Saint Francis University’s online masters degree in health science is designed to take a multidisciplinary approach, providing relevant education to working health care professionals from various backgrounds and experience levels. After completing the core curriculum, you will have the opportunity to choose courses that will help you achieve your individual goals. Most full-time students can finish the program in 1½ years or in 4 to 5 semesters.

Courses can be completed entirely on the student’s schedule. The online format accommodates working professionals by not having regular, scheduled lectures, with only the occasional synchronous presentation (which will be arranged well in advance). A recording will typically be made available of all such sessions in the event that you’re unable to attend.

To earn the online Master of Health Science degree, students must complete 21 credit hours of core coursework, and 9 credit hours of courses towards a chosen specialty track totaling 30 credit hours. Students may also pursue more than one specialty track, in which case completing the program will require more than 30 credits. It is recommended that all students start their curriculum by taking MHS 503, Research Methodology.

For more information on each of the MHS courses, please visit our University Catalog on our website


Core Curriculum – 21 credits

MHS 503 Research Methodology (3 credits)

Typically the first course of the MHS curriculum, this course will teach students how to construct a quality research question, mine databases for research articles, interpret, and assimilate research. This course also introduces students to the APA writing format required for the remainder of the program.

MHS 505 Ethical Issues in Practice (2 credits)

This course will provide the student the opportunity to learn a structured approach in understanding the relationships between important ethical schools of thought and developing an ethical thinking process.

The purpose of this course is to provide the master’s level student with information and guidance to understand the principles of bioethics and how to make appropriate decisions in those difficult situations that require insight in ethical decision making.

MHS 509 Communication for Healthcare Professionals (3 credits)

This course examines communication within the settings, roles, and issues relating to health care professionals. Through the examination of theoretical frameworks and communication techniques, emphasis will be placed on the roles of communication in health, health and risk behavior, health care, and health promotion including interpersonal, organizational, and media contexts.

MHS 513 Clinical Residency Project (Master’s Capstone) (4 credits)

This is the master’s capstone project providing the opportunity for students to build a body of knowledge in a specific health discipline through preparation and development of an evidence-based project. The project will require students to identify an unmet need related to the health and wellness of an identified community and develop a project or program that could improve health related outcomes within that community.

MHS 515 Leadership (3 credits)

This course is intended to give the student an in-depth understanding of leadership theories and application techniques in healthcare. This class will provide students with a greater appreciation of the leadership process while cultivating critical thinking and problem solving skills.

MHS 518 Strategies in Health Policy (3 credits)

The student will examine the policy making processes and strategies for change related to their specific health care environment. Critical policy analysis related to the healthcare industry is necessary for change and improvement, and understanding the potential implications of policy decisions is vital. The formulation of strategies and solutions to individual policy issues will be the focus of learning activities.

MHS 520 Diversity in Healthcare (3 credits)

With an understanding of the growing cultural diversity in the United States, this course focuses on preparing students in health professions to become culturally competent individuals. Students will acquire knowledge relevant to various cultural practices and explore cultural belief systems on various health care topics.


Clinical Specialty Track – 9 Credit Hours

MHS 516 Special Topics: CAMs (3 credits)

This course is intended to provide students with a general overview of traditional (Western) and non-traditional (Complementary and Alternative) health care/medical interventions and care service delivery. The course will focus on comparing and contrasting biomedicine to CAMs on numerous levels and examine the evidence supporting the use of CAMs.

MHS 523 Health Promotion Across the Life Span (3 credits)

Clinicians are among the most powerful people to cue others to take action toward wellness, prevention, and health promotion. This course is designed to provide health care providers with both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills they need to deliver high-quality clinical preventive services related to individual health and healthier behaviors throughout the lifespan of their patients.

MHS 524 Introduction to Public Health (3 credits)

This course serves as an introduction to the public health system. Students will review historical developments, explore the role of the government, and study the application of epidemiology to analyze contemporary public health issues.


Health Education Specialty Track – 9 Credit Hours

MHS 540 Health Professionals as Educators (3 credits)

This course will provide an overview of education within the healthcare environment and specifically address all aspects of the teaching-learning process including learning theories, learner characteristics, assessment, health literacy, and strategies for the provision of optimal instructional experiences. Emphasis is placed on the integration of these principles into professional practice.

MHS 541 Designing Instruction for Health Programs (3 credits)

This course will provide an overview of the facets involved in designing sound instruction for health care programs. Specifically the course will address the phases of the ADDIE process to include analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating learning initiatives.

MHS 542 Curriculum Development for Health Programs (3 credits)

This course will examine the process of curricular development for health programs. Focus will be placed on examining internal and external influences on the academic planning process using systematic planning and evaluative models for curricular development and decision making. Emphasis will be placed on the role of leadership in establishing an educational environment to support successful health curricular programs.


Health Leadership Specialty Track – 9 Credit Hours

MHS 508 Healthcare Systems Management (3 credits)

This course is an overview of the components, structure, and functions of the rapidly changing U.S. health care system. Students are introduced to service settings, personnel, governmental roles, managed care financing, performance measurement, and the overall impact on health leaders.

MHS 530 Quality and Performance for Health Leaders (3 credits)

This course provides the fundamental concepts of quality control and performance management. Students are challenged to go beyond theoretical models to focus on day-to-day responsibilities and realities of health leaders to include planning, organizing, facilitating, and controlling quality and service improvements in health organizations.

MHS 532 Conflict Resolution for Health Leaders (3 credits)

The ability to address and resolve conflict is a key trait of today’s health care leaders. In this course, students will gain a solid grounding in the theories and practice of conflict management and alternative dispute resolution. With a focus on practical skill development, students will explore strategies and tools to resolve internal and external conflicts as well as address disputes between regulators and the regulated.


Generalist Specialty Track

Complete 9 hours of coursework chosen from other tracks, or from the special elective courses listed below.


Special Electives

MHS 504 Issues in Clinical Practice (3 credits)

This course will examine contemporary health care issues and practices. The content will change on a regular basis to reflect timely concerns. The content of the course will equip students to engage in dialogue with other providers and administrators related to current and evolving health care issues.

MHS 522 Grant Basics: Writing Effective Grant Proposals (3 credits)

Grant or proposal writing is an important function for any leader. Preparing successful proposals to receive funding from corporations, foundations, or government entities requires careful research, thorough planning, and skilled writing. This graduate-level interdisciplinary course will introduce the grant-writing process and will detail the essential steps of developing the idea, locating funding sources, planning and prioritizing the project, and crafting the grant proposal. The course will culminate with the submission of a grant proposal and students may have their proposal “funded” or “declined”.


Up to 6 advanced-level health science credits may be transferred for credit toward your MHSc degree. Students must submit a written request to the Program Director including the course to be transferred, the course syllabus, and the transcript verifying completion of the course under consideration. The courses being considered must have been completed within five years of the transfer request and student must have earned a grade of “B” or better.


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I did not know what to expect from a 100% online program, but with expert faculty and staff that are devoted to supporting students, my learning experience has exceeded my expectations. Faculty members are readily accessible and actively participate in the learning process, promoting critical thinking. Through the program, I have developed a better understanding of what it takes to be a leader in healthcare and the skills required to excel in such positions.

- Kendrah Beiler, Online MHSc Graduate 2015