Graduate Programs

What to Expect from a Master of Health Science Online Program

Master of Health Science


You know you want to become a leader in healthcare. It’s why you’re considering a Master of Health Science (MHS). Whether you’ve been in the industry for a while or you’re hoping to transition to the field, an MHS can be a great next step. 

But you’re not entirely sure which MHS program is the best for you. You feel like an online Master of Health Science might be more convenient for your busy life, but you need a bit more information before you decide on going the distance education route. You can start figuring out what an online MHS program might look like for you right now.


6 Things to know about pursuing an online Master of Health Science

Every program out there is a bit different, but the following information should help clarify a few details. 


1. You still have the option to specialize

You might be surprised to find that many schools are able to offer most of their degree specializations both on campus and online. At Bellarmine University, for instance, students choose one of two specialization tracks. The Health Promotion and Social Change track prepares students to serve as advocates for health on a large scale to help improve society as a whole. Students on the Healthcare Leadership track learn about what it takes to effectively guide teams in a variety of settings. 

Both specializations include core health science classes that help students establish a foundational education. They can then build upon that foundation to become experts and advance in their chosen discipline. 


2. You have the opportunity to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds 

MHS programs tend to attract students who have a wide range of experiences. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to describe an “average” student. 

“The fact that this program is so interprofessional is one of the things I like best about it,” says Dr. Karen Golemboski, Chair of the Master of Health Science Program at Bellarmine University. She thinks this is advantageous for the students, who may not have this type of exposure in a different degree program. “Healthcare tends to teach in silos and send students out in the world without having a strong grasp on what the other professionals actually do,” she adds.  

Many students have a background in administration. But there are also plenty of MHS students who are current healthcare practitioners (such as physicians, occupational therapists, nurse practitioners and more). While these students have plenty of clinical skills, they often haven’t had much education related to health policy or business. This is where obtaining an MHS can make a huge difference.

“Gaining these skills and knowledge that other professionals in the same area don’t have will put graduates in a good position for promotion,” Dr. Golemboski explains.


3. You can tackle an online program as a working professional

Healthcare professionals rarely work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They may not even have a consistent schedule. Thankfully, programs that are entirely online make it easier to attend class around your professional schedule. 

Most students take one or two courses per 15-week semester, which allows them to manage their course load while keeping up with their work schedule. Clearly, it’s possible for healthcare professionals to continue their current role while furthering their education. 


4. You’ll receive the same quality education that on-campus students do 

At Bellarmine University, students in both the on-campus and online programs study the same content and develop the same skills. They also go through the same admissions process and, ultimately, receive the same degree. The only true difference is found in content delivery

Instead of meeting in a classroom every day, distance learners use technologies like Moodle and Skype for Business. It’s worth mentioning that all online courses adhere to the Quality Matters Course Design Rubric Standards to ensure they’re on par with the quality and rigor you’d expect from in-person classes. The only real caveat is that distance education takes an extra level of discipline. But, if you’re motivated to put in the work, you could be very successful in an online program. 


5. You can take fascinating courses directly related to your work

If you’re passionate about healthcare, chances are good you’ll enjoy your MHS classes. Courses address the very issues you deal with daily in healthcare and can help you develop the skills you know you’ll need. But that doesn’t mean you should expect run-of-the-mill offerings.

“There’s a lot of variety,” Dr. Golemboski says. “We’ve tried to provide enough different courses that you’re getting a smattering of everything.” 

At Bellarmine University, MHS courses include:

  • Community Wellness
  • Current Trends and Issues in Global Health
  • Introduction to Healthcare Topics and Analytics 
  • Issues in Healthcare Leadership
  • Patient Safety 


6. Applying is easy

You’ll be expected to meet the same entrance requirements an on-campus applicants. At Bellarmine University, admissions decisions for all students are based on your transcripts, professional references, resume and personal statement. Both programs also allow you to apply without sitting for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

If you’re looking for any feedback before applying, you can submit unofficial transcripts to the Bellarmine University admissions office for review. Admissions representatives will give you feedback on your resume and answer any questions before submitting your finished application. 

Advance your career with an MHS degree 

By now, hopefully you have a better handle on what an online Master of Health Science program might look like for you. If you have the drive and self-discipline to stick with your studies, distance education can be a great way for someone like you to advance in healthcare. 

If what you’ve just read piqued your interest, you might want to start investigating your options a little more closely. Find out how you can start working toward your professional goals by visiting Bellarmine University’s Online Master of Health Science program page.

Tags: Graduate Programs , Health Sciences , Online Learning



Located in the historic Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.