University of Southern California
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Executive Master of Health Administration

The Executive M.H.A. Program offers clinical and management professionals an opportunity to advance their careers in health care and to more effectively improve health services within their communities. Mid- to senior-level professionals who have the ambition and potential to serve as industry leaders in the highly dynamic and competitive health care environment are encouraged to consider the Executive M.H.A. degree. The Executive M.H.A. is geared to those who have demonstrated capabilities, yet who will benefit from expanded skills and competencies that will enable them to lead.

Participants sharpen their business acumen by gaining exposure to and in-depth knowledge of the latest theories and the best in contemporary health management practice. A practical, problem-solving approach ensures that skills can immediately be applied on the job.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants for the Executive Master of Health Administration apply directly to the program. A minimum of five years of experience with progressively greater levels of responsibility in health care or a related field is required for entry into the Executive M.H.A. program. Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in undergraduate course work is required. Allowances may be made when justified by exceptional work experience and letters of recommendation.


A basic competence in accounting is required for the Executive M.H.A. program. The accounting prerequisite must be satisfied before enrolling in HMGT 565 Managing the Organization’s Financial Health or PPD 510a Financial Management of Health Services. This prerequisite may be met in one of three ways: (1) completing the non-credit E.M.H.A. accounting workshop with a passing score; (2) demonstrating prior work experience or completing prior course work in accounting and finance; or (3) passing the accounting equivalency test given by the school. This test may only be taken once.


The Executive M.H.A. offers a customized, learner-centered educational experience that deviates from the typical cohort model of many executive degree programs in that nearly a third of the units are chosen from a wide range of electives. The 34 units of study include 26 required units offered in a conveniently structured executive intensive format. The participants then choose 8 units of electives from among the school’s courses in health management and policy or from other graduate programs. This flexibility enables participants to develop competencies, skills or expertise in areas of particular interest. The Executive M.H.A. degree program does not require a supervised field placement (residency) in a health care organization.

Required courses (26 units)Units
HMGT 520Leading People and Health Care Organizations4
HMGT 540Health Economics, Financing and Reimbursement2
HMGT 565Managing the Organization’s Financial Health, or
PPD 510aFinancial Management of Health Services4
HMGT 575Managing and Improving Health4
PPD 511Health Information Systems2
HMGT 550Law, Regulation, and Ethics, or
PPD 513Legal Issues in Health Care Delivery4
HMGT 570Strategic Management, or
PPD 515Strategic Management of Health Organizations4
PPD 600Management of Managed Care Organizations2

Electives: In addition to the 26 core units, students are required to take 8 units of electives. Elective courses may be taken in areas of concentration defined by students in consultation with their academic advisors. Areas of concentration may include: hospital and health system administration; healthcare leadership, strategy and business development; and health policy. Students may elect a more generalized perspective and take their elective courses from the array of elective offerings available.

Participants in the executive program gain practical skills. Emphasis is given to executive decision-making; development of sound planning, analytical and leadership capabilities; and strong interpersonal communication. More specifically, Executive M.H.A. graduates will achieve advanced competency in disciplines which include health, law, economics and finance, marketing and business development, operations, strategic analysis and management, organizational design, quality and information management, and teamwork, as well as broad-based skills in leadership and management.

Core faculty are drawn from the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and include senior, experienced faculty, along with nationally-renowned academic specialists and health care experts. The opportunity to interact with health care’s leading thinkers, policymakers and practitioners is an essential component of the Executive M.H.A. program.

The Executive M.H.A. office is located in Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall, Room 307, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, (213) 740-2984, or email: