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A Degree by Any Other Name

A Degree by Any Other Name

In the Department of Health Policy and Management (HPM), the long-running Master of Health Science degree in health finance and management has been renamed the Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree. The program retains the same coursework, focus and structure; the name change is one of several efforts to make the program more "findable" for students interested in health administration and to grow the enrollment incrementally.

Designed for aspiring managers and consultants, the MHA coursework offers the same spectrum of business courses as an MBA program. But what differentiates this program, says Bill Ward, director of the program and an HPM associate professor, is its grounding in public health content and the compression of all coursework into a single academic year. The second year of the program is spent in a paid 11-month field placement, in which students polish their skills learned in the classroom by working at health care companies, hospitals, foundations and similar institutions

Typically, the program attracts students with undergraduate majors that run the gamut from rhetoric to public health to business. It also draws a "smattering of career changers," says Ward. "We attract recent graduates, as well as professionals. They come into the program, and they're off to the races."

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