The Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) degree prepares students for leadership roles in the health care sector, including positions in hospitals, health care systems, long-term care facilities, clinics, insurance firms, health departments, and government agencies. The MHSA offers a systematic examination of the health care system, exposure to the impact of health policy and the policy process, a mastery of analytic methods, and a broad exposure to the practice of health care management. Classes are taught on the KUMC campus and offered in the late afternoon and evening.

Joint Degree Programs

The Department of Health Policy and Management offers 4 joint programs in conjunction with the MD program and the Schools of Law, Nursing, and Health Professions. Please contact the respective schools for complete information.

MD/MHSA

The joint MD/MHSA degree program prepares students to enter careers as physician executives or to provide administrative support for their medical practice. As the health care environment becomes more complex and competitive, administrative skills can be extremely important to individuals starting careers in medicine or those seeking to enhance their current careers. The MSHA portion of the curriculum combines social science and business content in the context of health care and prepares students for management and executive positions in health care organizations. Students complete requirements for the MD degree as specified by the School of Medicine. MD programs are described in the School of Medicine Catalog. Both programs can be completed in 5 years. Students must be admitted to each program to pursue the joint degree.

JD/MHSA

The JD/MHSA joint degree program combines into 4 years of full-time study the Juris Doctor (JD) program offered by the School of Law and the Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) program offered by the Department of Health Policy and Management. The program offers students who plan to practice health law or health services management a thorough academic grounding in both disciplines. Students must be admitted to each program to pursue the joint degree.

MS in Nursing (Organizational Leadership)/MHSA

The joint Master of Science in Nursing (Organizational Leadership)/MHSA degree program combines the MHSA degree offered by the Department of Health Policy and Management and the School of Nursing's Master of Science degree with the specialization in Organizational Leadership. This program gives students the opportunity to acquire training in the convergent fields of nursing and health services administration. The program combines course work, allowing the two degrees to be completed in 8 semesters. Students must be admitted to each program to pursue the joint degree.

BSHIM/MHSA

The joint Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Master of Health Services Administration program is offered through the Department of Health Policy and Management in association with the Department of Health Information Management. By participating in this intensive, full-time bridge program, students can achieve both degrees in five years. Students pursuing the BSHIM/MHSA will be prepared to assume management and executive positions in health-related organizations and to bring their expertise in health information management to these positions.

The application is an on-line process. Detailed instructions on how to apply and application deadlines are posted on the Health Policy and Management website.  Students are admitted for the fall semester only.

Admission requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, documented by submission of official transcript(s). The bachelor's degree must be attained prior to entering the program. Official transcripts from institutions attended post-baccalaureate are also required.
    Students with degrees from outside the U.S. may be subject to transcript evaluation indicating the degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree and meets the minimum cumulative GPA requirements.
  • A cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants who are not native speakers of English, whether domestic or international, must demonstrate they meet the Minimum English Proficiency Requirement.
  • A background check is required during the admission process; it may affect the student's eligibility to enter the program.
  • An official copy of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score not more than approximately five (5) years old sent from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to University of Kansas Medical Center - ETS institutional 6895.  An alternative graduate level examination score may be substituted on a case-by-case basis.
  • A statement of goals/purpose. This brief essay should outline the applicant's reasons for wanting to pursue graduate education in health administration and career objectives.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Applicants must also have completed a prerequisite three (3) credit hour course in statistics.
  • A personal interview is also required of all applicants who meet the minimum admissions standards. If travel to the area is impossible, a telephone or on-line interview may be substituted.

Applicants will be assessed based on these requirements. After an applicant has been admitted, the program may defer an applicant's admission for one year after which time the applicant must submit a new application.

Admission requirements are subject to change. To verify admissions requirements for past years, use the catalog of the year student entered the program. Other years’ catalogs».

