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An online bachelor's degree in health science prepares students interested in promoting health and wellness in their communities for multiple career paths. This relatively new academic discipline paves the way to technician and assistant health-related careers, positions as medical and health service managers, and graduate programs in medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy..
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health service managers earned a median annual salary of $100,980 in 2019. Due to the large, aging baby-boom generation and the growing use of electronic health records, the BLS projects employment for these managers to grow by 32% between 2019 and 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Our bachelor's in health science guide provides a comprehensive look into how to choose a health science program, admission requirements, and career opportunities for graduates.
What Are the Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Health Science Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top Five:
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|1||University of Iowa||Iowa City, IA|
|2||Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey||New Brunswick, NJ|
|3||Florida Gulf Coast University||Fort Myers, FL|
|4||University of Missouri||Columbia, MO|
|5||The Ohio State University||Columbus, OH|
- How We Rank Schools
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Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2021 Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Health Science Programs
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University of Iowa
|Iowa City, IA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
UI was the first institution to use the same admission criteria for men and women of all races and the first to recognize a campus LGBT organization. The university comprises 11 colleges and oversees over 200 undergraduate areas of study.
UI offers a bachelor of liberal studies program, which has a health and human studies track; students can complete this program online. Courses include human development through the lifespan, medical and technical terminology, introduction to healthcare professions, and introduction to behavioral neuroscience. Full-time students typically earn their degree in four years.
This online program does not require in-person attendance. Applicants must supply ACT or SAT test scores. UI holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
|New Brunswick, NJ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 80%||
Rutgers is a public research institution and the flagship school of New Jersey's state university system. With over 71,000 students and 250,000 alumni, Rutgers places a high priority on innovation, student-centered learning, and public service.
Students who hold an associate degree can earn a bachelor's in health sciences; this degree completion program targets healthcare professionals and is offered by the university's School of Health Professions. Students must complete interdisciplinary core courses and a specialization. Specialization options include aging, healthcare management, and psychiatric rehabilitation.
This online health science degree offers classes in 15-week sessions or accelerated, eight-week sessions. Prospective students must have a minimum 2.5 high school GPA. Rutgers holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Florida Gulf Coast University
|Fort Myers, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
Established in 1991, FGCU offers 58 undergraduate degree programs, including an online bachelor's degree in health science. This 120-credit program requires students to complete 30 credits of major coursework and at least 48 upper-division credits.
The curriculum includes classes like shaping healthcare in the 21st century, HR management in health services organizations, and epidemiology. Students must also fulfill FGCU's foreign language, civic literacy, and service learning requirements prior to graduation.
FGCU participates in the National Council State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, allowing out-of-state students to pay adjusted tuition rates. The university holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Missouri
|Columbia, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
A top research university, Mizzou maintains over 300 academic programs, including 97 undergraduate majors. The university holds regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.
Mizzou's School of Health Professions offers an online bachelor's in health science with no on-campus requirements. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses like introduction to research, healthcare in the United States, and clinical ethics. Learners must also complete a capstone course and internship.
To apply, prospective students must submit ACT or SAT scores and complete specific high school prerequisite classes. Mizzou offers a 10% tuition rate reduction for community college graduates and military personnel, and nearly 50% of its students graduate with no debt.
The Ohio State University
|Columbus, OH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 84%||
With an enrollment of over 68,000 students and boasting approximately 570,000 alumni, Ohio State strives to provide accessible coursework options for working students. For example, students can earn a 120-credit bachelor's in health sciences that does not include any in-person components.
The curriculum includes courses like ethical decision-making, community and policy influence in healthcare, and individual differences in client populations. Students can also choose from over 100 minor options, such as aging studies and medical laboratory science. Full-time candidates typically earn their degree in four years, although adding a minor can extend this timeline.
Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Ohio State holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
|Indianapolis, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
Established in 1969, IUPUI includes over 100 research centers and offers more than 250 degree programs. U.S. News & World Report ranks IUPUI as a top school in terms of its undergraduate teaching.
Distance learners at IUPUI can earn an online bachelor's in applied health science that offers tracks in community health education and health administration. This program features 30-42 general education credits, 42 credits of core courses, 18 health science credits, and electives.
