MHA Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I consider a career in health administration?
A: Health administration is one of the most rewarding and challenging career opportunities available today. It is rewarding because, although health administrators do not personally prevent or cure illness, they play a key role in establishing an environment in which healthcare services can be provided in a professional and caring manner. In addition, the health care industry continues to expand and there are a wide variety of career paths available.
If you are bright, motivated and have good interpersonal communication and analytical skills, you already have some of the qualities necessary to be a good health administrator. If you also are committed to learning how to manage health-related organizations in an effective, efficient, and compassionate manner, then health administration may be the career for you.
Q: What kinds of positions are available for persons with a Master of Health Administration (MHA)?
A: The healthcare field offers a wide variety of job opportunities. Positions are available in health delivery settings such as hospitals, ambulatory care centers, mental health facilities, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, home care agencies, and physician group practices. Examples of other settings include insurance companies, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) and other managed care systems, consulting firms, regulatory agencies, and professional associations.
Q: Why should I consider the MHA program at UF?
A: Our students are trained to be proficient in all fundamental aspects of business and management, and then to apply business principles to healthcare settings. Students at UF also learn how to use current technology for presentation materials, data analysis, electronic mail, and Internet use. Students’ coursework requires group work, projects, and presentations, which prepare students to function effectively and professionally with others. Finally, the UF Program includes a three-month internship in a health-related organization.
Q: How long does it take to complete the degree?
A: Students begin coursework in the fall and enroll for five consecutive semesters (fall, spring, summer internship, fall, and spring). Students are in the Program for two years and complete 57 graduate credit hours.
Q: What is the internship? How long is it? Do I receive credit while working?
A: The internship is completed during the summer after the first year of coursework. The internship is supervised fieldwork and is an opportunity to apply concepts and skills learned in the classroom to a health-related organization. The internship is a full-time commitment during the summer semester (typically 10 to 12 weeks). Students earn 5 graduate credit hours for the internship. Possible settings include health delivery organizations, managed care organizations, governmental agencies, consulting firms and charitable organizations.
Q: How rigorous is the program?
A: The program is quite rigorous. One of the reasons why virtually 100% of our graduates get jobs after graduation is that the program expects a lot of its students and potential employers know this means that our students are extremely well-trained and are serious about and committed to what they do. Organizations want graduates of a program that is competitive and rigorous because that ensures that they are hiring well-prepared professionals.
Q: Is there a specific undergraduate degree I should have in order to apply?
A: No. Our students come from backgrounds of business-related programs (economics, finance, management, marketing) or science-related programs (biological science, clinical disciplines), as well as areas such as art history, English, political science, religion, and sociology.
Q: What are the prerequisites for entering the program?
A: While there are no official prerequisites, we highly recommend that non-business majors take an undergraduate level course in financial accounting.
Q: What is the admissions process?
A: The Admission Committee will begin accepting applications in November of the year prior to the following fall matriculation date. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis from that time forward. Early application is highly desirable as admission to the MHA Program is very competitive.
The Admissions Committee evaluates each applicant based on previous academic performance, test scores, communication skills, motivation, and leadership qualities.
Once all application materials are received, the MHA Admissions Committee evaluates the application to determine if enrollment criteria are met. If the initial review is positive, the applicant is invited for an interview. The interview visit typically includes formal interviews with the MHA faculty, as well as discussions with current students. Telephone interviews can be arranged when travel expenses for an on-campus visit are prohibitive.
Following the interview, the MHA Admissions Committee makes a decision. Applicants then receive a letter of notification regarding the admissions decision.
The University of Florida does not discriminate in admissions on the basis of age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious preferences, handicaps, or sex in any aspects of its operations.
Q: What are the minimum GPA and GRE requirements for admission to the program?
A: The Graduate School at UF requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate studies. The department requires a minimum combined verbal-quantitative GRE score of 300 or a minimum GMAT score of 500. These are not the only benchmarks by which we evaluate students. Emphasis is also placed on performance in relevant undergraduate courses (i.e. basic business and mathematics), statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular and work experience.
Q: Who should I get recommendations from?
A: You should ask for recommendations from individuals who are familiar with your academic achievement and who can address your potential for success in health administration. If you have been out of school for a number of years and are unable to contact former professors, letters from other individuals who can address your achievement will be accepted.
Q: What is considered a complete application?
A: A completed on-line application form, Application fee (includes UF students), Personal statement, Current resume, 3 recommendation letters and the UF Graduate School Recommendation Letter, Official transcripts (includes UF students), GRE or GMAT scores.
Q: Is there a computer requirement?
A: Yes. All graduate students must have access to an appropriately equipped laptop computer as specified in the department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy’s computer policy.
Q: Where do I find out about financial aid?
A: Financial aid information is available at http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/. The website also has links for financial aid and scholarship information for international students.
Q: Can I work during the time that I am a student in the program?
A: Most students find it extremely difficult to handle a schedule that includes school, work, and leisure, especially in the first two semesters. As previously mentioned, students generally take a load of 12 to 14 credit hours per semester, which is not equivalent to the same number of undergraduate hours in terms of workload.