Online MHA Program: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to popular questions for the 100% online Master of Health Administration

Is the degree program practice-oriented or theory-oriented?

Our faculty is practice-oriented, grounded in health administration theory. The courses are designed to teach skills for the workplace. The seminars and capstone are industry-focused. In addition, the seminar can be taken across cohorts that provide students with professional networking opportunities.

What is the difference between a Master of Health Administration (MHA), a Master of Public Health (MPH), and a Master of Business Administration (MBA)?

The Master of Health Administration degree focuses on skills in leadership, management and operations specific to healthcare systems like hospitals and clinics. An MHA prepares students to navigate these systems with knowledge of a broad range of healthcare-specific management including accounting/finance, marketing, management, law, policy, operations, and quality assurance.

A Master of Business Administration improves a student's business acumen in a broad range of industries. MBA skills transfer into anything from start-ups to Fortune 10 companies. Profit-driven industries benefit from the business knowledge MBAs possess.

A Master of Public Health is specific to those who want to focus on work that improves the health of entire communities and populations. This includes an understanding of social and behavioral science, environmental health, biostatistics, epidemiology, and health policy.

All three degrees help students move into leadership and management positions; however, the MHA and MPH are designed for those looking to become leaders within the health field. MBAs can often work in industries that support healthcare, but not necessarily are employed by the health systems directly. MHAs are prepared to work within the healthcare delivery system, both nonprofit and for-profits, in-patient and out-patient settings, plus governmental healthcare systems (ie. VA) and agencies.  MHAs can also work in ancillary members of the healthcare system; for example, insurance, pharmaceutical and device manufacturing companies.  MPH grads traditionally work in the nonprofit sector and with local community government agencies.

How do online classes work? Do I have to be at my computer at a specific time?

As a Purdue student, you will be taking classes in an online environment. Instructors provide materials, lectures, tests and assignments that can be accessed at any time. Your lectures are not time restricted, meaning you don't need to be logged in to view your course materials at a specific time.

However, all of your course activities, assignments and exams must be completed by their respective due dates. You will need to view course lectures regularly to keep current.

How much time should I plan to spend on the program each week?

Students should expect a time commitment of approximately 15 hours per week.

How will I be graded?

Students are graded based on their performance in class. The courses we offer online will have various methods for grading depending on the specific requirements for a given class. Students can expect to experience any combination of homework, graded exam, final project, group work or graded reports. Purdue Grading Scale

Can I count the graduate certificate towards the Master of Health Administration?

Yes, students who complete the Healthcare Leadership graduate certificate can count the credits toward the MHA. If currently admitted for the MHA certificate, the student will have to complete an additional application and pay an additional application fee.

What will my diploma say?

Master of Health Administration awarded by Purdue University.

What is the frequency of starts for this program?

There are three starts for this program - fall (August), spring (January) and summer (May).