The Professional MSHA Program -Online admits students with diverse educational, work, and life experiences who have demonstrated a capacity to pursue a rigorous course of professional graduate study and assume increasingly responsible positions in the health care industry. Class sizes are kept small to facilitate interaction among faculty and students and to ensure individual attention throughout the entire course of study. Applications to the MSHA Program are evaluated on the basis of several factors: grade point average (GPA), professional work/life experience, and standardized test scores.
Previous Educational Experience
Applicants must possess an earned baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university. No particular major course of study is required. Applicants with a GPA less than 2.75 may be considered for admission on provisional status with exceptional professional experience. Provisional status will be removed after the first semester is satisfactorily completed or after 9 credit hours are successfully completed if enrollment is part-time. If an applicant has completed any graduate studies (whether or not a degree was awarded), performance in such course work will be considered in the admission decision.
Professional Work Experience
Applicants should have a minimum of five years of post-baccalaureate experience in a health care or related organization. Preference in application decisions is given to those with management/supervisory experience. Consideration may be given to those applicants who return to school to complete a baccalaureate degree who have at least five years of management/supervisory experience. A professional resume is an important element of the application materials and should be included with other application materials.
Graduate Studies Aptitude Tests
With the exceptions noted below, all applicants are required to submit standardized aptitude test scores. The Program accepts scores on either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Applicants who have taken the GRE or GMAT in the last five years may submit previous scores.
The GRE and GMAT are administered on a variety of dates in many locations throughout the country. Applicants should make arrangements to take the examination of their choice no later than the February before the April application deadline. For information about testing dates and registration materials contact:
GRE Educational Testing Services
GMAT Educational Testing Services
Those holding professional degrees (for example, MD, DDS, PharmD, Ph.D.) may be eligible to have the GRE or GMAT requirement waived. Other applicants who have extensive field experience may also qualify. Applicants who wish to waive the GRE or GMAT requirement must submit a written request to the Admissions Committee Chair for consideration by the committee. The request should demonstrate the possession of strong verbal and quantitative abilities, deemed to be comparable to at least the 50th percentile of the standardized tests. The applicant may include material that will permit a judgment to be made regarding verbal and quantitative abilities such as graded course work completed. The MSHA Admissions Committee forwards petitions to the Graduate Dean.
No specific previous course work is required for application to the Program. Upon formal acceptance, students complete non-credit independent-study modules prior to the first on- campus session. The modules are in three areas: microeconomics, accounting, and statistics. These modules include books, articles, programmed instruction handbooks, and computer-aided instructional material. A fee is assessed to cover the costs of the materials. Completing these independent study modules precludes the need for taking prerequisite course work before admission. Applicants with acceptable previous course work in accounting, economics, or statistics completed within five years of entering the Program may not be required to complete these independent study modules.
To apply, complete an Application for Graduate Studies and include a resume and personal statement. Application materials may be downloaded (link opens in a new window). Submit all required application and supporting materials to the School of Graduate Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Admission to the Program is competitive and is granted on a rolling basis; therefore, applicants are encouraged to apply prior to the deadline, which has been extended for this admission cycle to April 1st. The Admissions Committee may consider applications received after the deadline if there is sufficient evidence that the applicant can complete the prerequisite modules and submit standardized test scores in time to begin the Program. These applicants may be admitted for part-time enrollment.
The application process will be supported by interviews with finalist applicants. Direct any questions regarding application status and processing to the Program office at (804) 828-7799.
All students admitted to the Program must have access to a modern personal computer. Detailed specifications for new and existing computers are available on the Student Computer Initiative specifications page (link opens in a new window). In addition, students must have a regular internet connection throughout the course of the program. The Microsoft Office suite (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) is also required. For more information about this and other software, visit the Technology Services website (link opens in a new window). Additional software may be required during the course of the program, which will be made available to you under appropriate licensing arrangements.
Although students can use a personal computer at the office, we strongly recommend that they have one at home. Once admitted to the Program, it is recommended that students enroll in a basic computer-training course to become comfortable with a computer and its operating system. Students will be instructed in the use of the BlackBoard course management system during the first on-campus session.