The Neeley School of Business and UNTHSC are teaming up to offer a health care MBA.

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TCU’s foray into medical education and its partnership with the University of North Texas Health Science Center are not limited to a new medical school.

Beginning this summer, the Neeley School of Business and UNTHSC will offer a Master of Business Administration in health care.

The healthcare-focused MBA, in addition to TCU’s new medical school, will add to TCU’s graduate community and increase connectivity with institutions in the area, said William Cron, senior associate dean of graduate programs.

“The part that I get most excited about is the connections to the community on a graduate level,” Cron said. “TCU is still known as an undergraduate institution. That’s going to change with the medical school, and I think we will be able to ride that as well.”

The 48-hour program will offer classes taught by both Neeley and UNTHSC professors. Cron said the program is designed to take about two years and three months, but students can finish at their own pace.

“More doctors and nurses have shown interest in the program than originally anticipated, but the class will be no larger than 15 students,” Cron said.

Cron said the program will help students adapt to changes in the health care industry spurred by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“If they raise their head from their daily work at all, they’ll see this is the direction it [the health care industry] is going into,” Cron said. “There is no question it’ll move in this direction where the [health care] provider takes over more of the management.”

The healthcare MBA will put providers who are first-line managers in the position to move up to a director level or higher, benefitting the entire health care industry, Cron said.

“If I focus on them [first-line managers], it also makes our program valuable to almost everybody else in the healthcare system,” Cron said. “Whether its free-standing clinics or home health care, they’re all involved in this system.”