Online Healthcare Systems Engineering Degree Programs - MS, MEng

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Is an Online Healthcare Systems Engineering Degree Right for Me?

Enrolling in an online degree program is not for everyone. Those who succeed in distance-based programs are generally self-starting and adept with time management. People who require in-person instruction to remain accountable for their academic progress are not the best fit for these types of programs.

Fortunately, there are a variety of online healthcare system management degrees for those prepared for the rigors of a master’s degree.

Admissions Requirements for Online Healthcare Systems Engineering Degree Programs

Admissions requirements for healthcare systems engineering degree programs will vary from school to school. Many schools assess each candidate individually and may waive one requirement in lieu of another.

Previous requirements like GRE or GMAT scores are less common in today’s online programs, but may still be asked for. And some programs are more geared towards working professionals (with extensive experience) than others.

But some common requirements for healthcare systems engineering degree programs may include some combination of the following: a competitive undergraduate GPA (3.0 or greater); a bachelor’s degree in a discipline of engineering; letter(s) of recommendation; relevant work experience; GMAT/GRE scores; and/or a personal statement.

Healthcare Systems Engineering Degree Program Accreditation

Many engineering students think of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as the gold standard of engineering program accreditation.

However, healthcare systems engineering is a relatively new field, and ABET does not accredit any online programs in that area. However, accreditation is still important, and potential students should check to ensure that a program is regionally accredited.

Healthcare Systems Engineering Degree Program Curriculum & Specializations

Currently, online degree programs in healthcare systems engineering are only available at the master’s level. These programs typically consist of between 30 to 36 credits and take approximately two years to complete.

Official specializations are uncommon, as healthcare systems engineering is sometimes seen as a specialization in and of itself. However, healthcare systems engineering also sits at the confluence of several different disciplines, primarily industrial engineering, healthcare administration, and systems engineering.

Some programs will lean more towards one of those disciplines than others; students may also choose to take electives that steer the program in a more specialized direction.

1University of Central Florida

UCF offers a fully online master of science (MS) in healthcare systems engineering designed for students and practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds. In an experiential learning environment, students will use quantitative analysis, systems modeling, and computer simulation to develop infrastructure for quality healthcare systems and prevent, diagnose, and mitigate systemic health risks.

Courses include topics such as engineering economic analysis in health systems; engineering quality in health systems; industrial engineering analytics for healthcare; issues and trends in the health profession; systems architecture; managing engineering risk in health systems; and engineering statistics in health systems. The program consists of 30 credits and can be completed in as little as two years.

GRE scores and experience in the healthcare or engineering field are not required for admission.

  • Location: Orlando, FL
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

2Johns Hopkins University - Whiting School of Engineering

Johns Hopkins University offers an online master of science (MS) in healthcare systems engineering through its Engineering for Professionals program. Designed to help graduates re-engineer healthcare delivery on a broad scale, the program is partnered with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL).

Core courses include topics such as healthcare system conceptual design; healthcare system test and evaluation; and management of healthcare systems projects. As part of the curriculum, students build on core courses by choosing electives in areas of interest, such as healthcare systems, applied biomedical engineering, and systems engineering. The program consists of ten courses.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years (maximum five years to complete)

3Lehigh University

Lehigh University offers an online master’s (MEng) in healthcare systems engineering. Designed to prepare graduates for engineering and management careers in the healthcare industry, the curriculum is broken down into four areas: a healthcare core, a systems engineering foundation, electives, and a capstone project.

Within that framework, the material is far-reaching, incorporating topics such as project management, engineering economics, stochastic modeling, operations research, and information systems analysis and design. The program consists of 30 credits.

Sample of some of the coursework: introduction to healthcare systems; quality and process improvement in healthcare; financial management in healthcare; information technology in healthcare; design of experiments; stochastic models and applications; and optimization models and applications.

  • Location: Bethlehem, PA
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

4University of Southern California

USC offers an online master of science (MS) in health systems management engineering. The program is a collaboration between the Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.

Graduates will be prepared for increased technical and/or managerial responsibilities in healthcare organizations, particularly hospitals. Required courses include: healthcare operations improvement; health service delivery in the US; management of change in healthcare systems; organizational performance analysis; modeling for health policy and medical decision-making; and quality in healthcare. The program consists of 28 credits.

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Part-time (2.5 to three years); full-time (1.5 to two years)

5Binghamton University

Binghamton University offers an online master of science program in healthcare systems engineering providing students with a balance of practical knowledge and theory for the practice of the profession and for advancement to doctoral programs. This program prepares graduates for leadership or professional roles in several healthcare areas, including health systems engineering, hospital operations management, consulting, and health information technology.

Students will attain a variety of systems and industrial engineering skill sets and tools, such as simulation and modeling, data science, statistical process control, scheduling, reliability modeling, and human factors and optimization, among others. This program can be completed entirely online.

Students completing this program will have a coursework-only option, a project option, as well as a thesis option. The curriculum includes courses such as applied probability & statistics; modeling and simulation; quality assurance for engineers; fundamentals of health systems; industrial & systems engineering in healthcare; and healthcare financial engineering.

  • Location: Binghamton, NY
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

6Texas Tech University - Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering

Texas Tech University offers an online master of engineering (MEng) with an option in healthcare engineering (MEHE). As one of the first healthcare engineering programs in America, it was designed to meet the growing need for trained engineers who could apply their skills to health sciences and business administration.

Health sciences courses may include healthcare delivery systems; healthcare research methods and statistics; healthcare finance; and healthcare operations & supply chain management. Students may also select electives from areas such as biological informatics, information systems, and management. The program consists of 36 credits.

  • Location: Lubbock, TX
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

Campus Visitation Requirements for Healthcare Systems Engineering Programs

Healthcare systems engineering programs don’t usually require laboratory work, which makes them less reliant on on-campus visits than some other areas of engineering, such as chemical engineering or biomedical engineering.

However, some online programs do require their students to complete a capstone course, where students are expected to put their learned skills into hands-on use. In on-campus programs, these would be arranged and supervised by university affiliates. Online students do not have to visit their program’s campus to complete their capstone course, but they will need to coordinate with their program’s staff in selecting a location closer to home.

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