MHA Handbook: HMP Student Handbooks

Table of Contents

MHA Program Vision, Mission, and Core Values

Mission Statement

Grounded in our values, our mission is to provide outstanding education to a diverse group of early to mid-career individuals from across the nation and partner with them to transform them into professionals who are well-prepared to lead and manage health care related organizations across the United States.

Our curriculum and competency model emphasize a collaborative, evidence-based, and engaged learning environment that prepare our students to successfully contribute to varied organizations and communities. Our program is delivered through instruction by highly qualified faculty engaged in scholarship and practice, field experiences with our alumni and other practitioners, and extensive professional networking. Through our integrated emphasis on professional development, career planning, application, and emphasis on lifelong learning, our graduates are prepared for entry into early career positions or advancing their careers in healthcare and increasing responsibility throughout their careers.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to be nationally recognized as an exceptional program for delivering healthcare management and leadership education among our alumni, students, community, prospective employers, and peer graduate programs.

Core Values

In addition to embracing the University of Iowa (Excellence, Learning, Community, Diversity, Integrity, Respect, and Responsibility) and College of Public Health’s (Community, Diversity, Integrity, Respect, Learning, Excellence, Responsibility and Social Justice) core values, we ensure our mission and pursue our vision through seven clear, strong program-specific values (“RAISED”):


HMP Department Vision, Mission, and Goals

The Department will improve health and health services by preparing future leaders for, and advancing knowledge in health management, policy, and research.

Department Vision Statement

The Department will be one of the nation’s premier health management and policy departments recognized for excellence in graduate education, research, and service to improve public health.


Goal A: National recognition for excellence in training future leaders in health management, policy, and research

Goal B: Exemplary research in health management and policy that contributes to improving public health

Goal C: Partnerships with public and private stakeholders to improve practices in health management, policy and research

Goal D: A culture that adds value in fulfilling the vision and mission of the department


As one of the earliest accredited health administration programs in the United States, the Iowa Master of Health Administration (MHA) program holds a national reputation based on its program of instruction, leadership, faculty quality, research activities, and caliber of students and alumni.


This handbook sets forth Departmental policies, procedures, and requirements for MHA students to assist both students and faculty. In addition, students are subject to the policies, procedures, and requirements of the College of Public Health, the Graduate College and The University of Iowa. For additional details, students should consult: Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College

Or applicable sections of The University of Iowa Catalog ( and Policies and Regulations Affecting Students

Students should be aware that the Department has established, in some areas, more rigorous requirements than the Graduate College.


Students are admitted based on prior academic performance, the applicant’s personal statement and resume, and interviews with departmental faculty and alumni. Note that strength in one area can offset a shortfall in another area.

  1. Students are admitted into one of the following categories:
    1. Regular. Students are admitted on regular status if they meet the minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate College and have been accepted by the Department based on a review of their application materials and an interview with departmental faculty members.
    2. Conditional. If the applicant submits qualifications that satisfy the minimum requirements of the Graduate College but are below the admission standards of the Department, the applicant is eligible for admission on conditional status at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.
  2. To be removed from conditional status students must:
    1. Achieve a grade point average of 3.00 on a four point scale during their first semester of study in MHA required courses; and,
    2. Satisfy any MHA required and elective course prerequisites or conditions established in their letters of acceptance.
  3. The Graduate College does not allow students to register if they have not been removed from conditional status after two (2) semesters. Therefore, such students will be dismissed from the MHA Program.

