Virginia Commonwealth University Make it Real

Why Choose an MHA vs. an MBA?

If you really want to work in the health care service delivery industry, a master’s degree in health administration can provide knowledge you need, and teach necessary skills for a leadership role in the organization, financing, marketing, planning and management of health care services. 

The advantages of a traditional Master of Health Administration (MHA) program and a distance learning Professional Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) program – online over a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree include:

  • A core curriculum of business management coursework with health care content throughout, rather than just a few elective courses specific to healthcare, as is typical in MBA programs; and
  • The opportunity to apply health care focused knowledge immediately, recognizing that health care services are unique, for the treatment of persons often in a most difficult situation in their lives.

Distinctive features of management positions in health care include:

  • Legal, regulatory, and reimbursement intricacies of, and differences between, for-profit, not-for-profit and government subsidized health care;
  • The core business of patient care, and how quality health care services are  conceptualized and measured;
  • The moral basis inherent in the delivery and support of health care services; and
  • Practice settings dominated by clinical professionals.