Many pharmacists pursue leadership positions in which their strategic and innovative skills are essential to advance the healthcare institution in providing up-to-date and effective patient care and medication-use processes. In addition, pharmacy leaders must be skilled in developing and enhancing relationships with others beyond those within the pharmacy. Pharmacy leaders can use these relationships to influence others and further benefit the pharmacy department. Furthermore, pharmacy leaders embrace technological advances to maximize medication use and patient safety.

The Master of Healthcare Administration (M.H.A.) program prepares students for leadership roles within a variety of healthcare settings. Graduates can pursue executive management positions that require leadership, communication and business skills, relationship building, personal management, project management, and quality improvement. Students within the M.H.A. joint degree will learn from qualified faculty, healthcare leaders, and executives in an interprofessional environment to become an effective and collaborative healthcare team executive who promotes health and well-being. Pharmacy students also receive free membership in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

The Pharm.D./Master of Healthcare Administration degree is a joint program between Samford’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy and School of Public Health within the university’s College of Health Sciences. Through credit sharing, you can earn two degrees in a reduced time. The McWhorter School of Pharmacy will apply 11 credits of core healthcare administration course work to satisfy course work required under the regular pharmacy curriculum. As a student in this program, you are required to complete 48 credits of M.H.A. course work and 135 credits of pharmacy course work. The M.H.A. courses are delivered asynchronously online and meet Quality Matters standards. Students also complete an at-least 120-hour internship and project within an approved setting (e.g., hospital or health systems, insurance company, consulting firm) that allows for direct interactions and learning from healthcare executives. The internship is scheduled during the last semester of pharmacy school and also counts towards pharmacy coursework.

Students do not need to have a bachelor’s degree to be admitted to this joint degree program, but the bachelor’s degree must be earned to complete more than 12 credit hours of the master’s program.

The M.H.A. program welcomes and encourages students from all academic backgrounds.

General Policies

On graduation, you can receive both the Pharm.D. and M.H.A. in the same semester. In this program, you must complete the M.H.A. within five academic years of the original date of admission to the M.H.A. program.

You will have two separate grade point averages, one for healthcare administration and one for pharmacy. Pharmacy school ranking and percentiles will be based on the pharmacy only GPA. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the M.H.A. program to be in good standing. Pharmacy students no longer interested in completing the M.H.A. program must communicate with the McWhorter School of Pharmacy Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Students may register for a maximum of 21 credits per full semester. If desired, you may petition the associate dean of academic affairs to exceed this maximum course load.

You may choose to drop the joint degree in order to earn the Pharm.D. earlier. The School of Public Health will accept shared credit from the pharmacy school upon later readmission to the M.H.A. program as long as the student:

  1. Began the joint degree before graduating with the Pharm.D.
  2. Was in good standing with the School of Public Health
  3. Requests readmission to restart M.H.A. classes within one full semester after Pharm.D. graduation.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for the joint Pharm.D./M.H.A. program, you must first be accepted to both McWhorter School of Pharmacy and School of Public Health. Students applying for this joint degree also must be in good standing in the Pharm.D. program. For detailed information on applying to McWhorter School of Pharmacy, visit our admission page for details on the process and required documentation. To be considered for the M.H.A. portion of the degree program, submit the following materials to the School of Public Health:

  1. A completed School of Public Health joint degree application form
  2. A resume reflecting work experience and other accomplishments. Upload the resume into the application.

The application deadline is March 15.

For questions regarding the application, please contact Amber Kustos, the director of graduate and undergraduate student services for the School of Public Health, at akustos@samford.edu or 205-726-4691.

Plan of Study