By TMHA Staff
Below you will find our selection of the top online health sciences master’s degrees for the 2016-2017 school year.
For many students, an online master’s degree in health sciences offers the perfect pathway for a career in healthcare. More specifically, MSHS programs attract current and aspiring non-medical healthcare professionals who want to learn more about their chosen industry. Because these programs typically feature a broad curriculum and flexible coursework, they are most suitable for young workers who want to enhance – but not limit – their career options. Conveniently, some online master’s in health science programs include concentration tracks, which may appeal to students who would like an opportunity to acquire specialized skills.
Currently, the number of MSHS degrees available to online learners in the United States is fairly small. Of course, the selection is likely to grow in the years to come. In the meantime, would-be health science graduate students can take solace in the fact that there are a handful of truly top-notch programs for them to consider. For evidence, just take a look at our top 10 ranking below. Each of these 10 schools meet our criteria for the title of “top master’s in health science online.”
Online Master’s in Health Sciences Ranking Methodology
In ranking graduate health science programs, we primarily sought to identify the schools with the most robust programs in health and wellness overall. We considered that the colleges and universities that dedicate significant resources to healthcare/medicine/public health are also more likely to have better facilities, offer better opportunities, support better research, and attract better (and more) students. This same idea applies specifically to MSHS degree programs. As such, we used both the total number of health-related programs available at the school and the number of MSHS degrees the school conferred in 2014-15 as metrics in our ranking.
However, we also included annual graduate tuition rate as a third metric – because even the best schools can make little impact if they are financially out of reach. We acquired tuition data from College Navigator. All other information came directly from the schools’ websites.
Each university earned points for its performance in the three aforementioned categories. After gathering the data and crunching the numbers, we assigned the top 10 programs their final scores. These scores range from 51 (for the #10 program) up to 100 points for the top-ranked college. Keep scrolling to see the scores and read about the best health science master’s degrees online.
10. Rutgers University-New Brunswick
New Brunswick, NJ
Online Master of Science in Health Sciences
Rutgers’ accredited online master’s degree in health science is a great choice if you already have relevant coursework under your belt. The program has a generous policy by which participants can meet elective or specialization requirements using previously earned credits, exam scores, or a portfolio assessment. Working adults will especially appreciate the time and money they can save by taking advantage of this option. And since Rutgers permits both full- and part-time participation, all students can feel confident that they’ll have the time they need to earn their degree. But while studying, you may want to start thinking about your final task in the program: to pick an area of personal interest and design a project that will address a problem in that field.
Graduate Tuition: $24,034/yr
9. The George Washington University
Online Master of Health Sciences
As a consistent recipient of academic awards, GW has more than just name recognition to promote its stellar reputation. And its 12 top online health sciences master’s degrees demonstrate the school’s commitment to offering distance learners the same top-notch education they’d expect on campus. Note that some of the programs require on-campus work, such as the MS in Health Sciences in Clinical Microbiology. However, this requirement is well justified, as it includes a four-week clinical rotation that gives participants a chance to put their theoretical knowledge to practice. But no matter which program you choose, you can feel confident that your education will match those of your on-campus peers. In fact, online programs at GW often have a student-faculty ratio that’s lower than on-campus classes.
Graduate Tuition: $27,851/yr
8. MCPHS University
Online Master of Health Sciences program in Academic Health Sciences Studies
If you’re worried about the time commitment of attending a master’s in health sciences degree program online, MCPHS may be able to assuage your concerns. Even part-time students at MCPHS can earn their degree in just two years, while full-time students could go from orientation to graduation in a fraction of that time. Not only will time fly by in this fast-paced program, but you will complete the vast majority of your coursework – including a final capstone project – entirely online. That being said, the university does require program members to attend one intensive residency seminar on campus, so be sure to clear your schedule for a week-long trip to Boston.
Graduate Tuition: $20,550/yr
7. Florida Gulf Coast University
Fort Myers, FL
Online Master of Science in Health Science
FGCU is one of the newest schools on this list, but it’s nonetheless a great place to complete a top master’s in health sciences degree program online. This consistently popular degree program requires no in-person campus visits at all – a boon for out-of-state adults and full-time workers. On top of that, FGCU allows online learners to choose from two start dates (January and August), providing an important accommodation for busy professionals and parents. Once admitted, you’ll find that the curriculum offers its own set of perks. This includes a smart selection of electives that can help you develop an emphasis in either health education or health administration, depending on what better suits your career goals.
