The Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Sciences Degree Programs
| TBS Staff
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An online bachelor’s degree in health sciences can prepare graduates for numerous career paths. By combining the study of science and healthcare, these programs prepare degree-seekers for careers in both clinical and administrative positions. Many students interested in this degree possess an associate degree in a related field and want to advance in their career, while others are new to college or the health sciences field.
Bachelor of health sciences online programs remain a popular option for learners who want to pursue better job titles, more responsibilities, and higher salaries without needing to visit campus multiple times per week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of medical and health services managers to grow by 20% through 2026, making this degree a great option for students concerned about job stability. These roles also offered median salaries of $99,730 in 2018, well above the national average for all occupations.
Read on to learn more about what this academic path entails, common roles and average salaries, accreditation requirements, available concentrations, common courses, typical timelines, and professional membership groups.
The Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences Degree Programs
Affordable Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences Degree Program Ranking Guidelines:
We selected online health sciences programs based on the quality of the program, the types of online classes for health sciences offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation -- including the school's reputation for effectively providing quality online degree programs.
The motto of TheBestSchools.org is Finding the best school for you. Here is how we do it:
The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.
To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):
1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]
- Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
- Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
- Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
- Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
- Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
- Considers range of electives within that discipline
- Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline
2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]
- Considers education background of the faculty
- Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
- Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
- Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
- Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources
3. Reputation [weight = 20%]
- Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
- “Freshness” of academic knowledge
- Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
- Suitability of graduates for the workplace
4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]
- Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
- Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants
5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]
- Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
- Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business
6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]
Considers the following of the online classes:
- Types of online technology used to deliver content
- Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
- Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
- Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
Considers the following of instructors:
- Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
- Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
- Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
- Ratio to number of students in a class
- Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees
Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.
To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:
- Public or private status
- Acceptance rate
- Retention rate
- Graduation rate
- ACT/SAT requirements
- Cost in-state / out of state
- Undergrad, grad, or both offered
Get the best rankings here AND get them to suit your personal needs. That’s TheBestSchools.org advantage!
If you have any questions about our ranking methodology, please contact us.
Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!
The Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Sciences Degree Programs
Indiana University Kokomo operates as a global school. The university encourages its traditional students to partake in one of the many study abroad programs, and nearly all of those 3,000 students do. Studying abroad is less common for online students, but distance learners still enjoy the option.
IU Kokomo's online bachelor of science in applied health science covers a broad range of topics, creating various career opportunities for graduates. Available entirely online and offered asynchronously, the BS requires 120 credits for graduation. Applicants should transfer in at least 30 credits, which they can complete through individual online courses. Students who already hold 30 credits can complete the program in three years. Transfer courses must come from accredited schools, and learners must have earned a "C" grade or higher. They may transfer up to 64 credits.
The degree requires 42 core courses, which give students a general understanding of health sciences. After finishing their core courses, students may select one of two tracks: community health educator or health administration. These tracks provide learners with specialized experiences to help them find work after graduation.
Because students are expected to complete college courses before applying, most applicants apply through the transfer portal. Those who plan to complete prerequisite courses through IU Kokomo should demonstrate a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher.
Texas Woman's University is the largest school in nation intended for women. Men may now apply to TWU, but the school began in 1901 to educate women. The institution began admitting men in 1972, and TWU has since expanded to include programs for both men and women, including online degrees.
The bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree in health sciences ranks among the most popular online programs at TWU. This 120-credit hybrid program requires students to complete some coursework at the Denton, Texas campus, but learners can complete most of the program online. Of the required credits, 33 are in health sciences courses and 36 are in upper-level courses.
TWU is a transfer-friendly school, and more than half of its student body transfers in. Students can transfer up to 42 credits. These credits transfer easily from associate degrees earned at local community colleges. Also, students who complete associate degrees from accredited Texas schools receive guaranteed admission to the online health sciences program. Students who don't hold associate degrees from Texas schools must possess at least 12 credits demonstrating a minimum 2.0 GPA from a regionally accredited school.
Indiana University East educates just 3,300 undergraduates, giving students the benefit of a low student-to-faculty ratio, plus the quality education of an IU school. As a public school in the IU system, Indiana residents receive lower tuition rates. IU East also offered $23 million in scholarships in 2017, making IU East an affordable online school.
Before students can apply to the online bachelor of science in applied health science, they must hold a minimum of 30 transfer credits. An associate degree also satisfies this admissions requirement. Admitted students can choose to study full-time or part-time, which impacts program length. Full-time students who possess the minimum transfer credits should complete the 120-credit bachelor's in three years.
As part of the required 120 credits, students must select an 18-credit track to specialize their degree. The two track options, one in community health education and the other in health administration, require three courses, worth six credits each. Students who complete the community health education track qualify for the certified health education specialist examination upon graduation.
