How Long Does it Take to Complete a Master’s in Health Sciences?

Health sciences is probably one of the largest fields in the healthcare or business industry, and many wonder how long it takes to complete a Master's in Health Sciences. Students enrolling in college often base their educational goals on the time, commitment, and financial stability they have to offer a program. While one individual may complete the health sciences graduate degree in two years, others may need four years or more. Choosing to pursue this degree is a huge decision, and students should choose the type of program that best fits their lifestyle.

Resource: Top 10 Master's in Health Sciences Programs Online

Full-Time Status

Students pursuing a Master's in Health Sciences degree on a full-time basis must be prepared to make a full commitment of around forty hours per week. Depending on what type of career the individual wants, the student may be able to work and gain practical experience while earning the degree. In most cases, students pursuing a master's degree already possess a bachelor's degree, so they should be able to complete the master's degree program in two to three years. This includes academics during the school year and internships or fellowships during the summer.

Part-Time Status

Many students, for whatever reason, cannot attend college on a full-time basis and choose to become part-time students. These students may need two to four years to complete the program because they must fit their school work around their family or work schedule. Part-time students often choose programs that offer flexibility, such as evening, weekend and online courses. If the student is receiving financial aid, he or she may be required to take a certain number of credits each semester, but they're still part-time students. As flexible as part-time programs can be, many of them still require that the student complete the program in a certain number of years to be valid.

Online Platform

Although the majority of the health sciences master's degree programs take two to three years to complete, online programs allow the student to have more time in which to complete all the requirements. Online programs are available for both part- and full-time students. The amount of time it takes to complete an online program depends on the number of credits they take each semester, when they start the program and what their work schedule allows. One thing aspiring online students should realize is that health programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) may require some on-campus participation even if they are listed as online programs.

Prior Education Level

The amount of prior education the student has can affect the time it takes to earn a master's degree, as well. If the student is enrolling in college for the very first time, it can take four to six years to earn a master's degree. If the student has a bachelor's degree, the master's may be earned in two years or even one year if it's an accelerated program. Every college has its own requirements.

Health sciences is a vast field that encompasses many occupations and specializations with the need for qualified professional in almost every area of the field. Even those who want a career in a less conventional area can find something in health sciences, according to Public Health Online. The different areas of health science are almost endless, and earning a Master's in Health Sciences can prepare an individual for various career choices.

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