5 Popular Electives in a Master’s in Health Sciences Program

5 Excellent Master's in Health Sciences Electives

  • Global Health
  • Urban Environments
  • Assessment and Planning
  • Public Health Leadership
  • Health Education

Master's in Health Sciences degree programs offer interesting and exclusive electives to help students explore advanced knowledge in relevant and related fields. These classes will explore and expand on basic health science concepts and public health topics. These include the tools, activities, purpose, history, philosophy, organization and functions of health science at the national, state, and local levels.

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

1. Global Health

The health sciences aren't limited to local or national borders. This elective explores world health issues, solutions and policies by examining the risks, factors, demographics and major stakeholders. Students learn how countries are interconnected by studying the effects of globalization, technology, and economic policy on health issues. Some of the most common topic points include global warming, pollution, pandemics and crime. Students may analyze the specific cross-culture and socioeconomic factors that contribute to collective health and illness statuses. This includes risk behavior, health inequities, behavior programs and government interventions.

2. Urban Environments

This elective integrates geology, earth sciences, health initiatives and environmental sciences to explore urban communities. Students may learn how to identify, manage and eliminate environmental threats to health. Community problems, such as lead poisoning, asbestos exposure, and toxic waste may be examined through the lenses of racial privilege, social justice, and health equity. This will help them to identify and understand environmental hazards, pollutants and high-risk factors for disease and illness. The impact of natural disasters, geographic patterns and climate problems on public health may also be examined.

3. Assessment and Planning

Risk analysis, needs assessment, program planning and outcome evaluation are essential processes for efficient and successful community health initiatives. Students will learn the tools used by government and nonprofits to address public health problems faced by target populations. Students will be shown common strategies used to involve stakeholders in the creation, implementation and evaluation of awareness and promotion programs. The curriculum may evaluate initiatives from historical and cross-cultural perspectives.

4. Public Health Leadership

Public health leadership usually focuses on urban programs and health education. Public health leadership concepts usually include ethics, management, professionalism, team building, strategic planning and budgeting and finance. When learning about leadership, the elective may touch on how current officials and key stakeholders are managing and responding to health policy and health care system issues. Good leaders must understand policy analysis, financial structuring, legislative systems and the influences of the media on health policy.

5. Health Education

An elective on the principles and practices of health education will provide a comprehensive overview of health education strategies for urban and rural community health settings. This elective may touch on technology solutions, instructional planning, campaign development, behavior change interventions and controversial topics in the media. A class assignment could focus on how continued professional development is important for the career success of public health employees or it could focus on creating an initiative to raise awareness of epidemiological-influenced violence.

Other electives in a Master's in Health Sciences degree program may touch on gender, school, ecological and reproductive health. The Bureau of Health Professions of the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) is an excellent resource for anyone interested in a health sciences or public health career.

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