USC Price School of Public Policy

MHA Program Competencies

Graduates of the MHA program will demonstrate the following competencies:


Domain 1: Knowledge of the Health care Environment. All MHA students must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving issues in health care and be prepared to apply this knowledge to diverse health care organizations.

  • 1.1 Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving issues in health care, and the ability to apply this knowledge to diverse health care organizations.
  • 1.2 Use, understand and apply the basic principles of economics and evidence-based techniques to health care.


Domain 2: Critical Thinking and Analysis. All MHA students must be proficient in critical thinking, having mastered the ability to conceptualize, analyse, synthesize, and evaluate information gathered from diverse sources.

  • 2.1 Demonstrate the ability to understand a situation, issue or problem by breaking it into smaller pieces and tracing its implications in a step-by-step manner.
  • 2.2 Apply complex concepts, develop creative and innovative solutions, or adapt previous solutions in new ways.
  • 2.3 Demonstrate the ability to consider the business, demographic, ethno-cultural, political, and regulatory implications of decisions, and to develop strategies that improve the long-term success and viability of the organization.


Domain 3: Business and Management Knowledge. All MHA students must master core business and organizational management skills in a health care context.

  • 3.1 Understand and explain financial and accounting information, and understand and apply financial methods to set goals and measure organizational performance.
  • 3.2 Understand and use administrative and clinical decision support tools in process and performance improvement.
  • 3.3 Understand and use the formal and informal decision-making structures in health care organizations and the health care industry, and the ability to analyze and improve an organization’s processes.


Domain 4: Policy and Community Advocacy. All MHA students must demonstrate knowledge of the policy process at various levels of government, as well as the processes required to change organizational policy, and the methods of engaging the community in the multiple types of policy change.

  • 4.1 Understand the legislative environment and the organizational implications related to health policy at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • 4.2 Align one’s own and the organization’s priorities with the needs and values of the community.


Domain 5: Communication. All MHA students must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with key stakeholders. This includes the ability to listen, communicate clearly and effectively with faculty, peers, team members, and preceptors using appropriate nonverbal, verbal, and writing skills.

  • 5.1 Demonstrate the ability to facilitate a group, and to prepare and present cogent business presentations.
  • 5.2 Demonstrate the ability to persuade others to support a point of view, position, or recommendation, while assessing and responding to the feelings and concerns of others.


Domain 6: Leadership. All MHA students must demonstrate leadership which shows that they have the attributes, qualities, and skills they need in order to motivate others.

  • 6.1 Demonstrate leadership characteristics including speaking and acting as an ethical professional and accepting accountability for the impact of decisions on others.
  • 6.2 Demonstrate the ability to work as a team member and to support and value diverse opinions and perspectives.
  • 6.3 Understand how to establish a compelling organizational vision and goals for an organization.