What’s The Difference Between an M.S., an M.B.A. and an M.H.A.?

In the world of higher education, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of acronyms. From High School Diploma (HSDG) all the way to Doctor of Literature and Philosophy (D.Litt. et Phil.), there is a shorthand for every degree. Of course more important than just a few different initials, these acronyms stand for different majors, and therefore require very different educations. Let’s take a look at a few more common graduate degrees, and answer the question, “What’s the difference between an M.S., an M.B.A. and an M.H.A.?”


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Master of Science Degree

The basic terminology for a graduate degree includes M.S., the first acronym on our list. M.S. is a generalized term for an academic degree acquired after a Bachelors degree. It stand for “Master of Science,” and as the name implies, is given to students in the fields of science. This type of degree does not specify the subject, and can be achieved in many fields including Nursing, Accounting, Biological Science, and Engineering.

Master of Business Administration

Our next topic is a more specialized degree than just an M.S. degree. M.B.A. stands for “Master of Business Administration,” and is given out to students strictly in the business field. This does, however, include multiple subdivisions including finance, accounting, human resources, and marketing. M.B.A. programs can come from more specific schools than just universities and colleges, oftentimes in the form of a Business School. These schools are often accredited by outside organizations to make sure that the institution follows certain guidelines in their coursework. There are three major accrediting bodies in the U.S., and you should verify that a business school adheres to their guidelines before applying. For more information on unaccredited organizations or bogus degrees, take a read here.

Master of Health Administration

The last Masters degree that we will take a look at today includes the M.H.A., or Master of Health Administration. This specified degree is attained by students who have studied in the field of health administration, which includes the management of hospitals and other health services organizations, as well as public health infrastructure. More specifically, topics are covered like health policy, organizational behavior, human resource management, operations assessment and improvement, and governance. There is only one accreditor recognized by the United States Department of Education for these types of programs, the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), which makes institutions that offer an accredited version of this degree rare. However, this degree can be crucial if you are planning on going into more advanced work with a hospital.

Get Your Degree Today!

Now that you know difference between a few of the Masters Degrees that are out there, you can begin planning your education in earnest. Start by finding a school and a degree that interests you, and following a few simple tips. Before you know it you’ll have graduated and be working in the field you’ve always dreamed!

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