The Best Graduate Healthcare Degrees in 2023


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 that go 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 various 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 2021 and 2031, there is estimated to be a 13 percent increase in jobs in this field. This growth equates to about 2 million new jobs in the coming decade. 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 a certain amount of hands-on care, such as internships, rotations, or volunteer activities.

Discover the most in-demand career paths and degrees in the health industry in 2023.


  • The majority of the data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual salary data is based on 2021, and the projected job growth data is calculated for 2021 to 2031.
  • 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: $86,640
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2021-2031: 18 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
  • Format: On-campus
  • Tuition: $11,525 for in-state students, $29,885 for out-of-state students
  • Program length: Two years

Featured Professor:


Myla Ashfaq

Myla Ashfaq is an assistant professor of international genetics at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She is also a certified genetic counselor at the same teaching and research facility. Originally from Pakistan, Ashfaq earned a bachelor’s degree in genetics from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in human genetics and genetic counseling from Stanford University.

Past research and publications have covered the topics of hereditary cancer, neurofibromatosis, and detailed discussions about disease genes.

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: $64,930 (health educators & community health workers)
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2021-2031: 12 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, along with being familiar 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.

  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $26,020
  • Program length: 18 months for the general specialization, 24 months for other specializations

Featured Professor:

Dr. Richard Jimenez

Richard Jimenez, PhD

Dr. Richard Jimenez is considered an expert in public health policies, including creating and initiating community HIV/AIDS prevention programs, border health issues between the U.S. and Mexico, and cancer prevention.

He joined Walden University in 2008 after previously teaching at various U.S. and international schools and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he focused on national AIDS education efforts. He also worked with the Texas Department of Health and was a producer of the documentary films “Hope in a Time of AIDS” and “Living With AIDS: An Occasion of Grace.”

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 to ensure that the device fits comfortably and functions properly. In some cases, the specialist 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.

Ninety-six 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 Programs; the program also follows standards from the American Academy of Orthotics & Prosthetics 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
  • Tuition: $38,666 per year
  • Program length: 21 months to two years

Featured Professor:

Michael Cavanaugh, MS

Michael L Cavanaugh, MSHI, CPO

Dr. Michael L. Cavanaugh, MSHI, CPOs an instructor for the Master’s program in Prosthetics and Orthotics at Northwestern University, where his research focuses on the efficacy of orthotic interventions on individuals with neuromuscular impairment, as well as the impact such interventions have on quality of life compared to traditional treatments. He is also a highly skilled prosthetics and orthotics specialist focused on providing optimal patient care. He specializes in the lower limb for both orthotic and prosthetic management.

Michael holds a bachelor of science from the University of Iowa (2002), and post-baccalaureate certificates from Northwestern University (2008 & 2009). He obtained his master’s degree from Northwestern University in 2020.

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Occupational Therapy

  • Affiliated career: Occupational Therapist
  • Median annual salary: $89,470
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2021-2031: 14 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, 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 a great deal of flexibility and options for occupational therapy graduate students. One course of study is a post-professional graduate degree for students who already have experience as certified or board-eligible occupational therapists and want a doctorate degree in their field.

The doctorate program is desginedl 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 children with disabilities, and preventative care for different populations.

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: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Format: On-campus
  • Tuition: $63,468 per year
  • Program length: Three years for the doctorate degree; one year for the post-professional master’s degree

Featured Professor:

Yasi Amanat, ODT

Yasi Amanat, ODT

Dr. Yasi Amanat is an assistant professor of clinical occupational therapy and a clinical faculty member at the Keck Hospital of USC. She works in outpatient rehabilitation and acute care. One of her areas of interest is the head and neck, especially concerning cancer treatment. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from USC and her bachelor’s degree at UC Irvine.

In addition to her clinical faculty role, Dr. Amanat provides direct patient care in acute and outpatient rehabilitation settings. Her area of focus is occupational therapy programming for patients affected by head and neck cancer and other cancer-related conditions.

