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Online Masters Degree in Health Science
Online masters in health science degrees teach a complete understanding of the key concepts and theories in health care through critical analysis and research. Typically, students analyze various research methods in an attempt to provide more efficient health care to patients and to test the effectiveness of new methods.
Did You Know?
In 1900, the average life expectancy for Americans was 48 years. As of 2014, the American life expectancy was 79 years. That represents a greater increase than occurred during the previous 200,000 years of human existence.
Online Masters in Health Science: Basics
Health science is an expansive field, which covers any aspect of health care that combines treating illnesses and science. Therefore, there are a wide variety of majors, concentrations, and options when it comes to online health science masters degree programs. As a result, many programs may offer concentrations in a specific field to tailor your course of study to analyze the research and concepts in a particular field of health science.
Many masters degree in health science are also focused on developing leadership and management skills. This may include analyzing various leadership styles and their effectiveness in different fields of health care. Some majors and concentrations also examine the business and economics of health care.
Online Masters Degree in Health Science: Admissions Requirements
Each school has their own specific admissions requirements for online masters in health science degrees.
However, the 5 most common include:
- Completed application
- Bachelors degree from an accredited university
- Statement of purpose or essay
- Letters of recommendation
Keep in mind that some schools have stricter requirements than others. For instance, some schools require that candidates earned a bachelors degree with a 2.75 GPA. Other schools may have higher GPA requirements, though some schools may make exceptions to students who submit GRE or GMAT scores.
Before applying, check with each school’s admission requirements to find one that matches your academic achievements and your goals.
How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online Masters in Health Science?
Many full-time students can earn their online masters in health science in less than two years. However, this timeline is usually viewed as the minimum amount of time it takes to earn a masters in the field.
Some students may take longer to earn their degree based on when courses are available and whether or not they have to go to campus to complete any clinical requirements. Check with a few different schools to find one that matches your goals and expectations.
Graduation Requirements for Health Science Masters Degree
Though earning an online masters in health science degree may take less than a year, there are still many requirements for students. First and foremost, it is up to the student to complete all required courses and coursework. Typically, these courses require research and writing assignments, as well as group projects.
In addition, 3 other requirements in order to earn your health science masters degree usually include:
- Complete Required Courses
- Thesis or Capstone Project
- Comprehensive Exam
Some schools, majors, and concentrations may also have clinical requirements. These courses may require that students go to campus to complete lab studies and exercises, even for entirely online programs.
Remember to keep in mind that every school has a unique design and that specific requirements may be different at each school. For instance, some schools require that students maintain a minimum GPA while earning a masters degree while others don’t have that requirement.
Health Science Definition
The overall goal of health science is to perform scientific research in order to improve human and animal health. This covers many different fields and sub disciplines, which can range from clinical applications, such as physical therapy, to analyzing data through technology, such as health informatics.
One of the key areas of health science is the evaluation of new medications and treatments for effectiveness and safety. This may include antibiotics and vaccines. However, it also includes fields such as nutrition and preventative health care.
What Does Health Science Include?
Health science includes a number of different sub disciplines. In fact, almost all aspects of health care that perform research and use technology in order to better serve the health of humans and animals falls under health science.
5 of the sub disciplines of health science are:
- Physical Therapy
Sub disciplines of health science include both Western and alternative forms of medicine, as both are the search for better ways to provide health care. In fact, since humans have always dealt with illnesses, health science has been around for as long as humans have.
What’s the Difference Between Health Science and Public Health?
Generally speaking, public health focuses on the disease and health of populations. This may include discovering and responding to new or existing disease patterns. Typically, public health also includes a number of management and financial aspects to develop community health programs.
On the other hand, health science is the delivery of health care to humans and animals through the application of science, technology, and research. Typically, health science is the process of acquiring knowledge about health care and applying those findings to clinical practice.
In some programs, public health can be found under the general umbrella of health science. However, not all schools view it the same way and every school may have a unique approach to teaching health science and public health. Therefore, check with a few schools to find one that matches your goals.
Online Masters in Health Science: What You’ll Learn
While earning an online masters in health science, programs are designed to teach how to effectively lead your community in order to find better ways to treat diseases, illnesses, and injuries. Therefore, many programs, regardless of whether you choose a concentration or not, are focused on developing leadership and management skills, as a well as a complete understanding of health care principles.
In fact, many programs have a course of study that is focused on providing an interdisciplinary approach to learning. This allows students an opportunity to learn the key concepts and research in the various field that make up health science.
In order to teach the principles of health science, and the various fields that make it up, many programs and courses require students to perform research and critical analysis of the theories and techniques in the field and to apply that knowledge through writing assignments, clinical practice, and other projects.
