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Graduate Degree in Health Economics: Program Overviews

Research graduate degrees in health economics. Get information on requirements, courses, career prospects, and salary to make an informed decision about your education.

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Essential Information

Graduate degrees in health economics may lead to a master's or a doctoral degree. Such programs usually last one to two years. Admission requirements may include a bachelor's degree, minimum GPA, and possibly, work experience. Concentrations and specializations are offered by some schools; in doctoral programs, students choose a specialization in their second year of study. Read on for details about each of the degrees available in health economics.


Master of Science in Health Economics

Students enrolled in a Master of Science in Health Economics program may learn more about international health and management. Some academic disciplines concentrate on economic metrics, healthcare technology, and quality studies. Depending on the program, it could take a year to two years to earn a master's degree.

Education Prerequisites

Master's degree programs may request that applicants have a bachelor's degree, a satisfactory GPA, and have completed courses in subjects such as calculus and economics. Some schools may recommend that prospective students have work experience.

Course Topics

Master's program courses may focus on both the financing and administering functions of U.S. healthcare institutions. Critical thinking, decision-making, and scientific methods could also be studied. Other course topics might include:

  • Analytic methods
  • Econometrics
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Health policy

Popular Career Options

Health economists are eligible to work in a variety of areas, both in the U.S. and internationally. Career opportunities include:

  • State health agencies
  • Hospital chains
  • Health insurers
  • Consulting firms

Ph.D. in Health Economics

Doctoral students in health economic programs may learn about microeconomic theories, research methods, and healthcare-related literature. Individuals may have the opportunity to gain a general education their first year and focus on a concentration, such as applied economics or economic evaluation, their second year.

Education Prerequisites

Before being admitted to a PhD program, applicants may be required to have a bachelor's or graduate degree and a satisfactory GPA. Some schools request a personal statement and a resume as well.

Course Topics

Empirical analyses, quantitative methods and economic dimensions are areas that PhD programs could focus on. Other course topics might include:

  • Public health research
  • Healthcare systems
  • Statistical inference
  • Proposal writing
  • Systematic reviews

Employment Outlook & Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that between 2008 and 2018 the employment growth for medical and health services managers was expected to see a 16% growth rate, which is faster than the average of other occupations (www.bls.gov). As the medical industry grows, so will the necessity for managers to help with business operations, cites the BLS. Payscale.com reported in March 2012 that healthcare administrators made a yearly salary that ranged from $30,140 - $108,789, including bonus and other perks.

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