The Best Graduate Healthcare Degrees in 2024


Many Americans take their health very seriously. They track their daily steps and workout routines, take vitamins to boost their immune systems, and even log their daily dietary intake. For this reason, the healthcare industry has no shortage of career opportunities and is poised for extreme growth over the next ten years.

The public interest in health and wellness has created a new employment sector and career paths far beyond traditional roles, such as doctors or nurses. Professionals in the health industry can now specialize in fields according to their patients’ age and health conditions, from premature birth to hospice care. For example, many trainers and physical therapists help patients achieve their fitness goals. And as the industry grows, so does the infrastructure, making the billing and insurance sectors vital to the system’s efficiency.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2023), healthcare is currently the country’s largest employer and jobs in the healthcare industry are projected to be among the fastest-growing over the next decade. Between 2022 and 2032, employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. About 1.8 million openings are projected each year, on average. As the industry grows, so too does the opportunity for a new career path.

Many online and on-campus graduate-level programs provide a strong foundation for a healthcare career. They also offer in-depth training and opportunities to incorporate research and statistical data into one’s preexisting clinical expertise. Many of these programs also require some hands-on care, such as internships, rotations, or volunteer activities.

Discover the most in-demand career paths and degrees in the health industry in 2024.

Featured Graduate Healthcare Programs
Purdue Global Online Master's - Health Care AdministrationProgram Website
Grand Canyon University MBA - Health Systems ManagementProgram Website
Texas A&M International University Online MBA - Healthcare AdministrationProgram Website
Southern New Hampshire University Online MBA In Healthcare ManagementProgram Website
George Mason University Master of Health Administration in Health Systems ManagementProgram Website
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi Online MBA in Healthcare AdministrationProgram Website
Lamar University MBA - Healthcare Administration Program Website

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN Southern New Hampshire University Online MS - Construction Management


  • The majority of the data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual salary data is based on May 2022, and the projected job growth data is calculated for 2022 to 2032.
  • Some of the newer positions, such as health information, do not have direct listings.
  • Although there are hundreds of healthcare positions, this piece focuses on those with annual salaries of $50,000 or more (with rare exceptions) and an above-average growth expectation over the coming decade (more than 5 percent).

Master of Science, Genetic Counseling

  • Affiliated career: Genetic Counselor
  • Median annual salary: $89,990
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2022-2032: 16 percent

Genetic counseling requires a blend of biological science and interpersonal skills. Counselors work with families and individuals who want to have children to assess the medical, physical, or familial risks associated with inheritable conditions, such as congenital disabilities and genetic disorders.

Counselors work at medical centers, laboratories, or private clinics and acquire genetic information through detailed interviews with patients about family medical history going back several generations. They share this information with healthcare providers and family members to inform patients of specific risks that may require closer observation from their primary provider or the mother’s OB-GYN. This career requires strong counseling skills to help families cope and discuss different options if given difficult news.

Various graduate-level programs nationwide provide either a degree or a concentration within a broader health sciences program. While most programs require on-campus courses, schools such as Boise State University offer online programs to expand access to accredited programs for a diverse population of students.

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

In the University of Texas Genetic Counseling Program at Houston, students learn and receive training at the largest medical center in the U.S. Faculty members are current healthcare professionals in genetics. The 45-credit program includes coursework and the opportunity for a clinical rotation that requires students to work with patients and analyze genetic information. The curriculum covers human and prenatal genetics, cancer genetics, research and statistics, ethics, and developmental biology. This program boasts a 90 percent pass rate on the board exams.

  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Format: On-campus
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Health Education

  • Affiliated careers: Health Educator, Community Educator, Community Health Worker, School Nurse, Public Health Educator
  • Median annual salary: Health Education Specialists ($59,990); Community Health Workers ($46,190)
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2022-2032: Health Education Specialists (7 percent); Community Health Workers (14 percent)

While nurses and doctors directly advise patients at medical centers, health educators inform the broader public about specific health concerns through other forums, such as classrooms and social and traditional media.

The position promotes wellness initiatives, educates different populations about potential health concerns, and collects and analyzes local health trends. The outreach could be part of a public health department, a medical center community team, an educational institution, or even a private practice. The career requires strong communication skills and familiarity with medical and scientific processes and terminology.

