Inside Top Health Science
Bachelor’s Degrees Online

Explore the top online health science bachelor’s degrees and take your first steps toward a successful career in medical and health.

Last Updated: 08/03/2020
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Finding the right online bachelor’s in health science begins with a clear understanding of your academic and career goals, and then putting in the time to find the program that best meets them. Helping you in that search is what this page is all about. Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and from the schools themselves, we’ve identified the top online health science bachelor’s degrees for 2020. See which programs have the best combinations of online learning, academic quality, affordability, and career prep.

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About the ranking

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Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboro, NC Public $$ 1

UNC-Greensboro’s B.S. in Health Studies degree program is for students launching their healthcare career or seeking in-depth education for their existing profession.  The 122-credit program is designed to build a foundation in public health with the promotion of health equity, the assessment of health problems and development of remedies. Students complete 36 credits of core courses and 18 credits in health electives. A total of 64 credits may be transferred from community college health coursework. The program begins each fall and culminates with a capstone seminar in the final semester. Electives are in Global Health, Emotional Health, Medical Terminology, Worksite Wellness, Human Sexuality, and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs.   

Program Overview:

BS in Health Studies

  • Credits: 122
  • Total courses in the major: 19
  • Cost: $ 22,446/total cost
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
2 University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia, MO Public $$ 1

The Mizzou Online’s Bachelor of Health Science in Health Science is a non-clinical degree for students who plan to start a health science career or move ahead to graduate studies. Courses cover the introduction to health professions, public health principles and practice, health research, clinical ethics and online experiential learning. In the final semester, students complete a self-paced, online internship Capstone. Incoming students may transfer up to 64 credits, cutting the time to graduation in half. MU extends a 10 percent reeducation of tuition for community college graduates and those in military service. Applicants must have earned a minimum score on the SAT or ACT exams.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Health Science in Health Science (BHS)

  • Credits: $120
  • Total courses: 20
  • Cost: $24,569/total cost
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
3 Arizona State University-TempeTempe, AZ Public $$$ 2

ASU’s cross-disciplinary Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Sciences prepares graduates for manager roles in their fields of expertise. Graduates of the 120-credit program may proceed to graduate school or assume healthcare positions including long-term care health and wellness coordinators, health educators, community nutrition aides, or elder services program coordinators.  Applicants may be eligible to transfer 60 credits from a community college program. Courses include Health Communication, Global Health Care Systems, Applied Medical/Health Care Ethics, Health Issues in Later Life, Health Theory, Leadership and Professionalism, Population Health Management, Impact of Violence on Health, and Legal Issues in Health Care. Applicant’s SAT or ACT scores are considered for merit scholarships and course placements.

Program Overview:

Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Sciences

  • Credits: 120
  • Total courses: 19
  • Cost: $61,672/total cost
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
86%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
4 University of South DakotaVermillion, SD Public $$ 1

The Bachelor in Health Sciences at the University of South Dakota is designed to offer students great flexibility in customizing their degree to match their career goals. The 120-credit degree program allows students to select from six academic pathways that prepare graduates for entry-level employment in the healthcare field or to move into post-graduate health studies. These are degree options in Pre-Professional Studies, Health Care Studies, Health Care Advancement Studies, Undergraduate Clinical Informatics, Undergraduate Public Health, and Undergraduate Research.  Program applicants must report a minimum high school grade point average of 2.6 with classes in English, advanced mathematics, laboratory science, fine arts, and social science.

Program Overview:

Online Bachelor's Degree in Health Sciences

  • Credits: 120
  • Total courses: Varies by degree option
  • Cost: $351/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
67%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
5 Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk, VA Public $$$ 1

The ODU Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree requires 120 credits (29 courses) for completion. The program focus is in healthcare administration. Classes in the major include Principles of Public Health, Managerial Epidemiology, Environmental Health Science, Ethics in Health Administration, Finance and Budgeting in Heath Care, Policy and Politics of Health, Health Informatics, Population Health, Health Services Research, and Public and Community Health Administration. A final internship is also completed online. The online class system contains assigned class dates and times as well as self-paced coursework. ODU applications are conducted online and include a consultation with an enrollment coordinator.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences

  • Credits: 120
  • Total courses: 29
  • Cost: $407/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
70%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
6 Indiana University-EastRichmond, IN Public $$ 1

