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Students and Dr. Calkins talking

About the MHA program

Integrity, empathy, leadership, and innovation — these are the values and ideals that guide the Penn State Master of Health Administration program, and those that our students aspire to uphold.

With both a residential program and an online offering, the MHA program is a competency-based program that equips students with the knowledge and capabilities they’ll need to lead organizations dedicated to improving health and health care.

Learn more about Penn State MHA.

Competency Model

PSU MHA Competency Model Feb 21
Mission, vision and values icon-olus-circle


The Penn State MHA program uses a competency-based curriculum to prepare healthcare professionals at all levels of experience for leadership roles focused on improving health for individuals, populations, communities and the health service organizations that serve them.


To be the program of choice for healthcare professionals who aspire to discover innovative solutions and lead transformative change.


Our program is committed to the ideal that the future of the world's health and health care depends on people with the integrity, empathy and leadership capacity to drive innovation in the industry. These four ideals - Leadership, Innovation, Integrity and Empathy - guide our program and form the foundation of our curricular and extracurricular activities.

Completion rate icon-olus-circle

The MHA program has outstanding completion rates for students admitted to the program. The table below shows our completion rate for the last four graduating cohorts. Completion is influenced by the careful admissions process, program support for students as they matriculate and the commitment of our students to their own professional growth and that of their peers.

Graduation year number of grads 90 day placement percentage Overall placement rate
2023 15 88% 100%
2022 16 100% 100%
2021 14 93% 100%
2020 15 80% 100%
2019 13 92% 100%
2018 16 81% 100%
2017 21 90% 100%
Courses icon-olus-circle

Coverage of the competency model in the program focuses on practical, participant-centered learning, with many courses relying on case studies and project-based assignments. For more information on courses and for a typical course sequence in the MHA Program, please access our courses page.

A focus on practice icon-olus-circle


In addition to the practical elements of the classroom experience, students complete a 10-week residency between the first and second years. Students are placed with leading health care organizations and work on projects suited to their personal and professional development.

"During my residency, I found that what I was learning in the classroom was directly applicable to real world settings. The experience helped me to see that I was developing the necessary skills to make an impact on health care organizations and contribute to improving the delivery of health care services." - Jared Stanger, MHA student '14

Capstone Project

Students complete a capstone project during the last semester of the program. Health care organization partners “hire” a team of MHA students as consultants to work on an important strategic problem they face. Students work with the organization to analyze the problem and recommend appropriate solutions and are generally given the opportunity to present their analysis to senior leaders of the organization.

Industry ties icon-olus-circle

Our deep industry ties —including a guiding board of visitors and several key strategic partnerships — serve as a guiding light for our curriculum. These ties are fostered by an expert faculty committed to improving health and health care delivery and by an alumni base that is among the most active and committed in the field.

Career opportunities for graduates icon-olus-circle

Steady job growth in health care is projected for the next several years. As a graduate of the program, you could obtain an administrative position in one of several health care-related organizations, including:

  • hospitals and health systems
  • medical group practices
  • clinics and outpatient care centers
  • home health care agencies
  • skilled nursing facilities
  • insurance companies
  • consulting firms
  • federal regulatory and public health agencies
Penn State Health Administration Case Competition icon-olus-circle

The Penn State Health Administration Case Competition is designed to help students develop public speaking skills, gain experience working in teams, practice problem-solving, engage in strategic thinking, demonstrate professionalism, build networks and gain leadership experience. The event provides a cost-effective opportunity for students to participate in industry challenges and allows them to apply classroom learning to a real-world case.

Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) logo