All online IU East students receive access to academic advising. Advisors help students find potential careers and select the best elective courses and track to achieve the goal.
IUPUI began in 1969, when Indiana and Purdue universities combined their Indianapolis campuses. Since then, IUPUI has grown into one of the top urban universities in Indiana, ranking as a top university in the nation for diversity and philanthropy. Nearly 30,000 students now attend IUPUI.
IUPUI's online school sometimes offers courses through Indiana or Purdue university. The online bachelor of science in health sciences is offered through IU online, but IUPUI students may pursue it. Learners can complete the BS in health sciences almost entirely online, with some in-person study required. The amount of required in-person coursework depends on students' selected elective courses. Graduation requires a total of 120 credits, and students typically complete this degree in four years.
Students can choose from between three health sciences degree tracks: gerontology, global health and rehabilitation studies, and rehabilitation and disabilities studies. Each track requires 12-34 credits, so students may not have room for elective courses, depending on their chosen track. However, each track has clear professional outcomes.
IUPUI online students receive access to financial services, math and writing tutoring and support, one-on-one coaching, an online library, and a suite of software and study tools. For online program admission, students must submit either a high school or college transcript. Students may transfer in credits, commonly bringing 26-30 credit hours.
Founded just over 50 years ago, Bellevue University's campus extends throughout Bellevue, Nebraska and into Omaha. Students can complete their course requirements at community colleges and Air Force bases around the nation, or through Bellevue's online school.
Online courses at Bellevue are offered through cyber-active online classroom, and each course educates no more than 24 students. Distance learners can complete their degrees entirely online, although some degrees also offer in-person courses. Students pursuing a bachelor of science in health sciences can choose to complete some of their 127 required credits on campus.
The BS requires 57 program-specific credits, plus nine Kirkpatrick signature series requirements, which Bellevue requires for all its degrees. This program teaches the basics of science, psychology, health, and leadership.
The health science degree online charges a flat, per-credit tuition rate, and students may redesign their majors to fit their desired careers or fields. Learners commonly restructure their programs as pre-med tracks. Applicants must submit a high school transcript or GED. Students who previously completed two-year degrees from accredited schools can use those degrees in lieu of high school transcripts.
Online students enjoy access to an online help desk and BRUIN, Bellevue's online portal. Through BRUIN, students can access an online library and other resources, register for courses, and view financial aid.
Seminole State College of Florida came from humble beginnings, opening in 1966 with only portable classrooms on an open plot of land. Today, Seminole State features six campuses across Florida, including the home campus in Sanford. The college educates almost 30,000 students, and it boasts a reputation for excellent academics across all six of its campuses and its online school.
To meet the growing demand for healthcare professionals, Seminole State offers an online health sciences bachelor of science. Designed to prepare students for their careers, the BS features six specialization options: clinical science, community paramedic, health coaching, healthcare management and professional services, respiratory therapy and clinical leadership, and simulation in healthcare education. Each specialty track requires a total of 120 credits to graduate.
Before applying, students should note that some specialty tracks feature specific admissions requirements. Some require students to hold an associate degree from a regionally accredited school before applying. All tracks require that applicants demonstrate a minimum 2.0 GPA on any previous education.
Because the BS commonly requires an associate degree, most students can complete the program in less than three years. Courses in the BS are available online, but students may study in a hybrid format.
The University of Iowa ranks among the best-known universities in the Midwest. Located on the river in the scenic town of Iowa City, Iowa's historic campus represents the oldest in the state and houses nearly 33,000 students from around the world. U.S. News & World Report also ranks Iowa as one of the best hospitals in America, which might appeal to on-campus health science students.
Iowa's online health and human studies program doesn't give remote students access to the hospital, but the same award-winning faculty who teach on-campus courses teach the online versions. The health and human studies program acts as a degree track for the bachelor of liberal studies, so students must complete the 10 required core courses, worth 29-30 credits. The health and human studies track requires an additional 12 semester hours of foundation work, followed by 18 semester hours of upper-division courses.
Credit requirements vary depending on which courses students select, typically requiring 45 credits for foundation work and 54 for upper-division. Graduates must earn around 129 credits in total to graduate.
Students with an associate degree from an accredited school or 24 transferable credits and only three years removed from high school can reduce their required number of credits. Without transfer credits, the health and human studies track takes four years to complete, and all courses are available online.
The University of West Florida's nearly 13,000 students receive an affordable education, paying flat per-credit tuition rates. These same flat tuition rates are applied to the nearly 6,800 students who study online.
UWF's online program ranks among the best in the region, featuring multiple nationally ranked programs including a bachelor of science in health sciences. This 60-credit major includes three specialization options: healthcare administration, public health, and general health sciences. Because four-year bachelor's degrees require at least 120 credits to graduate, UWF requires applicants finish at least 60 credits before entering the BS in health sciences program.
