Best Community Health Services Programs

Students want to make a positive difference in their communities. Learn about the best community health services programs.

portrait of Emily Gillespie-Lord
by Emily Gillespie-Lord

Published July 27, 2022

Edited by Colin Weickmann
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A community health services program can prepare students to work as health educators and promoters for communities. Careers range from positions in government agencies, healthcare settings, nonprofits, and volunteer agencies.

If you choose to live on campus, the total average annual cost at a four-year public college is $35,551. If you live at home, the average annual cost drops significantly, down to $24,587. In general, tuition costs for an online program are similar to in-person programs.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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However, tuition costs do not tell the whole story. Online colleges come with their own fees and online costs. Most bachelor's degrees take four years to complete.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for health education specialists and community health workers are projected to grow 17% from 2020-2030. The median annual salary for health education specialists is $60,600, as of May 2021.

Our Top Pick

Texas A&M University — College Station, Texas

Why It's #1: Texas A&M University is the No. 1-ranked school on our Best Community Health Services Program list. This university has a below-average in-state undergraduate tuition of $7,940 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 21-to-1. While the admission rate is 58%, Texas A&M has a graduation rate of 82%. About 76% of students receive financial aid.

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Best Accredited Bachelor's in Community Health Services Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

Texas A & M University-College Station

School Information
Location College Station, Texas
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Semester

In State | $5,933

Out of State | $19,875

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Council on Education for Public Health

Texas A&M's bachelor of science in community health program includes a variety of available electives. It encourages students to plan a course of study that meets their own academic needs and interests. The program philosophy focuses on public health promotion and disease prevention from local to global levels. 

Students must earn a C or higher to graduate, and they must complete an internship in their final semester. Texas residents who graduate high school in the top 10% of their class qualify for automatic acceptance. 

Texas A&M has an online master's program in epidemiology.

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#2

University of Northern Iowa

School Information
Location Cedar Falls, Iowa
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Academic Year 

In State | $9,411

Out of State | $20,565

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Foundry Educational Foundation

The bachelor of arts in public health program at the University of Northern Iowa offers two degree focuses in either environmental health sciences or community health. Graduates of the program are qualified to pursue careers in hospital, clinic, and nutrition planning, emergency and disaster relief, county or state departments, or the Peace Corps or Americorps. 

Students must complete a senior project and internship to graduate. Admission to the university is based on a simple formula that combines your ACT or SAT scores with your high school GPA.

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#3

Bethel University

School Information
Location Saint Paul, Minnesota
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 73%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,700

Out of State | $1,700

Credits to Graduate

122

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

Bethel's bachelor of arts in community health program helps prepare students to have an influence on health behaviors and wellness outcomes for individuals, families, communities, and beyond. Students take classes in the prevention and management of injuries and disease, mental health, and nutrition. Students also learn health behavior theories and develop critical thinking skills. 

Bethel students are required to put their knowledge into practice by completing a community health internship. To be admitted to the university, students must graduate high school with a GPA of 2.5 or higher and have a minimum ACT score of 21 or SAT score of 920.

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#4

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

School Information
Location Lincoln, Nebraska
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 66%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $259

Out of State | $830

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Nebraska Department of Education 

Nebraska's bachelor of science in community health and wellness program teaches students to design and implement health programs across different populations. After graduating, students can pursue roles to serve communities as health educators and promoters. Nebraska has an internationally recognized faculty that integrates healthy lifestyle approaches to education.

Students must earn a 2.0 cumulative GPA to graduate. Admission requirements include either a minimum GPA of 3.0, an ACT score of 20, or SAT score of 1040. Graduating in the top 50% of your class can also qualify.

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#5

Minnesota State University-Mankato

School Information
Location Mankato, Minnesota
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $327

Out of State | $703

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A 

Minnesota State University's bachelor of science in community health education program accepts students who have completed at least 32 credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. You must also pass the health and the environment class and intro to health education course with a C- or higher.

The program prepares students for careers in public health and disease prevention. To graduate, students are required to pass a background check and complete 450 internship hours at an approved site.

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#6

Western Washington University

School Information
Location Bellingham, Washington
Admission Rate 90%
Graduation Rate 68%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 6% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $235-$259

Out of State | $832-$856

Credits to Graduate

180

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Council on Education for Public Health 

Western's bachelor of science in community health program has limited space for majors with a selective admission process. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required to pre-major, and students are advised to complete their biology and chemistry prerequisites before the end of their sophomore year.

Trained health educators examine all contributing factors of health. Graduates of this program may decide to work for communities to access public and individual health needs or to study at the graduate level. A full-time internship is required for graduation.

