Online Health Services Degrees

October 13, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Health Services Degrees

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With strong organizational skills and a desire to help people, it’s possible to work in the upper echelons of healthcare as a manager, health service administrator or executive. Online health service degree programs prepare individuals for successful careers in private medical practices, clinics and other healthcare facilities. This guide provides an overview of available degree programs and the steps involved in securing a job in this growing field.

Before enrolling in a health sciences degree program, prospective students must first consider all of the options available to them. Whether their interests lie in nutrition, healthcare management, or another area within this field, it’s important for prospective students to find a school that offers their desired concentration and level of study. Taking into consideration factors like cost of enrollment, class size and program count, we have listed the top health sciences degrees and programs that are offered both online and on-campus to help students find the right school. Check out the top options for the 2018-2019 school year below.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org 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.

Featured Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Health Services Administrator: Milestone Map

Those interested in making a career in health services administration can start as early as high school by taking relevant courses and volunteering in healthcare environments. Those who pursue a degree in a medical field, such as by becoming a registered nurse, may be able to transition to health services administration fairly easily. Here is an example career path of a health administrator professional:

High School

Exceled in information technology; volunteered at local hospital.

Online Bachelor’s Degree

Completed four-year bachelor’s degree in health administration.

Work Experience

Worked as night manager at 24-hour urgent care clinic.

Online Master’s Degree

Completed online master’s while continuing to work at clinic.

Management Role

Took a job at regional hospital system managing outreach to rural populations.

Promotion

Got promoted to executive role coordinating all outpatient programs between hospitals.

Completing Your Health Services Degree Online

Whether they work as an administrative professional in an office or as a floor nurse in a hospital, working people often need a flexible educational schedule to accommodate their jobs. Online programs in health services make it much easier for working professionals or busy parents to achieve their educational goals. Since these degrees generally require little if any labs or fieldwork, students can usually complete their degrees entirely online, working at their own pace as long as they meet assignment deadlines.

The online degree program is typically comprised of online lectures and presentations, as well as a virtual dashboard where students can interact with instructors and other students. Participating in online discussion forums and submitting assignments through a dedicated portal are common elements of an online degree program, so students need to be comfortable communicating online, downloading materials for various projects, and conducting independent research on the Web.

Online Health Services Degrees by Level

Depending on the degree level, students should expect to spend at least two years, and up to seven, obtaining their education in healthcare services. Once all required courses are complete, some schools may assist with job placement opportunities and provide other resources to students.

Even though most employers prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree in health services, individuals may be able to enter the field with an associate degree and some work experience in a healthcare setting. An associate of arts or associate of science degree encompasses basic healthcare administration skills, providing an overview of software used by many healthcare organizations, an introduction to medical terminology, and knowledge of basic business principles. The two-year program can prepare students for a bachelor’s degree program later in their careers, or allow them to enter the field sooner with some training and foundational knowledge

Individuals who are interested in a leadership role in the field of healthcare administration, or who want to engage in scientific research, can complete a doctoral program that focuses on an area such as community health, healthcare administration, or public health policy. Programs typically include foundational courses, core courses in research, specialization courses and electives, and a dissertation; completing a master’s degree first can shorten the time needed to obtain a PhD.

Learning Outcomes for Health Services Students

Online degree programs in health services administration usually include courses in general education and business—such as sociology, natural science and financial management—to give students a strong foundation for the specialized courses that follow. More advanced courses give graduates a strong grasp of current healthcare policies, decision-making processes, healthcare organizational structures, and healthcare management processes. Examples of courses available in various online healthcare administration degree programs include:

Healthcare Policies

An analysis of public healthcare policies that govern various organizations and institutions across the country. Students examine various policies in detail and evaluate their impact on how healthcare services are delivered.

Healthcare Marketing

A look at identifying target markets, developing healthcare marketing plans, and implementing marketing strategies across healthcare organizations. Students learn the key principles, strategies and methods for marketing healthcare services.

Data Analysis in Healthcare

Covers research methods and data analysis processes used in the healthcare field. Focuses on the skills necessary to formulate research hypotheses, review data critically, and conduct high-level research.

Leadership in Healthcare

Because many healthcare administrators and managers lead teams, this course trains students in the key principles of leadership in a healthcare organization.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare Management

This course outlines common issues encountered in various healthcare settings, both public and private, and explores effective ways to solve problems legally and without compromising ethical standards.

