The MHA or Master’s of Healthcare Administration Degree and MPH or Master’s of Public Health are two degrees that appear similar. However, these two degrees are very different in important ways. Although both degrees are focused on healthcare, only one of the degrees is purely focused on healthcare management. Here, we will explain some of the common differences between the MHA vs MPH Degree.
The focus of the MHA degree is on actual healthcare management. Healthcare management relates to managing and running healthcare facilities. Common courses are similar to many MBA curriculums, however these degrees take those business courses and purely focus on healthcare. Example of finance and management with respect to hospitals are represented in this type of coursework. Above all, there is a business focus rather than an actual health focus.
Career wise, the MHA degree will provide people with the opportunity for management positions within hospitals, clinics, groups, and insurance companies. Once again, the focus is on the business of healthcare rather than the mechanisms used to implement better health across a population or community. Positions include practice managers or department managers.
The focus of the MPH degree is on the actually health of a community and population. Beyond that, the focus is on methods we can use to help the health of the population. Examples include organizational or governmental programs that can help reduce diabetes or increase fitness in a population. The coursework focuses on epidemiology, group health, disease management, and anything based on the health of populations and its management.
Career wise, the MPH degree will provide people with the opportunity to work in government positions or positions within community health organizations. Remember, the main focus is on the health of populations rather than actual organizations.
The MHA vs MPH debate is somewhat contentious and can certainly lead people in unintended directions. Make sure you discuss your goals with the various schools you are researching and develop a plan. The biggest part of the MHA and MPH debate is that all schools have different programs that provide different needs. If you know your goals, then you should understand what degree is right for you!
Please feel free to search our directory for both MHA and MPH programs. Remember, this is a very personal decision, however you need to get as much information as possible to make an informed decision of the MHA vs MPH degree comparison. Also, please feel free to read our comparison of MHA MBA programs as well.