Most Affordable Online Health Science Programs

Learn about affordable online health science programs. Find out how health science programs can help prepare graduates for various in-demand careers.

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Published on January 6, 2022 · Updated on April 25, 2022

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Earning an online health science bachelor's degree can help open doors to careers or graduate study in many related fields. Many of the best online colleges and universities offer this popular major.

Health science graduates often pursue health professions, which are projected to see 16% job growth from 2020-2030.

Traditional on-campus programs take 2-4 years to finish, depending on whether applicants hold transferable credits. Accelerated online programs often cut traditional timelines in half by running more terms annually.

Tuition prices vary widely by school and program. In 2019-2020, the average cost of U.S. undergraduate tuition and required fees at in-state, four-year public universities was around $9,350, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Out-of-state learners and private school enrollees typically pay much more.

Online students may qualify for discounted or in-state tuition rates.

Health science graduates with bachelor's degrees make average annual salaries of $65,000, as of December 2021. Many graduates go on to pursue higher degrees. This may make higher-paying healthcare jobs more accessible.

Keep reading to learn more about health science degrees and careers.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor's in Health Science Cost?

Colleges often charge tuition on a per-credit basis. Per-credit prices can range from around $110 at community colleges to around $1,090 at private, four-year institutions. In-state, public schools often charge around $310 per credit.

Annual in-state tuition and fees at public colleges or universities cost around $9,350 in 2019-2020. Affordable online bachelor's in health science programs could cost around $40,000 in total tuition. Online learners sometimes qualify for in-state tuition rates at out-of-state schools. Distance learners also may save on campus-related university fees.

Total true cost of attendance includes room and board expenses. At in-state, four-year public institutions, true annual attendance costs an average of about $21,040. Annual room and board expenses run about $6,660 and $5,030, respectively. Online learners who live and eat at home with their families often save money on room and board.

Popular Online Bachelor's in Health Science Programs

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

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Health Science Program?

Students and professionals who pay close attention to detail may excel in health sciences. Careers in this field also require patience and strong communication skills. Required skills and coursework depend somewhat on learners' career aspirations.

Many online bachelor's in health science programs feature multiple curriculum tracks in biosciences or public health sciences. Common concentration options include preparatory health sciences, allied health, or health services leadership. Some schools offer more specific pre-professional concentrations in various fields such as pre-med, occupational therapy, or nursing.

Bachelor's program enrollees typically complete about 120 credits. These programs traditionally take four years to finish. Transfer students or accelerated program enrollees often finish in less time.

Core coursework often includes health science ethics and research. Many programs offer courses in community health and health communications. Health science bachelor's degrees may require a senior capstone project or internship.

Learn more about online bachelor's degrees. Read on to find out more about some common health science course offerings.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Health Science Program?

Anatomy and Physiology

This health science curriculum staple explores human body structure and functioning. Enrollees study the dynamics and relationships of major systems, including nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. Participants learn about homeostasis, cell function, and body chemistry.

Microbiology

Often part of a preprofessional health science track, microbiology covers human immunology and microbial infection. Enrollees learn about various human diseases and methods for preventing infection.

Law and Ethics for Health Sciences

This core course examines health science professionals' ethical responsibilities and legal regulations. Course participants learn about various protections for patients, employers, and healthcare workers. This course also explores the legality and ethics of current and emerging biomedical technologies.

Medical Terminology

Another required course for health sciences, medical terminology courses familiarize students with common anatomical and health words. Participants learn the origins and meanings of terms that describe human body systems and health conditions.

Nutrition

Nutrition courses often appear as electives or core coursework in human nutrition and dietetics concentrations. This course covers food chemistry and diet's role in various syndromes and phenomena.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Health Science Program?

Admissions requirements for online health science bachelor's programs are similar to those for on-campus programs. Standard requirements include official transcripts, college essays, and application fees. Many schools also require test scores, recommendation letters, and resumes. A few schools also interview prospective distance learners by phone or video.

Application

Online learners usually fill out their college applications through online application portals. Applicants enter contact information and educational and professional history. Many applications also feature short-answer questions and require a personal essay submission. Our undergraduate application guide helps college applicants know what to expect.

Test Scores

Many bachelor's programs expect applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores. Some schools only accept applicants with above-average scores. However, many schools have changed their admissions standards to increase college accessibility or to account for COVID-19-related irregularities. Consult our resource guide to learn more about college entrance exams.

Letters of Recommendation

Many online bachelor's in health science programs require recommendation letters from applicants' previous professors. About two months before the due date, applicants should ask 2-3 current or former professors to write letters of recommendation. Your recommenders may receive official forms that they submit directly to the school.