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Health degree at IU is designed to give students the flexibility to complete a comprehensive, non-clinical program entirely online to prepare for multiple allied health careers. There are two tracks in the major: Community Health Educator or Health Administration. The standard 120-credit degree program is common to both tracks, with 18 credits devoted to each specialized track. General university requirements call for 30 - 42 credits. Core courses include Health Care Delivery and Leadership; Intercultural Health Communication; Health Policy, Ethics, and Legal Issues; Epidemiology/Biostatistics and Population Health; Research in the Health Sciences; Consumer Health; Economics of Health Care; Informatics; Grant Writing & Internship. The internship is completed online, leading to completion of a culminating project.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science

  • Credits: 120
  • Total courses in the major: 12
  • Cost: $321/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
48%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
7 Ohio State University-Main CampusColumbus, OH Public $$$ 1

At OSU, the 120-credit online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences is administered through the College of Medicine, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Two years of classes totaling 37 credits are required to complete the general education requirements and eight program prerequisites in math and science. The professional curriculum includes studies in practice-based health care. Graduates can take entry-level jobs in health care and/or sit for examinations for CHES certifications. They are also qualified to pursue a graduate education leading to careers in Public Health, Occupational Therapy, Hospital/Health Services Administration Medicine, Nursing, Physical Therapy and Veterinary Medicine, among others. The state of Ohio’s Credit When It’s Due initiative enables entry students to transfer credits earned at a two-year accredited college in the state.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences

  • Credits: 120
  • Total courses:
  • Cost: $20,560/total cost
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
70%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
8 Indiana University-BloomingtonBloomington, IN Public $$$ 2

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science at IU-Bloomington was developed to allow undergraduates to specialize in one of six areas: Dietetics, Human Development and Family Studies, Health Safety, Youth Development, Nutrition, and Health Education and Secondary Teacher Preparation. The 120-credit program is offered entirely online except for one on-site, supervised internship. Students may also apply to the for-credit IU-Bloomington Study Abroad Option in  one of more than 70 countries. Incoming baccalaureate students may be admitted directly based on high school performance or by certifying into the School of Public Health through the University Division. A cumulative ACT score of 27 and/or an SAT composite score of 1280.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science

  • Credits: 120
  • Total courses:
  • Cost: $330/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (internship)
  • Accreditation: THLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
58%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
9 Capella UniversityMinneapolis, MN Private, For-Profit $$$ 2

Capella’s Bachelor of Health Science in Health Science is for students who have completed an associate degree with healthcare major. The degree is completely online. It offers two major options: the BS in Public Health or the BS in Health Care Administration. A total of 180 quarter credits are required for graduation in each specialization. The BS in Public Health is comprised of 8-14 general education courses, 14 core courses, and 9-17 electives. Practical experience is undertaken online. The BS in Public Health requires completion of 8-14 general education courses, 9 core courses, 6 specialization courses, and 9–17 Elective courses. Both options culminate in a Capstone project.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Public Health

  • Credits: 180
  • Total courses: Varies by specialization and transfer credits
  • Cost: $357/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: THLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
50%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
10 Northern Kentucky UniversityHighland Heights, KY Public $$ 1

The online Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree at Northern Kentucky University program requires completion of 120 credits, including 33 credits of core courses in the major. Online core courses include Leadership Development, Teaching and Learning in Healthcare Education, Healthcare Management, Healthcare Research, Aging in Today's Society, Global Perspectives of Healthcare, Issues in Chronic Disease Management, Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare, and Health Informatics. Each online course is 7 weeks in duration.  The university’s Path to Success Scholarship for online students reduces the cost-per-credit tuition by $98. Applicants must provide transcripts affirming an associate degree from an accredited college with a minimum 2.3 GPA.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Health Science Online

  • Credits: 120
  • Total core courses: 11
  • Cost: $448/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
61%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
11 West Virginia State UniversityInstitute, WV Public $$ 1

Graduates of West Virginia State University’s B.S. in Health Sciences degree are prepared for health education roles and other health-related careers.  The degree can be completed entirely online in 2-4 years, depending on number of the student’s transfer credits. Of the 120 required graduation credits, 28 are in health sciences core courses and 28 in community health education. Required health courses include Statistics for the Social Sciences, Health Leadership, Issues in Rural Health, Epidemiology, Contemporary Health Assessment, Methods and Strategies in Health Education and Health Promotion, Planning/Implementing/Evaluating Interventions in HHP, Human Growth and Development, and Research and Evaluation. For admissions information, email admissions@wvstateu.edu.

