What is the Difference Between an MBA in Healthcare and a Master’s of Healthcare Management?

If you work in healthcare and you are pursuing a graduate degree, you need to know the difference between an MBA in Health Management and a Master’s of Healthcare Management. At face value it might appear as if both degrees offer the same type of curriculum, but being that one is a teriminal degree and the other is a professional degree, they each have a unique focus. It is up to you to decide which degree is suited for you to advance your career in the shortest time possible. Here are the major differences in each program that prospective students should be aware of:

What is a MHM Degree?

A Master’s degree is a terminal degree where you will take coursework that is focused entirely on theory as it pertains to Healthcare Management. Since it is a Master of Science degree program, you will take courses that focus on data and how to think analytically as a manager within the healthcare arena. The key is to give students the knowledge that they need to succeed in results oriented healthcare environments.

Resource: Top 20 Affordable Online Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration Programs for 2015

Some of the most common classes that are required in MS programs include:

  • Operations Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Accounting and Control
  • IT Systems
  • Financial Management
  • Negotiations
  • Business Communications
  • Health Policy and Payment Systems
  • Healthcare Quality Improvement
  • Marketing Management

What is an MBA in Healthcare Management?

A terminal graduate degree program focuses on theory and a professional graduate degree focuses more on professional skills and application. The Master of Business Administration program in Health Management is designed to help professionals become talented leaders in the healthcare arena. Master of Business Administration programs take more of a real-life approach to teaching students. Instead of covering theory, the program focuses more on skill sets and practice.

The focus is on building well-rounded business professionals instead of learning all about health management. There will, however, be courses concentrating on healthcare if you select it as your concentration. Some courses you will take when you study for your professional degree include:

  • Business Law
  • Marketing
  • Human Behavior in Organizations
  • Accounting
  • Leading in an Organization
  • Ethics
  • Finance and Economics
  • Operations Management
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Health Administration
  • Social Issues in Healthcare

Which Degree is Right for You?

As you can see, some of the courses align with one another but many do not. Even the similar courses are delivered in a different way. If you want to learn how to be a leader and how to prepare to handle global issues, you may be better off with a business degree. If, however, you would like to cover more technical and field-focused coursework so that you can be a researcher and strategist, you might want to go for the terminal master’s degree.

Selecting a degree is a major choice. You need to consider how challenging it will be, what you will learn, and how the topics of study are delivered. Once you get a feeling for each degree, consider how the degrees are perceived. Always focus on accreditation before anything else. Then you will be equipped with the knowledge you need to choose between a Master’s of Healthcare Management and an MBA with the same concentration.

Additional Resources:

Top 10 Best Online MHA Programs 2015

Top 10 Best Online MPH Programs 2015