Students can transfer these credits or complete them at UWF, where most are available online. Applicants must also demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA to qualify. As degree completion programs, each BS track should only take two years to complete. Program outcomes vary depending on students' chosen specialization.
UWF offers its online courses through Canvas, where students can also find additional online resources. The university's online faculty is carefully selected to make sure online courses meet stringent standards.
Founded in 1971, Excelsior College sets itself apart as a leader in adult education, currently educating over 28,000 degree-seeking students. Adult learners make up the majority of Excelsior's student body. Nearly three-quarters of Excelsior students work full time, and over one-third are active military members. Because so many of Excelsior's students work full time, the online school aims to create a flexible, simple experience.
The bachelor of science in health sciences is a fully online program, letting students transfer in up to 117 of their 120 required credits. This means students may not have to spend much time studying through Excelsior to earn their degree. In fact, they could feasibly finish it in a matter of months. Excelsior also allows students to earn some credit for prior experience, including any healthcare licenses or certifications they might have. Because Excelsior stresses flexibility, students can complete this program at their own pace.
The BS in health sciences features three areas of emphasis: health and wellness, management, and public health. Students may also choose no emphasis at all. Learners' emphasis choice impacts their required courses, but not how long their program takes to finish. The health sciences program does not impose any special admissions requirements, but transfer students and current professionals should make sure their prior credits qualify for transfer. Military members undergo a special application process.
Missouri Southern State University's history stretches back to 1937, when it was just a junior college. MSSU has since added a campus in Joplin, Missouri and built its student body until becoming a full-fledged university. The institution's most recent endeavor is its online school, part of its existing distance education department.
Multiple bachelors of science in health sciences degree options are available online. Learners may combine a BS in health science with a specialty in life health, dental hygiene, respiratory therapy, radiology, or paramedic. These specialities all operate as degree completion programs, intended for current professionals with associate degrees. Students are expected to continue working while earning their degrees. They must complete 124 credit hours, including 21 in health sciences and 18-21 in a specialized field of study, to graduate.
All applicants in the degree completion program are considered transfer students, and they must have an associate degree with a minimum 2.0 GPA from an accredited school. Online courses follow an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete their coursework at their convenience.
MSSU offers the most affordable tuition in the state and extends in-state tuition to students from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas. The university charges per-credit tuition rates based on 15 enrolled credits, keeping annual tuition rates easy to follow.
Florida Gulf Coast University has educated students for 22 years, in which time it has become one of the most recognized schools for nontraditional students. FGCU is constantly evolving to improve its education. Recent additions include online bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor of science in health science.
The online health science degree offers all required upper-division courses online, so students can either transfer in required credits or complete their required general education courses on-campus at FGCU. FGCU must complete 48 upper-division credits at the school, and they should complete 120 credits total with a "C" grade or higher to graduate. FGCU uses Canvas to teach online courses.
To transfer into the health science degree program, students must have completed at least 12 credits. Those with associate degrees from accredited Florida schools automatically receive 60 credits. The BS in health science is a non-limited access program, meaning eligible applicants receive automatic admission.
FGCU charges a flat per-credit tuition rate, depending on the selected program and state of residency. Undergraduate students from Florida receive the lowest tuition rates. One of FGCU's academic goals is "Soar in 4," meaning students are pushed to finish their degrees in four years or less. Transfer students can finish their degrees in even less time.
While North Kentucky University is based in Highland Heights, Kentucky, the campus sits just seven miles from Cincinnati, Ohio. NKU melds the Kentucky and Ohio areas, supplying the greater metropolitan area with college graduates prepared for high-demand jobs, including those in the healthcare sector.
Students pursuing a bachelor of science in health science online may not experience the metropolitan lifestyle found on NKU's campus, but they do earn a quality degree that's available entirely online. Before applying, students should note that the BS operates as a 33-credit degree completion program. All courses in the program are available online, students need at least an associate degree in healthcare for admission.
To graduate, students must earn 120 credits, but they only have to complete 33 credits at NKU. They must complete transfer credits with a minimum 2.3 GPA.
NKU's online courses follow accelerated seven-week periods, so students can complete this program in less than a year, assuming they only need the required 33 credits upon entering. The BS in health science program charges a flat per-credit tuition rate, which learners can further reduce with the Path to Success scholarship.
The completion degree caters to current healthcare professionals, making it an ideal option for those looking to advance their existing careers. Online students receive access to technical support and the W. Frank Steely Library, which contains other resources for students, as well.
