Health Services Administration (MHSA) Online Degree
Program at a Glance
Per Credit Hour
If you want to take your career in health management to the next level, earn your Executive Master of Health Services Administration at Xavier University. We prepare the next generation of leaders in health services by offering professionals an Executive Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) in a 100% online format. You will join a nationally ranked program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). The online Executive MHSA requires no on-campus visits, so you can earn your MHSA degree without interrupting your life and career.
This 42-credit degree program is designed for busy professionals, with at least one year of experience in the healthcare sector, or similar, who are ready to leverage their health care experience and transform the delivery of health services.
As a student in Xavier’s online Executive MHSA degree program, you’ll be guided by highly skilled faculty and professional health leaders, as you join a class of no more than 20 peers who share your same passion and drive for success.
With health services administration classes offered in the fall, spring and summer, you can unleash your leadership potential and prepare for a top-tier, dynamic role in as few as two years.
Our award-winning Health Services Administration program is the only program in the country to have received three inaugural CAHME Awards:
- 2019 CAHME/Wharton Research Data Services “Best Paper for Empirical Research Award”
- 2017 CAHME/Canon Solutions America Award for “Sustainability in Healthcare Management Education and Practice”
- 2016 the CAHME/Ascension Health Award for “Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Development”
If you would like to learn more about our on-campus MHSA track, click here.
Yes, the Executive Master of Health Services Administration is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
No, the degree is from Xavier University and is awarded upon meeting coursework standards that are independent of course delivery. You will be awarded a Master of Health Services Administration.
The tuition rate for the online Executive MHSA degree is $685 per credit hour. The total cost of the MHSA program will vary, depending upon transfer credits awarded, additional fees and the cost of textbooks/materials. See the Tuition page for more information.
No, online MHSA courses charge the same rate as all other courses.
Yes, you can feel confident choosing Xavier University’s online Executive MHSA degree. In fact, our program has a national reputation for excellence and is the only program in the country to have received three inaugural CAHME national awards since 2016. Some of our other accolades include:
- Ranked among the “Most Affordable CAHME Programs in Healthcare Administration” in 2018 (HealthcareAdministrationEDU.org)
- #5 Top Universities (U.S. News & World Report, Regional Midwest Colleges)
- #4 Best Colleges for Veterans (U.S. News & World Report, Regional Midwest Colleges)
Some students believe that online courses will be easier than a face-to-face course. However, that is not true. Each online course at Xavier will have the same academic standards and content as a face-to-face course. You may find online learning to be easier because it suits your learning style, but the course content, the expectations for how much you will learn and the assessment of what you have learned will be just as rigorous as in a face-to-face class.
Students may find that they can get to know their professor/instructor and other students better in an online course than in a traditional face-to-face course. There are many options for interacting with your instructors and classmates in your online program, including discussion boards, video or audio files from your instructor, email and video conferencing. There may be additional opportunities for interaction available based on the course and instructor, such as group projects or other online activities.
Online MHSA classes are designed to be asynchronous, with no set meeting times, but with deadlines. This allows masters students enrolled in classes to progress through them together, share experiences, help improve each other's skills and develop their working network. The MHSA classes include activities, such as reading, video lectures, exercise, discussion boards, individual projects and group projects. No required on-ground meeting is included in the curriculum, but students are welcome to come to campus and meet with faculty.
Xavier prides itself on upholding the value of "cura personalis," or "care of the whole person," in its classes. MHSA faculty maintain those values in our online courses by constructing activities that build a sense of community among participants and by making themselves available for questions and instructional support.
Participation expectations vary by professor. Most MHSA courses will be asynchronous with no set meeting times; however, professors have the option of including mandatory or optional synchronous online sessions in their courses.
MHSA courses are 16-week sessions and it is suggested that students take 2-3 classes per semester and two classes in summer.
You will need to review the syllabus for each course to determine how to obtain materials (print and digital) you will need for that course. The Xavier Bookstore and/or Library will be happy to assist you in finding course materials. Some readings or media lessons may be posted digitally within the online course itself or in Xavier’s E-Reserves system.
