The Difference between MHA, MBA & MPH Courses

The Difference between MHA, MBA & MPH Courses

For new graduates aiming to pursue an advanced degree in healthcare, the available options can be overwhelming. The programs offered to graduates include Master’s in Health Administration (MHA), Master’s in Public Health Administration (MPH), and Masters of Business Administration in Healthcare (MBA).

Before making a decision about which program you would like to pursue, you need to understand the career path you plan to enter into, and how that selected path will be aided by your chosen program. Understanding the differences between an MBA, MPH, or MHA program is your first step in the decision-making process.

Initially, these three programs may seem similar to one another, but the difference lies in the approach and focus of the degree. The MHA is an immersive health care management degree, while the MBA is a business degree with a health care specialization. The MPH is a program tailored to those who want to concentrate on the management of community health services.

Health care is a heavily regulated industry and the MHA is the most unique program available for healthcare professionals. It includes industry-specific courses as well as regulatory courses.

So how do you decide on which path to take? The decision depends on which facet of health care you would like to work in. The MBA in healthcare allows more bridging between different industries, while the MHA is focused entirely around one very unique industry. The MPH is primarily focused on grant and government funding and regulatory care.

Let’s take a close look at the courses a bit more closely.


Students of Master’s in Health Administration program will find themselves heavily involved in all aspects of healthcare management. Experts suggest that an average hospital is likely to have up to 100 regulatory agencies to report to. Due to this, the program also includes coursework in
health law and policies.

Candidates must have a multi-faceted approach to their career in order to keep up with the complexity and regulatory nature of health care. The MHA program is focused on skill building, which ensures that students are able to understand the complexities in this field.


As the name suggests, MBA in Healthcare Management focuses more on the business side of healthcare management. More time is spent on operations and less is spent on policy.

This program is dedicated to creating leaders in the health care business. Students of MBA in Healthcare do not study policy and law as they are focused on the business side.


Master’s in Public Health is a tailored program for candidates who want to concentrate on the management of community health services. Among the above-mentioned programs, an online MPH is the least business-focused degree.

An MPH is for those who want to pursue a public service career in government or nonprofit agencies. The MPH course is more focused on regulatory care, grants, and government funding.