MSHS in Correctional Health Administration

A doctor writing on a clipboard sitting with a patient

Join one of the first programs of its kind in the nation and learn to serve the unique health needs of incarcerated populations with the George Washington University's (GW) online Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Correctional Health Administration. Learn to oversee staffing, manage budgets, and lead a health care unit inside of a correctional institution. When you graduate with the MSHS in Correctional Health Administration, you'll be able to:

  •  Design a health care services plan for incarcerated patient populations that meets diverse needs and is constitutional, evidenced-based, and fiscally prudent
  • Develop value-based strategies to mitigate risks and improve clinical outcomes
  • Lead a correctional health care team and engage internal and external stakeholders
  • Establish scope of services, meet staffing needs, manage a budget, and oversee public relations needs



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Total Credits



24 months

Average Duration

Accreditation and Rankings

  • GWU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • #62 Best National University*
  • #15 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs*
  • #8 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans*

* The U.S. News & World Report – 2023 Rankings

Program Highlights:

  • Complete your degree in 24 months
  • Learn to provide superior health care to correctional populations
  • One of the first programs in the nation designed to prepare students to enter a correctional health care setting as a health care administrator
  • No prior correctional experience required if you have three or more years of experience in another health care field

Program Structure

Nearly all courses are delivered online in a flexible, asynchronous format, so you can earn your graduate degree while keeping up with your personal and professional commitments. The final course of the program during the second year is a 14-week practicum in a U.S. jail or prison.

Correctional Health Administration Career Outlook

In late 2017, health care surpassed both manufacturing and retail as the largest employer in the United States, due in part to its ability to resist economic downturns.1 Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, more than double the average rate of growth for all other occupations.2

With your master's in Correctional Health Administration, you'll be prepared to take on several leadership roles in correctional health care:

  • Correctional Health Services Administrator (System-wide/Corporate)
  • Correctional Health Services Administrator (Regional)
  • Correctional Health Services Administrator (Correctional Complex)
  • Correctional Health Services Administrator (Facility) 
  • Correctional Assistant Health Services Administrator (Facility)

Tuition Details

The MSHS in Correctional Health Administration program at GW consists of 36 credit hours. Please find the cost per credit hour and total estimated program costs here.

Note: Tuition rates are subject to change and additional fees may vary by program.


Meet the Program Director

Newton Kendig


GW’s experienced faculty provide you with the rich, practical knowledge and support needed for you to succeed in the program and in your career.

Newton E. Kendig, MD

Read Full Bio

Dr. Kendig is an internal medicine and infectious diseases physician with 25 years of experience as a correctional health care administrator having served in both the State and Federal systems. He served for many years as the Medical Director for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and as an assistant surgeon general of the US Public Health Service. Dr. Kendig is supported by other faculty who are nationally known experts in the field of correctional health administration.

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