MBA/MHA Dual Degree


Updated March 14, 2024

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Some healthcare administrators further their careers by earning an MBA/MHA dual degree. Students can complete the two graduate degrees in less time since some classes count toward both programs. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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A number of universities have started offering MBA/MHA dual degree programs. Combining a master of business administration (MBA) and a master of healthcare administration (MHA) degree programs, the dual degree prepares graduates for leadership roles in healthcare.

Students undertake this dual degree program so they can learn skills in both business and healthcare leadership. Courses explore topics like health systems, quantitative methods, business ethics, and health economics.

MBA/MHA graduates often work as medical and health services managers. Their primary responsibilities include strategic planning, directing, and operating healthcare facilities. These managers include hospital administrators, clinical managers, and health information managers.

Jobs for medical and health services managers are growing at a much faster than average rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The organization projects positions for these professionals will grow by 28% between 2021 and 2031.

This guide discusses the benefits of pursuing an MBA/MHA dual degree program and the career paths graduates can pursue.

The ROI of an MBA/MHA Dual Degree Program

MBA/MHA dual degree program costs vary. Factors that influence price include whether the program is taken online or in person, as well as completion time. Some dual degree programs can be completed in two years, while others take three years or more.

Universities structure their dual degree programs differently, too. Some institutions have students move their registration from the business school to the public health school from term to term. Others structure their programs so students complete all their courses in business or healthcare administration first, before moving on to the next program of study.

Some universities have also partnered to offer MBA courses at one institution and MHA classes at another.

Students in the dual degree program explore topics relevant to both business and healthcare administration. These include:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Technology
  • Organizational theory and behavior
  • Leadership development
  • Supply chain operations
  • Strategic management
  • Managerial economics

Enrollees also learn skills necessary for healthcare leaders in courses that cover healthcare strategy, innovation in healthcare, and healthcare governance.

Graduates of dual degree programs usually find work as medical and health services managers. According to the BLS, the median annual pay for professionals in these roles was $101,340 per year as of 2021.

However, annual pay does vary for medical and health services managers across sectors. In 2021, professionals in hospitals earned the highest median annual wage of $119,450, followed by government professionals at $117,000. Workers in physicians offices earned a median of $98,230, and nursing and residential care administrators made $83,550 as of 2021.

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Curriculum for MBA/MHA Dual Degree Programs

The curriculum for an MBA/MHA includes core classes for healthcare administration and business administration. Candidates also take advanced courses in both fields. Coursework features opportunities to apply the concepts, practices, and tools to real-world healthcare industry scenarios.

  • Organizational behavior

    Organizational behavior coursework examines how humans behave alone and in groups. Topics include communication, motivation, conflict resolution, and change. Participants learn to manage effectively and efficiently in an organizational environment.
  • Health policy and economics

    This course looks at how the healthcare sector, government agencies, and the economic landscape function together. Learners gain insight into how patients, providers, and stakeholders shape the healthcare market. Other topics include insurance, access to care, spending, and healthcare technology.
  • Quantitative methods

    A quantitative methods class introduces theories, tools, and techniques for measuring data and testing hypotheses. Students learn to make observations and report data in written and graph formats.
  • Accounting and finance principles for healthcare

    This course focuses on the principles and operations of monetary oversight in healthcare organizations. Class topics include budget management and financial data assessment. Enrollees learn to apply financial strategies within the healthcare system.
  • Marketing management

    Marketing management classes cover how to plan and execute marketing practices. Coursework explores areas like pricing, promotion, and strategy. Students learn to assess customer needs and wants in a competitive environment. Other topics include market forecasting, collaboration, sales, and distribution.
  • Population health and data analytics

    This class teaches participants to gather and analyze data to make health decisions for specific groups. Learners study predictive analytics, model development, and performance measures as they apply to prevention, diagnosis, and healthcare efficacy.

MBA/MHA Career Opportunities After Graduating

Career opportunities for MBA/MHA dual degree-holders extend throughout the healthcare industry. Graduates can work in the private sector as healthcare managers or executives. They may also qualify for public sector roles in areas like public health and policy.

Nursing Home Administrators

Nursing home administrators oversee the daily operations of nursing homes and comparable facilities. They manage staff, maintain budgets, and ensure compliance with applicable regulations and laws. According to Payscale, nursing home administrators earned an average annual salary of about $96,350 as of July 2023.

Clinical Managers

Clinical managers supervise clinics and medical offices. They coordinate daily operations and work with staff and medical providers to ensure quality patient care. They also evaluate the facility's practices and processes. Their duties may include overseeing budgets and making schedules. Payscale reports that clinical managers earned an average salary of over $74,660 a year as of July 2023.

Hospital Administrators

Hospital administrators ensure efficient, effective hospital operations. They supervise financial matters, oversee staff, and coordinate with department managers. Administrators also make sure a hospital follows applicable regulations and laws. Payscale reports that hospital administrators made an average annual salary of about $91,060 as of July 2023.

Health Information Managers

These professionals earned an average annual salary of roughly $58,650 as of 2023, according to Payscale. Health information managers oversee information systems and record-keeping technologies. They develop and implement healthcare data policies. They may also supervise healthcare information specialists and support staff. Health information managers work with fellow managers to ensure accuracy and confidentiality.

Common Questions About MBA/MHA Dual Degrees

Does an MBA or MHA make more money?

Graduates with MBA degrees earn higher annual base salaries than other professionals. According to Payscale, workers with MBAs reported an average base salary of $96,000 as of July 2023. Individuals with MHA degrees reported earning an average of $82,000 during the same period.

However, graduates who hold only MBAs may not be as well-suited for healthcare leadership roles as those who have earned both an MBA and an MHA.

Professionals who have earned both degrees are competitive as healthcare leaders. These graduates can advance in the growing field of medical and health services managers. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for individuals who held these positions was $101,340 per year in May 2021.

Is a dual MBA MHA worth it?

MBA/MHA degree programs prepare graduates to advance as healthcare administrators, managers, and leaders. Students take classes focused on health and business administration.

This dual focus may make graduates more competitive for leadership roles than others who only hold one of these graduate degrees or the other. The BLS projects the number of medical and health services manager jobs to increase by 28% from 2021-2031.

MBA/MHA graduates are well-prepared for high-paying roles as hospital or government healthcare administrators. In May 2021, hospital administrators earned a median annual salary of $119,450, while administrators who worked in government health agencies made a median annual salary of $117,000, according to the BLS.

Which is better, MBA in healthcare management or MHA?

MBA in healthcare management programs also prepare healthcare leaders. However, this is still a business-focused program, likely offered by a business school. While students in these programs may take courses focused on the medical industry, they primarily explore general management and business topics.

An MHA program focuses singularly on business topics in healthcare. These programs are typically housed in schools of public health.

MHA students take classes focused on healthcare industry trends and patient outcomes. Many students also focus on specific types of medical facility specializations, like mental health centers or government organizations.

Dual MBA/MHA programs allow students to earn both degrees in less time than it would take to finish one degree followed by the next. This is because some classes count toward both degrees in designated MBA/MHA programs.


Payscale homepage. (2023). Payscale

Medical and health services managers. (2022). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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