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Health Management & Policy
Compare the M.H.S.A. and M.P.H. Degrees
All master degree students in the Department of Health Management and Policy receive training in health management and health policy. There are many similarities in the curricula for the two degrees, both of which prepare students for careers as leaders in the development, delivery, organization and management of health care and public health services. In fact, M.P.H. and M.H.S.A. students take several core courses together during their graduate studies, including courses on the health care delivery system, economics, health policy, accounting, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Although the two degree programs are quite similar in terms of their curricula and the knowledge, skills and competencies that students acquire, there are some differences in their emphasis.
The fundamental focus of the M.H.S.A. degree program is the organization, financing, marketing, and management of health care institutions and the delivery of personal health services in the United States. Many of the core competencies of the M.H.S.A. degree are modeled after a general business administration curriculum. The program prepares students for management careers in the unique environment of health care, including careers in health systems, hospital, clinic, and emergency services management. The M.H.S.A. degree is also appropriate for those seeking positions as planners, policy analysts, or consultants focusing on the financing, organization, quality and delivery of personal health services in either the public or the private sector.
In contrast, the M.P.H. degree program promotes a broad focus on the myriad factors that influence population health, of which medical care is one. These factors include socioeconomic conditions, cultural beliefs and practices, behavioral risk factors, and environmental exposures. The M.P.H. degree is appropriate for those who want to manage health programs that deliver preventive health care and other public health services in a wide range of institutions, both public and private. The degree also prepares students for public and private sector careers in public health policy, planning, and advocacy. Further, the M.P.H. degree in Health Management and Policy is appropriate for those who plan to manage or direct programs in international health agencies. The curriculum provides training and skills in the management of public health programs and initiatives, and the analysis of public health policies.
Given the similarities in the M.H.S.A. and the M.P.H. curricula and in the types of careers that graduates pursue, deciding which of the two degrees is more appropriate is difficult for some students. Health Management and Policy faculty can assist prospective and current students in this decision by discussing their career goals and their substantive interests in health. In addition, students should consult the suggested curriculum plans that have been developed for a number of career paths and degrees.
Contact Charlita Daniels, Student Services Coordinator