Master of Health Administration
For a career in management that matters.
Our rigorous, CAHME accredited Master program will prepare you to take the lead in managing healthcare organisations, whilst also advancing you towards your Canadian Healthcare Executive designation. Through full and part-time pathways, you can cultivate a career in management and administration, playing a transformative role in improving healthcare for the communities we serve.
We are particularly proud of our record of creating blended cohorts, with experienced nurses, surgeons, dentists and pharmacists learning alongside recent graduates from the full range of subjects: pyschology, international law, economics and more. You do not need a healthcare background to excel on this program.
This page contains essential detail as well as perspectives from current students and alumni, but don't hesitate to get in touch through the various contact options, below.
Dr Robert Strang Scholarship for Equity in Health
If you are applying to start the MHA in September of 2023, are a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, and self-identify as a member of an underrepresented group, you are encouraged to apply for the Strang Scholarship of up to $10,000 to support your studies. Contact Shelley Weir on firstname.lastname@example.org for details of the application process.
Key features of our program include:
Outstanding Learning Experience
Maximum 24 students in each cohort; a personal academic advisor, and world-class facilities. Instructors include two Canada Research Chairs.
CAHME Accreditation, & CHE Designation
The gold-standard for Health Administration, on a program which fulfils requirements for Canadian Health Executive designation.
A 4-Month Residency
Our partnerships extend across the sector, providing essential and meaningful leadership experience for our graduates
The ELEMENT Mentoring Scheme
A one-to-one connection with a serving healthcare leader, to review your goals, overcome challenges and discuss career progression.
Interprofessional Health Education
Collaborative care team simulations of real-world clinical situations, learning with and from Dentistry, Medicine & Health.
The Nova Scotia Advantage
Live, learn and grow in Halifax, Nova Scotia: the best of the city with the beauty of the ocean, and a world-class University to call home.
Scholarship applicants, including for the Dr Robert Strang Scholarship for Equity in Health, and International Applicants: April 1st 2023.
All other applicants: June 1st 2023.
Note: you will need to complete the GMAT by the application deadline. See details below.
Our MHA in a nutshell:
Why an MHA, & why now?
The MHA for Registered Nurses:
An Alumni Perspective:
Master of Health Administration - MHA
Admission: Requirements & Process
You will apply for this program through the Faculty of Graduate Studies, who then forward your application to the School of Health Administration for detailed consideration.
All candidates must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies; a 4-year bachelor degree (honours or equivalent), with a minimum B+ average (3.3 GPA).
In addition to this, all applicants must complete the GMAT, achieving a minimum score of 550. Candidates applying for the JD/MHA program may use the LSAT. Candidates who cannot access the GMAT may use the GRE as an alternative. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions about this requirement.
Your application package should include:
- the completed application form
- original transcripts of all previous academic work (2 copies, B+ average)
- at least 2 academic letters of reference
- resume/curriculum vitae
- a statement of career interests and reasons for applying to the MHA program
- evidence of GMAT (minimum score 550), or equivalent - see note above.
- for international students: proof of English language proficiency, in line with FGS guidance. This does not replace the need for the GMAT.
Full details on the requirements, and how to submit them to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, can be found here.
You application will be forwarded to the School for consideration. Exceptional candidates may be offered a place through our early admission process. From early April we reach out to all applicants with initial decisions, and continue to consider new applications until the cohort is complete. We therefore actively encourage you to apply as early as possible, rather than waiting for the formal deadlines.
When taken full time, the Master of Health Administration (MHA) is a 16-month program, Part-time options are particularly popular with experienced healthcare professionals, including RNs. Contact us for an early conversation about flexible options.
For a full-time student, the program runs as follows:
- For the Fall and Winter terms: 5 courses per term of preparatory education, as well as an Interprofessional Health Education course
- Your 4-month summer residency
- Fall term: 5 courses to integrate and expand your skills, and a further Interprofessional Health Education course.
Additional options include a Thesis pathway, a Professional Development Certificate, and a specialist law certificate. Accelerated joint degree programs for Juris Doctor and Doctor of Pharmacy are also available.
