MHAP Program

USU Courtyard

Master of Health Administration and Policy Program

Welcome to the Master of Health Administration and Policy Program!

The Master of Health Administration and Policy (MHAP) is a vibrant and growing program focused on interweaving the dynamic elements of health policy with a core focus on health administration. The program leverages its ideal location in Washington D.C. to facilitate access to health policy leaders and create unique administrative residency opportunities. Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

Program OverviewYear 1 - The MHAP didactic phase is located on the campus of USU, located in Bethesda, MD and easily accessible by public transportation and the beltway. At the end of the didactic phase there will be an opportunity to create a capstone project and use this as a platform to demonstrate knowledge via an oral/poster presentation. Year 2 - Putting education in action is more than classroom learning. During the second year, students apply what was learned in an administrative residency, bringing value to a hosting organization, preceptor and yourself. At the end of year two, there is a graduate management project that serves as a platform to share the knowledge students gained and apply it through an oral presentation.

The capstone and the graduate management project are culminating events that we believe are at the heart of the MHAP Education. Please contact us if you have any questions.


Beth A. Hawks, PhD, MHA
Lieutenant Commander, US Navy, Medical Service Corps
Program Director
CAHME Accredited

The MHAP competencies are based on a model that draws from the National Center for Health Leadership and the Joint Medical Executive Skills Institute, along with a policy dimension. There are 25 individual competencies covering 5 domains.

Competency Wheel

Every component of the curriculum is based upon our competencies, and upon graduation, our students are able to apply these competencies they developed in order to achieve success in their healthcare management careers.

Our mission is to prepare uniformed service members and federal government employees for mid-level healthcare management, leadership and policy advising positions within the Military Health System (MHS) and federal healthcare organizations.  The program actively engages with the MHS and National Capital Area healthcare systems to ensure graduates meet the unique needs of the federal healthcare sector. The MHAP program accomplishes this through excellence in faculty scholarship, teaching and a commitment to student professional development. The program employs an interdisciplinary and competency-based approach focused on leadership, military readiness, people, policy, transformation and execution.

We will be the premier provider of health policy and administration education for the Military Health System (MHS), federal health policy partners and Allied Host Nation / foreign partners through a sustained commitment to leadership in academics, research and scholarship.

Since the program's inception, all of our students have graduated from the MHAP Program within two years (100% graduation rate).

All of our graduates fulfill healthcare administration and health policy positions following graduation from the MHAP Program (100% employment rate upon graduation). 

Here is a snapshot of what some of our graduates are doing in their utilization tours.

  • Medical Operations Officer [Army]
  • Medical Operations Planner [Army]
  • Assistant Director of Operations [Air Force]
  • Practice Manager [Air Force]
  • Department Head [Navy]
  • Executive Assistant [Navy]
  • Administration Officer [Navy]

The success of our program is credited to the caliber of students within our program.  Here is what our alumni have to say about the MHAP program (alumni survey administered in February 2016).

What part of your educational experience did you find most valuable?

- "The interaction with the instructors. Being able to talk to a CDR as a human being and not necessarily as a person of rank made the learning experience. The ability to challenge someone much higher ranked than myself and have it be welcomed as part of the academic process showed us how military leader justify their decisions."

- "The location of the school and the exposure to the the government and the policy making process."

- "The academic environment; graduate level debate; administrative residencies; having classes with healthcare providers/physician."

- "The practical projects and group dynamics. The joint faculty and student body. Interaction with students from other programs. Diversity in ideas."

- "I spent a year at the RAND Corporation, it was an unparalleled learning experience and set me up for success in policy making at the Pentagon."

The MHAP consists of both a didactic phase and residency phase. The first year is the didactic phase and it is composed of 5 academic quarters totaling 68 credit hours. During this rigorous year, students will engage in an in-depth approach to the study of health care management, health policy, public health, applied science, and leadership. The second year of the program consists of an Administrative Residency in the National Capital Area.  The program curriculum is outlined below and you can find course descriptions here.

Year 1

Pre-Fall Courses

PMO401 Seminar in Health Administration and Policy (1 credit hour)

PMO530 Behavioral & Social Sciences Applied to Public Health (4 credit hours)

PMO1010 Diversity and Leadership (2 credit hours)

PMO1011 Quantitative Analysis & Methods for Health Leaders and Executive I (3 credit hours)

Fall Courses

PMO103 Fundamentals of Healthcare Finance (2 credit hours)

PMO401 Seminar in Health Administration and Policy (1 credit hour)

PMO503 Biostatistics I (4 credit hours)

PMO511 Introduction to Epidemiology (4 credit hours)

PMO526 Health Systems (4 credit hours)

PMO528 Global Health I (3 credit hours)

Winter Courses

PMO401 Seminar in Health Administration and Policy (1 credit hour)

PMO523 Fundamentals of U.S. Health Care Policy (3 credit hours)

PMO527 Principles of U.S. Health Care Management (2 credit hours)

PMO535 The Law of Healthcare (2 credit hours)

PMO598 Healthcare Economics (3 credit hours)

PMO1012 Quantitative Analysis & Methods for Health Leaders and Executive II (3 credit hours)

Spring Courses

PMO401 Seminar in Health Administration and Policy (1 credit hour)

PMO532 Quality Assessment and Improvement in Health Care (2 credit hours)

PMO533 Decision Making in Health Services (2 credit hours)

PMO529 Health Care Financial Management (2 credit hours)

PMO576 Human Resource Management in Health Care (3 credit hours)

PMO991 Ethics in Public Health (3 credit hours)

PMO592 Healthcare Technology Assessment (2 credit hours)

PMO1007 Advanced Seminar in Global Health Policy (3 credit hours)