Essays

Many undergraduate and graduate programs require applicants to submit application essays. These essays help admissions counselors understand applicants' personalities, writing abilities, and aspirations. Often 1-2 pages, these essays may explain why the applicant wants to pursue a given school or program.

Official Transcripts

Virtually all colleges and universities require undergraduate and graduate applicants to submit official transcripts. Applicants request transcripts through their former schools. These schools then send signed, sealed transcript copies directly to the prospective schools' admissions offices. Equivalent course credits from similarly accredited schools may transfer.

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

Career Outlook

Health professions-related majors rank among the 10 most popular majors. They also enjoy the highest job growth projections among those majors. Online health science programs can provide an educational foundation for diverse careers in health-related fields and organizations.

Graduates with a health science bachelor's degree often qualify for health education or community health jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an above-average job growth rate of 12.4% for health education specialists from 2020-2030.

The following career descriptions show median annual salaries for common bachelor's-level health science careers. Candidates with requisite professional experience may qualify for promotions to manager roles that can often pay six figures. Many health science graduates pursue graduate degrees that meet educational requirements for higher-paying healthcare careers.

Learn more about health science careers in healthcare fields, such as nutrition or health services.

Career Paths

Addiction Counselor

This profession supports clients in addressing substance use issues. Addiction counselors conduct health evaluations and help clients design and implement treatment plans. They also provide emotional support and resource referrals. These counselors may need a bachelor's or master's degree, including clinical training.

Average Annual Salary (as of December 2021): $40,220

Community Health Specialist

Usually strong communicators, community health specialists promote and share health information with the public. This job often entails creating and implementing community health programs. These professionals may serve individual clients directly and/or supervise other staff. Community health specialist positions may require management experience.

Average Annual Salary (as of December 2021): $48,720

Health Education Specialist

These professionals provide or oversee health education in various contexts. Health education specialists often collaborate with other health professionals. These specialists typically participate in programs that support healthy policies, lifestyles, and environments. Some data analysis may go into planning or evaluating health education programs.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $56,500

Dietitian or Nutritionist

This career promotes disease prevention and health through nutrition. Dietitians and nutritionists analyze clients' dietary needs and offer counsel on food and supplement intake. These professionals conduct nutritional science research and help clients create, evaluate, and adapt nutrition plans. Many dietitians and nutritionists pursue professional certifications.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $63,090

Medical and Health Services Manager

Healthcare managers or administrators oversee medical and health services in their healthcare department or facility. These professionals improve healthcare service quality and efficiency by supervising staff and ensuring regulatory and legal compliance. These managers also upgrade healthcare technologies and systems as needed. Additional duties include scheduling, budgeting, and reporting to other administrators.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $104,280

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Continuing Education

Many health science graduates earn this foundational bachelor's degree as a prerequisite for specialized graduate or professional study. Some graduates apply to medical school and pursue doctoral degrees, such as doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine.

Other professional doctoral degree options include occupational therapy and physical therapy. These careers require clinical experience and professional licensure.

Some health science students go into healthcare management or health education by earning master's degrees in fields such as public health, healthcare administration, or nutrition. Online bachelor's in health science degrees may lead to research-oriented careers such as epidemiologist or biostatistician.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Health Science Program?

Cost

Public colleges and universities usually offer the most affordable online health science programs. College tuition and required fees at in-state, four-year public institutions cost an average of $9,350 annually, as of 2019-2020, according to NCES. Out-of-state and private school students pay far more.

True program costs include living expenses such as room and board. Prospective students seeking affordable online bachelor's in health science programs should compare program costs carefully.

Program Format

Many online programs allow learners to enroll full time or part time. Working students often choose part-time programs. Full-time and part-time online programs may offer accelerated pacing. Accelerated bachelor's programs feature many shorter terms throughout the year. Enrollees complete more courses annually and finish their degrees in less time.

Many online bachelor's in health science programs also accommodate working students by offering asynchronous participation. Participants watch recorded lectures and post to online discussion boards during after-work hours.

Location

Some online programs require students to come to campus for brief residencies at least once during the program. Prospective distance learners should examine residency requirements carefully before deciding whether to attend online or on campus.

Some online students choose nearby schools so that they can fulfill residency requirements easily and take advantage of in-person networking opportunities.

Accreditation

Colleges and universities that meet regionally accrediting agencies' academic standards often enjoy more prestige than nationally accredited schools. Many professional, religious, and for-profit schools hold national rather than regional accreditation.

The federal government only offers financial aid to regionally accredited school enrollees. Most colleges and universities only accept transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

Student Support

Most colleges and universities provide various student services to all enrollees, including distance learners. Common student services include academic advising and financial aid counseling. Some schools provide internship and mentorship programs that can provide experiential learning and enhance student success. Schools may offer online learners virtual tutoring sessions and technology help.