Academic Program

  1. Curriculum. The following description reflects typical progress through the MHA program. Sixty semester hours of graduate credit are required for the MHA. In the first year of the MHA program, students concentrate on the health care system and foundational management and analytic core concepts. In the second year of the MHA program, students complete courses that build upon and integrate the knowledge, skills and abilities obtained during the first year and the experiential learning acquired in the required summer internship.
    1. Students’ course requirements are specified in the plans of study, formally approved by the HMP department faculty, and distributed during orientation and can also be obtained from the Director of Student Services.
    2. In addition, students are required to complete a Summer Internship.
    3. Note that students are required to register for the Professional Development Seminar (HMP:5000) each semester, unless they are in a joint degree program. Students in joint degree programs are required to register for the Professional Development Seminar during two semesters. Joint degree students should complete both semesters of the Professional Development Semester requirement during the same academic year.
  2. Waiver. A Student may petition for a course waiver if the student earned an average grade of A- or better in an equivalent graduate course at an accredited institution, within the past five years. Students who have waived courses must substitute elective course work to satisfy the minimum 60 graduate credit hour requirement.
    In order to waive a course, the student should request the waiver prior to the start of the semester in which the course being waived would normally be taken (based on the Plan of Study when the student enters the MHA Program).  For incoming students, the request can be made prior to or during orientation.  For HMP courses, both the instructor teaching the course the student wishes to waive and the student’s advisor must sign the student’s Request for Waiver form.  The advisor or the instructor will normally require the student to supply a copy of the syllabus/i for the course(s) taken.  The advisor may refer the waiver request to the Program Director. Final approval for a waiver can only be granted by the student’s advisor and the Program Director.  If a waiver is granted, the Request for Waiver Form, and applicable syllabus(i) if requested, will be placed in the student’s file.
  3. Transfer Credits. HMP permits a transfer of up to six (6) graduate credit hours from an accredited institution or other units in the University of Iowa to be applied toward the 60 credit hours required for an MHA. Only graduate courses taken in the immediate past five years that are relevant to the MHA degree program and in which the students earned a B or better will be considered. To obtain transfer credit approval, the student must submit a specific written request to his/her advisor for review, the student’s grade report, and a statement explaining why the student believes this course work is relevant to his/her current degree program.  The student will normally be required to submit a course syllabus.  
    The advisor may refer the request to the Program Director.  Final approval for transfer credits can only be granted by the student’s advisor and the Program Director.
  4. Appeal. Decisions regarding waivers, transfer credit, and acceptance of UI credits for graduate level courses made by the advisor and Program Director may be appealed to the Department Head.
  5. Summer Internship
    1. The required summer internship between the first and second year allows students to apply management theory, health care knowledge, and technical and analytical skills to projects and problem-solving experiences in actual health organizations. It provides opportunities for students to explore their career aspirations, begin their professional development, and establish a performance record within the field. Interns benefit from observation, direction and evaluation by a preceptor, contact with diverse health care practitioners, attendance at various management meetings; and direct participation in management, administration, and project planning.
    2. Summer internships are generally full time for eight to twelve weeks. Students are encouraged to explore several sites. The Student Services office will update students on all internship procedures as well as current listings. Students generally begin this process at the end of the fall semester, and are required to attend pre-internship planning meetings with the MHA Program Director.
    3. Students are required to register for the one credit hour HMP:5810 MHA Internship course in the fall semester following the experience.
    4. Law clerkships may substitute for the internship requirement for MHA/JD dual degree students.
    5. MHA students are not allowed to register for classes which at their summer internship
  6. Alternative Pathways
    Many students enroll in both the MHA program and another graduate program.
    1. Official Combined Degree Programs (also referred to as dual degree or joint degrees). Official combined degree programs leading to an MHA and a graduate degree in another field must be approved through the University of Iowa Graduate College. Students pursuing joint degrees should work closely with their advisors from both programs to assure completion of all requirements in a timely fashion.
      Current official combined degree program:
      • M.H.A./J.D., College of Law
    2. Other options. In addition, students may also enroll in two degree programs at the same time (called concurrent degree programs).  The M.P.H. sub-track in Policy and MS in Health Policy are the ones most frequently pursued.
      Students should be aware that if they elect to pursue another degree after their first semester in the MHA program it may affect their graduation date. Students should work closely with their advisors, the Program Director, and the Director of Student Services to plan in advance carefully in order to avoid scheduling problems.

Graduation Requirements

  2. Students should check posted deadlines and ensure that all requirements for graduation have been met.  The Graduate Program Coordinator and the student’s advisor should be notified early in the semester in which graduation is planned.  If a student needs or plans to delay graduation, the Graduate Program Coordinator, MHA Program Director, and the faculty advisor should be notified.  Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all requirements to graduate.

Advising System

  1. Faculty Advisors
    Students will be assigned specific faculty advisors for course registration and plan of study direction.  Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.  Students who wish to be reassigned to a different advisor should make the request through the Student Services Office. In addition to an assigned formal faculty advisor, all MHA students eventually have an “Advising Team,” composed of the faculty advisor, MHA program director, an executive-in-residence, an executive mentor, and a peer student coach.
  2. Plan of Study
    Students must develop an initial Plan of Study during their first semester and have it signed by their advisor.  This approved Plan of Study must be filed with the Student Services Office.  In order to register for the second semester, and subsequent semesters, the student’s Plan of Study must be approved by their advisor and filed.
    The MHA plan of study is modified on an as-needed basis to improve students’ educational experience. When this occurs the Department makes every effort to allow students to choose whether to follow the plan of study the student entered under or the revised plan of study. The student should discuss this choice with her/his advisor.  In rare instances, special accommodations may need to be made to a student’s individual plan of study in order to prevent delay of graduation.


