Master of Health Administration

Explore the US healthcare system, develop analytical skills, examine public health and health disparities, and begin your professional development.


You'll Learn

Makes SMU Special?

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Schedule your one-on-one session to learn more about the Master of Health Administration (MHA) program. We will answer all your questions and provide information about the curriculum and future career opportunities.

Manage Healthcare and Lead Its Transformation

Health services management is about getting things accomplished and the practical application of cutting-edge administrative knowledge to improve the access and delivery of healthcare. The Master of Health Administration (MHA) program at Samuel Merritt University brings together people from all over the world who are committed to improving healthcare with innovative ideas that respond to their specific contexts and needs, as well as learning how to navigate the international healthcare system. Our graduates are equipped to make a difference locally and globally.  

Get complete information about the program and what SMU has to offer.

Schedule an in-depth one-on-one 30-minute phone/Zoom session to answer all your queries.

Need more information? Contact us, and our admission team will get back to you shortly.


  • An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited university (or international equivalent)
  • Statement of Purpose for seeking the degree
  • Resume

Core Courses required of all MHA students (30 units total)

  • Systems Approach to U.S. Healthcare (3 units)
  • Ethical Leadership in Healthcare (3 units)
  • Professional Communications (3 units)
  • Professional and Personal Care & Development (1 unit each, 3x)
  • Fundamentals of Public Health (3 units)
  • Information Mgmt. & Regulatory Compliance (3 units)
  • Financial Management (3 units)
  • The Economics of Healthcare (2 units)
  • Strategic Management (2 units)
  • Capstone Seminar (5 units)


Electives (6 units)

Choice of two of the following electives:

  • Risk Management (3 units)
  • Supply Chain Management (3 units)
  • Emergency Preparedness (3 units)
  • Internship – required in first year of study for all students who lack experience in the U.S. Healthcare System (3 units)   



Term #1

Term #2

Term #3

Term #4

Term #5

Systems Approach to US Healthcare       (3 units)Fundamentals of Public Health (3 units)   Information Management & Regulatory Compliance      (3 units)

Emergency Preparedness

(3 units)

Professional and Personal Care & Development III (1 unit)
The Economics of Healthcare   (3 units)

Financial Management

(2 units)

Risk Management

(3 units)

Ethical Leadership

(3 units)


(5 units)

Professional and Personal Care & Development I (1 unit)Professional Communication (3 units)

Strategic Management

(2 units)

  Professional and Personal Care & Development II (1 unit)  



Detailed information about financial aid, budgeting, total cost and application processes. 

We realize that the financial aid process can be difficult and overwhelming.  We are here to help. The Financial Aid staff can assist with budgeting, understanding your awards, and understanding the process.  The SMU staff is committed to each and every prospective student and enrolled student.  We have an open door policy and are available via phone or email. or 510-879-9200 

Analyze the current state and future trends in the U.S. healthcare system and the implications for healthcare management that meets the needs of diverse populations.
Apply principles of ethical decision-making in leading healthcare organizations.
Engage in a personal philosophy of self-care, professionalism, and lifelong learning.
Professionally construct and express ideas, thoughts, and concepts through written and verbal communication.
Conduct research on health issues and policies using an integrated systems approach.
Relate the roles of healthcare and public health in contributing to the health of a defined population.
Securely manage health records in the US regulatory environment.
Apply analytical skills to interpret and synthesize data from the major financial statements utilized in healthcare organizations, especially as they relate to operational and capital budgeting.

Underrepresented students (low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority students) who are interested in Samuel Merritt University’s BSN, ABSN, and ELMSN programs are encouraged to attend our three-day Nursing Success! Seminar. Students learn about the admissions process; meet current students, faculty, and staff; and tour the Health Sciences Simulation Center (HSSC) during this semi-annual event.

Applications are now open for the January 18-20, 2023 Nursing Success! Seminar. This event will be hosted virtually. Visit our Nursing Success! webpage to apply.

Visit our Admission Events page for Nursing Success! FAQs

Samuel Merritt University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501; 510.748.9001.

International Students Admission Requirements
You must submit:

  1. Completed application. Application fees are waived.
  2. Resume of your educational and professional experience. 
  3. Copy of your official transcript for all colleges attended. Please note that official transcripts and their evaluation must be submitted before your second term of registration.
  4. Personal statement about career goals and reasons for desiring an MHA.

You will receive communications via email. Be sure to provide a reliable email address.

International applicants should contact Keith Schildt, the Global Health Initiative program director, at with questions about SMU programming and services.


Global Health Initiative

Samuel Merritt University’s (SMU) Global Health Initiative (GHI) is a University-wide effort that seeks to connect our existing healthcare educational and research efforts to global issues and creativities. The GHI at SMU functions as the centralized hub to provide support and advocacy to international students, visiting faculty, and others as they interact with departments and programs across the University.  


Our fundamental ethos is to change the future of healthcare.


At the center of our mission, GHI aims to serve the entire SMU community and stakeholders by promoting the principles of creating global connections, understanding the international context, and expanding the profession’s role as an advocate in fostering health and community well-being worldwide. The vision of GHI is to be a world leader in increasing global access to effective education and training to meet the needs of local, regional, and global healthcare enterprises. We will generate collaborations, educational programming, and applied synergistic research in innovative ways that confront the global/local nexus of health challenges. 


We imagine a new kind of healthcare, one in which our knowledge is focused on new solutions with quality access for all. A healthcare system worldwide where patients and clinicians are empowered to transform the way health is delivered. A patient and community-oriented health system where individual health is seen as a product of social and political factors as much as clinical techniques. 

This requires change. We must stop doing more of the same and start thinking and innovating in completely new ways. 

This requires a global perspective, new ways of defining health and wellness, and new collaborations between academia, and the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Local health is increasingly dependent on global health. Our students are enriched by this global perspective.

For more information about SMU’s Global Health Initiative, please contact Keith Schildt, the Global Health Initiative program director, at

Our Campuses

Samuel Merritt University offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and nursing certificate programs at three campuses in Northern California and online.


3100 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, California 94609


2710 N. Gateway Oaks Dr., Suite 360 Sacramento, California 95833


1791 E. Fir Avenue Fresno, California 93720

San Francisco Peninsula

1720 South Amphlett Boulevard, Suite 300 San Mateo, California 94402