Online Programs Must-Have Checklist

Schools across the country offer accredited online health services degree programs; the student’s first task is to select one that is aligned with their educational, career and personal goals. Following are some things to consider when choosing an online health services program:

Online Health Services Degree Program Accreditation

Accreditation is a vital factor in selecting a program, as it holds schools and individual programs to high standards and ensures a quality education. In today’s competitive job market, employers seek out candidates who have graduated from accredited institutions, and may not even consider those who have not. Students planning to enroll in a health services administration degree program should ensure the school is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH); graduate students should also look for programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

Online Program Enrollment Timeline: Health Services

After high school, the educational track to enter the field of healthcare administration can take between two and seven years, depending on the level of education the student wants to pursue. Planning ahead from one step to the step is essential for successful completion of a program. Here is a closer look at a tentative online doctorate program enrollment timeline for interested students:

Time to Complete
Step 1 Submit application for the Graduate Records Examinations (GREs) given in October.9 to 10 months
Step 2 Take GREs. Choose programs for application submittal8 months
Step 3 Submit requests for undergraduate transcripts to be sent to prospective programs. Request letters of recommendation from professors and other academic advisors.7 months
Step 4 File the FAFSA application and other required documents. Sit for department interviews.5 to 6 months
Step 5 Accept program of your choice and decline other offers.3 to 4 months

Students interested in pursuing an education in health services administration can also take some extra steps to stand out to admissions committees. Beyond getting good grades, students can highlight their interest in the field by doing some of the following:

Health Services: Career Concentrations

Health service managers, administrators and executives are responsible for developing and executing strategies that help a healthcare organization run smoothly and achieve operational goals. They must have a comprehensive knowledge of healthcare laws and regulations, an understanding of current technologies, and strong communication and leadership skills. Most work in the offices of a healthcare facility, such as a hospital, nursing home, clinic, or a medical practice.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job growth for medical and health services managers is expected to be much faster than average through 2024, with a projected increase of 17 percent. That translates to more than 56,000 jobs being added to the market, bringing plentiful opportunities for healthcare managers and executives. Those with advanced degrees and several years of experience may find the job forecast even brighter.

Within the field, professionals can specialize in a number of different areas or environments. For example, it’s possible to work for a government agency developing public health policy, for a major hospital focused on marketing strategies, or at a long-term care facility finding ways to deliver efficient, cost-effective care. Below are some example careers in the field.

CareerDescriptionNational Median Annual Salary (2014)Minimum Education & Licensure
Medical & Health Services Manager (Government)Oversees operations of a military hospital, veteran’s hospital, or similar organization .$98,310Bachelor’s Degree
Medical & Health Services Manager (Hospitals)Directs and coordinates medical and health services organizations and ensures compliance with laws and regulations.$99,930Bachelor's Degree; state licensure to work in assisted-living facilities
Medical Administrative AssistantHandles administrative tasks for a medical services administrator or executive.$32,240High school diploma; executive secretaries may need bachelor’s degree and work experience
Social & Community Service ManagersDevelops programs and services, manages budgets, and reviews effectiveness of various programs.$62,740Bachelor's degree; some positions may require a master’s
Nursing ManagerSupervises nursing staff and implements appropriate training programs. May also develop systems for patient care initiatives.$81,095.00Associate degree; RN license and training may be required

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics PayScale.com

Next Step: Licenses & Certifications

Individuals with a health services administration degree may choose to specialize in a certain field, such as nursing home administration, which may require state licensure. In addition, completing a certification program for professional development purposes can provide individuals with additional job skills and make them more relevant in the job market. Examples of certification programs include:

Similar Online Public Health Programs

If a career as a health services administration professional sounds interesting but doesn’t feel like the perfect career path, consider other online public health programs that provide opportunities to help people and work in the health or wellness industry. Similar degree programs include:Online Health Education Degrees:

Takes an in-depth look at theoretical and practical issues affecting the nation’s healthcare system, as well as common challenges that individuals and communities face. Graduate degrees prepare students for a career in teaching, counseling or consulting.Online Nutrition Degrees:

Studies food from a scientific perspective and how food affects the body. Programs prepare students to serve as nutritionists who advise individual clients or communities on how to meet their nutritional needs effectively and make sound choices at every stage of life.Online Health Science Degrees:

Comprehensive, science-based programs that focus on human biology, quantitatie methods, nutrition, neuroscience and physiology. Students are prepared for careers in medicine, public health or research.