Founded in 1891, West Virginia State University has educated students for over 125 years. WV State, a historically black university, now accepts students from all backgrounds and walks of life. Diversity, freedom of expression and equation, and heritage all represent hallmarks of WV State as it continues to develop into one of the best public institutions in West Virginia. Military students also make up an important part of WV State, and the school has graduated hundreds of officers and over a dozen generals over the years.
Students don't need to study at the campus in Institute, West Virginia to experience the inclusive culture of West Virginia State. The online school creates an affordable way to earn a practical degree, and its online bachelor of science in health sciences leads to various paths, including positions in local healthcare and graduate school. This program requires 120 credits to graduate, and transfer students may bring in up to 72 credits. Depending on how many credits students bring in, this degree takes 2-4 years to complete.
The BS in health sciences focuses on community health, requiring 40 credits in community health education. This specialized education qualifies learners for community health positions, such as community health organizer or public health specialist. Each online course charges a flat tuition rate plus an online course fee. All students receive pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their state of residency. Applicants must demonstrate either a 3.0 GPA or a 2.0 GPA with an ACT score of 18 or an SAT score of 870.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro represents one of the larger UNC system members. With a student body of over 20,000 students, UNC Greensboro manages a low student-to-faculty ratio of 18-to-1. UNC Greensboro focuses on education quality, curating even its online programs to ensure online students receive the same quality education they would on-campus.
UNCG's bachelor of science in public health: health studies ranks among the top undergraduate programs offered online. Designed for both current healthcare professionals and students interested in entering the industry, the BS is a fully online program offering students a flexible education. To earn the BS, students must complete 122 semester hours, only 31 of which must come from UNC Greensboro.
Students with college experience can transfer in up to 91 credits, and those with community college experience can bring in up to 64. All transfer credits must demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA or higher.
The BS in public health requires prior college education. Students need either an associate degree or a bachelor's degree to qualify, and they must have completed some public health-related courses, including biology, math, and computing. Upon graduation, most students find positions in public health or advance their current healthcare careers.
As one of the largest universities in the nation, Arizona State University has expanded beyond its home campus in Tempe. With nearly 72,000 students studying in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, ASU has grown to include the immense Skysong campus, an online campus serving an additional 26,200 students. This huge online presence has made ASU an online education leader in nearly every field.
ASU's online bachelor of applied science in health sciences doesn't resemble any other. Intended for students who already have an associate of applied sciences, the bachelor's degree only requires 19 courses to complete the required 120 credits. Courses follow 7.5 week time frames, through which students complete two courses per semester. The program features multiple start dates throughout the year, allowing students to begin whenever they're ready.
Program outcomes include various healthcare jobs, and 87% of ASU online graduates receive job offers within 90 days of finishing their degrees.
Online students must meet the same standards as their on-campus counterparts. This means online applicants must meet the same transfer admission standards, including a minimum 2.5 GPA for all previous college education. ASU charges a flat per-credit tuition rate for online courses. However, the rate depends on students' state of residency.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, ranks among the most recognizable schools in the nation. Founded in 1766, Rutgers currently educates over 70,000 students around the world, all of which are held to the same high academic standards set by the historic institution. With locations in New Brunswick, Newark, Camden, and online, Rutgers offers students plenty of options to earn a health sciences degree.
Online students wanting to complete the BS in health sciences must first complete a health education certificate or an associate degree at an accredited school, demonstrating a minimum 2.5 GPA. Once accepted, students take 15 required interdisciplinary credits covering ethics, organizations, and healthcare foundations. Next, they choose one of three tracks: aging, healthcare management, and psychiatric rehabilitation. Credit requirements vary by track, though the degree takes 2-3 years to complete.
Courses in the health sciences bachelor's span 15 weeks, with some courses following an accelerated eight-week period. Each course works to maximize interactions between students and professors, meaning regular discussions with professors and classmates. This type of education is less flexible than other online programs, but students can still study from anywhere with internet access. The BS caters to current healthcare professionals, so many students study part-time while they work.
Rutgers restructured its online program in 2017 and offers online students a 24/7 help desk, a digital library, simulations, and other resources and tools.
The University of Missouri has acted as a centerpiece of Columbia since its establishment in 1839. Mizzou is a public school offering in-state tuition, but most students receive additional financial aid, and nearly half of its 30,000 learners graduate with no student loan debt. Mizzou makes it easy to budget for degrees, as well, outlining the typical cost of programs, including those online.
The online bachelor of science in health science has a low typical cost, and the cost is pushed even lower if students bring in transfer credits. The typical Mizzou transfer student only needs to complete 64 of the required 120 credits to complete the degree. Students do not have to bring in previous credits though, and they can complete all 120 required credits entirely online. Those who choose to complete the entire degree online must blend semester-based courses and self-paced courses.
