According to a recent poll, the majority of Iowans (fifty-one percent) have said that healthcare, particularly mental health and the question of Medicaid expansion, is the most important issue driving voters in the 2018 midterm elections.
Controversial legislation regarding the health industry has put a strain on the more than 3.1 million Iowa residents, and Iowa is one of the few states in the nation which has seen a rise in uninsured residents over the last several years.
With a health industry poised to grow upwards of twenty percent through 2024, now more than ever is the time for passionate individuals in the health community to make strides both in their own careers and for their communities. If you are interested in pursuing a Master's in Health Administration, Iowa might be a good state to consider.
Online (and Onsite) MHA Programs in Iowa
Multiple universities offer MHA programs in the state of Iowa. Below we have included some options we think are representative of the state-wide offer.
University of Iowa
The University of Iowa College of Public Health offers two options for students interested in obtaining their MHA: a residential track and an executive track.
While the tracks differ in course format, both are CAHME-accredited and meant to provide students with a deep understanding of management in relation to patient care.
The residential track comprises 61 hours of credits and is generally completed over 21 months by full-time students. The executive track entails less total credit hours and is generally completed over two years of study.
Students of the executive program meet once a week per course, completing the rest of the work on their own time; they also meet once a semester over the course of their degree plan in order to work on an integrative, degree-long capstone program in which they choose and address a real issue of their choosing.
Base tuition fees for full-time students run approximately $15,742 for in-state students, and $33,844 for out-of-state students.
Students pursuing the executive track should contact the University of Iowa Tuition Office for more information regarding course fees.
Full-time students have the added benefit of participating in UI's Experiential Learning and Professional Development program, meant to ensure students are ready to enter the workforce as soon as they graduate (source).
Site visits to key regional hospitals, consultant work with local health organizations, career seminars, assistantships, and administrative practicuums are just some of the real-world experience MHA students can obtain while studying with the university.
It is worth noting that approximately 70 percent of UI graduate students receive financial aid in some way or another.
Des Moines University
Des Moines University is another accredited institution which offers an MHA designed for those professionals who need to balance work and study.
Their 48-credit hour program is generally completed in two years, and seventy-five percent of their student-body work full-time jobs while pursuing their degree.
Students should have at least a 3.0 GPA to be considered and preferably between one and five years of industry experience.
Regardless of when a student starts and completes their degree, the base tuition fee is $640 per credit hour.
Students may begin classes in the fall, the spring, or the summer. Additional fees apply, and tuition and fees are subject to change.
The class modules can be completed almost entirely online, with students attending on-campus sessions during three five-day periods throughout the course of each year.
In addition to the coursework, students are required to participate in a Field Learning Project, giving them the possibility to expand on their experience in the world of healthcare with regional organizations.
Health Administration Courses and Concepts
Accredited MHA programs generally follow competency-based systems in which students are familiarized with the social, political, economic, and financial environments of healthcare organizations.
Since degree recipients will be future leaders in the industry, the techniques of effective management and decision making are also key facets of the degree plan. Below, we have included some examples of courses you are likely to see in any MHA program.
This course is present in essentially all MHA programs, and represents the intersection of strict managerial competencies with the world of healthcare. Students are generally familiarized with the epidemiological tools necessary to complement their administration of health-based organizations.
Since its beginnings, medicine has been a branch of study deeply interwoven with human ethics. As health administrators, MHA recipients must be acquainted with the ethical issues and precedents related to the industry. This and similar courses examine the foundations of ethical decision-making by leaders in healthcare administration and equips students with the theoretical tools necessary to make these decisions.
Almost all accredited MHA programs require students to complete some sort of integrated capstone project near the end of their degree plan. This is meant to provide meaningful, real-world experience for those students who are just entering the industry; for experienced students, it provides a means to address a topic of their interest, with the backing and resources of the faculty at their institution.
The George Washington University’s (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences offers online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) programs for healthcare professionals, including a BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management.
Click for program information.
Health Administration Salary Information in Iowa
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of health administration is expected to add 72,100 jobs through 2026: noticeably higher than the national average (source).
With a growth rate estimated at 2.55 percent and a rate of over four health administrative professional per thousand residents, Iowa is a good state for anyone who is considering to obtain their MHA.