As colleges and universities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we're continuing our efforts to provide you with useful student resources and the latest online program information. Check our coronavirus resources page to learn more.
The demand for healthcare services continues to increase as our population ages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the addition of nearly 2.5 million healthcare jobs to the U.S. economy between 2019 and 2029, more than any other major sector. That is very good news for graduates with a master's in health science.
A graduate degree in this discipline prepares students for some of the most advanced and in-demand healthcare positions available. On this page, we rank the best online master's in health science programs, provide details about each program, and explore career pathways for graduates with this degree.
Check out our master's in health science program guide for more information.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Health Science Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
|1||University of South Florida||Tampa, FL|
|2||Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey||New Brunswick, NJ|
|3||Nova Southeastern University||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|4||The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley||Edinburg, TX|
|5||Touro University Worldwide||Los Alamitos, CA|
|6||Western Carolina University||Cullowhee, NC|
|7||Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences||Boston, MA|
|8||University of Nebraska-Lincoln||Lincoln, NE|
|9||Florida Gulf Coast University||Fort Myers, FL|
|10||Oregon Institute of Technology||Klamath Falls, OR|
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Health Science Programs
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
University of South Florida
|Tampa, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
USF awards degrees and provides patient care through the region's only academic medical center. Students may choose from dozens of graduate degrees and certificates offered on campus and online through USF's College of Medicine.
The university offers an online master of science in medical sciences with a concentration in health sciences. The program comprises 32 credits and takes four semesters to complete. The curriculum includes required courses that cover topics like anatomy, microbiology, and health sciences ethics.
USF offers one start date for all new students in the fall semester. Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students must also submit DAT, GRE, or MCAT scores at or above the 50th percentile
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
|New Brunswick, NJ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 80%||
The Rutgers School of Health Professions is the largest school of its kind in the United States, serving more than 1,700 students, including over 600 online learners. The school offers more than 40 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs and boasts a 100% three-month placement rate among graduates.
The university's online master's degree in health sciences features an aging track, emphasizing gerontology studies. The 33-credit curriculum includes core and major coursework, with electives in topics like health promotion, mental health, and complementary and alternative medicine/pharmacology. The program culminates in a graduate project.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. However, students need not submit GRE scores. Some applicants may need to hold current professional licensure in their field.
Nova Southeastern University
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
NSU's College of Health Care Sciences caters to allied health and nursing professionals. The university's students may choose from more than a dozen online and hybrid programs.
NSU's master's in health science program develops broad communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills for health professionals seeking career advancement. Students may complete a generalist curriculum or choose one of six concentrations: sports medicine, higher education, healthcare administration, health law, leadership in healthcare, or healthcare risk management. All concentrations require 37 credits, except for health law, which requires 43 credits.
Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.75 GPA. All prospective students must have relevant professional experience. NSU accepts applications on a rolling basis and admits students during the fall, winter, spring, and summer terms.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
|Edinburg, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 46%||
Among the newest members of the University of Texas System, UTRGV was established in 2013 and opened its School of Medicine in 2016. The university's students may choose from nine online health science degrees and certificates.
UTRGV's online master's degree in health sciences offers concentrations in clinical laboratory sciences, healthcare administration, health professions education and technology, healthcare informatics, and nutrition. Each concentration requires 36 credits and can be completed over 12 months. Required courses include healthcare ethics and legal issues, health computer information systems, and research in health sciences. Each course lasts seven weeks.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in health science, business, or a related field. Additional requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA and prerequisite courses in physiology and anatomy. UTRGV offers multiple start dates and charges all online students a universal, per-credit tuition rate.
Touro University Worldwide
|Los Alamitos, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
A global, Jewish-sponsored higher education system, TUW oversees multiple physical campuses and an online division. The university's students may choose from more than 20 online programs in fields like business, psychology, general studies, and health and human services.
TUW's online master's in health sciences includes a concentration in public health. Students must complete 36 credits (12 courses) that cover topics like health promotion, disease prevention, and healthcare in underserved populations.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.5 GPA. TUW charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all online students, regardless of residency. The university's health sciences curriculum meets standards set by the Council on Education for Public Health.
Western Carolina University
|Cullowhee, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
The westernmost school in the University of North Carolina System, WCU serves more than 12,000 students at its Cullowhee campus and online. The university offers nearly 20 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs to distance learners.