To apply, candidates must have already earned at least 30 credits from an accredited institution. Distance learners can access math and writing support, librarian and research assistance, financial services, and 24/7 technical support. IUPUI holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Vermont
|Burlington, VT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 76%||
Founded in 1791, UVM promotes a culture of diversity and inclusion, and it was the first postsecondary institution to publicly support freedom of religion. Undergraduate students at UVM can choose from over 100 majors, including a health sciences online degree completion program.
The curriculum includes courses in reading and evaluation research, project planning and evaluation, writing for health professions, and basic statistical methods. Students must also complete a capstone project. While most core classes are available online through the Blackboard learning management system, some components have on-campus requirements.
Applicants must hold an associate degree or have completed at least one year of college. Online courses typically follow an asynchronous format that includes discussion boards, essays, and group work. UVM holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.
|Towson, MD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
Located in a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, TU emphasizes academic excellence in its 64 undergraduate programs, 46 master's tracks, and four doctoral programs.
TU offers a bachelor of technical and professional studies in allied health that enhances students' ethical practices in their delivery of health services. This program serves as a degree completion pathway. Learners choose from six tracks, two of which can be completed entirely online: administration/management and advanced respiratory.
To apply, candidates must hold an associate of applied science degree from an accredited institution and a minimum 2.0 GPA. TU holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Missouri State University
|Springfield, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
With an enrollment of over 20,000 students representing more than 85 countries, Missouri State boasts a student-centered learning environment that promotes inclusiveness. The university offers approximately 150 undergraduate majors, including an online bachelor of science in health services.
Online students who hold an allied health associate degree can apply to this program, preparing for roles like healthcare administrator, pharmacy technician, and occupational therapy assistant. Coursework covers topics related to medical terminology, grant writing, legal issues, and the healthcare system.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system and receive access to support services like research assistance, one-on-one tutoring, and writing assistance. Missouri State holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
University of West Florida
|Pensacola, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
Major-related coursework includes 48 required credits and 12 elective credits. Health sciences courses include medical disaster management, epidemiology of infectious disease, principles of human disease, and medical terminology. Participants must also complete a capstone course. To gain formal acceptance into the upper-division health sciences program, students must complete four prerequisite courses and have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
The university participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, which provides out-of-state students with access to online coursework. UFW holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Health Science Program?
Most online bachelor's in health science programs require 120 credits and take approximately four years of full-time study to complete.
In addition to leadership, analytical ability, and problem-solving skills, health science professionals need a desire to help others through health promotion and disease prevention. Additionally, a solid background in math, science, and research paves the way for success in this field.
Most online bachelor's in health science programs require 120 credits and take approximately four years of full-time study to complete.
Because of the multidisciplinary nature of health sciences, students should consider their career goals when choosing a program. Several schools offer educational tracks geared toward specializations.
Concentrations may include the following:
|Healthcare Management||This specialization prepares students to manage the operations of healthcare facilities, including hospital administration, community services, and private medical practices.|
|Biological Health Science||This concentration prepares students for positions like health educator, healthcare social worker, and pharmaceutical sales representative.|
|Aging Health Studies||Learners interested in studying the biology of aging and care management for older adults should consider this concentration, which focuses on gerontology.|
|Pre-Professional Studies||Students planning on pursuing graduate studies to become a physical therapist, physician assistant, or occupational therapist may want to consider this concentration.|
|Health Information Technology||This concentration focuses on a variety of health information management systems, preparing students for careers as health information system specialists and healthcare managers and administrators.|
Most programs culminate with a capstone project incorporating the principles and concepts learned throughout a student's education.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Health Science Program?
Because of the broad nature of a bachelor's in health science, curricula vary based on specializations. In addition to these concentrations, most programs consist of comparable core courses. These foundational studies cover the principles of public health, legal and ethical considerations, and medical terminology.
The following section details common classes in online bachelor's in health science programs.
- Healthcare Informatics
This course focuses on the use of information systems relevant to healthcare. Covered topics include managing patient records, privacy standards, and processing healthcare information.
- Principles of Public Health
This course introduces students to major concepts in public health, such as the disease burden specific to different populations, the U.S. healthcare systems, and intervention strategies. Students explore successful public health strategies as well as factors that reduce their effectiveness.
