Health & Medical Graduate Programs: Masters, PhDs & Doctorate Degrees in Chicago
What Is a Health and Medical Graduate Degree?
A Health and Medical Graduate degree may lead to a masters, professional degree or MD. Programs like the MSN, MSW, DNP, DC, DPT and PharmD build clinical skills. These often prepare you to pursue a license to practice in your field after you graduate and pass an exam.
Other programs such as the MHA, MPH, and DHS study the business side of the healthcare industry. These often provide students with advanced decision skills in a non-clinical area. They may prepare you to innovate (find a cure), research or set policy in health care.
written by Rana Waxman
What are the Different Types of Medical Degrees?
Medical degrees are vocational degrees and first professional degrees. As such they cover many areas associated with medicine and surgery. Some different types of medical degrees are:
- Doctor of Medicine (MD)
- Doctor of Clinical Medicine (DCM)
- Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
- Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)
- Doctor of Surgery (DSurg or DS)
- Doctor of Clinical Surgery (DClinSurg)
Do you need a Masters Degree to go to Medical School?
Most applicants to medical school have at least a bachelor's degree. Many also have advanced degrees. Yet, there are no specific master’s programs for med school. Or, that prepare you to pursue an MD (medical doctor) degree.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Graduate Degree in Health and Medicine?
Many managerial and practitioner jobs in health and medicine need a graduate degree. Based on BLS.gov data about entry-level education, here are a dozen careers where you need a master’s, doctoral or first professional degree.
- Dentists, Medical Doctors, Surgeons
- Genetic Counselors
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)
- Occupational Therapists (OTs)
- Orthotists, Prosthetists
- Physical Therapists (PTs)
- Physician Assistant (PAs)
- Speech Language Pathologists
- Healthcare Executives
Medical & Health Services Average Salary
Top States for Employment: Pharmacist
Annual Mean Wage
What is the difference between a M.S. and Doctorate in Medicine?
The MS and Doctor of Medicine may prep you to pursue a career in healthcare, speaking in the broadest sense. Yet they are very distinct both in the education they provide and the careers they may prepare you for.
Master of Science
The MS is an academic or professional degree, earned at graduate school. One might earn their Master of Science ‘in’ many different fields. Within health and medicine, you'll find MS in Nursing, bioethics, public health and so on. Most programs take about one to two years full time.
In some cases, you'll need at least an MS to pursue a specific license. Family Nurse Practitioner is one instance. Other MS programs may enable students to pursue leadership roles. The degree also serves as a springboard to a PhD, MD, or other doctorate degree.
Doctor of Medicine (MD)
The Doctor of Medicine is a medical degree, earned at medical school. To earn one, students go through a rigorous four-year curriculum. The first two years include classes and laboratories. In the last two years, students complete a supervised practice.
Usually this period involves rotations in various clinical areas. These span internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. As such, they gain experience in how to diagnose and treat illnesses in a variety of areas.
Health and Medicine Degree Guide
MSN (Master of Science in Nursing)
DC (Doctor of Chiropractic)
Length of Program: 16.1 months, 48 credits
Length of Program: 5-6 terms, 248 credits
This program prepares licensed Registered Nurses (RNs) with a bachelor’s degree to expand their scope of practice. Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) provide primary care to patients of all ages, genders and health conditions through their lifespan.
This program prepares students to become first-contact, primary care physicians fully qualified to diagnose, treat, and manage a wide range of conditions.
Specific accreditations: American Association of Colleges of Nursing (CCNE)
Specific accreditations: Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE)
In short, graduates of MS programs, unless also MDs, cannot practice medicine. To practice medicine, one needs to earn an MD. Then comes licensure and board certification if applicable.
What is a PhD degree in Medicine? A PhD/MD degree us a dual doctorate. It blends research in medicine and science (PhD) with the vocational prep of the MD.
There are many other PhD and doctorate degrees in the field of health and medicine. Some are for practitioners (E.g. Doctor of Nursing Practice -DNP). Others are in medicine or science (E.g. Doctor of Chiropractic, Doctor of Pharmacy -PharmD). Yet another category centers around business and leadership (E.g. Doctor of Health Administration -DHA).
There’s more to Health Care than Medicine and Pre-Med
Additional Health and Medicine Programs include:
- Non science-oriented avenues (e.g. Master of Business Administration-Healthcare Management, Master of Science in Health Administration, Master of Public Health)
- Very focused nursing programs (e.g. MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, MSN-Executive Leadership, Doctor of Nursing Practice)
- Scientific programs that range from the technical to the clinical (e.g. Master of Science in Health Informatics, Master of Science in Communication Disorders, PharmD)
- Alternative to traditional medical degrees (e.g. Master in Acupuncture, oriental Medicine, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees)
What Do I Need to Know about Health & Medicine Graduate School Accreditation?
