What is the difference between a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and a Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree?

  • The typical MBA degree offers a broad overview of business administration functions, including finance, marketing, management, operations, accounting, human resources, organizational behavior, etc., often with a variety of optional concentrations. Some MBA programs may offer a concentration in Health Management, Health Policy, or Health Administration, which typically dedicates between 12-15 course credits to topics which are specific to the healthcare industry. Graduates of MBA programs may enter a variety of roles across industries. The scope of an MBA program is generally quite broad and will be best suited to students with a general interest in management or entrepreneurship.
  • Comparatively, the MHA Program offers similar courses in management fundamentals, all of which are taught through the lens of the health sector and the role of the health administrator. For example, rather than taking a course in general Human Resources, MHA Program candidates will take a course in Human Resources in the Health Sector. Rather than taking a broad course in Management, MHA Program candidates will take courses in the Fundamentals of Healthcare Management, Physician Practice Management, Long-Term Care Administration, and Health Strategic Management. The scope of the MHA Program is more in-depth and specific to the health services industry in particular. This degree will be best suited to students who are committed to launching a career in the health services industry with an interest in management or leadership roles. These roles may range anywhere from a unit or service line manager to a C-suite level executive.
  • Both the MHA and MBA are excellent degrees and are valuable credentials to hold. The choice to pursue either an MBA or MHA degree will be dependent upon your particular goals, career aspirations, and educational focus. If you are unsure of which degree to pursue, please contact the Program in Public Health staff to discuss your goals in greater detail and we will be happy to guide you.

The Program in Public Health (PPH) offers both the Master of Health Administration (MHA) and the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. How do I know which program is the best fit for me?

  • The MHA and the MPH are both excellent credentials to hold in the healthcare industry. Your choice to pursue one over another will reflect your interests and career goals. 
  • The MPH Program offers five separate concentrations: Climate Solutions and HealthCommunity Health, Epidemiology & BiostatisticsHealth Policy and Management (HPM), and a Generalist Concentration for select dual degree students. Click on each concentration to learn more. Prospective students may be especially interested in the difference between the MHA Program and the MPH Program with a HPM concentration. The difference lies in their emphasis.
  • The MHA Program will primarily focus on content and competencies related to the administration and management of various health organizations, including a breadth of roles within these organizations. The MHA Program includes concepts and courses that incorporate population health competencies from the public health curriculum to complement its business principles. 
  • Conversely, the MPH Program will place an emphasis on the study of population health, the impact of health policies, research methods in public health, preventive healthcare, as well as qualitative and quantitative analysis of public health concepts and programs. It supplements this curriculum with courses relevant to the concentration of your choice. The MPH in HPM will include concepts relevant to the management and administration of health organizations with topics such as health law, finance, economics and management. 
  • Students who typically gravitate towards the MHA credential have demonstrated an interest in and a commitment to the management of health organizations, and generally wish to enter or advance in this field. Students who typically gravitate toward the MPH credential may have broader interests in the field of public health, which can include career aspirations in research, math and sciences, community and preventive health programming, or health management.

What kinds of job opportunities might a graduate of the MHA Program pursue?

 The following are a sample of career titles in healthcare organizations that have been achieved by graduates of MHA programs:

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Senior Administrative Director, Cardiovascular Services
  • Associate Director, Ambulatory Care Services
  • Vice President Corporate Pharmacy
  • Vice President of Population Health and Clinical Integration
  • Divisional Administrator, Pulmonology Services
  • Director of Operations Analysis and Planning
  • Senior Managers
  • Managing Director
  • Manager, Consulting Company
  • Strategic Planning Manager, Business Development
  • Emergency Medicine Administrator
  • Pediatric Emergency Operations Manager
  • Program Consultant
  • Assistant Administrative Director, Transplant Center

Are application fee waivers available?

  •  Unfortunately, application fee waivers are not available at this time.<

Are scholarships available to students in the MHA program?

  •  >Unfortunately, scholarships through Stony Brook for the MHA program are not available at this time; however, our students are successful in obtaining scholarships from outside organizations.<

Is the program available part-time?

  • Yes, you may enroll in the program part-time. Please consult with the Program in Public Health staff to devise a plan of study that works best for your anticipated schedule. As a part-time student you may complete the program in up to 5 years of study.

Is the MHA Program accredited?

  • The MHA Program is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (CHE MSA) and nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

How do I apply?

  • Please view our application requirements page here and start your application on HAMPCAS.

I am having an issue with the application portal, HAMPCAS. Who can help me with technical problems in HAMPCAS?

  • You may call the HAMPCAS Customer Service at (617)-612-2882, open Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST or email . You may also review their support website here.

Where do I send my transcripts?

  • All transcripts should be submitted directly to the HAMPCAS Portal via the HAMPCAS Transcript Processing Center address.  For further information, please click here.

How much is the tuition for the MHA Program?

  • For information about tuition, click here to review the SBU Tuition & Fees webpage. 

Who do I contact if I have a question about financial aid?

  • If you have any questions about financial aid, please contact the Health Sciences Graduate Admissions Office at (631)-444-2111 and ask to speak to a member of the financial aid staff.

I am an international student. With what other office should I be connected?

My question was not answered here. Who can I contact?