Best Online Health Science Degrees 2021

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The healthcare field features numerous careers for professionals with a bachelor’s degree, including exercise physiologist, recreational therapist, and nutritionist. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that healthcare workers in technical roles earn a median annual salary of $69,870, which is much higher than the median of $41,950 for all occupations.

The BLS projects employment for healthcare workers to increase 15% from 2019-2029. Individuals can enter this growing field by earning an online health sciences degree. Online learning often features benefits including lower costs, flexible curricula, and the ability to continue working while in school.

Questions for Health Science Students


  • What is a health sciences degree?

    Health sciences programs introduce students to topics such as health education and public health. Program concentrations may include healthcare administration and healthcare education.


  • How long does it take to get a health sciences degree?

    Full-time students without prior college experience typically need four years to earn a health sciences online degree. Associate degree-holders often graduate sooner.


  • Can you become a doctor with a health sciences degree?

    Physicians need an MD to practice. Students earning an online health sciences degree should consult an academic advisor to learn how core coursework and electives may prepare them for medical school.


  • Can I become a nurse with a health sciences degree?

    A health sciences degree does not qualify graduates for nursing licensure. Prospective students interested in nursing should consider pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing.


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Why Get a Degree in Health Sciences?

After earning an online health sciences degree, graduates often work in government, public health, and healthcare administration. Other bachelor’s degree-holders pursue a master’s or medical degree. These options make health sciences an appealing major for students who are passionate about healthcare but not yet committed to a specific career path.

Online health sciences degrees are more accessible for many students. Online learners can choose from in-state and out-of-state colleges and universities. Many online programs offer asynchronous courses, which do not require students to log in at specific times.

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How Much Does a Health Sciences Degree Cost?

Many colleges and universities provide cost estimates to help learners considering health sciences programs estimate their total out-of-pocket expenses. At public schools, in-state learners typically pay much lower tuition rates than out-of-state students. Other costs may include books and supplies, technology fees, and graduation fees.

Learning online often leads to additional savings. For example, distance learners do not typically pay for on-campus housing or meal plans. Online learning also eliminates the need to relocate or commute. Students pursuing a health sciences online degree may also save on childcare costs.

When determining their budget, learners should research each prospective school’s institutional and departmental financial aid programs. Many institutions award scholarships and grants covering up to 100% of tuition costs for students with excellent high school grades and standardized test scores. Transfer students, veterans, and alumni may also qualify for financial assistance.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

The free affordability calculator below helps learners determine how much they can pay for college. Users input tuition costs and their income, expenses, and financial aid. The instant result helps learners determine whether they need additional scholarships or loans to finance their education.

College Affordability Calculator

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.


How Much Do Health Sciences Majors Make?



Median: $47,710-$75,330


According to BLS data, healthcare occupations accessible to bachelor’s degree-holders offer median salaries ranging from $47,710-$75,330. Several factors, including geographic location and experience, impact an individual’s earning potential. For example, recreational therapists in the District of Columbia, California, and Connecticut earn higher median salaries than similarly qualified professionals in other states.

Employer


An individual’s employer also affects their salary potential. According to the BLS, clinical laboratory technologists and technicians working in outpatient care centers, surgical hospitals, or colleges earn higher median salaries than those employed by diagnostic laboratories or physicians’ offices. Professionals can also increase their earning potential by gaining on-the-job experience and networking with coworkers.

Certificates


Degree-seekers can work with a career counselor to research high-paying healthcare jobs. Graduates can also improve their earning potential and marketability by obtaining professional certifications and graduate certificates. These credentials help job applicants demonstrate their value and may qualify professionals for a raise or promotion. Typical requirements for certifications and certificates include taking a course and passing an exam.


Courses in Health Science

Online health sciences degrees typically feature interdisciplinary curricula with one or more concentration options, such as medical radiology, histology, and nuclear medicine technology. Core curriculum requirements vary based on degree. Health sciences students can earn a BS or a BAS. However, BAS programs often require applicants to hold an associate degree.