How Do I Pay for an Online Bachelor's in Health Science?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA helps U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens access federal loans, grants, and work-study offers. Most applicants complete their FAFSAs online through the Federal Student Aid website. Take some time to learn more about the FAFSA process.

Loans

Many college students qualify for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans. Learners qualify for subsidized loans based on demonstrated financial need. College students who have exhausted their subsidized loan amounts sometimes turn to unsubsidized federal loans or private loans.

Grants

The federal government issues need-based grants to eligible college students. Common grant types include Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.

These financial awards usually do not require repayment. Some nonprofit organizations and schools also award grants.

Work-Study Programs

Subsidized by the federal government, work-study jobs help college students cover tuition costs. Work-study programs usually provide jobs on campus or with partner agencies in the community. Work-study jobs may relate to the participant's course of study or career goals. Affordable online bachelor's in health science enrollees may benefit from work study in related fields.

Scholarships

Some college students qualify for merit-based, need-based, or identity-based scholarships. Merit-based scholarships often support recipients with impressive academic and/or leadership records. Some scholarships only support applicants whose FAFSA data indicate financial need.

Many scholarships support individuals who belong to underrepresented groups. Some scholarships serve health science students specifically. Take time to research and consider college scholarships.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Health Science Programs

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Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Health Science Programs

  1. Seminole State College of Florida
    Location

    Sanford, FL

    Tuition

    $8392

    Seminole State's bachelor's program in health sciences allows students to specialize in a variety of different areas. These include clinical science, health coaching and human performance, healthcare management and professional services, and respiratory therapy and clinical leadership. This program also requires the completion of a capstone project.

    Prospective students must complete an online application form. Both first-time students and transfer students may use the online application system. Seminole State sets application deadlines in the fall and spring.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $240 per credit
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
    • Degree Completion Program: No
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  2. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $10287

    The online bachelor of health science at UF focuses on communication sciences and disorders. In this degree program, students explore human communication processes, including speech, language, and hearing.

    Students must enroll full-time. UF's application process differs depending on the number of transfer credits applicants have. First-year applicants (those who hold fewer than 12 credits) need a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.7. They must also submit standardized test scores if they graduated from high school or earned their GED diploma less than five years ago.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $129 per credit (in state); $553 per credit (out of state)
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
    • Degree Completion Program: Yes
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  3. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $9180

    One of the most affordable online bachelor's in health science, FIU's bachelor of health services administration program includes courses like quality- and evidence-based healthcare services, communication and information technology for healthcare professionals, healthcare financial management, and healthcare organizational behavior and resources management.

    FIU requires that first-time college students or students with fewer than 60 transfer credits submit an online application and standardized test scores. Transfer students with over 60 credits must submit college transcripts, but do not need standardized test scores.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $229 per credit (in state); $346 per credit (out of state)
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
    • Degree Completion Program: Yes
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  4. California State University-Stanislaus
    Location

    Turlock, CA

    Tuition

    $6930

    Stan State's accelerated BS in health science program offers a concentration in health leadership and administration. The program includes courses such as information technology management, epidemiology, quality and productivity management, and health program planning.

    Applicants need a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and 70 transferable credits to gain admission into the program. Stan State has a list of required courses for applicants to complete before admission. First-time college students may not apply for this program.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $329 per credit
    • Program Length: 18 months
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 54 credits
    • Degree Completion Program: Yes
    • Format: Online and hybrid
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission
  5. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $11313

    UF's online bachelor's in health science program allows students to specialize in various areas. Students can pursue the pre-professional track, accelerated occupational therapy track, general health science track, and others.

    Learners choose their concentration during their junior year. All concentrations require a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission.

    First-year applicants must submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores. UF requires college transcripts for transfer students. Transfer students must also meet all GPA requirements for the health science program when applying.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $213 per credit (in state); $955 per credit (out of state)
    • Program Length: Four years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
    • Degree Completion Program: Yes
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  6. State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota
    Location

    Bradenton, FL

    Tuition

    $11739

    SCF's online bachelor's in health sciences features a concentration in health services administration. Students learn to develop and manage healthcare operations and services. Courses include healthcare economics, healthcare finance, contemporary issues in healthcare, and quality management in healthcare.

    Applicants need a minimum GPA of 2.0 and must complete 45 credits of college-level coursework, including 26 credits of prerequisite coursework set by SCF. These prerequisite courses include classes in business administration and introductory science.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $102 per lower division credit; $112 per upper division credit
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
    • Degree Completion Program: Yes
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  7. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    Tuition

    $9486

    FAU's BA in health science program allows students to concentrate in a variety of specializations, including geriatrics, public/global/environmental health, and women's health.

