Best MHA/MBA Dual Degree Programs For 2021
Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Have you wondered what it would be like to have a job in both business and healthcare? If you are dedicated to personal growth and achievement and a career in healthcare and business leadership interests you, a dual MBA/MHA program could help you. MHA/MBA dual degree programs take business and healthcare administration components and combine them to prepare effective business leaders within the healthcare industry. Are you still interested? Great! As you continue reading, you will find information on some of the best MHA/MBA dual degree programs for 2021. You will discover what the curriculum in these programs involves, how much it will cost to earn your dual degrees, and the admission criteria applicants must meet. This information will help you decide if a dual degree in Healthcare and Business Administration is right for you and help you find resources to get started.
What Exactly Is the Goal of a Dual MHA/MBA Program?
Dual Master of Health Administration and Master of Business Administration programs offer a robust course of study, including didactic content from healthcare and business domains. The programs facilitate learning and the development of leadership and professional skills needed to fill a broad range of positions throughout the healthcare industry. The goal of MHA/MBA dual degree programs is to prepare students to manage the challenges, changes, and opportunities faced within the healthcare realm, including developing the ability to conduct research and participate in industry-supportive interprofessional collaborations.
7 Big Advantages of Dual MHA/MBA Programs
Deciding whether an MHA/MBA dual program may be the right choice for you can feel like an overwhelming task. Taking the time to consider your personal and professional goals and look at possible advantages and disadvantages may help you see things more clearly. Here are seven benefits of pursuing one of these dual degree programs.
1. You can become highly skilled in organization management across the diverse healthcare industry.
As a student of one of the best MHA/MBA dual degree programs, you will pursue both a Master of Health Administration and Master of Business Administration degree uniting the strengths of both programs, which will result in you developing the skills needed to succeed.
2. Save time while earning two degrees.
By simultaneously pursuing both an MHA and MBA, you may be able to graduate up to a year sooner than if you took the classes consecutively.
3. Dual MHA/MBA programs can help you secure long-term employment.
Employers understand the importance of building strong teams of people who have similar goals. Completing these programs shows your desire to find a stable job, making you a perfect choice for employers who want to develop successful teams.
4. You can pat yourself on the back...Twice!
All jokes aside, it takes serious dedication to achieve MHA/MBA dual degrees. It is something to have a sense of professional pride and accomplishment about.
5. Can you say “Marketability”?
Marketability is a term used to describe a person’s attractiveness to a potential client or employer. As if earning one master’s degree is not enough to increase your marketability, earning two must be. When you enroll in and complete a dual MHA/MBA program, you will have mastered the skills needed to fill roles that require a Master of Healthcare Administration and a Master of Business Administration degree. This means you have doubled your marketability.
6. Make great money!
The old saying, "Money can't buy happiness," may be true. However, it does get the bills paid, right? While sources vary somewhat, most report the average individual income earned by adults in the United States is roughly $37,000 annually. People with dual MHA/MBA degrees earn nearly $100,000 a year, two and a half times the average annual income of the general population.
7. If you want to make money, why not save money?
You may find you can do this by earning your degrees concurrently. While many colleges or universities charge students on a per-credit basis for their degrees, some calculate the cost of their programs using a per-semester or academic year rate. If you decide to earn your degrees concurrently, you graduate as much as a year early with your degrees, therefore saving money.
3 Big Disadvantages of Dual MHA/MBA Programs
In the previous section, you found some advantages to dual MHA/MBA programs. Let’s look at a few disadvantages you may discover along the way.
1. The coursework is rigorous.
Are you one of those people who heard your parent or grandparents say, “Anything worth having is worth working hard to get”? If you have looked at the curriculum, you may wonder if they were talking about MHA/MBA dual degree programs. The programs combine coursework for two master’s degrees. So, it should not be a surprise that the curriculum is in-depth. Still, with a solid plan of study and by leveraging your time and resources, you can be successful.
2. Admission is competitive.
Colleges and universities strive to have high success rates, which means competition to get into the programs can be fierce. Schools that offer MHA/MBA dual degree programs may have admission criteria specific for each program, and applicants will be required to meet all requirements before an offer of admission is extended. Preference is often given to students with previous relevant work experience and significant professional and/or academic achievements.
