A master’s degree in health science allows graduates to fill top career positions in the rapidly growing healthcare industry. A Master’s in Health Science (MHS) degree provides students the opportunity for in-depth study in a particular health discipline. Most Master’s Degree in Health Science programs allow students to choose the focus of their degree from a variety of areas including cancer, biostatistics, genetics, epidemiology, infectious disease, clinical investigation, mental health, healthcare economics, reproductive health, pediatrics, immunology and others.
A Bachelor’s degree in Health Science or other closely related medical discipline is required as a prerequisite for most MHS degree programs. The majority of work is focused on research and report writing. Students will explore topics in-depth and have the opportunity to practice publishing the results of their work in various peer-reviewed journals and publications.
A Master’s Degree in Health Science is perfect for graduates who already have some experience in the field to enhance their knowledge of a specific discipline usually in preparation for research activities within that discipline. It is an opportunity for students to fully explore and realize their particular passion within the healthcare profession. Most programs are flexible and designed for students who are probably already working full-time within the healthcare field.
How to Find the Top Master’s Degree in Health Science Programs
Students planning to pursue a MHS degree should already have a similar bachelors degree, so they should look first at the university where they acquired their original degree. Many programs that offer bachelors degrees also offer masters degrees and usually provide a discount rate to returning students. New schools and programs may also have a great deal to offer.
The best master’s degree in Health Science programs have several things in common. First, they should have a wide variety of disciplines to choose from. Most healthcare departments within the college should offer their own area of focus for the Master’s Degree in Health Science degree. Second, they should have top-quality lab facilities available and should be affiliated with at least one nearby hospital or healthcare center. Third, they should have experienced staff, particularly faculty with some research background and experience with peer-reviewed journal publication. Hands-on learning and lab work is still important at the masters level, but online courses and distance learning are more acceptable. Most work will be focused on reading, writing and research on the part of the student.
The following universities have top ranking Master’s Degree in Health Science programs.
1. Johns Hopkins Bloomburg School of Public Health: Johns Hopkins stands out because it exemplifies the variety of possibilities within the spectrum of an MHS degree program. Every health department in the school offers its own MHS program. The school also offers several other closely related healthcare masters programs such as a Master in Healthcare Administration and Masters of Science in Public Health which may also appeal to graduates holding a BS in Health Science.
2. NOVA Southern University: This as a fully accredited online program. It stands out from other online program because it is integrated part of an existing university, but designed to be completed entirely online. It also offers some masters programs not offered by other universities including Health Law and Forensic Investigative Technology.
3. California State University Long Beach: This on-campus program stands out from others because of the focus on its mission statement and program objectives. It has the same research and educational focus of other MHS programs, but it targets the healthcare concerns and disparities of underprivileged populations.
Careers and Salaries for Individuals with a Master’s Degree in Health Science
Master’s degrees in Health Science offer two distinct careers paths. Most graduates will follow a research-focused career in their chosen specialty. This work is usually lab-based and will either be linked to a university or healthcare facility study or will be independent. Pay for research activities varies widely by location and type of study. Independent research may require the graduate to find their own funding source in which case salary may depend on the amount of funding raised. Research salaries average between $60,000-$80,000. Students may also choose a healthcare management position that is more focused on activities within healthcare faculties. Pay for these positions is usually $85,000-$100,000 annually. Due to the increasing need for medical research and innovation, the time has never been better to consider a master’s degree in Health Science.