Jul 22, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Health Administration

The College of Professional Studies offers a Master of Health Administration (MHA) program. The MHA is a professional degree that focuses on developing and applying the skills needed in executive management careers within the healthcare industry. Our program is designed to develop health care leaders for a rapidly changing world by equipping students with conceptual, analytical, and leadership skills. The MHA curriculum provides students the opportunity to expand their educational experiences through courses specific to management, human resources, organizational behavior, compliance, law and ethics, information systems, population and community health, finance, and economics in the health care industry. The MHA will prepare students to combine educational knowledge and health-related work experience to expand qualifications to lead change in our dynamic healthcare industry.


The Master of Health Administration is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, including Colorado and 18 other states. The MHA program at Metropolitan State University of Denver is also an Associate Graduate Member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA).

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program is to enhance the practice, management, leadership and policy of the health and wellness industry by educating a diverse population of students, utilizing professional competencies and enabling them to contribute to solving the health challenges facing our society. The program goals are:

  1. To offer a curriculum that meets accreditation standards and the needs of the healthcare industry.
  2. To apply industry competency models and current evidence on teaching and learning to provide the best education possible.
  3. To prepare individuals for entry or mid-level management position in various sectors of the healthcare industry, for graduate school, and/or for life-long learning in the field.
  4. To employ competent faculty members who demonstrate expertise in their area of healthcare management.
  5. To develop and maintain strong ties with alumni, the community, local healthcare organizations, and the University.


The competencies for the Master of Health Administration (MHA) graduate program have been established based on best practices recommended by the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management, the specialty-accrediting agency, and review of other graduate programs across the country. Student work will be benchmarked against other programs in the U.S., as the graduate program is a member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, which provides a forum for faculty to compare and contrast the level of knowledge and competency attainment comparable to traditional education formats.

