Mar 23, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Science in Health Sciences

Check departmental information for additional requirements.

This 30-semester-hour program prepares students from a variety of health-related fields to become managers, educators, and leaders in health-related professions or to progress to doctoral studies. Students develop competencies in interdisciplinary communication skills, quality measurement of health services, culturally-aware leadership, and evidence-based analysis to function effectively in professional and academic environments. Courses include core content and a focused area to meet student learning goals developed in discussion with adviser. Core content includes foundational research methods, statistics, management, and systems- or theory-based courses. Requirements for electives can be fulfilled by courses to expand knowledge and skills such as the topics of evidence-based practice, cultural diversity, leadership, policy, and communication or a focused content area. Students can complete the program through online course work and additionally can participate in on-campus offerings as desired.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at:

The objectives of the interdisciplinary M.S. in Health Sciences program will be to support student abilities to:

  • Critically appraise research to evaluate the level of evidence supporting best practices,
  • Demonstrate preparedness for continued development of research and advocacy skills,
  • Demonstrate the interdisciplinary communication skills necessary to function effectively in today’s professional and academic environments
  • Apply in-depth knowledge of content areas to quality measurement of health and human services,
  • Become efficient in discerning, implementing, and evaluating new developments and advances in health sciences,
  • Evaluate legal and ethical considerations for professional practice,
  • Develop strategies for a diverse, culturally-aware work or learning environment,
  • Create a professional development plan for enhancing professional competency that includes a personal vision statement, philosophy, mission, and goals.]


To be admitted to the M.S. in Health Sciences program students must be admitted to the Graduate School and must have obtained a baccalaureate or higher degree in a field of study related to Health Sciences prior to the start of the NIU term for which the student is admitted. Required application materials include: a minimum of two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose to demonstrate communication skills and interest in the program, and an official GRE score. Scores on the GRE are waived for applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.25 or higher from an accredited institution. The program will assess preparedness and academic potential in the unique context of each student’s personal experience and career goals. Admission assessment will consider all achievements, both academic and non-academic, to enroll students with a broad range of characteristics and perspectives. Prospective students may be admitted to begin in the fall or spring semesters.


The M.S. in Health Sciences requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate course work, determined jointly by the student and adviser. The approved program of courses includes general requirements in health sciences and electives as follows.

Core Course Work (15)

Select one of the following (3)

Elective Course Work

Course work related to a content area or to complete a certificate of graduate study in the major college may apply with approval of the program adviser.

Three of the following including at least one 600-/700-level course (8-9):

Additional course work selected in consultation with the student’s program adviser (6-7)

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination requirement is fulfilled by successfully completing and presenting a portfolio of student work that demonstrates competency in the core course work of the program and includes a professional development plan. Students must have completed 21 semester hours toward the M.S. degree in order to participate in the portfolio process.

Limitation of Time

The student must fulfill all requirements for a degree within the six consecutive years immediately preceding the date of graduation for all graduate course work used to satisfy degree requirements consistent with Graduate Degree requirements.