BS graduates typically pursue careers in healthcare or working for research institutions, or they advance their current healthcare careers. Some students go on to complete graduate degrees, though they may need to take some graduate program prerequisites on-campus.
Online students follow the same rigorous admissions standards as on-campus students. These standards require ACT and SAT scores and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Online students receive access to academic advising, counseling, and other online resources, plus all the same on-campus resources available to students.
Affordability draws in many applicants for the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. Students at UCCS borrow much less than the national average, and after graduating and advancing their careers, students pay off their debt at an above-average rate. Colorado residents can take advantage of in-state tuition, but students come from every state and still find an affordable education.
The cost of an online degree depends on the program, all students in the same program pay a flat tuition rate. This makes the online bachelor of science in healthcare science an affordable option. This online degree completion program caters to current healthcare professionals holding certification or associate degrees in allied health. The program aims to deepen students' knowledge of allied health and advance their careers. Graduates typically pursue careers in management and as therapists and scientists.
As a degree completion program, students must possess 40 eligible credits before applying. These credits must come from accredited programs in the health science field, leaving 80 credits to earn through UCCS online. Applicants must submit transcripts from previously attended accredited institutions.
Online courses follow a traditional semester format, and UCCS offers them through Blackboard and Canvas. Courses are flexible, allowing students to study at their own pace. However, distance learners must complete some BS courses on-campus in Colorado Springs.
Ohio State University is one of the nation's top institutions. OSU recently began offering entire programs online, all taught by the same faculty who teach the university's on-campus courses, including a bachelor of science in health sciences.
The program is available entirely online, though students can study in a hybrid format if they choose. Of the 120 required courses, at least 30 must take place at Ohio State. Depending on their previous credits, students typically complete the program in two to four years. BS applicants should demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA on their high school and college transcripts.
Thanks to Ohio's "Credit When It's Due" program, students who hold an associate degree earned in Ohio can waive several required BS credits. The online BS in health sciences specifically caters to current healthcare workers who have earned a relevant associate degree.
OSU's online programs offer the same world-class education as its on-campus program, but with more flexibility. Most programs feature rolling admissions, and learners can study either full-time or part-time. All online students pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of where they live. Other campus fees are waived, too, and financial aid is available to online students.
Founded in 1884, Northwestern State University of Louisiana has outgrown its scenic campus in Natchitoches, Louisiana, now featuring campuses in Shreveport, Alexandria, and Fort Polk. NSU also offers off-campus instruction sites and an online program called eNSU. So far, 40 programs are available through eNSU, including a bachelor of applied science in allied health.
This online program serves current healthcare professionals who want to earn a bachelor's degree. To keep things easy for working students, NSU offers the entire degree online, and most students continue to work while they study. Graduates typically advance their careers into clinical settings.
The bachelor's in allied health requires 120 credits, though NSU allows transfer students to bring in up to 30 credit hours. Program length depends on how many credits students have already earned, but four years is typical. Transfer students must hold either 18 college credits demonstrating a minimum 2.0 GPA or an associate degree from an accredited university.
All eNSU undergraduates receive in-state tuition rates, which the university charges as flat per-credit rate. Only fully online students qualify for this reduced tuition rate -- hybrid students do not receive the discount. Applicants must submit ACT scores and demonstrate a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Western Kentucky University is located in the college town of Bowling Green, home to just 60,000 residents. This means the 20,000 on-campus students enjoy a big school education with a small-town atmosphere. WKU also ranks as one of the safest universities in the world.
Online learners study through WKU Online, part of the division of extended learning and outreach. WKU offers over 50 programs online through Blackboard, along with student resources, state licensure exams, and individual courses following an accelerated seven-week format. The online health science degree, a BS in health sciences, features three degree track options: a preparatory health sciences concentration, a health and social welfare concentration, and a BS/associate degree hybrid program in an approved health field.
The BS requires a total of 120 credits, 41 of which are major-specific. Learners can complete the entire degree online unless they choose to combine the program with an associate degree. This option requires a hybrid study of online and on-campus education. Online applicants must submit transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students need at least 24 transferable credits, or else they must apply as a beginning freshman.
Founded in 1899, the public Northern Arizona University features programs ranging from certificates to doctoral degrees. Over 23,000 of its 31,000 learners study at the main campus in Flagstaff, Arizona, making it the most populous of NAU's campuses. The second-most populous is the online campus, which educates over 5,600 students.
The online program is a focus for NAU, and two online pathways exist: traditional and competency-based. The online bachelor of science in health sciences degree follows a traditional semester format, and students in this program pay tuition based on how many credits they take. They must also meet strict deadlines, much like on-campus students. The traditional online format still features multiple start dates throughout the year.
Students study asynchronously, meaning they can progress at their own pace and only need to log on at specific times for exams.
