Master of Public Health Vs. Master of Health Administration

These two degree programs can prepare graduates for various roles within the healthcare industry in fields as varied as healthcare policy, epidemiology, or healthcare finance. Make sure you fulfill the possible admission requirements, which are explained in the related article.

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Presenting students with somewhat different educational experiences, a master of public health program focuses on issues affecting public health and policymaking, and a master of health administration looks at the finances and operations of the industry. Requirements for admission could include such things as standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.

Master of Public Health vs. Master of Health Administration

Master of Public Health

A master of public health degree program focuses on identifying and understanding public health problems and preparing students for a career as a healthcare professional or policymaker. This could include analyzing social conditions that become factors leading to public health issues, doing research to find solutions to public health crises, or developing and implementing new programs and policies designed at improving the health of the general population. Specializations are often offered within a program and may include fields like epidemiology, environmental health, healthcare management, global health, or health policy. Programs can often be completed in as little as one year, though an average program length for both online and on-campus programs is closer to two years. Core curriculum might include courses on environmental health, public health policy, and behavioral sciences.

Master of Health Administration

Master of health administration degree programs provide a deeper focus on the management and administrative side of the public and private healthcare industries and educate students about how to operate a hospital or other healthcare organization. They are often offered in both traditional and online formats. Potential career paths after graduation fall into a variety of fields and include healthcare consultant, hospital administrator, chief nursing officer, and medical practice manager. Some of the subjects that might be explored in the curriculum of these typically two-year programs will include healthcare management, global health systems, healthcare finance and health policy.

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Admission Requirements for Master of Public Health and Master of Health Administration Degree Programs

Master of Public Health

Applicants to public health master's programs are generally required to possess a bachelor's degree or higher, and some programs could require a minimum amount of prior work experience. Submission of GRE, MCAT or GMAT scores are likely to be required, though there is not often a minimum score requirement. A minimum GPA requirement is also not common, though a strong academic background is required, and certain prior coursework may be expected. Aspiring students might also need to submit one or more references or letters of recommendation, a resume or corpus vitae, and a statement of purpose or personal essay describing your goals, experience and interest.

Master of Health Administration

Those interested in enrolling in one of these degree programs will likely need to have a bachelor's degree but not necessarily possess any prior work experience in the field. A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale may also be required for admission. Applicants might be asked to submit a list of references and a number of letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and personal essay, a resume or other document of professional and educational experience, and official transcripts. You may also have to submit standardized test scores, such as the GRE or GMAT, for consideration; some programs might require a minimum of 55% to be accepted into the program.

A master of public health program may gear students more towards public health policy and healthcare practice career fields, while a master of health administration program tends toward an understanding of administrative or managerial roles in the industry. Both have a number of requirements for acceptance, which may include a strong academic background and standardized test scores.

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