Walden University

The online master’s degree in health education and promotion encourages students to become familiar with healthcare trends, practices, and theories. The program also goes beyond physical health issues, covering mental and emotional concerns, and informs students with the skills to encourage the public to take action to boost their health. In addition, the online program is designed to prepare students to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) exams.

This 50-credit program includes courses such as health behavior theory; public health administration and leadership; exploring health education in the 21st century; assessing community needs for health education; health education and communication strategies; and program planning, implementation, and evaluation.

  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Format: Online
  • Expected Time to Completion: 18 months

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Orthotics, and Prosthetics

People who suffer from severely damaged or severed limbs lose a lot of functionality and mobility when using prosthetic devices. Prosthetic devices can range from artificial limbs (hands, feet, arms, and legs) to braces and other medical or surgical instruments. In addition, patients can lose limbs due to trauma, congenital disabilities, or health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Prosthetic specialists work with clients and medical appliance technicians to find a device that fits a person’s lifestyle and ensures that it fits comfortably and functions properly. In some cases, the specialists may create the equipment themselves.

Students interested in this profession can begin with a master’s degree in orthotics and prosthetics. They must then complete a one-year residency in either field or an 18-month program in both areas, accredited by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education. And finally, they must receive a license in their respective state through the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics.

Northwestern University, Prosthetics-Orthotics Center

The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University provides opportunities for students to learn the foundations and clinical skills in anatomy, kinesiology, material science, behavioral science, biomechanics, technology, and gait.

This hybrid program features a blend of in-person and on-campus courses. It requires students to demonstrate proficiencies in fundamental concepts such as assessment, design, fitting, and evaluation of prostheses or orthoses for physical impairments and amputations. In the first six months of the program, students complete online courses before transitioning to hands-on experiential learning in in-person classes. Students also learn research and analysis methods, plus hands-on skills like fabrication and impressions.

Over ninety percent of graduates from this CAAHEP-accredited program receive residency placement within six months of graduation.

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP); the program also follows standards from the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE), the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists, and the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics
  • Format: Two quarters online, four quarters on campus, one quarter via distance learning, and an internship
  • Expected Time to Completion: 21 months to two years

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Occupational Therapy

  • Affiliated career: Occupational Therapist
  • Median annual salary: $93,180
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2022-2032: 12 percent

Therapeutic positions are intended to help someone move from an unhappy place to a better place. For instance, physical therapists work with clients to rebuild muscles and improve coordination, endurance, flexibility, and overall range of motion.

An occupational therapist has a similar but much broader role. Their task is to help patients regain skills they lost due to an injury or a new health condition, such as a stroke or disability. Occupational therapists also help patients, such as seniors who receive home care or live in an assisted living community, relearn daily living skills.

Occupational therapists can work at home healthcare agencies, medical centers, or specialty care clinics and have their private practice. Required skills include knowledge of the body’s processes, different types of injuries, health conditions that can be addressed, and general communication skills.

University of Southern California, Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

The University of Southern California provides great flexibility and options for occupational therapy graduate students. One course of study is a post-professional master’s (MA) degree for students with experience as certified or board-eligible occupational therapists who want a doctorate in their field.

The university also has an entry-level doctorate of occupational therapy (OTD) program for those with a bachelor’s degree in another subject but are interested in occupational therapy. This 96-credit program focuses on adult physical rehabilitation, mental health, pediatrics, and productive aging and geriatrics.

The program requires students to write a thesis or take a comprehensive exam and prepares students for the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy examination.

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Format: On-campus
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three years for the doctorate degree; one year for the post-professional master’s degree

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Health Administration

  • Affiliated careers: Healthcare Medical Administrator, manager, director, or executive
  • Median annual salary: $104,830
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2022-2032: 28 percent

The healthcare system functions thanks to successful offices and medical centers that require employees with solid business skills and traditional medical training. Healthcare administrators and managers ensure that patients receive quality care, that facilities have the proper personnel, supplies, and technology, and that all billing and insurance matters are adequately addressed.

Academic programs can teach leadership skills and an overview of the current health system. Depending on interests and experiences, healthcare administrators can work wherever leadership is needed, such as small community clinics, large campus medical centers, assisted living centers, healthcare associations, and even insurance companies. Some programs also offer a glimpse into the financial management side of healthcare equations.

Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU’s 36-credit online master’s program in healthcare administration covers a variety of topics, such as finance and economics, policy, law, strategic planning, and informatics. Focusing on communication, analytics in healthcare, and critical thinking, this online program helps graduates boost their qualifications to fill critical roles within healthcare organizations and advance their careers in this vital industry.

The online format could be handy for professionals already working in the industry who want to improve their skills or seek higher-level pay without relocating to attend school full-time. The curriculum includes healthcare informatics; global health and diversity; marketing, communications strategies, and outreach; biostatistics; healthcare quality and improvement; health policy and law; economic principles of healthcare; and healthcare finance and reimbursement.

  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Format: Online
  • Expected Time to Completion: As few as 15 months

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Public Health and Nutrition

  • Affiliated careers: Dietitians and Nutritionists, Public Health Officer
  • Median annual salary: $66,450
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2022-2032: 7 percent

Dietitians help patients find sustainable ways to achieve their personal health goals through various customizable methods like controlling portion sizes, incorporating new flavors, and eliminating certain foods or food groups.

Dietitians and nutritionists focus on specific age groups or health needs, such as cancer patients, seniors, or patients who are morbidly obese or have diabetes. They run private practices, work with specialty medical programs, or even work on-site at centers like assisted living communities. The skills required for this profession include knowledge of nutrition, food sciences, chemistry, and communication.

George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health

This program, part of the school’s Milken Institute for Public Health, focuses on training graduates to integrate nutrition into all aspects of public health practice. The program helps professionals evaluate the best nutrition-related interventions to use at the community, national, and global levels.

This 45-credit program includes courses such as biostatistical applications for public health; principles and practice of epidemiology; social and behavioral approaches to public health; environmental & biological foundations of public health; fundamentals of health policy; and essentials of public health leadership & practice. The program concludes with a practicum in a public health field.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH); Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Format: Hybrid with up to 15 credits online
  • Expected Time to Completion: 18 to 24 months

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Athletic Training

  • Affiliated careers: Athletic Trainer, Kinesiologist
  • Median annual salary: $53,840
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2022-2032: 14 percent

Athletic trainers are crucial to the performance of a sports team or an athlete. They assist in diagnosing and treating injuries and advise preventative care. Trainers play an essential role at any level of athleticism, from secondary school teams to college and professional leagues.

Schools or teams, private fitness centers or medical offices, or municipalities such as community recreation departments can employ trainers. Areas of knowledge include anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, communication, general medical care, and first aid. In addition, there are various training programs for trainers because of a growing interest in sports and sports safety.

Texas A&M University, College of Education & Human Development

This 57-credit master of science in athletic training program provides an overview of modern athletic training and allows students to work with elite student-athletes at the school’s clinic. In addition, the curriculum is designed to prepare students for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam to receive certified athletic training credentials.

The program is offered full-time, and students with a bachelor’s degree who have completed the prerequisite courses can apply. As well, this program prepares students to be eligible to apply for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) Athletic Training Licensure. In addition, this program is recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

The curriculum includes courses such as taping, bracing, and preventative care; evidence-based practice; clinical anatomy; lower extremity assessment, evaluation, and management; therapeutic intervention; behavioral health interventions; and administration, leadership, & professional development in athletic training.

  • Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
  • Format: On-campus
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Health Information Management

  • Affiliated careers: Health Information Manager, Systems Manager, IT Director, Health CTO, Database Manager
  • Median annual salary: $104,830
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2022-2032: 28 percent

The complexity of the healthcare system has created the need for professionals who aggregate, track, and analyze data. Health information managers gather and secure information from various sources, such as providers and insurance companies, and make it easily accessible and digestible. At the same time, they also need to ensure that all sensitive and personal data is protected under confidentiality and privacy laws.

The job requires IT knowledge and familiarity with medical terminology and various billing and coding definitions. In addition, information technicians maintain existing systems and recommend increased storage and security as technology changes and the amount of available data grows. These positions are found at providers’ offices, medical centers, and private data storage centers but can also be performed remotely.

Dakota State University

This master’s degree in health informatics and information management provides an overview of modern health informatics, including data analytics, statistics, and information systems. Students also learn about the legal and ethical aspects of the profession, including why certain data needs to be protected, along with penalties for failing to do so. System workflow, research, and design are also emphasized in the 33-credit course, as is communication since many parties are sending and requesting data. In addition, Dakota State University offers a reciprocity agreement with Minnesota residents for discounted tuition.

