Best Online Bachelor’s in Health Sciences 2021
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Health sciences professionals treat patients, promote public health, and oversee healthcare organizations.
The field of health sciences covers clinical, research, and administrative roles in the healthcare sector. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in health sciences can pursue roles like healthcare administrator or health educator.
This broad field covers varied job opportunities. For example, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare administrators earn a median salary of over $100,000 per year. A health science degree also provides a strong foundation for graduate study, which can lead to opportunities like physician assistant -- a career that earns a median salary over $108,000 per year. The BLS also projects that both careers will see faster than average job growth.
Our ranking lists the best bachelor of health science programs, helping prospective students find the right fit for their interests and career goals.
The Best Online Health Sciences Programs
Online Health Sciences Programs Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.
Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.
While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.
The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.
Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.
Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology
About Our Ranking Factors
Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.
Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.
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Featured Online Health Sciences Programs
Choosing an Online Bachelor's Degree in Health Sciences
Prospective students have many factors to consider when choosing an online health science bachelor's degree, including the program's cost, the school's transfer policies, and the program's length. These factors can all shape student experiences. By researching the following areas, prospective students can find the right programs to meet their professional goals.
What Is Health Science?
Health sciences explore human health and disease, encompassing the promotion of health, the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and research into human health. It also covers diverse areas like medicine, public health, pharmacy, rehabilitation, and health administration.
Within the broad field of health sciences, professionals can specialize in patient-facing clinical work, research, or the business side of healthcare. For example, health sciences professionals who specialize in a clinical area may work as nurses, physician assistants, or physical therapists. In the research subfield, health sciences professionals work as medical laboratory technicians or research health scientists. On the business side, administrative roles -- like healthcare administrator or executive -- often require a background in health sciences.
Health science professionals work in hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing homes, and laboratories. By addressing human health from every angle, health sciences can improve health outcomes for patients of all ages.
A bachelor's in health sciences blends coursework and labs to prepare students for healthcare jobs or for graduate study. The degree emphasizes both clinical and administrative abilities, setting healthcare professionals up for advanced careers.
What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor's of Health Sciences Program?
- Healthcare Law and Ethics: Students in this course learn about legal and ethical issues affecting the healthcare system. The class examines government regulations, the role of patient consent, and privacy and confidentiality. Students also learn to analyze legal and ethical healthcare resources.
- Healthcare Management: A healthcare management course explores the daily challenges of overseeing healthcare organizations. Students learn about the management of healthcare institutions, including laws and regulations that apply to the field. They also develop management skills and learn to apply healthcare management theories to the practice of medicine.
- Public Health: Undergraduate public health courses introduce students to core public health principles and methods. Students learn about the role of public health in promoting community health, preventing widespread disease or epidemics, and improving health outcomes on a broad scale. The course may also examine public health infrastructure, emerging issues, and chronic or infectious disease.
- Medical Terminology: Health sciences professionals must understand medical terminology to communicate with medical professionals. This course introduces students to the terminology used in medical records, including specialty medical terms. Many healthcare programs -- including degrees in nursing, physical therapy, and health information management -- require a medical terminology course.
- Epidemiology: Epidemiology is the study of the distribution of health and disease in human populations. This course trains students to understand disease outcomes, improve population health, and conduct sound research. Students explore the principles and methods of public health epidemiology, the environmental and behavioral factors that contribute to disease, and common epidemiologic study designs.
Bachelor's in Health Sciences Jobs
A bachelor's in health science prepares graduates for clinical roles or business careers in healthcare, so there's a lot you can do with one of these degrees. For example, a bachelor of health science meets the requirements for medical and health services management roles and can also lead to opportunities for health educators, community health workers, and medical laboratory technicians.
In addition to traditional career paths, a health sciences graduate can also become a health science writer, a biomedical illustrator, or a public health consultant. Some healthcare positions require additional study; for example, become a physician assistant requires a master's degree.
Also known as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, these professionals direct and coordinate services for healthcare facilities, medical practices, or departments within hospitals. Medical and health services managers develop goals to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare services and ensure their facilities follow laws and regulations.
As part of their management responsibilities, medical and health services managers monitor budgets and create work schedules. They must also keep records on facility maintenance services. Most positions require a bachelor's degree and some work experience, though some employers prefer candidates with a master's degree.
Health educators promote health by teaching people about healthy behaviors and ways to improve wellness. Also known as health education specialists, they develop programs and materials to educate the public about health topics. They must also evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs and materials.
Health educators sometimes connect people with health services and resources on well-being. They may also supervise staff carrying out health education programs and analyze data to identify a community's health education needs. The position typically requires a bachelor's degree, and some employers prefer candidates with a certified health education specialist credential.
Physician assistants examine, diagnose, and treat patients, typically working under the supervision of other healthcare providers like physicians and surgeons. They review patient medical histories, conduct physical examinations, order diagnostic tests, and diagnose patient conditions. In some states, physician assistants can also treat patients and prescribe medicine.
In addition to providing medical care, physician assistants often educate patients, research new treatments to improve patient care, and participate in outreach programs. This career path requires a master's degree from an accredited program, which typically takes two years of additional education. Physician assistants must also hold state-issued licenses.
Accreditation for Online Health Sciences Degrees
Prospective students should always check a school's accreditation status before applying. Accreditation benefits students in several ways. Credits earned at an accredited institution will transfer more easily to other schools and programs, and an accredited degree meets requirements for professional certifications and licenses. Graduate programs may also require an accredited bachelor of health science for admission.
Accreditation recognizes schools and programs for meeting the highest standards of academic excellence. Colleges and universities can earn either regional or national accreditation from independent accrediting agencies, but in the health sciences, regional accreditation is the gold standard.
Individual programs within a university can also pursue accreditation from programmatic accreditation agencies. In the health sciences, the Council on Education for Public Health and the National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council grant programmatic accreditation. Learn more about the accreditation process and the benefits of accreditation.
Health Sciences Professional Organizations
Professional organizations help health sciences students transition from undergraduate studies into the workforce. Many offer national or local events where students can connect with professionals like healthcare administrators or public health educators. The following health sciences professional organizations all provide development resources and career support for students and early career professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Health science explores human health and disease from multiple angles. The field encomasses patient-facing roles, research technicians, and healthcare administration.
A health science degree prepares graduates for roles like health educator, healthcare administrator, and medical laboratory technician. The degree also provides a foundation for further study through graduate programs.
A bachelor of health science degree combines technical and administrative coursework to train students in providing patient care and managing healthcare organizations.
Earning a health science degree typically takes four years for full-time students. Transfer students with an associate degree can often complete a bachelor of health science in two years.
Bachelor's in health science job options include healthcare administrator, surgical technician, physical therapy assistant, and respiratory therapist. Health science graduates can also work as healthcare administrators and managers.
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