Many schools offer online master's degree programs in health care law that are designed to give health care professionals an overview of the legal issues involved in this field. These are not law degrees and will not prepare graduates for the bar exam.
Online master's degree programs in health care law typically take 3-4 years to complete. Most programs require students to have a bachelor's degree. Students can view lectures, complete assignments and communicate with instructors and classmates through the internet. There are usually some on-campus requirements involving meetings with advisors about final projects or dissertations, thus most programs are hybrid.
Courses in an online master's degree program in health care law cover topics necessary to teach students how to manage and administer health care facilities. The basics of laws that pertain to health care are discussed, as well as ethical issues in the field. Students may need to download various software to participate in courses.
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Master's Degree in Health Care Law
Health care law degree programs are typically intended to cover the principles, policies, ethics and laws within the health care industry. Online master's degree programs in the field tend to be the most readily available. Students enrolled in these programs tend to be professionals already working in the field who want to better understand the intricacies of the health care industry. An online master's degree in health care law is not a legal degree and does not qualify graduates to practice law.
Program Information and Requirements
Students who wish to enroll in an online master's degree program in health care law must hold a bachelor's degree. This type of online program usually requires some sort on-campus work to be completed, usually work with a faculty member on a dissertation or final project. The majority of the coursework is completed online. Software downloads may be required, and e-books, lectures and archived materials are typically available through course websites.
Common Coursework for a Master's Degree in Health Care Law
Students study policies and laws within the health care industry that may be necessary to manage and operate administrative health care facilities. Courses cover topics in legal research and techniques and how they relate to the structure of the health care system.
Health Care Law
Students study the U.S. health care legal structure and history and the basics of the court systems in this class. The course is meant to prepare students for further exploration of administrative law.
Students will explore the role of administrative law in U.S. health care. This course examines the laws and regulations that apply to health care providers.
Health Care Law and Ethics
This course studies the ethics and legislation that apply to health care providers and how they relate to the laws within the system. Students explore issues in ethics currently arising in health care.
Graduates who have a master's degree in health care law often go on to work as medical and health services managers. As of May 2015, the median annual income for medical and health services managers was $94,500, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS reported that, between 2014 and 2024, job opportunities in the field are expected to grow by 17% (www.bls.gov).
Health care professionals needing to improve their understanding of health care law for managerial or administrative positions can earn a master's degree in health care law. While courses are offered online, most distance programs require trips to campus to complete final projects.