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Health Administration

  • Affiliated careers: Healthcare Medical Administrator, manager, director, or executive
  • Median annual salary: $119,840
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2021-2031: 28 percent

The healthcare system functions essentially 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 management offers a comprehensive overview of healthcare concepts, terminology, best practices, and other valuable details like project management, organizational culture, team building, and branding. It also stresses research, ethics, communication, and decision-making.

The online format could be handy for professionals already working in the industry who want to improve skills or seek higher-level pay without relocating to attend school full-time.

  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges and Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $627 per credit or $1,881 per course
  • Program length: As few as 15 months

Featured Professor:

Darla Branda

Dr. Pamela Varhol

Dr. Pamela Varhol is the Associate Dean of Health Professions at Southern New Hampshire University. She joined SHNU in 2011 where she has held various other roles, such as adjunct faculty, director, and faculty lead, in addition to her current role. She is also a registered health information administrator and

Prior to SNHU, she worked as an information technology project coordinator at the University of New Hampshire and help desk support and electronic medical records project coordinator at Lowell Community Health Center. Varhol holds board member positions with organizations like the Health Information Management and System Society and the New Hampshire Health Information Management Association.

She holds numerous degrees, including a doctor of education in higher education administration from New England College, master’s of science in health information management and graduate certificate in health information management and Exchange from the College of St Scholastica, master’s of science in health management and policy with concentration in informatics from SNHU, master’s of business administration from SNHU, and bachelor’s of science in health education from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Public Health and Nutrition

  • Affiliated careers: Dietitians and Nutritionists, Public Health Officer
  • Median annual salary: $64,150
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2021-2031: 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, which is part of the school’s Milken Institute for Public Health, focuses on the connections between nutrition and overall wellness, and possible conditions resulting from poor nutrition, including acute and chronic health challenges.

Students learn about treatment methods and preventative strategies for diseases and create and implement public programs to share this information at a local or state level. In addition, the program emphasizes the role of individual and societal nutrition as a gateway to overall wellness efforts. It identifies factors that can influence a community’s nutrition, such as the quality and sanitation of water and food systems. The 45-credit program concludes with a practicum in a public health field.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health
  • Format: Hybrid with up to 15 credits online
  • Tuition: $32,454 per year
  • Program length: 18 to 24 months

Featured Professor:

Kim Robien, PhD

Kim Robien, PhD

As chair of the school’s exercise and nutrition sciences program, Dr. Kim Robien brings significant academic and professional experience to her roles. Her research focuses on nutrition in chronic disease prevention, food access in underserved communities, sustainable food systems, and general environmental nutrition. She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and serves on the Nutrition in Clinical Practice editorial board.

Dr. Robien has also researched the role of food-borne chemicals in possibly contributing to obesity or other chronic diseases and is an investigator for a study of Iowa women looking for possible connections between diet and risk for cancer and other diseases. In addition, she is part of the Montgomery County Food Council.

Other Programs of Note:

Master of Science, Athletic Training

  • Affiliated careers: Athletic Trainer, Kinesiologist
  • Median annual salary: $54,650
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2021-2031: 17 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.

Trainers can be employed by schools or teams, private fitness centers or medical offices, or municipalities such as community recreation departments. 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’s 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).

  • Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Format: On-campus
  • Tuition: $1,156.81 per credit
  • Program length: Two years

Featured Professor:

Steve Riechman, PhD

Steve Riechman, PhD

Dr. Steve Riechman is chair of the kinesiology program and an associate professor of health and kinesiology. His focus areas include resistance training, muscle endocrine, and nutritional and exercise interaction on skeletal muscle. He is also an editorial board member of the European Journal of Applied Physiology and a fellow with the American College of Sports Medicine.