If you are new to online learning at Xavier, we encourage you to go through the student orientation for online courses.
The Technology Services website offers great resources to support online students.
We encourage you to take advantage of the library’s online resources.
No, the GRE/GMAT is not required for the Executive Master of Health Services Administration program.
The online Executive MHSA program has two start dates per year; new students can begin classes in the fall semester (typically at the end of August) or the spring semester (typically at the beginning of January).
An MHSA degree provides top level managers, analysts, planners and other Health services professionals the skills to plan, coordinate and manage healthcare departments, facilities or medical practices through the combination of health care policy, law, business, and leadership . Xavier University’s online MHSA program is a great option for working health care professionals and other interested individuals due to the availability, accessibility and is a convenient way to expand knowledge and take your career to the next level.
Graduates with a MHSA degree can find careers in a variety of health care related positions. Since the degree is diverse in nature, health services administration specialists have the ability to work in management, financial planning, and even federal regulatory compliance.
CAHME (Commission of accreditation of healthcare management) is the organization responsible for promoting, evaluating, and improving graduate health care management education. In order to be eligible for accreditation a university or program must meet the following:
- University must offer a masters degree program in health care management
- The programs must be offered by a college that has received regional accreditation
- If the program is offered in a graduate school that is within a university, the school must also be recognized by accrediting body
- Programs must have graduated at least one class of students
- Program may not discriminate against gender, creed, age, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation or disability
- Programs should have a formal process for handling complaints by students and students opinion must be used to improve the programs
- Program must have a defined policy on academic standards and freedom
- The university must have plans in place for research, faculty development, scholarships and service
- Faculty evaluation policy must be fair and faculty must comply with university rules
The CAHME only accredits prestigious and selective health care administration programs based on strict professional standards. The accreditation process evaluates programs based on the following criteria:
- Mission, vision, goals and values of the program
- Each program must have its own mission statement,goals, values and vision clearly outlined. These should be updated often to keep up with the changing nature of the health care sector. In addition, the program should demonstrate that it has sufficient financial and administrative support in order to follow the mission and objectives.
- Students and Graduates
- All program information should be readily available to the public. This includes mission statements, application process, curriculum and teaching methods. The program should also ensure that students have access to services like academic advising and career counseling and networking opportunities. Finally, apart from providing a quality education, the program should ensure career readiness and monitor graduates progress throughout the program.
- The program curriculum must help students develop necessary skills (such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication, analysis and interpersonal effectiveness) required in the health care management sector. Curriculum should also offer opportunities for students to collaborate on team projects or activities throughout the classes. Lastly, the program must constantly analyze its curriculum, teaching methods, learning methods and manner of assessments to ensure it offers the most updated information and best teaching methods available to students.
- Faculty, scholarships and services
- Faculty is one of the main pillars of success for any program. In order to receive a CAHME accreditation, the qualifications of a programs faculty must be sufficient for accomplishing the mission and goals. Program faculty should be involved in evaluating students' performance, making admissions recommendations, and setting standards for academic competency. It is important that faculty have experience in research, and scholarship programs as well work in a health related professional field.
Graduates from CAHME accredited programs offer a competitive edge in the market because they are prepared for the roles complex management responsibilities. CAHME accredited masters programs can be offered both online and at campus locations.
MHA (Master of Health administration) and MHSA (Master of health services administration) are largely equivalent designations for degree programs that focus on leadership and management for hospitals, health care organizations and business in the health care sector. These degrees mainly focus their curriculum on health care systems, health care policy and applying business principles to the field of health care. While health care administrators may engage or oversee many business functions (such as marketing, budgeting or sales), these functions are primarily focused on the health care system and providing services for patient care.
The main difference between MHA and MHSA generally has to do with the school or department offering the programs. For example, some programs will require a capstone project while others may require a research based masters thesis or incorporate an internship or practicum in place of capstone or thesis. The variations are not based on the name of the program but instead on the program's approach.
An MBA in Health Administration is a Master of Business Administration degree that specializes in general training of business functions like accounting, finance, logistics, marketing, personnel and project management. Expertise in these areas are applicable across many different business sectors like manufacturing, service industries, technology, research firms, nonprofits and start ups.
