Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

Healthcare is a rapidly growing field. Check out the most popular online healthcare programs.
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According to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data from the 2018-2019 school year, health professions was the second-most popular undergraduate major. That year, approximately 251,400 students earned bachelor's degrees in health professions fields, including nursing, health informatics, healthcare administration, and public health. This means that 12% of all bachelor's degrees awarded that year were in healthcare.

Bachelor's in healthcare programs are popular for many reasons. They usually lead to careers that are both personally and financially rewarding. Healthcare professionals can use their skills to help others for a living while also earning high salaries.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2021, healthcare workers earned a median annual wage of $75,040, which eclipsed the median annual wage for all careers by approximately $30,000. Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects 16% job growth for healthcare careers, double the average projected growth rate for all careers during that period.

Read on to learn more about where an online bachelor's in healthcare can lead you, including admission requirements, courses, and careers.

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

Like most online bachelor's programs, the typical online bachelor's in healthcare curriculum requires 120 credits of coursework, which full-time students can usually complete over the course of four years. Practice-focused healthcare programs often include some sort of practicum or internship experience to provide future healthcare practitioners with practical experience in their chosen field. Many programs also include lab-based science courses.

Detail-oriented, compassionate, and hard-working students often thrive in bachelor's in healthcare programs. It also helps if you have an aptitude for science. No matter your natural traits, you can gain the hard skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the healthcare field if you focus over the course of your bachelor's program.

There are many healthcare fields in which you can pursue bachelor's degrees, including the following:

  • Nursing
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Pre-Medicine
  • Public Health
  • Nutrition
  • Sports Medicine
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Sciences

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

How Do I Know If an Online Program Is Popular?

There are several factors that prospective students can look at to evaluate the popularity of a given program. Before making a decision, learners can research enrollment statistics, job placement data, and graduation rates. They can also seek out testimonials from program alumni and currently enrolled students, either through LinkedIn or through the school's website.

Prospective students can also consider name recognition as an indicator of popularity. While name brand does not always translate to popularity, it's a good indicator of how well-known the school is, which means that more accepted applicants are likely to enroll.

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

Medical Terminology

Most healthcare programs include a course in medical terminology during the first couple of semesters. Students learn the basics of prefixes and word roots so that they can communicate effectively with doctors, nurses, and administrators.

Applied Research Methods

In this introductory course, students learn how to design research experiments and collect data in studies that involve human subjects. Covered topics often include research ethics and hypothesis testing.

Introduction to Public Health

This survey course covers introductory concepts in public health. Possible covered topics include the history and philosophy of public health, and coursework often involves case studies.

Healthcare Law

No matter the occupation, healthcare professionals need a strong understanding of the legal aspects of their careers. This course covers HIPAA and various ethical issues they might encounter.

Practicum/Internship

Many healthcare programs culminate in some sort of fieldwork or practicum, allowing learners to gain practical experience in the field they will enter upon graduation.

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

Popular online bachelor's in healthcare programs aren't necessarily any more difficult to get into than their less popular counterparts. In addition to the requirements listed below, in rare cases, prospective students may need to complete an interview with a member of the admissions department.

Application

All prospective undergraduate healthcare students must fill out an application form that captures basic contact and background information. Undergraduate applicants can sometimes submit materials to multiple schools at once through application systems like the Common App and Coalition App.

Test Scores

Some healthcare programs require applicants to send in ACT or SAT scores. This requirement is becoming rarer. Many schools have eliminated this requirement or adopted test-optional policies. If you must submit standardized test scores, try to take the ACT and SAT at least once each.

Letters of Recommendation

Most online bachelor's programs, no matter the discipline, require prospective students to submit 1-3 letters of recommendation. If you are a high school student or have recently finished high school, you should ask former teachers, counselors, or mentors to write these letters for you. If you are an adult learner, you can ask professional supervisors.

Essays

Although many healthcare programs are science-focused, most online bachelor's programs still require applicants to send in 1-3 short essays. Possible prompts include a statement of purpose, a time you overcame a challenging or difficult situation, or why you want to enter the healthcare field.

