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What is an MHA/MBA dual degree program?

At a glance

  • An MHA/MBA dual degree program combines a Master of Health Administration degree (MHA) with a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA).
  • This program helps students learn the administrative side of healthcare, including accounting, marketing and foundational business practic
  • The MHA/MBA degree from University of Phoenix prepares students to work as health managers and health information management directors.
  • Students can earn the online MHA/MBA dual degree at University of Phoenix in approximately 2.5 years.

Delivering the best in patient care is a complex process. Requiring intensive coordination among nurses, physicians, staff and administration, it’s no easy feat.

Just ask Marian Toronka, a University of Phoenix alumna who has worked in nursing for more than a decade. Since starting in the field, she has looked for ways to improve this coordination. As she puts it,

“I was always looking at ways to make our jobs as nurses more efficient and proficient. I often participated in any committee that would help us change practices or policies.”

With her ambition and natural talent for leadership in nursing, Toronka decided to bolster her skill set and credentials with a graduate degree. She wanted a program to build upon her experience in improving nursing practices while giving her a foundation in business and entrepreneurship.

A recommendation from a friend brought her attention to the Master of Health Administration/Master of Business of Administration degree program (MHA/MBA) at University of Phoenix. “Immediately I knew I wanted to go,” Toronka says.

What is an MHA/MBA degree?

As the name indicates, an MHA/MBA degree combines two distinct programs:

1.    Master of Health Administration (MHA)

2.    Master of Business Administration (MBA)

In this program, students learn both general business practices and the specialized knowledge required to administrate healthcare facilities.

The topics covered in this program include:

  • Management
  • Human resources
  • Accounting
  • Finance

As you can see, these topics run the gamut of the needs of running a business and the needs of running a hospital, clinic or another healthcare facility. The result is a graduate well equipped to take on roles that straddle these two sides of the equation. 

How long does it take to earn an MHA/MBA dual degree?

The MHA/MBA program at University of Phoenix takes approximately 2.5 years, totaling 58 credits. Students take one three-week to six-week course at a time, and eight to nine courses per year. The program is entirely online, allowing students to fit their learning around their schedule.

What kind of courses are in the MHA/MBA program?

Here, we discuss some of the courses in the MHA/MBA program. As you’ll see, they range from strictly business lessons to those focused on the particulars of healthcare administration.

MGT/526: Managing in a Changing Environment

Overview: This course covers skills and techniques managers need to provide leadership and direction within a changing organizational environment. Students examine fast-paced changes, including evolving demographics and emerging technologies and how they relate to innovative talent management, leadership and managerial responses to address future organizational challenges.

MHA/505: Systems Thinking in Health Care Environments

Overview: In this course, students apply the theoretical framework of systems thinking as a strategy to address challenges in healthcare settings. Topics include complexity science, design thinking, creativity and flow.

MHA/506: Ethical Marketing: The New Health Care Economics​

Overview: In this course, students explore the emerging intersection of marketing and economics in the health sector. Topics include consumer behavior, market segmentation, identification of new market opportunities in healthcare, regional/system commoditization, value proposition, and differentiation, branding and social media strategies in the health sector.

These are just some of the many courses in the program. More information can be found on the program page.

What skills do students learn in the MHA/MBA program?

Students develop skills that are crucial at the intersection of healthcare and business, such as:

  • Managing and motivating employees
  • Using data to address the cost and quality of care, health of populations and patient-centrism.
  • Problem-solving for business decisions
  • Using technology to stay ahead of the competition

With these skills, students leave the program ready for administrative roles within healthcare facilities. These organizations face unique problems and benefit from leadership with the unique educational background developed in the MHA/MBA program.

An emphasis in the MHA/MBA program is evidence-based practice. To put it simply, this helps students build skills to leverage the latest research when it comes to improving health administration.

The focus on evidence-based practice was a major highlight for Toronka. She also points to how the program helped her make financial projections, SWOT analyses (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and business plans. These were new skills for Toronka and helped her to establish her own business, Good Heart Nursing Care, a home health agency she founded in 2019. 

Who is an MBA/MHA degree for?

The MBA/MHA program isn’t for everyone. First, all master’s degree programs at University of Phoenix require an undergraduate degree and a 2.5 GPA.

