Best Online Master’s in Health Science Degrees 2021

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The healthcare sector continues to boom because of an aging population and increasing healthcare needs. The pandemic creates new opportunities for healthcare professionals to help communities meet new mandates and promote public health and safety. Prospective students can take advantage of these conditions by pursuing an online health science degree.

A master’s degree in health science program enrolls students with diverse career goals, including those interested in nonclinical healthcare careers. Programs provide a broad education that students can tailor to meet their specific healthcare career aspirations. Those interested in clinical positions need additional training specific to their field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 15% job growth for healthcare workers between 2019-2029. While pay depends on occupation within this cluster, healthcare practitioners earn a median annual wage of $68,190, much higher than the $39,810 for all occupations. This guide provides more information for those exploring online health science degrees and careers.

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What Are the Goals of a Health Science Degree?

A health science master’s degree offers customization to meet individual career objectives. The degree provides a healthcare field overview and develops students’ understanding of population health issues. Enrollees apply scientific knowledge to address real-world challenges. Many programs offer clinical experience and research opportunities.

Some schools design programs for those interested in doctoral or professional programs such as medical or dental school. Many master’s degrees in health science focus on specialized training in nonclinical domains such as healthcare administration, public health, and environmental health. Students pursuing an online health science degree can expect to explore core topics such as epidemiology, public health, and health policy.

Why Get a Health Science Degree?

Some students seek advanced credentials for more job opportunities and higher pay. Others want to advance their existing healthcare careers. Below, we list five benefits of earning an online health science degree.

Specialization Options
A master’s degree in health science provides an interdisciplinary curriculum and the customization opportunities for individualized career goals. Each school offers different specializations that may include healthcare administration, sports medicine, and biostatistics.
Higher Pay

February 2021 Payscale data notes a $76,111 average pay for master of health science degree-holders. Those with just a bachelor of health sciences earn a $63,708 average.

Career Advancement
Practicing healthcare professionals wanting to move up the career ladder need advanced knowledge in certain areas. A health science degree provides knowledge and specialized training that may include invaluable clinical experience.
Job Growth
Healthcare workers in general enjoy good job prospects, with some subsectors doing even better. Medical and health services managers enjoy a 32% job growth rate.
Hands-On Experience
An online health science degree often requires research culminating in a thesis or capstone project. The program may also require a supervised field placement or internship component providing hands-on experience.


What Are the Requirements for a Health Science Degree?

Individuals interested in a health science master’s program need a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree. Some programs require one in health science or a related field. Learners without this background can explore programs offering foundational coursework or a bridge program to the master’s degree.

Schools typically require a minimum 2.75-3.0 GPA and may need GRE scores. Many institutions offer standardized test score waivers during the pandemic, or for students meeting certain academic requirements. Depending on the student’s health science specialization, the college may want healthcare work experience.

Once enrolled, students complete 30-60 credits including practicum or internship experience. Students culminate the online health science degree with a research capstone project or thesis.

What is Accreditation and Why Does it Matter?

How Much Will an Online Master’s in Health Science Cost?

The cost of an online master’s in health science varies by institution. Depending on where you study, tuition prices can range from $350-$900 per credit, totaling $11,000-$60,000 for the degree.

Factors that impact program cost include school prestige, school type (public vs. private), and student residency (in-state vs. out-of-state). Out-of-state learners typically pay more to attend public institutions, while private schools charge the same rates to all students regardless of where they live.

In addition to tuition, online health science students also need to budget for fees, textbooks, supplies, and cost of living. Students can significantly reduce graduate school expenses by pursuing scholarships, fellowships, and grants, which provide financial support and do not require repayment. Learners can also take out loans, but these require repayment with interest.

Learn more about paying for college:


Choosing the Right Health Science Master’s Program

Our rankings provide a great starting point, but many other factors can also impact your health science master’s program selection. Consider the following:

  • Accreditation: Attending an accredited school ensures you earn a high-quality education. Accreditation can also affect your eligibility for financial aid. Make sure to attend a regionally or nationally accredited institution.
  • Available Concentrations: Popular master’s in health science concentrations include sports medicine, healthcare administration, healthcare education, and public health.
  • Faculty Credentials: Before selecting a master’s in health science, learn about the school’s graduate health faculty. Seek out programs that employ instructors with extensive real-world experience and accomplishments in the field.
  • Research Opportunities: All health science master’s programs cover research concepts, but hands-on research opportunities vary by school. At the program’s culmination, students may be required to complete a thesis or major research project. Find the degree best aligned with your academic goals.

