Program Description

Mason’s online CAHME-accredited Master of Health Administration (MHA) in Health Systems Management is a premier degree program, dedicated to preparing future executives for leadership positions in health care organizations. Gain strategic business, analytic, and decision-making skills, along with crucial industry and operational knowledge needed to navigate the evolving health care industry.

Built on the Same High Standards as Our CAHME-Accredited On-Campus Program

Our online MHA program combines the flexibility of online learning with the same rigorous standards of our on-campus program, which is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). CAHME is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the accrediting body for master’s-level health care management programs.  We’ve integrated the same world-class curriculum from our on-campus program into the online program.

Our expert faculty delivers a program driven by a set of professional competencies in each of the following domains:

  • Knowledge of the Healthcare System and Healthcare Management
  • Communications and Interpersonal Effectiveness
  • Critical Thinking, Analysis and Problem Solving
  • Management and Leadership
  • Professionalism and Ethics

Most courses are offered in convenient online, asynchronous classes. A field-based capstone practicum is completed in the final semester of study, providing students with experience and the opportunity to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills acquired from coursework.

A Week in Washington, D.C.
A weeklong visit to Mason’s Virginia campus and participation in the annual Health Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. prepares students with an up-close look at healthcare policymaking. During the week in Washington, students will visit Capitol Hill and meet with elected representatives, federal agency staff, and advocacy organizations. They will have the opportunity to see policymaking firsthand through Capitol Hill meetings, institute classes, legislative hearings, and site visits.

Capstone Practicum
Spend several months with a health care organization, engaged in the analysis of a complex problem assigned by the host organization. Demonstrate critical thinking skills to key health care executives while conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to inform an executive decision regarding an important, real-life issue. Performance in this role can provide the student with a launchpad to pursue opportunities for future professional growth and development.

Application Deadline

The online MHA in Health Systems Management program accepts applications on a rolling basis and is currently accepting applications. Applicants for the online program should apply here, while applicants for the on-campus program should visit the College of Health and Human Services for more information.

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Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Health Systems Management (MHA)

Degree: MHA

College/School: College of Health and Human Services

Credits: 47 total

Who should apply?

Working professionals will find a flexible fit to their busy schedules with Mason’s online MHA degree’s asynchronous and synchronous courses. Students come from a variety of backgrounds, including health and allied health (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists), health care financial management and accounting, health insurance, business analysts and consulting, and quality and risk management.

A prior health-related bachelor’s degree or field experience is not required but is considered in the admissions process. Eligible students may transfer up to 12 semester hours from equivalent courses taken at another accredited college or university.

Why choose Mason?

  • Our online program is CAHME-accredited and mirrors the on-campus MHA program in Health Systems Management.
  • Students are able to complete the online degree program in as few as 32 months.
  • The same experienced, industry-shaping faculty experts teach in both the online and on-campus MHA programs.
  • The program includes a week in Washington, D.C., where students travel to the D.C. area to take a hybrid course that gives them a Mason campus experience and firsthand access to health care policy in the federal arena with visits to Capitol Hill policy-makers, congressional hearings, and panel discussions with fellow students and policy experts.

Program requirements for the master’s degree in health administration are subject to change.

Requirements: 47 total credit hours

Most courses for the Mason’s online MHA in Health Systems Management are offered in convenient, online asynchronous format. Two in-person practicums develop leadership skills in real-world settings.

Required Courses

Phase I – Leadership in the Healthcare Delivery System
Phase I Orientation (Synchronous)
HAP 678 Introduction to the U.S. Health System
HAP 621 Organization Behavior and Healthcare Leadership
HAP 715 Health Economics
HAP 700 Introduction to Health Information Systems
HAP 652 Essentials of Health Insurance and Managed
HAP 750 Legal Issues in Health Administration
HAP 707 Human Resource Management in Health Care

Phase II – Problem Resolution and Decision Making
Phase II Orientation (Synchronous)
HAP 602 Statistics in Health Services Management
HAP 708 Quantitative Skills
HAP 711 Quality Improvement in Health Services
HAP 703 Financial Management in Health Systems
HAP 702 Managerial Accounting in Health Care
HAP 705 Strategic Management and Marketing
HAP 704 Contemporary Issues in Health Systems Management
HAP 790 Capstone Practicum (Synchronous Course)

In-Person and Practicum Courses

HAP 790 – Field Practicum in Health Systems Management
Students function as an integral member of an organizational entity to complete a non-thesis project. Participants demonstrate skills in leadership, critical thinking, and systematic problem analysis; engage in dialogue, consultative critiques; and receive feedback from course instructor and class peers through weekly, synchronous seminars.