WCU's online master's in health sciences offers concentrations in emergency medical care, health education, health management, and nutrition. While the curricula vary between concentrations, core coursework emphasizes research, management, and leadership skills for current and aspiring healthcare professionals. The health education concentration prepares students for the national certified health education specialist exam.
Students interested in earning an online master's degree in health sciences can begin taking classes in the fall or spring. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit GRE scores. Students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher do not need to submit GRE scores.
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
|Boston, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
Dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare programs, MCPHS boasts an 80% retention rate. The college's students can choose from more than 100 graduate and undergraduate programs offered at three campuses and online.
The college's online master's in health sciences emphasizes health education skills for scholarly pursuits in health sciences. Required coursework covers literature reviews and focused research, health professions education in higher education, and evidence-based practice. The program culminates in an independent research project.
The program offers start dates in fall and spring. Students typically earn their degrees in two years. MCPHS charges all students the same tuition, regardless of residency.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
|Lincoln, NE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
UNL offers dozens of online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs. The university's online division also delivers blended/hybrid programs, degree completion programs, and college courses for high school students.
UNL offers a master of science in nutrition and health sciences with an online specialization in dietetics. This flexible, asynchronous program requires 36 credits of core and elective courses. Core courses cover topics like statistics, research methods, and current issues and trends. The program culminates in a practicum, final creative component, or thesis.
Applicants must hold current licensure as a registered dietician. Students with prior experience may transfer in up to 15 credits toward this dietetics degree. The program admits new students in the fall and spring semesters.
Florida Gulf Coast University
|Fort Myers, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
Established in 1991, FGCU's enrollment has quintupled over its relatively short history. The university now offers nearly 20 online programs and boasts an 84% one-year employment rate among its graduates.
FGCU's online master's in health science requires 36 credits and includes electives related to health education and health administration. Required coursework covers healthcare policy, information systems, and financial management. All learners also complete a health services administration internship and a health policy capstone seminar.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and submit GMAT, GRE, or MAT scores. Prospective students with a regionally accredited master's degree do not need to submit test scores. The program admits new students in the fall and spring.
Oregon Institute of Technology
|Klamath Falls, OR||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
At Oregon Tech, students may choose from more than 20 online programs in areas like healthcare, business, engineering, and technology.
The institute's online master's in allied health program emphasizes career skills in healthcare leadership. Students choose to enroll in one of three tracks: administrative/healthcare leadership, dental hygiene, or respiratory care. Core allied health courses explore topics like evidence-based medicine, population health issues, and research methods for allied health leaders. The 49-quarter-credit program culminates in a master's capstone presentation or thesis.
Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must also have professional experience in health services and submit GRE or MAT scores. Oregon Tech charges all online learners the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Health Science Program?
A master's in health science helps students develop the problem-solving skills needed to tackle some of healthcare's biggest challenges.
A master's in health science helps students develop the problem-solving skills needed to tackle some of healthcare's biggest challenges. Degree-seekers learn methods for intensive research, data analysis, community health program design, and promoting healthy living strategies. Typically, learners can complete the 30-45 required credits in an online master's in health science in under two years.
Students in this discipline usually choose between MA, MS, and master of health science (MHS) degrees. While these degree types may lead graduates down similar paths, they differ and offer advantages for certain interests. MA degrees often focus on theoretical approaches to healthcare management, MS degrees emphasize science-based analysis, and MHS degrees typically focus on clinical work and research translation.
The various degree types may also offer differing concentrations and career opportunities. MA programs may feature specializations in community health, whereas MS programs might offer specializations in medical science or kinesiology. MHS degrees provide an array of concentrations, including some available to current or future doctors looking for specific research experiences.
The differences between these degrees and outcomes can vary considerably by school, so prospective students should carefully research potential programs. Applicants might consider how program components vary, including internships, lab work, and capstone or thesis requirements. They should also examine program length, admission requirements, and residency rules.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Health Science Programs
For admission into an online master's in health science, applicants typically need a bachelor's degree. Prospective students may also need to submit GRE scores and professional recommendations. Some programs set minimum grade requirements, such as a 3.0 GPA.
In some programs, applicants may need relevant professional experience as well. MHS programs, for example, sometimes require two years of healthcare experience. Explore our graduate admissions guide for more information.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Health Science Program?
Courses in an online master's in health science vary by school and degree type, but many programs offer similar core training. Although course titles and descriptions differ, the following list highlights common courses in online master's in health science programs.
