Best Healthcare Colleges in the U.S.

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Why a degree in healthcare?

You’ve always loved helping people and found an interest in those sluggish science classes. Whether you prefer to diagnose, treat, or prevent, it’s obvious healthcare is the place for you.

What healthcare degree options exist?

In healthcare, you need others, and they definitely need you. The healthcare industry added 271,000 new positions last year, and the upward trend is continuing in 2014. Job boards have already seen a 16% increase in healthcare job postings compared to this time last year*.

There's a shortage of healthcare professionals worldwide. With an overall aging population and the increasing complexity of the healthcare system, the time has never been better to be a trained and qualified healthcare professional. If it’s time to start your healthcare career, up, up and away!

*HealthECareers, http://www.healthecareers.com/article/healthcare-job-outlook-most-new-jobs-projected/174918
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Best Healthcare Colleges in the U.S. for 2018

Rank School Name Location Description   Rating
1 Harvard University Cambridge, MA

Harvard University offers 52 Healthcare Degree programs. It's a large private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 803 students graduated in the study area of Healthcare with students earning 426 Master's degrees, 280 Doctoral degrees, 67 Bachelor's degrees, and 30 Certificates degrees.

Based on 44 Reviews
2 Duke University Durham, NC

Duke University offers 80 Healthcare Degree programs. It's a large private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 1,201 students graduated in the study area of Healthcare with students earning 677 Master's degrees, 300 Doctoral degrees, 168 Bachelor's degrees, and 56 Certificates degrees.

Based on 24 Reviews
3 Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY

Columbia University in the City of New York offers 59 Healthcare Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 1,685 students graduated in the study area of Healthcare with students earning 770 Master's degrees, 385 Doctoral degrees, 329 Certificates degrees, and 201 Bachelor's degrees.

Based on 20 Reviews
4 Yale University New Haven, CT

Yale University offers 31 Healthcare Degree programs. It's a large private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 794 students graduated in the study area of Healthcare with students earning 462 Master's degrees, 170 Doctoral degrees, and 162 Certificates degrees.

Based on 12 Reviews
5 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania offers 61 Healthcare Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 1,512 students graduated in the study area of Healthcare with students earning 822 Master's degrees, 473 Doctoral degrees, 187 Bachelor's degrees, and 30 Certificates degrees.

Based on 56 Reviews
6 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University offers 43 Healthcare Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 986 students graduated in the study area of Healthcare with students earning 763 Master's degrees, and 223 Doctoral degrees.

Based on 28 Reviews
7 Georgetown University Washington, DC

Georgetown University offers 28 Healthcare Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 866 students graduated in the study area of Healthcare with students earning 476 Master's degrees, 196 Doctoral degrees, 167 Bachelor's degrees, and 27 Certificates degrees.

Based on 32 Reviews
8 Northwestern University Evanston, IL

Northwestern University offers 71 Healthcare Degree programs. It's a large private university in a small city. In 2015, 712 students graduated in the study area of Healthcare with students earning 342 Master's degrees, 342 Doctoral degrees, 27 Certificates degrees, and 1 Bachelor's degree.

Based on 40 Reviews
9 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California offers 80 Healthcare Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 1,752 students graduated in the study area of Healthcare with students earning 789 Master's degrees, 752 Doctoral degrees, 130 Bachelor's degrees, and 81 Certificates degrees.

Based on 52 Reviews
10 MCPHS University Boston, MA

MCPHS University offers 47 Healthcare Degree programs. It's a medium sized private university in a large city. In 2015, 1,955 students graduated in the study area of Healthcare with students earning 893 Bachelor's degrees, 684 Doctoral degrees, 357 Master's degrees, and 21 Certificates degrees.

List of all Healthcare Colleges in the U.S.

