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Differences Between the MHA and MPH Degrees

MHA and MPH Comparison

Since the UW MHA Program is located in the School of Public Health, MHA students take a series of core public health courses. All of these topics are presented from a systemic/organizational management perspective, however, and connections to organizational purpose and health service delivery goals are emphasized throughout.

Beyond the common core, however, the emphasis of the MHA degree is on health care organizations and the effective and efficient management of those organizations within dynamic policy and competitive market environments. The central focus of the curriculum is on the operation and financing of health care organizations and on the development of leadership and business management skills for application within the market-based health care environment.

On the other hand, the central foci of MPH programs are on the description of patterns of disease within populations, and on the development, operation, financing, and evaluation of population-based programs designed to improve the health of populations within the community. Thus, organizational management within health care, health policy development, and business skills versus population-based program planning, development, and evaluation skills (or population-based assessment and description skills) represent fundamental differences in the knowledge and skills emphasized and developed within these two complementary degree programs.