Summer Courses

PMO401 Seminar in Health Administration and Policy/Capstone (1 credit hour)

PMO998 Foundations of Leadership (1 credit hour)

PMO1005 Strategic Planning & Marketing for Healthcare Systems (3 credit hours)

PMO1014 Monitoring & Evaluation in Global Health (3 credit hours)

Year 2


PMO1015 MHAP Residency (12 credits)


PMO1015 MHAP Residency (12 credits)


PMO1015 MHAP Residency (12 credits)

[MHAP GMP Proposals Due]


PMO1015 MHAP Residency (12 credits)


PMO1015 MHAP Residency (12 credits)

[MHAP GMPs Due for Submission] [Graduation from MHAP]


The 12 month Administrative Residency provides practical experience in healthcare administration and policy leadership. Preceptors and the Director of the MHAP collaborate to provide a customized residency experience that will meet not only the requirements for graduation, but the professional development needs of the individual resident and sponsoring agency. 


The 2016 - 2017 Administrative Residency Handbook, which details the residency process to include the Graduate Management Project can be found here.

Residencies may be of the more traditional nature, exploring the operations of hospitals or more policy-focused. The best residency option combines the best of both worlds. Residency opportunities may include government agencies, think-tanks, private, public, or non-profit hospitals, medical group practice management organizations, consulting firms, information systems organizations, managed care organizations, or industry interest groups. Possibilities may include: TRICARE Management Activity; Department of Health and Human Services; Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; US Public Health Service; Logistics Management International; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; Department of Veterans Affairs; Intrepid Center; COCOMS; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); Public Health Service; Service Surgeons General Offices; Kaiser; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; The Advisory Board; Center for Naval Analysis; CDHAM; Henry Jackson Foundation; RAND; or Inova Systems.

Residency sites are selected that offer our residents the opportunity for hands-on involvement in challenging administrative and policy-based issues. Residency sites are selected based on the expectation that the host site management is willing and able to commit the time and resources that our students deserve. You may use existing sites as options if they are willing to take another resident – or – you may suggest sites as well if you have specific interests or know someone who would be willing to be your preceptor. Faculty may also suggest potential sites. All sites must be approved by the Residency Director as meeting the academic standards required for the residency year. Identification of potential sites is the responsibility of the student, but faculty and staff are ready and willing to help! If you have an idea for a residency you might legitimately desire, your first step is to inform the Residency Director so we can get the ball rolling.

Preceptors are carefully selected based on their commitment to, and mutual interests with, the resident. During the residency period, the preceptor serves as the resident's direct supervisor, providing careful oversight, mentoring, and support. The MHAP faculty places a tremendous level of importance on the role of the preceptor and an appropriate preceptor/resident match. Preceptors are making a personal and professional commitment to the student and are selected through a carefully scripted process including interviews with the MHAP Program Director, Residency Director, and faculty members. Preceptors are approved only if they demonstrate the ability to create an environment conducive to creative learning experiences and professional development of the resident. Preceptors are also expected to make the necessary time commitment to serve as a mentor to the resident, involving the resident in daily meetings and activities, meaningful activities, and assisting the resident in the preparation and design of their graduate management project.

For further information, please contact our Residency Director, LT Todd Leroux (301-295-0800) or the Program Director, LCDR Erich Dietrich (301-295-1663).

The Graduate Management Project (GMP) is a two-part project which entails a formal academic manuscript and an oral presentation.  This project is specific to the student's year in residence and serves as the culmination of the student's learning -- it demonstrates the skills and competencies gained in the program.  Not only is the GMP a useful demonstration of the student's mastering of abilities pertinent to their career in healthcare management, but residency sites often cite how useful and relevant the student's GMP is for aiding residency sites as well.  A link to the GMP manual is here.

Prior GMPs are listed below with links to abstracts.


Assessing the Relationship between Hospital Staff’sPerception of Leadership Actions andOrganizational Learning: Implications for TeamSTEPPS Implementation

Building a Prepared and Resilient Healthcare System: A Policy Analysis of Hospital Bed Reporting Requirements and Compliance

Comparative Analysis: Containerized Bio-Containment System and Transportation Isolation System

Effects of Non-combative Military Aid and Disaster Relief on Mental Health of US Service Members

Practice Pattern Differences in the Treatment of Low Back Pain Between Provider Categories in the Military Health System

The Effects of Secure Messaging on Access to Care at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center

The Center for Global Health: An Entrepreneurship Analysis and Sustainable Way Forward

The Rosetta Stone of Interagency Collaboration: Operational Medicine’s Success through Relationship Building and its Products and Services


Our students are among the brightest and most capable that our military services have to offer.  While we take a whole-person approach in evaluating applicants desiring to attend the program there are, however, a number of requirements necessary to admit qualified applicants.

Below is a listing of requirements and preferred (as applicable) scores or outcomes for each criterion.

- Have completed a bachelor's degree in an undergraduate program (preferred grade point average is 3.0 or higher).

- Early- to mid-career military officer in an active status.

- Completed the GRE or GMAT within the past five years of the application cycle.  Preferred minimum score is 290 for the revised GRE and 500 for GMAT.

- Have approval (or in steps of attaining approval) for entry into graduate training program from your respective military service.


We also weigh three factors in determining admission criteria.

(1) Is the applicant a good fit for the MHAP Program?

(2) Will the applicant add diversity and perspective to the classroom?

(3) Is the applicant academically ready for the challenges of quality graduate education?


Ready to apply[select GEO Application when prompted]

Questions?  See our Program Contacts page for appropriate points of contact.

MHAP Program Director
(301) 295-0800
MHAP Program Manager
(301) 295-3831
Ready to apply[select GEO Application when prompted]