Official Transcripts

All undergraduate programs require applicants to send in transcripts from all prior secondary and postsecondary schools they have attended. If you have already completed some community college coursework, you should be able to earn transfer credits at a four-year school.

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

Career Outlook

Healthcare is a very popular major for good reason. Healthcare professionals earn high salaries while also making a difference in the lives of patients. According to the BLS, healthcare professionals earned a median annual wage of $75,040 as of May 2021, which was almost $30,000 more than the median annual salary for all careers. Furthermore, between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects 16% job growth for healthcare careers, double the projected growth rate for all occupations during that decade.

There are many lucrative positions with high growth potential that graduates can pursue with a bachelor's degree in healthcare. If you graduate from a popular program, your school's name recognition may also help you get your foot in the door with potential employers.

Many healthcare degree programs are specific to certain careers in the industry. For example, nurses, dental hygienists, and medical coders all fall under the umbrella of healthcare, but each of these careers has unique degree programs and licensing requirements. See where a bachelor's in healthcare can take you. Learn more about healthcare careers.

Career Paths

Medical Secretary

These professionals perform administrative tasks specifically for medical offices. Common tasks for medical secretaries include scheduling appointments, billing and corresponding with patients, and organizing medical charts and materials. They may work in a variety of medical settings including hospitals, nursing homes, community clinics, and dental offices.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $37,450

Clinical Laboratory Technician or Technologist

Clinical laboratory technicians and technologists perform laboratory support functions like collecting samples and performing tests. Most of these professionals work in hospitals, physicians' offices, and diagnostic or research laboratories. Job candidates need a bachelor's degree in a relevant field.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $57,800

Dietitian or Nutritionist

Dietitians and nutritionists provide nutritional services, meal plans, and educational workshops to help individuals and communities live healthy lives. They can work in cafeterias, nursing homes, healthcare clinics, and government agencies. Job candidates need a bachelor's degree, and in many states, these professionals must earn a state-issued license before they can practice.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $61,650

Medical Records and Health Information Specialist

Most hospitals and medical offices have to keep track of a great number of medical records and data. These professionals use medical and data science knowledge to organize and manage health information. Health information specialists commonly work in medical settings, but often have limited contact with patients.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $45,240

Medical and Health Services Manager

These professionals, also known as healthcare administrators, run day-to-day business operations for healthcare facilities and companies. They generally need a bachelor's degree and some relevant experience, although some companies prefer to hire candidates who hold master's degrees.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $101,340

Healthcare Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

While there are plenty of available entry-level career opportunities for healthcare majors, it is relatively common for bachelor's degree-holders in healthcare to pursue further education. A master's degree in healthcare can open the door to advanced practice roles, such as hospital administrator. An advanced degree can also make you more competitive for medical and health services manager roles.

Many professionals, including nurses and some dietitians, must complete a given number of continuing education hours during a certain period to renew their state-issued licenses. As such, continuing education is very common across the healthcare field.

Should I Choose a Popular Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Degree Program?

Popularity can be an important factor when choosing between online bachelor's in healthcare programs. However, it certainly isn't the only factor you should consider. While popular programs may provide additional name recognition when you search for a job, you may receive increased support and attention from professors in less popular programs.

Read on to learn about other factors you may want to consider when choosing a program.

Additional Program Factors to Consider

Cost

Since there are many different healthcare fields, average costs can vary widely for online bachelor's in healthcare programs based on discipline. However, for the lowest true program costs, consider enrolling online at an in-state public university as opposed to an out-of-state private institution.

Program Format

Depending on availability, online learners may be able to choose between synchronous and asynchronous learning. Students can also explore full-time, part-time, and accelerated enrollment.

Location

Even if you decide to enroll online, you may want to choose a school close to you. Many online bachelor's in healthcare programs include in-person lab, internship, or fieldwork requirements. It may be easier to find a placement site for an internship if you live near campus.

Accreditation

Accreditation is a third-party review process overseen by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. If a school is accredited, you can be confident that it offers high-quality programs and services. You should only enroll at accredited schools. Otherwise, you cannot receive federal financial aid, and employers may not recognize your degree.