NAU offers eight majors for the BS in health sciences, and the requirements for each vary. Students should generally expect to complete 120 credits, at least 30 of which must come from NAU. All previous transcripts (high school and college) must demonstrate a minimum 2.0 GPA, and BS students must achieve a minimum 2.5 GPA in the program to graduate. Program length and career paths vary depending on students' chosen degrees.
West Texas A&M University aims to create a student-centered atmosphere, crafting its academic catalogue to meet learners' changing needs. The university opened its 342-acre campus in Canyon, Texas to serve over 10,000 students, and it created a robust distance education program to meet the needs of rural students,both inside and outside of Texas.
Students can complete the health science degree online either as a BA or BS, both of which require 120 credits to graduate. The entire program is available online, so students can complete their degrees from start to finish through West Texas A&M's online portal. Transfer students can also bring in previous credits, reducing their program length. Generally, full-time students finish the online health science degree in four years. Students may also complete some of their coursework on-campus in a hybrid format.
To qualify for the online program, students must possess a background in science, preferably in the form of professional experience. Many online health science students currently work as science professionals. Incoming freshmen must demonstrate a minimum high school GPA of 2.0, and they should submit ACT or SAT scores. Prospective students with at least 12 transferable credits must submit previous college transcripts.
Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion represents one of the top research schools in the region. Home to over 24,000 students, Old Dominion has made a name for itself with its distance education program. For over 30 years, Old Dominion has built on its distance education offerings, today featuring more online options than any other school in Virginia. As of fall 2018, over 12,000 students were enrolled in online courses.
Students enjoy plenty of online options, including an online health science degree. The bachelor of science in health sciences in health services administration ranks nationally as a degree completion program. Students must earn 120 credits to complete this degree, at least 30 of which must come from Old Dominion. These include 12 health sciences-specific credits, which learners must complete before beginning the health sciences BS. In total, students can complete this degree in less than a year, depending on their previous education.
Outcomes for the BS include administrative, finance, and communication roles within healthcare organizations. Online students receive access to an online career coach, who helps them find the right professional fit.
Old Dominion's storied distance education program offers a flat per-credit tuition rate, plus a per-credit discount for Virginia residents. Some courses take place in real-time to emulate in-person lectures, requiring students to log on at specific times. Otherwise, learners can progress through the degree at their own pace.
One of the biggest draws for Washburn University is affordability. Located in Topeka, Kansas, Washburn offers in-state tuition rates to students from Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. It also tuition by the credit, so students only pay for the credits they need. This works well for transfer students who want to complete the bachelor of health science as quickly and cheaply as possible.
The bachelor of health science ranks among the most flexible online health science degrees available. Students feature three major options: health services administration, medical imaging, and medical laboratory science. Admissions requirements vary widely depending on students' selected majors. For example, the medical laboratory science major requires three years of prior coursework, and students must attend an 11-week course in Omaha.
Conversely, the health services administration only requires an associate degree. Both of these majors allow students to earn applicable associate degrees, such as an associate in radiologic tech or health information tech, through Washburn while also pursuing their bachelor's.
Prior to applying for the degree, prospective students should spend time learning about specific admission requirements, specialization options, and career outcomes for each online major. Applicants must submit their high school/college transcripts, and recent high school graduates must also submit SAT or ACT test scores. To graduate, students need 120 credits, only 30-60 of which must come from Washburn, depending on the program.
The Advantages of an Health Sciences Education
Earning an online bachelor’s degree in health sciences offers graduates numerous benefits, especially when compared to an associate degree in the same field. Students may first complete an associate degree in health sciences to ensure they enjoy the discipline or to begin work quickly. However, as the table below demonstrates, those with a bachelor’s degree tend to earn significantly higher annual wages than graduates with only an associate degree.
Individuals with a bachelor’s degree also qualify to take on a wider spectrum of roles and responsibilities, and they may compete for positions beyond support and assistant roles. While a baccalaureate credential opens many doors, some degree-seekers also decide to pursue graduate studies to work in academic, research, or leadership roles.
The following sections explore average salaries, common job titles, and what you can do with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences online.
Average Salary by Degree Level
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Associate Degree in Health Sciences||$44,000|
|Bachelor's Degree in Health Sciences||$61,000|
Source: PayScaleReturn to the top
Health Sciences Degree Salary Information
Graduates of online bachelor’s degree in health sciences programs enjoy access to many different career paths, thanks to the versatility of the curriculum. Some individuals may feel a pull towards clinical work, while others know their skills lie in providing leadership and managerial services. A few potential jobs are listed below, but you should conduct additional research to find the perfect career for you. Remember that no degree guarantees a specific job or salary, but graduates of these programs often qualify for these careers.