FAQ

  • What can you do with a degree in health sciences?

    A health science master’s program provides training for careers in public health, research, and healthcare administration. With additional training, graduates pursue careers in fields such as occupational therapy and radiologic technology.

  • How much money do you make in health science?

    Pay in the health science field varies by occupation. Those interested in careers as medical and health services managers earn a median $100,980 annual salary and enjoy 32% job growth.

  • How long does it take to get a master's degree in health science?

    Full-time students typically earn a master’s degree in 18-24 months. Learners may prefer a part-time program to extend the completion timeframe and allow them to continue working.

  • What skills do you need for a health science degree?

    Students interested in a health science degree need an aptitude for subjects such as anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology. They should also possess quantitative skills such as statistics.


Best Online Master’s in Health Science Degrees 2021

  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $11313

    A public land-grant research university based in Gainesville, Florida, UF offers an online master of health science in one health (MHS). Learners may complete this program online or on campus.

    Students take 39 credits to earn this degree. Coursework includes in-depth coverage of public health, environmental ecology, emerging infectious diseases, aquatic systems, biostatistical methods, and environmental policy and risk management. UF also requires MHS students to complete a capstone research project to complete their graduate program.

    Applicants must complete an online application and pay a nonrefundable application fee. They should also submit official academic transcripts of records, three letters of recommendation, a one-page professional statement of purpose, and an updated resume. The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  2. University of South Florida
    Location

    Tampa, FL

    Tuition

    $10460

    A high-impact global research university located in Tampa, Florida, USF offers an online master of science in medical sciences with a concentration in health sciences.

    The university offers this graduate program entirely online. Students can finish their degree in four semesters, taking intensive courses in health sciences ethics, human structure and function, medical genetics, medical anatomy, medical immunology and microbiology, and medical pharmacology. Students of this non-thesis program must also complete a capstone paper, which serves in place of a comprehensive exam.

    Prospective students must complete the online graduate application form and pay the $30 application fee. Applicants also submit unofficial copies of their academic transcripts, along with their test scores for the GRE, MCAT, or DAT. The University of South Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  3. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    Unconfirmed

    A private research university located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins offers an online master of health science program in population, family, and reproductive health for part-time working professionals.

    This program entails high-quality courses in the following subjects: maternal and child health legislation and policies, demographic methods for public health, life course perspectives, infant mortality, and growth and nutrition. Students complete 64 credits of coursework, including essays and presentations, plus five courses in maternal and child health to earn their degree. Learners typically finish the program in 1-3 years.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students should submit three letters of recommendation, a two-page personal statement, an updated resume, and official transcripts from all universities attended. Johns Hopkins University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  4. University of Missouri
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $17833

    A public land-grant university based in Columbia, Missouri, Mizzou offers an online master of health science in clinical and diagnostic sciences. This degree serves practicing clinicians pursuing advanced roles in the healthcare industry.

    Mizzou delivers this graduate program fully online through the university's School of Health Professions. Graduates may work as clinical educators, team leaders, clinical or teaching professors, or clinical specialists. Students must complete 30 graduate credit hours to earn this graduate degree.

    Applicants must submit transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities, along with a statement of purpose, an updated resume or CV, and two letters of recommendation. Mizzou requires non-native English speakers to submit TOEFL or IELTS score reports. The University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  5. Lock Haven University
    Location

    Lock Haven, PA

    Tuition

    $18491

    A state university located in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, LHU offers an online master of health science for experienced health professionals.

    LHU's health science graduate degree emphasizes healthcare management. Students of this 100% online program can complete the minimum requirement of 36 credits in one academic year. The program uses synchronous and asynchronous course delivery and provides students with schedule flexibility.

    LHU requires prospective graduate students to earn a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must complete an online application and submit official college transcripts, three professional letters of recommendation, and a personal mission statement. Lock Haven University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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