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.

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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.

 
 

Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Health Science Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
2 George Washington University Washington, DC
3 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
4 Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Meyers, FL
5 Bellarmine University Louisville, KY
6 Saint Francis University Loretto, PA
7 Touro University Worldwide Los Alamitos, CA
8 University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR
9 MCPHS University Boston, MA
10 University of Mississippi Oxford, MS

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. Rutgers University-New Brunswick
    Location

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The oldest (and flagship) campus of Rutgers University, Rutgers University—New Brunswick is a public research university that ranks among the top 70 national universities in the country (U.S. News and World Report). The University has a history extending back to the colonial period, but today offers cutting-edge graduate programs, including highly ranked programs in Health Sciences.

    Program Features

    Rutgers School of Health Professions offers an online Master of Science in Health Sciences for practicing healthcare professionals who wish to work in education. Designed for those with established healthcare careers, the program will prepare students to become teachers in health professions education programs, continuing education programs, or provide staff development and in-service training. Courses include:

    • Teaching in the Health Professions
    • Evaluation and Assessment
    • Clinical and Community Based Teaching
    Notables

    Rutgers University-New Brunswick’s online M.S. in Health Sciences is a 31-credit program that blends online courses with competency-based education—students complete core coursework as well as a Capstone project. And throughout the Health Professions curriculum, students build an individualized Teaching Portfolio which includes a major graded project from each course. Students complete the program on a part-time basis, in a 100% online format.

  2. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1821 in downtown Washington, D.C., The George Washington University is a private university which ranks among the top 60 national universities in the United States. The University has a reputation for being a good value in higher education (according to U.S. News and World Report) and their Health Science programs are nationally renowned.

    Program Features

    The George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences offers a Master of Science in Health Sciences in Clinical Management and Leadership. Designed for professionals from various clinical disciplines, the program provides necessary management and leadership skills. Graduates are ready to take on mid- and upper-level management positions in the healthcare sector. Courses include:

    • Topics in Health Care Leadership
    • Issues and Trends in Health Systems
    • Human Resource Development
    Notables

    The George Washington University’s online M.S. in Health Sciences is a 36-credit program comprised of mostly required courses in Research, Strategic Leadership, and Clinical Management & Leadership. Students can transfer in up to six credits of applicable graduate-level coursework. And the program is delivered in a flexible, asynchronous format to meet the needs of busy professionals.

  3. Nova Southeastern University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University is a relatively young, private research institution that specializes in the physical and social sciences. Founded in 1964, the University is becoming a big name in online learning—providing a rich variety of nationally-ranked degree programs which use creative classroom formats and cutting-edge technology.

    Program Features

    Nova Southeastern University offers a Master of Health Science intended for students of diverse healthcare backgrounds. The curriculum provides training in a variety of practical and nonclinical areas, delivering the theoretical and practical training necessary for career mobility and professional advancement. Students can also tailor the program to their career goals through concentrations, including:

    • Sports Medicine Concentration
    • Higher Education Concentration
    • Health Law Concentration
    • Generalist Curriculum
    Notables

    Nova Southeastern University’s online M.S. in Health Science is comprised of between 37 and 43 credits, depending on the chosen concentration. The program is offered entirely online with no on-campus time. All coursework is guided by Nova Southeastern’s highly qualified faculty and utilizes state-of-the-art, web-based delivery systems. Electives and practicum courses also allow students to tailor the program to their needs and professional interests.

  4. Florida Gulf Coast University
    Location

    Fort Meyers, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Situated in southwest Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University is a young institution, having only opened its doors in 1997—but it already ranks among the top 30 public regional universities in the South. And FGCU’s Marieb College of Health and Human Services provides collaborative, academically rigorous programs that benefit both students and the community.

    Program Features

    Florida Gulf Coast University’s Marieb College of Health and Human Services offers an interdisciplinary, online Master of Science in Health Science. As a student, you’ll acquire skills and expertise in planning, developing, and implementing innovative and quality health care services. Graduates will be prepared to serve as healthcare leaders in a diversity of healthcare situations. Courses include:

    • Legal & Ethical Aspects of Health Care
    • Research in the Health Professions
    • Health Policy Capstone Seminar
    Notables

    Florida Gulf Coast University’s online M.S. Health Science is a 36-credit program that is comprised of a set of required core courses, restricted electives, and a capstone project or internship. The course is designed to be manageable for working students and is offered on a part-time basis with no campus visit requirements.