Another significant difference between the MBA and MHA,MHSA programs are how they receive accreditation. For business schools, there are three organizations that provide accreditation: AACSB, ACBSP and IACBE. While they all have philosophical differences, they all stress that a masters level business degree should have a curriculum that focuses on the functional aspects of business, practical communication, leadership skills and business law and ethics. For MHA and MHSA programs, they receive accreditation through CAHME, which focuses its accreditation on the integrity and viability of the program and academic resources it provides, rather than curriculum specifics.
Xavier’s 100% online Executive MHSA degree consists of 42 credit hours, which can be completed in as little as two years, with flexible scheduling options available. The knowledge gained from the MHSA program provides students and graduates with the skills necessary to plan, direct and lead medical and health services organizations as hospital administrators, or other health care facilities, public health care organizations, pharmacies and private practices.
The online master’s degree in health services administration concludes with a capstone project that aligns with the organization in which a student is working. The project is supervised by a full-time faculty member along with a mentor at their place of employment. Projects must be approved by the faculty advisor and mentor. Students are responsible for securing their project mentor.
This course discusses behavioral theory and its underlying principles as applied to the development of managerial and team work skills for health services administrators.
In this course, fundamental human resource functions are analyzed and their implementation in healthcare organizations are investigated. The unique strategic imperatives and challenges of workforce development in a healthcare organization are explored and various solutions evaluated.
This course applies organizational theories to the understanding and management of the processes by which leaders and their top management teams formulate organizational mission, assess external environments and align internal resources in the implementation of organizational strategies designed to maximize strengths and opportunities and eliminate weaknesses and threats.
This course discusses the nature and application of various quantitative methods for analyzing and improving organizational systems and processes within the healthcare field.
Students will explore the theoretical application of statistical quality management in healthcare, as well as the practical application of quality improvement methods in healthcare settings.
This course introduces students to theory, technology and practical application of information systems. Emphasis is placed on preparing managers to interact with multidisciplinary personnel to design, acquire and maintain information systems for integrated healthcare delivery.
This course examines basic concepts of healthcare reimbursement from both a Medicare and commercial insurance perspective and from a complete health system point of view. Students will explore the shifting landscape from fee-for-service to value-based purchasing models that employers, Medicare and private insurers are gravitating towards. They will also examine the basic components of revenue cycle management that allow providers to turn clinical activity into cash flow to sustain their missions.
This course examines basic principles and techniques used in the financial management of a healthcare facility, with special emphasis on the capital acquisition problems within the healthcare industry and their relationship to external pressures on the industry's structure.
This course examines special financial management topics in the healthcare industry, such as leasing, refunding debt, risk analysis, outsourcing and merging. Special focus is placed on the management implications of revenue flows under various payment systems within integrated delivery systems and the effects of regulation.
Students are introduced to epidemiologic concepts, skills and data, the application of epidemiology to population health and health services and to the application of epidemiologic literature in health services management through an applied project using a health status analysis. Methods to determine risk factors for health problems are discussed and examined in this project.
This course provides (1) a historical perspective on the development of healthcare services in the US, (2) a description of the key factors and issues which influence the development of the current healthcare delivery systems, (3) a description of the current healthcare delivery systems, including reimbursement and (4) discussion of the future US healthcare system.
This course focuses on how to best allocate scarce resources to optimize the provision of health services and well-being of society and analyze how public and private policies impact various stakeholders.
This course describes the legal climate within which the healthcare institutions operate particularly as they pertain to the activities of healthcare administrators. It introduces the dominant ethical theories and principles in healthcare, relating them to current ethical issues (professional, clinical, social, business and organizational). The course examines the relationships between ethical and legal concepts, and how the two relate and influence each other. This course also provides the opportunity to begin to formulate ethical and legal positions related to contemporary issues and situations in healthcare.
This course integrates the specialized knowledge and skills learned from the previous online HESA courses through the completion of a project relevant to a health organization.
To apply for official acceptance as an online Executive MHSA student, submit the following:
Xavier University's free online application.
