Online MS in Health Science (MSHS) Degree Programs
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As the demand for health professionals continues to rise, so too do the opportunities for graduates of master’s of science in health sciences (MSHS) programs. Health science studies cover assorted aspects of health and well-being—an interdisciplinary approach bridging multiple fields. Depending on the program, health sciences degree programs may benefit careers in administration, communications, social work, clinical care, education, research, public health, and therapy. The varied specializations in health sciences can lead to career advancement for healthcare administrators, biomedical illustrators, biostatisticians (biometricians), health science writers, health science librarians, clinical social workers, psychologists or counselors, health educators, biomedical engineers, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, pharmacologists, environmental and occupational health professionals, and epidemiologists, among many others.
Overall, a master’s degree in health sciences typically builds on one’s bachelor’s degree and professional experience in the allied health fields. Read on to discover the wealth of online MSHS programs, including information about typical curricula and outstanding educators.
Professors to Know in Schools with Online MSHS Programs
Since health sciences is typically an interdisciplinary subject, programs share instructional faculty with other allied health departments. By looking at faculty background, prospective students can get a sense of the expertise available and some of the topics that may be covered. Here are three exceptional professors and researchers from universities offering online MSHS programs.
Dr. Susan Bazyk is on the health sciences faculty at Cleveland State University. She has extensive clinical experience as an occupational therapist for over 30 years, and has taught at CSU since 1984. She’s the recipient of numerous awards, including Cleveland State’s outstanding research award from the College of Sciences and Health Professions; the Crain’s Cleveland Business healthcare heroes award; and the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association’s model practice award. Notably, Dr. Bazyk started a service learning program for low-income urban children in central Cleveland: the Occupational Therapy Groups for HOPE (Healthy Occupations for Positive Emotions).
Dr. Marcia Firmani is the program director of the medical laboratory sciences program at George Washington University, where she brings more than ten years of experience to her role as a professor and scientist. Prior to joining GWU, she served as a principal investigator at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) working on biothreat agent characterization. Notably, she’s authored several book chapters on infectious disease and has been published in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals including Infection and Immunity and the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
Dr. Barbara Gladson specializes in health informatics at Rutgers University. She comes to Rutgers with extensive experience and publications relating to information management in the healthcare industry. Notably, she served as associate dean and interim chair for Rutgers, and is the director of the UMDNJ Biopharma Educational Initiative and the MS in clinical trial sciences. Her research interests include cultural diversity in clinical trials and pharmacology, drug-exercise interactions, and subject recruitment for clinical trials. She holds a bachelor of science in occupational therapy; a master’s of science in physical therapy; and a PhD in pharmacology from the Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Admissions Requirements to Online MSHS Programs
Derived from the programs below, here are some common admissions requirements for online MSHS programs:
- A bachelor’s degree in an allied health field from an accredited college or university
- Experience or current employment in healthcare
- Acceptable scores on admission tests
- Meeting or exceeding the institution’s required grade point average (e.g., >3.0) in undergraduate work, especially coursework in math and science
- Demonstrated capacity for professional leadership
- References from previous professors and employers
- Completion of prerequisite coursework (e.g., inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, human anatomy & physiology)
Major public and private universities seek accreditation from a handful of organizations. This ensures the program meets certain quality standards and is reputable. Most major universities hold regional accreditations that apply to the college as a whole rather than specific programs. The Department of Education’s Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has approved regional entities such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to accredit universities in specific states. In addition, some maintain affiliations with subject-specific accreditation bodies, such as the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
Keep in mind that health sciences graduate degree programs may have cross-disciplinary coursework associated with a nursing, medical, or other public health related department or college. Most colleges, including the featured programs below, hold accreditations relating to any clinical professional programs they offer, including nursing, physical therapy, medicine, or pharmacy.
Featured Online Health Sciences Master’s Degree Programs
The George Washington University (Health Sciences)
Johns Hopkins University (AAP)
Bellarmine University’s online health sciences master’s degree is designed to be completed in five academic semesters. It takes an interprofessional approach and adjusts the program in response to feedback from faculty, program graduates, and other professionals in the field. Students learn to collaborate across professional disciplines and Integrate findings from the humanities and sciences to improve healthcare.
- Location: Louisville, KY
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
- Expected Time to Completion: Five semesters
- Estimated Tuition: $760 per credit-hour
Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University’s online MS in health sciences is an post-professional degree for candidates who seek leadership roles in the ever-evolving healthcare field. Graduates move into a range of clinical, educational, and administrative roles. This program is designed for practicing professionals or those with an undergraduate degree in a related subject.
- Location: Cleveland, OH
- Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Education for Health Services Administration (ACEHSA)
- Expected Time to Completion: Two years (36 credit-hours)
- Estimated Tuition: $531.40 per credit-hour (+$25 per credit online learning fee)
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Gulf Coast University’s online MSHS program aims to prepare graduates for leadership roles in healthcare fields. It is designed for candidates who already hold a relevant bachelor’s degree, and the coursework helps “graduates acquire skills and expertise in planning, developing, and implementing innovative and quality health care services.”
- Location: Fort Myers, FL
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: Two years (36 credit-hours)
- Estimated Tuition: Nonresident tuition is $1,300.66 per credit-hour, resident tuition is lower.
Georgia State University
The Georgia State University online master of science in health sciences includes a concentration in nutrition. It is important to note that this program does not meet requirements for becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD). Rather, this program prepares students to research, organize, and test programs relating to nutrition and health.
- Location: Atlanta, GA
- Accreditation: The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Board of Councilors, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
- Expected Time to Completion: 36 credit-hours
- Estimated Tuition: Check out the GSU tuition tables for an estimate
George Washington University
George Washington University’s online MS in health sciences degree program focuses on healthcare quality. It prepares graduates for leadership roles in patient safety leadership, management, and research. Some may focus on consulting, developing policy, risk assessment, and program evaluation. This program was designed in partnership with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
- Location: Washington, DC
- Accreditation: National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- Expected Time to Completion: 36 credits
- Estimated Tuition: $895 per credit-hour
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) online master’s degree program allows professionals to build their professional credentials to pursue educational and academic careers in health science. Since this program is part-time, professionals can study while working full time. Although this is an online degree program, it does require participation in a one-week intensive on-campus summer residency in Boston.
- Location: Boston, MA
- Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC),
- Expected Time to Completion: Four years (part-time, one class per term)
- Estimated Tuition: $1,160 per credit
The Rutgers School of Health Professions online master’s in health sciences is an interdisciplinary program that aims to enhance career opportunities for healthcare professionals. This master’s degree offers a choice of the following tracks: aging, disease management, and health professions education. As a portfolio-oriented program, it blends academic coursework with experience and competency-based work. Rutgers also offers graduate certificates that take less time to complete than a degree.
- Location: Newark, NJ
- Accreditation: Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions
- Expected Time to Completion: Two years (31-33 credits)
- Estimated Tuition: $900 per credit-hour
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers an online MS in health sciences (clinical laboratory sciences), which covers advanced professional preparation for medical laboratory scientists and technologists to advance their careers. It is designed to prepare professionals for consulting or middle management roles in research laboratories, institutions, and hospitals.
- Location: Rio Grande, TX
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- Expected Time to Completion: 12 months or more
- Estimated Tuition: $444.44 per credit-hour