Health and well-being are so important; being unhealthy makes all other aspects of our lives suffer. Thanks to scientific advancements, the health of the overall population has greatly improved in even the last half-century.
When people think about health and medicine, what usually comes to mind are doctors and surgeons who work in a typical doctor’s office or hospital. However, there is so much more to the field of healthcare than just that. There are all the “behind the scenes” people who work on health policy, promotion, and education. One field that often overlaps with the others is the Health Sciences.
Health Science is the study of human health using various scientific approaches. Health Scientists look at policy, healthcare systems, and other subfields of health such as fitness and diet. This multidisciplinary field is complex. Health Sciences involves working with people and institutions, so students get the best of both worlds in this major. Curriculums will provide graduates with enough knowledge to obtain a mid-level position in a health institution.
What master’s in health sciences should you get?
The most common degree for this major is a master’s of science in health sciences. Other similar degrees will include healthcare administration, public health, or health promotion. While all degrees will cover similar skills and topics such as epidemiology or biostatistics, other majors are often considered sub-fields of Health Sciences. As many schools will offer multiple health-related majors, students should speak with a counselor before choosing which one is right for them.
As most master’s students are experienced professionals, an online program may be a better option for those with a busy schedule. While most of these programs here are on-campus, some are offered completely online or in a hybrid manner. Others, if not online, can be taken part-time. Sometimes classes may even be held in the evenings.
How much do people with a master’s in health sciences make?
PayScale says that the average salary of this degree holder is $77,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that as of 2017, the median pay of health service managers is $98,350. It should be noted that although females make up the majority of this field, males typically have a higher earning potential over time.
Considering that the majority of jobs within the health sciences require a master’s degree, it can be said that this advanced degree definitely pays off. Jobs such as biostatisticians, senior administrators, or epidemiologists can all make six figures after several years of experience. Some factors to salary other than experience include location and type of institution.
What can you do with a master’s in health sciences?
Because the field of health sciences is so broad, there is no single career path. Jobs can be anywhere from working in a lab, to doing more scholarly research, to executing health awareness programs in the community. In general, someone with a master’s degree will be eligible for mid-level positions, oftentimes in management.
Some common paths include working in healthcare administration, epidemiology, pharmacy, occupational therapy, or biomedical engineering. Because there are some jobs that require working with patients versus others that work more “behind the scenes” with doctors, policymakers, and other professionals, people can really choose which job suits their personality. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that health service manager jobs will increase 20 percent from 2016 to 2026.
What are the requirements for a master’s in health sciences?
Applicants will want to have a bachelor’s in a related health or science field, with a strong GPA of at least 3.0 out of a 4.0 scale. Many master’s degrees also want adults with at least a few years of work experience in a health field. A resume will often be required for submission along with the rest of the application materials. Those who have not had enough experience may be required to take a few extra courses. Submission of any Graduate Record Examination scores are also required.
During the program, students will be required to take several core courses along with electives. If students choose a specialization, those electives will be related to that. Students may also be able to take an internship for credit at a reputable institution. Lastly, to graduate many programs require a thesis or capstone project.
The University of Utah, also referred to as the U, serves over 31,000 students from the undergraduate to doctoral level. Although it is a big institution, the university offers a low student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1. Its Master’s of Health Science degree is located in the School of Medicine. The department of Biomedical Informatics was founded in 1964 and has some of the most outstanding programs of its kind in the world.
Learn both the technical and managerial skills in the health sciences through the MS in Biomedical Informatics degree. Students can choose from three tracks and practicums geared toward future career choice. As this is not a research-oriented program, students can focus on career-related skills.
Tracks: Applied Clinical Informatics, Bioinformatics, Data Science
Application decision timeframe: 4-6 weeks
The University of Utah was the first school to offer a biomedical informatics department. Faculty are experienced in the industry and come from a diverse background.
Northwestern University has humble roots beginning in 1850 when nine men hoped to create an institute of higher education in the Northwest. Today the university has three major campuses, with its main one located in Evanston, Illinois. The U.S News & World Report ranks Northwestern the #10 best school in the nation.
