Exploring the 7 graduate certificates as part of the GW online Healthcare MBA

A healthcare MBA-holder in a meetingStudents enrolled in the fully online Healthcare Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at the George Washington University (GW) have many options for customizing their programs of study. In addition to courses from the School of Business, eligible electives also are available from other GW professional schools. These classes may double as requirements for graduate certificates students can earn on the way to the MBA.


Overview of graduate certificates and the online MBA degree program at GW

Five certificates are available from the School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS), with two others attainable through the Schools of Business and Public Policy and Administration. Like the MBA itself, almost all of them can be earned completely online. Their required courses may count toward the total 24 credit hours of required MBA electives as long as they are:

  • Graduate-level and credit-bearing
  • Letter graded by faculty members
  • Not already applied to the completion of another degree (other than the MBA)

Online Healthcare MBA students in good standing must apply to their desired certificate programs. The application requires a résumé, essay, academic advisor reference, and transcripts; a fee waiver may be requested.

The seven certificate options available to MBA candidates cover a wide range of topics in management, finance, and healthcare operations. Let's dive into each one, what courses they require, and their outcomes for MBA students.

A Look at Graduate Certificates

Graduate certificates in the following specialties are available online from SMHS, inflexible asynchronous formats that are ideal for busy professionals:

Clinical Research Administration

This track prepares online MBA students for participation in the development and oversight of new therapeutics. Its curriculum consists of 15 core credit hours in clinical research administration (CRA) and an additional three-credit-hour elective. The CRA requirements are:

  • The Clinical Research Industry
  • Critical Analysis in Clinical Research
  • Medicine Development
  • Partnerships with Human Subjects
  • Quality and Risk Management

With the CRA certificate, MBA students can gain a valuable background in applicable regulations, relevant industry business practices, professional ethics, scientific research methods, and product development processes.

Clinical Research Practice

This certificate covers topics in biostatistics, epidemiology and health informatics in addition to research methodologies. As with the CRA certificate, there are 15 required credit hours along with three credit hours for a selected elective, with specific course titles including:

  • Bioinformatics for genomics
  • Biostatistics for clinical and translational research
  • Clinical investigation
  • Critical analysis of clinical research
  • Epidemiology for clinical and translational research

The Clinical Research Practice certificate is a useful asset for MBAs seeking to conduct clinical research in tandem with sponsored programs.

Clinical and Translational Research

The Clinical and Translational Research option is focused specifically on research practices for transforming scientific findings into viable medical therapies (i.e., translational medicine). The curriculum features classes in:

  • Clinical investigation
  • Collaboration and team science in practice and research
  • Critical analysis of clinical research
  • Foundations in translational research
  • Grantsmanship in translational research
  • Transdisciplinary research proposal

An elective is also chosen with help from the student's academic advisor, for a total of 21 credit hours for the program. Certificate holders are well-prepared to participate in modern translational research initiatives.

Healthcare Quality

Quality is an emerging field in healthcare and one that will grow in importance as more providers look to shift from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement models. The Healthcare Quality certificate helps students become continuously improving specialists in both quality and patient safety. Eighteen credit hours are required, spread across the following courses:

  • Introduction to healthcare quality
  • Building a quality culture
  • Health care quality landscape
  • Healthcare quality measurement, data management, and analysis
  • Patient safety systems
  • Quality improvement in science

Regulatory Affairs

Healthcare is a highly regulated industry. The Regulatory Affairs certificate helps online MBA degree students become well-versed in how the sector's particular regulations affect compliance initiatives, drug development and clinical research, through courses in:

  • Introduction to global regulatory affairs
  • Biostatistics for clinical and translational research
  • Clinical research for regulatory affairs
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Regulatory strategy in the development of drugs and biologics
  • Regulatory strategy in the development of devices and diagnostics

There are 18 total credit hours in the program. This certificate was designed with help from regulatory professionals as well as relevant U.S. government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration.

Other Graduate Certificates

Online MBA students have a few other possible certificate tracks outside of the five offered through SMHS. The options are:

Responsible Management

This certificate from the School of Business trains students to be responsible leaders who can thrive in an era of multifaceted consumer, industry, and governmental oversight. Business Ethics and Public Policy is its own required course. The rest of the program consists of approved electives and co-curricular requirements, like attending special events, completing a research project, and extracurricular activities.

Nonprofit Management

Available through the School of Public Policy and Public Administration, the Nonprofit Management certificate may appeal to MBA students exploring professional opportunities at the many nonprofits in the healthcare sector. This certificate is not available online.

However, it only requires 12 credit hours. The two requirements are:

  • Governing and managing nonprofit organizations
  • Managing fundraising and philanthropy

The remaining credit hours are filled out by any two electives from this pool of courses:

  • Public and nonprofit program evaluation
  • Managing nonprofit boards
  • Financial management for public, nonprofit, and health organizations
  • International development NGO management

Start exploring your Healthcare MBA online options

The online Healthcare MBA from GW provides the perfect combination of rigor and flexibility through its flexible format and a broad spectrum of curricular options. Plus, the graduate certificates covered here to allow for extensive program customization so students can focus on the topics that most interest them. Check out the main program page today and download our free brochure to get started.

Recommended Readings:

5 Ways Your Healthcare MBA Sets You Apart from Other Healthcare Professionals
5 Ways to Set Intelligent and Effective Company Goals