3. You may feel like you have time for little else.
With the intense course load of dual MHA/MBA programs, you may find it challenging to squeeze in time for other things. There are ways to help reduce the stress of the time crunch, though. If you are motivated, try meal-prepping to save time in the kitchen. Also, if you have a close friend or loved one who can run errands for you, like grocery shopping or getting the oil changed, you may be surprised how much time those simple things can free up for you.
How Long Are MHA/MBA Dual Degree Programs?
Deciding to pursue two degrees takes sincere commitment. One question prospective students have is, "How long will it take me to get my degree"? Typically, MHA/MBA dual degree programs take two to four years to complete.
Like any college degree, there are a few things that determine how long it may take you to complete dual MHA/MBA programs. Students who study part-time typically spend six to twelve months longer than full-time students achieving their degrees. Also, if you do not have the prerequisite courses, you may be required to take them before acceptance into one or both components of the dual program, which could delay your completion time. On the other hand, some people choose to exercise the option credit by examination, which could decrease the time you are enrolled.
Here are some examples of how long a few of our featured programs take to complete.
The Cornell University
dual MHA/MBA program is a two-year program. Students participate in a summer immersion at Johnson College of Business followed by two semesters at both Johnson College of Business and Sloan College of Human Ecology.
The University of Scranton
offers students the opportunity to stand out in the healthcare industry with its accredited dual MBA/MHA program online. Students are engaged in the study of healthcare finance and management, healthcare law, and organizational behavior. The program includes sixty-five credit hours, and students can graduate in two and a half years.
• Texas Women’s University
combines two incredibly marketable degrees into one streamlined program, the dual Master of Healthcare Administration/Master of Business Administration. The program combines general business and healthcare business services allowing students to earn master’s degrees concurrently. Full-time students can graduate in three academic years if no prerequisite classes are needed.
The accredited MHA/MBA dual degree program at the University of Washington
incorporates content areas shared by health and business administration disciplines. Students take classes at the Foster School of Business and the Department of Health Systems and Population Health. The program typically takes students three years to complete. Most MBA coursework is completed in the first two years. MHA classes and a required MHA summer internship are done in the second academic year, with the final year devoted to finishing any remaining MHA coursework.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
features another of our featured best dual MHA/MBA programs. The thirty-three-month program offers students a foundation in health services management taught by professionals with years of expertise in health services such as economics, human resource management, accounting, finance, law, health systems information management, and qualitative methods.
The MHA/MBA dual degree program at Ohio State University
is designed in a three-year format. The first year of study is dedicated to MBA coursework and the second year to the MHA curriculum. In the third year of the program, MBA and MHA coursework are shared relatively equally.
The University of Houston at Clear Lake
offers flexible options for earning a dual MHA/MBA degree. With full-time and part-time options completed in twenty-four or forty-eight months respectively and a hybrid format that includes half of the student’s time in the classroom with the other half online, the program is convenient for working professionals.
How Much Do MHA/MBA Dual Degree Programs Cost?
In society today, it is not uncommon to have single parents working alone to provide for their families or for families to need incomes of more than one person. For many prospective students, the cost of earning a degree can be the deciding factor of whether to move forward to enrollment. Accredited MHA/MBA dual degree programs can cost from $29,000 to over $150,000. If these numbers scare you, I have good news! There are several ways to obtain financial support to help with education and living expenses. So, do not push the idea of pursuing your dual degrees aside just yet.
If the cost of the degrees concerns you, start by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application
is used to determine an applicant's eligibility to receive federal grants and/or loans, making earning a degree a possibility. If you are approved for both grants and loans, you do not have to accept them both. Keep in mind, grants do not have to be repaid. Loans, on the other hand, do. Other options include applying for a private loan, borrowing from a family member, and asking your employer if they offer an education stipend or employer-sponsored programs.
Below are examples of how much seven of our featured programs cost.
