Preparing Your Online MHA Application: Essay Tips & Tricks

As you think about applying or starting your application to NYU Wagner’s Online Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree program, you will notice the application requires two essays. 

The essays are an opportunity to showcase your commitment to advancing healthcare in the United States and how you will bring your experiences to bear to make an impact on the communities and organizations you aspire to serve. Your responses also give the reader insight into your academic and professional experience, future goals, and why pursuing healthcare management is an important step forward in your career. 

Read the essay questions and review our recommendations for this critical component of your Online MHA application.  

Online MHA Essay Questions

Essay 1: 

Tell us about your short-term and long-term professional goals. How are your professional strengths, past experiences, and personal attributes aligned with these goals? Why is now the right time for you to pursue graduate school at NYU Wagner?

For MHA program applicants not currently working in a US healthcare-related position, be sure to articulate your interest in pursuing a career in healthcare management in the US.

Essay 2: 

At NYU Wagner, we believe that the practice of healthcare management is complicated and messy, and issues are often interconnected. Write an essay that begins to explore the complexities of a healthcare issue of your choice. How do you think the MHA program at NYU Wagner will aid you in addressing this issue?

How to Write an Online MHA Application Essay that’s Ready to Submit

Answer the essay questions

A good MHA application essay is well-organized and directly addresses the question. Focus your responses on your academic and professional goals and how NYU Wagner’s Online MHA program will help you achieve them. Tell us about your commitment to making an impact on the US healthcare system.  

Use specific examples

Set yourself apart from other applicants: tell your unique story and use specific examples. Was there a clear moment you knew you wanted to pursue a career in healthcare adminstration? Did volunteering, work, or a particular project spark your interest? You don’t need to write about a life-changing experience. Sometimes the smallest moments lead us to the biggest breakthroughs. 

Be honest 

Your application essay is also an opportunity to expand on the academic and professional history in your resume or CV. For example, if you worked full-time to help fund your undergraduate education, that shows us important context to your experience and achievements. We want to see your experience as a whole, and the more detailed and honest you are, the more the MHA admissions committee and faculty will see you as an individual ready for the next step in your healthcare career.

Make the most of the Additional Information section

The Additional Information section of the application is an optional opportunity to expand on particular circumstances related to your application of which we should be aware. For example, you might want to provide more information about unexplained gaps in your employment history, weak academic performance, the relevance of your choice of recommenders, or other significant factors that may impact your application. The additional information section is a great tool for us to get to know you and your specific circumstances better. 

Set aside time to prepare

Before you start your essay, formulate your plan and brainstorm what you want to say. We recommend setting aside 30 minutes each day to work on your essay. Before you know it you will have a complete, 400-500 word essay. 

Proofread, revise, and proofread again

Make sure your essay is well-organized and comprehensive. Double-check your grammar and spelling. A poorly written essay suggests a lack of care and subpar communication skills. Ask your colleagues, professors, managers, or friends for their feedback and edits. Having a second set of eyes will improve your essay. 

Remember, these essays are your only opportunity to express who you are, and why NYU Wagner’s Online MHA program is the right choice for you. If you have any other questions regarding admissions, please reach out to us! Our Enrollment Advisors are here to provide one-on-one application assistance about the program, online student experience, financial aid, and more.


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