MPH vs MPA: Key Differences

Are you trying to decide between getting a master’s in public health (MPH) and a master’s of public administration (MPA)? These master’s degrees are similar and both have their advantages. Read on to learn more about the difference between the two.

A master’s in public health is considered by most experts to be the top credential for those who work in leadership in the area of public health. The MPH is designed for professionals who are aspiring to work in public health in state, federal and local agencies. You will work closely with people in the local community to keep them in the best health and to prevent deadly diseases from ever happening.

Sponsored Content

The topics you will focus on in your training during your master’s program include:

  • Environmental health sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • Healthcare systems and financing
  • Social and behavioral aspect of health
  • Biostatistics
  • Program evaluation
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Law and ethical issues in public health

A master’s degree in public health will have you working both administratively and on the ground in key areas of community public health to prevent diseases and illnesses from occurring in the local population.

A master’s of public administration is generally the most widely accepted graduate degree credential for people who are interested in a public service career. You will acquire the skills that you need to become a highly polished leader in the public sector, and you will have the ability and the skills to work in either the government or the private sector.

Good MPA programs are designed to boost your ability to analyze, understand and control your environemtn so that you can manage and promote positive change in both the public and nonprofit arenas.

The curriculum in an MPA program generally will cover organizational governance, finance, and administration, as well as signficiant real world administrative experience. Courses for MPA students will include criminal justice, human resources, policy analysis, government administration and information resource management.

Some of the most common career paths for an MPA professional include attorney, bank officer, college administrator, financial aid specialist, hospital administrator, health care administrator, and benefits administrator.

Sponsored Content

In summary, an MPH is well suited for the professional who is interested in working closely with the community on solving and preventing public health problems. It is for a person who definitely wants to work in public health and health care, usually on the ground.  An MPA is better suited for the professional who is interested in more in administrative affairs that are not necessarily connected to public health and health care.

As seen on: