Health Economics Graduate Programs
If you are interested in figuring out why good health care is expensive or how to reduce health care costs, a graduate program in health economics is one way to get the skills and background you need for a career in this area. Read on for program options, career information and prerequisites.
What Kind of Graduate Programs Are Available in Health Economics?
Health economics is an evolving field as of 2016, and graduate programs can be found in a variety of departments. Some schools' economics departments now offer specialized degrees in health economics, but the majority of specializations in this field are offered through public health programs. In addition, you may be able to earn an MBA with a specialty in health economics, and some health administration programs include a sub-specialty in health economics. If you're a nurse and wish to move into a management or postsecondary teaching position, there are graduate degrees in this field specifically designed for aspiring nurse administrators.
Graduate programs in health economics include master's and doctoral degree programs. Post-doctoral fellowships are also available in this area. Additionally, there are combined M.D./Ph.D. programs relevant to this field.
There are very few online graduate programs in health economics. More online programs are available at the master's degree level than at the doctoral level, but programs are available for both. A master's degree usually takes 1-2 years to complete. A Ph.D. program generally requires 3-5 years of study.
|Degree Levels||Master's and doctorate degrees available|
|Possible Careers||Chief business officer, health economist, hospital administrator, chief executive officer|
|Prerequisites||Varies, depending upon intended program of enrollment; most doctorate programs require a master's degree and previous healthcare work experience|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$99,730 (for medical and health services managers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||20% growth (for medical and health services managers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Jobs Can I Get with My Degree?
You might pursue a graduate degree in health economics if you wish to teach at the university level. Many research facilities hire people with graduate degrees in this field. Federal or state health agencies charged with controlling or reducing cost factors in health care may also provide jobs for health economics graduates. A health economist might study and analyze everything from the cost of insurance, a health delivery system, the cost of pharmaceuticals or the cost-effectiveness of a medical device. You might also become a hospital administrator or a CEO or CBO (chief business officer) of a hospital system.
What Are the Prerequisites?
Graduate degree programs in health economics tend to draw from many areas in economics, business and health. Depending on the master's program, you may or may not need a specific undergraduate major, such as economics. Many programs, particularly MBA programs, tend to look for candidates with experience in the field rather than a specific undergraduate major. Prerequisites for a Ph.D. program generally include a master's degree in a related field.