Program Overview:

B.S. in Health Sciences

  • Credits: 120
  • Total courses: Varies based on transfer credits
  • Cost: $316/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: NCHEC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
52%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
12 George Washington UniversityWashington, DC Private, Not-for-Profit $$$$$ 7

The online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences at GWU focuses on the specialty of Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management. The curriculum builds student knowledge in the  management of clinical operations across the healthcare continuum. Applicants can satisfy their general education requirements by transferring minimum of 45 credits from an associate degree program, cutting the credits needed for graduation in half. Core classes include Management of Human Resources in Health Sciences Organizations, Finance and Marketing for Healthcare Leaders, Current Issues in Bioethics, Current Issues in Bioethics, Health Care Law and Regulation, and Quality Improvement in Health Care. Online coursework is complemented by an on-site supervised field work practicum in health management and clinical operations.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management

  • Credits: 120 (60 credits with a transfer from an associate degree)
  • Total courses: 20 (varies based on transfer credits)
  • Cost: $38,100/total cost
  • Mode: Partially Online (practicum)
  • Accreditation: MSACS
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
75%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
13 Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH Private, Not-for-Profit $$$$$ 1

The online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Southern New Hampshire University is designed for students who have already earned an associate degree in an allied health discipline. By transferring credits, students can greatly reduce the number of the 120 credits required for the degree. Online coursework is centered around training for management and supervisory roles in allied health. The major features courses that prepare students for collaboration with other professionals, engage in strategic and financial planning, the use of data to improve healthcare delivery, and enhance patient care. Online virtual environments provide student access to related technology resources in healthcare.

Program Overview:

Online Bachelor Degree in Health Science

  • Credits: 120
  • Total courses in the major: 17
  • Cost: $320/total cost
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: NECHE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
39%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
14 Quinnipiac UniversityHamden, CT Private, Not-for-Profit $$$$$ 1

At Quinnipiac University, the 120-credit online BS in Health Science Studies is well-suited for students who want to advance their learning beyond the associate degree or for those seeking a new career. The degree can assist graduates with career advancement or prepare them for post-graduate work in a health sciences discipline. Students may transfer up to 75 credits from community college-related associate degree. The online program includes 20 credits in advanced core courses, 33 credits in courses for the major, and 9 credits of electives.  Courses in the major include Biology and Experience of Human Aging, Legal Aspects of Health Care Delivery, Biostatistics, Health Care Essentials: Structure, Policy and Professionalism, Nutrition in Health & Illness, Bioethical Issues in the 21st Century, Immunology, and Chemistry of Macro- and Micronutrients.

Program Overview:

BS in Health Science Studies

  • Credits: 120
  • Total courses: 16 upper-division courses.
  • Cost: $575/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: NECHE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
95%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
15 Pacific UniversityForest Grove, OR Private, Not-for-Profit $$$$$ 1

Students can finish the Pacific University online Bachelor of Health Science degree-completion program in as little as 11 months. Graduates may complete the degree for career advancement or enroll in Pacific's Master of Healthcare Administration program. Applicants must have accumulated 76 credits toward the bachelor degree along with relevant experience in a healthcare. The online program consists of one fall, spring and summer session. In addition to the online curriculum and two Capstone projects, students must complete onsite internships in the final two semesters for graduation. Courses include Leadership and Ethics in Healthcare, Healthcare Finance and Accounting, Statistical Analysis and Decision Making, Strategic Planning and Marketing, Operations Management and Quality Improvement, Information Management Systems, Health Policy and Law, and Healthcare Spanish.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Health Science

  • Credits: 44
  • Total courses: 20
  • Cost: $499/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (internship)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
97%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
16 Purdue University GlobalDavenport, IA Private, For-Profit $$$ 1

The Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree at Purdue University Global focuses on studies in pertinent research methods, topics, applications and concepts in health science. The 180-credit program is wholly online, including core requirements in mathematics, workplace professionalism, biology, microbiology, and ethics. In the major, students complete studies in Research Methods, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Advanced Health Informatics, Practices in Public Health, and 27 credits of open electives. Towards the end of the program, students are required to complete an online 6-credit Capstone research project. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate. Applicants must complete PUG’s information request form and speak with an admissions advisor.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Health Science

  • Credits: 180
  • Total courses:
  • Cost: $371/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: THLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission

Accreditation for Online Health Science Bachelor’s Degrees

The purpose of accreditation is to ensure students that institutions of higher education and the programs they offer meet accepted standards of quality. It’s also a requirement for eligibility in federal student aid programs. In other words, accreditation is your way of knowing that your degree program is worth all of the time and money you put into it.

