Best Online Master’s Degrees in Health Science (2021)
You have a number of options when looking to study health science online, even at the master’s level. This can make it hard to find a school or program that has just what you need at the price you want. So how do you narrow them all down? The following guide examines a number of today’s best online health science master’s, and then dives into cost, accreditation, and the other factors that can make a higher education choice difficult. Read on to see which programs are making the grade in 2021.
|#||School Name||Type||Cost||Online Programs||More Details||School Information||Online Students||Academic Counseling||Career Placement||Students w/Institutional Aid||Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry||Accreditation|
|1||Fort Hays State UniversityHays, KS||Public||$||1||
Fort Hays State University offers a unique online master of liberal studies that includes a concentration in health sciences. This program supports those interested in interdisciplinary careers focused on human performance. Required classes include health promotion programming, nutrition for health and fitness, assessment and planning in health sciences, and concepts and objectives of physical education. All learners must participate in a culminating experience to graduate.
Admission requirements include official transcripts from any institutions previously attended, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement identifying professional goals, and a completed application.
Master of Liberal Studies with a concentration in Health Sciences
|AccreditationHigher Learning Commission|
|2||Northern Kentucky UniversityHighland Heights, KY||Public||$$$||1||
Learners interested in completing Northern Kentucky University’s online MS in health science can select from four different enrollment dates each year, making it easy to find a path that works for them. Consisting of 35 credits, students can graduate in as few as 24 months though part-time options are available as well.
Core topics include instructional design and media development for healthcare professionals, technical foundations of healthcare informatics, statistics for researchers, and current trends and cultural issues in healthcare. The program also requires the completion of both an internship and a degree-culminating capstone project. Applicants must provide official transcripts demonstrating a 2.5 or higher GPA, a professional resume, and a letter of intention outlining career goals.
Master of Science in Health Science
|AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges|
|3||Bellarmine UniversityLouisville, KY||Private, Not-for-Profit||$$$||1||
From its home base in Louisville, Kentucky, Bellarmine University offers an online master’s in health science with concentrations in healthcare leadership or health promotion and social change. All told, the program requires completion of 30 credits in topics such as communication and technology in health, current trends and issues in health, research and evidence-based practice, and healthcare systems organization and administration. It does not require an internship but does include a capstone experience.
Application requirements include a bachelor’s degree, official transcripts, minimum 3.0 GPA, and a personal interview. All students pay the same tuition rates, regardless of where they live.
Master of Health Science
|AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges|
Profiling the Online Master’s in Health Science
One way to better understand a degree program is to dive into the details. To see what courses it includes, how long it takes, how much it costs, and which specializations are available. To help you get a better sense of the online master’s in health science, we’re profiling two of today’s most notable programs. See if one of the following programs meets your academic and career needs.
Online Health Science Master’s Degrees & Accreditation
Accreditation is one of the most important topics you can research when choosing a school; it can affect your ability to transfer schools, receive licensure, and even compete for jobs. Institutions and departments that go through the accrediting process must demonstrate that they adequately prepare learners for future careers and support them while enrolled.
On an institutional level, look for colleges and universities that maintain regional accreditation. Seven regional accrediting agencies exist, all of which are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If you’re unsure about the accreditation status of a particular school, use the Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to search for it.
At the programmatic level, look for departments and/or degrees that hold accreditation via the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Finding a CAAHEP program ensures the curriculum meets industry standards and signals to prospective employers your preparedness for the role at hand. CAAHEP maintains a database so you can find properly accredited programs.
Understanding the Online Master’s in Health Science
The best decision is an informed decision. Taking time to fully research and understand potential programs is a vitally important part of the process. To better help you make a confident decision, we answer a few of the most commonly asked questions when walking through the program research process.
Funding Your Online Health Science Master’s
Because the cost of education continues to rise each year, finding ways of cutting expenses is critical if you want to avoid substantial student loan debt. Fortunately, several options exist to help lessen the financial burden. It’s best to start lining up funding early as it can take time to fill out applications, write essays, and submit packets.
What’s After the Health Science Master’s?
Some students focus so much on getting a degree that they don’t research what they’ll do once they have it. If you plan to earn your health science master’s degree online, or on campus for that matter, ask yourself these questions first.
Are there any certifications or licensures needed in health science?
Before taking on specific jobs, you may need to meet additional certification and/or licensure requirements. These often vary based on specific title. Nursing home administrators, for instance, must possess a license in all 50 states. General healthcare managers typically do not need this credential.
Certification also depends on both state and employer requirements. If working in a nuanced area of the discipline (e.g. clinical research management, regulatory affairs, hematology), you may need to pursue a certificate. These programs typically take 12-18 months and can be done online. George Washington University, featured earlier in this guide, offers a wide range of certificates to give you a sense of what’s available.
What can you really do with a master’s in health science?
As we’ve discussed throughout this guide, pursuing a master’s in health science online provides many different professional options to fit your specific interests. Some individuals may feel drawn to nonprofit organizations and find that working as a community health organizer or health educator best suits their interests. Others may find themselves more interested in scientific aspects and decide to pursue work as a biomedical engineer or audiologist. Still others may use their master’s degree as a springboard to further graduate or professional studies in pharmacology, health science, or healthcare leadership.
The visual below gives you a sense of the diverse professional avenues you might consider, but does not provide a full view of all jobs available.
What can you earn with a health science master’s?
When leveraged skillfully, an online master’s degree in health science can significantly boost your annual income and overall earning potential. When reviewing the table below, remember to keep two variables that impact earnings in mind: education level and experience. A graduate degree can boost your going rate, but experience should not be underplayed. The following table shows the spectrum of salaries for a number of occupations open to those who hold a master’s in health science.
|Career||Employment||Entry-Level||Early Career||Mid-Career||Experienced||Late Career|
|Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary||199,480||$43,370||$61,280||$97,370||$160,580||–|
|Social and Community Service Managers||149,870||$40,720||$51,100||$65,320||$86,170||$111,150|
|Community Health Workers||56,130||$26,070||$32,280||$39,540||$51,650||$65,890|
Continuing Education & Related Degrees
People pursue continuing education for myriad reasons. You may want to grow your career and compete for advanced positions. Another student may want to use the degree to pivot into a related career. Because the healthcare industry covers such a vast spectrum of job opportunities, finding the perfect program shouldn’t be too hard. After reading about master’s in health science programs, you may decide this degree doesn’t exactly fit your needs. If that’s the case, check out a few of the related degree options that could better serve your interests.
These degrees provide graduates with the skills needed to manage administrators, staff, and medical professionals in diverse settings. Students gain skills in decision-making, meeting regulatory requirements, developing healthy working environments, and handling issues related to conflict or worker disputes.
While administrative degrees deal with staffing, management programs focus on building skills in overseeing the business functions of a healthcare facility. These programs may emphasize a particular area, such as finance, human relations, operations, or marketing.