Tracy FarnsworthDylon Harrison

Staff Writer

ISU’s College of Business will begin offering the state of Idaho’s first Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program starting in the Fall 2018 semester.

Previously, if an Idaho student wanted to pursue an MHA degree, they were forced to either take the required courses completely online or go out of state. Now, they will have the option to remain in Idaho.

“Launching Idaho’s first ever MHA program is very exciting,” said MHA founding director and associate dean to the College of Business, Tracy Farnsworth. “It’s very exciting to be part of the team that’s figured out how to deliver it.”

Graduates of the MHA program will receive a management degree, preparing them to be executives and administrators in healthcare organizations.

“The MHA is the preferred degree for healthcare administration professionals,” Farnsworth said. “The MHA curriculum is focused on the administrative and business domains of healthcare, including leadership and governance, planning and marketing, accounting and finance, operations and quality, healthcare informatics, and so forth.”

Half of the program’s classes will be offered online, while the other half will be held in a classroom. These classes will also be available via live stream at ISU’s main three campuses in Pocatello, Meridian and Idaho Falls.

In total, the program will require 48 credit hours, including classes and experience-based curriculum.

Students have already begun showing interest in the program.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of interest in it,” said College of Business Director of Graduate Studies, Heidi Shiosaki.

Applications for the MHA program are open now and will close on June 1. The process of applying is the same as that of the MBA program.

Farnsworth said if students are able to get into the MBA program, they should also be able to get into the MHA program. There are academic advisers available to help with applications if needed. Applications are available at

ISU’s MHA program was designed to meet or exceed all standards set by the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). CAHME holds the highest standards for graduate healthcare management education in the United States.

“Our vision is to create one of the most highly regarded MHA programs in the western United States,” Farnsworth said.

The program will be high value, but relatively low cost. All of the professors are highly experienced in the field.  It has received a lot of support from schools and professionals across the state.

“Behind every doctor and nurse and therapist, there is an army of administrators,” Farnsworth said.

The College of Business will be aiming this program towards both graduate students and working professionals in the field, hoping to increase their knowledge and move towards a better position.

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