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Health Administration Master's Degree Program Turns 70

Saint Louis University’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) program is celebrating its 70th year, a milestone that sets it apart as one of the oldest MHA programs in the world. The program was started in 1947.

The degree, offered through SLU’s College for Public Health and Social Justice, prepares students to lead, manage and administer health care services at medical centers and health care systems across the nation and the world.

As one of the oldest and most prestigious MHA programs in the world, SLU's program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CHAME) and has a 100 percent graduation rate as well as a 92 percent placement rate for its graduates in management position within 90 days of graduation. The program is also ranked among the top 10 graduate programs for health care management by U.S. News & World Report.

“The benefits of acquiring an MHA from SLU are clear for anyone wanting to make a meaningful, positive impact in health care management,” Rhonda BeLue, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy, said. BeLue assumed leadership of the program in 2017. She notes that the strong reputation of the program is well-founded.

Health care administration is complex and requires comprehensive management skills in operations, human resources, finance, communication and health policy. Saint Louis University recognized this highly-specialized field of study long before other universities and began shaping a rigorous program that effectively prepares its students to be outstanding leaders in their field.

“Both the history, as being one of the first programs of its kind, and Saint Louis University’s Jesuit tradition of Mission-based academic excellence, clearly sets the MHA program apart from others in the region and the country,” BeLue said. “Saint Louis University will continue its long, 70-year tradition of preparing tomorrow’s health care leaders. While it is important to understand that our school is built on 70 years of excellence, we are clearly focused on the future and our role in preparing health care leaders to effectively and ethically guide us through the next 70 years and beyond.”

Today, the program continues to offer one of the most comprehensive programs in the country, working with each individual student to understand leadership potential and opportunities upon graduation. One example of the program’s continued strength and relevance to current and future students is it’s Executive MHA program. The program focuses on the needs of health care professionals and clinicians who are currently working within health care organizations. The Executive MHA features a majority-online curriculum, with students meeting in a classroom setting one Saturday per month.

“I was working as an Epic application analyst when I decided to enroll in SLU’s Executive MHA program,” Chris Meshes (Public Health ’16) said. “My MHA has enabled me to become a consultant working for a variety of health care organizations, helping analyze and interpret data in a meaningful way. It is incredibly rewarding to be able to help health care providers understand their sustainability. With my MHA degree from SLU, I was able to find my new role and increase my income by more than 100 percent upon graduation.”

For more information about the benefits of acquiring an MHA from SLU, and to learn about our Residential and Executive programs, visit the programs.