2-Year schools

Hutchinson Community College View School Profile Hutchinson, KS $2688
State Fair Community College View School Profile Sedalia, MO $3600
Western Texas College View School Profile Snyder, TX $2088
Minnesota State Community and Technical College View School Profile Fergus Falls, MN $4824
East Mississippi Community College View School Profile Scooba, MS $2400
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College View School Profile Perkinston, MS $2800
Albany Technical College View School Profile Albany, GA $2140
Indian Hills Community College View School Profile Ottumwa, IA $3960
Alexandria Technical & Community College View School Profile Alexandria, MN $4768
Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas View School Profile De Queen, AR $2445
Northland Community and Technical College View School Profile Thief River Falls, MN $4900
Laramie County Community College View School Profile Cheyenne, W $2136
Ozarks Technical Community College View School Profile Springfield, MO $3564
Craven Community College View School Profile New Bern, NC $1824
Shoreline Community College View School Profile Shoreline, WA $3328
Rochester Community and Technical College View School Profile Rochester, MN $4874
Camden County College View School Profile Blackwood, NJ $3330
Wallace State Community College View School Profile Hanceville, AL $3510
GateWay Community College View School Profile Phoenix, AZ $2064
Kennebec Valley Community College View School Profile Fairfield, ME $2760
Northeast Texas Community College View School Profile Mount Pleasant, TX $3000
Guilford Technical Community College View School Profile Jamestown, NC $2128
Great Falls College Montana State University View School Profile Great Falls, MT $2496
Columbus State Community College View School Profile Columbus, OH $3808
Northcentral Technical College View School Profile Wausau, WI $3911
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College View School Profile Fennimore, WI $4002
South Central College View School Profile North Mankato, MN $4788
Cincinnati State View School Profile Cincinnati, OH $3567
Century College View School Profile White Bear Lake, MN $4770
Northeastern Junior College View School Profile Sterling, CO $4107
Stark State College View School Profile North Canton, OH $2796
Northwest Iowa Community College View School Profile Sheldon, IA $4710
Rowan College at Burlington County View School Profile Pemberton, NJ $3480
Marion Technical College View School Profile Marion, OH $4080
Fayetteville Technical Community College View School Profile Fayetteville, NC $2432
North Central State College View School Profile Mansfield, OH $3016
Davidson County Community College View School Profile Thomasville, NC $2081
Ridgewater College View School Profile Willmar, MN $4791
Wake Technical Community College View School Profile Raleigh, NC $2432
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College View School Profile Green Bay, WI $3911
Lakeshore Technical College View School Profile Cleveland, WI $3910
Minneapolis Community and Technical College View School Profile Minneapolis, MN $4611
Spokane Community College View School Profile Spokane, WA $2688
Eastern Iowa Community College View School Profile Davenport, IA $4768
Hibbing Community College View School Profile Hibbing, MN $4681
Beaufort County Community College View School Profile Washington, NC $2432
Moraine Park Technical College View School Profile Fond du Lac, WI $3965
Herkimer College View School Profile Herkimer, NY $4270
Kirtland Community College View School Profile Roscommon, MI $4740
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College View School Profile Shell Lake, WI $4171

4-Year schools

University of Central Florida View School Profile Orlando, FL $4478

Students who wish to earn an online Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration may do so at the University of Central Florida. By completing this 120-credit-hour degree, students can learn about the managerial aspect of the health care field. After graduation, students are prepared to land entry-level positions in hospitals, medical group practices, home health care agencies and other types of health care organizations. Students will also be ready to earn advanced degrees in health services administration or related disciplines.

Independence University View School Profile Salt Lake City, UT $18021

Independence University offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management that can be completed online in as little as 38 months. This degree is intended to prepare students to pursue careers in health care management. Students who enroll in this 180-credit hour program can expect to take business- and medical-focused courses such as Medical Terminology for Health Care Professionals, Principles of Marketing and Introduction to Pharmacology. After graduation, students often work in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and other health care environments.

Brigham Young University-Idaho View School Profile Rexburg, ID $3920

Brigham Young University-Idaho offers its students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration online. This degree, which will soon become certified by the Association of University Programs in Health Care Administration (AUPHA), consists of 120 credit hours and prepares students to pursue careers in management or administration at hospitals, nursing homes, rehab facilities and other types of health care settings. Students can also opt to further their education and earn a master's degree in health care administration, hospital administration or business administration after completing this program.

University of Alabama at Birmingham View School Profile Birmingham, AL $8040

At University of Alabama at Birmingham, students may enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management. This program can be completed entirely online and provides students with important knowledge of the health care industry so they can pursue careers as mid-level managers in settings such as hospitals and ambulatory care centers. Students may choose to specialize in 1 of the 5 following tracks: clinical manager, general manager, pre-professional, long-term care administration, or health information or occupational therapy fast track. For admission consideration, prospective students must hold a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Minot State University View School Profile Minot, ND $5192

At Minot State University, students can pursue a Health Management Science Minor online. This minor is 24 credit hours and is available to non-nursing majors. Its purpose is to educate students on how to make informed decisions on personal health management. Students who enroll in this minor must complete a required course in stress management, which focuses on stress management techniques that can help achieve wellness. They are also required to choose from a variety of cultural diversity, developmental, health science and elective courses. Some examples of these courses include nutrition, ethnic and cultural diversity in America and pathophysiology.