Student Support

Especially for distance learners, student support can make a huge difference in the quality of a program. Before you enroll, check to see if your prospective school offers student services like internship placements, mentorship opportunities, tutoring, and career services.

Most Popular Accredited Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Degree Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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.

The school programs listed in this ranking were selected due to their popularity among students — identified by the percentage of applicants who enrolled at a school after being offered admission. These programs were then ranked based on their overall academic quality and online offerings. To learn more about our different rankings, read our ranking methodology.

#1 Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

Franklin University

  • Columbus, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced

Avg. Cost per Credit
Private | $398

Credits to Graduate
120

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

Franklin University's popular online bachelor's in healthcare management offers a focus on practical application and education from healthcare industry veterans. The curriculum includes general education, professional core courses, technical credit courses in healthcare foundations, and major courses in healthcare management. Potential career paths include health services management, medical practice management, and hospital administration.

Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. Additionally, students must prove English language proficiency.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,552
Out-of-state
$9,552
Retention Rate
47%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,031
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#2 Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

Brenau University

  • Gainesville, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced

Avg. Cost per Credit
Private | $690

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Brenau University's BS in healthcare administration is a popular online healthcare program. The coursework combines a business administration curriculum, including courses in economics and accounting, with classes focusing on subjects related to healthcare, such as healthcare management, ethics and law in health, and global health.

Like many programs, Brenau requires applicants to submit transcripts for all previously completed higher education coursework, proof of high school graduation and demonstrated English language proficiency.

Average Tuition
In-state
$29,370
Out-of-state
$29,370
Retention Rate
52%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
2,817
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

  • Indianapolis, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $239
Out of State | $347

Credits to Graduate
120

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

Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI) offers a wide range of online bachelor's degrees in healthcare, including a BS in health services management. This program prepares students for managerial and administrative positions at a variety of healthcare organizations, including hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient facilities.

Application requirements include essays, prior transcripts, and a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,580
Out-of-state
$29,589
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
29,537
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#4 Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced

Avg. Cost per Credit
Private | $390

Credits to Graduate
120

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

Liberty University's online bachelor's in healthcare administration offers both self-paced online learning and encouragement and support in pursuing internship experience in the healthcare field. The degree requires the completion of general education courses, fundamental courses in business, and a structured major course, along with 12-24 credit hours of elective coursework.

Applicants to this Evangelical university must be high school graduates with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. Prior college coursework must be submitted through an unofficial transcript.

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,417
Out-of-state
$15,417
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
85,586
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

Brazosport College

  • Lake Jackson, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In District | $91
Out of District | $125
Out of State | $225

Credits to Graduate
120

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

Tailored exclusively for associate degree-holders, Brazosport College's popular healthcare degree program offers a fully online bachelor's of applied technology with a specialty in health services management. Areas of concentration in this degree-completion program include risk management, forensic science, and public health.

Applicants must have already obtained a minimum of 60 undergraduate level credit hours, and demonstrated reading, writing, and mathematics skills either via prior coursework or approved placement testing.

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,622
Out-of-state
$4,052
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,217
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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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#6 Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

City University of Seattle

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
Private | $470

Credits to Graduate
180

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

With a high faculty-to-student ratio and a large alumni base, the City University of Seattle is a popular school for prospective students interested in healthcare. The institution's BS in healthcare administration program focuses on healthcare as a business and includes courses in marketing, informatics, and healthcare policy. Students also must complete a capstone healthcare practicum. 

Applicants are encouraged to take a prior learning assessment to determine what credits can be awarded for prior life experiences.

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,120
Out-of-state
$13,120
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,960
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
#7 Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

Methodist University

  • Fayetteville, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
Private | $400

Credits to Graduate
124

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

Methodist University offers an online BS in healthcare administration program. In addition to general education and core required coursework, Methodist offers students the opportunity to add minors to their degree in either accounting, business administration, or marketing. This can be an interesting way to specialize a degree towards a particular career path.

Like many programs, Methodist University requires applicants to submit proof of high school graduation or GED certificate and transcripts of prior coursework.

