Department of Health Policy and Management

Residential MHA

Overview. The MHA is a professional degree for students wishing to pursue management careers in health systems, hospitals, consulting firms, managed care organizations, insurance firms, non-governmental organizations, medical group practices, government agencies and other settings. The residential Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree is designed for new and early careerists and emphasizes a balance between systematic learning about health services and public health issues on the one hand and management and policy analysis, concepts, and techniques on the other. Emphasis is placed on both classroom and experience-based learning. (Healthcare professionals with 3 or more years of managerial experience may wish to consider the Executive MHA program).

Growth. The MHA programs support students in their academic and professional development through a series of professional development courses, faculty mentorship, student organizations and interactions with more experienced Executive MHA students and program alumni.

Value. The MHA program at Gillings provides superior value. As an institution, in state and out of state tuition is among the lowest for top ranked MHA programs and graduate students from outside North Carolina have an opportunity to qualify for in state tuition during their second year. The University, school and department also provide a variety of merit and need based awards and approximately 1/3 of students in the program receive some type of financial award during their first year and second-year students are eligible for teaching assistantships.

Results. Residential MHA students secure full time positions in the field within 3 months of graduation. MHA students are exceptionally competitive for post graduate administrative fellowships and positions with top regional and national healthcare organizations. (For more information on job placements, see our Job Placements page).

Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program at the Gillings School

Gillings School students talk about their experience in the Department of Health Policy and Management's MHA program.

Watch the video

Program Information

Mission: The Mission of the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program at UNC is to improve decision-making and leadership skills of professionals at all career stages who aspire to manage and lead equitable healthcare and public health organizations in North Carolina, in the United States, and globally.

Vision: Educating healthcare leaders worldwide to develop, manage and lead effective, equitable, and responsive healthcare and public health organizations.

Values: The Department of Health Policy and Management’s values (.pdf) reflect inclusive moral principles and beliefs shared by our faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Competency Model. Following completion of the MHA program, students will be prepared in these areas (.pdf).

Graduation Requirements

The following curriculum and graduation requirements apply to all Residential Master’s Program degrees:

  • At least two full semesters of residence credit, either by full-time registration or by part-time registration over several semesters.
  • All requirements for the degree must be met within five years from the date of matriculation.

MHA Students

  • Successful completion of 60 credit hours comprising School of Public Health, Department and degree core courses, and elective courses for MHA students
  • Successful completion of a 12-week internship (HPM 793)
  • Enrollment in three semesters of Professional Training (HPM 701, HPM 702 and HPM 703)
  • Successful completion of the master’s paper and comprehensive examination Graduate School requirement.
    • MHA students meet the comprehensive examination requirement through business plan development and presentation through HPM 734 and HPM 735.
    • MHA students meet the master’s paper requirement through case analyses in HPM 735.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines for all programs can be found here.

NOTE: Your application must be complete and include all required materials. Applications typically become available for the coming academic year in September.

Master’s Programs Admission Requirements

Before applying, please see our “Which Degree is Right for you?” page to ensure your eligibility for your program of choice. If you have questions, contact your academic support coordinator.

Please also review our Competency Logic Model. A competency model defines what graduates should be able to do to succeed in their professional careers.

PLEASE NOTE: Residential MHA candidates are required to travel to Chapel Hill for an in-person interview. Phone/Skype interviews may be arranged for applicants who are currently located out of the country.

Minimum requirements necessary for application to Residential Master’s Programs:

  • An undergraduate degree with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (4.0 grading scale)
  • Relevant work experience.
  • Applicants are advised to prepare in microeconomics, accounting, and statistics.
  • International applicants are required to submit a Financial Certificate.

Required MHA Application Materials

  • Completion of online Graduate School application. Start your application by creating an account and following the instructions. Applications for the next academic year are available in August. A current email address is a required field on the application since all correspondence is conducted by email. If you have problems with the online form, contact the Graduate School.
  • Nonrefundable application fee. In some instances the application fee may be waived; please see the Graduate School’s Application Fee Waiver page if you have questions or need more information on eligibility.
  • Transcripts (complete, not selected courses). One unofficial transcript from each university attended must be uploaded within the application. If offered admission, one paper official transcript for each university attended will be required. If you have questions or need more information about preparing transcripts, please see the Graduate School’s transcript information here.
  • The email address of three recommenders is required within the application for electronic submission and delivery.
  • Personal Statement (distance and master’s)
    Please upload a two page (double spaced) statement addressing the following:

    • How will this degree program at UNC-CH contribute to your projected career?
    • What is your experience working in teams and what can you contribute to a team?
    • How will you contribute to a diverse, inclusive student community at Gillings?
    • Please provide any additional information that will help us to evaluate your application.

International Applicants

In addition to the materials listed above, international applicants must submit the following:

  • TOEFL or IELTS score (no more than 2 years old). UNC is institution #5816. For more information about these tests, see the Graduate School’s TOEFL and IELTS instruction page. 

Applicants are advised to prepare in microeconomics, accounting, and statistics.

Dual and Concurrent Degree Applicants

Students must apply separately and be accepted by each program of interest. See more information about dual degrees.

Application Status

You may monitor the status of your application by logging into your account and following the instructions.

Mailing Addresses

Department of Health Policy and Management
Student Services Office
University of North Carolina
120 Rosenau Hall
#CB 7411
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411

Graduate School
UNC Graduate School
200 Bynum Hall
CB #4010
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4010

Additional Helpful Links

Prospective Student Information
Residency Requirements and Information

Tuition and Fees

The latest information on costs for the Master’s programs can be found by visiting the most current Tuition and Fee Rates document, found under the “Charges for Attendance (Tuition and Fee Rates)” heading on the University Cashier’s web site. Scroll down to the Health Affairs/School of Public Health section of the document.

Please note that tuition and fees are subject to change.

HPM Fees – in addition to university fees

Internship Fee – $450.00
Professional Training I Fee – $550.00
Professional Training II and III Fees – $500.00 each

Please note that tuition and fees are subject to change.

Need financial assistance? See our Financial Aid Information.

Contact Information

U’Ronda Higgs
Academic Coordinator, MHA, MSPH, Dual Degrees and BSPH Programs
(919) 962-3807

Karen Volmar
Director, MHA and MSPH Programs
(919) 966-3121

See our Frequently Asked Questions about the Master’s Program.