Health & Medical Graduate Programs & Degrees 2020+

Medical & Health Services Average Salary


Average Salary





Nurse Practitioners



Occupational Therapists



Physician Assistants




Top States for Employment: Pharmacist



Annual Mean Wage







New York










Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Pharmacists
Metro Area Annual Mean Salary Employment
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA $154,320 180
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX $153,790 440
Santa Rosa, CA $150,990 510
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX $150,910 230
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA $149,930 310

Bureau of Labor Statistics

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.

MSN (Master of Science in Nursing)

DC (Doctor of Chiropractic)

MSN Family Nurse Practitioner

Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)



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.

  • Physical Assessment
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Human Biochemistry
  • Spine and Extremities Anatomy & Lab
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Manipulation of the Cervical Spine

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.

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




$11,617 Average Public Institution University Tuition



$14,784 Average Private For Profit Institution Tuition




$26,551 Average Private Nonprofit Institution 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.

View All 190 Health & Medicine Graduate Programs ​ Here:

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