Standard Schedule

  1. Registration for more than 15 s.h. requires permission from the Graduate College.  Students must submit this request to the Student Services Office.  A student cannot apply more than 18 hours to their MHA degree per semester.
  2. With the approval of the faculty advisor and MHA Program Director, elective offerings may include both HMP courses, and courses outside the department and college. Graduate credit is not given for courses numbered under 3000.

Procedure for Registration

Students must meet with their advisors each semester to review their plans of study for the following semester.  Any updates to the student’s plan of study must be authorized by the student’s advisor and a note created in MAUI Advising Notes.

The following guidelines should be followed for registration:

  1. The student must meet with her/his faculty advisor and review student’s plan of study on MyPlan.
  2. Receive a signature from the student’s advisor for any changes made to the plan of study on MyPlan.

Students should refer to the University of Iowa Schedule of Courses with questions about registering.

Independent Study (HMP:6850)

  1. All independent studies must be approved by the faculty advisor and the MHA Program Director at least 2 weeks before the start of the semester  In these instances, the plan should be completed within the first two weeks of the semester.  
    It is important that the plan for the independent study be developed and presented to the faculty advisor  and program director and, if necessary, the faculty as a whole in sufficient time for approval.  Educational expectations for an independent study are similar to those required in other HMP courses.
  2. A syllabus must be created by the student in conjunction with their preceptor and approved by the faculty advisor and program director to identify learning outcomes, competencies addressed, specifics on course deliverables, weight of those course deliverables, and grading policy.
  3. Independent studies are intended to supplement the regular HMP curriculum, not substitute for courses due to scheduling or other conflicts that should be prevented or mitigated in another manner. Independent studies are not offered for regularly scheduled and offered formal HMP courses.
  4. Independent studies may be taken for one, two, or three credits only.  Students are required to submit both a hard copy and an electronic copy of the final product of a major project.
  5. Working closely with a faculty member on a manuscript for publication will also be acceptable.
  6. Students may not apply more than 6 semester hours of Independent Study to the 60 credit hour MHA degree.
  7. Procedure:
    • Student identifies a primary faculty supervisor and faculty member agrees to supervise and support the independent study.
    • Student develops a plan for the course and completes an Independent Study Form that addresses:
      • Proposed activities, including at least one major project
      • Competencies addressed
      • Deliverable product
      • Evaluation process
      • Credits requested
    • The work plan needs to be approved, signed, and dated by the student’s faculty supervisor and program director.  Students must also submit a progress report to their supervisor midway through the semester.
    • If an adjunct teaching faculty member is supervising the independent study, the student’s advisor must approve the work plan.  If a primary faculty member is supervising the independent study, review by the student’s advisor is not necessary.
    • All independent work plans and subsequent papers or reports are to be filed with the Graduate Program Coordinator upon completion.

MHA Internship (HMP:5810)

Students will enroll in the Administrative Internship course the fall semester following the summer internship. In order to successfully satisfy the Internship requirement, all students must:

  • Be in good academic standing.
  • Identify a preceptor at the internship site prior to beginning the Internship.
  • Develop a plan that addresses:
    • Proposed activities
    • Competencies addressed
    • Deliverable product for at least one major project.
  • Obtain approval for the plan and assure it’s signed and dated by the student and the preceptor.
  • File the internship plan and subsequent papers or reports with the Director of Student Services Office upon completion.

The student must arrange an assessment call between the MHA Program Director or appointed faculty member and their Preceptor midway through the summer internship.

Administrative Practicum (HMP:6855) (same criteria as noted above for 6850)

The Administrative Practicum can serve as an elective option for students beginning the fall semester of the second year and involves management practice experience in a healthcare setting.  This course provides students an opportunity to view health administration from the perspective of the practicing administrator.  The course can be taken for two consecutive semesters. A maximum of 6 credit hours of HMP 6855 can be applied to the 60 credit hour MHA degree. For students with a GA position, the hours for the Practicum must be documented in addition to the paid GA hours.