One official transcript directly from all colleges or universities that you have attended for any undergraduate and graduate course work. Applicants must have a degree from a regionally accredited university.
ATTN: Admission Processing Center
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207-5131
For electronic transcripts, send to:
Current résumé of work experience. Executive MHSA students are required to have one or more years of healthcare experience, or similar.
Two letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic sources, including one from a current or former employer who can assess your potential for success in this program.
A 300 to 500-word, clear, concise and articulate Statement of Intent. The essay should address your career aspirations and how an MHSA degree will assist you in achieving them.
Admissions Interview conducted via phone or video; the interview will be held with the members of the Admissions Committee.
Prerequisite: Undergraduate or graduate statistics course from an accredited institution; minimum grade: “C” or higher. If needed, in the summer prior to starting the program, students can take an online statistics course at Xavier University or another institution approved by Xavier.
Preferred (not required)
- GPA: 3.0 and above; if your GPA is less than 3.0, please state the circumstances in your Statement of Intent, if you are comfortable sharing.
- Undergraduate or graduate economics course
GRE/GMAT scores are not required for admission to the Executive Master of Health Services Administration program.
In some courses you will use Excel. If you are not comfortable with that, you will be able to take a brief Excel course, at no additional cost, at the beginning of the Executive MHSA program.
Note: International students who reside outside of the United States cannot be accepted into the online Executive MHSA degree program. International students in the U.S. cannot enroll in an online degree program to fulfill the legal requirement for an F-1 or J-1 visa.
Associate Director of Executive Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) Program
Dr. France Weaver is the Associate Director of the EMHSA program and Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration. She has a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Administration, with a concentration in Health Economics, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on quantitative data analyses in health economics and policy analysis. She has publications in leading health economics and health services administration journals and presentations in both the US and Europe. Dr. Weaver has taught a broad array of graduate, undergraduate and online courses, and has experience mentoring students in Ph.D. dissertations, Master theses, Capstone projects, and advising graduate and undergraduate students. At Xavier University, she teaches Health Economics, Health Policy and Policy Analysis, and the summer capstone course at the graduate level.
Director of the Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) Program,
Chair of the Health Services Administration Department
Dr. Rick Browne received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University and is a licensed psychologist in the State of Ohio. He teaches courses in ethics, management, professional development and the US healthcare system. He does research in the area of health administration pedagogy and interprofessional education.
Lin Guo, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio where he has worked since 1996. He received his M.S. in Industrial Engineering in 1991 and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering in 1995 from the University of Cincinnati. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1982 from the South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, the People’s Republic of China.
Eddie Hooker is currently a Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. His areas of expertise include: emergency medicine, epidemiology, health services management and public health. Dr. Hooker received his B.S. degree from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He earned his M.D. degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School.
He then completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville. As a full-time faculty member at the University of Louisville from 1991 until 1996, Dr. Hooker served as Associate Professor and Director of Resident Research. He was very active in brain trauma and stroke research. Dr. Hooker most recently practiced emergency medicine at a private hospital in Cincinnati where he was active in cardiac research. Since 2005, Dr. Hooker has been teaching in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University. In the spring of 2007, Dr. Hooker earned his Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Hooker continues to be active in emergency medicine and public health research. He has authored more than 20 publications in leading emergency medicine journals, published many book chapters and continues to have an active research agenda. Dr. Hooker serves as an editor for Emedicine, an online clinical knowledge base. He is the medical advisor for Indian Hill Schools. Dr. Hooker lives in Cincinnati with his wife and four children. His hobbies include genealogy and cooking.
Director of Health Economics & Clinical Outcomes Research (HECOR) Program
Peter Mallow, Ph.D., is the director of the HECOR Program and Assistant Professor at Xavier University. His research interests include understanding complex healthcare systems and how decisions are made with respect to uncertainty, value, efficiency and equity. His methodological expertise is in conducting economic evaluations and outcomes research to make explicit the tradeoffs involved in these complex decisions. He has earned several awards for his research and has been published in several leading health services journals. Prior to joining Xavier, Mallow served as the Program Director, Health Economics, Market Access and Outcomes Research for Cardinal Health and Associate Director of Health Economics at CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting. Mallow earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati where he served as an adjunct faculty member from 2015 to 2017.