Tuition for the MBA/MHA dual degree program at Cornell University
. This cost includes $114,632 for the S.C. Johnson summer immersion and two semesters plus $39,466 for two semesters at the Sloan College of Human Ecology.
One of the best dual MHA/MBA programs featured in this article is found at Georgia State University
. The average yearly cost of the program is $15,519 for Georgia residents and $35,858 for out-of-state residents. Students can choose to pursue the program full-time for thirty months or part-time for thirty-six months. In-state students typically pay program costs between $38,797 and $45,557, while out-of-state students pay $89,645 to $107,574.
At Phoenix University
, you can earn a Master of Health Administration/Master of Business Administration dual degree in as little as two and a half years. The fifty-eight-credit dual MBA/MHA program online costs $698 per credit hour, averaging $40,484.
The University of Pittsburgh
combines curriculum from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the Graduate School of Public Health to offer the MBA/MHA dual degree program. The program offers exposure to the health industry with in-depth study of analytical and decision-making skills, healthcare leadership, supply chain management, and quality improvement in its seventy-eight-credit curriculum. Using the per-credit tuition rate of $1,122 for Pennsylvania residents and $1,916 for non-residents, the program costs between $87,516 and $149,448
Students enrolled in the MBA/MHA dual degree program at Ohio State University
complete sixty semester credit hours. They can leverage part of their Master of Health Administration electives toward the Master of Business Administration or vice versa. Up to 16.5 semester hours of MBA coursework can be credited toward MHA electives and up to twelve hours of MHA coursework toward the MBA. Tuition is based on a two-semester academic year. Ohio residents pay $11,935 and non-residents pay $35,019 per year. This rate includes tuition, instructional and general fees but does not include room and board and other expenses. Students who graduate in the estimated three years pay between $35,805 and $105,057.
The University of Utah’s
Master of Healthcare Administration/Master of Business Administration program includes eighty-six credit hours of coursework completed in approximately three years. The average cost of tuition for the program is $79,000.
With a cost of $650 per credit hour, Mary Baldwin University
offers one of the least expensive MHA/MBA dual degree programs available. The program is a perfect choice for students who wish to further their career potential in healthcare administration and business management, offering core business courses focused on the business industry and the healthcare market. Students complete forty-five hours, with a tuition cost of about $29,250.
What Is the Curriculum Like for Dual MBA/MHA Programs?
Accredited MHA/MBA dual degree programs consist of a rigorous curriculum offering classroom instruction and clinical experiences. Coursework typically includes cornerstone and functional core classes, health administration coursework, and residency. Although the required courses may vary from one school to another, course content is similar.
The following are examples of classes found in dual MBA/MHA programs.
◦ Strategic Business Communication
◦ Information Technology and Project Management
◦ Corporate Finance
◦ Legal Environment of Healthcare
◦ Health Services Research and Evaluation Methods
Here is some information about the curriculum for some of our featured programs.
The Master of Health Administration/Master of Business Administration dual degree program at Cornell University
is a ninety-credit program. The MBA component
of the program, which is completed at S.C. Johnson College of Business, is focused on the functional areas of business, including finance, accounting, operations management, marketing, strategy, and leadership. The MHA portion of the dual program offers classes in organizational behavior and human resources management, healthcare ethics, legal aspects of healthcare, and population health.
With an attrition rate of less than three percent and 100% of graduates securing employment within three months of graduation, Georgia State University
offers one of the best dual MHA/MBA programs. The sixty-six-credit hour curriculum includes the following classes.
◦ Care Management and Delivery Systems
◦ Predictive Analytics in Healthcare
◦ Operations Management and Quality in Healthcare
◦ Strategic Marketing Management
◦ Leadership and Organizational Behavior
After acceptance into both the MHA and MBA programs at the University of Minnesota
, students work with a designated academic coordinator to play their study plan. This MBA/MHA dual degree program includes ninety-five credit hours and prepares students for management careers in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, and medical device industries, among others.