Weber State University View School Profile Ogden, UT $4611

At Weber State University, students can earn an online Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration that is accredited by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. This program focuses on decision-making, individual and group behavior, the process of change, and organization design and culture. To be accepted, students must complete several prerequisites, including Medical Terminology, Integrated Anatomy and Physiology, and the Health Care System. After completing this 120-credit degree with a 2.75 GPA or higher, students may land leadership positions in health care settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers and skilled nursing facilities.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point View School Profile Stevens Point, WI $6698

At the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, students have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology online. This 61-credit degree offers 2 tracks: health information management, which focuses on the business side of health care, and health information technology, which trains students on the technical aspect of health care. While the health information management prepares students to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator, or RHIA, exam, the health information technology track gets students ready for the Certified Professional in Health Information & Management Systems and other health IT certification exams. Prospective students who are interested in enrolling are required to have approximately 60 transferable college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA and complete prerequisite coursework in biology, college algebra and communications.

Towson University View School Profile Towson, MD $6560

Towson University gives students the chance to pursue a fully online Bachelor of Technical and Professional Studies in Allied Health. This program is ideal for students who hold an associate degree in an allied health discipline as it can allow them to further their careers. There are 6 available tracks, including administration and management, advanced respiratory therapy, family studies, education, science and professional preparation, and health promotion, wellness, prevention and community health education. While students are permitted to transfer up to 64 credits from regionally accredited community colleges, they are required to complete the non-completed core curriculum courses at Towson University.

University of Minnesota-Crookston View School Profile Crookston, MN $10180

University of Minnesota Crookston offers an online Bachelor of Applied Health. This 120-credit-hour program helps students learn how to be leaders in the health care industry. To enroll in this degree, students must complete an associate degree in a health care field. Several examples of required courses include Risk Management in Health Care, Introduction to Health Information Systems and Decision Making in Health Management. After graduation, most students pursue careers in health care environments that value clinical expertise, such as allied health and governmental regulatory agencies.

Midwestern State University View School Profile Wichita Falls, TX $5216
Baptist College of Health Sciences View School Profile Memphis, TN $9864
Lincoln Memorial University View School Profile Harrogate, TN $20520
Winona State University View School Profile Winona, MN $7103
University of Cincinnati View School Profile Cincinnati, OH $9322
Northern Arizona University View School Profile Flagstaff, AZ $8698
Florida International University View School Profile Miami, FL $4721
University of Missouri View School Profile Columbia, MO $8286
Bellevue University View School Profile Bellevue, NE $6840
Park University View School Profile Parkville, MO $11730
University of North Georgia View School Profile Dahlonega, GA $3648
Western Carolina University View School Profile Cullowhee, NC $3893
Clarion University View School Profile Clarion, PA $7238
Southeast Missouri State University View School Profile Cape Girardeau, MO $5979
National University View School Profile La Jolla, CA $13016
University of Mississippi View School Profile University, MS $7644
University of Colorado Colorado Springs View School Profile Colorado Springs, CO $6624
Youngstown State University View School Profile Youngstown, OH $7847
University of Florida View School Profile Gainesville, FL $4477
Missouri Southern State University View School Profile Joplin, MO $5311
Missouri State University View School Profile Springfield, MO $6150
Northern Kentucky University View School Profile Highland Heights, KY $9000
University of Maine at Fort Kent View School Profile Fort Kent, ME $6600
Boise State University View School Profile Boise, ID $4872
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay View School Profile Green Bay, WI $6298
Tarleton State University View School Profile Stephenville, TX $3900
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse View School Profile La Crosse, WI $7585
Bowling Green State University View School Profile Bowling Green, OH $9096
Old Dominion University View School Profile Norfolk, VA $6330
Northwestern State University of Louisiana View School Profile Natchitoches, LA $5180
Dakota State University View School Profile Madison, SD $6984
University of North Florida View School Profile Jacksonville, FL $3853
University of Massachusetts-Amherst View School Profile Amherst, MA $14590
University of Wisconsin-Superior View School Profile Superior, WI $6535
Northeastern State University View School Profile Tahlequah, OK $5085
Mississippi University for Women View School Profile Columbus, MS $5965
Northwood University-Michigan View School Profile Midland, MI $23860
The University of West Florida View School Profile Pensacola, FL $3735
St. Joseph's College-New York View School Profile Brooklyn, NY $24500
Concordia University-Saint Paul View School Profile Saint Paul, MN $21250

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