All administrative practicum syllabi must be approved by the faculty advisor and the MHA Program Director at least 2 weeks before the start of the semester. In these instances, the plan should be completed within the first two weeks of the semester.  It is important that the plan for the independent study be developed and presented to the faculty advisor  and program director and, if necessary, the faculty as a whole in sufficient time for approval.  

  • A syllabus must be created by the student in conjunction with their preceptor and approved by the faculty advisor and program director to identify learning outcomes, competencies addressed, specifics on course deliverables, weight of those course deliverables, and grading policy.
  • Administrative Practicum courses may be taken for one, two, or three credits only.    Students are required to submit a copy of the final product of a major project.
  • Students may not apply more than 6 semester hours of Administrative Practicum to the 60 credit hour MHA degree.
  • Procedure:
    • Student identifies a primary preceptor
    • Student develops a plan for the practicum that addresses:
      • Proposed activities, including at least one major project
      • Competencies addressed
      • Deliverable product
      • Evaluation process
      • Credits requested
    1. The work plan needs to be approved, signed, and dated by the student’s preceptor and program director.  Students must also submit a progress report to their preceptor midway through the semester.

Administrative Residency (HMP:6860)

  • Eligibility. The purpose of the Administrative Residency is to accommodate students who have completed all of the required courses but have not earned enough credits toward the MHA to graduate and have obtained a fellowship or job. Students wishing to enroll in the Administrative Residency must demonstrate that taking regularly scheduled elective courses would result in significant hardship due to travel or work-schedule obstacles. Students may enroll in the Administrative Residency for up to six credit hours. The student must have completed all of the required courses for the MHA and have completed at least 54 hours toward the MHA or need 6 or fewer hours to complete a Joint Degree.
  • Registration. The residency site and preceptor must be approved by the Program Director, and a contract of grade fulfillment expectations must be established and agreed to in writing by the Program Director or his/her designee, the preceptor, and the student. The student must pay tuition for such a residency as regulated by University policy.

Grading System

Grades carrying Graduate Credit are A, B, C, and S (satisfactory). Pluses and minuses are also awarded in courses taught by HMP faculty, as indicated in the course syllabus. Pluses and minuses awarded are figured into a student’s cumulative G.P.A.

Grades which do not carry credit for advanced degrees are D (poor), F (failed), I (incomplete), W (withdraw), R (audited), and U (unsatisfactory). Students earning a D, F, or U in a required course must retake the course or a substitute approved by the student’s advisor and the Program Director.

Incompletes. Students who receive an incomplete (I) must remove that grade in accordance with the rules of the Graduate College, or the grade is automatically converted to an F at the end of the following spring or fall semester.

Academic Achievement

Students should review the website shown below for Graduate College Publications, particularly the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College, which governs most aspects of study:

Dismissal and Probation

  1. A  student will be dismissed from the MHA Program if they earn less than a 2.6 Program G.P.A. after completing six or more semester hours toward the MHA or a dual degree.  A  student will be dismissed from the MHA Program if they earn less than a 2.85 program G.P.A. after completing another six or more semester hours in the MHA or a dual degree program.
  2. A student will be placed on probation, or may be dismissed from the MHA Program by simple majority vote of the primary HMP faculty, excluding the Department Head, under the following conditions:
    • If, after completing six or more semester hours toward the MHA or a dual degree, the student has a program grade point average of less than 3.00 but greater the 2.60 ; or,
    • If the student receives one or more course grades of F or U.
  3. Placement on Probation.  A student will be notified in writing by the Department Head if they are placed on probation.  The letter will specify the reasons for probation, the specific steps the student must take to be restored to good standing in the MHA Program, the time allowed to perform the remedial steps, and a warning that the student faces the possibility of dismissal from the MHA Program.  A copy of this letter will be placed in the student’s file and sent to the student’s academic advisor.
  4. Special Counseling. A student on probation is expected to arrange counseling sessions with his/her advisor to discuss progress in meeting the standards and requirements outlined in his/her letter of probation.
  5. Removal from Probation. A student placed on probation will be removed from probation upon successful completion of the objectives as specified in his/her letter of probation.  The performance of each student on probation who does not qualify for removal from probation after one semester shall be reviewed by primary HMP faculty, excluding the Department Head, after the end of each session during which the student has registered until  they have met the requirements for removal from probation.  By simple majority vote, the primary HMP faculty, excluding the Department Head, will then select one of the following courses of action:
    • Continue the student on probation; or
    • Dismiss the student.
    • The student will be notified in writing of any action taken by the faculty.
  6. Appeal. A student has the right to a review by the Department Head of a faculty decision that results in the student being placed on probation or dismissed. The faculty decision shall be deemed final unless it is appealed within 14 calendar days of written notification. This period may be extended at the discretion of the Department Head. Upon receiving the student’s written request to the Department Head, a time and place for an appeal hearing will be set. The student will be notified in writing of the time and place of the hearing. At this hearing, the student and his/her representative may appear in person and submit a written and/or oral statement and supporting materials.  The Department Head may uphold, modify, or reverse the faculty decision based on the evidence submitted at the hearing. The Department Head’s decision shall be in writing and shall state the decision and basis for that decision. A copy of the decision will be placed in the student’s file and the original will be mailed to the student. The Department Head’s decision shall be the final action by the MHA Program when an appeal is sought.
    • Attendance at Probation and Appeal Meetings. Meetings of the HMP faculty relating to probation or dismissal will be closed. An appeal hearing will be closed to all but the student and his/her representative, the Department Head, and other persons the Department Head deems necessary.
    • Extra-departmental Review. According to the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College:

