Health Policy & Management

Contact Us

University of South Florida
College of Public Health
Department of Health Policy & Management
13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC56
Tampa, FL 33612-3805

Frequently Asked Questions


You can find updated application requirements and deadlines on the COPH Graduate Admissions website.  
The Admissions Review Committee reviews each candidate’s application holistically.  If an applicant does not meet the GPA threshold, other criteria will be reviewed carefully.  Some students with a lower undergraduate GPA have been admitted, but they tend to have high GRE scores, demonstrated success in graduate coursework, and/or extensive work experience. 
No, there are no minimum GRE score requirement.  Please review the test information available on the COPH Graduate Admissions website.  Keep in mind that the admissions review process is comprehensive, meaning a lower GRE score does not disqualify an application.  

Students who have a terminal degree (PhD, MD, or JD) can complete a GRE Waiver Request Form and submit this with their application in the online SOPHAS application system.  In all cases, waivers will be reviewed on an individual basis.   

In general, all other students applying to the MPH program must provide GRE, GMAT or MCAT scores.  Students applying to the MHA program must provide GRE or GMAT scores.  Students can choose the exam where they will perform the best.    

No, the prerequisite Microeconomics and Accounting courses are not required prior to admission.  Students are able to take those courses during their graduate program, prior to the classes that need them.  Any undergraduate-level course in these subjects is suitable; at USF, these are:

  • Microeconomics: ECO 1000, ECO 2023
  • Accounting: ACG 2021 or ACG 3074

Relevant work experience is a preferred criterion for a competitive application.  Students who demonstrate related experience are able to bring a valuable perspective into the classroom.  Nonetheless, applicants who do not have such experience are still eligible for admission if meeting other criteria, but they will be encouraged to pursue other activities while attending the program (e.g. internships, volunteering, relevant part-time employment, and student organizations) in order to attest to both their commitment to the field and leadership potential at the time graduation from the program occurs.

Exception: MPH-Public Health Administration program does require a minimum of two years of relevant work experience.

Absolutely!  Students who visit generally meet with a faculty member, current student, and are offered the opportunity to sit in on a class.  If you are interested in arranging this, please contact us at
The Admissions Review Committee devotes time to each individual application, reviewing it in its entirety.  Depending when you apply, this process can take 1-3 weeks.

Program Information and Coursework

Both the MHA and MPH are academically robust programs that are meant to prepare aspiring professionals and leaders in the healthcare industry.  The MHA program is 58 credits, is more quantitative in nature, and has a separate program accreditation by CAHME (  The MPH concentrations are 42 credits and three distinct concentrations are offered in Health Policy and Management.  To learn more about these degree programs, please visit the Programs Offered website.  

Many students choose to pursue the MHA/MPH-Health Policies & Programs dual degree, a program of study that totals 70 credits.  To learn more about this option, please visit the Programs Offered website.  

Students looking to pursue a dual degree, should initially apply to the program that most closely fits with their interests.  After the first semester, should you still want to pursue a dual degree, you can complete the Dual Degree Application (internal USF paper process) to apply.  Good academic standing and approval from both the department’s Admissions Committee and Department Chair are required.  This opportunity is available to any MHA or MPH-HPP student, though it is not guaranteed upon admission to the first program.   

While both degrees cover business subjects (finance, economics, management, etc.) what differentiates the two is their scope.  The MBA is a broader overview of business practices and concepts while the MHA applies those practices specifically to the healthcare industry.  Students who are seeking careers in health administration develop leadership skills and competencies tailored to specialized roles in the health care industry.  

Full-time enrollment means taking 9 credits in Fall or Spring semesters and 6 credits during Summer; part-time is anything less than these thresholds.  We have part-time and full-time students as well as students that may start off as PT but change to FT (or vice versa) based on their employment, family situations, etc.

Please note that certain financial aid packages may require full-time status.  For example, if you are interested in obtaining a graduate assistantship position, full-time status is required in order to receive a tuition waiver.  

