3 Reasons to get the MSHSA vs. the MBA

Selecting a master’s program within the realm of healthcare entails many factors that you need to consider. It is crucial to pick a value-added degree that will teach you the skills needed to move in the direction of greater career opportunity within the healthcare industry.

Master’s programs differ in academics, but also in training philosophies and emphases. For those who decide to take a career path in healthcare administration, the most closely aligned master’s degrees are a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Science in Health Services Administration (MSHSA). There are a few reasons to consider when focusing on the benefits of a MSHSA vs. the MBA: your previous education, your professional experience and your career goals. We often get asked why a student should consider the MSHSA over the MBA. Here are a few of our thoughts:

1. The MSHSA is focused on healthcare.

The curriculum within our MSHSA is specifically tailored to the healthcare sector. You must ask yourself what your intentions are with your career. Are you looking to advance yourself into a healthcare leadership position? This degree is necessary if your goal is to make healthcare administration your career path. Learning the nuances of the business and leadership aspect of healthcare administration will help you prepare to handle the numerous challenges of this continuously growing and progressive industry.

2. Everyone has an MBA…be different. 

If your career is in pharmaceuticals, nursing, kinesiology, dentistry, chiropractic, the Veteran’s Administration, or truly any other healthcare field, a MSHSA will position you for management opportunities at a higher level. Due to your previous studies and likely experience, you already possess critical knowledge about the healthcare field. When you expand upon that education with the leadership, management and healthcare-related business skills you gain from a MSHSA program, you have increased your opportunity to become a well-rounded leader with a complete understanding of healthcare administration from multiple perspectives. Plus, this is a fairly young program within the industry overall, with it, you will stand out among your peers. Be different!

3. Although more specific than the MBA, our 5-semester online MSHSA is quite diverse in career fields, allowing optimal networking within the healthcare industry.

Networking within any field of healthcare is exceptionally important to the success of your career. When done properly, networking will not only help you land a job faster, but it will give you a competitive edge throughout every stage of your career. As you go through our online 5-semester program, you develop beneficial relationships with those that may or may not be in your same field. With that, there is potential for career changes, potential mentors, or other professional development opportunities that may not be advertised in your area. With each cohort, we have students from all over the country, representing multiple healthcare professions. This diversity provides such rich conversation and superior learning opportunities throughout the semesters, which allows each graduating class to have their own culture. Most students that we have had from our graduating classes do stay in touch. We also have a Facebook group you can join, if you are accepted into our program.

While some of the curriculum in both degrees are comparable, our MSHSA degree offers you advanced business knowledge and leadership skills as it applies directly to health administration.

If you are interested in more information about our online MSHSA program, please contact us here or email Alyssa at asuderma@uwyo.edu.

Graduate Spotlight: Dr. Rashid Kazerooni, Botulinum Toxin Type A Overdoses

Dr. Rashid Kazerooni, PharmD, MS, BCPS, is a Medical Science Liaison at Merz North America. Dr. Kazerooni is among the first graduates of the University of Wyoming’s 2016-2018 MSHSA program and we couldn’t more proud of his independent project, Botulinum Toxin Type A Overdoses: Analysis of the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System Database, being published.


© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018


Published literature on overdoses related to botulinum toxin A (BtxA) agents is scarce.


The aim of this study was to assess the BtxA drug class’ respective agents for associations with overdose.


United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adverse event reporting system (FAERS) database was utilized to search for overdoses. The analysis was conducted on data between second quarter 2014 and third quarter 2017. BtxA cases were included when they were considered the “Primary Suspect” drug. Overdose was defined as presence of ‘overdose’ being reported as an adverse event. Primary outcome was incidence of ‘overdose’ compared within the respective agents. Additionally, a disproportionality analysis was conducted utilizing reporting odds ratio (ROR) versus onabotulinumtoxinA as a referent while controlling for confounding variables.

The full study is published and can be purchased from Springer International Publishing, click here.