    All students must complete a capstone project for this major. Courses for this program include healthcare medical terminology and biomedical ethics.

    First-year applicants need a high school diploma or GED certificate and must submit standardized test scores. Transfer students must complete all prerequisite coursework — including lower-division requirements — before applying.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $203 per credit (in state); $722 per credit (out of state)
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
    • Degree Completion Program: Yes
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  8. University of Minnesota-Crookston
    Location

    Crookston, MN

    Tuition

    $12135

    This online bachelor's in applied health is designed to enhance students' management and supervisory skills in the dynamic field of healthcare. Learners take courses such as healthcare law and biomedical ethics, performance improvement in healthcare, and regulatory management. All students pursuing a bachelor of science in applied health must complete an internship.

    UMC requires that all students complete an associate of science degree before applying to this program. Applicants must submit all college transcripts. UMC does not require an essay or letters of recommendation.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $419 per credit
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
    • Degree Completion Program: Yes
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  9. Indiana University-Kokomo
    Location

    Kokomo, IN

    Tuition

    $7173

    IU Kokomo allows students in the school's applied health science bachelor's program to choose between two concentrations: community health education and health administration. Some courses for this degree program include healthcare delivery and leadership, intercultural health communication, healthcare budgeting and finance, and economics of healthcare.

    IU Kokomo does not require standardized test scores. Applicants may transfer up to 64 credits from a regionally accredited two-year university and up to 90 credits from a regionally accredited four-year university.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $236-$307 per credit (in state); $341-$1,131 per credit (out of state)
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
    • Degree Completion Program: Yes
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  10. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $13016

    UCF's bachelor's in health sciences program features courses such as clinical nutrition, preventative healthcare, epidemiology of chronic diseases, and medical self-assessment. In these classes, students learn about the underlying causes of diseases and how to prevent them.

    First-year applicants need high school transcripts and standardized test scores. A personal essay is encouraged but not required. Transfer applicants must submit all college transcripts and standardized test scores. Students with fewer than 30 completed credits must meet first-year requirements.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $212 per credit (in state); $749 per credit (out of state)
    • Program Length: Four years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
    • Degree Completion Program: Yes
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Health Science Programs

Is a bachelor's in health science worth it? true

College costs a lot these days, leaving many students wondering whether earning a degree makes sense. Affordable online bachelor's in health science degrees can help open doors to many good-paying jobs in a growing industry, so many learners consider this online degree worthwhile.

Graduates with a bachelor's in health science make above-average salaries. Earning a bachelor's-level degree often helps experienced working professionals qualify for career advancement. Some top-performing candidates receive promotions to high-paying healthcare administration or management jobs.

What can I do with a bachelor's in health science? true

Health science students may enjoy a diverse array of field and career options. Possible bachelor's-level careers include dietitian and community health specialist. This degreecan help enhance candidacy for medical and health services manager positions.

Some health science bachelor's graduates use their degrees to qualify for master's programs in fields such as health administration or public health.

Public health career options include vaccine researcher, health and wellness manager, and public health journalist. Health science graduates also may pursue professional doctoral degrees and careers in healthcare fields such as pharmacy or dentistry.

Are health science majors in demand? true

Health science bachelor's graduates who pursue healthcare occupations are expected to see a projected job growth rate of around 16% from 2020-2030, according to the BLS. Health education specialist jobs are projected to grow 17% during this decade. Dietitians and nutritionist positions are projected to increase by 11%.

The BLS projects 23% growth in substance abuse counselor positions from 2020-2030. Health science graduates who pursue graduate degrees may qualify for in-demand careers such as epidemiologist or doctorally prepared nurse careers. These professions enjoy job growth projections of 30% and 45%, respectively.

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

Graduates with a bachelor's in health science degree make an average annual salary of $65,000, as of December 2021. Salaries differ by career, employer, and field. Lower-paying career paths include health education specialists and community health workers. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $48,140, as of May 2020..

Medical and health services managers top the bachelor's-level health sciences salary scale. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $104,280, as of May 2020. Keep in mind that some administrative positions may require graduate degrees in healthcare administration or management.

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

Medical and health services managers earn the highest median annual salary for bachelor's degree-holders in this field. These careers pay an ample median annual salary of $104,280.

Graduates who use their bachelor's degree to qualify for professional doctoral degree programs may end up as physical therapists or occupational therapists. These professions pay median annual salaries of $91,010 and $86,280, respectively.

Doctorally prepared nurse careers such as nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner earn median annual salaries of $117,670, as of May 2020. Physicians and surgeons top the graduate-level health sciences salary scale with median annual salaries of $208,000, according to the BLS.

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