HAP 746 – Week-in-Washington D.C.: a hybrid course featuring a one-week Health Policy Leadership Course in Washington, D.C.
Students visit healthcare executives and policy makers on Capitol Hill, attend congressional hearings, and participate in presentations/panel discussions with fellow online health administration degree students.

Please note that students are responsible for airfare during the required week-long residency. These costs are not covered by tuition or fees.

Tuition & Fees (2019-2020):
Tuition is $895 per credit hour.  An additional charge of $35 per credit hour applies for a Distance Learning fee.

Financial Aid:
For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department.

Mason’s online MHA in Health Systems Management prepares students for innovative leadership in evolving health systems, or as consultants and managers of health-related organizations. The curriculum is designed for a variety of healthcare and allied health professionals to be employed in both the public and private sectors, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Health systems
  • Consulting and regulatory entities
  • Medical practice groups
  • Ambulatory clinics
  • Managed care organizations
  • Health Insurance agencies
  • Local, state, and federal government agencies
  • IT systems and more

If you are unable to find the answers to your questions, submit a Request Information form or contact our admissions representative via the contact information below.

Phone: 703-348-5006

How do I apply?
All admission applications for the online MHA in Health Systems Management program are handled online here. Applications for the on-campus master of health administration program are handled online through the College of Health and Human Services. If you have more questions, please see our FAQs below.

Click here to download the full application checklist for this program.


What accreditations do George Mason and the master’s of health administration program have?
George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Our on-campus and online MHA program in the Department of Health Administration and Policy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

How long does it take to complete the program?
The online MHA in Health Systems Management is 47 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 32 months. Students take one course per semester and have up to six years to complete their health administration degree program.

Graduate students who do not enroll in courses for two or more consecutive semesters must re-enroll in their program upon their return. Re-enrollment does not have fees; forms are available through the Office of the Registrar.

Can I transfer credits from another university?
Graduate students may transfer up to 12 semester hours of approved, equivalent course work from an accredited college or university to the online MHA in Health Systems Management. Transfer credit policies are available in the University Catalog.

When are classes offered?
Most courses for the online master of health administration degree are offered in asynchronous online format. In the Capstone Practicum course, students work in the field in a health service-related organization. In the Health Policy Leadership course, students spend a week on campus in the Washington, D.C. area.

Where can I find course descriptions?
Course descriptions for the online MHA in Health Systems Management are available in the University Catalog, though the online course sequence may vary.

What tuition assistance is available?
George Mason’s Office of Student Financial Aid provides information on potential scholarships and aid packages.

What is the classroom format for the practicum?
The capstone practicum “class” is conducted through a synchronous seminar format. Each week, students can expect to make a live presentation to the class on the progress they are making on their capstone project. The seminar involves dialogue, consultative critiques and other feedback from the course instructor and peers in the class. Through this process, students apply new perspectives and insights to managing their projects as well as selected aspects of project executions such as analyses, project conclusions and recommendations.

What are the practicum requirements and eligibility?
All coursework must be completed before a student enrolls in the capstone course. Any exceptions must receive the approval of the student’s academic advisor and course faculty. This is important because the capstone requires the application of the knowledge and competencies students are expected to have acquired from prior coursework.

The MHA program cannot guarantee practicum placement or subsequent degree completion for students who do not pass a background check. Moreover, employment prospects for students are not likely for those who cannot pass a criminal background check and other pre-employment screening typically conducted by hospitals, health care clinics, long-term care or assisted living facilities.

How do I receive additional information?
Prospective online MHA in Health Systems Management degree students can complete an online form to request more information.

How much does it cost to apply?
While there is a $75 application fee, there are multiple times throughout the year that the fee may be waived.

What are the admissions recommendations?

  • Completed online application
  • $75 application fee
  • Resume
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose essay
  • Undergrad GPA-minimum 3.0 (submit all undergraduate and graduate transcripts)
  • GPA Addendum essay if undergrad GPA below 3.0
  • Video interview