Impact Lives

Which Master’s Degree Is Right for Public Health Professionals?

The choice between pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH), a Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Care Administration is not an easy one. Below are several key points of each degree to help you make your decision.

Master of Public Health

An MPH is primarily designed to give you the skills and knowledge to serve as an advocate for communities and implement health initiatives. MPH-prepared professionals focus on preventing disease and illness from occurring, rather than trying to treat already present diseases and illnesses. They may also work to stave off pandemics, bioterrorism and epidemics.

An MPH degree is typically recognized as the premiere credential for professionals working in public health. This master’s degree is also ideal for those who want to obtain high-level positions in state, federal and international health organizations, as well as with government agencies.

The subjects covered in a comprehensive MPH program include:

  • Environmental health sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • Health care systems and financing
  • Social and behavioral aspect of health
  • Biostatistics
  • Program evaluation
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Law and ethical issues in public health

Master's in Health Administration

An MHA degree program focuses on the administration and operation of health care facilities. This degree path is the best option if you want to pursue a leadership role in a hospital or medical facility. The focus of an MHA is to instill within you the skills to become an effective administrator in a health care setting. The vast majority of your time will be spent studying the effective management of the operations and finances of a large health care facility.

The subjects covered in a comprehensive MHA program include:

  • Marketing and strategic planning
  • Quality management and performance
  • Human resource management
  • Accounting
  • Hospital or nursing home administration
  • Health care administration leadership
  • Health care financial management

MBA in Health Care Administration

Those with an MBA in Health Care Administration gain extensive business knowledge and skills while also focusing on its context within health care administration. An online MBA in Health Care Administration, such as the one from Benedictine University, teaches students how to handle a variety of demands within the health care industry, including:

  • Economic
  • Regulatory
  • Ethical
  • Social
  • Political
  • Legal

This degree program also shows students how finance, operations and marketing activities pertain to the health care industry.

Graduates of online MBA in Health Care Administration programs will know how to analyze economic, statistical and quantitative information to make sound business decisions, practice financial management, and effectively identify and address legal and ethical issues that arise in health care.

In the end, your degree choice should be based on where your passions lie and where you want to take you career. If administration of a health care facility or organization is your passion, then an MHA degree should be your choice. But if working closely with issues that cause public health problems and discovering solutions to those problems is your passion, then an MPH should be your pursuit, such as the online MPH offered from Benedictine University. This master’s degree program is designed to offer you the flexibility to advance your education while still focusing on your current career and responsibilities.