What is the difference between these two programs??

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Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2011
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Okay so what is the difference between a Masters in Public Health and a Masters in Health Promotion. The school I am currently going to offers a Masters in Health Promotion Program and I just wanted to know the main difference between the two programs from people who have are working on their Masters or in the process of starting.

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This is from the U of Washington:

Since the UW MHA Program is located in the School of Public Health, MHA students take a series of core public health courses. All of these topics are presented from a systemic/organizational management perspective, however, and connections to organizational purpose and health service delivery goals are emphasized throughout.

Beyond the common core, however, the emphasis of the MHA degree is on health care organizations and the effective and efficient management of those organizations within dynamic policy and competitive market environments. The central focus of the curriculum is on the operation and financing of health care organizations and on the development of leadership and business management skills for application within the market-based health care environment.

On the other hand, the central foci of MPH programs are on the description of patterns of disease within populations, and on the development, operation, financing, and evaluation of population-based programs designed to improve the health of populations within the community. Thus, organizational management within health care, health policy development, and business skills versus population-based program planning, development, and evaluation skills (or population-based assessment and description skills) represent fundamental differences in the knowledge and skills emphasized and developed within these two complementary degree programs.
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New Member
10+ Year Member
May 18, 2011
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It looks very similar, aside from the "suggested electives," which give it a more "health coach" feel. Maybe you could take those electives in an MPH program too, but they wouldn't be the norm. Public health is typically focused on populations or groups of people. When you start talking about coaching individuals on weight management or dietary supplements, that starts to diverge a little bit. That said, an MPH in behavioral sciences or health education would give you a very similar background. I don't know much about the master in health promotion, but it seems like an MPH might give you a better-known degree.