There are two basic types of postsecondary accreditation: institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation refers to accreditation of the college or university as a whole. Institutional accreditation for U.S. schools is handled by several U.S. Department of Education-recognized regional and national accrediting agencies. Programmatic accreditation refers to accreditation of individual degree programs in a given major or field of study. However, there are currently no agencies in the U.S. that specifically accredit health science bachelor degree programs, online or otherwise. Therefore, it’s especially important that you consider only those degree programs offered by properly-accredited colleges and universities, and it’s up to you to confirm that accreditation before signing on. In most cases, you’ll find current accreditation information on each program’s webpage. You can also check accreditation status by going directly to accrediting agency websites or by using the DOE’s Database of Accredited Institutions and Programs (DAPIP) search engine.

Inside the Online Bachelor’s in Health Science

Success as a bachelor in health science student is much easier if you’ve chosen the right degree program to begin with, and that’s going to take a bit of digging into the details of what each individual program has to offer. With that in mind, here are a few important questions and answers to consider during your program search.

What will you learn in an online health science bachelor’s degree program?

Every degree program you consider will be different, each with its own take on what health science is and what its students need to learn. So, be sure to take a good look at the specific courses offered. They’ll vary somewhat from program to program, but you can expect all programs to offer health science courses similar to the following:

Ethics in Healthcare

This course provides an examination of bioethics issues and decision-making in healthcare with an emphasis on patient care rights and the responsibilities of providers. Specific issues discussed include bioethical theories, ethical reasoning and analytical methods, the ethical application of laws and regulations, health disparities, and ethical issues relating to society and the environment.

Health Sciences Research Methods

Conducting research and the effective application of research findings play an important role in professional health science practice. This course provides students with an introduction to healthcare research theory and methods. Topics covered include: basic qualitative and quantitative research techniques; the use of healthcare data through data querying, mining, and extraction; and the analysis of evidence-based research findings.

Healthcare Leadership

In the course of their careers, health science degree holders can expect to be called upon to take administrative positions and other leadership roles in their organizations. This course provides students with a solid foundational footing in leadership theory and its application in practice. Topics include critical thinking, effective teamwork methods, and leadership in diverse work environments.

Healthcare Systems in the United States

This course provides a survey of the contemporary practice of health care services in the U.S. and common systems employed by healthcare organizations and facilities. Subjects examined include: healthcare issues, policies, and politics; healthcare system structures, financing, and outcomes; and effective outreach to the general public and specific populations within the community.

Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study of the determinants and distribution of health-related events, such as communicable diseases. This course offers an introduction to the concepts and methods of population-based epidemiology. Specific topics include: behavior of diseases within populations; disease risk factors and outcomes; and epidemiologic study design and the application of biostatistics.


In addition to gaining a firm academic foundation in healthcare theories and principals, health science bachelor’s degree students develop a range of practical in-demand and job-ready skills that they will be able to apply immediately on their first day of employment and throughout their careers. Specific skills gained include:

  • Effective evaluation of healthcare systems, trends, policies, and environments.
  • Effective application of professional and ethical principals as they apply to healthcare practice.
  • The demonstrated ability to explain key concepts of epidemiology, and identify risk factors associated with the signs, symptoms, and treatment of specific diseases.
  • The ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, on a range of relevant healthcare topics.
  • The ability to access information and data systems in the course of job duties to meet organizational goals and improve patient outcomes.

What are the main concentrations in health science bachelor’s programs?

Colleges and universities offering health science bachelor’s degrees are keenly aware that students are not only interested in earning a degree in the major, but that many are additionally interested in gaining specialized knowledge and skills in a particular area within the health sciences field. In response, some schools allow students to tailor their studies to emphasize a specialized area of practice through their elective course choices. A few programs offer students the option of choosing a specific concentration or curriculum track that reflects their area of interest. Here are three common concentrations that your program may offer:

Health Administration

The health administration concentration is designed to provide students with a foundational understanding of theoretical and philosophical principles of administration and management as they apply to health care services. Included are courses in strategic planning, finance and budgeting, organizational supervision, and human resource management. Students choosing this concentration typically plan to continue their studies to earn a graduate degree in healthcare administration.

Health Education

The health education concentration is for students interested in careers involving the creation, implementation, and evaluation of health services education programs and activities. This concentration is not a teacher certification program, however, and does not prepare students for teacher credentialing, but it does prepare students to sit for the exam to obtain the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) certification.