Average Tuition
In-state
$34,148
Out-of-state
$34,148
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
1,968
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#8 Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

Pfeiffer University

  • Misenheimer, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
Private | $420

Credits to Graduate
120

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

Utica College offers a popular healthcare degree in the form of a BS in healthcare management program. Utica boasts a generous credit transfer policy. Healthcare management students take healthcare-focused major courses and extensive business education classes with courses in accounting, economics, and finance. Learners must also complete required internships.

Admission requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 for high school and a minimum GPA of 2.5 for any college transfer credits. Additionally, applicants must provide a letter of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement.

Average Tuition
In-state
$29,800
Out-of-state
$29,800
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
1,277
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#9 Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

Utica College

  • Utica, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $499

Credits to Graduate
120

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

Ottawa University offers a uniquely flexible bachelor's in healthcare, offering both a clinical track for registered or licensed healthcare practitioners (radiologists, nurses, etc.) and a non-clinical track for those without such qualifications. Beyond the core curriculum, students can concentrate in economics, finance, human resources, or leadership and management.

Application requirements include prior transcripts from all previous university-level coursework. Prospective applicants are encouraged to reach out to an admissions advisor for further details.

Average Tuition
In-state
$21,560
Out-of-state
$21,560
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
4,947
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
61% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#10 Most Popular Online Healthcare Degree Programs

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

  • Bradenton, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $102
Out of State | $387

Credits to Graduate
120

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

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota offers an online BAS in health services administration program. Beyond core courses in management and economics in the health industry, students also supplement their education with health electives on subjects such as nutrition and emergency response planning. 

In addition to providing a full application package including prior transcripts, applicants must have a minimum of 60 transferable credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to apply.

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,365
Out-of-state
$9,467
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,096
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Frequently Asked Questions About Popular Healthcare Degree Programs

Are popular online bachelor's programs more difficult to get into?

It depends. Popular online bachelor's programs aren't necessarily more difficult to get into than less popular online bachelor's programs. While popular programs generally enroll more students than less popular programs, they don't always maintain stricter admission requirements. Each school maintains unique requirements and admits a different percentage of students, so check each school's website for the most up-to-date information.

For undergraduate programs, admission sometimes depends on the school and not the specific program, so check each school's selectivity rate to determine how difficult it is to get into.

What are the most popular college majors?

During the 2018-2019 academic year, the NCES conducted a study to find the most popular college majors among undergraduate students. Here is the top 10 list:

  • Business (390,600 degrees awarded)
  • Health Professions (251,400 degrees awarded)
  • Social Sciences and History (160,600 degrees awarded)
  • Engineering (126,700 degrees awarded)
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences (121,200 degrees awarded)
  • Psychology (116,500 degrees awarded)
  • Communications and Journalism (92,500 degrees awarded)
  • Visual and Performing Arts (89,700 degrees awarded)
  • Computer and Information Sciences (88,600 degrees awarded)
  • Education (83,900 degrees awarded)

How should I choose an online degree program?

How you should go about choosing an online program depends on your individual goals and circumstances. If you want a school with name recognition, you should consider a program's popularity. You should also consider factors like cost, delivery method (synchronous or asynchronous), location, student services, and accreditation.

To determine which factors are most important to you, consider your learning style, your financial means, and your other commitments. For example, if you work or raise a family full time, you should research online programs that offer part-time enrollment and deliver coursework asynchronously.

Are the most popular online programs also the highest quality?

The most popular online programs aren't necessarily also the highest quality. Popular programs provide several advantages, including name recognition and the support of a larger peer group; however, there isn't necessarily any correlation between popularity and academic quality.

Less popular programs often offer smaller class sizes and increased interaction with and attention from professors. Consider what you value the most when considering whether you would prefer a popular program or a less popular program.

What jobs can I get with an online bachelor's in healthcare?

Finding a job after graduation can seem daunting, but with an online bachelor's in healthcare in hand, you should have plenty of options. Depending on your specific major, possible job titles may include dietitian, nutritionist, medical and health services manager, clinical lab technician, and exercise physiologist.

Bachelor's degree-holders in healthcare can also consider applying to master's programs in fields like nursing and healthcare administration. Advanced degrees in these fields can lead to more lucrative positions with increased responsibility.

Feature Image: MoMo Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

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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