      “Questions involving judgment of performance will not be reviewed beyond the departmental level. If, however, the student feels there has been unfairness or some procedural irregularity concerning dismissal, the student may pursue a grievance according to the Academic Grievance Procedure (AGP) established by the Graduate College. The AGP is available in the Graduate College. The student should consult with the Graduate College prior to initiating an academic grievance.”

Student Conduct

MHA students are expected to act in accordance with the standards of health care professionals and the values adopted by the MHA Program, College of Public Health, and University of Iowa (see Code of Student Life). The MHA program has developed an Honor Code (See Appendix I) that addresses expectations for student accountability to each other, the department, and the health care profession. These expectations include both academic conduct and professionalism.

Academic Conduct

If an enrolled student commits an act of academic misconduct and is subsequently subject to disciplinary action by the University (see, Section II-C, the HMP Department reserves the right to impose its own disciplinary action up to probation and/or dismissal from the Program.

Academic Misconduct: Any dishonest or fraudulent conduct during an academic exercise, such as cheating, plagiarism, or forgery, or misrepresentation regarding the circumstances of a student’s non-attendance, late assignment, or previous work or educational experience, or aiding or abetting another person to do the same. “Dishonest” conduct includes, but is not limited, to attempts by students to cheat or misrepresent, or aid or abet another person to do the same, whether or not the attempts are successful. Academic exercises covered by this rule include classroom assignments (such as examinations, papers, or research) and out-of-classroom activities (projects, practicum, internship and/or externship assignments off campus, or University employment, for example) that are related to an academic program at or through the University. A “classroom” can be a lecture hall, discussion room, laboratory, or clinic, for example. The acquisition of honors, awards, or degrees, or academic record notations, course enrollments, credits, or grades, or certifications (including language proficiency or professional licensure or other endorsement) by any dishonest means is strictly prohibited.


Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another’s ideas expressed in either the author’s original words or in a manner similar to the original form.  When using ideas, direct quotes, or paraphrases, the source must be footnoted or referenced.  This principle applies even if the writer discovers that an idea, initially thought to be his or her own, has already been published by someone else.  It is the student’s responsibility to seek clarification of any situation in which they are uncertain whether plagiarism is/has been involved.  Students uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism should consult with their advisor or other faculty members.

The Online Oxford English Dictionary defines “plagiarize” as follows, “to take and use as one’s own (the thoughts, writings, or inventions of another person); to copy (literary work or ideas) improperly or without acknowledgement; (occas.) to pass off as one’s own the thoughts or work of (another).” In practice, the exact definition of “plagiarize” or “plagiarism” is dependent upon the unique attributes of the creative work of a particular discipline. Thus, it is understood that different academic disciplines and cultures may have different interpretations as to the actual actions which constitute plagiarism… In the Graduate College, the questions [of academic dishonesty] are handled at the departmental level. If the departmental decision is appealed, the dean may appoint an appeals committee of faculty and students from a slate of nominees prepared by the Graduate Council and the Graduate Student Senate to recommend an appropriate course of action. The appeal process must be initiated by the student. If the student wishes to appeal the department’s or program’s action, that appeal must be lodged with the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the Graduate College within 30 days of program or departmental dismissal.