◦ Private Purchasers of Healthcare
• Webster University
◦ Healthcare Leadership and Effecting Change
◦ Operations Research and Quality in Healthcare
◦ Supply Chain and Operations
◦ Competing in a Data-Driven Age
, located in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, strives to be an institution of health administration that is a leader in the industry, providing students with professional and academic preparation for various healthcare administrative roles. The university’s MHA/MBA dual degree program instills the values of knowledge, potential, respect, diversity, and inclusion for all its students. Students must complete sixty-three to sixty-six credit hours to meet graduation eligibility requirements, including thirty-three earned from MBA coursework.
◦ Financial Management in Health Administration
• Stetson University
◦ Walker Consulting Project: Adding Value to Organizations
◦ Organization and Management in Health Administration
◦ Healthcare Informatics
◦ Issues Related to Health Policy
is partnered with AdventHealth University to offer an online MBA/MHA dual degree program. The program includes a challenging curriculum focused on developing expert business leadership skills and keen insight into leadership within the healthcare industry. Students learn from live-online sessions and prerecorded lectures, which make incorporating a dual master's degree into a busy lifestyle possible.
◦ Foundations of Business Analytics
◦ Healthcare Innovation and Design Thinking
◦ Disruptive Innovation in Healthcare
◦ Strategic Management and Marketing Decision-Making
◦ Ethical Issues and Public Policy
The dual MPH/MBA program at Pfeiffer University
is presented with a focus on practical skills from both healthcare and business services. Students experience a curriculum that provides them with the tools and knowledge necessary to advance their administrative careers across the healthcare services spectrum. Successfully completing the program requires earning sixty semester hours and can be accomplished in two and a half to three years.
◦ Contemporary Health Administration
◦ Legal and Ethical Perspectives in Healthcare Administration
◦ Comparative International Health Study
◦ Negotiations and Conflict Resolution
◦ Organizational Change Management
Individuals who wish to pursue the Master of Business Administration/Master of Healthcare Administration dual program at Weber State University
submit only one application but must be accepted to both the MBA and MHA programs separately. After an offer of admission is granted, the student must designate the MHA or MBA as their primary degree. Coursework for both programs may be completed simultaneously.
◦ Global Macroeconomic Conditions
◦ Quantitative Methods I and II
◦ Strategic Health Planning and Marketing
◦ Human Resource Management in Healthcare
◦ Financial and Managerial Accounting
What Are the Most Difficult Courses in a Dual MBA/MHA Program?
The coursework required in the best dual MBA/MHA programs can be intense. Students have different learning styles and experiences. The classes that may be difficult for you may be easy for someone else and vice versa. Although it is impossible to determine which courses may present the biggest challenge, here are some examples of difficult classes from both the MBA and MHA curricula.
Mastering effective communication skills, both written and verbal, is essential for business and healthcare administration success. In management communications, students learn the theory behind the practice of communications, including the knowledge of marketing and sales strategies and basic psychology. Many communication classes have high standards that students must meet. In this class, you can expect every subject you have learned to be tested with the expectation that you can defend what you believe you know.
Economics and Accounting:
Many students enter administrative programs, like dual MBA/MHA programs, lacking an understanding of the depth to which mathematics and statistics are involved. Business and Healthcare Administration positions require leaders who have advanced knowledge of accounting and economics. Economics and accounting classes can be demanding, and the unprepared student may become overwhelmed.
Advanced Health Informatics:
This course presents healthcare data and information, management of information technology challenges, and healthcare information systems in detail. Students learn healthcare laws, regulations, standards, and concepts related to data-driven decision-making and patient safety. Analytical methods and standards necessary for application design, governance, and achieving value and health data are also part of this class.
Admission criteria for the best MHA/MBA dual degree programs are determined by the individual school or program. In general, applicants must have received an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and demonstrate the personal and academic attributes that indicate the potential for success.
Some general admission requirements include the following.
◦ Submit a professional resume/curriculum vitae
◦ Provide letters of professional recommendation that speak to the applicant’s potential for success in a dual graduate degree program
◦ Provide official transcripts from all colleges, universities, or other post-secondary schools, regardless of graduation status.
Below are admission requirements for some of our featured programs.
