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Master of Healthcare Administration

Earning an MHA at Boston College will allow you to master the skills and knowledge necessary to take on new or expanded leadership roles in the healthcare industry.

Boston College’s 46-credit MHA program provides a next-generation online learning experience to support your healthcare career goals. Enjoy opportunities to network and build on the skills needed to help you take on new or expanded leadership roles in your organization. We support you throughout your MHA program experience in the following ways:

  • Online Courses with Self-Paced and Faculty-Led Elements
    Twelve of your 13 courses can be completed entirely online. Your courses include both self-paced elements that you can work through on your own schedule as well as real-time interactions and meetings with your faculty instructor and your classmates.
  • Immersion Short-Course
    One of your courses is offered onsite at Boston College’s main campus over a long weekend. This short course allows you to collaborate in person with your faculty instructor, your classmates, and with leading healthcare innovators in the Boston area to complete a unique project that supports a real-world solution to one of healthcare’s strategic challenges.
  • Competency-Based Learning Model
    Your program follows an online competency-based education (CBE) format – an innovative approach to earning your master’s degree. Through CBE, your experience counts. You build on what you already know, demonstrate mastery at your pace and focus on learning what is most meaningful to you.
  • Meaningful Online Interaction with Your Peers
    Your courses include opportunities to collaborate with your peers to develop and present cutting-edge projects that address strategic and tactical challenges facing the healthcare industry.
  • Self-Paced Individual Learning Quests
    We are committed to ensuring that you master the critical skills necessary to progress in your career. We will work with you throughout your program to determine your strengths and challenge areas.  Together, we will design a learning plan to challenge you and expand your professional skills – all with the support and guidance you need to succeed.
  • Eight-Week Format
    We offer our courses in an accelerated format so you can progress through your degree at your pace. Many students choose to take one course every eight weeks to focus on one course at a time while still completing two courses in a traditional semester timeframe.

  • Executive Coach
    We provide you with a dedicated Executive Coach throughout your program to serve as your “one-stop” resource for all of your questions; to provide you with the support and guidance you need to succeed in your coursework and program events; to offer career and network resources; and to help you with any obstacles and challenges you may encounter. Your Executive Coach is with you every step of the way and works with you each week, or as needed, to ensure your progression in the program and in your career.
  • Industry Webinar Series and Professional Association Events
    As part of your program, you have the opportunity to participate in webinar events with industry experts and to participate in professional association events to increase your networking and mentoring options.

The MHA curriculum consists of 13 required courses with no electives. These courses are described below.

Required Core Courses

Introduction to Healthcare Systems and Organizations – 4 credits

Provides students with an overview of healthcare services in the United States, including their historical development within a unique social, economic and political environment. Current institutional structures and delivery systems are described, as are the evolving health needs of Americans. Emphasis is placed upon the basic concepts and issues associated with the management and regulation of healthcare providers and the delivery of services.

Healthcare Quality Management – 4 credits

The course explores applications of quality improvement measures to the healthcare environment. Topics covered include an understanding of high reliability organizations, utilization review, risk management in healthcare, quality management, the use of outcomes research in improving patient care efficacy and safety, and performance management through training. This course is consistent with Lean Six Sigma (Green Belt) competencies and can partly contribute to preparation for the certification exam.

Healthcare Innovation-Based Strategy: Managing Change – 2 credits

The course reviews innovation-based strategies as a source of competitive advantage in an industry with strict regulation and limited financial resources, and then examines how to build and design organizations that excel at innovation. Students are given fundamentals of strategy and then engage, alongside industry and healthcare organizational leaders in Boston, in the basics every healthcare manager needs to organize successful innovation. This intensive short course is offered onsite at Boston College.

Health Policy – 4 credits

Federal and state-level healthcare policies affect a wide range of issues, including access to care, quality, cost, and modes of delivery. Effective healthcare managers must interpret and anticipate a changing policy landscape, and strategically apply that interpretation as part of the process of organizational planning and execution. In this course, the social and economic implications of contemporary healthcare policies are explored. Emphasis is placed on how public policy (e.g., Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act of 2010) influences human resources/capacity, values, needs, reimbursements and regulation of individuals, insurers, and medical and healthcare organizations.

Management Theory and Organizational Behavior – 4 credits

This course includes the application of management and organizational behavior theory to explore factors affecting behavior, performance and job satisfaction of people working in organizations. The course focuses on theories and observations of team behaviors and techniques, with special emphasis on the individual as a team member, and on change management as a challenge and opportunity for healthcare organizations. Students will learn and apply best practices for managing individuals and teams within healthcare organizations.

Leadership in Healthcare – 4 credits

The course introduces leadership models, theories, and skills needed to successfully manage and lead healthcare organizations through transformational versus transactional leadership-styles. Students use a variety of self-assessment tools (e.g., Myers-Briggs, SWOT analysis of self, leadership-style inventory) to develop self-awareness and to better understand the role of emotional intelligence in effective leadership. Students gain knowledge and skills for building and growing the interpersonal relationships and political skills required to develop and lead teams, and to successfully advance from organizational management roles to leadership roles.