HMP Procedure

Sanctions for academic misconduct may range from no action, to re-doing the assignment, to significantly lowering the assignment grade, to failure of the assignment, to failure of the course.

In the event that academic misconduct or plagiarism is suspected, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. The instructor will meet as soon as feasible with the student to clarify the situation.
  2. If the meeting results in no sanction or only a relatively minor sanction, and the student accepts the sanction, the process will be considered completed. No additional reporting will be required, nor will there be any information related to the situation entered into the student’s permanent record.
  3. If, after meeting with the student, the situation is either not resolved to the satisfaction of both the instructor and the student, or if the resulting sanction is not of a relatively minor nature, the instructor will bring the matter to the attention of the Program Director. If the instructor is the Program Director, the Department Head will appoint another faculty member to review the allegation. The Program Director will obtain written statements from the instructor and the student.
  4. If necessary, the Program Director will convene a meeting to allow the instructor and the student opportunity to discuss the alleged plagiarism or academic misconduct.
  5. The Program Director will determine whether academic misconduct has occurred, and whether the sanction the instructor has imposed is appropriate.
  6. The student may contest the sanction within 14 calendar days of written notification of that action by appealing, in writing, to the Department Head. If the Department Head is the instructor the student may appeal to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs who may confer with senior faculty as needed.
  7. For students enrolled in degree programs outside the Department (either as joint degree students or students from other programs taking HMP courses), the Program Director’s review of the facts, findings and sanctions will be communicated to the DEO of the department in which the student is currently enrolled.
  8. A copy of the final determination document will be maintained by the Department.


The MHA Culture of Professionalism described in Appendix I focuses on student accountability to each other, the department, and the health care profession to act with executive stature at all University, College, Department, and Program-sponsored and attended events. At its most basic level, this standard requires professional behavior appropriate for the executive suite of the best healthcare organizations and as stated in our honor code

Students are expected to develop and practice throughout their MHA tenure an executive “brand” that best fits with their aspirations and personalities. Students who master these skills now, in a learning environment, will be better prepared for employment as healthcare leaders.

HMP faculty, teaching assistants, staff members, and students who discover suspected Honor Code violations should discuss their allegations with the Program Director, Executive-in-Residence, Director of Student Services, or the course instructor (if it involves a classroom- or course-related matter) so it can be properly addressed.

Depending on the nature and severity of the unprofessional behavior, the student may be subject to sanctions, including but not limited to being placed on probation or dismissal from the program.

Concerns About Faculty Actions

Students who have a concern about any faculty action, including but not limited to grading, should first address the issue with the instructor, then the program director, and then the departmental DEO.  Another resource for students is the Office of the University Ombudsperson. If a complaint cannot be resolved at the departmental and/or collegiate level, students may file an informal then formal complaint utilizing the procedure specified by the Graduate College Academic Grievance Procedures:

“ Generally, graduate students should bring complaints to the Graduate College only after attempts have been made to resolve them in a collegial manner at the department/program level using established department/program procedures. However, if for any reason a graduate student feels uncomfortable pursuing a complaint through their department/program, the complaint may be brought directly to the Graduate College” (

Non-Academic Grievances

HMP students with non-academic grievances should first approach their advisor. If students are uncomfortable or dissatisfied with this course of action, the next level of recourse is to the Director of Student Services or the Program Director, followed by the Department Head. If this chain of action is not feasible, or the issue is not resolved, the student should meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

The UI Graduate College Academic Policies state that students also have recourse to other venues: Generally, graduate students first explore how to pursue a grievance with their advisor or with an appropriate departmental administrator (department head or graduate coordinator).However, if students are uncomfortable or dissatisfied using this route, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the Graduate College will counsel them on the options available. In addition, the Counseling Service, the Office of the Ombudsperson, and the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity will counsel graduate students on a confidential basis and will assist them in selecting an appropriate grievance procedure.

