Most Affordable Online Healthcare Degree Programs

The projected job growth for healthcare professions is much higher than most jobs. Explore degree and career opportunities in a fast-growing field.

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by Blake Weil

Published July 28, 2022

Edited by Jared McMasters
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Healthcare is a rapidly growing field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that careers in healthcare will grow by 16% from 2020-2030. In addition to the projected steady demand, Payscale data from July 2022 shows that healthcare administrators make a median annual salary close to $74,000.

Healthcare is a broad field, and degrees include those in healthcare management, health services administration, and medical informatics. Each degree program helps prepare students to play a vital role in supporting doctors, nurses, and healthcare systems in providing quality care to patients.

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According to 2020-2021 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of tuition and fees at a four-year college is $19,020. Online degrees typically require the same amount of time as on-campus programs, usually between three and four years. However, online programs may be less expensive and reduce additional costs like transportation.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Degree Program Cost?

An online bachelor's in healthcare is usually priced per credit. Most programs require approximately 120 credits to graduate. The average cost per credit at a four-year college is around $630, using the 2020-2021 NCES tuition data. That cost-per-credit average can range from around $310 at public colleges to over $1,100 at private schools.

On average, online degrees are a lower-priced option compared to on-campus programs.

Students should also consider costs outside of tuition. These include direct costs related to education, such as textbooks and application fees, and indirect costs, such as housing, internet access, and educational technology.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Degree Program?

An organized student with a passion for helping others may be well-suited for an online bachelor's in healthcare degree program.

Careers in healthcare require a blend of people skills for dealing with both patients and other healthcare professionals, tech skills for managing health data, and strong attention to detail for maintaining records and finances.

A bachelor's in healthcare typically includes general education courses, business courses, and courses specifically focused on medicine, such as medical terminology and medical ethics. Students often specialize in such fields as medical management, human resources, or information management.

Online bachelor's in healthcare programs can be as long as on-campus programs, lasting up to four years and requiring 120 credits. However, they can often be shortened based on prior coursework or experience for adult learners. Oftentimes, degree programs will culminate in a practicum or internship to provide a capstone to student learning.

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Popular Online Healthcare Programs

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

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Degree Program?

Healthcare Management

Healthcare management is the process of coordinating and overseeing all aspects of providing healthcare to patients. Courses educate students about common healthcare systems' structures, industry regulation, and changes in technology, like electronic medical records.

Financial Accounting

A financial accounting course explains the fundamentals of accounting. With these, students are able to analyze financial statements to understand the financial context of a business, including net income, liabilities, and assets.

Medical Law and Ethics

Medical law and ethics courses teach ethical considerations in healthcare, such as privacy and patients' rights to self-determination. They also teach about laws — such as those dealing with patient privacy — that healthcare providers must consider.

Medical Terminology

Medical terminology classes teach students the various names and terms used to describe both healthy patients and illnesses. They are also taught the context in which this language is used.

Introduction to Human Resources

In an introduction to human resources, students learn principles of human resource management. These include the basics of hiring, training, and evaluating employees, as well as regulatory concerns, such as nondiscrimination.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Degree Program?

For the most part, application requirements for online bachelor's programs mirror those for on-campus programs. However, many programs, especially those tailored to adult learners, don't require all components. Some, for example, don't require test scores or letters of recommendation.

Application

A college application contains basic demographic information, details of prior coursework and extracurricular activities, and other resume information. Online and on-campus programs require the same information. Most on-campus programs use the Common Application.

Test Scores

Most colleges require test scores from a college entrance exam. The major two entrance exams are the SAT and the ACT. In addition to these, applicants may need to submit other test scores, such as AP scores or TOEFL scores for nonnative English speakers. Some online colleges do not require entrance exam scores.

Letters of Recommendation

In addition to an application, many schools require you to submit one or more letters of recommendation. These letters should come from past teachers, mentors, or school counselors. For those who have been out of school for a significant amount of time, an employer is also an acceptable source for a letter.

Essays

Many schools require an essay or personal statement to apply. This is used to gauge interest in the program, motivation, and writing aptitude. While not all online bachelor's in health programs require an essay, those that do clearly state requirements, such as a writing prompt and word count.

