Best Online Health Sciences Programs
The health field is growing faster than most other areas. Read our guide and learn how to pursue a bachelor's in health sciences online or on campus.
An online bachelor's in health sciences program can help prepare students for countless career possibilities in the evolving medical field. They can gain foundational knowledge in healthcare and medicine.
And it's not just about preparing them for clinical work. Health sciences programs can teach learners about leadership, problem-solving, research, and information management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 2.6 million new jobs will be added in the healthcare field from 2020-2030.
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For some, earning an associate degree may be the first step to entering the medical field. Many decide to continue on to earn their bachelor's degree.
In 2018-2019, the average cost of tuition and required fees at in-state public colleges and universities was around $9,210. A number of factors can determine the cost of an on-campus or online program — location of school, public vs. private institution, in state vs. out of state.
Salaries for those who pursue health sciences degrees can also vary. For example, health education specialists and community health workers make a median annual salary of $48,140, as of May 2020, according to the BLS. Dietitians and nutritionists made a median annual wage of $63,090.
The potential for a six-figure salary goes up when students pursue more advanced degrees. Specializations also exist — from health administration to gerontology.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences Program?
In an online bachelor's in health sciences program, students are typically required to earn 120 credits to graduate. The program takes about four years to complete. By transferring credits from previous studies, those coming in with an associate degree can earn their bachelor's in less time.
This field can be ideal for all personality traits since job duties can vary. You can work with patients, do research alone or in a group setting, or be a leader among your health peers.
Whether a student likes the challenge of technology and data, the leadership opportunities, or the community impact, this degree can start them off in the right direction.
Areas of focus include:
- Gerontology (aging)
- Social and behavioral health
- Community health
- Health information and technology
- Health administration
A bachelor of arts in this field typically focuses more on the philosophy of health, while a bachelor of sciences is more about the scientific and practical aspects of healthcare. Both can help prepare students for a wide range of jobs.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
Popular Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences 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 Health Sciences Program?
Overview of Healthcare Systems
This course offers an overview of the healthcare system and how all the parts come together to form healthcare as we know it today. Students can also learn the basics of anatomy.
Ethics of Healthcare
This is the foundation of the Hippocratic oath. Healthcare brings its own set of legal and ethical challenges. All healthcare students need to know these pressure points. This course also may address healthcare availability and impact on underserved communities and multicultural populations.
This course focuses on reducing wait times, costs, and waste. It can guide students who want to spend less time in a clinical setting and more time making the whole operation run smoothly. It can lead to a track that's good for anyone who may be considering pursuing a master's or doctorate in administration.
This is a good course for researchers and those who love numbers. It's taking data, entering it in, analyzing it, and presenting it. Think of all the COVID-19 dashboard numbers we saw in 2020 and beyond. That was the work of medical data analysts. Students with a natural ability with technology also may enjoy these courses.
Finances of Healthcare
In the U.S., healthcare spending reached $3.8 trillion in 2019. Learning about finances and cost-cutting measures can be critical to providing the best care as soon as possible. This course teaches how the numbers get figured out on a balance sheet and how to interpret efficiency options that can save money.
What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences Program?
Different schools and programs may have different admission requirements. Here are some of the standard ones:
Each online college and university provides clear guidance for filling out the application, generally by degree and/or department. Applications are generally filled out and submitted online.
Your ACT or SAT scores may need to be submitted as part of your application. Not every college or university requires them. In the medical field of study, students could be asked to provide certain certifications or licenses, but that will be school-specific.
Letters of Recommendation
Students may be asked to submit 1-3 letters of recommendation. They are not always a requirement at the bachelor's level. However, it can't hurt to have a few of them ready with your application. You want to request letters from people who can comment on your work and/or academic background — professors, school counselors, supervisors, bosses, mentors.
If an application essay is required, it can give admission officials a chance to get to know you and help you stand out from other candidates. It can also demonstrate your writing ability. Find out if an essay is required and follow the school's guidelines. On its website, the University of South Florida, for instance, says essays and personal statements are not required for first-year students and will not be reviewed or opened.
Prospective students should be prepared to submit official copies of their school transcripts — from their high school or from past colleges they attended. Schools might require a minimum GPA or a certain score on a GED exam for admittance.
What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences Degree?
An online bachelor's degree in health sciences can be a launchpad to careers in dozens of different high-demand jobs. The BLS projects healthcare occupations will grow 16% between 2020 and 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.
This education path can offer a transition point for people in other jobs, such as IT, data analytics, or management. Pursuing higher levels of education may also lead to more earning potential.
With the foundation of a health sciences program, learners may decide to pursue more training and pivot to a field of their choice — occupational therapy, dentistry, research, and community health services.
Athletic trainers help to strengthen their clients' bodies. Trainers assist in preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone health issues. Certain states require certification in this field on top of a bachelor's degree. The BLS projects that this job sector will grow by 23% from 2020-2030.