Graduate Assistantships and Student Funding

  1. Graduate assistantships (GA) are generally awarded each semester at a 25% level. The department commits to providing support for one semester of the award and the award is automatically renewed contingent on academic good standing, funding availability and successful job performance.  As an employment relationship, students are required to perform at a level acceptable to the faculty member to whom the student is assigned. For 25% level appointments, GAs are expected to work an average of 10 hours per week during the semester over the course of the appointment.
  2. Students who are on academic probation are not eligible for any GA or hourly position where the funds flow through any Department of Health Management and Policy account. In order to be considered for GA or hourly positions, entering students may not be in conditional admission status. Continuing students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered for appointment or reappointment.
  3. Application Process: GA positions for MHA students are awarded through two distinct processes. A limited number of GA positions are used to attract and recruit the most qualified candidates into the MHA program from a national pool of applicants. All admission criteria are considered by the Admissions Committee and no consideration is given to whether an applicant is an Iowa in-state or out-of-state applicant. The second process is GA positions that may come open, are created through external funds, or created in partnership with other University of Iowa, UIHC, or community partners. The following process applies to these types of MHA GA positions:
    1. Open GA positions will be announced via email, and the application process, including resume and any other required materials, will be included.
    2. The following statement is provided by the COGS contract:
      • “The terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to wages and benefits, in this position are governed by a collective bargaining agreement between the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, and UE Local 896/COGS, the union representing graduate teaching and research assistants at the University of Iowa. Copies of this collective bargaining agreement are available from the Union and may be viewed either from the Union web site:
  4. Other options:
    1. The Department often partners with external organizations to provide GA positions.
    2. The Department awards several scholarships each year, for both incoming students and for students continuing into their second year (and third year if in a joint degree program).
    3. Past MHA students have sought out and obtained GA positions across other schools, colleges and units of the University of Iowa, for example as Teaching Assistants for undergraduate courses in Arts and Sciences, or on faculty research grants and contracts.
    4. Students should also contact the Student Financial Aid Office in Calvin Hall for information on other sources of financial aid available through the University.
  5. Appeal. A student has the right to appeal the termination of their Graduate Assistantship because of failure to meet the grade-point criteria specified for GA positions to the Department Head.

Voluntary Withdrawal and Leaves of Absence from the Program

  1. Consultation. Students should consult with their advisor and the MHA Program Director before requesting a withdrawal or a leave of absence.
  2. Voluntary Withdrawal. Students who voluntarily withdraw from the MHA Program during their course of study must do so in writing to the Program Director explaining the circumstances for their withdrawal.  Students who have not submitted a written statement of withdrawal and who do not enroll in MHA courses during a fall or spring semester (or in courses in another program as part of a joint degree plan of study) without taking a leave of absence (described in section B below) will be considered to have withdrawn from the program. Students who voluntarily withdraw will not be allowed to resume their studies within the department before making formal application for re-admission (see section C below).
  3. Leave of Absence. A leave of absence from the Department may be granted for a maximum of three consecutive academic sessions (excluding winter session) without needing to apply for readmission.  Students must submit a letter to the Program Director at the time the leave is requested and explain the circumstances of the leave.  If granted, the student will be allowed to reenter the MHA Program within the allotted time and register for classes according to the rules, regulations and policies in existence at the time of the original entry to the MHA Program.
  4. Readmission. Consistent with Graduate College policy, if a student’s “… enrollment is interrupted for any reason so that s/he is not enrolled for three consecutive academic sessions (including the spring, summer and fall sessions, but excluding the winter session) the student must apply for readmission (Graduate College Manual of Rules & Regulations, Section I.I Readmission)” to the University as well as to the Program. Students seeking re-admission will be evaluated within the current applicant pool and by current admissions criteria (undergraduate grade point average, standardized test scores, letters of reference, resume and statement of objectives). In determining whether to reinstate the student, faculty will also consider the student’s prior performance within the Department.  The student must fulfill all requirements for completion of the degree which are in effect at the time of readmission.

Human Subjects Research

Proposed research must be discussed with the student’s advisor prior to beginning the research and must comply with the University of Iowa’s Human Subjects Research policies and procedures to protect human subjects from disclosure of confidential information or other unexpected harm. Copies of the University’s policies and procedures must be reviewed prior to initiating any research project.

Students planning research that includes human subjects must review the requirements and rules on the Human Subjects Office website at

Student Career Planning, Fellowship and/or Job Search and Securement:

Students should meet with their advisors early on in their program tenure to begin discussing their career plans and how best to prepare for their careers. Students are encouraged to seek such advice from any faculty, the Program Director, member and  Executives in Residence, but should keep their advisor apprised of their plans and activities. In particular, students who expect to pursue non-fellowship positions after graduation should begin planning for their job search early.

Much of the MHA Professional Development Seminar series, especially in the fall semester, is strategically and systematically focused on professional development, career planning, preparation and launch.

