How to Apply to the MHA Program

Application Deadline

The priority deadline for consideration in the Fall 2019 entering class was December 1, 2018, however we will continue to receive and review applications until we have filled all the spaces in our Fall 2019 cohort. Our new application deadline is February 1, 2019. We have also added an additional interview date for February, 8, 2019.

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.
  • A GRE (preferred) minimum verbal and quantitative scores of 151 each. If you took the exam prior to August 1, 2011, the preferred minimums are: verbal 470 and quantitative 640. The following scores may be substituted for the GRE: GMAT (preferred minimum is 600 or above), MCAT, LSAT. Scores are valid for 5 years.
  • In-person Interview (telephone or Skype interview for international candidates)
  • Prior experience in healthcare is not required; however, the MHA consider 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 permanent residents or those who have earned a degree from an accredited institution in the US, Canada (except Quebec), Australia, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom.

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.

  • Submit the following application materials to one of our accepted centralized application service partners, SOPHAS or HAMPCAS. You may apply to our program using SOPHAS or HAMPCAS, but not both.
    • Application
    • Official transcripts showing all previous undergraduate and graduate work with grades and degree.
      • A note for International Students: SOPHAS only accepts WES-evaluated transcripts. However, the University of Iowa does NOT accept WES evaluated transcripts. Therefore, you MUST send a separate official transcript to University of Iowa Office of International Graduate Admissions. Please click here for the address.
    • Official GRE scores
      1. If using SOPHAS, send scores to institution code 0658 – U  IOWA COLG PUB HEALTH SOPHAS
      2. If using HAMPCAS, send scores to ETS code 0716
      3. All other official test scores (i.e. GMAT, TOEFL, MCAT, LSAT, etc) should be sent directly to the University of Iowa
    • 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.
    • Personal Statement addressing 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.
    • Resume
    • International 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.
  • Set up UI account and pay supplemental University of Iowa fee
    • Once 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 campus for an interview. 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 next interviews days for the Fall 2019 entering class will be held on January 25, 2019 and February 8, 2019. Depending on the volume of applicants, additional interview days may be scheduled.  Admissions decisions are made within three weeks following the interview.

For more information

Gwendolyn Archibald
Director, Student Services and Academic Program Support
Department of Health Management and Policy
College of Public Health
The University of Iowa
145 N. Riverside Drive, N218 CPHB
Iowa City, IA 52242
(319) 384-3828