- Medical and Health Services Manager
- These professionals direct the administrative functions of their area of responsibility and may oversee a single ward or an entire hospital. They manage employees, create schedules, develop and monitor budgets, liaise with medical staff, ensure all governmental and discipline-specific regulations are met, develop continuing education programs, and provide status reports to the board of directors.
- Human Resources Manager
- HR managers oversee all the business functions related to staff. They assess company needs, create job postings, select interview candidates, manage the hiring and firing processes, analyze data and implement programs around training, oversee all benefits programs, organize vendors for continuing education offerings, and hire consultants and support staff as needed.
- Social and Community Services Manager
- Working in hospitals and local community clinics, these individuals ensure members of the neighborhood have easy access to services. They create programs based on communal needs, manage administrative staff at the center, ensure programmatic effectiveness, make improvements as needed, and oversee outreach activities to further involve local clients.
- Health Educator
- Health educators work in clinics, long-term care facilities, in-patient care centers, and community health centers to educate clients about behaviors and habits that improve or harm wellness. They assess the needs of clients, create programs matched to those needs, hire staff and train volunteers, evaluate programmatic effectiveness, manage budgets, and schedule events.
- Dietician or Nutritionist
- These professionals work one-on-one and in group settings to help clients develop and maintain healthier eating habits. They may work with individuals experiencing eating disorders, gastrointestinal issues, food intolerances, and/or allergies, or other food-related issues. Their practices may be focused on in-patient or outpatient care.
Salary by Experience Level for Health Sciences Careers
|Medical and Health Services Manager||$61,950||$59,821||$65,028||$74,166|
|Human Resources Manager||$49,730||$58,278||$66,786||$71,888|
|Social and Community Services Manager||$39,833||$43,452||$49,527||$58,064|
|Dietician or Nutritionist||$48,188||$49,055||$51,720||$53,513|
Source: PayScaleReturn to the top
Choosing an Online Health Sciences Degree Program
With so many online health sciences bachelor's degrees available, students can afford to be selective about their choice of school. Narrowing down all the options can feel overwhelming, but students can use several metrics to determine which factors are most important in terms of budget, academic needs, and professional goals. The following list can help you narrow your schools and find the perfect degree.
- Program Cost: Public schools that offer in-state tuition tend to offer the best value, while private schools tend to be more expensive. Some state schools only offer in-state rates to learners actually living in the area, while others allow all online degree-seekers to pay this reduced rate.
- Transfer Policies: Because so many degree-seekers first complete an associate program, finding an institution with friendly transfer policies is critical. Look for schools that maintain transfer agreements with community colleges in the area or speak to the registrar before enrolling.
- School Size and Type: Some students prefer the buzz of a large campus with many thousands of learners, while others feel better suited to a small, intimate campus where they know almost everyone they see. While these factors matter less for an online program, school size can still impact the student-to-faculty ratio and class size. Consider which better suits your personality and learning style before choosing accordingly.
- Program Length: Traditional undergraduate programs usually take four years to complete, but there are other options available. If you need a bit more time, find programs that offer part-time learning paths. Conversely, if you want to graduate as quickly as possible, look for a school with accelerated degree pathways.
- On-Campus Requirements: The majority of online bachelor’s degree in health sciences programs can be completed without ever visiting campus, but some schools have occasional on-campus meetings or events. If your schedule doesn’t allow for campus-based study, ensure the program is fully online before accepting an offer of admission.
Accreditation for Online Health Sciences Degrees
Before enrolling at a school, potential learners should ensure that their chosen institution maintains proper accreditation. There are two main forms of accreditation: institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation reviews all facets of a school or university to ensure students receive a quality education. Most four-year schools hold regional accreditation -- usually considered more rigorous and prestigious -- while community colleges and vocational schools hold national accreditation. Institutional accreditation applies to every degree offered by the school.
Programmatic accreditation reviews individual degrees and/or departments to ensure they prepare graduates to enter their discipline. In the field of health sciences, the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education serves as the gold standard. If unsure about the accreditation status of a school or program, review the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s accredited institution search engine.
Health Sciences Concentrations
Given the vast nature of the discipline, many schools offer concentrations to help baccalaureate learners specialize their knowledge in a particular focus area. Master's programs typically go more into detail in these areas and offer more nuanced courses of study. Students pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in health sciences can often choose from the options listed below. Review the concentrations highlighted, but also check out individual school websites to find a concentration that aligns with your career goals.