Public Health

Students seeking careers involving public and global health practices and advocacy should consider this concentration. Courses in the concentration take on issues related to healthcare access, disease prevention, sustainability, global health, epidemiology, and the promotion of health services in the community and among underserved and at-risk populations.

How long does it take to complete an online health science bachelor’s degree?

Most online students will spend four years of full-time study to complete their health science bachelor’s degree. However, schools offering online degree programs understand that many students who pursue their degrees through distance learning do so while maintaining full-time employment and need the study flexibility built into those programs to succeed. Therefore, students should look for a number of online program features that allow for longer (or shorter) degree completion times, including:

Part-time study

Most online programs feature part-time study options that allow an additional two, three, or more years to complete all degree requirements.

Asynchronous formats

Programs often feature courses presented in an asynchronous format, meaning that students can access and complete coursework at any time convenient to their schedules. This format allows students to take more or less time than normal to complete their courses.

Liberal credit transfer policies

Online degree programs often allow students to transfer in a substantial number of previously-earned college credits that can shorten the overall time needed to earn their degrees.

These and other program features mean that some students may be able to complete all degree requirements in as little as two-and-a-half years or less of full-time study, or as much as six years or more of part-time study.

How much will an online bachelor’s in health science cost?

The total amount you end up spending to earn your health science bachelor’s degree can vary substantially depending on the particular program you choose. For example, the tuition rates and fees charged by private colleges tend to be significantly higher than those charged by public colleges. Also, some schools charge higher tuition rates to students residing outside the school’s home state. Other factors that can impact your costs include how long you take to complete your degree program, how many previously-earned credits you can transfer in, and how much, if any, of your costs will be covered by scholarships or grants.

Below are the current (as of fall 2020) tuition costs for three online health science bachelor’s programs. Keep in mind, though, that your total costs will be higher due to additional fees and the cost of books and supplies.

University of
Missouri


Total Credits: 120

$299.00/credit (Missouri residents); $387.40/credit (non-residents)

Southern New
Hampshire University


Total Credits: 120

$320.00/credit

Bellevue
University


Total Credits: 127

$425/credit

Paying for Your Health Science Bachelor’s

As you can see from the figures above, pursuing a postsecondary degree these days is an expensive proposition. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to help ease the financial burden, including scholarships, loans, and more. Most students today will employ a combination of the following financial aid options to pay for their academic studies:

1

Student Loans

The most common form of student financial aid is the student loan. Student loans are not free money and must be paid back with interest according to a payback schedule that is a part of the loan agreement. In most cases, students must begin paying back their loans immediately upon graduation. The bulk of student loans are made through the Federal Student Aid program. To apply for a federal student loan, you must fill out and submit the FAFSA application. State governments and private lenders are also common student loan sources.

2

Grants

Grants are money awards to students that, in most cases, are not paid back. A big source of grant money is the federal government, with most federal grants awarded based on the student’s financial need. As with federal student loans, you apply for federal grants by submitting the FAFSA application. Other major grant sources are state governments, private and nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities themselves.

3

Scholarships

Like student grants, scholarships awards are not paid back. The main difference between grants and scholarships is that most scholarships are awarded based on merit or by meeting other qualifications, such as athletic or artistic talent, participation in voluntary activities, or belonging to a certain minority group. Financial need is also considered in some cases. Common scholarship sources are the same as those for grants.

4

Work-Study

Work-study refers to part-time jobs available to students with demonstrated financial need. Work-study jobs are most often on a college campus, and therefore are typically filled by students enrolled in on-campus degree programs. Not all work-study jobs are on-campus, however, and online students may be eligible for jobs through private or non-profit employers. The only way to be sure if work-study is an option for you is to contact the financial aid office at each of the schools you’re considering.

5

Other Options

Some employers sponsor tuition reimbursement or other employer education contribution programs for their employees. Be sure to check if such a program is available where your work. Also, the GI Bill provides financial support programs for eligible veterans with an honorable discharge.

To learn more about your financial aid options, check out our Pay Less for Education guide. You can also get help locating scholarship opportunities with our guide to the 50 Top Scholarships for Medical & Health Students.

Post-Graduation: After the Health Science Bachelor’s Online

You don’t have to know exactly where your career will go before starting a heath science bachelor’s degree program, but it’s important to gain a foundational understanding of the healthcare industry and a good feel for the possible paths your career might take within it. Here are the answers to several important questions to ask before signing on to your degree program:

Do you need specific certification or licensure to work in health science?