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Degree Levels
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  • Master's
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  • Four or more years
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School Logo School Name Average tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
Harvard University Harvard University Cambridge, MA
5/5
14 : 1 29,652
Duke University Duke University Durham, NC
5/5
5 : 1 15,984
Columbia University in the City of New York Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY
5/5
7 : 1 28,086
Yale University Yale University New Haven, CT
5/5
5 : 1 12,385
University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
5/5
12 : 1 24,876
Vanderbilt University Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
5/5
4 : 1 12,567
Georgetown University Georgetown University Washington, DC
5/5
13 : 1 18,459
Northwestern University Northwestern University Evanston, IL
5/5
10 : 1 21,655
University of Southern California University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
5/5
16 : 1 43,401
MCPHS University MCPHS University Boston, MA
5/5
31 : 1 7,074
Washington University in St Louis Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO
5/5
9 : 1 14,688
Tufts University Tufts University Medford, MA
5/5
11 : 1 11,137
Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
5/5
6 : 1 22,686
Brown University Brown University Providence, RI
5/5
12 : 1 9,458
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
3/5
17 : 1 29,084
University Logo Emory University Atlanta, GA
5/5
7 : 1 13,788
University of California-Los Angeles University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
3/5
12 : 1 41,908
New York University New York University New York, NY
5/5
8 : 1 50,027
Boston University Boston University Boston, MA
5/5
11 : 1 32,158
Northeastern University Northeastern University Boston, MA
5/5
15 : 1 19,940
Case Western Reserve University Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
5/5
9 : 1 11,340
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
3/5
7 : 1 43,651
Cornell University Cornell University Ithaca, NY
5/5
12 : 1 21,904
University of Virginia-Main Campus University of Virginia-Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
4/5
11 : 1 23,883
Boston College Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA
5/5
15 : 1 14,354

Find Local Colleges with Healthcare Majors in the U.S.

Top Schools offering Healthcare Degrees in the U.S.

Questions About Healthcare Degrees

What are the different degrees I can get in healthcare?

If you’re looking to make an impact on our nation’s health, start with a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree will be your key into entry-level and mid-level positions in healthcare. This degree requires around 120 hours of coursework. For example, you can pursue an administrative-based healthcare degree—think healthcare management, public health, biotechnology, or health information technology. Do you want to work one on one with patients? For careers focused on direct patient care, consider nursing, nutrition science, physician assistant studies, medical imaging, radiation therapy, recreation therapy, or speech-language pathology. If you like the sound of a laboratory-based position, explore programs like clinical laboratory science, microbiology, toxicology, or biomedical technology.

Depending on what you study, a master’s degree can require 30 credits or more beyond the bachelor’s level. You can pursue a graduate education in any of the bachelor’s program options above to enhance your knowledge and career opportunities in those areas. Or dive into a specialty. A master’s degree in nurse anesthesia or occupational therapy for example will give you specified knowledge that prepares you for a niche career. Other specialties include physical therapy, kinesiology, neurobiology, health policy, pharmaceutical sciences, gerontology, pathology, and respiratory care. Willing to dedicate several years to training beyond the bachelor’s level? You might be interested in a professional degree to become a doctor of medicine, pharmacy, audiology, dentistry, chiropractic care, ophthalmology, or veterinary medicine.

What are some of the skills and experiences I will gain through healthcare?

As a student in any healthcare program you will need to memorize and get comfortable using medical terminology related to your area of study. Expect to take science courses if you want to work in a lab or with patients. Regardless of your program, you will learn to communicate with patients, families, administrators, and other healthcare providers. You’ll also examine healthcare laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Healthcare professionals are required to practice in accordance with federal and state laws to protect patients’ health and privacy. Students enrolled in clinical-based programs learn to assess patients’ mental and physical needs, assist with or provide treatments, and follow care plans. Meanwhile, future administrators learn to manage office staff, electronic health records, budgets, and programs in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Most academic programs require students to complete practicums or internships in hospitals or clinics. That’s right, hands on experience. Through this fieldwork students will evaluate patients and create care plans under supervision within the bounds of what students are allowed to do by law.

What are healthcare programs seeking in their applicants?

If you’re a math and science lover, you’re already on the right track. Admissions committees will look at your academic transcript to see that you have successfully completed the required math and science courses in high school—with preferably a B or higher—so they know you can handle the course content. But math and science skills aren’t all you need to be a competitive applicant. Admissions committees seek well-rounded students. They like to see in your application that you have been actively involved outside of the classroom. It’s never too late to volunteer at your local hospital or clinic! Or consider planning events with a student club like Relay for Life, or interning in a health-related role.

Should I study healthcare online or on a campus?

