Master of Health Administration program earns highest CAHME re-accreditation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Master of Health Administration (MHA) program at Penn State has achieved 7-year re-accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the highest for a program of its kind.

The re-accreditation applies to both the residential and online MHA programs.

CAHME is a premier global professional accrediting body composed of an interdisciplinary group of educational, professional, clinical, and other health sector organizations devoted to quality improvement of education for health care management and administration professionals. Accreditation of the program assures that it has met rigorous criteria for quality standards that only qualified programs achieve. Universities that go the extra step to achieve accreditation are monitored for excellence and continuous quality improvement.

Chris Calkins, executive director of Penn State’s online and residential MHA programs, explained that the successes of the program and its graduates are possible because of the strong foundation on which the program has been built.

“The Penn State MHA programs have been graduating students for 35 years, with the online program starting its tenth year. Throughout our history, we have sought continuous input from our board of visitors, alumni, and faculty to ensure that we are preparing students with the skills and competencies necessary to succeed in the current health care environment. CAHME accreditation provides an external validation from our peers in graduate health care education,” added Calkins.

To earn CAHME accreditation, the program submitted information about the MHA’s mission, curriculum, and student experience, and the success rates of its graduates. The department underwent a one-year self-study, which is typically followed by an on-site visit.

Due to the pandemic, an on-site visit was not possible, but program faculty and staff took an extra step by giving a virtual tour of MHA facilities at the Penn State University Park campus. Additionally, the accrediting body met with students, alumni, university leadership, and faculty of the program.

“Our 7-year re-accreditation is confirmation that the programs are preparing students to lead in a dynamic health care environment. The successful placement and advancement of our students is further evidence that the programs are preparing them well,” Calkins stated. “As with every other endeavor in health care, our next task is to continue to evolve our programs and curriculum to meet the new challenges of health care delivery, access, and quality. Our ongoing vision is to ensure that our alumni are prepared to lead with integrity, innovation, and empathy.”

Learn more about the MHA programs at Penn State.


Jessica Haasz