Official Transcripts

While almost all universities require an official high school transcript, many also require official transcripts for any prior university-level coursework completed. This allows them to offer transfer credit for any previously completed classes, reducing the amount of time and money needed to be spent to complete a degree.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Degree?

Career Outlook

Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects the number of healthcare positions to grow by 16%, far faster than the projected growth for all occupations (8%).

Without specific advanced licensure or training, such as medical or nursing school, many people with healthcare degrees pursue careers in healthcare administration.

Healthcare requires a massive organizational workforce outside of healthcare providers. This includes positions in healthcare management, either within a hospital or private practice; healthcare data administration; and compliance.

Career Paths

Healthcare Manager

A healthcare manager is responsible for coordinating a clinic or hospital's budget, business decisions, staffing decisions, and supplies, among other things. They also oversee daily operations, maintaining good relationships with medical and support staff, and with the public, acting as the public face of the medical center.

Average Annual Salary (as of July 2022): $68,880

Healthcare Product Manager

A healthcare product manager works for a pharmaceutical or medical technology company to guide a product through its entire life cycle. This could be a medication, piece of medical software, or device. A product manager helps guide development, testing, launch, and maintenance of a product, managing it internally and representing it to the outside world.

Average Annual Salary (as of July 2022): $93,130

Healthcare Consultant

A healthcare consultant works as a problem solver, called in to investigate and come up with potential solutions to issues relating to medical administration. They can either work for a healthcare provider, like a hospital, or for a healthcare business, like an insurance provider or pharmaceutical company. This can either be contract work or full-time salaried for a larger institution.

Average Annual Salary (as of July 2022): $80,000

Regulatory Compliance Manager

A regulatory compliance manager specializes in understanding the legal and ethical landscape surrounding medicine. They use this knowledge to make sure their healthcare organization is following all applicable laws, maintaining records, and conducting internal audits to test adherence. In the event their office is not compliant, they are responsible for helping launch correction efforts.

Average Annual Salary (as of July 2022): $86,610

Health Information Manager

A health information manager is responsible for maintaining, compiling, and ensuring the privacy of all patient records. Health information managers often oversee technicians. They work to coordinate multiple data sources, including doctors, nurses, various hospital technicians, and insurance companies. Responsibilities can vary depending on whether they are working for a hospital or smaller practice.

Average Annual Salary (as of July 2022): $60,500

Healthcare Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Many people who complete a bachelor's in healthcare go on to complete advanced degrees. For those who have taken courses specifically in health science, medical school is a common next step. However, most online bachelor's in healthcare focus on the business of healthcare.For those looking to gain advanced business knowledge, many pursue an MBA with a healthcare specialization. Others go to pursue a master's or doctorate in healthcare administration. With advanced degrees, additional and higher-paying job opportunities typically become available.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Degree Program?

Cost

Cost is a key factor for most students pursuing a bachelor's degree. Be sure to compare the cost of online versus on-campus programs. Distance learners, for example, can save on some costs, like transportation expenses. But online programs can have additional fees associated with them, such as technology fees. Part-time or asynchronous programs can allow students to continue to work while earning their degree, helping them afford their education.

Program Format

It's worth considering what program format each degree provides. Are classes and assignments available whenever you need or at scheduled times? Can you complete your degree part time? Is accelerated coursework offered? This can be especially important for students who also need to work during school, or have substantial family commitments.

Location

While you may be able to apply to a wider variety of colleges if you choose to go to college online, you may want to consider selecting a program closer to you. Many online schools still offer in-state tuition. Additionally, some degrees require on-campus components, such as lab work.

Accreditation

Accreditation is the process where an outside organization, authorized by a government agency, gives authorization for a school to confer a degree. These organizations establish standards that schools are required to follow to ensure they are providing a quality education. Making sure your school is accredited is important because your future employers may only recognize degrees from accredited colleges.

Student Support

Many schools offer support for their students outside of the classroom. Look into whether a program offers mentorship, career services, tutoring, internship opportunities, or other forms of student services. It can also be valuable to look at the strength of your potential school's alumni network.

How Do I Pay for an Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Degree Program?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a standard application for student aid run by the federal government. It is free to complete, and it can potentially give students access to federal grants, work-study funds, and lower-interest federal loans.