Executive-in-Residence, Adjunct Faculty
In 2018, after a 31-year career, Charlie retired from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he held a number of key positions including Assistant Vice President, Revenue Cycle Management; Executive Director, Professional Business Services, Billing Compliance, Access Services & Health Information Management; Business Director of Hematology/Oncology; and Manager of Patient Financial Services. Soon after his retirement, Charlie accepted the position of Executive in Residence at Xavier University, where he had been an adjunct faculty member since 2013.
Charlie received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Business Administration degree from Xavier University. He completed an Executive Integral Leadership program through the University of Notre Dame. He is a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. He has also served as an executive leader for the Catholic Inner-City Schools Education Fund, a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House and a mentor for Xavier University – Williams College of Business.
Charlie and his wife, Mary Ann, have been married for 38 years and have 7 children and 7 grandchildren.
Mr. Boue is a driven strategist who is passionate about aligning high-performance teams around a compelling mission. He has led teams from 10 to 600 and has achieved tangible results through his sales, operations and leadership experience. Mr. Boue thrives on empowering skilled, motivated key players.
With more than 22 years of experience across Technology, Healthcare, Managed Care, Software and Information Technologies, Mr. Boue’s dedication to creating long-term solutions for companies has consistently produced significant value to better connect and serve customers, clients, shareholders, vendors and society.
Mr. Boue is formally trained in strategic business building, corporate finance and strengthening business communications, earning a BS in Corporate Financial Management as well as an MBA with a focus on Strategic Growth.
Gayle was a hospital administrator with more than 30 years’ experience. She has been a director of two emergency departments, a registration/admitting department and various outpatient departments; Vice President of Patient Care Services; Vice President of Nursing; Chief Operating Officer; and CEO. Also, Gayle developed and monitored the budget and staffing while in those positions. She has led quality improvement teams, change management teams and patient satisfaction teams. Gayle participated in planning employee engagement, recruiting and retention strategies. Gayle earned an associate degree in nursing from University of Cincinnati, Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mount Saint Joseph University and a Master of Education in Human Resources Development from Xavier University.
Regina serves as the Executive Director of Patient and Guest Services/Experience Officer for The Christ Hospital Health Network (TCHHN). She serves as a member of the executive leadership team, responsible for developing, designing and sustaining a world-class culture of excellence for patients/guests, team members and physicians of TCHHN.
As a national consultant, she has worked with a team of cross-industry leaders to guide healthcare experiences and design both cultural and operational environments to transform healthcare. She has clinical, operational and administrative expertise that includes managing teams, implementing leadership development institutes and instilling interdepartmental collaboration. In addition, Ms. Shupe is skilled in physician and nurse engagement strategies for enabling organizational success.
She holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, Greater Cincinnati Nurse Executives and the Emergency Nurses Association. She holds a certification in emergency nursing (CEN) as well as certification in LEAN for Healthcare. She is an experienced speaker/presenter and a published author.
For the past 30 years, she has dedicated her life to caring for patients, families, team members and physicians. As a nurse, she enjoyed the intersection between the heart and science, healing patients from the inside out. As a leader, she is able to see the positive correlation between the experience of team members and the experience of patients. She believes when we intentionally design meaningful and memorable experiences for team members, physicians and patients, we are able to heal as well as truly transform healthcare.
RaNae is the Director of Patient Experience at TriHealth, Inc. Her background includes operational leadership and executive coaching. With 34 years of healthcare leadership experience and 10 years of higher education academic experience, she has demonstrated success in operational excellence and cultural transformation. She has worked with over 200 healthcare CEO’s in her consulting career, and her passion is driving results through collaborative relationships. RaNae has a deep background in working with rural and community hospitals to achieve quality and service outcomes. Her expertise in working with senior leadership groups includes a focus on results with an emphasis on effective communication skills and leadership accountability.
RaNae earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati and her Master of Health Services Administration from Xavier University.