Like the rest of the country, Georgia needs more medical professionals to meet the growing demand for healthcare. This includes managers and administrators to oversee operations in hospitals, long-term facilities, and doctor’s offices to make sure patients receive medical care efficiently and safely.
One of the most common ways to learn the skills needed for advanced healthcare management roles is to earn your Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree. Many universities in Georgia offer MHA programs, including flexible online options that make it possible to earn your master’s while you continue to work.
This guide will help you take the first step towards finding a quality MHA degree program in Georgia. It’s full of helpful resources and information, including a list of top programs and details about tuition costs, admissions requirements, program content, and earnings after graduation.
Spotlights: Top MHA Programs in Georgia for 2022
Georgia offers a variety of on-campus and online MHA programs, and we’ve identified some of the top ones in terms of affordability, flexible scheduling, accreditation, and student services. These examples show you what to look for as you search for the best program to help you advance your healthcare administration/management career.
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University’s Master of Health Administration program is one of just two in the state accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education(CAHME). In addition to this elite accreditation status, this program also offers small class sizes usually consisting of less than 15 students.
Many of the assignments in this MHA program require group work or collaboration. This approach fosters networking opportunities to prepare students for real-world applications where serving as a healthcare administrator almost always involves working in a team environment. Both a capstone project and in-person training with an internship, residency, or practicum are additional interactive elements of this program.
University of Georgia
The Master of Health Administration from the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health requires 54 credits and takes most students about two years (i.e., five semesters) to complete. Most classes are on campus, but some are available online or in the evening for students wanting to work while in the program.
One unique feature of this MHA program is its cohort approach with no electives, so students complete all of their academic requirements together. This MHA program does not require GRE or GMAT scores to apply, but an applicant may submit their score if they feel doing so will enhance their application.
Georgia State University
The Health Administration, MS program from Georgia State University is one of two CAHME-accredited MHA programs in Georgia. The program’s cohort approach to learning promotes learning from the varied professional backgrounds of others in the program.
This MHA program can be completed in just 16 months, and graduates often see almost immediate financial and professional benefits. The average salary increase, for example, is more than 20%. In addition, 100% of graduates are employed within 90 days of graduation. Application to this program includes standard requirements in addition to a video interview.
Frequently Asked Questions About MHA Programs in Georgia
What knowledge and skills do you learn in Georgia MHA programs?
On-campus and online MHA programs in Georgia involve curriculums that focus on two main areas. One area, strategic healthcare issues, affects the overall direction and financial health of a hospital or other healthcare provider. At Georgia State University, for example, students take classes like Health Policy and Ethics as well as Healthcare Planning and Financial Management.
The other major area typical of an MHA program involves learning the business-related concepts often seen in business school programs. At Clayton State University, for instance, students complete classes in Healthcare Accounting and Organizational Behavior in Health Care. Near the end of their MHA program, students also have projects and/or internships where they apply these concepts to actual problems faced by today’s healthcare providers.
Are there CAHME-accredited online MHA programs in Georgia?
Only two MHA programs in Georgia are accredited by the CAHME, Georgia Southern University and Georgia State University. Neither school offers online or hybrid learning options for MHA students.
What are the admissions requirements for MHA programs in Georgia?
The admissions requirements differ for each Georgia school and MHA program, but common admissions requirements include:
- A minimum GPA (usually 2.5 to 3.0) from an accredited college or university
- A personal statement
- Two or three letters of recommendation
- A resume or curriculum vitae
- A statement of purpose
- Application fee
Most programs do not require GRE or GMAT scores. If they do, it’s likely to be for certain situations like for a student lacking a minimum GPA. This is the case at Clayton State University. There’s also often a requirement for work experience. Most programs, like the one at Georgia State University, prefer students who have relevant healthcare work experience.
How long are MHA programs in Georgia?
The biggest variable affecting how long it takes to graduate is if you take classes part-time or full-time. Many programs follow the cohort-learning model where students proceed at the same pace, and students finish in about two years. Some programs, like that at Georgia State University, allow students to complete classes more quickly with a time frame of only 16 months.