The curriculum includes courses such as healthcare informatics, information systems, and technology; data analytics in healthcare; legal and ethical aspects of health informatics; health information lifecycle governance; leadership and management for health informatics; exploration of population health data in health informatics; and workflow and usability optimization in health informatics.

  • Location: Madison, South Dakota
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Format: On-campus or online
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to five years

Other Programs of Note:

MBA in Healthcare Management

  • Affiliated positions: Management Analyst, Industry Consultant, Specialist
  • Median annual salary: $95,290
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2022-2032: 10 percent

Though some people prefer to work for one employer, others like the flexibility of working with multiple employers. Consultant work involves visiting different workplaces, learning ways to improve organizations, and ensuring that companies comply with changing rules. Consultants are critical to the healthcare industry because of the constant updates in equipment, protocol, and laws and regulations.

As administrators and employees focus on delivering day-to-day services, staying up-to-date about new procedures and regulations and disseminating them to their staff is challenging. Therefore, bringing in more familiar consultants in these areas who can provide answers and recommend necessary changes is more intelligent and cost-effective.

Consultants can represent various fields and should be familiar with specific healthcare law and culture areas. It is also essential that they have strong written and oral communication skills. The position requires some degree of travel to different types of offices. Various combinations of skills and knowledge can be helpful to consultants. Still, people considering this career might want to consider either a dual MD/MBA program or an MBA with a healthcare focus.

The George Washington University, School of Business

This online MBA program focuses on healthcare and healthcare management. The healthcare portion of the curriculum includes clinical research, health sciences, and regulatory affairs, while the business side includes ethics, finance, organization, and project management.

Students in the 46.5-credit program also learn about general business management topics and current medical issues, which can help intelligent decision-making and benefit organizations that want to look toward the future. In addition, students can continue their education by taking additional healthcare classes to satisfy the requirements of a graduate certificate through the university’s School of Medicine.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
  • Format: Online
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to five years

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Clinical Laboratory Science

  • Affiliated careers: Medical and Clinical Lab Technician, Lab Technologist, Lab Assistant, Lab Manager
  • Median annual salary: $57,380
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2022-2032: 5 percent

Another essential role in medicine involves working in the field or behind the scenes in a public or private laboratory. These roles are typically found in medical or crime labs, physician offices, or medical centers and require extensive knowledge of biology, chemistry, and modern measuring and testing methods.

Many online and on-campus programs provide training in equipment, procedures, and quality control. Advanced training can also prepare professionals in this area for leadership positions and educate them about more current or advanced testing methods.

Rutgers University, School of Health Professions

The 30-credit online master’s of science in clinical laboratory science gives an overview of lab science, including accurate diagnoses and testing methods and advanced skills in administration, consultation, and general research methods.

The curriculum includes courses such as molecular diagnostics; clinical laboratory data analysis; principles of transitional and outcomes research in clinical laboratory science; data analysis & interpretation; clinical laboratory utilization in quality health care delivery; advanced hematology; advanced hemostasis; advanced topics in molecular diagnostics; translational bioinformatics biomarker discovery & personalized healthcare; and leadership and administration in diagnostic healthcare services.

Students can complete this program part- or full-time, with most students enrolled part-time and completing the program in two to three years.

  • Location: Newark, New Jersey
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Format: Online
  • Expected Time to Completion: One to three years with a six-year limit

Other Programs of Note:

Rachel Drummond, MEd
Rachel Drummond, MEd

As a contributor on MHAOnline, Rachel Drummond has brought her expertise in education and mindfulness to the healthcare management field since 2019. She writes about integrating innovation into healthcare administration, emphasizing the importance of mental and physical well-being for effective leadership and decision-making in the fast-paced world of healthcare management.

Rachel is a writer, educator, and coach from Oregon. She has a master’s degree in education (MEd) and has over 15 years of experience teaching English, public speaking, and mindfulness to international audiences in the United States, Japan, and Spain. She writes about the mind-body benefits of contemplative movement practices like yoga on her blog, inviting people to prioritize their unique version of well-being and empowering everyone to live healthier and more balanced lives.