A total of 3,837,406 unique adverse events were reported during the study period for all drugs in the FAERS database. Of which, 13,078 were BtxA cases. The rate of adverse events involving overdose for abobotulinumtoxinA (20.2%; 215/1065) was significantly higher than both onabotulinumtoxinA (0.4%; 48/11,323; p < 0.0001) and incobotulinumtoxinA (0.1%; 1/690; p < 0.0001). In the regression analysis, abobotulinumtoxinA (ROR 73.26; 95% CI 51.17–104.90) had a significant association with overdose, whereas incobotulinumtoxinA (ROR 0.73; 95% CI 0.10–5.36) did not, versus the referent onabotulinumtoxinA.


The present analysis showed adverse events of abobotulinumtoxinA were significantly associated with overdose versus the other two BtxA agents. Overdose can be difficult to research, particularly for in-clinic administered drugs. Future studies should venture to confirm these results in new and novel ways.

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018


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How to Choose a Master’s Degree Program

Choosing a Master’s Degree program requires some research, with an understanding of what you want to do with your future and why you believe a Master’s Degree will assist you in that pursuit. Leaders with specialized healthcare expertise are in demand, and according to the recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the pharmacy profession is only expected to grow incrementally between now and 2026, but Healthcare Administration is growing at a much faster than average rate.

If you are serious about getting a Master’s Degree in the healthcare industry, do your homework and learn all you can about a school before you apply. Ask questions. Compare schools to find the best fit for you and the future you want.

As cliché as it is, you have endless options when it comes to choosing a Master’s Degree program. Filtering through the options can be an taxing chore, so the following are questions that can assist you in finding the best option for you.

What Are the Admission Requirements?

If you had some wild nights and not so stellar grades in your undergraduate courses and your grade point average does not meet the minimum requirements for admission to a graduate-level school or program, keep looking. Many colleges and universities will factor in your work experience and the fact that you have matured since your college days. A meticulously completed application, a resume that shows a growing career, a personal statement outlining your experience in the pharmaceutical or healthcare field, and excellent letters of recommendation should help you get accepted by an institution that meets your needs. In fact, graduate schools often provide provisional admission.

How Much Will It Cost?

For most, cost is a major consideration when deciding on a program. Graduate students often pay for tuition and fees out-of-pocket. However, the number of highly-regarded, accredited schools that offer online Master’s Degree programs has grown over the years. “The University of Wyoming may be the only program on this online master’s degree in health services administration ranking to actually undercut Mississippi College on tuition costs,” TMHA Staff. It is possible to reduce some costs of attending graduate school by completing the work online. At the University of Wyoming, we also offer discounts to folks that have served or are currently serving in the military and those that are registered with our affiliate programs like the Wyoming Pharmacy Association. While some private college online programs may be out of your price range, many state universities offer comparable Master’s Degrees online. An advantage to studying online is the flexibility of the classes and assignments to fit into your family life and current work life, and many even can continue to work full-time while earning the degree.

New to accreditation?

If you are going to invest your time and money in getting a Master’s Degree, do your homework and make sure that the university you choose is accredited. An accredited school is one that has been assessed by a regional or state accrediting agency and determined to meet certain standards of quality. Those accreditation agencies must be approved by the U.S. Department of Education, which also maintains a database of accredited colleges and universities.

Choosing an accredited institution is important because accredited schools that remain in good standing can administer federal financial aid programs. Employers also typically prefer applicants with degrees from accredited institutions.

Does the school have a good reputation?

Research the reputation of a school before you apply. Even if the school is accredited, you want to know if there have been any issues. Has accreditation ever been in jeopardy? Does the department in which you will seek your Master’s Degree have a good track record of preparing students to get better jobs or pursue a PhDs or other terminal degrees?

How Long Will It Take to Earn the Degree?

If you choose a master’s degree in your undergraduate field, you may be able to complete your degree in as little as one year. If you’ll be getting a degree in a new field, it may take two years of full-time study, and with part-time study, it could take three to four years to earn your degree. Our program is just two years long and can be stretched into six if you desire.

Should I Choose an Online Program?

Whether you choose an online or campus-based program depends on how you learn, where you and the school are located, and where you are at in your personal life. Our entire program is online, with two required in-person seminars in Laramie, WY throughout the 5 semesters. Many of our successful graduates have highly rated the convenience of the online classes and the ease of meeting within the time frame as required.