In addition, many schools require a research methods course be taken in the first semester in order to teach how to analyze and critique new techniques and findings in the field.
Important Topics in Health Science
Health science covers a wide variety of topics and fields. As a result, many of the topics you may study while pursuing your online masters in health science may vary depending on the school, program, and whether or not you choose a concentration.
However, many of the important topics in field are universal, regardless of the specific field. As an example, many programs and concentrations use data and analytics to review the success of current health care practices. As technology becomes more prevalent in the field, this is an important aspect of most, if not all, concentrations.
Some of the important topics health science masters programs examine include:
- Evaluating and addressing ethical concerns
- Analyzing and reviewing health care policy
- Using modern health care research methods and databases
- Integrating health care informatics concepts into health care administration
- Applying research methods and evidence-based practice to the health care industry
Though many of these are important in all fields, specific aspects, applications, and research may vary depending on your chosen field of health science.
Available Concentrations for Health Science Masters Degree
To provide a complete understanding of the key concepts, theories, research, and methodologies of health science would take too long to fit into a single health science masters degree.
As a result, many schools offer a number of concentrations for you to choose from for your masters. This provides an opportunity to take the majority of courses in a particular field, while also taking core courses to provide an interdisciplinary approach to your degree.
Some of the concentrations available for online masters in health science degrees include:
- General Health Administration
- Health Care Informatics
- Public Health
- Health Care Leadership
- Health Law
- Clinical Research
- Sports Medicine
- Health Education
- Health Leadership
Keep in mind that this is not a complete list of available concentrations and that not all schools offer all of these options. Therefore, it’s important to research a number of schools to find one that matches your goals.
Common Courses in Health Science
Many schools have designed a masters in health science program that focuses on analyzing different ways to more efficiently provide care to patients. Some schools offer concentrations, which require that you take more courses in a particular field or aspect of health science.
Typically, these programs combine those courses with research and analysis courses in the overall landscape of health science. This may provide students an opportunity to understand how the different fields come together in order to better serve patients and to treat illnesses.
10 courses you may take while pursuing an online masters in health science include:
- Issues in Health Science
- Leadership Roles in Health Science
- Principles of Management for Health Sciences
- Health Care Information Systems and Design
- Leadership, Management, and Meaningful Use of Health Care Technology
- Health Care Law and Policy
- Strategic Health Care Planning
- Ethical Issues in Health Care
- Epidemiology and Biostatistics
- Designing Instruction for Health Programs
Often, specific courses and titles vary depending on each school. Also, your specific course of study may vary depending on whether or not you have chosen a concentration for your masters degree.
What Is Epidemiology?
Epidemiology is the scientific, systematic, and data-driven study of the distribution, such as frequency and pattern, of the causes and risk factors of health-related events in specific populations. It is also the application of this study to control health problems in communities, states, or countries.
Therefore, epidemiology is the study of all health-related events, not only diseases. This can include terrorism, natural disasters, and environmental exposures to name a few. As opposed to doctors who treat each individual as a patient, in the field of epidemiology, the patient is the community and the individual is viewed collectively.
Common Careers in Health Science
As health science is the analysis and examination of more effective ways of providing health care, there are a wide variety of careers that you may pursue upon earning your online masters in health science.
Many of these careers are in leadership roles that are focused on improving the efficiency and the quality of the delivery of health care services.i This may include managing finances, reviewing patients’ medical histories, and researching latest treatments.ii
Some of common careers in the field of health science, and their 2016 median annual salary, are:
- Medical and Health Services Managers: $96,540iii
- Physician Assistants: $58,920iv
- Dietitians and Nutritionists: $101,480v
Typically, dietitians and nutritionists are only required to have a bachelors degree and complete a supervised internship. Many states also require these professionals be licensed, though each state has their own rules.vi
Often, medical and health services managers are only required to have a bachelors degree, though some employers prefer candidates to have a masters degree.vii Physician assistants typically need a master’s degree and all states require that they have a license.
The specific requirements for licensure vary from state to state, so be sure to check with your school and state for the instructions.viii
Find the Perfect Online Masters in Health Science Program for You
Do you enjoy helping others? Are you interested in studying more effective ways of providing health care to patients? Then take the next step to find the perfect online masters in health science program for you.
Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page for more information about each of the programs. This may include which concentrations they offer, specific courses, and admissions requirements. You can even reach out to your favorite schools directly to request more information.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-2 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm#tab-2 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-5 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-5 [v] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm#tab-5 [vi] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-4 [vii] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-4 [viii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm#tab-4