The MHSA program is a 56 credit-hour graduate professional degree program and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

Degree requirements:

  • Degree requirements are normally completed within two (2) years of admission to the program although a maximum of seven (7) years is allowed. Part-time students normally complete requirements within four to five (4-5) years of admission to the program.
  • Cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 for all program coursework.
  • Completion of a minimum of 56 credit hours.
  • Enrollment in a minimum of one (1) credit hour the semester the student will graduate.
  • Successful completion of the following required courses (or equivalents):
    HP&M 810The Health Care System3
    HP&M 819Research for Health Care Leaders3
    HP&M 822Health Care Economics3
    HP&M 825Financial Concepts in Healthcare Management3
    HP&M 827Financial Applications in Healthcare Management3
    HP&M 830Health Care Management3
    HP&M 832Governance and Health Law2
    HP&M 833Ethics2
    HP&M 837Health Policy3
    HP&M 846Health Information Technology Management3
    HP&M 848Designing Health Care Organizations2
    HP&M 850Introduction to Operations3
    HP&M 852Strategic Marketing2
    HP&M 853Strategic Management2
    HP&M 854Human Resources and Workforce Development3
    HP&M 858Health and Social Behavior3
    HP&M 859Professional Development2
    HP&M 860Graduate Internship in Healthcare Services Administration1
    or HP&M 862 Research Practicum in Health Services Administration
    HP&M 861Capstone Seminar2
    BIOS 704Principles of Statistics in Public Health3
    Electives - as determined in consultation with the student's advisor.5
    Total Hours56
  • Achieve competency in the following areas: communication and interpersonal effectiveness; critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving; management and leadership; and professionalism and ethics.   Competency is evaluated by a number of methods, to include course grades and individualized formal reviews of faculty assessments and student self-assessment.” 
  • Students are required to participate in the campus-wide activities of the Center for Interprofessional Education. Specific activities are determined on an annual basis by the MHSA Program Director.

Although students complete an internship or practicum as part of the program, all students are encouraged to seek a post-graduation residency/fellowship.

Degree requirements and course descriptions are subject to change. Any courses taken as equivalents must be approved by the Graduate Director and the Office of Graduate Studies.  In most cases use the catalog of the year the student entered the program to determine requirements. Other years’ catalogs».

Typical Plan of Study

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
HP&M 8103HP&M 8273HP&M 8522
HP&M 8223HP&M 8322HP&M 860 or 8621
HP&M 8253BIOS 7043 
HP&M 8583HP&M 8503 
HP&M 8592HP&M 8532 
 14 13 3
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHours 
HP&M 8193HP&M 8303 
HP&M 8373HP&M 8332 
HP&M 8482HP&M 8463 
HP&M 8543HP&M 8612 
Elective2Elective3 
 13 13 
Total Hours: 56

Because the MHSA degree signifies that the holder is prepared for entry into the practice of health services administration, it follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills necessary to function in a broad range of management and leadership situations. Therefore, the following abilities and expectations must be met by all students with or without accommodations admitted to the MHSA program.

1.         Observation:  A student must be able to observe class demonstrations and field experiences relevant to the field of health services administration. Observation necessitates the functional use of the senses of vision and hearing.

2.         Communication:  A student must be able to communicate effectively in oral and written form with other students, faculty, staff and preceptors. Effective communication includes the ability to understand assigned readings and lectures, the ability to analyze    information, and the ability to present results of such analyses verbally and in writing.

3.         Motor:  A student must have sufficient motor function to attend classes, prepare assignments, and make public presentations. Class requirements may also include field work in a variety of health services organizations.

4.         Intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities:  A student must possess the ability to understand and work with measurements, carry out calculations, and engage in reasoning, analysis and synthesis. A student must be able to draw on all these abilities to be an effective problem solver.

5.         Behavioral and social attributes:  A student must have the emotional health required for the full use of his or her intellectual ability, exercise of sound judgment, and timely completion of a manager’s responsibilities. Integrity, reliability, self-direction, motivation, and ability to work with diverse groups are qualities necessary for effective practice in this field.