Healthcare Human Resources Management – 4 credits

Human resources issues face the healthcare managers, from benefits to grievances to labor relations management in health organizations with organized labor. This course covers personnel practices such as job analysis and description, recruitment, selection, and compensation in various health delivery system settings. The course focuses on skill development in dealing with personnel at all levels of education, licensure and skill sets.

Healthcare Information Technology – 4 credits

This course explores the critical role of e-health and information systems in the planning, operation, and management of healthcare organizations. Students will learn how to assess and evaluate health information systems and business requirements in a variety of settings such as health systems, hospitals and medical practices. Students will develop skills in healthcare technology implementation design that addresses such industry-specific requirements as translating HIPAA and other regulations into specific technology decisions while implementing medical systems (EMR, lab, clinical services, medical database providers, etc.). In addition, students will learn how to manage multi-institutional relationships as they are expressed in technology implementations, including the many vendor configurations but also cross-provider organization relationships. Specific topics include data and systems integrations, communications protocols, security standards, procurement, and authentication and authorization.

Healthcare Law – 2 credits

In this course, legal issues related to the organization and delivery of healthcare are examined. Topics include government regulation of healthcare facilities and occupations, civil rights regulations regarding diversity, fraud and abuse, institutional and personal liability for negligence and malpractice, patient consent requirements, termination of care, confidentiality of medical information, medical staff credentialing, peer review of care, utilization review, and managed care regulations. Student will apply course concepts through the development of a compliance plan to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in billing.

Healthcare Ethics – 2 credits

In this course, ethical and moral considerations associated with the management of healthcare facilities and the provision of health services are examined. Treatment of ethical and moral issues emphasize the understanding of diverse viewpoints and methods for resolving conflicting moral obligations. Student apply course concepts through the exercises and cases in ethical decision making for leaders of healthcare organizations.

Health Analytics for Decision Making and Critiquing and Assessing Evidence – 4 credits

In today’s highly competitive healthcare environment, data-driven decision making is key to assuring quality, increasing access, and minimizing cost. In an industry focused on evidence-based practices, healthcare managers must be able to use analytic tools and methods to critically evaluate care and practice to better inform decisions. Tomorrow’s leaders must be able to make decisions based on research, evidence, and data to inform continuous improvement and innovation. The course will review data analysis principles and statistical analysis (e.g., probability, regression modeling, decision science, predictive forecasting, and time series analysis. Students will conduct data analyses and use results to make decisions. Students will focus on how to analyze and interpret data to optimize the decision-making process and assure evidence-based management practice.

Healthcare Financial Management – 4 credits

This course introduces basic theory and principles of finance as applied to the healthcare industry. Financial statements, cost measurement, budgeting, capital investment decisions and reimbursement models are explored. Students are given an overview of health economic concepts (e.g., sustainability), and are introduced to performance-based payments and value purchasing concepts.

Strategic Planning and Marketing – 4 credits

Decisions involving strategy and marketing must be based on a manager’s overall understanding of the organization’s mission, goals and objectives. This applied research project provides methods to evaluate organizational performance and productivity, analyze internal and external resources, and perform needs assessment. The course presents various models and methods for planning, branding, and positioning of healthcare services. It also emphasizes the importance of creating a strategic planning process.

As the culmination and synthesis of the program experience, the applied research project requires each individual student to develop a business plan for the expansion of or development of a new healthcare facility. The business plan must address the major themes of each prior course, including relevant policies, quality initiatives, financial planning, human resource planning, technology planning, and planning for regulatory compliance.

Refresher Modules (free, no academic credit)

The following modules are available to all students who would like a refresher in these content areas before entering specific courses. These modules are recommended for all students, but may be required for some.

Business Communication Techniques – 0 credits

Provides students with techniques for effective business communication and stylistics, including business writing, executive presentation skills, team facilitation, and crisis communication skills.  

Overview of Statistical Principles – 0 credits

Provides students with basic introduction to statistical principles, from summary statistics to linear regression analysis, to serve as a pre-requisite for the Quality Management course. This course is strongly recommended for those without college-level statistics.

Domain 1 – Leadership, Professionalism, and Ethics

Competency 1
Demonstrates ethics, sound professional practices, social accountability, and community stewardship

Competency 2
Assess individual (e.g., personal) strengths and weaknesses (including your impact on others) and engage in continual professional development, self-reflection, and commitment to lifelong learning

Competency 3
Articulate how leaders energize stakeholders with a compelling vision that fosters and sustains shared commitment to organizational goals

Competency 4
Ability to lead and participate in teams and demonstrate collaborative group effort and effective group processes, including the ability to hold team members accountable individually and collectively

 

Domain 2 – Communications and Relationships

Competency 5
Ability to speak and write in a clear, logical, and grammatically correct manner in formal and informal situations and to prepare cogent business presentations

Competency 6
Work effectively and respect the differences in others’ culture, race, gender, age, personality, opinions, and experience