Graduate Tuition: $19,559/yr
6. Bellarmine University
Online Masters of Health Science (MHS)
Bellarmine may be buried in the middle of this top 10 ranking, but the experience it offers to students in the MHS program is anything but average. For starters, the five-semester, 100% online curriculum provides an ideal arrangement for even the busiest adult students. And the curriculum is as deep as it is efficient – even making space for two highly relevant concentrations. Master’s in health science online students in the Leadership Track can expect coursework to focus on resource management and the economics of health care. In contrast, the Health Promotion and Social Change Track participants emphasizes social issues that affect health care accessibility and delivery.
Graduate Tuition: $10,166/yr
5. Touro University Worldwide
Los Alamitos, CA
Online Master of Science in Health Sciences
Touro stands out on this online health sciences master’s degree ranking in part because of its extremely affordable tuition. But beyond low costs, this university is also committed to providing adults and the underserved with an accessible, quality education. This mission has motivated Touro to develop several fully online programs, such as the MS in Health Sciences. Degree applicants can choose from one of two concentrations within the health science curriculum. Health Education concentrators acquire skills that will prepare them for careers in schools and within community organizations. Or if you’d prefer to focus on disease prevention and wellness promotion on a wider level, the concentration in Public Health will impart all the training you need.
Graduate Tuition: $9,000/yr
4. Cleveland State University
Online M.S. in Health Sciences
For the self-motivated learner, CSU’s accredited online master’s degree in health science offers an attractive option. The school values self-directed, independent learning, although program members can expect guidance from a dedicated advisor once it’s time to complete the final capstone project or thesis. Note that if you choose the thesis option, you’ll need to be on campus to defend it prior to graduation. Regardless of how you prove your proficiency, you can opt to pair the master’s degree with one of CSU’s graduate certificates (e.g., Gerontological Studies or Culture, Communication, and Health Care) to earn more specialized knowledge and build a more attractive resume.
Graduate Tuition: $13,832/yr
3. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
Online Masters of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS)
All told, IUPUI offers nearly 40 different health-related degrees, which is considerably more than any other school on this online health sciences master’s degree ranking. This breadth provides substantial benefits to interdisciplinary programs like the MS in Health Sciences, as it draws resources and course topics from multiple departments. But this MSHS also comes with a unique focus. The university’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences houses the program – and indeed, the curriculum caters specifically to health and rehabilitation professionals/educators. As an online student, you’ll take courses in “Health and Rehabilitation Systems across the World,” “Psychological Aspects of Disability” and many others. The degree consists of 36 credits in total, including a final project or thesis.
Graduate Tuition: $16,607/yr
2. University of Central Arkansas
Online Master of Science Degree in Health Sciences
Of all schools on this list, UCA offers the most affordable way to complete a master’s in health sciences degree program online, coming in just under $8,000 a year. And although the full program consists of 33-36 credits (and will almost certainly take multiple years to complete), you can cut your costs and time in half by transferring in as many as 18 graduate credit hours from another institution. Students also have their choice between a non-thesis or thesis track; the latter includes a research component and three additional credit hours. But even if you opt for the non-thesis, earning your degree won’t be a cake walk. Ultimately, all program members must complete a written comprehensive exam before graduating – unless they have a valid CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist) certification.
Graduate Tuition: $7,831/yr
1. Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Online Master of Health Science (M.H.Sc.)
The overall best place to earn your master’s in health science online? Nova Southeastern University, a fast-growing research university that is proud to qualify as the largest Hispanic-serving college in the United States. Among dozens of online postgraduate degrees, the Master of Health Science is consistently popular, and for good reason. It was designed specifically as an online program, which means that courses are optimized for distance learners. Applicants may also find the list of concentrations to be particularly enticing; options include Health Law, Bioethics, Forensic Investigative Technology, and several others. However, please note that some of the concentrations do require in-person attendance (for practicums or internships), so out-of-state students should view the requirements carefully before applying.
Graduate Tuition: $17,454/yr
This concludes our ranking of the best master’s in health sciences degree programs online.
Didn’t find what you need? We used a similar methodology in our ranking of the Top 10 Online Master’s in Health Services Administration 2016-17. Check it out!