Generally speaking, most non-clinical health science related jobs will not require obtaining a state license or professional certification. However, a state may require licensing or certification as a precondition for employment in a particular health science occupation within the state. For example, some positions may require a registered nurse or social worker license. Also, employers may require or prefer employees to hold certain professional certifications. Examples of possible certifications include Certified Professional in Health Informatics (CPHI), Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), Physician Assistant – Certified (PA-C), and Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

In most cases, bachelor of health science degree programs do not prepare students to obtain such licensure or certification, at least not without choosing a relevant concentration offered as part of that program. Students may also have to complete a post-undergrad certificate or full graduate degree program to be eligible for licensure or certification.

What can you do with a bachelor’s in health science?

A bachelor’s degree in health science prepares graduates for direct entry into a range of well-paying non-clinical positions. Here are just a few examples:

Health Educator

Health educators work with individual clients and groups to promote healthier life choices and behaviors. Some positions require employees to hold the CHES certification.

Medical or Health Service Manager

Medical and health service managers carry out executive and administrative duties at hospitals, clinics, medical practices, and physicians groups.

Healthcare Social Worker

Healthcare social workers counsel patients about their illnesses and injuries, and help them to make changes to their lifestyles and behaviors to improve their health and get better.

Health Claims Reviewer

Health claims reviewers work for medical and health insurance carriers reviewing and assessing the legitimacy and reasonableness of claims, authorizing payments, denying claims, and refereeing questionable claims for further investigation.

A health science bachelor’s degree is also an excellent choice for individuals intending to continue their studies into graduate programs to prepare for professional careers in occupations such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, physician assistants, audiologists, postsecondary teachers, and more. It may also be the first postsecondary educational stepping-stone leading to medical or dental school.

The chart below offers an example of some of the more common education and career paths you might follow as a health science bachelor’s degree graduate. Bear in mind, though, that the chart is not exclusive, and there are many other potential paths you can take with your health science bachelor’s degree.

How much can you earn with a health science bachelor’s?

One big question everyone has about a career in health science is, “How much does it pay?” The quick answer is that salaries in the healthcare field, including those for health science graduates, tend to run substantially higher than those for occupations in the economy as a whole. Of course, actual earnings depend on the particular job, which in turn depends most heavily on two specific components: education level and work experience. The table below lists a few job titles that represent the spectrum of salaries available to health science bachelor’s degree holders:

Career Employment Entry-Level Early Career Mid-Career Experienced Late Career
Medical and Health Services Managers 372,670 $58,680 $76,050 $99,730 $130,820 $182,600
Health Teachers, Postsecondary 255,190 $42,580 $59,690 $89,440 $143,460
Healthcare Social Workers 168,190 $34,210 $43,530 $56,200 $70,280 $84,870
Health Educators 58,780 $32,030 $39,800 $54,220 $74,660 $98,530
Community Health Workers 56,130 $26,070 $32,280 $39,540 $51,650 $65,890

Related Degrees & Continuing Education in Health Science

You’ve determined that your career interests lie in the health science field, but you’re not quite sure whether a health science bachelor’s degree will provide the proper academic footing to get you to exactly where you want to be. Or maybe a health science bachelor’s program seems like the right choice for your immediate career goals, but you’re not sure if you’ll need to extend your academic pursuits in order to reach your ultimate goals. That’s why it’s important now – at the beginning of your degree search – that you consider both alternate majors and future graduate degree options. Here are a few suggestions:

Related Degrees

Healthcare Management

A degree in healthcare management prepares graduates for supervisorial positions with duties and responsibilities both within and outside the organization itself, including staffing, financing, public relations and community outreach. If your goal is to establish a career in general organizational leadership in healthcare services, then you’ll want to consider the healthcare management major.

Healthcare Administration

Another possible alternative to the health science degree path is healthcare administration. The differences between healthcare management and healthcare administration are subtle and their duties often interchangeable. However, if you’re interests lie in taking on front office administrative-specific duties and responsibilities – like human resources and staff supervision, and interdepartmental structure and budgeting – then the healthcare administration degree path is likely your best choice.

Continuing Education

Online Master’s in Health Science

Career advancement and job mobility are the main purposes to earning a health science master’s degree. Master’s graduates are prepared to move immediately into mid-level management positions with healthcare organizations and facilities. Possible degree concentration options include Health Leadership, Health Education, and Public Health. And, of course, many master’s graduates continue on in their academic studies to earn a healthcare-related doctorate.