Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I receive information about the application process and download an application?
Apply through HAMPCAS: The MHA Program at Virginia Commonwealth University is a participant of the Healthcare Administration, Management, & Policy Centralized Application Service (HAMPCAS). HAMPCAS is the national centralized application service that provides applicants with the capability to apply to health management, administration, and policy programs across different colleges and universities throughout the U.S by way of a single, web-based application. To start the HAMPCAS application process visit the following link www.hampcas.org.
All applications must be submitted via HAMPCAS.
When is the application deadline?
February 1 is the application deadline. However, it is recommended that you get your application in as early as possible. With a rolling admissions process, applications are reviewed as they are deemed complete.
What is considered a complete application?
- Complete application form
- Application fee
- Personal statement
- 3 letters of reference
- Official transcript
- GRE or GMAT scores
Once this information is received, your application will be reviewed to determine if it meets criteria approved by the Admissions Committee. If your application warrants, an on-site interview will be required. In addition, 1-2 years work experience is preferred.
How do I apply to the MHA/JD or MHA/MD Programs?
To be a dual degree student, you must be accepted to both programs. However, you could apply to the law school during your first year of the MHA program. Typically, MHA/MD students complete the first three years of medical school first.
Is an on-campus interview required for admission? Why?
Yes. We want to get to know you and your motivation for a career as a healthcare executive. Also, it is a time for you to see if you like what we have to offer. Graduate education is an investment in your future and we want to make sure our Program is a good fit.
Do you have a rolling admissions process or do you make your decisions after the application deadline?
We have a rolling admissions process. This means that we begin reviewing applications as soon as they are deemed complete. The first interview days are held in mid to late December of each year.
Do I have to have the prerequisites completed before being accepted?
No. You may be admitted pending completion of the prerequisites.
When do classes begin?
Orientation for new students is held during the third week of August of each year. Classes begin on Monday of the following week.
Where should I complete the prerequisite courses?
If you have not taken the prerequisite courses of Financial Accounting, Microeconomics, and Statistics as part of your baccalaureate degree, you may complete these courses at any accredited college or university.
Are there certain specifications for the prerequisite courses?
You must earn a grade of "C" or better within five years of enrolling in our Program. In addition, the courses must not be "survey" courses. Should you have questions, please contact Carrie Thornbrugh at 804.828.0719 or via email: email@example.com
Do you award scholarships? What are the eligibility criteria?
Yes, the Department awards scholarships to students based on financial need, academic merit, and leadership. Decisions are made in early summer.
How do I apply for financial aid?
Once you are admitted to the Program, you will receive information from the VCU Financial Aid Office. You must complete the FAFSA application as well as VCU-specific information. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA online by March 1.
Are opportunities available for part-time employment?
Yes, part-time jobs are available in the Department of Health Administration, within VCU, or at other sites in the Richmond community. You are encouraged to apply for work study approval within VCU.
How many hours per week will I be able to work?
This will vary depending on semester, how well you acclimate to graduate study, and community and group projects outside the classroom. For the first semester, you may want to work no more than 10 hours per week, until you feel comfortable that you can take on more work.
How much are tuition and fees?
Please visit the VCU Student Accounting Office (link opens in a new window).
How is an MHA degree different from an MBA?
The Master of Health Administration degree at VCU is an "industry-specific" MBA. You will receive rigorous business and management content, as well as learning about the uniqueness of healthcare and the nonprofit sector. Here is more information about the advantages of an MHA over an MBA.
Do you have dual degree programs?
Because our MHA curriculum contains significant content from the business domains, we do not recommend a dual degree in business. However, we do have dual degree programs with the University of Richmond School of Law, The Washington & Lee University School of Law, and the VCU School of Medicine.
What are the total number of graduate credit hours required for conferral of the degree?
We require 51 semester-hours of credits. In addition, we require a 12-month administrative residency in which 8 credit hours of administrative practice must be taken, for a total of 59 credit hours.
Do you offer electives?
Yes, we require one 3-hour elective. These may be taken in other departments at VCU. However, the Department of Health Administration offers Physician Practice Management, Managing Human Capital, Long Term Care Administration, and Advanced Medical Informatics.
Do you have part-time students? Night classes? Summer school?
Our Program is more appropriate for full-time study. Classes are offered during the daytime. There are no summer school classes in this Program.
Do you require an internship? Residency?
Many programs require a summer internship between the first and second year. Since we require a 12-month paid administrative residency, we do not also require an internship. However, many of our students elect to work in health care management-related jobs in the summer between the first and second year. International students should contact the department directly regarding the administrative residency requirement prior to applying.
Do you provide assistance in securing a residency?
Yes, we customize a process for your ongoing learning needs based on a Professional Development Plan and individualized attention in the Executive Skills courses. The Program Director provides a selection of residency sites for which students interview. To view recent Residency sites, click MHA Class of 2015 Residency Sites.
Are there opportunities to interact with current students before being admitted?
Yes. Once you have been offered an interview, a current student will be assigned to you as a Sponsor. The Sponsor will contact you to answer any questions about the admissions process and student life issues.
In addition, during Open House sessions and on your interview day, you will be invited to participate in a student-only panel on student life and program activities.
Where do students live in Richmond?
Most students secure housing off-campus, although University housing is available on the MCV Campus. Materials on housing opportunities will be distributed during your interview day.
Is campus housing available?
Yes, for more information visit VCU Residential Life and Housing (link opens in a new window).
Are there ways for networking with alumni/ae and other healthcare executives?
During the two years on-campus, there are many opportunities for alumni/ae and other healthcare executives to interact with students: in the classroom, field assignments, student chapters of ACHE, HFMA, and MGMA, and during several functions that are held yearly in the Grant House.
Does the Department offer assistance in career development?
Throughout the curriculum, assistance is given with professional development planning. Two courses in Executive Skills and one-on-one meetings with advisors and the Program Director also aid in determining a good fit for a residency site, as well as the first job after graduation.
Where do new graduates find jobs? What are typical job titles?
Most new graduates work in the organization where they completed their residency. Typical job titles are:
- Planning or Marketing Analyst
- Financial Analyst
- Director or Manager of Special Projects
- Administrative Manager
- Assistant Vice President
- Compliance Coordinator
What are some typical characteristics of the first job after graduation?
Recent graduates earn average salaries between $55,000 to $65,000 per year. This varies with the size of the organization, ownership status, location, cost of living in the area, and scope of duties and responsibilities.