Best Master’s in Health Sciences Degrees

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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.

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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.

Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Sciences Degrees

Rank School Location
1 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
2 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
3 California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, CA
4 Duke University Durham, NC
5 Utah State University Logan, UT
6 University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, OK
7 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
8 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
9 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
10 California State University-Fresno Fresno, CA
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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.

Interested in pursuing an online program? Check out our ranking of the 35 Best Online Health Sciences Degrees.

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.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Utah
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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.

    • Non-thesis
    • Tracks: Applied Clinical Informatics, Bioinformatics, Data Science
    • Application decision timeframe: 4-6 weeks

    Notables

    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.

  2. Northwestern University
    Location

    Evanston, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  3. California State University-Long Beach
    Location

    Long Beach, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    Students can take an internship for credit in an approved health education institution.

  4. Duke University
    Location

    Durham, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    For those looking for a challenge, there is a dual J.D. – M.S. degree with the Duke Law School.

  5. Utah State University
    Location

    Logan, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  6. University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center
    Location

    Oklahoma City, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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
    • Biostatistics

    Notables

    Participants will be certified in Public Health upon passing an exam.

  7. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    This degree is extremely flexible and made with working professionals in mind. Almost all classes are offered online or in the evenings.

  8. Drexel University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    Graduates will be prepared for mid-level careers in institutions such as health policy firms, hospitals, or nonprofit organizations.

  9. Canisius College
    Location

    Buffalo, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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:

    • 34-35 credit-hours
    • Preparation for various health certificates
    • Specialty Tracks: Cardiac Rehabilitation, Health Promotion, Strength and Conditions

    Notables

    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.

  10. California State University-Fresno
    Location

    Fresno, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    Students must have already completed a few public health prerequisites before applying to this program.

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