National Council On Administrative Fellowships

The National Council on Administrative Fellowships (NCAF) is an organization of fellowship sites and graduate health management programs who are working together to continuously improve early-career development opportunities for our next-generation healthcare leaders.

NCAF creates an industry standard in the recruitment for administrative fellows. In doing so, NCAF allows for a uniform and coordinated recruitment process, helps organizations access a national pipeline of the next generation of healthcare industry leaders, and brings fellowship sites and graduate health management programs together to share ideas and best practices.




NCAF believes that students will benefit from better coordination across the field in the development and operation of fellowship programs. Members agree to abide by the guidelines of the NCAF Code of Good Practice, which includes upholding uniform application dates. For 2020, these dates are:

  • A uniform application deadline: Thursday, October 1, 2020
    • A uniform offer acceptance date: Thursday, November 12th
      • NAFCAS Application Cycle 2 will run from November 23, 2020-Feburary 1, 2021. Note: Deadlines may vary for all available fellowship sites
        • Once the application closes on Thursday, October 1, 2020 11:59:59 PM ET, fellowship sites are able to make formal, written offers as they choose
          • Applicants are not required to accept any offer until November 12, 2020, Noon CT, which is the official offer acceptance day. Applicants may choose to accept, decline, or put an offer on hold. Note: Applicants may only hold one offer at a time
            • Applicants should accept or decline any offers before or on November 12 at Noon CT. Fellowships may elect to extend offers to alternate applicants for positions that have not been accepted by that time or may choose to provide the applicant with additional time to make a decision
              • If a fellowship site is extending a formal, written offer on or after November 12, 2020, applicants must be given a minimum of 24 hours to make their decision. Again, applicants may only hold one offer at a time

                HISTORY OF NCAF


                Administrative fellowships typically involve 1 to 2 year roles taken by recent graduates from master’s level programs (e.g., MHA, MHP, MPH, MPP, MBA, or equivalent degrees), and prepare early careerists for leadership-track careers in the health sector. Although these programs are widely viewed as highly valuable, there is equally widespread recognition that the historical ‘free market’ approach resulted in a highly inefficient process, one that created significant and needless pressure on student applicants, interfered substantially with their graduate studies, and resulted in substantial variability in program quality. 

                In 2014 NCHL, in collaboration with AUPHA and CAHME, embarked on an exploratory project to determine whether there was a critical mass of interest in the field to pursue a more organized and collaborative approach to the fellowship process. This included two national surveys, one of graduate program directors and one of fellowship preceptors, as well as a series of information sessions with representatives from stakeholder groups throughout year. These efforts indicated clear interest and need for the (1) establishment of a “code of good practice,” and (2) establishment of an oversight body to ensure the Code is upheld.


                The member-supported National Council on Administrative Fellowships was launched on October 1, 2014. NCAF members publicly agree to hold themselves and each other accountable to upholding and evolving the Code of Good Practice over time. NCAF’s work includes a Steering Committee and four Subcommittees: Benchmarking, Metrics, & Research; Long-Term Planning & Special Projects; Membership & Outreach; and Fellows Education. 


                The Code of Good Practice, which is vetted annually and agreed upon by NCAF members, includes a uniform date for fellowship application deadlines, offer dates, and offer acceptance timeframes. These practices are in place for 2018’s application and recruitment process. The Code is successful to the extent that it becomes a living and enforceable set of standards. Getting there requires coordination and oversight and the resources to ensure these activities happen.

                NCAF MEMBERSHIP

                NCAF Membership is on an annual bases and runs from January-December or July-June annually. The membership fee for all adminsitrative fellowship sites and graduate health management programs is $1,100.   Join us in accelerating early-career development for our next generation of leaders.