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Xavier University

Department of Health Services Administration

Cincinnati, OH


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Top Graduate Health Services Administration Program at Xavier University

Xavier University, founded in 1831, is a co-educational Jesuit Catholic university located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The sixth oldest Catholic university in the nation, Xavier University ranked number one in 2015 on the "U.S. News and World Report" list of Midwestern colleges with the highest graduation and placement rates. 

Situated on a 190-acre urban campus, Xavier University awards undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 60 majors. Current combined student population (undergraduate and graduate) totals about 6,650. Notable alumni include former Speaker of the United State House of Representatives John Boehner; NFL wide receiver Danny Abramowicz; Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills; and U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Patricia Herbold.

Master of Health Services Administration Degree Overview

The Master of Health Services Administration degree program (MHSA) at Xavier University is considered one of the best programs of its kind in the nation. Accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), it consistently ranks high on the "Modern Healthcare" list of top business graduate schools for physician-executives and is the only program in the country to have received inaugural CAHME awards two years in a row. 

The MHSA curriculum, available full- and part-time, integrates real world experience with classroom learning. Students prepare for their career paths with graduate coursework comprising capstone projects, philanthropy, and project work in local healthcare organizations. In addition, they participate in workshops and seminars sponsored by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the Greater Ohio Healthcare Leaders Forum (GOHLF), and MHSA Connect, which connects graduate students with MHSA alumni working in healthcare environments.

Coursework focuses on epidemiology, clinical management, ethics, health policy analysis, physician relations, managed care and integrated health delivery systems, population-based planning, and provider payment strategies. Small classes and one-on-one interaction with award-winning educators and experienced healthcare management innovators provides students with a strong, broad-based foundation in the management, financial, and quantitative skills to succeed in a challenging and rapidly changing landscape of health reform.

Fulltime MHSA with Paid Residency

The full-time MHSA curriculum comprises four semesters of classroom study on campus followed by a paid 8-12 month administrative residency in a health services facility under the guidance of a preceptor. The full-time option requires 64 credit hours for graduation that includes 54 hours of classroom study and 10 hours of residency and master's projects credits. 

The residency provides students with opportunities to identify their managerial competencies and to concentrate on specific areas of interest to them. Students gain firsthand knowledge of the operational, administrative, and strategic issues that impact senior management and apply the theories, concepts, principles, and skills learned in the classroom to an operational environment under the guidance of a faculty advisor or a preceptor who is a member of the executive management team. 

Residencies start in June for all full-time candidates. Residents typically receive stipends from their residency organizations, which may include hospitals, medical centers, rural healthcare networks, retirement centers, professional associations, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and insurance companies.

Part-time MHSA with Administrative Practicum

The part-time MHSA curriculum, designed to accommodate working healthcare professionals comprises nine consecutive semesters of part-time study on campus and a concurrent administrative practicum, a guided field experience conducted in the student's place of employment. The part-time option requires 60 credit hours for graduation that includes 50 hours of classroom study and 10 hours of practicum and master's projects credits.

The administrative practicum, supervised by a faculty member or preceptor, starts at the beginning of the second year, concurrent with coursework, and lasts about two years. It enhances students' understanding of the operations and purpose of the administration of an organization from an executive management perspective. 

Because the practicum coincides with their current job responsibilities, part-time students are able to apply the knowledge and skills learned through their coursework within their own work environments. Practicum sites include hospitals, medical centers and group medical practices, rehabilitation centers, PPOs, HMOs, insurance companies, and home healthcare providers.

MBA Concurrent Degree

A Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) may be earned concurrently with the MHSA degree, either full-time or part-time, through additional graduate level coursework in the Williams College of Business at Xavier University. 

Students must complete 97 credit hours: 54 credit hours of health services administration coursework, 10 credit hours of administrative residency and the master's project and 33 credit hours of business coursework, in addition to all necessary prerequisites. Upon completion of the concurrent degree option, the student receives two separate degrees --the Master of Health Services Administration and the Master of Business Administration.

Certificate in Health Services Management

Individuals currently working as a line or middle manager at a health care organization, have at least two years of work experience, and hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university are eligible for graduate-level coursework to earn the Certificate in Health Services Management from Xavier University. Some certificate coursework may be applied toward a MHSA degree.

The 15-18 credit program comprises four core courses and one or two electives taken on a part-time basis (typically two per semester for three semesters). Coursework emphasizes managerial concepts, health care systems, human resources, strategic management and marketing strategies, information systems and clinical processes.

Notable Faculty

Among the notable MHSA faculty in the graduate health administration program at Xavier University are Dr. Edmond Hooker, whose areas of expertise include epidemiology, clinical medicine, emergency medicine, health services management, and public health; Dr. Lin Guo, an expert in statistics and quality improvement; Thomas J. Ruthemeyer, former executive vice president of Mercy Health Partners in Cincinnati.

Financial Assistance

Xavier University offers financial assistance to graduate students in the form of government loans, scholarships, assistantships, and on-campus employment opportunities.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Health Services Administration/Master of Business Administration (MHSA/MBA)
Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 28

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GMAT or GRE
Thesis Required
Residency, project


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline June 1st January 1st Yes

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GMAT or GRE
Master's Degree Requirements Resume, two letters of recommendation, statement of intent, official transcripts, interview, minimum accounting and statistics grade of C
Additional Entrance Requirements Resume, statement of intent, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 550
TOEFL IBT score: 80

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards April 30
Types of financial support available Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
Not Reported
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 5.41%
Black or African American 17.57%
White or Caucasian 64%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1.35%
Asian 8.11%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 1.35%
Two or more races 0%
Unknown 1.35%


Male (56%)
Female (43%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 7
Part-time - 9
Male (10)
Female (6)


Focus of faculty research: Success factors of ethics committees in health care, early hospital readmission and quality, health and labor economics, clinical emergency medicine and uncompensated care
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH  45207
United States
Contact Dr. Nancy Linenkugel
Phone: 513-745-3716
Fax: 513-745-4301

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Xavier University
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