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Overview of Master’s Degree Program in Health Sciences Specializing in Public Health

Majors Overview November 16, 2017

This article talks about master’s degree programs in health sciences specializing in public health and their education requirements, coursework, career options, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.

Master’s Program in Health Sciences Specializing in Public Health

Although few schools, if any, offer a public health concentration, students enrolled in master’s degree programs in health science are allowed to choose specializations in numerous areas and can complete public health courses. These programs often cover concentrations or degree tracks where students are allowed to focus on specific areas of healthcare such as healthcare administration, nutrition, emergency medical care, health education, and gerontology. They are available as a Master of Health Science (M.H.S.) or a Master of Science in Health Science (M.S.H.S.). Practicing healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists and nurses with relevant degrees and seeking career advancement would benefit from enrolling in these programs.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field and meet a minimum GPA standard, apart from submitting GRE scores as well as completing prerequisite courses in statistics and research methods.


Students learn about the roles of medical professionals in promoting wellness via public health courses. Enrollees can also examine factors affecting public health policy formulation. Coursework in MSHS and MHS programs vary by the chosen track or concentration and often depend on the professional goals and academic interests of students. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Health science issues and trends
•Program development and assessment
•Evidence-based practice
•Health science research methods
•Health care policy

Career Options

Program graduates may seek supervisory, administrative, or educational positions in numerous healthcare fields, varying by the field of study. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Public health educator
•Nurse Manager
•Clinical Director
•Health practice administrator
•Community health consultant

Job and Wage Outlook

Graduates’ job prospects and earning potential can vary according to career path and employer. Medical and health services managers are expected to see a job growth of 20%, over the 2016-2026 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). These managers may find employment in areas such as clinical management, practice administration, and nurse management. In 2016 medical and health service management professionals brought in an average annual wage of $96,540 (BLS).

Health educators are expected to see a job growth of 16% over the 2016-2026 decade (BLS); these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $44,390 in 2016. In general, a higher average salary is earned by health educators working for surgical and general medical hospitals than by those employed in outpatient care centers, local government, or state government (BLS).

Continuing Education Options

Program graduates who seek continuing education may pursue Health Science Ph.D. programs and Doctor of Health Science (D.H.Sc.) that could lead to university teaching and research careers and senior-level administrative positions. Students enrolled in these programs are allowed to enhance their knowledge of healthcare delivery, healthcare administration, and public health issues through research.

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