The healthcare industry is thriving, both in Texas and throughout the nation, and it’s expected to stay that way for years to come. So if you’ve ever considered a career in healthcare leadership, now is the time to make your move by earning your master’s degree in healthcare administration. An MHA is one of the most popular and highly-regarded paths to qualify for advanced managerial roles in the medical field, and many accredited Texas colleges offer this degree.
This guide spotlights today’s best on-campus and online MHA programs in Texas to help you find a high quality, affordable program you can feel confident about. You’ll also get an inside look at what you’ll learn during your studies, how long it will take to earn your degree, what your program will cost, and much more.
Spotlights: Top MHA Programs in Texas for 2022
To get you started in your program search, we’ve reviewed all the current campus-based and online MHA programs in Texas and identified three of the best. Our selections take into account important program elements such as affordability, curriculum, study convenience and flexibility, and quality of student support services. Stay tuned for our complete school ranking, coming soon.
Texas A&M University
The Master of Health Administration program at Texas A&M University in College Station boasts a distinguished reputation in the academic community. The program was one of ten demonstration sites in the nation used by the National Center for Healthcare Leadership in developing its Health Leadership Competency Model. This model is utilized by top MHA programs in Texas and throughout the nation. The MHA program’s 55-credit-hour campus-based Resident Track is designed for students embarking on their careers. No previous work experience in the field is required for admission. Both 21-month full-time and 33-month part-time options are available. All MHA students participate in a practicum experience, typically during a summer session, which requires attendance at a program-approved healthcare facility in or near the student’s local area.
The program’s Executive Track (for students with a minimum of five years’ professional healthcare experience) is currently on hiatus but is expected to return with an August 2023 cohort. The Executive Track requires completion of 48 credit hours over two years. Students attend class one weekend each month at the Texas Medical Center in Houston.
Texas A&M’s MHA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
Texas State University
Students looking for a one of the best Texas MHA programs that features the convenience of online study will want to check out the CAHME-accredited program at Texas State University (TSU). Like many Texas schools, TSU offers MHA options for both students with and without substantial work experience in the healthcare field.
The standard MHA option (for students with five years or less of healthcare work experience) can be taken in either a two-year or two-and-a-half-year format. Both formats begin each fall and include a summer session during the first year. TSU describes this as a hybrid program, but all coursework can be completed online. Course instruction begins each week with a 60- to 90-minute class session that students attend in person or online via Zoom. All other coursework is completed asynchronously online. Students complete their program with one of four culminating activities in their final term: an administrative internship, an administrative residency, an administrative practicum, or, for those intending to continue their education, a thesis.
Students with five or more years of professional healthcare experience are eligible for the Executive MHA option. This part-time program is presented in the same hybrid format as the standard MHA. Students choose either an administrative practicum or thesis as their culminating activity.
Texas Woman’s University
Study and specialization options are major features of the Master of Healthcare Administration program at Texas Woman’s University (TWU). Students in this CAHME-accredited program choose the standard MHA (minimum 45 credits) program or one of two specialization options. The business analytics option (minimum 51 credits) emphasizes study in security and technology interfaces within healthcare organizations; graduates immediately qualify to take the Health Information and Management Systems Society first-level certification. They can also count their business analytics studies toward the requirements to become a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems.
Students interested in international health systems and services may choose the global health option (minimum 51 credits). The MHA-Global Health includes a required international travel component that allows students to directly observe global health concepts in action.
All three of these Texas MHA program options feature a blend of online and in-person courses, with face-to-face classes at either TWU’s Dallas or Houston campus. Students can complete all program requirements in as little as two years. TWU also offers an MBA/MHA Dual Degree program in a hybrid format that can be completed in as little as three years.
Frequently Asked Questions About MHA Programs in Texas
What knowledge and skills do you learn in MHA programs in Texas?