His studies include a blend of health and science courses, including a master’s degree in public health and epidemiology, a doctorate in exercise physiology, and a postdoctoral fellowship exploring molecular genetics. Most recently, he’s taught therapeutic principles of kinesiology for undergraduates and nutrition in sports and exercise graduate-level students.

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: $119,840
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2021-2031: 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 all of the 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 make sure 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 make recommendations for 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 and 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.

  • Location: Madison, South Dakota
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
  • Format: On-campus or online
  • Tuition: $11,930.40 per year
  • Program length: Two to five years

Featured Professor:

Renae Spohn, MBA

Renae Spohn, MBA

As director of DSU’s health information management program, Renae Spohn has earned various academic credentials, including certifications as a registered health information administrator and a professional in healthcare quality. She is a fellow at the National Association for Health Care Quality and the American Health Information Management Association.

She has earned associate degrees from DSU and Colorado Technical University and earned an MBA in healthcare administration. Dr. Spohn is the master of science in health informatics and information management program coordinator. As well, holds certifications as a registered health information administrator (RHIA), a certified professional in healthcare informatics (CPHI), and healthcare quality (CPHQ).

Other Programs of Note:

MBA in Healthcare Management

  • Affiliated positions: Management Analyst, Industry Consultant, Specialist
  • Median annual salary: $100,530
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2021-2031: 11 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 remain compliant 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, it is challenging to stay up-to-date about new procedures and regulations and disseminate them to their staff. Therefore, it is more intelligent and cost-effective to bring in more familiar consultants with these areas and can provide answers and recommend necessary changes.

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, regulatory affairs, while the business side includes ethics, finance, organization, and project management.

Students in the 55.5-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, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $2,285 per credit
  • Program length: Two to five years

Featured Professor:


John M. Young, PhD

Dr. John Young has extensive experience in the healthcare and business industries. He is an assistant professor of clinical research and leadership and healthcare quality, focusing on value-add performance and health innovation.

He has worked on many government consulting projects, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where he focused on patient quality improvements, physician standards, and value-based purchasing programs. He is the former Chief Operating Officer of Southern Maryland Hospital. Dr. Young is currently an assistant professor of clinical research and leadership at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and played a pivotal role in creating and implementing the Affordable Healthcare Act.

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: $56,910
  • Projected growth in positions across the US, 2021-2031: 7 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 already working in this area for leadership positions and educate them about more current or advanced testing methods.

Rutgers University, School of Health Professions

The 33-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.

Courses cover advanced scientific and medical topics like chemistry, immunology, transfusion, transplantation, and business-related subjects like decision-making, problem-solving, and ethics. The program concludes with a three-credit graduate project that blends research methods, community service, and education. Students can complete this program part- or full-time, with most students enrolled part-time and completing the program in three to five years.

  • Location: Newark, New Brunswick, and Camden, New Jersey
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $1,244 per credit
  • Program length: One to three years with a six-year limit

Featured Professor:

Nadine A. Fydryszewski, PhD

Nadine A. Fydryszewski, PhD

Dr. Nadine Fydryszewski is the program director, vice-chair, and professor for the school’s medical laboratory science program. She teaches on-campus and online courses, is a certified clinical laboratory scientist and a medical technologist, and specializes in microbiology, blood bank, and hematology.

She previously supervised the microbiology department at Monmouth Medical Center, where she taught medical technology. Dr. Fydryszewski has a PhD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s School of Health Related Professions. Her research interests compare live versus web-based education in health professions, specifically in clinical laboratory sciences and phlebotomy.

Other Programs of Note:

Rachel Drummond
Rachel Drummond

Rachel Drummond is a freelance writer, educator, and yogini from Oregon. She’s taught English to international university students in the United States and Japan for more than a decade and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Oregon. A dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioner, Rachel is interested in exploring the nuanced philosophical aspects of contemplative physical practices and how they apply in daily life. She writes about this topic among others on her blog (Instagram: @racheldrummondyoga).