For those seeking a master’s degree in health science, there are many options that range from traditional on-campus institutions to online options. As someone who is seeking to enter a graduate program in the discipline, you’re likely already aware of the career path and overall expectations of the degree, and you know that they are broad and undoubtedly rewarding. A master’s degree will further propel you to qualify for high-level roles and leadership positions that aren’t available to those with just a bachelor’s degree.
As such, we will take a deeper look into a few different programs and what sets them apart, as well as what kind of coursework you can expect from continuing your studies in health science.
What is Health Science?
Health science is an interdisciplinary and applied science that relates to the overall health of both humans and animals. On one side of the coin, there is research and the deep study of health, and on the other side, there is the application to improve health, understand how humans and animals function, as well as how to cure diseases.
What Can You Do With a Master’s in Health Science?
Although you can enter the field of health science with a bachelor’s degree, those who continue their higher education in the subject open the door to more opportunities and high-level positions. With upward mobility comes the training and understanding of leadership skills, management abilities, and ethical reasoning.
Furthermore, with a master’s degree, graduates can instead choose to work in clinical research or even academia.
Some Top Health Science Master’s Programs
Around the world, there’s a myriad of good options for where you can earn your master’s degree in Health Science. Here’s a look at a few of them:
Located in Topeka, Kansas, Washburn University has a Master of Health Science program with a mission to prepare graduates to be teachers or leaders in the field. The program is 100% online and does not require the GRE. Since it’s online, students who apply and enroll pay the same tuition whether or not they reside in Kansas. In order to enroll, students must have already completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. For students with a GPA of 3.0-4.0, they are unconditionally accepted.
The University of Stirling is in Stirling, Scotland and offers an online Master’s in Health Research program. Students have the choice to enroll either as part-time or full-time. Whether you’re located in the UK or abroad, you can study with the University of Stirling. No matter where you study, you can take part in research placements. The University of Stirling has over 14,000 students representing 120 nationalities, which means diversity is a sure thing. The program takes about one year to complete for full-time students, and 24 to 48 months for those who enroll part-time.
In Sweden, Kristianstad University boasts a Master program in Integrative Health Science that requires 120 units to complete. Based on the internet, the program also operates 50% in person, which makes it a hybrid program. Each student culminates the program by preparing a thesis, which is created from an independent research study.
With a total program length of 36 course units, 12 of which are core courses and 24 that are electives, the Florida Gulf Coast University’s M.S. in Health Science is designed to produce leaders in healthcare. Electives span from health education to health administration, which provides students with broad knowledge to enter the field in a variety of different positions. The coursework is distance learning-based.
Situated in Long Beach, California, the university offers a robust graduate program in Health Science. The 42-unit degree requires 3 units’ worth of electives and 6 of internship credits. Because many students who attend hold a job or have other responsibilities like raising a family, most classes take place during the afternoon or in the evenings. Applicants must provide: a resume, personal statement, 3 letters of recommendation and have completed a bachelor’s degree.
Photo by Lucas Vasques on Unsplash
What to Expect in the Programs
Since a Master’s in Health Science is a graduate-level degree that aims to prepare its alumni with the ability to assume leadership roles and research-related positions, the coursework tends to be rigorous. Most programs will, therefore, combine clinical and non-clinical information. It takes critical thinking, time management skills, and an understanding of how to conduct research to succeed.
For most people, the completion of a Master’s degree in the subject will take 2 years. However, this varies for students who are enrolled part-time versus full-time. You will learn public health policies, resource management, disease control, and more.
Some of the most common courses in the program include: Clinical Research, Microbiology, Mental Health, Immunology, Biostatistics, Health Leadership, Healthcare Policy, Healthcare Risk Management, and more.
Where to Start
Since all programs require the completion of a bachelor’s degree, and if you know you want to work in healthcare, a great place to begin is with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science. Whether you choose to study on a campus or online, you will learn the basic fundamental knowledge to continue to pursue your master’s degree.
If you do choose to study online, the University of the People offers an amazing program that will prepare you to either enter the field or continue your education. Being 100% online means that you can study whenever and wherever you want. Additionally, students can choose to study full-time or part-time.
The program requires the completion of 11 core courses. Each course has an assessment fee; however, the entire program is tuition-free in an effort to provide students from all over the world access to quality and affordable education.
The Bottom Line
As with any degree, no matter the level, you have to be prepared for hard work and discipline. Discipline and self-motivation is especially true when you enroll in an online program, which many of the aforementioned programs are.
Once you complete your master’s degree in Health Science, you will be well prepared for high-level positions in the field, ranging from health management to public health policy and everything in between.