Northwestern offers an MS degree in Health Services and Outcomes Research for future professionals and researchers. This degree can be completed on-campus or in its partially online hybrid format. It can also be taken part- or full-time. More features include:
Completion Time: One year (full-time) or two years (part-time)
Summer, fall, winter, and spring terms
Sample Courses: Applied Ethical Issues in Health Services Research, Intermediate Biostatistics, Capstone
Students can receive funding either in grants, scholarships, fellowships, or loans. Those who must travel outside of Chicago for quarterly sessions can earn a stipend up to $3,000 per year.
California State University – Long Beach was founded in 1949 in order to serve the growing Southern Los Angeles area. The campus is home to 84 buildings spread across 323 acres. One major campus landmark is the Walter Pyramid, a beautiful work of art in the northern part of the campus. CSULB’s Master in Health Services degree is housed through the College of Health & Human Services, which has 11 departments and 17 graduate programs. The school is also proud to partner with many community businesses.
CSULB’s Health Science Master of Public Health – Community Health Education degree is dedicated to developing future leaders who will increase health outcomes in urban communities. Students will receive excellent teaching, undergo meaningful research, and make an impact on the local population. Check out these key features:
College and private scholarships
Sample Courses: Principles of Epidemiology, Health Promotion and Risk Reduction, Theoretical Concepts and Issues in Health Science
Students can take an internship for credit in an approved health education institution.
Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina. The university began as a small local school before the state’s public school system was full established. Although it is not considered a religious school, Duke remains its historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church. Almost 9,000 graduate students are currently enrolled.
Duke’s MS in Global Health degree is a well-rounded program designed for future researchers, policy makers, and managers. This interdisciplinary degree challenges health issues from a global perspective. Only 30-35 students participate in this program every session.
38 credit hours
10-week health research project and thesis
Research and travel opportunities
For those looking for a challenge, there is a dual J.D. – M.S. degree with the Duke Law School.
The Utah State University campus spans 400 acres in the city of Logan. Logan is characterized as a small college town with several outdoor activities and places to enjoy the local arts. The campus is located near two beautiful mountain ranges and provides a good balance for those wanting to experience nature but also live in a small city. In 2017, USU was ranked the #5 best public university in the country by the Washington Monthly.
Master’s students can choose between a few programs offered through the Kinesiology and Health Science department: an MS in Health and Human Movement, Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Master of Fitness Promotion, or Master of Education in Physical and Sport Education.
Practicum and internship experiences
Completion Time: minimum two years
Flexible schedule for working professionals
These degrees are ideal for candidates who already have some knowledge or experience in the field. For instance, those interested in the MS program should hold a related undergraduate degree.
The University of Oklahoma is a public research institution. Its Master of Health Sciences degree is offered on the Health Sciences Center. This center combines research, technology, and health. About 4,000 students currently attend classes at this facility at both the undergraduate and graduate level. OUHSC is known for its clinical training, local company outreach, and for its outstanding programs.
Through the Health Sciences Center, students can receive their Master of Public Health in a variety of degrees. Generally, at least 44 major credits must be taken in each major. However, those who may be pursuing a dual degree in Social Work must take 84 credit hours. Below is a sample of degrees available:
Health Promotion Science
Health Administration & Policy
Participants will be certified in Public Health upon passing an exam.
The University of Central Florida is a bustling public research institution in Orlando. Other than its esteemed research and programs, UCF is known as a highly affordable school. In fact, 44 percent of its students graduate debt-free. In 2018, the university funded $183 million worth of research. In the coming years, the school plans on expanding, particularly through its new “Downtown,” which will provide more programs.
UCF offers both an on-campus and online Master of Health Administration degree. There are two options: a track in Health Services Administration or Executive Health Services Administration. The latter is a more professional program aimed at those who already have at least three years of experience. Some special features about this program include:
Best-value school according to the Princeton Review
Health Services: 51 credit-hours; Executive Health Services: 44 credit-hours
Full or part-time
This degree is extremely flexible and made with working professionals in mind. Almost all classes are offered online or in the evenings.
As a top-100 university in the nation, Drexel University is dedicated to “Transforming the Modern Urban University.” It has been 125 years since its founding. A Drexel education truly prepares its graduates for the challenges ahead, with 96 percent of graduates working or continuing education soon after graduation.
Learn the necessary skills through Drexel’s Master of Health Administration degree. Some common themes include but are not limited to: risk, management, and insurance. This program is highly flexible and can be completed in the following formats:
Online courses with a five-day on-campus residency
Completion Time: two or three years
Spring, summer, and winter quarters
Graduates will be prepared for mid-level careers in institutions such as health policy firms, hospitals, or nonprofit organizations.
