In coordination with Samford University’s School of Public Health and Brock School of Business, graduate students are now able to pursue a joint Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA). With its full-time plan of study, students are able to complete both degrees fully online in just three years.

To step into a leadership position for most healthcare systems and organizations today, a master’s degree is often required. By earning these two degrees, graduates are equipped with a diverse range of knowledge and experience—in business and healthcare—to illuminate pathways to provide leadership within the complex matrix that is the U.S. healthcare system.

While it’s possible to earn one of these degrees individually, by combining the two, students have the opportunity to be mentored by faculty in both programs, and they have access to the resources and connections offered by both schools as it relates to internships, research and career placement.

If the minimum GPA requirement is met, a GRE or GMAT score is not required for admission.(See admission requirements for more details.)

Application Process

Application Schedule

  • Application Opens: Aug. 1, 2023
  • Priority Deadlines
    • Jan. 15 (Admission  decision released before Feb. 15)
    • March 15 (Admission  decision released before April 15)
    • May 15 (Admission  decision released before June 15
  • Application Closes: June 1, 2023
    • Admission  decision released before July 1
  • Entry Month: August 2023

To pursue this joint degree program, you must first apply and be admitted to the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program. After completing the first semester, you can then apply and be admitted to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

Step One

Apply to the School of Public Health's Master of Healthcare Administration program.

Step Two

If progression standards are met in the first semester, students may apply to be admitted to the MBA program. This process makes it so students are exempt from Brock School of Business’ GRE/GMAT requirement.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Possess a baccalaureate degree in a health or business-related field from a college or university with institutional accreditation or possess any baccalaureate degree and currently work in or have 3 years prior healthcare experience.
  • Submit official transcripts.
  • Have a C or better in an accounting course from a college or university with institutional accreditation.
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale overall or in the last 60 hours of course work.
  • The GRE is only required for an applicant who does not meet the minimum GPA requirement. The GRE must be within the last 5 years, with a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 300 and Analytical 4.0.
  • Submit three letters of reference through the application system. At least one must be from a work supervisor or manager and one from a current or previous professor. The references should provide a knowledgeable testament regarding character, ethics, responsibility, potential for success, and other attributes that predict an applicant's favorable performance in the
  • Submit a resume highlighting work experience, strengths and other accomplishments.
  • Submit an essay on reason for seeking the MHA and a career goal statement.
  • Submit a video interview.
  • International applicants must score at least a 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (internet) on the TOEFL or a 6.5 on the IELTS Academic test. This may also apply to American citizens who learned English as a second language.
  • International applicants may be required to submit a WES/ECE transcript review. The School of Public Health Admission Office will contact you at the time of application review if this is necessary.
  • We cannot issue an I-20 for this program at this time.

Students who do not meet one or more admission requirement(s) may be admitted on a conditional status, based upon evaluation by the program faculty. To be considered for a joint degree, students must apply and be accepted to both programs based on their admission criteria. Students admitted conditionally must address the unmet admission requirements to progress in the program. All conditions are clearly spelled out in the admission letter.

We use a portfolio approach to evaluate applicants and the portfolio consists of reference letters, previous professional experience, essay, interview, grade point average and academic performance in undergraduate and previous graduate work (if applicable), and standardized test scores (if applicable). The portfolio approach allows us to take a holistic review when there is a lower GPA and evidence of experience in or motivation for a healthcare career, and strong letters of recommendation.

Exceptions to any admission requirements will be handled on an individual basis.

If accepted, a non-refundable fee of $500 is required to secure admission into the program. The fee is applied to the first semester’s tuition.

Plan of Study

A True Coordinated Program

Following the first semester, which is comprised of only Master of Healthcare Administration courses, this joint degree program integrates course work for both degrees throughout the remaining six semesters.

Plan of Study
Year Credit Hours MHA % MBA %
Year 1 27 credit hours 67% 33%
Year 2 26 credit hours 46% 54%
Year 3 18 credit hours 50% 50%

The course work for the MHA program is offered fully online. Once enrolled in MBA courses, students can take advantage of the business school’s hybrid format, completing classes either online or in-person at Samford’s campus in Birmingham, Alabama.

The program’s plan of study is designed to allow students to work and study at the same time.

Plan of Study

There are four MBA courses that have been accepted as substitutes for three MHA courses. These substitute courses require a “B” or better as a passing score for the purposes of the MHA degree. These courses include:

  • MARK 541, Marketing Strategy
  • MNGT 561, Strategic Management
  • MNGT 535, Human Resources and Organization Management
  • BUSA 552, Managing Corporate Integrity

Waivers for MBA Prerequisites: ACCT 511, ECON 512, and FINC 514

  • Exemption from these courses may be awarded with an earned C- or better in an approved undergraduate accounting, economics and statistics or finance course at a college or university with institutional accreditation.
  • These courses must be completed in the student’s first three terms. If not completed in first three terms, the student cannot take anymore courses until prerequisites are completed.


The Commission on the Accreditation for Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) has reviewed and approved Samford University's Master of Healthcare Administration program’s eligibility for CAHME candidacy. This review and approval is a critical initial step in the multi-phase process toward the attainment of CAHME accreditation.

Samford’s Brock School of Business is an accredited member of AACSB International. Only 5% of business schools worldwide have this distinction. Learn more