January 29, 2023

What is the Difference Between a Master of Public Health and a Master of Health Administration?

masters of public health administrationWhile both degrees lead to similar potential places of employment, the Master of Public Health and Master of Health Administration have some major differences. The focus of a Master of Health/Healthcare Administration degree program is on the business of healthcare. Healthcare management relates to managing and running healthcare facilities. The focus of a Master of Public Health program is the study of public health to implement better health across a population or community. Graduates with an MPH degree can pursue careers in government positions or positions within community health organizations.

Goals of the Master of Health Administration

The Master of Health Administration (MHA) program prepares future leaders to effectively respond to the dynamic and ever-changing health care industry. Graduates of an MHA program will acquire the skills to critically examine and evaluate issues and trends to influence the future of the global health care system.

What is the Curriculum for the MHA?

The curriculum for a MHA program is tailored to the meet the needs of healthcare managers/administrators by providing core coursework in finance, policy, research, technology, quality improvement, economics, marketing and strategic planning. Students in an MHA program usually have the opportunity to choose a concentration that is related to their area of interest. Specialization can include gerontology, informatics and education. Graduates of a MHA program will have enhanced their management/administrative background and specialty area through the completion of a curriculum that provides students with the latest theories and contemporary practice applications. They may also define their role within the health care system and understand how to make necessary changes to create a work environment, which is team oriented and motivating to others.

What are Some of the Potential Areas of Employment for Graduates of an MHA program?

Graduates with an MHA have the opportunity for management for careers in positions within hospitals, clinics, groups, and insurance companies. Positions can include practice managers or department managers. There is a wide range in the average salaries for careers in Health Administration. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics a Health Services Administrator will typically earn between $37,500 and $162,000 annually.

Goals of the Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health (MPH) is a multi-discipline professional degree awarded for study in areas that are related to public health. The MPH degree focuses on public health practice, as opposed to research or teaching. Master of Public Health programs are available through Schools of Public Health and Schools of Public Affairs across the country. The traditional MPH degree is designed to allow students exposure to knowledge of the six core areas of public health study: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health services administration, Health education Behavioral science and Environmental science. In addition to these core areas of public health MPH degrees may include additional programs of specialization fields including: Urban planning, policy, advocacy, community organizing, communications, integrated health, social work and social sustainability.

What is the current salary range for an MPH program?

There is a wide range in the salary for a graduate of a MPH program depending on the specific area of specialization and levels of responsibility and experience:

Statistician – $72,800 – top 10% earn more than $119,000/year

Biostatistics – $75,560 – top 10% earn more than $121,890/year

Epidemiology – $65,270 – top 10% earn more than $108,320/yr

Health education – $48,790 – top 10% earn more than $86,810/yr

Executive director – $76,220 – top 10% earn more than $187,200/yr

Environmental health – $63,570 – top 10% earn more than $109,070/yr

Occupational Health – $66,790 – top 10% earn more than $97,380/yr

Deciding which degree to pursue should be based on what your specific area of interest is a better fit.

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