Do you already work in the healthcare field but need a degree to move up in your career? An online program might be a great option. With an online program you can add to your credentials without completely disrupting your schedule. But if you have some flexibility you will truly benefit from an on-campus program. There you can apply classroom learning in facilities like clinical simulation centers and anatomy labs. Professors and classmates will give you valuable feedback as you practice. You’ll develop deeper relationships with professors and advisors, some of which may work directly in healthcare. They can help you pinpoint your healthcare niche and locate experiential opportunities. These resources will prepare you to transition from studying healthcare to working in the field.

What are the cutting-edge careers in this industry?

If you want to get into a unique specialty, consider genetic counseling. Genetic counselors help patients determine if their families will be at risk of specific hereditary conditions by testing DNA. Between 2014 and 2024, there will be a 29% increase in the employment of genetic counselors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, look at O*Net OnLine’s list of new and emerging careers with a bright outlook and you’ll see that technology-based healthcare careers are trending. Bioinformatics scientist and informatics nurse specialist are among the emerging career options. In these positions you would design computer systems for healthcare professionals who need to track and analyze patient or biological information. Further, according to CareerBuilder, some of the most in-demand jobs of 2016 are expected to be registered nurse, occupational therapist, surgical technologist, speech-language pathologist, pharmacist, and physical therapist. If you’re looking into healthcare you have no shortage of desirable career options.

How do you work your way to the top in the healthcare industry?

Competitive applicants in the healthcare job market boast practical, hands-on experience. In fact, academic programs often require you to complete clinical experiences, internships and practicums where you observe and perform basic duties related to your specialty area under supervision. This fieldwork serves as a networking opportunity too. While you gain experience for your resume, you gain contacts in your future field. For that competitive edge, dive into research at a research assistantship at college or volunteer for a clinic, health non-profit, hospital, or hospice. You can even give professional conference presentations. Just remember Amy Cuddy’s power pose when you’re on stage.

Are there scholarships or grants available to people looking to study healthcare?

Absolutely! Land a scholarship from National Health Services Corps or Nurse Corps and they will cover your tuition and fees when you commit to fulfilling their respective service obligations. Apply for a Tylenol Future Care Scholarship and you could receive an award of up to $10,000. You can even look into state-specific scholarships related to your profession, like the Florida Public Health Foundation scholarship for prospective masters in public health students. Spend time searching for scholarship information on the websites of state health departments, health nonprofit organizations, corporations, national and regional professional associations, and universities. With persistence and follow-through you’ll find many ways to fund your healthcare education.

*HealthECareers (http://www.healthecareers.com/article/healthcare-job-outlook-most-new-jobs-projected/174918)


Health care careers are not only rewarding, but the industry itself is booming. As our population continues to age and medical technology advances further and further, more and more health care professionals are needed. It's one of the few industries that has trouble finding enough qualified workers.

Health Care Career Paths

It seems like there are as many career choices in health care as there are illnesses to treat, injuries to heal, and patients to care for. Here, we're going to look at a few of the major areas of health care, and some popular careers in those areas. Nursing careers are among the most rapidly-expanding fields in the country. There are countless hospitals and clinics that are struggling to find enough qualified nurses to staff their overworked departments. Nurses care for patients in a variety of ways and settings depending on their training and education. Physicians are the primary care givers in most healthcare settings. They can serve as general practitioners, helping patients with a variety of needs, or they can specialize in a specific area of care. For example, physicians can specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, anesthesia, family practice, psychiatry, various forms of surgery, or any number of other fields. Medical administration is a crucial, and often overlooked, aspect of healthcare industry. Medical billers and coders keep track of the overwhelming amount of information that goes between doctors' offices, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare centers about patients, treatments, and everything else that goes into treatment. Medical assistants perform the vital administrative and clinical duties that keep those offices running, and running smoothly. Their duties can vary from office to office, but will usually include filing, tracking paperwork, and often customer relations (booking appointments, checking patients in, etc). Medical assistants should not be confused with physician assistants, who are medically trained and actually diagnose and treat patients. There are almost innumerable other career tracks that are involved in the healthcare field. For example, pharmacists fill prescriptions for patients based on doctors' recommendations, and have extensive training in drug interactions and reactions. Radiologic technicians are the men and women who perform diagnostic imaging like x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), and other forms of medical imaging in order to help doctors make diagnoses. And health care managers oversee it all, making sure that departments run smoothly, patients are cared for, and bills are paid.

