How Our Rankings Are Made

Last Updated: April 2020

At, we use a one-of-a-kind methodology to create our rankings, which focuses on the overall merit of programs and how they benefit students. The rankings remain objective, and we evaluate schools holistically, weighing several factors, including quality, financial considerations, and online flexibility.

When determining the key factors, our team incorporates data from national databases. We then plug that data into our unique formula to determine where programs or schools should land in our rankings. In the sections below, we break our formula down further to review the important subfactors for students searching for their ideal program.

Throughout our process, we collect available data and weigh metrics to determine the best information for learners to make the most informed choice. While no ranking methodology is perfect, we aim to provide the best possible rankings for prospective healthcare students looking to compare master's programs. To ensure relevant and useful information, our rankings are data-driven and free of editorial influence.

About Our Rankings Data

Our primary data sources include the most current available datasets from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). As part of the Institute of Education Sciences, NCES carries out large-scale evaluations of federal education policies and programs, along with conducting surveys to better understand where schools can implement improvements. NCES conducts research and produces data to report how well the U.S. provides education to students across colleges, universities, and technical or vocational schools.

NCES is the main source for information about higher education in the country, reporting on the most relevant data points for degree-seekers. Our quality assurance team assesses all schools in the datasets but does not include schools missing a significant amount of data to ensure accuracy and relevance in our calculations. We pulled all data in December 2019 to create our rankings with the most relevant information available.

A Breakdown of Our Rankings Calculations

"Best Of" Rankings Methodology


Affordability-Focused Rankings Methodology


Ranking Factors

When creating our school rankings, our team chooses the factors and subfactors we believe are most relevant and important to students pursuing their master's degrees in healthcare. We focus on a student-oriented methodology that specifically reviews quality, finances, and online flexibility. We take these factors and break them down further into subfactors, using reliable data sources in our weighted formula.

In the following section, we explain each factor and subfactor in detail to ensure learners understand how we create our methodology.

Our team creates "best of" rankings and rankings focused on affordability. These affordability-focused rankings are more heavily weighted, incorporating multiple factors and data points to produce the most in-depth program analyses.

Subfactors for Quality

Graduation Rate
This factor measures the number of students that graduate from a particular college or university. Schools with high graduation rates indicate increased opportunities and student satisfaction. Candidates can also assume that schools with higher graduation rates indicate an availability of helpful resources and tools for learners.

Transfer-Out Rate
Institutions with low transfer-out rates point to high quality programs that provide degree-seekers with formidable program opportunities, tools, and resources to promote student success.

Enrollment Rate
These figures often break down beyond just enrollment, focusing on how many undergraduate and graduate learners are at a particular school. Institutions with high enrollment rates indicate sought-after program opportunities of higher quality.

Student-Faculty Ratio
Schools that feature lower student-faculty ratios indicate a more individualized learning experience for students. Learners at these institutions can anticipate more one-on-one attention from instructors, providing them with a more specialized learning experience.

Subfactors for Finances

Change in Tuition
Our methodology measures the change in tuition at a particular college or university over time. Tracking these trends allows degree-seekers to understand how to anticipate future tuition changes and costs based on the trends demonstrated in previous years.

Average Net Price
Average net price measures the total program cost, excluding funds from financial aid. Our methodology considers the price of tuition, fees, and materials when determining the average net price. Reviewing this information allows students to determine the amount of financial aid they would need to afford their degree.

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid
Reviewing the percentage of students receiving financial aid allows learners to determine how abundant the opportunities to take advantage of tuition assistance are at a particular school. Schools with higher percentages of enrollees receiving aid indicate that students can take advantage of more opportunities for tuition assistance.

Loan Default Rate
Loan default rates measure the amount of graduates unable to make the payments on their student loans after graduation. Schools with lower loan default rates may indicate that earning a degree at that college or university will lead degree-seekers to lucrative job opportunities after graduation.

Subfactors for Online Flexibility

Percentage of Students Enrolled Partially or Fully Online
Our methodology reviews how many students are enrolled in at least one online course, focusing on fully online learners and students pursuing hybrid formats. Schools with higher percentages of online students indicate higher quality online program options and a wider variety of resources and opportunities for distance learners.


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