The following sample curriculum highlights three core courses learners typically complete before selecting a concentration. These classes provide foundational knowledge that students need to excel in upper-division coursework. Students should contact an academic advisor to learn how their prospective online health sciences program prepares degree-seekers for careers in the field.

Learners in this course study healthcare delivery’s history, evolution, and contemporary trends. Analyzing these topics helps students understand the many ethical and legal issues healthcare professionals face, along with how these workers should respond to challenging situations. Coursework also covers healthcare finance, including Medicare reimbursement and typical payment processes.

Public health involves the use of educational initiatives and assistance to improve a community’s health and longevity. Learners analyze various evidence-based practices, case studies, and challenges that modern public health professionals encounter. Students examine international public health crises, such as infectious disease and malnutrition. Health sciences and public health majors usually take this course together.

Learners typically complete this capstone course during their senior year. During the class, students develop a health sciences portfolio containing undergraduate work samples. Degree-seekers typically complete a self-assessment detailing how the included samples demonstrate the program’s learning outcomes. Students may also develop a business proposal emphasizing leadership, entrepreneurial thinking, and professional values.

Certifications and Licensure for Health Sciences

Although the BLS projects the need for healthcare workers to grow significantly from 2019-2029, graduates of online health sciences degrees may need additional credentials to qualify for some positions. Professional certifications help individuals stand out in the job market. To qualify for a certification, candidates may need to obtain professional experience, join an organization, and pass an exam.

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant


CCMAs assist physicians and nurses by recording patients’ vital signs, administering medications, and maintaining medical records. Candidates must possess some relevant professional experience and pass an exam. The National Healthcareer Association offers candidates test-preparation materials for an additional cost. To maintain the certification, professionals pay a renewal fee every two years.

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Certified Coding Specialist - Physician-Based


The American Health Information Management Association awards this credential to experienced coding professionals with an academic background in healthcare. Candidates take a four-hour, 115-question exam covering diagnosis coding, research, and compliance. Test-takers may use two approved code books during the exam. Members of the association receive a 25% certification discount.

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Certified Pharmacy Technician


This certification qualifies professionals to work under a licensed pharmacist. Candidates must complete an approved training program, undergo a criminal background check, and pass the certification exam. The exam comprises 90 multiple-choice questions, and test-takers receive unofficial results minutes after finishing. Certified professionals must take continuing education courses to qualify for renewal.

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Scholarships for Health Sciences

In addition to institutional aid, learners can apply for private scholarships to help minimize student debt. Typical application requirements include high school or undergraduate transcripts, recommendation letters, and an essay. Some awards support women or members of a minority group.


  • $2,000 'No Essay' Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: College students majoring in any subject can apply for this award. Applicants must create a Niche account. Learners can apply for the scholarship each month as long as they remain enrolled in an accredited school.

    Amount: $2,000

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  • The Urban Scholarship Fund

    Who Can Apply: The Texas Association of Developing Colleges awards this scholarship to Texas residents studying at any two-year or four-year school in the state. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.

    Amount: $1,000-$2,000

    Explore Here


Best Online Health Sciences Degrees 2021

  1. Cox College
    Location

    Springfield, MO

    Tuition

    $9600

    Cox College's online Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Imaging is structured to prepare students for careers in medical imaging. Students choose 1 of the 6 specialties in the program: computed tomography (CT), diagnostic medical sonography (DMS), DMS echocardiography (ECH), interventional radiography (IR), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or health care leadership. The courses in the DMS specialty are not available online, but all others are. The program can be taken via 1 of the 3 available tracks: entry-level, specialty or completion. The entry-level track is for those with minimal college-level education who acquire an associate degree in radiography and obtain radiology certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) before progressing through the bachelor's program. The specialty track is designed for students already registered in radiology or a similar imaging field and who already hold associate degrees. The completion track is for registered radiographers and other special imaging fields who simply want to complete their diagnostic imaging credentials. Aside from the application, admission requirements include successful completion of an academic degree or radiologic technologist license and transcripts showing a minimum GPA of 3.0 in an academic degree or imaging program.