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#7

Mount Mercy University

School Information
Location Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 64%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Academic Year

In State | $36,606

Out of State | $36,606

Credits to Graduate

123

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

Mount Mercy University's bachelor of science in public health program offers hands-on and research-based learning. Service and volunteer work is highly encouraged. Program graduates pursue jobs in public health, government agencies, community clinics, and more.  

Standard admission requirements include a GPA of 2.75 and an ACT score of 20 or SAT score of 1030. There are no application fees or deadlines. To graduate, public health majors must maintain a 2.0 GPA and a minimum of a C in all health service courses.

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#8

Ohio University-Eastern Campus

School Information
Location Saint Clairsville, Ohio
Graduation Rate 44%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit 

In State | $263

Out of State | $399

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

The university's community and public health program, with a bachelor of science in health degree, prepares students to work in company and government health departments. They can also gain skills to design and implement community health programs. There are no academic requirements to begin the program other than general university admission requirements. 

Skills gained in the program can help graduates identify factors that influence a community's health. Graduates can also help determine and implement the needed steps to improve public health.  

An online master's of public health program is also available.

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#9

University of Kansas

School Information
Location Lawrence, Kansas
Admission Rate 93%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $336

Out of State | $899

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

The University of Kansas' bachelor of science in community health program includes instruction in both hands-on practical instruction and broad community health education. Along with general education requirements, students take courses such as first aid, data analysis, and nutrition. To graduate, students must complete a 16-week internship. 

Incoming first-year students who meet minimum GPA and testing requirements can be automatically admitted to the School of Education and Human Sciences. 

The university has an online master's of public health program.

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#10

Rhode Island College

School Information
Location Providence, Rhode Island
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 49%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $372

Out of State | $559-$919

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

Rhode Island College's bachelor of science in community and public health promotion program offers concentrations in public health promotion, health and aging, and women's health. Students can gain skills to identify and address health needs within a community using data collection and analysis. Courses in writing are emphasized in this program. 

To be admitted to the program, students must complete 24 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75. This GPA is also required to remain in the program.

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Popular Online Community Health Services Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How We Rank Schools

Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of programs to produce our annual Best Bachelor's in Community Health Services ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 56 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.

To ensure the accuracy and quality of our final ranked list, the ranking team reviewed each qualifying school to ensure it met the criteria for our ranking, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best schools offering this program in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (60%) and affordability (40%).

The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Community Health Services Programs

Is a bachelor's in community health services worth it?

Earning a bachelor's degree in community health services often leads to a rewarding career that can make a difference in communities locally and globally. If this is of interest, the degree is worth it.

The BLS projects an overall job growth rate of 17% from 2020-2030 for health education specialists and community health workers. This is higher than the projected average growth rate for all occupations (8%).

While the programs listed above are all on campus, some universities offer hybrid or online bachelor's in community health services.

What can I do with a bachelor's in community health services?

Careers requiring a bachelor's in community health services span across government agencies, nonprofits, hospitals, and clinics. Some potential job titles include hospital educator, health consultant, and corporate wellness professional.

According to the BLS, about 24% of health education specialists work in a government facility or program, with 21% working for state, local, and private hospitals. Six percent work for religious, professional, and nonprofit organizations.

If you are looking for more opportunities to use your degree, you can earn more experience with this degree by volunteering around the world with the Peace Corps.

What continuing education is available for community health services graduates?

Many universities offer master's in community health services programs. Graduates from these master's programs often pursue jobs as consultants and epidemiologists. Some programs allow undergraduates to earn graduate-level credits while they earn their bachelor's.

Other continuing education options include certification programs and further training. Most bachelor's of community health services programs prepare their students to pass the Certified Health Education Specialist exam. The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing website details multiple opportunities for continuing education.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in community health services?

The median annual wage for health education specialists is $60,600 as of May 2021, according to the BLS. Health education workers typically have a bachelor's degree and often certification.

Where you work plays a big part in how much you can expect to make in this field. Those who work in state, local, and private hospitals earned the most, with a median annual salary of $76,450, as of May 2021. Those working for religious, professional, and nonprofit services made a median annual wage of $47,040.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in community health services?

According to Payscale, healthcare consultants earned an average annual salary of $79,970, as of July 2022. While you can land this job with a bachelor's degree, some companies may require a master's degree in either public health, business, or other related fields of study.

Epidemiologists earn a median annual salary of $78,830, as of May 2021, according to the BLS. Along with a bachelor's degree, epidemiologists usually have a master's in public health. The BLS projects 30% job growth for epidemiologists between 2020 and 2030.

Feature Image: Thomas Barwick / DigitalVision / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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