Categories: Master's Degree

Master’s Degree in Health Economics

A master’s degree in health economics can give you a background in health care and its distribution and consumption. Read on for more program information, including online learning opportunities, prerequisites and courses offered.

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Can I Get a Master’s Degree in Health Economics?

As of 2016, a master’s degree in health economics is starting to become more prevalent in academia; however, you might be more likely to find public health graduate programs that pertain to health economics. You might also pursue an applied economics degree and tailor your study to the field of health economics. Another possibility is a master’s program in health administration; these programs include courses in economics specifically for health care institutions.

You might pursue these types of degrees if you’re interested in becoming a consultant who advises hospitals or clinics on how to save money. The study of health economics could also be applicable to some jobs in public or government agencies.

Degree Level Master’s degree
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and distance learning programs are available
Prerequisites Bachelor’s degree is required; some programs may require some previous health administrative work experience or have specific undergraduate course requirements
Common Courses Law, health resources, statistics, economics, cost-benefit analysis
Median Salary (2018) $104,340 (for all economists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% growth (for all economists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

There are a number of online master’s programs pertaining to health economics. Some require a practicum, usually in an administrative job within the health care industry, but it can typically be done locally. Most programs follow the typical school calendar, but students can work on online coursework at their convenience. Many of these programs are specifically tailored to working professionals and offered part-time; acquiring your degree might take longer than in a full-time master’s degree program.

What Are the Prerequisites?

Health administration programs tend to require a student to have some administrative experience in the field. Applied economics programs are tailored toward research careers and don’t require previous experience. A bachelor’s degree is the typical prerequisite for a master’s program. Depending on the field of study that you pursue, some programs may require specific undergraduate degrees, while others will not. You might need to take more undergraduate economics classes or health-related classes if you have not already done so before you can begin taking classes in health economics.

What Kind of Classes Will I Take?

Depending on the type of master’s degree you pursue, classes could include economics, public health or business administration courses. You’ll learn about basic economic theory, as well as its practical application in health care.

If you are working in a public policy-making agency, you might be more interested in applying theory to statistical research. If you are running a hospital, you might want a program tailored to all the facets of hospital administration, including health economics. Depending on the specific program, topics of study might include:

  • Statistics
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Law and economics
  • Allocation of health resources
  • Health care methodologies in quality improvement



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