantship (GA) in a health care setting from day one in the program.


Alumni Success

Graduates from our MHA program are Chief Executive Officers (CEOs)/Presidents, Chief Operating Officers (COOs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Directors and Administrators of health systems, insurance companies, and governmental /non-governmental organizations around the world. Our graduates are active, visible and valuable members of their communities working hard to improve health care systems.

Graduation and Job Placement Rates 

The traditional track MHA program has a record of 95-100% graduation rates since 2003.

On-Time Graduation Rates for traditional track MHA program

Job Placement Rates for traditional track MHA program
For students acquiring full-time jobs/administrative fellowships at the time of or within 3 months of graduation

Each year our students obtain nationally competitive administrative fellowships at major health care systems or centers throughout the United States. These fellowships are designed to train new graduates across the hospital system for rapid advancement to leadership positions. In recent years the fellowship locations included UNC Hospitals, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System, Lexington Medical Center, MUSC Health, Prisma Health, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Bon Secours Health System in South Carolina and Virginia, Atrium Health, Duke University, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Kaiser Permanente, and Wake Forest Medical Center, to name a few.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.