Canisius College is a private Jesuit, Catholic school located in Western New York. It has been routinely recognized for its premier programs. The college was founded approximately 150 years ago, and has since made a huge impact on the culture of the city of Buffalo. The U.S. News & World Report not only ranks it as the #9 Best Value School in the North, but also as the #22 overall Best College within the region.
Canisius’s MS in Health and Human Performance focuses on rehabilitative and preventive health issues. This degree is offered as a hybrid program, with both online and on-campus courses. Students can choose either an internship or a thesis depending on their career goals. Other key features include:
Preparation for various health certificates
Specialty Tracks: Cardiac Rehabilitation, Health Promotion, Strength and Conditions
Some certificates that students may be eligible to receive upon graduation are the Health Fitness Specialist or the Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist. Those interested will need to take an additional test.
California State University – Fresno, often referred to as just Fresno State, is one of the 23 universities in the California State University system. Founded in 1911 as a normal school, the university today has grown to over 25,000 students. Although a big school, its average class size is only about 35 students. The city of Fresno is located in the San Joaquin Valley, and offers several fun activities and food spots for students.
Fresno State’s Master of Public Health degree is a full-time program for experienced adults who wish to advance their knowledge and career. Students will learn how to assess and implement health needs, execute planning, and conduct research.
Only fall acceptance
Fieldwork experience in a health-related institution
Sample Courses: Health Promotion, Health Planning & Program Evaluation
Students must have already completed a few public health prerequisites before applying to this program.
Otterbein University, a private liberal arts institution, is located in the nation’s #5 most friendly town of Westerville, Ohio. It is known as one of the first institutions of higher education to welcome women and people of color. Although it was founded by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, students of all faith backgrounds are welcome here. Due to Otterbein’s excellent degrees that prepare students for their professional lives, the U.S. News & World Report routinely ranks it among the top 20 in the nation.
Be prepared for the rapidly-growing healthcare industry by enrolling in Otterbein’s MS in Allied Health program. With two tracks, Healthcare Administration and Exercise and Health Science, students will get the career experience they need before graduation.
Healthcare Administration: 30 credit hours; Exercise and Health Science: 36 credit hours
Hybrid and online format
Project or research thesis
In addition to available financial aid, merit-based scholarships are awarded to those who qualify.
The University of North Florida is located in the city of Jacksonville with a little over 2,000 graduate students. Its Master’s of Health Services degree is housed in the Brooks College of Health, recognized as a college of distinction within the university. The College of Health has been nationally recognized for its excellence in programs, as well as its partnerships with local organizations. For the past ten years, UNF has been among the best in the Southeast according to the Princeton Review.
The MS in Exercise Science and Chronic Disease degree offers a research-centered curriculum in a variety of health topics. Students will learn about preventative medicine, fitness, and rehabilitation. This is a great program for those interested in pursuing a PhD.
No specific undergraduate degree required
15-20 students admitted each fall
Graduates will be eligible to take the American College of Sports Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association certification tests.
California State University – Dominguez Hills is a diverse campus that serves the South Bay area of the Los Angeles community. Its mission is to provide excellent and accessible education to all through sustainable practice. The university was founded in 1960 and currently operates six colleges. CSU Dominguez has repeatedly won recognition for its affordability, ethnic diversity, and as a top school in the West.
At CSUDH, students can get an MS in Health Science, with the Orthontics and Prosthetics specialization. This specialized profession works with patients who have suffered from neuromuscular disorders. This program consists of:
When people think of Johns Hopkins University, one of the first things that may come to mind is excellency in teaching and research. As the nation’s first research university, JHU continues to deliver quality education and meaningful international partnerships. The university was founded by a Quaker philanthropist who specifically wanted to improve public health and education in the city of Baltimore. Today, JHU offers an elite Public Health school and graduate Health Science degrees.
Johns Hopkins offers the Master of Health Science degree through the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Programs are offered through every department in the school, giving students the opportunity to study what they truly want. The program consists of four full-time terms, ending in a thesis and oral presentation. A sample of areas one can study include:
The U.S. News & World Report ranks the Bloomberg School #1 in the nation for Public Health.