Our programs aim to accommodate working professionals.  With this in mind, the majority of our classes are offered in the evenings or online.
Certain programs do allow students to take electives.  Students can take any course within the HPM department as an elective or may, with advisor approval, take a course elsewhere in the College of Public Health or USF at large.
Yes, applications are reviewed for every semester.  However, the MHA curriculum is designed to begin in Fall semester.  While students can apply for Spring or Summer semester, and are welcome to take a few classes prior to Fall term, they will join the Fall cohort for the remaining sequence of coursework.  

Professional Opportunities

As an education program that prepares current and aspiring professionals, professional development is a foundation of the HPM student experience.  Our staff and faculty are dedicated to assisting students in not only building the skills necessary to thrive in the healthcare industry but also the ability to craft their brand and application materials so that they can obtain top-management positions after graduation.

To this end, the department provides workshops, seminars, ACHE conference funding, and other opportunities to ensure your employability after graduation.  The Health Management Student Association (HMSA) also offers students opportunities to network with local healthcare professionals through monthly events like guest speaker series, panel discussions, field trips, and the annual Career Fair.  We encourage all HPM students to become active members of HMSA!   

90% of our graduates hold positions in health care or related organizations.  Recent HPM 2015 Alumni Award winners included alumni with the following professional titles: Vice President of Patient Financial Services, Chief Executive Officer and Market President for a hospital system, Director of Accreditation and Survey Readiness, and Vice President of Federal and State Health Policy.

Our MHA program is accredited by CAMHE, which requires that we track alumni job placement in the 3 month period following graduation.  As of March 2016, we have a 100% job placement rate.

To learn more about careers in health administration, we encourage you to review the AUPHA website on this topic.  You can also view the AUPHA jobboard, which will hopefully give you some ideas on the types of jobs available in health administration.      

Students are encouraged to attend class and events in business casual attire, and are expected to dress in business attire when giving presentations or attending special events.  We emphasize professionalism throughout the degree program, and students should view their graduate program as part of their professional journey.  Remember the importance of first impressions, and you never know who you might bump into at the college – he/she might just be the CEO of a local hospital! 

Many of our students are members of the American College of Healthcare Executives(ACHE).  Every March, the national ACHE Congress event is held in Chicago, and students can apply for travel scholarships through the HPM department.  The local chapter, Western FLACHE offers several events throughout the year, with opportunities for our students to actively participate and volunteer. 

Other associations our students are members of, include: Healthcare Financial Management Association (AFMA), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and Florida Public Health Association (FPHA).  We highly encourage you to become involved with the organization(s) that interest you most.   

In addition to the professional development resources provided by the department, HMSA, and Career Services, each student is assigned a faculty mentor who will help guide them through the Field Experience (or “internship”) process.  Students are also encouraged to participate in the Alumni Mentor Program, where they are matched with an alum of the program and can ask questions, receive job search tips and strategies, and grow their professional network. 

For students interested in a fellowship post-graduation, we are a member organization of the National Council of Administrative Fellowships (NCAF).  NCAF centralizes the application process for national fellowships.  We strongly recommend students apply for these experiences.  

The department is happy to assist students in polishing their resumes and cover letters, providing letters of recommendation (where appropriate), and conducting mock-interviews to help our students prepare for interviews.  In order to be a well-prepared, competitive applicant for any job or fellowship opportunity, it is important that students take the initiative and start the process early!      

Costs and Funding

Graduate coursework is charged by the credit hour.  The majority of our courses are 3 credits.  Please refer to the Tuition and Fees Cost – Graduate webpage.     

The department offers a limited number of graduate assistant positions to support faculty teaching and/or research each semester.  Opportunities are based on faculty need and available funding, and positions are advertised each semester to students’ @health email accounts.  These positions typically provide a stipend as well as a tuition waiver.

Students are encouraged to search for scholarship opportunities through USF’s STARS system and outside organizations, such as the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH).  College-wide scholarships are made possible by alumni, community partners, and corporate donors.  These scholarships are for currently enrolled College of Public Health students only, and are advertised each Spring.   

Lastly, many of our students have jobs in order to help finance their graduate program.  We encourage you to look for on-campus opportunities through Careers @ USF or for local jobs via Career Services’ Handshake website.