Salaries for Health Care Careers

Most registered nurses earn between $51,000 and $76,000 annually, with most earning around $62,000. Advanced practice nurses and those with advanced training can earn substantially more; for example a survey by the journal ADVANCE for Nurse Practitioners found that the annual salary for a nurse practitioner (a kind of advanced practice nurse) was around $81,000. Physicians are among the highest-earning professionals in the country. Median income for primary care physicians was around $186,000. Physicians practicing in medical specialties earned a median income of over $339,000. Generally speaking, self-employed physicians (those who own or co-own their own medical practice) earn slightly higher income than those on the salary of hospitals or other large practices. Medical administrative salaries will vary greatly depending on the experience of the worker, the setting of the position, and the type of work being done. Generally speaking, however, medical records and information technicians earn a median income of around $30,000 annually, with most earning between $24,000 and $39,000. Those working for the federal government earned a higher median income of $42,000, while those working in private physician offices earned the least, at around $26,000. Likewise, medical assistants earn a median salary of $28,000, with most earning between $23,000 and $33,000. Again, those working for the government earned the highest average salaries, those working for private practices tended to earn less - though the difference is much less for medical assistants. Pharmacists earn very substantial wages, with the median income falling at $106,000, and most earning between $92,000 and $121,000. The highest 10 percent earned more than $131,000 annually. Radiologic technicians earn a median salary around $52,000, with most expecting to earn between $42,000 and $63,000.

Education for Health Care Careers

There are three paths to becoming a registered nurse: an associate's degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN), and a diploma program lasting three years. Those considering pursuing nursing as a lifelong career should weigh their options, as those wishing to become advanced practice nurses will require a master's degree. Additionally, all states have licensing requirements for both registered and advanced practice nurses. Just as physicians have extremely high earning potential, they also have among the most demanding educational requirements for any profession. Physicians require an undergraduate degree, a medical school degree (often ending with a doctorate of medicine, or MD), and between three to eight years of residency depending on their specialty. These requirements are universal for all physicians, general practitioners and specialists alike, though the exact amount of time needed to complete medical school and residencies may vary depending on the specialty. Most medical health billers, coders, and other information technicians hold associate's degrees or bachelor's degrees. Medical assistants are sometimes trained on the job depending on their duties, but many hold one or two year degrees or have completed diploma or certificate programs at technical and vocational schools. Pharmacists are required to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree, as well as pass multiple examinations in order to gain licensure. Pharm.D. degrees generally take about the same amount of time as medical doctorate, four years. Radiologic technicians are required to have formal training in radiography in the form of a certificate, associate's, or bachelor's degree, with an associate's degree being the most common path to employment. Each state has their own licensing requirements for radiologic technicians, be sure to check with the licensing body in the state you wish to work.

Health Care Career Outlook

As noted before, health care careers are among the fastest growing opportunities in the nation - nearly all occupations are expanding rapidly. Nurses are among the most in-demand position in the country right now. The BLS estimates the growth of the nursing profession to be around 22 percent, nearly double the national average, but puts job prospects even better, as aging RNs will be retiring and there is currently a lack of young nurses to replace them. Likewise, advanced practice nurses are in high demand, particularly in underserved areas like urban centers and rural areas. Physician employment is expected to grow at about the same rate as nursing, and job prospects are similarly rosy. The BLS points out that with the increasing age of the general population, doctors in specialties that afflict the elderly will find their prospects are even better. Medical records technicians are expected to see their employment opportunities grow by nearly double the national average, while medical assistants will see their employment grow by well over 30 percent - for the same reasons as doctors and nurses. Those with formal training and certificates will find excellent job prospects in the coming years. Openings for pharmacists are expected to grow by about 18 percent over the coming years, with job prospects, again, very rosy. As there are limited Pharm.D. programs in the country, the school system is having a hard time educating enough pharmacists to meet national demand. Radiologic technicians will experience similar growth in their industry, and should have excellent prospects awaiting them at the completion of their schooling. In short, health care career opportunities aren't going anywhere. And while the industry may not always grow as fast as it's expected to in the immediate future, as long as our population is expanding, there will always be an increased need for health care professionals.
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