Most MHA students in the traditional track pursue a post-graduate fellowship. Students not applying for fellowships will be supported in the job search on an individualized basis. The Department will strive to support all students who apply for fellowships, but the host organization/preceptor holds final approval and selection of all positions. Because the post-graduate fellowship is optional, the Department does not guarantee that every MHA student will secure a fellowship. Neither the Department nor Program have a formal role in the student’s Fellowship, performance evaluation, or continued employment with the host organization.

General guidelines for the application process are below.

  1. Preparation. The post-graduate fellowship search and application process begins during the summer between first and second year.  Students should organize their portfolios for early fellowship deadlines by researching and creating a list of fellowships to consider, updating their resumes, drafting their personal statements and identifying people to write letters of recommendation. The Program distributes Guidelines that describe a set of required documents (“the ABC documents”) for students seeking recommendation letters from the Program Director or other HMP faculty, prior to students departing for summer internships each year. The ABC document also provides general guidance and advice based on the Program’s faculty, Program Director, and Executives-in-Residence combined experience, evidence, and best practices.
  2. The Fellowship Experience. The site, structure, and process of each fellowship opportunity will typically vary to the extent that efforts are made to tailor the experience to the talents, objectives, interests, and needs of fellows as well as the needs of sponsoring organizations.  During the fellowship period, the Fellow, not The University of Iowa, is responsible to the preceptor. Neither the Department nor Program have a formal role in the student’s Fellowship, performance evaluation, or continued employment with the host organization.
  3. Deferment of Loans. Contact the University’s Student Loan Accounting (SLA) Office (located in Calvin Hall) to obtain information and forms regarding deferment of student loans during the residency/fellowship period. Students should make appointments with SLA prior to leaving campus.

Student Contacts for MHA Program-related business

From time to time it will be necessary for students to contact practitioners for information or assistance in connection with MHA Program-related business or projects. When such an occasion develops, the student should obtain prior approval from their course instructor, faculty advisor, or the MHA Program Director.

Department Resources available to students

  1. Facilities. For a full list pf CPH facilities policies and resources:
  2. Student Workrooms. Rooms C210, S206, S207, and S205 are available for students’ use in conducting collegiate or departmental business, including course work. Students will be allowed access to these rooms with their Iowa One card. Room C210 CPHB is ONLY intended for HMP students.  Rooms S206 and S207 are for use by all CPH students. Room S205 is a classroom, but when classes are not being held in that room it is open to all CPH students.
    • Computers, laser printers, and inkjet printers are available for HMP student use in room C210 and S206. The College of Public Health computer labs charge students for printing services.  MHA students are currently not charged for any black and white printing done in C210.
    • Students shall not engage in behaviors that may cause destruction or misuse of property.  Students who cause damage to University equipment will be assessed damage costs.  Students must also be courteous to fellow CPH students who share the student commons area and 2nd Floor Computer Lab.
  3. Technology. Computers are not to be used for playing games or other non-program-related activities including spamming, discriminatory or harassing use, or accessing inappropriate material on the internet. Students working on course assignments, which require computer usage, have priority for computer time.
    • Office Equipment and Services.  Office equipment, including printers, and copying machines, and services of the Department staff are available to students only for approved Department business.  No equipment should be removed from any of the supply rooms.
    • Equipment malfunctions. Any equipment malfunction should be reported immediately to the Department office staff.
    • Faxes. The fax machine located in N235 CPHB is available for department-related faxes.  A calling card must be used when placing long distance faxes.
  4. Student Use of Conference Rooms. The Corbeil Conference Room (N202) and the HMP Library room (N228) may be used by students for studying or group meetings as the room is available. Students intending to use them for meetings should schedule them through the department staff.  Students will be asked to leave these rooms if faculty or staff have them scheduled, and may be asked to leave prior to faculty/staff-scheduled meetings so equipment or seating can be organized.
  5. Smoking.  In accordance with University policy, the College of Public Health Building and grounds are designated as smoke-free environments.

University of Iowa Nondiscriminatory Statement

   The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment or in its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or associated preference.  The University also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to University facilities.  For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Coordinator of Title IX, Section 504, and the ADA in the Office of Affirmative Action, telephone (319) 335-0705 (voice) or (319) 335-0697 (text), 202 Jessup Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242-1316.

Key University and College of Public Health Websites for Students