- Issues in Health Sciences
In this course, students examine the most pressing concerns faced by the healthcare community. Learners explore the latest research, developments, and policies in these areas. Covered topics may include pandemics and vaccinations, stem cell research, and personalized medicine.
- Research and Analysis
Research and analysis courses may take different shapes, but they typically provide learners with advanced research skills that will apply to their studies and careers. Students learn how to analyze and critique research and scholarship, along with building on and translating previous studies.
- Healthcare Management
Healthcare management courses look at the management processes involved in various medical roles and departments. Students acquire the skills and tools needed to lead in a healthcare setting. They also explore major administration requirements and the effects of organizational culture dynamics.
- Healthcare Policy
In this course, students explore the processes and institutions involved in creating healthcare policies. Learners analyze existing policies, including policy goals and stakeholders, using a variety of different analysis methods. Students also break down stages of healthcare policy and evaluate policy effectiveness according to multiple frameworks.
- Health Informatics
In health informatics courses, students learn how to use health data to improve healthcare processes and care delivery. Learners explore how to apply data, learn to analyze information to make better decisions, and study how healthcare policies impact data collection and usage.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
- Scholarships and Financial Aid for Online College Students
- Your Guide to the FAFSA
- Private Student Loans Guide
What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Health Science Degree?
Graduates can apply their master's in health science to many healthcare fields and positions. Of the major occupational groups, healthcare careers feature some of the fastest growth rates. The BLS projects 15% growth for healthcare positions between 2019 and 2029, nearly four times faster than the rate for all occupations.
With an online master's degree in health science, graduates can pursue various medical science and leadership positions in fields like health services management. The section below examines major career pathways available to graduates.
See where a master's in health science can take you. Learn more about health services careers.
- Medical Services Manager
Medical services managers oversee daily operations of healthcare departments and facilities. These managers set goals and develop processes to meet them, handle budgeting and other administrative tasks, and manage staffing and inventory needs. According to the BLS, 33% of these managers work in hospitals and 12% work in physician offices.
- Medical Scientist
Medical scientists research the causes and effects of diseases, drugs, and treatment plans. Their findings inform policy development, healthcare programs, and manufacturing protocols. According to the BLS, 35% of these professionals work in research and development, 23% work in higher education, and 17% work in hospitals.
Epidemiologists study diseases, ailments, and healthcare treatment trends. These professionals analyze the causes of health problems and efficacies of treatment methods, seeking to improve healthcare programs and health outcomes. According to BLS data, 36% of epidemiologists work for the state government, 18% work for local governments, and 15% work in hospitals.
- Dietitian or Nutritionist
Dietitians and nutritionists develop healthy living programs based on individual client needs and nutritional guidelines and research. They typically assess their client's lifestyle, diet, and health to create a personalized meal plan. The BLS reports that 30% of these professionals work in hospitals, 13% work for the government, and 10% work in nursing care facilities.
Biochemists study composition and processes in living things. Their research can contribute to healthcare outcomes, more effective medicines, and a better understanding of disease and treatments. According to the BLS, 10% of biochemists work in pharmaceutical manufacturing and 8% work in higher education.
Health Science Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Health Science Programs
- Is a master's in health science worth it?
A master's in health science can lead to many promising careers. As health occupations grow, society will need more leaders with advanced science and research skills. Graduates from specialized healthcare disciplines, such as nursing or dietetics, can expand their skills and leadership potential with an online master's in health science.
- What can I do with a master's in health science?
With a master's in health science, graduates can pursue various management positions in healthcare organizations. They can also put their research skills to use in many healthcare fields. Some graduates may choose to continue their training in a doctoral program to become professors or researchers.
- Is health science a good career?
The aging population in the U.S. has led to an increased demand for healthcare professionals to research diseases, ailments, and treatments. The BLS projects 6% job growth between 2019 and 2029 for medical scientists, and these scientists earned a median annual salary of $88,790 in 2019.
- How much money can I make with a master's in health science?
The money available to graduates with a master's in health science depends on their location, experience, and employer. According to BLS data, healthcare professionals made a median annual salary of $68,190 in 2019, nearly $30,000 higher than the median annual salary for all occupations.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in health science?
Medical and health services managers made a median annual salary of $100,980 in 2019, more than $60,000 higher than the median annual salary for all occupations, according to BLS data.