Competency Model

The following 23 competencies serve as the foundation of the Master of Health Administration program curriculum at University of the Incarnate Word.

Core Curriculum Domains and Competencies

Healthcare Environment

Ability to explain issues and advancements in the healthcare industry.

Policy and Advocacy

Ability to effectively participate in discussions relating to health policy at the local, state and federal levels.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

The ability to assess the authenticity, accuracy and worth of knowledge claims, beliefs, or arguments and reaching sound conclusions based on observation and information.

Innovative Thinking

Ability to apply complex concepts, develop creative solutions, or adapt previous solutions in new ways.

Process Management and Organizational Design

Ability to analyze and design, or improve, an organizational process, including incorporating the principles of patient safety, quality and continuous improvement.

Strategic Orientation

Ability to consider the business, demographic, ethno-cultural, political, and regulatory implications of decisions and develop strategies that continually improve the long-term success and viability of the organization.


Ability to hold people accountable to standards of performance with the long-term good of the organization in mind.

Project Management

Ability to plan and execute a project involving significant resources, scope, and impact.

Financial Skills

Ability to understand and explain financial and accounting information, prepare and manage budgets, and make sound long-term investment decisions.

Human Resources Management

Ability to implement staff development and other management practices that represent contemporary best practices, comply with legal and regulatory requirements, optimize the performance of the work force, including performance assessments, alternative compensation and benefit methods, and the alignment of human resource practices and processes to meet the strategic goals of the organization.

Information Technology Management

Ability to see the potential in and understand the use of administrative and clinical technology and decision-support tools in process and performance improvement.

Legal and Regulatory Application and Assessment

Ability to understand and explain the regulatory and administrative environment in which the organization functions (e.g., CMS; JCI; NCQA; antitrust; Stark I and II). Includes the ability to understand and explain corporate compliance laws and regulations (e.g., physician recruitment, billing and coding practices, antitrust, conflict of interest, etc.).

Performance Measurement

Ability to understand and use statistical, economic, epidemiological, and financial methods and metrics to set goals and measure clinical as well as organizational performance; commitment to and employment of evidence-based techniques.

Community Orientation

Ability to align one’s own and the organization’s priorities and assess and address community wellness needs in an evidence-based and holistic manner, i.e., one that addresses the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs of the community, with the goal of providing the best care, at the lowest price for all.

Professionalism and Ethics

The demonstration of ethics and sound professional practices, as well as stimulating social accountability and community stewardship. The desire to act in a way that is consistent with one’s values and what one says is important.

Communication Skills

Ability to speak and write in a clear, logical, and grammatical manner in formal and informal situations and to prepare cogent business presentations.

Interpersonal Understanding

Ability to understand other people as well as to accurately hear and understand the unspoken or partly expressed thoughts, feelings, and concerns of others. It measures increasing complexity and depth of understanding of others and includes cross-cultural sensitivity.


The ability to work cooperatively with others as part of a team or group, including demonstrating positive attitudes about the team, its members, and its ability to get its mission accomplished, and the ability to effectively resolve conflict.

Impact and influence

Ability to persuade and convince others (individuals or groups) to support a point of view, position, or recommendation.

Team Leadership

Ability to see oneself as a leader of others, from forming a top team that possesses balanced capabilities to setting the mission, values, and norms, as well as holding the team members accountable individually and as a group for results.


A belief in one's own capability to accomplish a task and select an effective approach to a task or problem. This includes confidence in one's ability as expressed in increasingly challenging circumstances and confidence in one's decisions or opinions.


A concern for surpassing a standard of excellence. The standard may be one's own past performance (striving for improvement); an objective measure (results orientation); outperforming others (competitiveness); challenging goals, or something that has not been done previously (innovation).


Ability to identify a problem, obstacle, or opportunity and taking action in light of this identification to address current or future problems or opportunities. Initiatives should be seen in the context of proactively doing things and not simply thinking about future actions. The time frame of this scale moves from addressing current situations to acting on future opportunities or problems.