Saint Joseph's University Online MHA Programs - Leadership, Informatics


Saint Joseph’s University offers an online master of science in health administration (MHA) degree with three concentrations: general, informatics, and organizational development and leadership. The programs are competency-based and provide students with the experiences and skills that prepare aspiring leaders in health administration. With recent sweeping changes in healthcare, including the use of electronic health records and the need to keep costs down while still providing quality patient healthcare, the demand for knowledgeable and skilled healthcare administrators is rising. The curriculum includes lessons that address actual healthcare industry concerns of today.

Students in the general track focus on moral and ethical issues in healthcare including an in depth study of administrative skills, end-of-life care, the business of healthcare organizations, research, ethics, healthcare law, and data management, among others. Through the informatics concentration, students focus on all of these areas plus skills that improve the quality of healthcare by understanding, evaluating, and managing data. In the organizational development and leadership concentration, students learn about creating healthy organizations in the healthcare arena, focusing on teamwork, team leadership, group dynamics, systems thinking, and the like.

Saint Joseph’s University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and follows the Jesuit tradition, which focuses on greater personal excellence in all aspects of the student’s life including emotional, intellectual, physical, and moral facets. The MHA program boasts a faculty of experienced industry professionals who provide insight into the needs of the changing healthcare landscape. From law courses that are taught by practicing lawyers to ethics courses taught by non-profit executives, the MHA curriculum is relevant and practical.

Healthcare work experience is desired and preferred. Applicants without a strong healthcare background will be considered on the basis of any health-related internships, volunteer work, practicums, coursework, overall GPA, and any work experience they do have. Graduates from MHA programs may go on to work for government agencies, hospitals, doctor’s offices, home healthcare organizations, long-term care facilities, managed care facilities, or pharmaceutical companies, among others.

What to Expect from the Saint Joseph’s Online MHA Program

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the online MHA must hold a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree with a 2.75 GPA or higher. They must submit an online application and application fee, two letters of recommendation from a professor or work supervisor, a personal statement or letter of intent, official transcripts, and an optional resume. No GRE/GMAT is required for the MHA. Two to three years of health services work experience is preferred, but applicants without a strong healthcare background will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Those without it will be evaluated on other merits.

International students must submit TOEFL test scores as proof of English language proficiency, WES transcript evaluations, and an affidavit of financial support.

Study Plan: The SJU MHA can be completed in two to three years part-time. Working professionals typically take one course every eight-week session. Students may begin courses in January, March, May, June/July, August, and October. The program does not require a thesis, but does include a capstone course where students complete a final project.

Curriculum: The general MHA program concentration consists of 36 credits in 12 courses. The informatics and leadership concentrations are 42 credits in 14 courses. Required courses include for all tracks include health administration; ethics of healthcare; healthcare law; managed healthcare; healthcare informatics; health services research; financial management of healthcare organizations; healthcare organization; accounting for healthcare organizations; and the capstone course integrative course in health services.

General Concentration Electives: computer-based patient record; health policy; healthcare and the internet; epidemiology and community health

Informatics Concentration Electives: health information management systems applications; computer-based patient record; health information management systems data and infrastructure; healthcare and the internet

Organizational Development and Leadership Concentration Electives: leading teams; organizational leadership; organizational development: theory and application; organizational change and culture

Online Experience: Saint Joseph’s University recently switched from Blackboard to Canvas as its web management system. Canvas offers multiple media tools for interactive coursework and sharing. Courses may be asynchronous with recorded lectures, or synchronous, requiring attendance each week to a live lecture. Assignments must be completed according to the published course schedule. Students should expect to login multiple times per week, regardless of the course format. Some courses may have multiple assignments due each week, while others may require completion once per week. Students should expect to participate in class discussions through online discussion boards and virtual classrooms. All students are assigned a student services coordinator and an advisor and can set up phone meetings for help. Technical support is also available 24/7.

On-Site Requirements: The MHA is 100 percent online, requiring no on-site visits. Students are invited to participate in campus graduation.

Paying for the Saint Joseph’s Online MHA Program

Saint Joseph’s University charges $870 per credit for the online MHA. Tuition may increase from year to year, therefore prospective online students should contact the admissions department of SJU for updated costs.

Graduate students may be eligible for federal grants and loans and must apply through the FAFSA to determine aid amounts. Other opportunities for financial aid may be available and students should contact the Saint Joseph’s University Office of Financial Aid to inquire. Students are also encouraged to seek financial assistance from other sources in their community and from online organizations. In addition, some employers may offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees seeking an MHA degree, so prospective students should check with their employer for eligibility.