Admission to Cornell University’s
MHA/MBA dual degree program is highly selective, with the program accepting only two to four qualified students each year. Applicants who wish to enroll in the program must be admitted separately to the Sloan Program in Health Administration and the S.C. Johnson College of Business.
◦ Applicants with three to four years of full-time work experience are considered well-positioned for either the MHA or MBA job market and are encouraged to apply.
• Ohio State University
◦ Preferential offers of admission are reserved for applicants with a GRE or GMAT score above the 80th percentile.
◦ Have Demonstrated Extracurricular Involvement: The college encourages applicants to be mindful of how they represent extracurricular activities as these can demonstrate a connection with the College’s mission as well as the applicant’s dedication to career goals.
◦ Submit the Cornell Supplemental Essay: Admissions faculty considers whether an applicant can articulate a compelling interest in the College by presenting an application essay.
requires applicants who wish to enroll in its dual Master of Business and Master of Healthcare Administration program to be accepted to both the College of Public Health and Fisher College of Business.
Admission Requirements Include:
◦ Submit official transcripts from any previous or current college courses taken in the United States
• Army-Baylor University
◦ Official GRE scores
◦ Prepare a Personal Statement
◦ Three letters of professional recommendation
◦ Video Interview
◦ Submit a resume/curriculum vitae
serves the Federal Health System by offering graduate research and education opportunities through its affiliation with Baylor University. The two-year program includes didactic instruction and a clinical residency preparing students to be leaders in health and business administration.
Admission Requirements Include:
◦ Federal Service employment
• Saint Louis University
◦ Army applicants must forward a copy of your ORB
◦ Personal Statement of Purpose
◦ Submit standardized test scores with a minimum GRE score of 310 or a minimum GMAT score of 575
◦ Cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale
offers a dual MBA/MHA program that prepares students for various positions in the healthcare industry, including healthcare management and consulting, pharmaceuticals, and health insurance. Students are presented with management expertise within the context of healthcare environments. Although application to both the MHA and MBA programs is required, admission to the dual degree program is contingent upon admission to both programs.
Admission Requirements Include:
◦ Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of learning
◦ Provide official transcripts from all post-secondary schools
◦ Provide two letters of professional recommendation
◦ In-person interview scheduled with program directors
◦ Submit a professional resume
Applicants who wish to enroll in the MHA/MBA dual degree program at Texas Women’s University
must apply to each program separately and be admitted to both. After completing the dual degree’s required coursework and meeting graduation criteria, students will receive both Master of Business Administration and Master of Healthcare Administration degrees.
Admission Requirements Include:
◦ Grade Point Average of at least 3.0 on the last sixty hours of undergraduate coursework
◦ Applicant must be proficient in tools of Business including Microsoft Office suite products
◦ Submit resume/curriculum vitae
The MHA/MBA program at the University of Pittsburgh
seeks applicants interested in pursuing executive roles in non-clinical healthcare roles (biotech, pharmaceutical, consulting) or functional-area roles within the healthcare industry (strategic planning, supply chain, marketing).
Admission Requirements Include:
◦ Minimum three credits in college-level mathematics or statistics
• Tulane University
◦ Minimum six credits in social and behavioral sciences (One course should preferably be in economics.)
◦ Submit all official post-secondary transcripts
◦ Three letters of professional reference
offers admission to graduate studies on the basis of academic potential and accomplishment without regard to sex, color, race, national origin, or sexual orientation. Prospective students with a desire for hard work that results in earning dual master's degrees are encouraged to apply.
Admission Requirements Include:
◦ Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
◦ Have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
◦ Submit a Personal Statement of Intent
◦ Provide professional resume/curriculum vitae
6 Effective Tips on Applying and Getting into a Top MBA/MHA Dual Degree Program
Now that you have decided to pursue a dual MHA/MBA degree program, it is time to employ some strategies to help you get accepted. Here are a few tips to help your application get the attention of admissions committees and improve your chances of receiving an invitation to enroll.
1. Get involved and stay involved.
Graduate schools like the MBA/MHA schools featured in this article expect applicants to have extracurricular experiences relevant to their field of study. If you haven’t already, get busy with volunteer work or community service.
