New “3+2” option lets Drake students earn M.H.A. at DMU

Drake UniversityStudents pursuing a bachelor of science degree in health sciences (B.S.) in Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences now have the opportunity to also earn a master’s degree of health care administration (M.H.A.) at Des Moines University.

This new “3+2” option allows Drake students, after their third year in the B.S. program, to begin taking M.H.A. courses at DMU and concurrently earn credit toward both degrees, completing all course work in a total of five years.

“We are excited to expand our partnership to include the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences,” states Carla Stebbins, Ph.D., director of the M.H.A. program at DMU. “This new 3+2 agreement shortens the pathway to the health care management profession, providing students an entry-level graduate degree. Combined with some experience, graduates of this new agreement will be prepared to take on management responsibilities earlier than the pathway of most M.H.A. graduates.”

DMU’s M.H.A. program prepares individuals to effectively work in and lead organizations in the fast-changing field of health care. Students gain knowledge and abilities in financial management, health information management, leadership, communication, strategic planning and health policy. Drake students who take advantage of the 3+2 option will hone competencies in these areas and benefit from increased interactions with health care professionals and students.

The combined degree option will equip students to pursue careers in hospital and health center management, human resources, financial and strategic planning, policymaking and more, and to do so sooner than if they enrolled in a traditional undergraduate program followed by graduate school. In addition, students can complete the two degrees at a lower cost than if they took a traditional path.

“One of the hallmarks of our health sciences degree is the opportunity for students to begin work on graduate degrees while completing their undergraduate program,” says Renae Chesnut, R.Ph., M.B.A., Ed.D., interim dean and professor of pharmacy practice in the Drake College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “We are excited to partner with DMU in the offering of this unique opportunity, since many of our students are interested in pursuing health administration careers.”

Drake and Des Moines University have partnered on other joint degrees, including the B.S. in health sciences/master of public health degree, doctor of pharmacy/master of public health degree, and law/master of public health degree. These programs allow students to pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously.

For more information about the new B.S. and M.H.A. program, including the application process and requirements, contact Jessica Lang, admissions liaison, Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, at 515-271-3018, or visit

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