MHA Year One: 5 courses per term plus IPHE
Year 1 Fall Term
- HESA 5330: Management & Design of Healthcare Organizations
- HESA 5345: Accounting and Financial Management in Healthcare
- HESA 6360: Healthcare Law
- HESA 6370: Canadian and International Health Systems
- HESA 6505: Statistics for Health Administration
- IPE 5900: Interprofessional Health Education
Year 1 Winter Term
- HESA 5320: Epidemiology and Population Health
- HESA 5335: Information Systems and Project Management for Health Administration
- HESA 5341: Healthcare Economics Evaluation and Policy
- HESA 5350: Management Control and Funding Systems in Healthcare
- HESA 5505: Strategy and Change Leadership in Health Systems
- IPHE 5900: Interprofessional Health Education
Year 1 Summer Term
MHA Year two: 5 courses plus IPHE
Year 2 Fall
The residency is a pivotal component of the Master of Health Administration (MHA) program, strategically positioned between Year 1 and Year 2 coursework. The goal of the 4-month (if full time) residency is to provide students with an opportunity to put academic knowledge to the test, expand experiences, meet new challenges and work in a new environment. Almost all host organizations offer our candidates a stipend to support the residency.
Residencies are planned, selected and arranged in full consultation with students, to align with their interests and career goals. Students are placed in a Canadian health facility or agency to work with top tier management.
Part-time students can complete their residency in a number of ways, often working with a past or current employer to develop their leadership skills.
Host organizations may include, but are not limited to, the Department of Health, district and regional health organizations and other public-sector organizations.
Students have access to information about past residencies and feedback on particular placements.
Find out more about the MHA residency component.
Read sample student residency reports:
- Ben Clark Student Residency Report [141kB - PDF]
- Sterling Edmonds Student Residency Report [1.2MB - PDF]
Juris Doctor/Master of Health Administration
Dalhousie’s Juris Doctor/Master of Health Administration (JD/MHA) is the only program of its kind in Canada. It is ideally suited for future health executives, policy-makers and lawyers in private practice, giving you the tools to effectively navigate the legal complexities of the Canadian health system.
The 4-year JD/MHA program is a collaboration between the Dalhousie Schulich School of Law and the School of Health Administration. Students select courses leading to two degrees: Juris Doctor and Master of Health Administration.
Students in the Thesis Stream add a research project to the coursework component of their program. While there are some differences in the coursework component, there is not significant decrease in the number of courses. For this reason, students are highly unlikely to complete their research project within the 16 months of the MHA. Thesis Stream students should expect to register for an additional 1-2 semesters/terms.
This is an attractive option for students interested in pursuing a career in research, academia or a PhD program.
Working directly with a School of Health Administration faculty member on their research program also equips health leaders to evaluate and use evidence in policy formation and decision making.
Are you ready for the program?
The program is the only CAHME accredited course in Canada designed to suit students who do not yet have healthcare sector experience. Therefore, although many of our students do have extensive experience in healthcare, you can apply for the program from any undergraduate background: recent graduates have joined us from medicine, accounting, architecture and engineering.
Please note: all MHA applicants must complete the GMAT, and MHA/JD applicants must complete the LSAT.
Would you like to hear directly from current students?
Students with a healthcare background:
Hear from Nikita (dentistry) and Grace (nursing) here (5:41)
Recent graduates making the move to healthcare:
To hear Breia's experience, click here (3:44)
To hear Josh's experience, click here (3:42)
To hear Lauryn's experience, click here (3:08)
Or, to hear from our alumni:
Erin Leith, Director, Quality Improvement and Safety, Nova Scotia Health
Vanessa Varelli, Senior Analyst, Health Transformation Office of the Government of Nova Scotia
Would you like to speak to a current student?
For questions about the admissions process and the GMAT, please use the "Questions for Admissions" button. However, if you have been through all the information on this page and would now like a more informal chat about the program with a current student, complete the contact form, below.
What makes a CAHME accredited Masters Program Better?
The student who enters a CAHME Accredited Masters Program is assured a level of quality that only comes from accreditation. In order for a graduate program in healthcare management to become accredited it must submit to a rigorous examination of its purpose, the curriculum, the student experience and the success of the graduates in the competitive job market. For the program to remain a CAHME Accredited Program, the program must submit to periodic self examination followed by review of an outside panel of experts to assure the public that the program is constantly seeking to improve itself.
Why the Canadian College of Health Leaders
Graduates from our MHA program are well on their way to their designation as a Canadian Health Executive through the Bluenose Chapter of the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Details on this essential career recognition can be viewed here