The Medical University of South Carolina is the only academic health science center in the state. MUSC was founded in 1824 as a small, private medical school. As of today, about 3,000 students are enrolled annually in various health majors. MUSC is also a major research facility, with more than $276 million in funding in 2018. Thanks to its research, the university has a total economic impact of over $3 billion.
MUSC’s Master of Public Health degree allows students to concentrate either in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, or Health Behavior and Health Promotion. Future professionals will be able to analyze data, implement policy for improved health outcomes, and promote health awareness.
Completion Time: four semesters
180-hour internship program
Although students are encouraged to submit GRE scores, it is no longer a requirement for applicants.
Western Michigan University is located in Kalamazoo, home to a diverse community. Sustainability and graduate success are just a few characteristics that define WMU. With several on-campus sustainable programs such as reducing plastic waste on campus, WMU is impacting the culture of the surrounding community. According to a 2017-2018 survey, 91 percent of graduates (undergraduate and graduate) were either pursuing a full-time job, in the military, volunteering, or furthering their education.
Western Michigan offers a Master of Public Health degree with five different core areas. They consist of: Environmental Health Sciences, Biostatistics, Health Services Administration, Epidemiology, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The MPH program is offered by their Grand Rapids campus.
Ideal for experienced professionals
Employer tuition reimbursement for qualifying businesses
According to the Washington Monthly, WMU is ranked as one of the schools with “the best bang for the buck.”
The University of Texas at Tyler is one of the 14 schools within the university system. Its main campus is located in the east part of the state. UT Tyler also operates campuses in Palestine, Longview, Houston, and online. The university is known for its outstanding programs in the Health Sciences, particularly in Nursing. UT Tyler is also an affordable school, with $10 million scholarship and grant money awarded annually.
Students enrolled in UT Tyler’s MS in Health Sciences degree will learn leadership skills, disease prevention policy techniques, and about healthcare services. Graduates will be ready for early to mid-level management positions within the field.
Six credit-hours of an internship or thesis
No resume required to apply
Classes are usually offered in the evening, a plus for those who must work a full-time job in the day. If taken full-time, the program can be completed in two years.
What began as a small training school for teachers has blossomed into a multi-college research institution. New Jersey City University is a diverse campus located just a few minutes from New York City. NJCU offers 29 Master’s programs. Its Health Sciences department is dedicated to developing the next generation of health care leaders. Students in the department will learn a mix of theory and real-world principles to guide them in their future careers.
Those who graduate with an MS degree in Health Administration from NJCU will be able to successfully perform management duties in healthcare institutions. These facilities include hospitals, long-term care facilities, or state and federal organizations.
39-45 credit hours
Sample Courses: Health Law, Community Organization for Health, Consumer Health
For those who do not have any administrative experience or have two or less years, a residency will be required in the summer.
Operating under the vision of improving students’ and the nearby communities’ lives, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock was established in 1927. In the beginning, UA Little Rock was only a small junior college. By 1957, the school began offering four-year degrees. More than 11,000 students are enrolled annually. Students can take advantage of all the fun things the city has to offer, such as outdoor activities, museums, and the state capitol.
Graduate students enrolled in the MS in Health Education and Promotion degree will have opportunities to further research in areas such as policy, rehabilitation, and community health. This program is offered through the School of Counseling, Human Performance and Rehabilitation.
36 credit hours
Teaching licensure available
Maximum of 12 credit hours can be transferred
Those who complete the additional licensure requirements can receive the K-12 Health & Physical Education license in the state of Arkansas.
Representing the Broncos, Boise State University is metropolitan university located in the state’s largest city. More than 25,000 students from around the country and globe are enrolled here. Students get all the perks of living in a big city, being able to walk or bike to the local hot spots. Internships and other work opportunities are also thriving. These opportunities extend to graduate students, who make up 39 percent of the school’s full-time student population.
At Boise State, students can gain their Master of Health Science in either Health Policy, Health Promotion, or Health Services Leadership. In total, the programs will require 39-42 credit hours, with 18 of those in core classes. Below are some classes students may encounter:
Culture and Conflict
Marketing for Health Professionals
Public Policy Process
The College of Health Sciences is an active group of people who regularly put on community events and workshops. Those wishing to keep up to date on their events should check out their social media pages.
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