Best Online Bachelor’s in Health Science Programs

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As the baby-boomer generation ages, healthcare is developing into one of the nation’s fastest growing industries. Demand for healthcare professionals is growing, and schools have responded by offering a range of online degrees in health sciences. These programs prepare students to work in a number of desirable settings. Recent graduates often find jobs as personal care aides, lab technicians and in health counseling and education, among other positions.

Those interested in this diverse and vibrant field are turning to online programs to finish their degree. The online format suits traditional undergraduates and working professionals alike, and most programs are perfect for students who already hold an associate degree.

To help you find the right school, we have ranked the best online bachelor’s in health sciences programs. These schools offer the best instruction you can find in the field and they thoroughly prepare students for a career in healthcare upon graduation. Read more about the field of Health Sciences.

2016 Online Education Trends Report: Learn how online programs are changing the face of higher education.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description    
1

University of Missouri – Columbia

 2/569.48%Columbia, MO

campus_University_of_Missouri_Columbia

UM's bachelor of health sciences is a non-clinical degree intended for students who already have some college experience. The program is available entirely online, allowing students to balance professional and personal obligations while furthering their education. After completing coursework, graduates pursue employment in a number of fields, including medical sales and social services.


Graduates who continue into master’s level programs often study audiology, health education, occupational therapy, pharmacy, prosthetics-orthotics or speech-language pathology. The program offers a number of specializations within the degree, including rehabilitation, diagnostic and imaging sciences and health sciences.

Quick Facts

  • The degree consists of 120 credits delivered on the traditional semester schedule (16 weeks for fall and spring, eight weeks for summer courses)
  • Core classes account for approximately 38 credit hours and can be completed in just two years of full time study
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2

Rutgers University – New Brunswick

 3/580.68%New Brunswick, NJ

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Rutgers' health science program is one of the school's most popular online degrees. Aside from core courses, students also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular concentration. Choices include aging, allied dental education, diagnostic imaging technologies, health advocacy, management, education and psychiatric rehabilitation. Students take general education and health science classes before choosing their concentration.


After completing the degree, graduates are qualified for a range of jobs, including dental assistant, diagnostic sonographer, medical secretary and pharmaceutical technician.

Quick Facts

  • Rutgers welcomes transfer students and accepts coursework from accredited schools
  • All courses are available asynchronously online
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3

University of South Dakota

 2/555.52%Vermillion, SD

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Students in USD’s health sciences program belong to an engaged online learning community, and they regularly participate in exciting discussions with professors and classmates. This interdisciplinary degree offers students a customizable program and the opportunity to tailor their classes to suit their career aspirations. There are many different jobs available in the healthcare industry, and USD provides resources to help direct students to their area of interest.

Aside from core coursework, students can focus their studies in one of six concentrations: pre-professional studies, healthcare studies, healthcare advancement studies, undergraduate clinical informatics, undergraduate public health or undergraduate research.

USD's engaging faculty have diverse research and academic backgrounds, which ensures that students can find a mentor with shared interests.

Quick Facts

  • Online students have access to tech support, testing services and an online writing center
  • A proctor form for test-taking is available to distance learners required to take supervised exams
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4

Florida Gulf Coast University

 2/549.12%Fort Myers, FL

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FGCU's interdisciplinary approach to health science education prepares students for entry-level positions in several subfields upon graduation. The program is structured for students interested in post-baccalaureate programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy.


Students can concentrate in health services administration or health science. Regardless of your specialization, there is no in-person requirement to complete upper division coursework. Students choosing the health services administration concentration must have an associate degree in a health profession practitioner content area. Eligibility for licensure, certification or registration in a health profession is also required.

FGCU's students develop a nuanced understanding of coursework, legal and ethical issues in the field and the role healthcare providers play in the world.

Quick Facts

  • Faculty members have many interests, allowing students to align their aspirations to a mentor within the department
  • Students must earn at least a 2.0 (C) to pass each course
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5

Drury University

 4/562.6%Springfield, MO

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Drury's health services offering is a degree completion program. It is intended for registered nurses, medical technologists, therapists, EMTs and other healthcare professionals who want to take the next step in their career. Students enrolled in this program build on their knowledge to develop leadership, supervisory and administrative skills, either within their current organization or at a new facility.

Students should already hold licensure within their current field before applying to the program. Relevant clinical experience and in-service training hours are also required.

Quick Facts

  • Core classes include wellness and health promotion, family and domestic violence, medical sociology, biology of behavior and theories and models of leadership
  • The health sciences major requires 33 hours of core coursework and a transfer program consisting of at least 30 hours
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6

Nova Southeastern University

 4/546.11%Fort Lauderdale, FL

NSU's bachelor of health science is a post-professional degree completion program designed for students who already have an associate degree or comparable certificate. Applicants typically work in healthcare and want to use a health science degree to advance in the field.

The program is highly interdisciplinary. Students craft individual degree programs that incorporate general education material with upper-level courses on specific topics related to their area of specialty.


The degree requires you to complete a minimum of 30 hours of core coursework at NSU; the school accepts up to 90 hours of transferrable credit. The curriculum is delivered via a 12-week semester calendar.

Quick Facts

  • You must enroll in at least nine credits per term to qualify for full financial aid
  • Students should expect to spend approximately 8 to 10 hours on course material per week
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7

Northern Kentucky University

 2/536.18%Highland Heights, KY

Medical professionals in NKU's health science program adhere to one of two tracks: a clinical track for students who already have an associate degree and professional credentials, and a non-clinical track for those interested in a career outside of patient care. Students in the program are allowed to enroll part-time or full-time and begin classes during the fall, spring or summer terms.


