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Learn more about our Executive MBA - Healthcare Leadership.

Program overview

Lead your healthcare organization through periods of unprecedented change with the Executive MBA - Healthcare Leadership (EMBA-HL) from the Haslam College of Business. Our program features on-campus residencies, a healthcare policy immersion trip in Washington, D.C. and online coursework to equip healthcare professionals with the business acumen to transform organizations and bring value to leadership roles. As an EMBA-HL student, you will apply course concepts to your professional role while expanding your network to include a diverse group of healthcare leaders operating in all areas of the sector. In less than one calendar year, our graduate degree will magnify your ability to lead initiatives, drive efficiency and think critically to guide your organization through healthcare reforms and emerge as a leader within your organization.

An MBA in One Year

Complete an MBA with only nine days out of the office each quarter. The residence periods take place at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and include a trip to Washington D.C. where you will explore healthcare policy.

Applied Learning

Build the expertise to lead today’s health initiatives — new payment models, remote medicine, new delivery channels, comprehensive quality improvement and more — through a healthcare MBA curriculum, ranked the No. 1 most relevant EMBA worldwide by The Economist.

Healthcare Connections

Join a network of clinical and administrative healthcare professionals representing top healthcare organizations in every state and overseas.

Unmatched Value

Applied learning provides immediate ROI. Design a custom Organizational Action Project in counsel with one of our faculty advisors and deliver direct value to your organization’s leadership throughout the year.

Most Relevant Executive MBA Worldwide


2018 Economist WhichMBA

U.S. Public Institution for Alumni Satisfaction


2020 Financial Times

Largest Among U.S. Public Institutions


2021 Modern Healthcare

Designed for Healthcare Leaders

Our Executive MBA - Healthcare Leadership participants bring real-world experience to the classroom and arrive ready to tackle challenges they face on a day-to-day basis in the healthcare environment. Students come from a variety of roles and functions across healthcare, and share industry best practices and lessons learned with one another so that you can return to your organization with differentiated perspectives to address the latest healthcare trends.

To maintain a supportive learning environment and allow for close faculty connections, our program is limited to 30 students. Program participants and alumni represent organizations across healthcare including Anthem, Ballad Health, Centene, Cigna, Covenant Health, GE Healthcare, Integrity Laboratories, Kindred Healthcare, Lifepoint Health, Medtronic, Stryker, Sutter Health, Team Health, University of Tennessee Medical Center and more. This extensive network allows you to connect with professionals to not only make a difference locally, but also benefits the healthcare system overall.

As a designated 2021-2022 Military Friendly Gold School and Military Spouse Friendly School, our program also offers a broad range of resources to support students in the military and their families as they pursue their educational goals.

Executive MBA - Healthcare Leadership Class Profile

Job Title% of Program Participants
Senior Manager / Manager 27%
Senior Executive 23%
Director 23%
CEO / C - Suite 19%
Clinician 8%


The Executive MBA – Healthcare Leadership is first and foremost a Master of Business Administration. The program helps healthcare professionals become business leaders by developing skills in accounting, finance, marketing, operations and leadership through applied methodology. What makes this EMBA unique is the dedicated cohort of healthcare professionals who come together each year and our focus on unique healthcare challenges to advance quality, access, affordability, and financial performance all at once.

Core Executive Competencies

  • Healthcare Business Acumen

    Holistic healthcare understanding including topics such as healthcare finance, healthcare economics, lean management for healthcare, and healthcare policy

  • Transformational Capabilities

    Business model strategies, organizational design and alignment, and change management

  • Systems Thinking and Operational Excellence

    Operating models for integrated care, value-based and risk-sharing service models, and continuous improvement

  • Data-Driven Decision-Making

    Integrating data into decision-making processes and day-to-day management to gain insights and drive outcomes

  • Policy Readiness and Influence

    Identifying the direction for national and local policies, understanding their impact for your organization and taking action to influence policy

Applied Learning

Applied learning is emphasized throughout the year with individual and team assignments. This means students have the opportunity to immediately translate course concepts into action in the workplace.

