As emerging technologies continue to produce innovative approaches to healthcare delivery, students will receive opportunities to become pioneers in an evolving industry. The BLS projects that the heathcare industry will generate more than 2 million new jobs from 2014 to 2024. The following information provides you with what you need to know to earn your bachelor's in health science online and choose the right school for you.
What are the best health services programs of 2020? Here are our top 5:
|1||Bay Path University||Longmeadow, MA|
|2||Missouri State University||Springfield, MO|
|3||Mercy College||Dobbs Ferry, NY|
|4||Keiser University||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|5||Marian University||Indianapolis, IN|
Choosing a Program
Program specializations range from health services management to worksite wellness and healthcare informatics systems. Students with technical training in areas such as respiratory therapy or sonography may pursue concentrations to enhance their existing knowledge.
Depending on the program, students will complete internships or capstone courses that require the development of research projects. Each online degree in health science program offers unique industry perspectives and different emphases. Program electives allow students to customize their degree to fit their interests. Once you figure out your interests and decide what you need from a program, choosing one will be much easier.
2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Health Services Programs
Bay Path University
|Longmeadow, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Bay Path University offers an online bachelor of science in health and wellness through The American Women's College — an internal institutional division that hosts programs for female students and established female professionals who wish to upgrade to a bachelor's degree.
This program emphasizes seven dimensions of wellness: physical, mental, social, environmental, spiritual, occupational, and emotional. Coursework uses science and empiricism to apply these viewpoints to questions of diet and nutrition, exercise, and preventative care.
Students emerge with complete, job-ready tools that can be used to manage the health and wellness of individuals and communities. Graduates can also work in corporate roles, serving as leaders of workplace health and wellness programs.
Missouri State University
|Springfield, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
At Missouri State University, learners in the online bachelor of science in health services program complete a 33-credit core. Students then follow a clinical services or health services concentration.
The clinical services path suits incoming degree-seekers with established credentials, professional experience in allied health networks, and/or an interest in clinical practice careers. The health services branch meets the needs of students whose professional goals do not include research or hands-on patient care.
Transfer students can apply previous clinical and professional coursework toward the degree to earn advanced standing. Missouri State boasts excellent student achievement stats: between 2014-2018, alumni posted a 95% pass rate on registered dietitian examinations.
|Dobbs Ferry, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Based in New York's Westchester County, Mercy College features a hybrid behavioral science degree in health services management. This bachelor's in health services supports a flexible curriculum that offers ample customization and personalization options.
The 120-credit degree includes 36 credits of core behavioral sciences classes and 24 credits of open electives. General education classes comprise the other half of the graduation requirements. Participants can take classes like industrial psychology and managing human conflict.
Students can also access a varied lineup of career-building internship opportunities. Transfer students may apply previous learning to meet core and elective requirements.
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
Keiser University offers an online bachelor of arts in health services administration. This program educates aspiring professionals about the clinical, practical, administrative, and ethical aspects of health services leadership.
The program's 120-credit structure begins with lower-division courses that cover the operational and clinical principles of healthcare management, along with behavioral and natural science, economics, and math requirements. Upper-division courses focus on topics like finance, ethics, research methods, labor relations, and institutional management.
Keiser's diverse student base shows strong levels of engagement: from 2016-2018, the school enjoyed above-average student retention rates of 82%. Graduates are prepared to step into junior management roles in healthcare administration and management.
|Indianapolis, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 57%||
Indianapolis-based Marian University offers an online bachelor's in health and human services that prepares students for community leadership roles as healthcare advocates. The program's focus may appeal to individuals aspiring to careers as community health managers and educators, child or elder care specialists, and healthcare case managers.
Consisting of 128 credits, the program features a built-in psychology minor. Online learners also enjoy ample scheduling flexibility — learners can choose five-week or eight-week terms, taking up to two classes per session. Classes start 12 times per year.
Graduates who earn this online bachelor's degree in health services develop advanced clinical and scientific knowledge, as well as administration and management proficiencies.
What Else can I Expect from an Online Bachelor's in Health Services Program?
This section provides an overview of common features of online bachelor degree programs in health science. While details may differ by program, curriculum requirements and program length generally follow similar structures. Key issues to consider when choosing a program are discussed below.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH SERVICES
The following sample curriculum highlights courses commonly offered by online health science degree programs. While required coursework may vary depending on the program, these courses equip students with the core knowledge necessary for careers in the health services industry.
- Healthcare delivery systems: Topics featured in this course include healthcare costs and accessibility, governmental and private industry influence on healthcare, and ethical issues. The course examines the current political and social factors that impact healthcare systems. Knowledge acquired through this course lays a foundation for specialized roles in the healthcare industry and prepares students for careers as health service managers.
- Abnormal psychology: This course familiarizes students with symptoms, diagnostic criteria, and treatment of mental health disorders. Students examine the historical and modern clinical approaches to abnormal behavior and legal considerations. This course prepares students to work in mental health settings and community health agencies.
- Legal and ethical issues in health services: Students gain decision-making skills based on an ethical framework that emphasizes multicultural care. The course introduces students to legal and policy issues that impact the health services profession. Case studies help students examine controversial topics, such as end-of-life decisions and reproductive technology. This course provides knowledge pertinent to all health services professionals, including those in clinical, consulting, and managerial roles.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH SERVICES?