The goal of any MHA program in Texas is to prepare students to become effective professionals ready for the full range of practice settings in the healthcare administration industry. This means providing coursework and practical experiences that delve into the four domains that make up Texas A&M’s MHA Program Competency Model:
- Health Community and Environment: public and population health assessment; health services and systems delivery, financing, and organizations; policy analysis; and legal and ethical bases for health services and systems.
- Leadership: ethics, accountability, and self-assessment; organizational dynamics; critical thinking, decision making, and problem solving; and team building and collaboration.
- Management: business planning; communication; financial management; performance improvement; project management; and strategic planning.
- Analytic and Technical Skills: data analysis and information management; quantitative methods for delivery of health services; and systems thinking.
Are there CAHME-accredited online MHA programs in Texas?
There are currently five online MHA programs in Texas that are accredited by CAHME. They include the MHA program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, the Executive MHA program at Trinity University, the MHA program at the University of the Incarnate Word, and the MHA and Executive MHA programs at Texas State University (spotlighted above).
What are the admissions requirements for MHA programs in Texas?
As you might expect, specific admissions requirements for MHA programs in Texas vary from program to program. Nevertheless, most programs have admissions requirements similar to the following:
- Bachelor’s degree: All programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university (or equivalent for international students).
- Minimum GPA: Specific minimums vary by program, but 2.75 is not uncommon.
- GRE/GMAT scores: These entrance exams are required by some programs; in most cases they’re necessary only if the applicant fails to meet the stated GPA for undergraduate coursework.
- Work experience: Most programs don’t require work experience in the healthcare field. Exceptions include executive track MHA programs at Texas State University and Trinity University.
Other common application requirements include a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and a current CV or resume.
How long do MHA programs in Texas take to complete?
Completion times for MHA programs in Texas vary, sometimes substantially. In general, most full-time students should expect to commit two to two-and-a-half years for completion of all degree requirements. Part-time programs typically require three years or more depending on the student’s per-semester course load. There are a few exceptions, however. For example, the MHA program at the University of Houston Clearlake can be completed in as few as 14 months full-time or 28 months part-time.
How much do Texas MHA programs cost?
To give you an idea of the range of prices you can expect during your program search, we’ve listed the current tuition rates for three Texas MHA programs below. As you’ll see, tuition rates for MHA programs in Texas vary substantially. Major factors impacting these costs include total number of credits, whether the college or university is public or private (private school programs tend to be more expensive), program length, and even the school’s academic reputation. Also, some Texas public colleges and universities charge a higher tuition rate to students who live out of state. Finally, bear in mind that your program’s total price tag will include additional costs for program fees, books and supplies, transportation, etc.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
MS in Healthcare Administration
Total Credits: 36
$265/credit (Texas residents); $673/credit (out-of-state residents)
University of the Incarnate Word
Master of Health Administration
Total Credits: 48
University of North Texas
MS in Health Services Administration
Total Credits: 45
$115.24/credit (Texas residents); $278.58/credit (out-of-state residents)
Can I get financial aid to help pay for my MHA program in Texas?
A wide range of financial aid is available for qualifying Texas MHA students. The most popular type—and the one almost all students will qualify for—is the student loan, usually offered through the federal government. Other options include scholarships, grants, employer tuition reimbursement programs, and benefits for veterans. MHA programs in Texas sometimes offer funding opportunities specifically for their students. An example is the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, which offers scholarship opportunities to MHA applicants.
To learn more about funding opportunities for your MHA program, check out EduMed’s Healthcare Administration Scholarships & Online Resources and main Financial Aid guides.
Inside Look at Online MHA Programs in Texas
Distance learning offers students a great way to integrate their MHA programs into their busy work and life schedules by eliminating the time and hassle of traveling to and from campus. The good news is that there are lots of online MHA programs in Texas to choose from. It’s important to understand, though, that there are almost as many variations in what online study means as there are online MHA programs. For example, some programs, like Texas Tech’s Midwestern State University and Health Sciences Center, deliver coursework entirely online. Other programs, like the University of Houston Clearlake’s MHA, offer students the option to take some courses online or in person. Another variable is how online courses are formatted, with some presented asynchronously (allowing students to access and complete them at any time) and others synchronously via a livestream. Many programs, like Texas State University’s, offer courses that combine synchronous and asynchronous components.