  5. Bellarmine University
    Location

    Louisville, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Consistently ranking among the country’s best colleges and universities, Bellarmine University is a private, Catholic university located on the edge of downtown Louisville, Kentucky. The school emphasizes both educational excellence and ethical awareness—and offers a diversity of program options, all rooted in the liberal arts tradition.

    Program Features

    Bellarmine University offers an online Master of Health Science that takes an interprofessional approach to graduate study. The recently-revised M.H.S. curriculum integrates findings from the sciences and humanities to improve health care across diverse settings. Students will gain essential leadership and decision-making skills, as well as ethical awareness. Core courses include:

    • Introduction to Knowledge Translation: Evidence to Practice
    • Health Policy
    • Communication and Technology in Health
    Notables

    Bellarmine University’s Master of Health Science is a 30-credit program comprised of core courses in the area of health sciences combined with courses in a chosen area of specialization (Health Care Leadership or Health Promotion and Social Change). Bellarmine’s online program takes two years to complete and provides both academic excellence and extensive student services, even at a distance.

  6. Saint Francis University
    Location

    Loretto, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    One of the top-ranking regional universities in the North, Saint Francis University is a private university—and one of the oldest Catholic universities in the country. The University’s Franciscan focus creates an inclusive learning community that provides academic rigor as well as experiences that prepare students to lead a meaningful life.

    Program Features

    Saint Francis University’s School of Health Sciences offers a multidisciplinary, online Master of Health Science that moves students into leadership positions in the healthcare field. Students use research to develop evidence-based regimes and gain leadership skills specific to the field of healthcare. The program is flexible and customized to your professional goals with concentrations in:

    • Health Education
    • Health Leadership
    • Clinical Practice
    Notables

    Saint Francis University’s online Master of Health Science degree is a 30-credit program comprised of 21 credits of core coursework and nine credits in your chosen specialty. The program is designed to accommodate the needs of working students—with asynchronous coursework that students can complete entirely on their own schedule. And you can complete the entire program in 18 months.

  7. Touro University Worldwide
    Location

    Los Alamitos, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A member of the private, non-profit Touro College and University System headquartered in New York City, Touro University Worldwide provides a liberal arts education in a global-minded setting. Touro University Worldwide offers a variety of online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level that prepare students for careers in leading-edge fields like Health Sciences.

    Program Features

    Touro University Worldwide offers an online Master of Science in Health Sciences with two concentration options. The program prepares students to help solve community health issues by designing educational programs that promote healthy behaviors. Students graduate ready to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate health education programs in a variety of healthcare settings. Concentrations include:

    • Health Education
    • Public Health
    Notables

    Touro University Worldwide’s online M.S. in Health Science is a 36-credit program comprised of 12 courses (eight core, four electives). Notably, the TUW program aligns with the competencies published by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES). Graduates will be prepared to sit for both these exams.

  8. University of Central Arkansas
    Location

    Conway, AR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in the city of Conway (near Little Rock), AK, the University of Central Arkansas is a small public research university that ranks among the top 26 public regional universities in the South. The University prides itself on both excellence in academics and affordable tuition—both on campus and in their highly ranked online programs—which keeps a UCA education accessible to all students.

    Program Features

    The University of Central Arkansas offers an online Master of Science in Health Science degree that prepares students to be upwardly mobile in their healthcare careers. Graduates of the program will be ready to take the the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam and to become a certified health education specialist. And it only takes four semesters to complete all the necessary coursework. Courses include:

    • Administration of Health Programs
    • Foundations in Health Education
    • Program Planning and Evaluation
    Notables

    The University of Central Arkansas’ M.S. in Health Science is a 33-36 credit program, depending on whether students choose the thesis option or the non-thesis option. Both tracks include 18 credits of required courses and at least nine credits of electives. It’s worth noting that if you live in a state that borders Arkansas, there is no out-of-state tuition, making this degree an extremely affordable option.

