Health Systems Management, MHA

UAB Team

L-R: Dr. Martin Perlin, Melissa Martin, Allison Anderson, Brittany Stone
George Mason MHA students place third in national health administration case completion debut. Read more.

Commision on the Acreditation of Healthcare Management Education

About Health Systems Management

The master of health administration (MHA), health systems management program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). The United States Department of Education and Council on Higher Education Accreditation have granted formal recognition to CAHME as the only organization to accredit master's level health care management programs in the United States and Canada. This master's program prepares future executives to assume leadership positions in health care organizations. We prepare health care professionals with strategic, business, analytic, and decision-making skills needed to successfully navigate the evolving health care industry.

This 46-credit hour program prepares students to work as leaders and executive-level managers in evolving health systems, or as consultants and managers of health-related organizations. The curriculum was developed in response to the demand for advanced health management preparation for a variety of health care and allied health professionals to be employed in both the public and private sectors of health care:

  • hospitals
  • health systems
  • consulting and regulatory entities
  • medical practice groups
  • ambulatory clinics
  • managed care organizations
  • local, state, and federal government agencies

Join the MHA Healthcare Leaders of Tomorrow (MHALT)

Learn more about this graduate student organization and how to join (pdf).

Executive Competencies

The MHA in health systems management curriculum is competency-based. The MHA competencies in executive management are organized into three domain clusters and 18 competencies. At the completion of the program, students are expected to achieve proficiency in each of these competencies.

Leadership Domain: This domain consists of competencies that are essential for the leadership of any enterprise. Successful leaders are: able to communicate effectively; develop and maintain effective working relationships with others; are able to inspire individual and organizational excellence; and exhibit professionalism in all that they do.

Business Knowledge and Skills Domain: This domain consists of the knowledge and essential skills that leaders of healthcare enterprises need to master in order to make effective business decisions. Critical thinking, analysis and problem solving require the appropriate application of knowledge and skills in the following: Analytical techniques and methods, quantitative reasoning, and problem solving methodologies. These competencies are imbedded in the following: organizational dynamics, financial management, human resource management, strategic planning and marketing, information management, and quality management.

Knowledge of the Health Care Environment Domain: This domain addresses the knowledge leaders of healthcare enterprises must possess in order to understand and effectively navigate through the unique healthcare industry environment. It includes knowledge of the health care delivery system, population health, health economics, health insurance, health policy, and health haw.

Capstone Practicum

Capstone Students

The Capstone Practicum is a vital part of the curriculum, completed as a culminating experience at the end of the program. Students function as an integral member of a health system, hospital, consulting firm, health care agency, or other organizational entity and complete a non-thesis project assigned by their preceptor. Analysis of the problem provides the context in which theoretical concepts and management skills are applied to the resolution of an important organization issue or initiative.

Learn more about the Capstone Practicum.

Meet Our Alumni


Please visit our department’s FAQs for prospective students. For questions about the graduate admissions process, please contact the CHHS Office of Graduate Admissions at or 703-993-1736. If you still have unanswered questions, please email us or contact the program coordinator.

Martin Perlin

Martin S. Perlin, DBA, MBA
Associate Professor
Phone: 703-993-1967
Fax: 703-993-4009