Full-time students earn their online health science degree in approximately four years. Part-time students complete their degree in 5-10 years. The average online bachelor's degree in health science consists of 120 credits. The curriculum may require fieldwork experience, which can extend the length of time taken to complete the degree. Online students complete their degree at an individual pace or through cohort learning. Self-paced learning emphasizes flexibility, and students can enroll in as few or as many classes as they want. Individually-paced degrees usually offer year-round start dates, and depending on the structure of the program, students may take single, consecutive courses per semester or several courses simultaneously per term. Students pursuing degrees that use a cohort learning model advance through their coursework with a group of peers. They start and finish the degree together. This community-based approach to learning emphasizes collaboration and the development of interpersonal skills. It's completed synchronously and requires more time to complete.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Health Services Degrees
Online bachelor's degree programs in health science that are regionally or nationally accredited foster academic success, promote inclusive learning environments, and adhere to national standards. Regionally accredited universities comprise the majority of higher learning institutions across the U.S., and six regional accrediting associations set academic standards for universities based on their geographic location. Nationally accredited universities typically cost less to attend and often focus on vocational training or distance education. Credits earned from nationally accredited programs may not transfer to regionally accredited programs. When choosing a health science degree online, important features to look for include accreditation by the DEAC, an accrediting agency for online programs, and accreditation by the NCHEC or CAAHEP. These professional accrediting agencies for health education programs require self-studies and site visits to ensure that health sciences and related education programs adhere to national standards.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognize regional, national, and program-specific accrediting agencies. Recognition ensures that accrediting agencies enforce academic standards identified by their respective associations. This accountability process promotes academic quality and improved standardization. The ED and CHEA demand peer reviews and self-studies of accrediting agencies. Students interested in pursuing a quality academic program have access to databases offered by the ED and CHEA that provide detailed lists of all U.S. accredited universities and programs.
Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Health Services Graduates
The health services industry values professionals with knowledge of the latest healthcare practices and policies. Advanced training in a higher education setting provides evidence of acquired skillsets and a grasp of contemporary approaches to healthcare delivery systems. Graduates of online bachelor's degree programs in health science have more career opportunities and increased earning potential. The following table features data from the BLS demonstrating the salary increases that occur after earning a bachelor's. Health services professionals who hold an undergraduate degree have opportunities for managerial roles, and their annual earnings improve by up to 75%.
|Job Title||Entry-Level Education||Annual Average Salary|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||Bachelor's degree||$96,540|
|Health Educators and Community Health Workers||Bachelor's degree||$44,390|
|Medical Assistants||Postsecondary nondegree award||$31,540|
|Personal Care Aides||No formal education||$21,920|
BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH SERVICES SALARY
Several factors influence annual earnings for professionals in the field of health sciences, such as work experience, place of employment, and location. The following table provides an overview of the top paying states for social and human service assistants.
|California||Annual Average Salary|
|District of Columbia||$40,710|
BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH SERVICES CAREERS
An online bachelor's degree in health science offers numerous professional opportunities. Many graduates choose to work in clinical settings assisting psychologists and social workers; administrative roles are also available. Health science professionals often work in healthcare facilities, public health departments, and nonprofit organizations. Traits needed for careers in the field of health science include strong interpersonal and listening skills, the ability to creatively solve problems, and attention to detail. Health services workers advocate for diverse populations and demonstrate compassion.
- Health Educators and Community Health Workers
Health educators and community health workers' numerous responsibilities ensure that the public receives adequate healthcare services. Obtaining a health science degree online allows professionals to pursue supervisory positions.
Median Annual Salary: $44,390
Projected Growth Rate: 13%
- Medical and Health Services Managers
A postsecondary degree allows medical and health services workers to advance into leadership roles. Management positions require knowledge of healthcare delivery systems, laws and regulations, and finance. Job duties include recruiting staff, creating budgets, and improving the quality of healthcare services.
Median Annual Salary: $96,540
Projected Growth Rate: 17%
- Social and Community Service Managers
Social and community service managers work closely with community stakeholders to identify needed services. They evaluate and improve existing programs, manage budgets, and coordinate outreach activities. An online health science degree equips professionals with knowledge of statistics, management skills, and community health policies.
Median Annual Salary: $64,680
Projected Growth Rate: 10%
- Social and Human Service Assistants
Occupational tasks include providing clients with support in transportation and service coordination and assisting social workers and other healthcare professionals. Social and human service assistants may work with special populations, such as children, the elderly, or immigrants. A postsecondary degree provides opportunities for advancement in areas such as case management.
Median Annual Salary: $31,810
Projected Growth Rate: 11%
- Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work with people suffering from a wide range of mental health issues. Job responsibilities include assessment and treatment planning and implementing preventative outreach programs. A bachelor's in health science online allows substance abuse counselors to take on more independent roles, including conducting individual counseling sessions.
Median Annual Salary: $41,070
Projected Growth Rate: 22%
Becoming a member of a professional organization allows students and recent graduates of health science degree online programs to enhance their knowledge in a variety of ways. Access to job forums, cutting-edge webinars, and annual conferences allow students to broaden their understanding of issues impacting the healthcare industry. Many professional organizations provide unique networking and learning opportunities for students, including participation in student assemblies and honor societies.
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Health Services Program
The most common way to pay for a degree is through federal assistance, such as loans, grants, and work-study programs. To acquire federal financial aid, you must complete a FAFSA online. This free application process determines your eligibility for assistance. In addition to federal aid, scholarship opportunities are available for health science students, including the David C. Maloney Scholarship and numerous HOSA scholarships.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.