Utica College Online MHA Programs - Acute Care, Nursing Home Administration


Utica College offers a fully online master of health care administration (MHA) with a general track or three specializations: acute care, nursing home administration, and service organizations. Learning outcomes include a focus on leadership, management, critical thinking, project management, systems thinking, and the continuum of care.

Utica College, located in Utica, NY, offers one of the most affordable master’s degree tuitions in the country. In addition they have made a huge investment into technology, practice, training, and piloting online programs to make sure they give students the best online learning environment possible. A main goal for online programs is the personal connection fostered through interaction with fellow students, faculty, and administration. Class sizes are small which promotes this personal atmosphere.

Those interested in the online MHA program might be professionals desiring to become leaders in health care at government agencies, insurance companies, corporate organizations, acute care organizations, or nursing homes and long term care facilities. Applicants do not need health care experience to be considered for this program. Graduates may go on to careers as a nursing home administrator, acute care case manager, medical care manager, facilities manager, grant administrator, clinical project manager, research director, or quality and compliance officer, among other opportunities.

What to Expect from the Utica College Online MHA Programs

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the Utica College online MHA in health care administration must hold a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Work experience (in health care) is recommended but not required. Submitting a GMAT/GRE score is usually not necessary, but this depends on academic credentials. Applicants must submit an application and application fee, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and official transcripts. International students must also provide proof of English language proficiency and an official transcript evaluation from WES, ECE, or Educational Perspectives.

Study Plan: Students in the online MHA program complete six eight-week courses per year to complete the program in two years. They can begin the program in January, May, or August. At the end of the program, students complete a capstone course in which they design a final project that integrates their learned knowledge throughout the program. The program also includes four online synchronous residencies.

Curriculum: The online MHA in health care administration consists of 36 credits: 21 credits of core courses, 12 credits of electives or specialization courses, and three credits of a capstone course. Core courses include health care systems: a continuum of care, health care ethical and legal issues, an advanced seminar, leadership in marketing and strategic planning, quality management and performance, human resources management, and health care accounting processes.

For the general track, students take a combination of 12 credits of elective courses from the three specializations or other electives offered such as legal and investigative issues for fraud management, management of fraud prevention and detection, or the economics of health and health care policy.

Acute care specialization courses include health informatics, health care administrator leader, clinical research, and health care financial management.

Nursing home administration specialization courses vary depending on state licensure requirements. Courses can include nursing home administration, health care financial management, public health care policies of aging, ethical and legal issues, perspectives in gerontology, and human resources management. Students in this specialization prepare to take the Nursing Home Administration (NHA) exam to become licensed nursing home administrators.

Service organization specialization courses are organizational leadership; health care administrator leadership; organization development and change; and grant writing, program planning, and evaluation.

All tracks complete a three-credit capstone course that includes a final application project.

Online Experience: Utica College uses the Engage online learning management system for the online MHA program. Through Engage students can join discussion boards, use video and email, participate in online chat rooms, take tests and quizzes, complete collaborative assignments, and participate in live classes. Most courses are offered in an asynchronous format, but some activities may be synchronous, such as the four online residencies. These virtual residencies take place when convenient for students (usually on Saturdays) using webcam and audio. Students have access to library services including online chat with a librarian, academic advising, 24/7 technical assistance, financial advising, and career planning.

On-Site Requirements: There are no on-site requirements for the online MHA in health care administration from Utica College as the program is 100 percent online. There are four online synchronous residencies as described in the online experience section above. Students also are welcome to visit campus anytime and to participate in graduation on campus.

Paying for the Utica College Online MHA Programs

Utica College charges $690 per credit plus online program fees for the online MHA program. With tuition changes common, students should check with the admissions department to secure the most up-to-date cost estimates.

Graduate students may be eligible for federal loans. Students are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA to determine federal financial aid. In addition, Utica College may offer scholarships and grants. Students can seek outside resources for help paying for their MHA degree such as churches, community organizations, societies, and others. Students can also check with their employer to see if they offer tuition reimbursement programs for those seeking a higher degree.