Applying to Graduate School

Applying to graduate school or applying to a Masters in Health Administration  program can be a daunting process.  We realize you are busy and wanting to learn more about this excellent career path.  But in order to get you started faster, we have put together an admission guide.  This guide gives you the step by step process for applying to graduate programs in health administration such as the MBA or MHA.  Please see our guide below to begin your journey!


One of the first steps you should take is research.  You can look through our directory of all MHA and MBA in healthcare programs to narrow down your search.  You can even look through our Online Program page and request information directly from schools.  You should keep a list of 10 to 15 schools you are interested in.  Think about location, any specializations the programs may offer, and cost.  At this point you want to start to develop a list of safe schools, or ones you likely will get into, medium safety schools, ones you may get into, and reaches, or schools that you might not get into.

Test Prep

At least three of our writers have MHA degrees and we are no strangers to the test requirements for these programs.  Most MHA programs require the GRE while most MBA in Healthcare programs require the GMAT.  Some MHA programs allow the GMAT in lieu of the GRE.  Finally, some MHA programs allow the LSAT if you are looking to get a joint law degree with your health administration degree.  Here is our review of books you  must get when starting to study for these tests!


These two books are excellent resources for the GRE.  In fact, we have recommended both because the cost is cheap and you will have access to many different test materials.  When studying for the GRE, you should work hard to take as many practice questions as possible.  These books provide you with that and explanations for how to succeed on the test.  Do not just attempt to take this or any other test simply because you can do much better by practicing.

Finally, these books will provide you with the tools necessary to excel on the exam.  Many MHA programs rely on these tests much more so than your GPA when deciding your admission.





The GMAT is another test that may be required.  Remember, you should look to individual programs to see whether they require the GMAT; however if it is an MBA program then the GMAT is likely required.  The GMAT is used by over 1500 schools and over 5000 programs worldwide.  Once against, these books are the best books for the cost when it comes to studying for the GMAT.  You will not only understand the test materials but you will also experience many of the questions you might see on the actual exam.

The GMAT exam consists of four main parts—the Quantitative section, the verbal section, the integrated reasoning section, and the analytical writing assessment.  




The LSAT is known as the Law School Admission Test.  If you are interested in pursuing both a law degree and an MHA degree, then many schools only require this one test for admission to both programs.  Please make sure to contact programs individually, however the combination of these degrees can allow you to pursue many different careers in health administration or just healthcare in general.

These books are great because one provides you access to numerous tests while the other actually teaches you how to take this test.  The good part about the LSAT is that there is no math on the test, but there is a logic games section which can be tough for many people.  Above all, we recommend these materials when preparing for the test.



Organization and Preparation

Once you have got your list of 10 to 15 schools along with your test prep material, you must get organized.  For each program, list the data upon which you must send in your application.  Next, mark down the date upon which you must take either the GMAT, GRE, or LSAT.  Develop a calendar of studying for the test and make sure you stick to your training.  Once you know the dates, begin to think about additional materials required for admission such as letters of recommendation and a resume.  Begin to contact employers, professors, or professional colleagues regarding potential letters.  Your goal should be to apply to these programs as early as possible. Normally most applications are due by May 1st of each year.  Your goal should be to send out your applications in January.


Once you have taken your test and know your scores, reevaluate your 10 to 15 schools list.  If you feel you can apply to harder schools then add them to your list.  Once you have changed your list according to your test score, narrow your list down to 10 schools.  Apply to all of them to ensure that you gain admittance into one of the programs.  Make sure you have a folder of all materials necessary for each school.  The last thing you want to do is to send out an application and later find out that you are missing materials.


As mentioned previously, cost should come into the equation regarding what schools you apply to.  Hopefully, you have narrowed down your schools with the idea of cost in mind.  Regardless of the cost, you should now begin to look into what loans are possible, whether your work has tuition reimbursement, or whether the schools offer graduate assistant positions that help pay for tuition.  Contact each school you applied to to see whether they offer work or assistant opportunities to help pay for tuition.  Research the various government loans you can receive as part of your admission package.  Finally, begin looking into possible scholarship opportunities.


Hopefully you will find out whether you get admitted or not at some point in the spring.  If you have not heard from a school, feel free to call the admissions office to find out the status of your application.  Normally schools look at applications in the order they are received which means the earlier you apply, the sooner you may hear back.  For now, try to focus on school, your work, or other tasks while waiting because it can be a tough process!

Hopefully this article has helped you begin your quest for a career in health administration.  Thank you for starting your journey on MHA Guide and please feel free to search our directory for all your health administration research!