Loans

Both federal and private loans are available for healthcare students. Typically, federal loans have lower interest rates, or more agreeable terms, like deferred interest until graduation.

Grants

Grants are available through universities, federal and state institutions, and private funders. Grants are also available in the form of student loan repayment for nursing students willing to work either at a nursing school or for an underserved population.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study jobs are available at a large number of colleges and universities. Work-study money is federal funds for part-time student jobs. However, many of these jobs are more accessible for campus-based students. Despite that, look into potential opportunities through your school.

Scholarships

Scholarships are federal or private funds offered to students to offset the cost of college. While you may be offered scholarships through your university, it's a good idea to search for other scholarships you may be eligible for as well.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Degree Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

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.

#1

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $229
Out of State | $346

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

FIU's bachelor of health services administration prepares students for entry-level administrative roles in healthcare. The online program is certified by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA). 

The curriculum teaches students skills like program planning and healthcare financial management. Students can use elective credit to focus on specific topics like conflict management.

The tuition rate is relatively affordable for in-state and out-of-state students. Enrollees can also apply for AUPHA scholarships to help pay for the bachelor's in healthcare. As a degree-completion program, admission to the program requires prerequisite coursework like an AA as well as a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA.

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#2

Brigham Young University-Idaho

School Information
Location Rexburg, Idaho
Admission Rate 96%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $79
Out of State | $79

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

BYU-Idaho offers a BAS in applied health online. Students complete general education coursework and two certificates as part of this bachelor's in healthcare. Enrollees choose an introductory certificate like community health planning and implementation.

Learners may also add a certificate such as community health methods and evaluation. To specialize the bachelor's, enrollees may choose a certificate focused on human services or epidemiology. 

The school offers reduced tuition rates and guaranteed scholarships. Admission requires membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and prerequisite coursework.

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#3

Brazosport College

School Information
Location Lake Jackson, Texas
Graduation Rate 29%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $91-$125
Out of State | $226

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in Texas, BC delivers a bachelor of applied technology (BAT) with a health services management speciality online. The BAT builds on an associate degree, preparing enrollees for mid-level managerial positions in healthcare.

The bachelor's in healthcare offers focus areas such as public health and forensic science. Students can also choose a specialized focus area like pediatric healthcare administration. 

This program's affordability lies in competitive tuition rates and a significant transfer credit requirement. Admission requires at least 60 semester hours and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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#4

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $179
Out of State | $716

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

UCF manages a robust virtual college that includes a BS in health services administration. The degree is certified by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. The curriculum explores topics such as healthcare finance and health law and ethics.

Enrollees learn technical skills like medical terminology and health information technology. A health services administration internship provides workplace experience.

Degree-seekers can save money by transferring credits to this bachelor's in healthcare. UCF offers very competitive tuition rates. Admission requires SAT or ACT scores for first-year applicants and a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA for transfer applicants.

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#5

The University of West Florida

School Information
Location Pensacola, Florida
Admission Rate 31%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $219
Out of State | $342-$648

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Students can complete UWF's BS in health sciences in just two years. The program is open to students in their second year of college or higher. Enrollees develop professional skills in areas like medical terminology, data analysis, and medical disaster management. 

This bachelor's in healthcare is affordable because students can transfer up to 90 credits.  Competitive tuition rates also make this program a good option for learners seeking to graduate with less debt. Admission requires a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA for transfer applicants.

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#6

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

School Information
Location Indianapolis, Indiana
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $299
Out of State | $1,047

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

IUPUI's BS in health services management provides a strong business foundation and specialized healthcare training. Students prepare for a variety of administrative roles. They learn healthcare accounting, finance, and economics. 

Enrollees learn how to manage operations and plan strategically for healthcare organizations. All students complete a capstone internship in the program's last semester. 

IUPUI offers various scholarships to bring down the total program cost. The degree is certified by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. Admission to the online bachelor's in healthcare requires a minimum 2.5-3.0 GPA for direct admission and transfer applicants.

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#7

University of Minnesota-Crookston

School Information
Location Crookston, Minnesota
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $419
Out of State | $419

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards

Students complete UMC's BS in health management entirely online. The curriculum includes  general education, management, and healthcare-related courses. 

Enrollees may choose an optional long-term care and support services track. This option prepares enrollees for state licensure as a nursing home administrator. 