How much do Georgia MHA programs cost?
The cost of earning an MHA degree in Georgia is based on factors like whether the school is public or private, residency status, fees, cost of living, and financial aid availability. For most students, tuition fees are the biggest cost. To give you an idea of what an MHA program in Georgi might cost, we’ve identified three schools below that help illustrate a range of tuition rates available.
Clayton State University
Master of Health Administration
Total Credits: 45
$230/credit (in-state); $915/credit (out of state)
Georgia State University
Total Credits: 36
$41,100/program (in-state); $47,000/program (out-of-state)
Georgia Southern University
Master of Health Administration
Total Credits: 52
$277/credit (in-state); $1,105/credit (out of state)
Is financial aid available for MHA programs in Georgia?
Traditional financial aid possibilities include federal student loans, private student loans, grants, and scholarships. Graduate assistantships are also offered by some schools, such as Georgia Southern University. Another potential source of financial aid is tuition reimbursement from your employer. Learn more about your financial aid options at our healthcare admin student scholarships guide and financial aid guide.
Inside Look at Online MHA Programs in Georgia
Most of the MHA programs in Georgia are on-campus only, and none of the CAHME-accredited programs offer remote learning options. However, some MHA programs in Georgia offer required classes online. The University of Georgia is one example of a school offering some online MHA courses. In addition to on-campus courses, some programs also have other in-person requirements. The MHA program at Georgia Southern University, for example, requires a residency, internship, or practicum.
Earnings and Job Outlook for MHA Graduates in Georgia
One benefit of earning your MHA, in Georgia or anywhere else, is the increased earning potential it promises. Below we look at the earnings and job outlook for MHA graduates in Georgia to give you an idea of what to expect.
Are healthcare managers with an MHA degree in high demand in Georgia?
The demand for medical and health service managers is very high. For example, the Georgia Department of Laborreports a 26.7% growth for healthcare management and administrative professionals through 2028. This compares favorably to the extreme need for registered nurses with an expected growth of 22.5% throughout the United States and Georgia. While the anticipated need for MHA-trained professionals isn’t as strong in Georgia as in the rest of the country, it’s still much higher than the national average for all other occupations.
Job Outlook for Medical and Health Services Managers in California (2020-2030)
|New Jobs||Job Growth Rate||Average Annual Openings|
|United States (2020 -2030)||139,600||32.5%||51,800|
Source: Projections Central; Georgia Department of Labor
How much do healthcare managers with an MHA make in Georgia?
At 6.6% lower than the rest of the country, Georgia’s cost of living offers a unique opportunity for healthcare managers. While the median wage for medical and health service managers in Georgia is about $3,000 per year lower than the rest of the country, it’s only 3% less when the cost of living is considered. As in many other states, MHA-trained healthcare professionals can expect to earn higher wages in major metropolitan areas like Atlanta.
Annual Earnings for Medical and Health Services Managers in Georgia
|Location||10th Percentile||Median||90th Percentile|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
Additional Resources for MHA Students in Georgia
Scholarships and Online Resources for Healthcare Administration Students
This guide provides resources along with information on scholarships and more.
Georgia Health Care Association (GHCA)
The GHFA advocates on behalf of medical providers in Georgia providing long-term care services. GHFA also works closely with the Georgia Center for Assisted Living.
Georgia Hospital Association (GHA)
This professional organization represents the interests of its various members, including hospitals and healthcare systems, and the managers and administrators working in these organizations.
Healthcare Facility Regulation (HFR)
HFR is part of the Georgia Department of Community Health and is tasked with overseeing the licensing, safety, and regulation of Georgia’s healthcare facilities.
Georgia Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
The MGMA is a leading professional organization that stands for the interests of professionals in the healthcare industry and medical practice groups.
Georgia Society for Healthcare Risk Management and Patient Safety
This organization focuses on healthcare, safety, and related job duties through a variety of resources, including networking and educational opportunities, for its members.
Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) – Georgia Chapter
The HFMA represents both individuals and organizations in matters related to improving financial performance during the delivery of healthcare.