The George Washington University Online Master of Health Administration (MHA@GW)

The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, based in Washington D.C., offers an online Master of Health Administration (MHA) program. The MHA@GW seeks to prepare successful leaders by teaching the skills necessary for the rapidly changing healthcare system. Students take courses in finance and economics, quality improvement, leadership, ethics, management, strategy, information technology, laws, regulations, and more. The Milken Institute SPH believes that healthcare is about human relationships; as such, the school focuses on fostering excellent relationships within the workplace, as well as with the patients and communities the healthcare organizations serve.

The program was designed for working professionals with two years of full-time experience in the health sector or three years of full-time experience in any industry but currently employed in healthcare. Students come from a variety of backgrounds in clinical practice, acute care, technical careers, legal fields, and pharmaceutical areas. The program is designed to be highly interactive and offers live, face-to-face weekly classes, interactive coursework, virtual classrooms, and four immersion experiences. Graduates have gone into positions such as hospital chief operating officer and health policy advisor, among many others.

What to Expect From MHA@GW

Admission Requirements: Applicants to MHA@GW must have at least two years of full-time healthcare work experience or three years in another industry. In addition, applicants should have a strong academic background and hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution (or an equivalent degree if earned outside the United States). No GMAT/GRE is required. Prospective students must submit an application, an application fee, a statement of purpose, a resume or CV, official transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. Please note that all applicants participate in a live, face-to-face interview recorded via webcam.

International students may need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores from the previous two years, as well as evaluated transcripts from WES.

As prerequisites for the MHA program, students must have taken financial accounting and introduction to statistics (earning a B or better). If applicants have not taken these courses, they can be completed at a local college or through the online StraighterLine program. Courses must be completed by the end of the second module.

Study Plan: Students in MHA@GW program participate in eight 10-week-long modules focusing on a core skill necessary for optimal leadership and health care delivery. Cohorts begin in January, April, July, and October. Students also participate in four in-person immersions finalized by an organizational research project that is presented to peers and a panel of health care leaders. Students can complete the program in two years but may take up to four.

Curriculum: The 50-credit curriculum consists of eight 10-week-long learning modules (39 credits), two organizational research project portions (two credits), and four immersion experiences (nine credits). The eight learning modules are: 1) Healthcare Management and Strategy, 2) Medical Informatics and Decision Management, 3) Health Care Financial Management, 4) Community and Public Health, 5) Health Economics and Quantitative Methods, 6) Quality and Performance Improvement, 7) Law and Policy, and 8) Systems Thinking and Learning. During modules six and seven, students complete organizational research projects in which they develop a business plan, evaluate a health care organization, or complete a literature review to solve a health care problem.

Online Experience: Students in MHA@GW learn through weekly, face-to-face class sessions offered through live video conferencing, which fosters the feeling and experience of being in a classroom without having to travel to campus. Classes are kept small with a student-teacher ratio of 15:1, which allows for meaningful discussion between faculty and fellow students. Coursework includes weekly preparation for classes with multimedia assignments. The coursework is available 24/7 using GW’s mobile app. Online students also have access to student and career services, library resources, academic advisors, and GW faculty and alumni.

On-Site Requirements: Students in MHA@GW participate in four in-person immersion experiences throughout the program. Two of the immersions are 40 hours (three credits), and two of them are 20 hours (1.5 credits).

In the first immersion (leadership and ethics 1), students take a test to discover their leadership style, examine ethical principles and practices, and begin to practice highly effective leadership skills.

The second immersion (leadership and ethics 2) focuses on using servant leadership, emotional intelligence, and transformational leadership to expand their skills and knowledge as effective leaders in health care.

The third experience (health systems analysis) requires students to study a highly regarded health system in the U.S or globally. Students assess and examine the operation, including how it is structured and how it functions.

During the fourth immersion, students present the findings of their organizational research projects orally to fellow cohort students and healthcare leaders for evaluation and feedback. Students are also encouraged to participate in the on-campus commencement.

Paying for MHA@GW

The George Washington University Online MHA@GW tuition numbers are listed below, do not include additional fees, and may not include immersion experience costs. Prospective online students should contact the admissions department of the Milken Institute School of Public Health for a customized cost estimate.

GW offers financial aid in the form of partner organization benefits and merit-based scholarships. Students can also apply for federal grants and student loans, as well as private loans. Students are encouraged to seek outside resources for help paying for MHA@GW. In addition, some businesses offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees seeking an advanced degree. Students should speak with their employer about this possibility.

The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health Online MHA (MHA@GW)

  • Take learning on the go with GW’s mobile app
  • Complete homework on your own and attend live weekly online class sessions which promote face-to-face discussion
  • Courses include subjects such as finance and economics, quality improvement, leadership and ethics, and community health
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates January, April, July, October
Credits Needed to Graduate 50
Time to Complete? Complete the program in 2 years.
100% Online? No, four on-campus immersions required
Program Accreditation CAHME-accredited
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Bachelor's degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? Yes, two years of full-time health care experience or three years of full-time experience in another industry but currently employed in the health care industry.
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 50
Average Cost Per Credit $1,835
Estimated Program Tuition * $91,750.00

Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the published tuition rate. For programs with variable tuition rates, we use the rates for part-time students. Tuition number represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year. Estimated total tuition does not include additional fees, unless otherwise specified. Please check here for any tuition updates.

Sara Navratil
Sara Navratil

Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She's the owner of Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about healthcare-related topics, including information on online MHA programs. When not working she likes to read, bake, and spend time with her family.