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Master of Health Sciences

This is a 100% online program designed for new graduates and working adults with backgrounds in healthcare administration and business, health-related education, or clinical practice who aspire to leadership roles in the industry.

100% Online Program Focused on Public Health Principles

Student with Lab Coat


The Master of Health Sciences (MHS) degree prepares graduates to fill important and diverse leadership roles across the health system. All students complete core courses in healthcare policy, epidemiology, statistics and research methodology. Students select one concentration from four options for more in-depth study – health education, health management, emergency medical care, and nutrition. The culminating capstone experience provides relevant, real-world application of the knowledge gained throughout the program. 

Program Overview

Location: Online

App Deadline: May 1, Nov. 1

Full Time or Part Time

Time to Complete: 33 Hours

Multiple Concentrations Available

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Virtual Open House

Tuesday, October 10: 5-6:30pm

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University,  understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

Register Today

More information about application restrictions, admission criteria, scholarships and financial aid can be found in Admissions & Aid

Application Deadlines

Semester Start Application Deadline
Fall Priority Deadline: April 15th
Regular Deadline: May 1st
Spring Priority Deadline: N/A
Regular Deadline: November 1st

The Emergency Medical Care (EMC) concentration prepares EMS professionals for leadership roles in management or education.  These roles require the following skills:

  • Planning
  • Research
  • Organizational operations
  • Educational strategies

Career options include but are not limited to EMS administration, community college or university education, evidence-based research, or best practices/quality assurance. The EMC concentration accepts applications for the fall semester ONLY. 

Employment Opportunities

  • EMS Director
  • EMS Training Officer
  • EMS Supervisor
  • EMS Educator
  • EMS Quality Assurance Coordinator
  • Many others within the EMS and health care industry, local and state agencies, and academic institutions

For more information, contact the Concentration Coordinator Dr. Jackson Deziel or visit the Graduate School Catalog.

Health Education is an essential health service that involves the practice of four core activities:

1) assessment; 2) planning; 3) implementation; and 4) evaluation.

By focusing on prevention, health education aims to reduce the financial and human costs that individuals, employers, health facilities, insurance companies, and the nation would spend on healthcare and medical treatment (College of Public Health, n.d.). 

Through the program, students can prepare for the exam to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). The CHES designation signifies that an individual has successfully passed a national competency-based exam demonstrating skill with and knowledge of the Seven Areas of Responsibility. The certification exam is administered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).
Learn more about the CHES credential

Health educators and Health Education Specialists are employed in many different settings.

  • K-12 Schools to help students adopt healthful behaviors thereby improving academic performance, as well as with improving the health of faculty/staff and parents (CDC, 2014)
  • College/University health education programs to train future health education specialists and to conduct research on effective programs, policies and interventions
  • Colleges & University Health Centers to help young adults improve their health and reduce risky behaviors
  • Hospitals, Clinics and Health Plans to promote healthy lifestyles, help patients and families recover from illness and educate patients on managing chronic diseases
  • Municipal/County/State Public Health Departments & Military to promote and protect the health of all populations living in their geographic area and achieve public health goals
  • Nonprofit/Voluntary Organizations to provide education and services related to a particular disease or priority population
  • Business/Industry to identify common health problems among employees and create incentive programs to encourage employees to adopt healthy behaviors.

For more information, contact the Program Director Dr. Katie Pincura or visit the Graduate School Catalog

Health care executives and administrators plan, direct, coordinate, and supervise the delivery of health care services throughout the many different organizations that make up the health care industry. With the increasingly complex nature of the health care industry, health care executives and administrators are required to find solutions to much more difficult problems in order to ensure that the delivery of health care services in the U.S. provides high-quality care while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

These professionals hold various leadership roles at various places including:

  • Medical facilities
  • Managed care organizations
  • Long-term care facilities
  • State and local public health departments
  • Provider offices
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Health-related agencies at both the state and federal level

For more information, contact the MHS Academic Coordinator Dr. Katie Pincura or visit the Graduate School Catalog

The mission of the Dietetic Internship Program is to provide a high quality supervised practicum that prepares entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists and promotes life-long learning, meaningful engagement, and service to the region.

For more information please go to or contact the Dietetic Internship Director:   




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