  1. Leadership and Professionalism
    1. Ethics
      1. Evaluates professional and organizational values and stewardship of resources
      2. Demonstrates the ability to recognize mistakes and learn from them
      3. Demonstrates the ability to ask questions and to challenge alternatives
    2. Emotional Intelligence
      1. Demonstrates social and human relationship skills needed to address diverse stakeholders
      2. Demonstrates consistent integrity and respect for others
      3. Identifies, explains and resolves critical tension
      4. Holds oneself accountable for meeting standards of performance
      5. Assesses individual strengths and weaknesses and engage in continuous professional development
    3. Organizational change and innovation
      1. Identifies, explains and utilizes effective motivational strategies to elicit desired behavior and inspire action toward a shared vision
      2. Uses team development methods for achieving change
      3. Demonstrates effective techniques for working with governance structures
  2. Critical and Analytical Thinking
    1. Mathematical and statistical analysis
      1. Identifies and describe quantitative analytical methods for economic, financial and clinical evaluations, survey research, forecasting, and project management
      2. Evaluates testable hypotheses common in management situations, selecting and applying appropriate quantitative methods
      3. Understands the application of advanced mathematical techniques such as linear regression, bivariate comparison methods, etc.
      4. Incorporates evidenced-based approaches with epidemiological concepts and statistical methods to be used in the prevention of disease, and the improvement of the population’s health
    2. Decision making and problem solving
      1. Uses creative and analytical problem-solving methods
      2. Explores cause and effect relationships in order to solve complex problems
      3. Evaluates issues from various perspectives
      4. Identifies the influences of political, economic, cultural, social and other factors on decision making
  3. Management Principles
    1. General management
      1. Identifies, describes, and applies general management concepts, theories, and tools of management science regarding service excellence and the organization of work and decision theory
      2. Describes and applies the principles and tools of continuous quality improvement concepts and skills to improve work processes and patient outcomes
      3. Implements project management techniques and systems to examine scope and impact of projects
    2. Teamwork skills
      1. Exhibits the ability to work collaboratively in a team with colleagues to achieve a desired goal
      2. Demonstrates the ability to facilitate and lead a group, and to present results of the team
  4. Community Engagement
    1. Public and organizational
      1. Identifies stakeholders’ values and needs and their history and specific interests, and solicit and use input from the community to guide decisions
      2. Builds collaborative partnerships at the organizational, local or regional level
      3. Uses negotiation, consensus, and conflict resolution methods to assist community development and evaluation
    2. Civic duty
      1. Identifies and articulates community values and needs in relation to the organization’s mission and goals
  5. Cultural Proficiency
    1. Identifies, demonstrates, and evaluates cultural humility and proficiency
    2. Applies the principles to be able to work effectively and respect the differences in others’ culture, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender, race
  6. Communications
    1. Written and oral
      1. Develops, organizes, synthesizes and articulates idea and information in an organized and cogent manner
      2. Listens, hears, and responds effectively to ideas and thoughts of others
      3. Writes clearly and effectively based on audience characteristics and communication goals
    2. Presentation skills
      1. Speaks clearly and effectively before individuals and groups in formal and informal settings
  7. Knowledge of Health Care
    1. Recognizes the role of providers, payers, intermediaries, and others in delivering quality care
    2. Analyzes the evolving issues and trends in the health care industry
  8. Business Skills
    1. Budget and financial management
      1. Prepares, monitors, and manages budgets
      2. Analyzes reimbursement practices for health providers
      3. Monitors data and identifies deviations in financial performance
    2. Market analysis
      1. Prepares and analyzes market data to segment and target sectors
      2. Evaluates internal and external trends that may affect business decision-making
      3. Uses qualitative methods to determine patterns and trends culminating in decision-making
    3. Strategic management
      1. Facilitates and influences the development, implementation and ownership of mission, vision, goals and plans
      2. Uses strategic thinking tools, models and methods to guide an organization
      3. Projects future scenarios and evaluates and concludes on optimal scenarios
    4. Operations management
      1. Measures, tracks and responds to the changing needs of the customer
      2. Applies the basic concepts of management engineering, process improvement, and redesign of systems
    5. Information technology
      1. Uses decision-support tools for information and knowledge management
      2. Uses and manages relevant computer technology
    6. Legal and regulatory environment
      1. Displays knowledge of federal, state, and local policies and laws effecting the health care industry
      2. Monitors and interprets the impacts of laws and regulations on the organization
      3. Knowledge of health policy and its effect on providers, payers, and populations
    7. Human resource management
      1. Utilizes the resources and techniques of human resource management to maximize the organization’s investment in human capital
      2. Analyzes organizational behaviors to achieve organizational goals
    8. Economics
      1. Applies the principles of economics and evidence-based techniques to inform decision-making in pricing, service demand, and risk.
      2. Uses economic modeling in strategic planning

MHA Program Admission

Admissions Criteria

Program acceptance requires students to have a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited University acceptable by MSU Denver and a minimum 3.0 GPA (in and out of major).

To apply for the MHA, students need to submit the following:

  1. Graduate admissions application
  2. Graduate application fee
  3. Submit official transcripts from all previous college or universities attended
  4. Resume
  5. Contact information from three (3) professional references
  6. Personal Statement essay or video. Please refer to MHA website for additional information.

The MHA Admissions Committee, which is comprised of faculty members, will review complete applications only. Applicants who submit incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the admissions committee and will be denied from the program.

After the MHA Admissions Committee receives and reviews the application, the applicants will be notified in writing (via e-mail) of their status. Applicants may be accepted, accepted with conditions, waitlisted, or denied admission. Students should check the MHA Program website for application timelines.

* Prior to program entry students must sign a Criminal History Statement.

Leveling Requirements

Prior college level coursework required in accounting, statistics, and economics. In lieu of this academic preparation, students can complete the requirements via Peregrine Academic Services (online learning modules) in addition to the core 40 credits. Additionally, experience with technology, computer applications, and applicable computer systems and applications are highly encouraged. Students lacking required prerequisite coursework may be accepted with conditions. Students will be granted conditional acceptance and permission to begin the MHA program. Students must successfully complete the required leveling courses / prerequisites with a “C” or better by the end of the first semester of year one.

International Applicants

Applying to a graduate program as an international student at Metropolitan State University of Denver consists of several additional steps. The following instructions and checklist will guide you.

International Students must:

  • complete all of the same requirements as domestic students;
  • have achieved a minimum TOEFL score of 540 (or a score of 76 on the Internet version of the TOEFL);
  • submit the required immigration documents for issuance of an I-20.