Online MHA students should also expect to complete in-person internships or practicum experiences at program-affiliated hospitals or other healthcare-related facilities in the school’s or student’s local community. What all of this boils down to is that you must have a solid understanding of which elements of a program are offered online and which are not before you enroll in any online MHA program in Texas.
Earnings and Job Outlook for MHA Graduates in Texas
Before you enroll in any degree program, it’s important to have a clear understanding of where that degree will take you once you’ve earned it, particularly in terms of employment prospects and earnings. Below you’ll find the answers to several frequently asked questions regarding job outlook and salaries for graduates of MHA programs in Texas.
Are healthcare managers with an MHA degree in high demand in Texas?
The market for healthcare managers (including healthcare administrators) in Texas is strong and expected to remain that way for several years. As you’ll see below, the field experienced 21.9% job growth between 2018 and 2028, as estimated by the Texas Workforce Commission. Although not quite as robust as the national projection, the Texas figure is over twice the national growth rate projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for all other management occupations (9%) and approaching three times that for the total of all occupations combined (8%).
Job Outlook for Medical and Health Services Managers in Texas
|New Jobs||Job Growth Rate||Avg. Annual Openings|
Sources: Projections Central (United States 2020-2030); Texas Labor Market Information (Texas 2018-2028).
How much do healthcare managers with an MHA make in Texas?
It’s the fundamental rule of supply and demand: The higher the demand, the higher the pay. That’s the key to the strong salaries for MHA grads in Texas. As the state and national earnings figures in the chart below indicate, the current annual median wage in Texas for medical and health services managers (including healthcare administrators) is approximately $102,110, which slightly more than the median wage figure for the U.S. overall.
Keep in mind, however, that what you earn as a healthcare administrator in Texas will depend on several variables, including your geographic location (workers in high-population urban areas tend to earn higher salaries), your specific employer and job title, and your level of professional work experience in the healthcare industry.
Annual Earnings for Medical and Health Services Managers in Texas
|Location||10th Percentile||Median||90th Percentile|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
Additional Resources for MHA Students in Texas
American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Texas Chapters
This national professional association of healthcare administrators and managers has seven regional chapters in Texas: ACHE Central Texas Chapter; ACHE of East Texas; ACHE of North Texas; ACHE SouthEast Texas Chapter; South Texas Healthcare Executives; Southwest Healthcare Executives Association; and Texas Midwest Healthcare Executives.
Scholarships and Online Resources for Healthcare Administration Students
This guide from EduMed offers lots of useful information and advice on finding, applying for, and winning scholarships for healthcare administration master’s students, including links to several currently available scholarship opportunities. You’ll also find descriptions and links to over two dozen helpful online resources for MHA students.
Texas Association of Healthcare Facilities Management (TAHFM)
The ACHE-affiliated professional association of Texas healthcare facilities management professionals, TAHFM covers a wide range of management responsibilities, including emergency management, environmental services, plant operations, safety, security, telecommunications/computer technology, and other facilities management-related services.
Texas Health Care Association (THCA)
This professional association provides representation and support for the long-term healthcare services field in Texas. Through its Educational Foundation, the THCA offers a variety of professional development and education programs for individuals specializing in long-term healthcare.
Upsilon Phi Delta Honor Society (UPD) Texas Chapters
The national honor society for excellence in healthcare management education has chapters on a number of Texas college and university campuses with MHA programs, including Texas Southern University, the University of Houston Clear Lake, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of North Texas Health Science Center, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, and all three of the schools spotlighted above—Texas A&M University, Texas State University, and Texas Woman’s University.