This specialization helps students prepare for the rigors of nursing school by walking them through many of the foundational and prerequisite courses required in master's programs. This concentration particularly benefits those who want to move into an MSN after graduating.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Registered nurse; nurse practitioner
- Public Health:
This concentration familiarizes learners with many of the top topics in public health, including community health and wellness initiatives. Coursework addresses epidemics and other health crises, as well as how non-governmental organizations work to improve public health in developing countries.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Public health educator; public health program manager
- Geriatric Studies:
This concentration prepares learners to work in clinical and administrative functions for hospitals and healthcare facilities that serve aging populations. Students learn how to develop geriatric programs, coordinate social activities, and manage long-term care clinics.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Geriatric counselor; aging health program manager
- Health Management:
This concentration prepares degree-holders for careers as health services administrators or managers. Courses explore administration, human resources, ethical and legal regulation competency, office management, insurance processing, and public policy.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Health services manager; clinic director
- Health Information Technology:
Learners interested in using data to move the health sciences field forward often pursue this concentration. Students examine how informatics and data management technologies impact the field. Topics include IT software and hardware, discipline-specific programs, and ethical and legal considerations around patient data privacy.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Health informatics director; hospital technology manager
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Health Sciences?
The amount of time it takes to complete an online bachelor’s degree in health science depends on several factors. While the majority of full-time learners complete these programs in four years, others may need more or less time to complete the required 120-128 credits. Degree-seekers enrolled on a part-time basis usually need approximately six years of study, while those who already possess an associate degree or who select an accelerated program can graduate in 2-3 years.
Students hoping to finish rapidly can opt for an accelerated path, which allows them to move through credits more quickly -- often while following a year-round schedule -- and enter the job field with immediacy. While tuition costs the same regardless of the path you choose, part-time learners should note that they will pay more in semester-based fees since they need to be in school longer.
Courses in an Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences Program
- Health Promotion Concepts
Designed for students interested in working as health educators, this course prepares learners to promote healthy lifestyles, create illness prevention programs, manage intervention tactics, and change community views towards health and health management.
- Health Informatics
Recognizing the ever-growing trends within healthcare towards digital data management, this course provides an introductory look at how raw data can be used to deliver better patient outcomes. Learners consider storage methods, security procedures, ethical and legal requirements, and the emergence of e-health services.
- Environmental Health
Students in this class explore how environmental factors affect human health and how providing better care for our surroundings helps us live healthier lives. Specific topics include management of natural resources, pollution control and prevention, environmental health regulations, and methods for investigating environmental health concerns.
- Health Program Evaluation
This course provides students with the evaluative skills to create and continually improve health programming. Whether focused on illness prevention, chronic pain management, or end-of-life care, all program managers should continually improve what’s offered. This class teaches students about various modes of evaluation.
- Public Health
This course introduces students to some of the most common public health crises, including issues related to population and community health. Students consider how to create large-scale change, the role of governments and nonprofit organizations, and where to find funding.
Paying for Your Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences Degree Program
Degree-seekers pursuing an online bachelor's degree in health sciences can explore different ways to help pay for tuition. All learners should begin by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form enables prospective students to determine what types of federal aid and how much of it they can receive, including loan and grant opportunities. In addition to federal aid, learners should consider pursuing scholarships earmarked specifically for students in health sciences programs, based both on merit and financial need.
Scholarships for Accounting Students
Amy Hunter-Wilson, MD Scholarship Fund
Who Can Apply: The Amy Hunter-Wilson, MD Scholarship Fund, sponsored by the Wisconsin Medical Society, provides financial assistance to American Indians enrolled at an accredited college or university and pursuing a degree in a health sciences or medical program. Applicants must intend to pursue a career in the healthcare field and belong to a federally recognized American Indian tribe.
Bill and Mary Russell Healthcare Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Offered through the Heartland Foundation, the Bill and Mary Russell Healthcare Scholarship awards funds to full-time college students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate health sciences degree through an accredited college or university. Applicants must complete a minimum of 12 credits each semester and demonstrate work experience in a health sciences field.
CBCF General Mills Health Scholarships
Who Can Apply: This scholarship is available to African American students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in health sciences or services, including those pursuing a health sciences bachelor's degree online. It is offered by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to applicants with demonstrated financial need. Candidates must meet a 2.75 minimum GPA requirement and have a strong academic record, extra-curricular participation, and volunteer work experience.
Frederick J. Krause Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The American Association on Health and Disability offers the Frederick J. Krause Scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree in health sciences, public health, disability services, health promotion, or disability research. Applicants must submit two letters of support, a three-page personal statement, official college transcripts, and medical documentation of their disabilities.
George M. Burditt Scholarship Award
Who Can Apply: Offered by the Association of Food and Drug Officials, the George M. Burditt Scholarship Award supports undergraduate students studying health sciences. Applicants must plan to pursue a career dedicated to improving food, drug, and consumer product safety. Qualified candidates must hold a 3.0 minimum GPA and demonstrate financial need.
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