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What Are the Degree Requirements for an Online Masters in Health Care?

Degree requirements for earning an online master’s degree in health care are very similar to requirements of traditional programs. However, there may be some programs that demand projects or residencies with on-site supervision. To learn more about residential or practicum requirements of online programs, contact your school to get more details.

Program Requirements

The health care industry is extremely diverse, ranging from the administrative to the clinical. Graduate programs within the health care field cover a number of subject areas that are designed to lead to specialized career paths. Most full-time programs can be completed in four semesters, though there are some residency programs that might demand a longer time commitment. To learn more about what you can expect from your particular degree program, choose the subject area that interests you the most from the options below:

Administrative

Students will focus on a variety of subjects including financing, organization, and marketing. The core curriculum is very similar to a business administration program, but will include specifics of the management of health care institutions and the delivery of personal health services. Courses may range through economics, law, political science, biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy, accounting, and health service and information systems. Programs usually end with a capstone course in which students are evaluated based on the integrated knowledge of their field of study. However, some programs may conclude with a paid residency after which a student will return to the university for a capstone semester.

Nursing

Masters of Nursing programs are unique in that RN’s can enter accelerated MSN programs that include baccalaureate instruction. Such programs allow RNs to enter the degree program without a health-related undergraduate degree. The MSN is considered a professional degree for entry-level work as managers and nurse educators, but it can also prepare a student for positions as nurse administrators or health policy experts. Students can also choose to focus on a specific specialty areas to obtain positions as nurse practitioners or other advanced nursing positions.

The degree requirements for a Masters of Nursing include a science-based core curriculum including courses in physiology, pharmacotherapy, holistic health, research methods, informatics, leadership, and ethics. However, each specific degree within a MSN will have its own requirements. At the end of the program, students should be prepared to sit for professional exams and receive certification to practice.

Public Health

Students who pursue a Masters of Public Health can choose from many different specialties, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental and occupation health sciences, health promotion and behavioral sciences, education, and policy and community health. Despite the differences between individual concentrations, public health programs are defined by an intensive focus on research of health within specific populations. Students in Masters of Public Health programs also learn about public health law, policy, and administrative management. These programs generally conclude with a Capstone course or a Practicum.

Psychology

Like most graduate degrees in health care, earning a Master’s Degree in Psychology offers students many different education paths to achieve their professional goals. Here are a few potential degree programs for a Masters of Science in Psychology: applied behavior analysis, child and adolescent development, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, educational psychology, addiction counseling, marriage and family counseling, general mental health counseling, industrial-organizational psychology, and sport psychology.

Students pursuing a Master’s Degree in Psychology can expect to participate in a core program focusing on research methods, testing and measurement, and interpreting and creating statistical data. Specialized courses will make up the majority of the graduate program, and programs are generally concluded with an integrative project designed to evaluate the summation of the student’s knowledge. Many online programs require residencies of various lengths that allow students to practice their skills under the supervision of a mentor.