The MBA/MHA program is for those with some years of professional experience in healthcare environments. It’s best suited for healthcare professionals looking to take on more advanced leadership roles.

What makes the UOPX MHA/MBA program different?

While other universities offer similar programs, UOPX has some advantages that make it stand out from many other universities.

First, most UOPX degree programs can be completed 100% online and year-round. That can be a game changer for those looking to grow in their skills while balancing other life and work commitments.

Another advantage of the UOPX MHA/MBA program is its focus on applied assessments. These give students practical, hands-on experience that translates well for the work they might pursue after completing their program.

What kind of jobs can an MHA/MBA dual degree prepare students for?

An MHA/MBA can help prepare students to be a:

Health manager

Overview: Health managers oversee entire healthcare organizations or broad sections of these organizations. They are often responsible for the efficiency of their organization, setting general direction, creating schedules and budgets, communicating across an organization and more. They interact with both patient-facing staff, such as physicians and nurses, as well as technicians, insurance companies and patients.

As leaders, health managers must keep aware of ever-changing laws and regulations that govern their facilities. They must institute policies to keep abreast of these regulatory standards.

Health information management director

Overview: Also known as HIM directors, these specialists oversee the large amounts of patient health data processed by a healthcare facility. It is critical for HIM directors to ensure such sensitive information is accurate and secure but also accessible to authorized healthcare professionals.

HIM directors can be found in various workplaces, ranging from hospitals and clinics to insurance companies and government agencies. They play an important role in bridging data technology and patient care.

Job outlook and salary range

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes data related to both “health services managers” and “health information managers” together with no distinction between the two roles. As of May 2023, the annual salary range for medical and health service managers was between $67,900 and $216,750, with a median salary of $110,680, according to BLS.

The job outlook for these types of positions looks positive. Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 28% from 2022 to 2032. Two key reasons are driving this estimated growth, according to BLS. First, an aging population will likely increase the demand for healthcare facilities, which rely on health managers as administrators. Second, the spread of electronic patient health records is projected to increase the demand for specialists in health informatics.

In all, the MHA/MBA program can help prepare students for roles that are crucial in making healthcare facilities run at their best.

Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

BLS Occupational Employment Projections, 2022-2032 is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data reflects BLS’ projections of national (not local) conditions. These data points are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduates.

MHA/MBA dual degree program at University of Phoenix

If you’re interested in learning more about the MHA/MBA degree program at University of Phoenix, visit the Master of Health Administration/Master of Business Administration page! There, you’ll find additional information on courses, faculty, admissions requirements and more. If this degree isn’t right for you, UOPX has other master’s degree options in healthcare and business, including:

  • Master of Health Administration with a concentration in Informatics — Electronic patient data is sensitive but provides important insights for new treatments and breakthroughs. Develop your skills in the critical field of health informatics.
  • Master of Health Administration – Competency Based (CB) — The Master of Health Administration (Competency Based) is a self-governed version of the MHA that can help equip students with 36 key skills to make an impact in the business side of healthcare. The MHA-CB program is designed for working professionals with experience in the healthcare industry and can be earned in less than 12 months and for under $11,000.
  • Master of Business Administration — Expand your business skills beyond the fundamentals and prepare for higher leadership roles in an organization. This degree program can prepare graduates for careers as business managers, operations directors and more.
  • Master of Business Administration – Competency Based (CB) — Similar to the MHA-CB program, this program is designed for business professionals with a business degree and experience working in the field. The MBA-CB allows students to earn credits for what they already know and focus on the aspects of an MBA that they don’t know. This means the program can be completed in under a year and for less than $10,000.
  • Master of Management — Take your understanding of business organization and management to an advanced level. This degree program is perfect for those with experience in the workforce who are looking to take on greater leadership roles.  
Headshot of Michael Feder

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and its Writing Seminars program and winner of the Stephen A. Dixon Literary Prize, Michael Feder brings an eye for detail and a passion for research to every article he writes. His academic and professional background includes experience in marketing, content development, script writing and SEO. Today, he works as a multimedia specialist at University of Phoenix where he covers a variety of topics ranging from healthcare to IT.

 

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