2. Take classes beyond the minimum prerequisites.
A graduate program having minimum admission standards is not an invitation for you to barely get by. For instance, one of the MHA requirements is to take Introduction to Business, that does not mean you have to stop there. If you can, take an advanced business course like Global Economics. Putting forth the effort will demonstrate your commitment to success in the program.
3. Get involved with network opportunities like school fairs or information sessions.
These resources offer great opportunities to get inside information about admissions and to meet admission faculty.
4. Be professional, with a good personality.
Yes! It is possible to do both. Admission criteria for MHA/MBA dual degree programs usually include submitting a Personal Essay or Statement of Intent. This is your chance to add some personality to an otherwise dull process. Include information about your personal interests, hobbies, and non-academic accomplishments and explain how they make you a good candidate for the program.
5. Get letters of recommendation from professionals who know you well.
When admission criteria include submitting letters of “professional recommendation,” that’s what it means. You want to be an MBA/MHA dual degree student, so you need recommendations from people who can attest to your ability to succeed in the program. Former college instructors and/or employment supervisors are excellent choices.
6. Resume or Curriculum Vitae?
As you research graduate programs, you may find the “Resume/Curriculum Vitae” listed as documents to submit with your application. Most programs request one or the other. If you are unsure, there is somewhat of an unspoken rule that professional programs, like the MHA/MBA dual degree programs featured here, will ask for resumes while academic-related programs prefer a curriculum vitae. When in doubt, ask the admission department for the school where you are applying.
FOLLOWING ARE THE 24 BEST MHA/MBA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS (ONLINE & CAMPUS) IN THE NATION FOR 2021
(These MHA/MBA Dual Degree Programs are ideal for individuals who wish to earn skills, knowledge, and expertise in both Healthcare Administration and Business Administration.)
View Ranking Methodology
Career Opportunities After Graduating from MHA/MBA Dual Programs
One of the great things about earning dual degrees is that you open yourself up to a world of career opportunities. Graduates of dual MPH/MBA programs work in many settings and have various job titles and responsibilities. Here are some ideas of potential job options after you graduate.
Healthcare Supply Chain Analyst:
Uses quantitative and analytical methods to understand and enhance healthcare related supply chain processes; assembles data, analyzes performance, and identifies problems and recommended resolutions to support supply chain management operations and planning.
Medical Consulting Analyst:
learns about a healthcare organization’s operations to help improve efficiencies; works with healthcare administrators and leaders to identify problems or risk factors and to propose and develop solutions.
Responsible for overseeing and organizing health services and daily activities of hospital employees; manages budgets and staff, communicates between departments, and ensures quality patient care.
Corporate Development Associate:
Responsible for executing mergers and acquisitions and raising capital for a corporation, may work alongside investment bankers, assesses, contracts with, and onboards vendors for various positions.
Performance Improvement Leader:
Analyzes issues related to performance, including finding contributing factors that lead to poor job performance, observes and works with managers and employees to identify performance issues, and formulate a plan to address and resolve the issues
Average MHA/MBA Salary
Let's be honest here. No one goes to college to get a degree so they can make terrible money or struggle to make ends meet. After graduating from a dual MBA/MHA degree program, you should not have that problem. The average yearly salary for graduates of Master of Healthcare Administration/Master of Business Administration programs is $99,240. With the federal minimum wage for non-exempt employees currently $7.25 per hour, the hourly pay for someone with MBA/MHA degrees is almost seven times the minimum wage earner's income.
According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow thirty-two percent
from 2019 to 2029. The same source projects a five percent increase
in jobs during the same period for management occupations overall. These projections alone indicate an excellent career outlook for graduates of MHA/MBA dual degree programs. When you consider the increased use of information technology requiring qualified leaders coupled with an increase in chronic diseases and the public’s awareness of healthcare issues and preventive medicine, these projections are even more favorable.
The Bottom Line
With a promising job outlook and career opportunities in various settings, there is something for everyone who chooses to earn dual MBA/MHA degrees. If you are considering a step toward these degrees, one of the best MHA/MBA dual degree programs for 2021 featured in this article can help you. The best time to start is now!
Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.