Competency 7
Ability to listen effectively and empathetically in order to understand and identify with interests, concerns, and needs of others

 

Domain 3 – Management and Strategy

Competency 8
Consider the business, demographic, cultural, political, and regulatory implications of decisions and develop strategies that continually improve the long-term success and viability of the organization

Competency 9
Articulate and evaluate best human resource practices, including the   ability to hold people accountable to standards of performance

Competency 10
Understand and evaluate the formal and informal decision-making structures and power relationships in an organization; the ability to identify key decision-makers and the individuals who can influence them

Competency 11
Understand and value the potential in and understand the use of administrative and clinical information technology and decision-support tools in process and performance improvement

Competency 12
Understand the principles of transformational management, and to assess the organizational dynamics of healthcare organizations relative to their commitment to a transformational culture

Competency 13
Ability to apply complex concepts, develop creative solutions, or adapt prior solutions in new ways for breakthrough thinking

 

Domain 4 – Measurement and Analysis

Competency 14
Understand and explain financial and accounting information, prepare and manage budgets, and make sound long-term investment decisions

Competency 15
Assess multiple dimensions of financial performance to measure and improve the long-term financial viability of provider organization

Competency 16
Evaluate clinical and organization performance using statistical and operations management techniques and procedures

Competency 17
Demonstrate analytical thinking and logical approaches to problem-solving

 

Domain 5 – Knowledge of the Healthcare Environment

Competency 18
Interpret and analyze laws and regulations that impact health practitioners, organizations, and the public

Competency 19
Assess the effect of health policy on providers, payers, and populations

Q: When can I start my program?
A: There are six convenient start dates offered per year. Contact a Boston College Online MHA Application Specialist at 1-866-265-6008 to find the next start date that works with your schedule.

Q: How long do courses run?
A: Each course is 8 weeks in length

Q: How long will it take to complete the program?
A: The program typically takes two years to complete. Most students take one course per eight-week module, thereby completing two courses in a typical 16-week semester and finishing the program in two years.

Q: Is there an application fee?
A: No, there is no application fee.

Q: What is the tuition?
A: The tuition is $1,100 per credit. The program is 46 credits.

Q: Are there any additional fees?
A: A comprehensive fee of $25 per semester in the fall and spring, and $45 per semester in the summer helps to support the cost of providing the online courses, online library access, academic support and career services, and more, all of which can be accessed virtually. Students pay the comprehensive fee when they take one or more classes during a module. On-campus services are available upon request.

Q: Do I have to pay a deposit to secure my place in the program?
A: No, there is no deposit required to secure your place in the program. You are asked to complete an online Confirmation of Enrollment form to indicate your acceptance of the Boston College MHA admission offer. Once you submit the Confirmation of Enrollment form, we can begin the process of program orientation and registration.

Q: Are financial aid and payment plans available?
A: Yes, financial aid and payment plans are available. A recommended first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://fafsa.ed.gov/. Please use Boston College’s FAFSA school code: 002128. More about Boston College’s payment plan for graduate programs can be found at http://www.bc.edu/offices/stserv/financial/altfin/qppp.html.

Q: Will I qualify for financial aid no matter when I start the program?
A: The minimum number of credits to qualify for Federal Financial Aid at Boston College is 6 credits across a semester. If you start the MHA program in September, for example, you can take a 4-credit course for the first 8-weeks of a semester, and then take a second 4-credit course for the last 8-weeks of a semester and you will have a total of 8 credits for that semester. Thus, in this first scenario you do meet the minimum credit requirement for Federal Financial Aid. If you start the MHA program in October, for example, you might only take a 4-credit course for the fall semester. In this second scenario, you do not meet the minimum credit requirement for Federal Financial Aid.
For those students in the second scenario, the MHA program may be able to offer you both a 4-credit course and a 2-credit course for that term (e.g., October, March, July) so that you do meet the minimum credit requirement for Federal Financial Aid. We are happy to discuss options with you.

Q: Do I need a bachelor’s degree?
A: A bachelor’s degree is required to enroll in the program.

Q: Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
A: Minimum undergraduate GPA for full acceptance is a 3.0. Conditional acceptance may be considered for students below a 3.0. For those students with undergraduate GPAs below a 3.0, GMAT or GRE test scores are strongly recommended. Conditionally admitted students may be asked to complete additional requirements and/or achieve particular grade thresholds for the first two courses at the discretion of the admissions committee.

Q: Do I need previous experience in healthcare?
A: At least two years of previous managerial experience in healthcare is required for admission to the program.

Q: Is the program accredited?
A: Accreditation for Boston College’s online CBE MHA program is approved by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges, Inc. (NEASC) as of March 2016.

Q: I live out of state. Can I enroll in this program?
A: Boston College operates in compliance with individual U.S. state regulations regarding distance education. Boston College’s MHA program may enroll online students who live outside of Massachusetts. Please click here to see the list of approved states: http://onlinemha.bc.edu/state-authorizations/

Talk to an MHA Application Specialist today for more information about how the BC online MHA degree program can help you achieve your professional goals at 1-866-265-6008.

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