Master of Healthcare Leadership

Ready to lead the health care industry transformation?

Health care is undergoing persistent, disruptive and increasingly rapid change. It is with this understanding that the future of health care will be driven by leaders with the experience, foresight, and vision of business-minded professionals who advocate for change. Technological, economic, and ideological innovation are helping to transform organizations through conceptual understanding and actionable principles. As a result, health care-related institutions require leadership that is dynamic, diverse and reflective of the communities in which they operate, as well as the organizations and patients they serve.

Created by top educators of the Wake Forest School of Medicine, the online Master of Healthcare Leadership (MHL) program is uniquely positioned to help you assess and lead new approaches to health care industry values, including finance and marketing, preventive care, information technology, regulation, quality assurance, performance management, sustainability, and population health. The program goes beyond traditional MBA and MHA programs to emphasize a path that intersects both disciplines toward a future-focused initiative.

Understanding the capacity to manage organizational change, effectively implement programs, and develop sustainable strategy is a key factor in the  timely response to industry influences. It takes executive and professional insight. And as we head toward a more globally-centric and technology-based industry, the ability to explore a vision, articulate it soundly, and implement those principles into action are the anchoring attributes that help to transform ideas into strategy.

Our MHL program can prepare you with the organizational skills and decision-making abilities needed to manage expectations and develop strategies that promote stability, sustainability, and contributes to the long-term success and promotion of health care.

Brenner Children's Hospital

Why choose a Master of Healthcare Leadership from Wake Forest?

The Wake Forest online Master of Healthcare Leadership helps prepare students to enhance quality and efficiency while promoting sustainable solutions against the backdrop of a shifting landscape. We integrate longitudinal leadership and competency development that is focused specifically on the health care industry.

Our program includes dedicated studies and curriculum that address the following topic areas:

  • Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making for Health Care Leaders
  • Health Care Policy and Law: Past, Present and Future
  • Financial Management in Health Care Organizations
  • Quality Outcomes and Improvement
  • Marketing in Transformative Health Care
  • Leveraging Big Data for Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Optimizing Health Care Operations
  • Population and Global Health


World-class reputation and 100% online curriculum

Program completion in as few as 20 months

No standardized test requirements

Network with one of the largest hospital systems with 70,000+ employees

Ranked #28 in the nation

11:1 faculty ratio

Explore career enhancement and leadership opportunities

As today’s health care environment becomes more diversified, organizations rely more heavily on leadership that is prepared for the challenge of quality transformations and sustainability amidst inherent challenges and change. And through new opportunities in technology, transportation, communication, and data analytics, expanding the reach of health care to provide greater access of services can be achieved through effective strategy and management.

The Wake Forest online Master of Healthcare Leadership can prepare you to help implement change through managerial efficiency that spans multiple industries, while promoting team and organizational growth in a variety of roles.


Curriculum that helps you achieve your goals

The online Master of Healthcare Leadership program consists of 13 courses that total 35 credit hours. The program culminates with a Capstone Experience in which you will complete a group project that spans the duration of the program.

During the Capstone, you will draw upon knowledge and skills from your coursework with an emphasis on collaborating across health care sectors, considering strategic and ethical implications, communicating effectively and developing feasible, viable and transformative solutions.

The full course complement is designed to be completed in as few as two years.

Learn more about our curriculum


Two students talking about a project

Two students reviewing a project


Leading the way toward policy and administrative change is a mission that defines the health care industry from top to bottom. Led by program director Bret Nicks, our expert faculty relies on years of practical, hands-on experience to help guide you through an advanced curriculum that teaches not only the “how,” but also the “why” of health care leadership.

From this outlook, we help position you with the knowledge, context and perspective to balance the social and financial aspects of health service delivery systems that seek to provide equity of access to patients from all walks of life.

Learn more about our faculty

Admissions Requirements

The Wake Forest online Master of Healthcare Leadership (MHL) program requires a minimum requirement of 20 months of part-time online work for degree completion, which will also include two, four-day on-site residential sessions.

Admissions requirements for the MHL Program include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Personal statement: A written personal statement offers a chance for you to tell us about yourself and why you wish to pursue the Healthcare Leadership MS program at Wake Forest. Please include any unique insights regarding how your experiences related to leadership or health care leadership have prepared you for this interactive program, how the degree aligns with your present and future career plans, and what you hope to gain from the program. An optional short audio or video statement may be uploaded that describes why you wish to pursue a degree in Healthcare Leadership at Wake Forest.
  • Transcript(s) from any school from which a degree was granted. Unofficial transcripts may be used for review, but official transcripts are required to enroll.
  • Letters of recommendation – 2 letters are required
  • Resume/curriculum vitae
  • Attestation of readiness for online learning
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of leadership experience
  • Application fee ($100)