Median annual salary (as of May 2020): $49,860
Clinical Laboratory Technologist/Technician
These healthcare workers spend their days in labs, analyzing important samples of bodily fluids and tissue to help diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses. With an 11% job growth projected between 2020 and 2030, these professionals may find plenty of job opportunities. Some may be required to be licensed.
Median annual salary (as of May 2020): $54,180
These professionals help people follow healthy diets and get proper nutrition. They work in hospitals, nursing homes, school cafeterias, in their own practice, or at the government level. Students might need an internship or residency before being job-ready. Many states require these professionals to be licensed. The BLS projects jobs for dietitians and nutritionists will grow by 11% from 2020-2030.
Median annual salary (as of May 2020): $63,090
Similar to athletic trainers, these professionals help people build their bodies. Recreational therapists also work with people who have disabilities or serious injuries that affect their daily lives. Many employers require these professionals to be certified. The projected job growth for recreational therapists is 10% between 2020 and 2030.
Median annual salary (as of May 2020): $47,710
Just about everyone needs a nurse at many points in their lives. Registered nurses provide and coordinate care for patients and educate them on their health conditions. They work in hospitals, private practice, schools, and nursing homes. The BLS projects a 9% job growth for registered nurses between 2020 and 2030. A health science degree may be a good start for those considering this profession, but they will usually require further education. They typically need to earn a degree, diploma, or training from a nursing program. They must also be licensed.
Median annual salary (as of May 2020): $75,330
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Not only can an online health sciences degree help people get a job now, but it may also pave the way for future employment. Many students continue on to earn their master's degree.
Continuing education may lead to higher earning potential and greater career opportunities. Students might choose to get more into research and data, administration, gerontology, or pharmacology. Graduate certificates in certain healthcare fields may also be a good option.
How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences Program?
Costs for a bachelor's degree in health sciences programs range greatly, especially when looking at private schools vs. public schools. Some online schools may add an online learning fee.
Some schools charge all online learners the same in-state tuition, no matter where they live.
Prospective students need to dig into the specifics of the program. They also need to calculate the true cost of the program and not just focus on the per-credit tuition. These additional costs can include books, fees, and transportation to on-site requirements, if necessary.
Online learning can offer distance learners plenty of flexibility. Colleges and universities realize many people in degree programs are balancing work and family, along with their classes. Many programs offer asynchronous learning to accommodate these students' busy schedules. The selections cater to part-time and full-time students.
Accelerated learning is also an option for distance learners. They can complete their bachelor's degree program in less than four years.
Check your prospective college closely for any on-campus requirements, visits or regional training. If your program has any on-campus requirements, you may decide to choose a school closer to where you live.
Regional or national accreditation provides assurance that a school and/or degree program meets minimal educational and training requirements. Want financial aid? In order to qualify, you likely will need to be admitted to an accredited college. Want to transfer to another school? Your new school may only allow you to transfer credits from an accredited institution.
Student services at the college you choose should be available to online learners, the same as for on-campus students. These can include tutoring, mentorships, counseling, internship guidance, and alumni resources.
Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences Programs
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Health Sciences Programs
Is a bachelor's in health sciences worth it?
The projected job growth rate and salary potential may make this field very worthwhile for those interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare field. With so many aspects of healthcare — dealing with our bodies, minds, teeth, aging, disease, and more — this field just keeps growing and expanding. Think of all the people who had to learn specific fields or skills to help navigate COVID-19 in the communities.
And jobs aren't limited to clinical settings. There are opportunities in research and management as well.
What can I do with a bachelor's in health sciences?
Graduates can get right to work or continue their education. An online bachelor's in health sciences can be a stepping stone or a starting point in the healthcare field.
The BLS lists some popular healthcare careers — nurses, recreational therapists, athletic trainers, and dietitians and nutritionists, to name a few. Some may require more training and more advanced degrees. But a bachelor's in health sciences can be a good start for many careers in the health field.
Are health sciences majors in demand?
From 2020-2030, the projected growth rate for healthcare jobs is 16%, according to the BLS. That would be more than 2.6 million new jobs added during that time.
How much money can I make with a bachelor's in health sciences?
The pay typically starts in the $40,000 range for the lowest-paying jobs and can almost double at the higher end. The median annual wage for all healthcare practitioners and technical occupations is $69,870, as of May 2020, but that does include all degree types.
What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in health sciences?
According to the BLS, clinical laboratory technologists and technicians make a median annual salary of $54,180, as of May 2020. The highest 10% earned more than $83,700 a year. Dietitians and nutritionists took home a median annual salary of $63,090. The highest 10% earned more than $90,000 a year.
Higher-pay jobs in health sciences and the healthcare field can require additional education and training, more advanced degrees, and licensure.
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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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