A Healthy Start: Newly Launched MHA Program to Graduate First Students

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Although UNCW’s Master of Healthcare Administration program has only been online for approximately a year, six of its 122 students will be graduating this spring.

Created and approved by the North Carolina Board of Governors in 2019, the program accepted its inaugural class last spring and ramped up enrollment in fall 2020.

“Given that we were already online, our operations were minimally affected by the pandemic,” said Eric Richardson, assistant professor in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences and the program’s first coordinator. “We experienced unprecedented growth in student enrollment and faculty hiring.”

The MHA prepares early to mid-level careerists to serve as effective managers and administrators within a wide range of healthcare organizations. Delivered in an online accelerated format, the 48-credit hour competency-focused curriculum can be completed in as little as one year by students who meet all preferred admission requirements.

“This program serves a great need for our regional and state healthcare workforce and we anticipate this will be a very popular program over the next several years,” said Christopher M. Finelli, professor and dean of the UNCW Graduate School. “Graduates from this program will be prepared for a variety of career options in the healthcare industry at a time when we really need well-trained, compassionate people in leadership roles.”

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education has selected the UNCW MHA as a candidate program for accreditation. A site visit is scheduled for fall 2022.

-- Caroline Cropp