  2. Independence University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $18021

    Students interested in studying health sciences may pursue the Bachelor of Science in Health Service Management degree at Independence University. This fully online program is designed to prepare students for hospital or health care supervisory or management positions. The coursework combines health sciences training with business fundamentals, such as information technology and marketing. The 180-credit program has an accelerated structure that enables students to complete the program in 38 months. Admission is rolling, with courses starting every month, and admissions are determined after interviews with the admissions director, who makes the final approval. Prospective students who are interested in applying should submit their online application and transcripts and meet with a financial planner to discuss tuition options. Students at IU receive individual mentorship and advisement from faculty and advisers and an online admissions course to prepare students for the online course environment. Enrolled students receive equipment, materials, textbooks, new tablets and laptops at no extra cost.

  3. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $4478

    At University of Central Florida (UCF), students may earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. Though not a fully online program, it is a hybrid of delivery formats as some courses in the program may be available via distance learning. The 120-credit program is offered in 2 tracks: health sciences and pre-clinical, with each of those tracks making up 28 hours of the total requirements. The pre-clinical track is intended for students who plan to go into graduate-level clinical programs, such as physical therapy, medicine or pharmacy. To obtain the bachelor's in the health sciences track, students must maintain overall GPAs of at least 2.5, while pre-clinical students need to keep their GPAs at or above 3.0. To apply, students submit their online applications, official transcripts from all schools attended and scores from the SAT or ACT. The program additionally requires 2 years of 1 foreign language in high school or 1 year of college foreign language study.

  4. South Dakota State University
    Location

    Brookings, SD

    Tuition

    $7155

    South Dakota State University offers students who are interested in health science the option to earn an online Bachelor of Science in Community and Public Health or an online health science minor. The 120-credit BS program combines online and face-to-face courses. This program trains students in health education and promotion to prepare graduates to develop, implement and assess health programs and advocate for certain health issues. The health sciences minor is comprised of 18 credits, and depending on the course, instruction is conducted online, in classrooms, in labs and in the field. This minor, which addresses public health principles and strategies, encourages students to apply health concepts gained from a range of life sciences to serving the health needs of the community. Admission is handled on a rolling basis throughout the year, and interested students should submit, along with their applications, their high school transcripts, any college transcripts if transferring and ACT scores. Students should have ACT composite scores of at least 18 or cumulative GPAs of at least 2.6.

  5. Weber State University
    Location

    Ogden, UT

    Tuition

    $4611

    At Weber State University, students can earn an online Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) degree. The school claims it was the first in the world to develop an online MLS degree. Graduates are eligible to take the MLS certification exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). This 4-year degree is divided into 2 parts: first, students complete the 2-year Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT), which prepares students to complete the ASCP's MLT certification exam, and then students complete the 2-year MLS program, which provides students with a thorough foundation of knowledge in laboratory science. Students of this program will not only conduct lab work, but they will also interpret results, conduct research and create new methods for testing. Lab work must be completed under the supervision of a mentor in order to gain credit for that portion of the program. Prospective students may apply online at any time since WSU has an open-enrollment admissions policy. Admission is determined by official transcripts, completion of certain prerequisite coursework and a signed statement of support by a lab manager. Online students can also access an online orientation class that familiarizes them with the delivery format and pace of the program.

  6. Bryan College of Health Sciences
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    Tuition

    $13856

    The Bachelor of Science Health Professions degree completion program available from Bryan College of Health Sciences offers individuals with an associate degree in health care the opportunity to earn their bachelor's degree by completing additional general education requirements with an emphasis on courses in health care management. This 120-credit hour program requires application of health care-related credits earned in the student's associate degree program to allow for a shorter time to complete the bachelor's degree. In addition to the general BS in Health Professions, Bryan College offers the degree with a Respiratory Therapy track option . Both the General and Respiratory Therapy tracks are available 100% online and with no required clinical hours. In addition to the health care-related associate degree prerequisite, applicants must submit 2 professional references to be admitted into either degree track program. Applicants whose first language is not English must also provide a TOEFL test score (550 paper, 213 computer, or 79 internet). Individuals applying for the Respiratory Therapy track must additionally hold either a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) certification, and submit official college transcripts indicating an overall GPA of 2.5 or better.