Instead of teaching standard courses or classes on traditional business disciplines, professors address real-world problems from multiple perspectives and focus on common challenges that executives share across all segments of the healthcare sector.

During each residence period, participants:

  • Learn how to evaluate organization finances within healthcare
  • Explore and debate strategies for improving patient outcomes and financial results
  • Examine cases and talk with experts to understand current approaches across health systems, payers, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and other players
  • Collaborate with your experienced peers in the program to build your leadership and analytical skills

Program Structure

Participants complete the Executive MBA – Healthcare Leadership in a single calendar year, spending roughly 35 days out of the office. The average time commitment is about 15 to 20 hours per week for readings and assignments. Assignments relate directly to the work you perform in your job to help you best retain the information, immediately apply new concepts, and return value to your organization.

Quarterly In-Person Residencies

The bulk of the learning takes place during four residence periods (RPs) of 9 days each, not including travel. Three residencies take place at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, while one includes time in Knoxville plus a healthcare policy immersion trip to Washington D.C.

The program breaks from the traditional academic format where you complete a collection of required and elective courses, and instead integrates business topics in the classroom to replicate how they function in the real world.

Academic Year 2023

  • Classes Start: January 14, 2023*
  • Residence Period 1: January 14-22, 2023: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Residence Period 2.1: April 1-5, 2023: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Residence Period 2.2: April 19-21, 2023: Washington, D.C.
  • Residence Period 3: August 5-13, 2023: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Residence Period 4: December 7-15, 2023: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Graduation Date: December 15, 2023

*Optional Excel Bootcamp: January 13, 2023: Offered both in-person and virtual

Distance Learning

Between each residence period you will participate in Distance Learning (DL) sessions, complete relevant and applied assignments and work on your year-long Organizational Action Project (OAP). This combination of in-person residencies, online sessions, and direct application of concepts to your work allows for the program's compressed duration.

  • Thursdays from 7-9 PM EST

Organizational Action Project

During the program, EMBA-HL candidates participate in an Organizational Action Project (OAP) targeting issues of major importance to their organization. Each student designs their own project and works in concert with the organization’s leadership team. They also work with a faculty advisor who provides mentorship and assesses deliverables throughout the program year.

Similar to a thesis, the project is graded independently of other assignments. Across our programs, our EMBA students routinely generate $6.5 million or more in return on investment to their companies through the Organizational Action Projects.

Leadership Development Program

The Executive MBA – Healthcare Leadership helps executives develop the vision, communication and leadership skills necessary to succeed in the transforming healthcare environment.

All residence periods include curricula specifically geared toward senior-level leadership in healthcare, including courses in:

  • Healthcare economics and policy
  • Financial Acumen
  • Negotiation
  • Strategy (including a focus on both for-profit and nonprofit healthcare models)
  • Data-driven decision-making and effective change leadership

Students work with a Haslam coach to create a personalized leadership development program targeting the student’s individual strengths and weaknesses. This coaching relationship supports the student throughout the year to experiment with new approaches, reflect on their discoveries, and see real-world improvements as a leader.

Peer-to-peer relationships contribute significantly to leadership development throughout the program. Students spend a year in near constant communication and collaboration with other healthcare leaders in their cohort, exchanging ideas and best practices. Alumni often cite these relationships with their classmates as one of the most pivotal aspects of the program, and one that endures long after graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Key Dates & Deadlines

The Executive MBA - Healthcare Leadership admissions team reviews applications on a rolling basis. Cohorts are limited, so the earlier you complete your application, the sooner you can get an admissions decision to reserve your seat.

July 15, 2022

Early Review Deadline

September 30, 2022

Priority Review Deadline

November 30, 2022

Final Review Deadline


Are you ready to commit to becoming a more strategic leader with the Haslam College of Business? Request more information or contact an enrollment advisor to learn more about the Executive MBA - Healthcare Leadership.


Request Information

Learn more about our Executive MBA - Healthcare Leadership.