Accreditation is an evaluation tool. Independent agencies use it to measure schools and degree programs against their criteria. They do this to ensure that standards of quality are being met. Consider it to be a system of checks and balances.
For the student, regional or national accreditation serves several key purposes. These accreditors assure eligible students they may:
- Access financial aid
- Transfer credits
- Sit for licensure exams
A second rubber stamp occurs when a professional accreditor approves an individual program. This type of accreditation process assesses courses and student outcomes. It looks to see whether the courses teach material that is relevant, timely and ethical. In regulated fields this is key.
In health and medicine graduate programs, there are many agencies to know about. Each sets its own criteria for membership, including the length of time before a school must reapply. Since most agencies maintain a database, you might verify status on individual sites.
- Nursing graduate programs: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Doctor of Pharmacy programs: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
- Doctor of Chiropractic: Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE)
- Athletic Training (MS): Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
- MPH, DPH: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
- Masters in Healthcare Administration: Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
Is medical school accredited? The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting body for programs leading to the MD. degree in the United States. It also accredits M.D.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Health or Medicine Graduate Degree?
A medicine graduate degree such as the MD may take four years to complete. MS programs in health may take one to three years to complete. Course load, whether you study full or part-time and type of degree program impact length.
|University||# of Credits Required||Start Dates||Minimum Months to Complete|
|Sacred Heart University||39 credits||6|
|George Mason University||39 credits||multiple||22-28 months|
|Purdue University||42 credits||3||24 months|
|American Intercontinental University||48 credits||Multiple||12 months|
How Much Does It Cost to Get A Graduate Degree in Medicine?
The average cost of a of a graduate degree from a public institution is $11,617 per year. This means you will be able to find programs both more affordable and more expensive than the average.
To give specific examples, this visualization shows graduate tuition costs of 4 institutions with Health and Medicine Graduate Programs as reported by the NCES. We have then compared those costs to the typically most affordable and most expensive college options, also as reported by NCES.
Instate/Out Of State Tuition
What are the Costs per Credit for a Master of Science in Medicine?
Cost per credit of course is different at every College or University. State Universities are also likely to have in state costs vs out of state costs. Below are a few examples of the cost per credit as reported by each one of these institutions.
|University||# of Credits Required||Cost Per Credit||Tuition Cost|
|Temple University||53 credits||$916||$48,548|
|Grand Canyon University||40 credits||$670||$26,800|
|Johns Hopkins University||10 courses||$4495 per course||$44,950|
|Emerson College||54 credits||$1,276||$68,904|
View All 92 Health & Medicine Graduate Programs in Chicago Here:
Benedictine UniversityMaster of Public Health - Health Education & Promotion Dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Public Health Master of Public Health - Health Management & Policy Master of Public Health Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness Graduate Certificate in Health Management and Policy Graduate Certificate in Health Education and Promotion Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Executive Leader
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyMaster of Health Services Administration Master of Public Health Dual Enrollment: Master of Health Service Administration and Master of Public Health
Loyola University ChicagoDoctor of Nursing Practice BSN-DNP Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Specialist Dual Degree MSW/Master of Public Health Doctorate in Bioethics Integrated Program in Biomedical Sciences (IPBS) PhD Dual Degree MS/MBA in Pharmacology Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics Master of Arts in Medical Sciences
Colorado Technical UniversityMaster of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner Doctor of Management - Healthcare Management and Leadership (Executive Format) Master of Business Administration - Health Care Management Master of Science in Healthcare Management Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education Doctor of Nursing Practice Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration Master of Science in Healthcare Management - Informatics Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management
American InterContinental UniversityMaster's - Healthcare Management
Northcentral UniversityDoctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Health Services Doctor of Education - Nursing Education Doctor of Business Administration - Health Services Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology - Mental Health Policy and Practice Master of Business Administration - Health Services
Trinity International University (IL)Bioethics
Illinois Institute of TechnologyBiology Health Physics Food Science and Nutrition Food Process Engineering Biomedical Imaging and Signals
Midwestern University (IL)Pharmacy Physician Assistant Biomedical Sciences Occupational Therapy Program Osteopathic Medicine Physical Therapy Program
Pacific College of Oriental MedicineMasters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine
DePaul UniversityMedical Transcription Certificate Pharmacy Technician Certificate Administrative Medical Specialist Certificate Program Advanced Hospital Coding and CCS Prep Certificate Program Advanced Coding for the Physician's Office Certificate Program
North Park UniversityNursing
Illinois College Of OptometryOptometry
Chicago State UniversityOccupational Therapy
National University Of Health SciencesDoctor of Chiropractic Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Master of Science in Oriental Medicine Master of Science in Acupuncture