The bachelor's in healthcare is affordable because of UMC's low tuition rate and a one-rate tuition plan for all.  Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate for first-year applicants.

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#8

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health

School Information
Location Omaha, Nebraska
Admission Rate 97%
Graduation Rate 69%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $598
Out of State | $598

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

NMC's BS in healthcare management emphasizes leadership skills for the healthcare professions. Participants receive training in areas like health information management and operations management.

Students can choose a Spanish for healthcare professionals minor. They can also use elective credit to learn critical skills like the art of negotiation. 

Learners pay the same affordable tuition regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency status. Merit-based scholarships help make the bachelor's in healthcare more affordable. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate for first-year applicants.

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#9

University of Virginia-Main Campus

School Information
Location Charlottesville, Virginia
Admission Rate 24%
Graduation Rate 95%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $590
Out of State | $590

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

UVA designs the bachelor of professional studies in health sciences management (BPHM) for working students. This program offers pathways for learners with an associate degree or 45-60 transferable credits.

The major explores areas such as population health and healthcare economics and finance. The bachelor's in healthcare offers affordable tuition, and students save even more by applying transfer credits.

Admission requires an associate degree in a healthcare major such as emergency medical services or physical therapy assistant. Applicants with 45-60 credits need a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.

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#10

Regis University

School Information
Location Denver, Colorado
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 64%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $577
Out of State | $577

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

A Jesuit Catholic university located in Colorado, Regis offers an online BS in healthcare administration. Students learn skills such as accounting, HR management, and healthcare informatics. An administrative internship provides hands-on experience in the workplace. 

Students can save money by transferring up to 75 credits into this online bachelor's in healthcare. Credentials like certified radiologic technologist also count towards transfer credit. The tuition is affordable, and degree-seekers pay no application fee. Admission requires all college transcripts for transfer applicants.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Healthcare Degree Programs

Is a bachelor's in healthcare worth it?

For students interested in health and business, a bachelor's in healthcare is more than worth it. Beyond the life-enriching power of education, a bachelor's in healthcare sets you up in a field that is projected to see 16% job growth from 2020-2030, according to the BLS.

Prospective students can determine the worth of a degree by comparing benefits to costs. With careful financial planning and access to financial aid, they may find that college is accessible. Degree finishers also may be able to receive transfer credit to reduce both their time commitment and cost.

What can I do with a bachelor's in healthcare?

A bachelor's in healthcare can be a gateway to jobs on the nonclinical side of medicine. Graduates in the private sector can pursue work helping to coordinate the operations of a hospital or clinic or at a healthcare company helping to develop and deploy health products.

In the public sector, people with bachelor's in healthcare are needed to help administer public health services.

A bachelor's in healthcare can also be a good jumping off point for further education. Many graduates pursue an MBA and go on to work in upper management of the healthcare industry. Others obtain other master's degrees to specialize within their chosen career path.

Are healthcare majors in demand?

According to the BLS, healthcare jobs in the U.S. are projected to increase by 16% between 2020 and 2030. This is far faster than the projected job growth for all U.S. occupations (8%).

This applies broadly across all healthcare positions, including clinical positions like doctors and nonclinical positions such as administrators and managers.

This demand is driven by several factors. The U.S. has a rapidly aging population, which has increased demand for health services. In addition, healthcare reforms have made healthcare more accessible to a larger number of people, also requiring a larger workforce.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in healthcare?

On average, entry-level salaries are in the range of approximately $50,000-$75,000. With experience, healthcare managers and administrators can earn close to $100,000 salaries. Certain jobs, such as healthcare product management and consulting, earn higher salaries on average.

Make sure to consider your potential earnings when deciding to pursue a degree or deciding to take out a loan to finance your education. Depending on your current financial situation, different program formats, such as part-time study, might make sense.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in healthcare?

The highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in healthcare include product manager, healthcare manager, and regulatory compliance manager. Professionals in these positions can, with experience, earn close to $100,000.

Career advancement to managerial and directorial positions with higher salaries is possible. However, many require advanced degrees, such as a master's degree. In particular, many managerial positions require an MBA.

While salary is an important consideration, it is also important to consider job satisfaction, location, and benefits. Other factors that impact salary include location, employer, and experience.

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