How to Apply to the MHA Program

Application Deadline

Our final application deadline for fall 2024 entry is March 1, 2024. We will review applications as they com in until we have filled all the spaces in our fall 2024 cohort. We target a cohort size between 20-28 new MHA students each fall based on our department resources and best practices. Spaces in the cohort are confirmed by acceptance of our offer of admission. Once we have filled our cohort, offers of admission may be converted to our waitlist for fall 2024.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in applying to the program must meet the following requirements:

  • A Bachelor’s or a professional degree from an accredited institution. As the department looks for students of varied backgrounds and interests, we consider students with all academic majors, and no specific undergraduate courses are required.
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • No GRE required.
  • Virtual or In-person interview. Interviews will take place in December 2023 and January/February/March 2024
  • Prior experience in healthcare is not required; however, the admissions committee considers health care or relevant professional work or volunteer experience.
  • For international students: TOEFL minimum recommended score of paper 600, computer 250, and internet 100. TOEFL scores are required for international students except for permanent residents or those who have earned a degree from an accredited institution in the US, or any of the countries listed under ‘Waiver Eligibility’ by our graduate admissions.

Application Instructions

Applicants must apply through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) or the Healthcare Administration, Management & Policy Centralized Application Service (HAMPCAS) as well as set up a UI account and pay the supplement UI fee.  Please read the detailed instructions and requirements below to ensure that all application materials are submitted properly.  As transcripts and test scores may take several weeks to arrive, it is strongly recommended that you begin the application process early.

A complete application to the University of Iowa MHA Program is comprised of two parts: 1) an application and supporting documents submitted to SOPHAS or HAMPCAS and 2) a UI account and payment of the supplemental UI fee.

Step 1Collect three letters of recommendation. Three letters of recommendation. These letters are submitted by your letter writers through SOPHAS. Detailed instructions on how these letters are submitted can be found here. We recommend letters of recommendation from at least one academic reference and one professional reference.
Step 2Compile your resume, including your professional and academic accomplishments.
Step 3Compose your personal statement. Your statement should address the following questions:Why do you wish to obtain a Master of Health Administration Degree in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa?How will your prior education and experience assist you in achieving your academic and professional career objectives?Give an example of a specific situation, in a voluntary or work setting, that required you to exhibit leadership in order to solve a problem or improve group performance, and discuss how that experience will increase your ability to be a leader in a professional healthcare setting.Discuss two or three of the most critical issues facing the health care delivery system today.
Step 4Collect your official transcripts showing all previous undergraduate and graduate work with grades and degree. A note for International Students: International transcripts should be evaluated by World Education Service (WES) and submitted to SOPHAS. They do not need to be sent separately to the University of Iowa unless requested. International applicants must have the equivalent of a U.S baccalaureate degree to be considered for admission.
Step 5International applicants must provide TOEFL scores. Please consider the following in your application timeline: Once your application is complete and submitted to either HAMPCAS or SOPHAS the company will verify it. In high-traffic times, this verification process can take several weeks.
Step 6Submit the following applications to either SOPHAS or HAMPCAS:ApplicationOfficial transcriptsThree letters of recommendationPersonal statementResumeTOEFL scores, if applicable
Step 7Set up UI account and pay supplemental University of Iowa feeOnce you have submitted all your materials to SOPHAS and your transcripts have been verified, you will receive an email from the department letting you know when to expect an email from the University of Iowa which will provide you with detailed instructions on setting up a University of Iowa account and paying the supplemental University of Iowa fee. Your application will be reviewed once this step is complete.All students (except those whose undergraduate degree was conferred at the University of Iowa), will need to send their final transcript (showing degree conferral) to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Review and Admissions Process

Each application is reviewed by our admissions committee. The committee reviews applications for evidence of the applicant’s intent and purpose in pursuing an MHA, leadership experience, and past academic performance. While not required, relevant work and/or volunteer experience is considered in a prospective student’s application.

Upon review, qualified applicants are invited to interview either virtual or in-person. Applicants within driving distance are strongly encouraged to interview in-person to get the best sense of our program and resources. Interviews are required before acceptance into the MHA program. The interview has two purposes: information and evaluation. The interview is your opportunity to learn about the Iowa MHA Program and Department of Health Management and Policy and our opportunity to evaluate your potential as a candidate for our MHA Program and as a future health services administrator. We look for candidates who are well-prepared for future academic and professional success. Among other topics, interviewers may ask you about your knowledge of the health care field and about how your academic and personal background has prepared you for the field.

The MHA interview days are by invite-only and scheduled in December 2023, January 2024, and February 2024. Depending on the volume of applicants, additional interview opportunities may be scheduled throughout the spring semester. Admissions decisions are made within three weeks following the interview. Offers of graduate assistantship and scholarship funding were made after the December and January interview days. Funding offers will continue to be made on a rolling basis until April 15, 2024.

For More Information

Gwendolyn Archibald, PhD, MA
Director, Student Services and Academic Program Support
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Health Management and Policy
(319) 384-3828

College of Public Health
The University of Iowa
145 N. Riverside Drive, N218 CPHB
Iowa City, IA 52242