Deadlines for international student admission are available on individual program websites. A non-refundable $50 application fee applies. The Graduate Admissions Application is available on the Office of Admissions website.

Foreign transcripts must also have an official English translation done by a certified translator, if applicable, and a professional, course-by-course evaluation showing equivalency to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. World Education Services, wes.org, or Education Credential Evaluators, ece.org, are recommended professional transcript evaluation service providers.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students may be admitted to any of the graduate degree programs with a non-degree-seeking status. For detailed information, refer to the non-degree admissions policies and procedures located on the program’s website and/or specific program’s section of the catalog. Non-degree-seeking students do not qualify for financial aid and must re-apply and pay a new application fee in order to become degree-seeking. Completing coursework as a non-degree-seeking student does not guarantee admission into a degree-seeking program.

Prior Learning Assessment

A Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) will be available for HCMM 5000 (3) Fundamentals of Health Care Systems and Organizational Structures. Prior learning assessments are charged half of the tuition rate. Financial aid does not apply. Passing the PLA will count towards the 9 credit hours of transfer courses.

Transfer Students

No more than 9, graduate-level, transfer credits (semester hours or equivalent) will be accepted for any program. These credits must have been completed no longer than six years prior to the admission term and must be from a regionally accredited, U.S. institution or equivalent. 

Programs have discretion over acceptance of transfer courses. A minimum grade of “B” is required for each transfer course. Applicants should check the program website and/or contact a program advisor for details. (Note: Students with extensive health care knowledge can test out of courses based on successful completion of prior learning assessments. PLA credits count towards the 9 transfer credit hours.)

Advancement to Candidacy

Students must successfully complete all courses comprising 40 credit hours. MHA students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in any academic term. Any student falling below a 3.0 in any given term will be placed on academic probation and be required to develop a remediation plan with an academic advisor for raising the GPA above 3.0.

Students who fail to raise their GPA over 3.0 after 15 credits will be dismissed from the program. No grade lower than a “B” counts toward degree completion. Students receiving a “C” or below will be required to repeat the course. Students must be aware that the sequential coursework policy will often require students to take time off to repeat the coursework. Students who do not successfully complete an MHA course with a “B” or better after the second attempt will be dismissed from the program.

Students may enroll in no more than fifteen (15) credit hours per semester. Students who wish to take over 15 credits must seek approval.  For additional information, please contact the MHA Program Coordinator at 303-556-3130 or mhahep@msudenver.edu.

No course may count toward both the master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree.

Only students who are formally accepted into the MHA program or non-degree-seeking status may register for any graduate-level MHA courses.

Graduate students are considered full-time if they are registered for six (6) credit hours, half-time if registered for three (3) credit hours, and less than half-time if registered for two (2) or fewer credit hours.  Financial aid requires students to be registered for a minimum of three (3) credit hours.

Students must complete the master’s degree within six (6) calendar years from the semester of initial enrollment.

Students not enrolled for three (3) consecutive semesters (including summer) must submit a re-admission application. Students requesting re-admission must be in good academic standing and must submit their application for re-admission to the master’s program in which they have been enrolled.  Students who readmit into the MHA Program will be held to the policies and curriculum of the later term in which they officially restart the MHA Program.  An approved re-admit application is valid for one academic year from the re-admit semester. Students who are not in good academic standing are not eligible for the readmit application process and must fully apply to the MHA Program. For additional information, please contact the MHA Program Coordinator at 303-556-3130 or mhahep@msudenver.edu.

Academic policies and the Student Code of Conduct will be employed to all MSU Denver students, regardless of level.  Access the Student Code of Conduct.

The University residency requirement for master’s programs is the total number of semester hours required for the program minus 9.

MHA Program student should refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Graduate Catalog for a listing of all grades and notations including incompletes and withdrawals.  In addition to adhering to the University requirement for “incomplete” eligibility, MHA students are not allowed to have more than one outstanding “incomplete” at one time. This status will initiate an automatic performance review and will not be in good academic standing.

Master of Health Administration Program Requirements

Courses will be offered in a sequenced format. The sequential coursework framework means not all courses will be offered each semester.  Student advising is essential for effective course planning.