A third track is available to incoming freshmen or students with no medical experience. The transdisciplinary track requires students to complete all general education requirements in addition to health science courses. Transdisciplinary students also have the opportunity to minor in a concentration of their choice.

Quick Facts

  • Last fall, NKU admitted only 17 online students to the program, ensuring small class sizes and individual student-professor interaction
  • All three tracks award the same degree to students
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8

University of West Florida

 2/551.46%Pensacola, FL

West Florida's health sciences department only admits students who have completed their general education requirements. Designed for undergraduates pursuing a career in healthcare, the program provides foundational skills to entry-level job seekers.

The curriculum has two components: core classes, which everyone takes, and a concentration program. Students must take 42 hours of class in their chosen concentration and can choose to focus in allied health, healthcare administration, the healthcare profession or public health. These concentrations directly prepare students for work in specific subfields of the industry.


Core courses include studies in health science technology, medical terminology, health information systems, business analysis and the legal fundamentals of the healthcare industry.

Quick Facts

  • Depending on your concentration, you need to take between three and eight electives in addition to core and concentration requirements
  • Courses are delivered fully online and follow a traditional semester-based schedule
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9

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

 2/537.79%Natchitoches, LA

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Allied Health at Northwestern State is a popular program for healthcare professionals seeking a bachelor’s degree. Students who already have an associate degree can apply all general education coursework and up to 30 hours of clinical classes to the program, making it possible to graduate within two years.


When applying, healthcare professionals with an associate degree must demonstrate proof of licensure, registration or certification to practice in a health discipline. Leadership is an important part of Northwestern State's program: upon graduation, students are prepared to work within interdisciplinary teams, synthesize communication strategies and integrate leadership skills to solve job-related problems.

Quick Facts

  • Coursework is delivered fully online and asynchronously
  • This degree program is only available to students who have completed an associate-level degree before applying
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10

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

 4/571.05%Boston, MA

MCPHS offers a BS in health sciences exclusively to students who have earned an associate degree in an allied health discipline. All applicants must also hold current registration, certification or licensure. The curriculum is delivered fully online and students can take classes either part-time or full-time. Lecture and work is completed asynchronously, allowing students to take classes on their own schedules.

Prospective applicants should note that this program is not designed for students interested in dentistry, medicine, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies or veterinary science. To study those subjects, students should consider MCPHS's BS in Premedical and Health Studies.
Once enrolled in the pharmacy and health sciences program, students may focus in general health sciences, management or education.

Quick Facts

  • Completion of the degree requires 30 hours of core and concentration courses and 34-43 hours of general education credits
  • Students considering post-baccalaureate studies should note that this program does not provide the upper-level sciences required as prerequisites in most physician assistant or physical therapy programs
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11

Texas Woman’s University

 2/543.94%Denton, TX

TWU offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Professions to students who have already completed an associate program. Students supplement the work they have completed in their previous curriculum with 21 hours of health studies courses and 15 hours of business classes.


Graduates of this program often work in health education programs, directing initiatives and evaluating their effectiveness while promoting wellness for the general population. They also find employment at medical care facilities, schools, public health departments, nonprofit organizations and private businesses.

Quick Facts

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better is required for admission into the program
  • The department has two scholarships available to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in health studies
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12

University of the Incarnate Word

 4/542.73%San Antonio, TX

UIW's health sciences program appeals to incoming freshman and associate degree holders. Aside from general education and core degree requirements, the program also offers several concentrations that allow students to prepare for specific positions in the field. Those concentrations include administration, cardiac rhythm analysis technician, certified billing and coding specialist, certified electronic health record specialist, certified medical administrative assistant, general studies and nutrition.

The program requires up to 120 hours of study and the school accepts up to 60 hours of transfer credit. The degree is available entirely online.

Quick Facts

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13

University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

 2/547.35%Colorado Springs, CO

Health professionals with an associate degree or equivalent certification are eligible to apply to UCCS’s Allied Health online degree completion program. This bachelor’s level program helps professionals in the field obtain the training and credentials they need to advance in their careers. UCCS accepts up to 40 transfer credits from previous schools.


Upon graduation, students from UCCS’s program find employment as health service managers, physician assistants, physical therapists, medical laboratory scientists, radiation therapists and respiratory therapists. The program is specifically designed to accommodate professional learners; all courses are taught asynchronously and students are encouraged to sign up for as many or as few credits as they can manage comfortably.
transfer credit. The degree is available entirely online.

Quick Facts

  • Students review current scientific research within the field while studying leadership, education and advocacy
  • Each student works with an academic advisor to create an individualized program
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The top online bachelor’s in health sciences programs share a few common traits. Each school boasts an excellent and experienced faculty, and each provides several concentrations for students to focus their studies. As you would expect in a field preparing students for specific positions, distance learners can expect to get a detailed overview of the specialization of their choice.

Most programs require students to have an associate degree in an allied health field prior to enrolling. Unfamiliar with allied health? This pdf by the Association of Allied Health Professions does a great job explaining the basics. This requirement allows schools to focus their training on candidates who already have some background in healthcare and students who need specific training in their specialization. Consequently, most of the courses students take in these programs are advanced classes in concentrations like dental education, radiology, physical therapy, healthcare education and similar subfields.

Upon graduation, students have an extensive understanding of their area of study. They also have a strong background in core health topics, such as anatomy, physiology, biostatistics and research methods. Depending on the specific program, graduates may also have leadership skills and an understanding of how to run a healthcare organization from a business perspective.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that healthcare occupations will grow at nearly twice the rate of the national job growth average. Salaries vary depending on the specific position and the organization involved, but tend to be above the national average. Below we’ve collected the BLS data for the mean wages and wages of the lowest 10% of major health science occupations as of May 2014.