  9. MCPHS University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Boston, MA, MCPHS University (or Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) is a private institution that specializes in professional health education. The school has a reputation for high-quality programs and an exceptionally high return on investment. In their 2018 ranking, The Wall Street Journal ranked MCPHS University as the #1 University for earning power in the U.S.

    Program Features

    MPHS University’s School of Arts & Sciences offers an online Master of Health Sciences which equips students to advance their careers in academic health sciences. Students come from a diversity of healthcare backgrounds creating a rich, collaborative learning environment with a wide range of voices and perspectives. Graduates are ready to link education, research, and practice in transforming systems of healthcare.

    • Health Professions Education Across the Higher Education Spectrum
    • Educator Competencies in Academic Health Sciences
    • Interprofessional Core Competencies for Health Professionals
    Notables

    MCPHS University’s online Master of Health Sciences is a 36-credit program comprised of eight core courses, three graduate electives, and a three-credit, independent research component. The program is delivered 100% online, in a part-time format—students generally complete the entire program in about two years. And the school offers three start times per year—in Fall, Spring, and Summer.

  10. University of Mississippi
    Location

    Oxford, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in in the college town of Oxford, Mississippi, the University of Mississippi is the flagship public research university—and the largest—in the state. The school ranks among the best value schools in the country (U.S. News and World Report), and is also home to highly ranked graduate programs in health sciences.

    Program Features

    The School of Health Related Professions at the University of Mississippi offers an online Master of Health Sciences which provides advanced education in healthcare leadership. This broad-based program covers topics that relate specifically to healthcare administration and organizational behavior, as well as topics like resource management and program development. Other required courses include:

    • Health Care Law
    • Health Policy and Society
    • Personal and Ethical Leadership
    Notables

    The University of Mississippi’s online Master of Health Sciences is a 36-credit program comprised of 12 required courses. Unlike some programs, there is no thesis or research component to this practice-oriented degree. The program is designed for students to complete on a part-time basis, usually in two years. And while courses are delivered online, there are two mandatory campus visits—for orientation and capstone presentations.

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?

Professional Organizations for Health Science Students



Professional organizations provide students with invaluable professional development, advocacy, and networking opportunities. Professional organizations vary for students interested in a health science master’s programs depending on their specialization. The following list provides three diverse organizations for students interested in a health science master’s program.


  • American Public Health Association APHA, an advocacy and professional organization for public health professionals, offers discounted student membership. Member benefits include access to the Student Assembly, an organization of more than 8,000 members. Students also receive publications, join APHA's online communities, and use a jobs site and career center for professional development.

  • American Medical Student Association Future physicians, leaders, and change agents in medicine join AMSA for educational programs, advocacy, and networking opportunities. The student-led organization offers various membership categories, including pre-med, med student, and graduate student. Member benefits include access to mentorship; leadership training; and discounted services such as test prep, travel, and insurance.

  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science SACNAS promotes the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans attaining advanced degrees and pursuing STEM leadership positions. The organization boasts 118 professional and student chapters offering leadership programs, webinars, a career center, and an annual conference.

Scholarships for Health Science Students

Scholarships provide students with funding for tuition and other expenses. The funders award scholarships based on academic achievement or need. They also award scholarships to underrepresented populations such as women and minorities. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for students pursuing online health science degrees.

Christie Foundation Health Education Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Christie Foundation promotes medical education, knowledge, and medical services. The Foundation offers scholarships to students pursuing degrees in various medical fields. The Foundation awards funding based on academic performance. Students must upload school transcripts and evidence of college enrollment to qualify.
Amount: Varies

HOSA Scholarships

Who Can Apply: HOSA’s membership consists of future healthcare professionals attending secondary and postsecondary institutions. The organization awards scholarships to members interested in diverse healthcare careers, including allied health and public health. Students join HOSA and create a free Tallo account to apply for a HOSA scholarship.
Amount: Varies

Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The American College of Healthcare Executives offers this scholarship to minority students in their final year of a healthcare management graduate program. Healthcare administration students in a master’s in health science program qualify. Applicants submit college transcripts and must demonstrate financial need.
Amount: $5,000

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