- Medical Terminology
In this course, students learn to identify and interpret the common Latin and Greek components which make up the prefixes, suffixes, and roots of medical terminology. Additional topics include common medical abbreviations and the use of medical terms in documentation.
- Legal and Ethical Principles of Healthcare
This course examines the bioethical principles and decision-making involved in the healthcare industry. Covered topics include legal issues and responsibilities related to medical records, malpractice, and the patient-provider relationship. Students also explore the link between socioeconomic status and access to quality healthcare.
- Research Methods in Healthcare
In this course, students learn research methods specific to healthcare industries. Covered topics include statistical data analysis and hypothesis testing. Additionally, students learn how to compile data for presentations through the use of tables, charts, and written reports.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Health Science Degree?
An online bachelor's in health science offers several career paths. Available options depend on each student's specialization and professional goals. Some students pursue this degree as preparation for graduate programs in fields such as physical therapy and healthcare informatics.
Other graduates enter the workforce as medical and health services managers, healthcare social workers, and pharmaceutical sales representatives. These professionals work in various settings, including hospitals, private practices, clinics, public health offices, and nonprofit organizations.
The BLS projects that jobs for medical and health services managers will grow 32% between 2019 and 2029, which is much faster than the average 4% growth rate for all occupations. Additionally, these professionals boasted a median annual salary of $100,980 in 2019.
Learn more about health science careers and see where a bachelor's in health science can take you.
- Medical and Health Services Managers
These administrators coordinate medical and health services for hospitals, public health agencies, clinics, and assisted living facilities. Medical and health services managers develop operational goals, improve efficiency, and ensure their facility's compliance with regulations. Additional responsibilities may include managing finances and attending investor meetings.
- Health Information Technician
Health information technicians organize and manage medical records. These technicians code and categorize patient information, ensuring accuracy and security of clinical databases. Tasks include using correct codes for insurance reimbursement and following security and privacy best practices for electronic health records. These professionals usually work in hospitals and private medical practices.
- Healthcare Social Worker
Government agencies, hospitals, family services organizations, and outpatient care centers employ healthcare social workers to offer support to those with acute, chronic, and terminal illnesses. Tasks for these professionals include advising family caregivers and helping patients manage their illness. Some healthcare social workers specialize in geriatric care or hospice.
- Health Educator
Health educators promote wellness by instructing individuals in how to adopt healthy habits and manage existing health conditions. These professionals also help people find appropriate health services, and collect and analyze data to improve community programs. Health educators work in government agencies, family services centers, hospitals, private practices, and nonprofit organizations.
- Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Pharmaceutical sales representatives, also known as pharma reps, promote and sell drug manufacturers' products to physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, and other medical specialists. A pharma rep's understanding of pharmaceuticals and their effect on the human body enables them to educate physicians and other healthcare providers on new developments in this rapidly growing field.
Health Science Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Health Science Programs
- Is a bachelor's in health science worth it?
Yes. A bachelor's in health science paves the way for a career in medicine and research. Graduates can enter the workforce as healthcare administrators or educators, or pursue an advanced degree. The BLS projects healthcare occupations to add more jobs than any other occupational group between 2019 and 2029.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in health science?
Graduates with a bachelor's in health science can pursue careers in numerous healthcare fields. Common positions include health service manager, pharmaceutical sales representative, and healthcare social worker. This degree also prepares students to enter graduate programs in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dentistry, and veterinary science.
- Is health science a good major?
Majoring in health science offers students a broad education in healthcare. Graduates often work in administrative positions in healthcare and as health educators. Individuals passionate about helping people navigate the healthcare system, obtain better quality care, and make better care decisions often find that a bachelor's in health science leads to a rewarding career.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in health science?
A bachelor's in health science leads to numerous job opportunities with annual salaries that vary depending on the position and industry. PayScale reports that individuals with a bachelor's in health science earn an average salary of $63,710.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in health science?
The BLS reports that medical and health services managers earned a median annual salary of $100,980 in 2019, much higher than the median annual wage for all workers. According to PayScale, pharmaceutical sales representatives earn an average annual base salary of $83,310.