  7. Midwestern State University
    Location

    Wichita Falls, TX

    Tuition

    $5216

    The Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences degree program offered by Midwestern State University (MSU-Texas) is a fully online degree completion program designed for registered imaging technologists seeking to expand and advance their career options in the radiologic sciences. The program is not for students interested in entering the field for the first time. The BSRS program consists of 120 total credit hours of coursework, including 42 credit hours of general education courses and 78 credit hours courses, 42 of which are professional certification credits. Students are awarded the required 42 professional certification credit hours for holding a current valid professional (ARRT, NMTCB or ARDMS) radiologic certification. To be admitted into MSU-Texas's BSRS program, a student must meet all MSU-Texas admissions requirements and all BSRS program requirements. BSRS program admission requirements include either current enrollment as a second year student in an accredited radiologic sciences program or current registration as an imaging technologist. Applicants must additionally have an overall GPA of 2.0 or better on all post-secondary coursework. All MSU online undergraduate students pay in-state tuition rates regardless of where they are located.

  8. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    Location

    Stevens Point, WI

    Tuition

    $6698

    Designed with working adults in mind, the University of Wisconsin's Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management prepares individuals interested in changing or advancing their current careers. Students of this 63-credit hour degree completion program learn about a range of health-related issues, including health behavior strategies, health and wellness information technologies, and how to create effective health and wellness programs. All degree coursework is available fully online and delivered in an asynchronous format, allowing students to study and complete their assignments according to their own schedules. Degree completion time varies depending on the chosen course load, but the entire program can normally be completed in 3 years or less. Distant learner support services include online library resources and career counseling, as well as access to faculty and advisors via email and phone. To be eligible for admission, students must have completed 60 credit hours of transferable general education coursework earned with a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Students must also complete 4 prerequisite courses (composition, psychology, biology and public speaking) prior to beginning the degree curriculum.

  9. Towson University
    Location

    Towson, MD

    Tuition

    $6560

    Towson University's Bachelor of Science in Allied Health degree completion programs are designed for currently practicing health care professionals interested in increasing their knowledge and skills in the field, thus allowing them to expand and advance their career opportunities. This degree program is offered in 6 specialization tracks, each available with some level of online coursework. The Advanced Respiratory and Administration/Management tracks, however, can be completed 100% online. Admission into TU's BS in Allied Health program requires an associate degree in an allied health major earned with an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher. Graduating with this degree requires completion of at least 120 credit hours of study, including up to 64 lower-division credits transferred in from the student's associate degree program. A minimum of 32 upper-division credits must be taken through Towson University, and the final 30 credits must also be taken through TU. Most students will complete the entire degree program in 2 years.

  10. Baptist College of Health Sciences
    Location

    Memphis, TN

    Tuition

    $9864

    Baptist College's Bachelor of Health Sciences in Health Administration program prepares graduates for employment in healthcare management positions in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and hospice facilities, clinics, physicians practices and with health insurance companies. BC offers students 3 study options for this degree. Both the 4-year and accelerated 3-year options are designed for students with little or no prior college experience. The 19-month degree completion option allows working adults and others to transfer in 60 or more previously earned college-level credits. All options are presented in a blended format that combines fully online and in-person class coursework. Freshman (with 0 to 29 transferrable college-level credits) admission requirements include submission of official high school transcripts indicating a cumulative GPA, and either ACT or SAT test scores. Minimum GPA is dependent on specific ACT/SAT minimum test scores, and vice-versa, as set out in the admissions webpage. Applicants must additionally have completed 4 years of English, 2 years of laboratory science, and 2 years of college prep classes while in high school. Transfer students with 30 to 60 transferable college-level credits are required to have earned an overall 2.7 GPA on all college coursework, while transfer students with 60 or more transferable credits must have an overall GPA of 2.5 on all college coursework.

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