A Health Science degree is perfect for those who want to work in healthcare; but, not necessarily in direct patient care. Careers are available for health science majors in administration, laboratories, health education, public health, etc.; however, most of the positions require a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries for some of these occupations range from $46,000 for a health educator to $84,000 for a medical and health services manager.
It's been said that what a high school degree was for students 50 years ago, what a college degree is now. In other words, if you want a good paying job, a college diploma is a must. There are several degree levels from which to choose: Associate Degree (typically from a community college), Bachelor, Master and Doctoral (from a four-year college or university). Best Medical Degrees is committed to helping students find the best online, healthcare degree programs, and researches colleges and universities to assist students in finding a good, educational fit.
The College Board, a publication dedicated to connecting students to higher education opportunities, in their Annual Survey of Colleges, recently published that the cost of attending a four-year, public university 30 years ago was estimated at $7,833 per year; by, 2015, that cost had jumped to $19,548 for a year. Private colleges were even higher, ranging from $10,088 per academic year in 1975 to $32,405 in 2015.
Paying for Your Degree
There are several avenues to explore to help you pay for your degree.
Tuition Free State Colleges
In 2015, President Obama proposed a federally supported, reduced tuition community college education for need-based students. Although, President Obama's plan hasn't yet been enacted, several states have begun offering tuition free, community college programs for their residents. It's worth it to check to see if your state is one of them.
Employer Assisted Tuition Assistance
Because of the increase in patient care and supportive services, many healthcare employers offer tuition assistance to employees furthering their education. If you're currently working in healthcare, check with your Human Resources department to see if your employer offers such a program.
Federal Student Aid
Financial assistance, supported by the federal government, is available to students entering or returning to college. Various forms of financial aid are available to students including grants or student loans. You can learn more about whether you qualify for federal, educational financial aid by talking with your high school guidance counselor or college/university financial aid office. There is an application deadline to qualify for this assistance so be certain to check for information on the Department of Education website Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Higher education is one of the most expensive decisions you'll make in your lifetime, besides buying a house; but, don't be discouraged. There are schools with lower tuition rates for in-state students; and, special rates for online, or distance education students. Best Medical Degrees, using information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. News and World Report and various accreditation organizations, has identified 10 of the least expensive, online Health Science bachelor degrees.
1. West Texas A&M University
Like most schools established in the early 20th century, West Texas A&M University began as a "normal school", or teacher's school, in the Texas Panhandle. The school experienced exponential growth following the influx of GIs following WWII during the late 40s and 50s; and, in 1989, the school joined the Texas A&M University System. Today, the university has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report ranking of Best Online Bachelor's Programs in its 2016 ratings.
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences includes eight areas of specified study towards the Bachelor of Science in Health Science. These general areas include: Business Management, Business Administration, Accounting and Finance, Health Promotion, Cognitive Health, Adolescent and Youth Health, Public Relations and Public Policy. The degree prepares students to enter the healthcare industry with a general knowledge and the ability to function in a variety of healthcare or hospital services, such as human resources, marketing, customer service or administration. The Texas A&M University System has a multiple layered tuition structure with a guaranteed tuition and fee plan of Statutory Tuition, Designated Tuition and Differential Tuition costs. Information on the Bachelor degree in Health Sciences and tuition structure is available at West Texas A&M University.
Length of Program: 120 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $50 (State Resident minimum of $120); Border State rate is $80 per semester credit hour (minimum of $120 per semester)
2. Eastern Carolina University
This university, located in Greenville, North Carolina, is the third largest university in the state and was founded in 1907 as a teacher's college, the East Carolina Teachers Training School. Ironically, the school did not graduate its first male student until 1932. Since then, the school was renamed East Carolina University in 1951 and became part of the University of North Carolina in 1972. It has a current enrollment of over 22,000 students.
This public university is ranked #194 in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report and offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Service Management. Through it's College of Allied Health Sciences, located at East Carolina University, the B.S. in Health Service Management qualifies students for mid-level healthcare management positions. Coursework will include general education courses in English, biology, social sciences, health information management, etc. East Carolina University College of Allied Health Science is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIMM). The school offers discounts for active and retired military.
Length of Program: 126 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $163.45 (NC resident); $702.60 (non-resident)
3. Fort Hays State University
This university was established in 1902 and is located in Hays, Kansas. From humble beginnings, the school now enjoys a student enrollment of 4,700 on campus and over 6,000 students in their virtual college programs. Fort Hays is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). U.S. News and World Report ranks Fort Hays State University's online Bachelor's programs at #24 in its ranking of Best Online Bachelors Programs. Additional information can be found at Fort Hays State University.
The Fort Hays State University's Bachelor of Health Science degree requires study in general education courses and health science courses in Responding to Emergencies, Principles of Nutrition, Medical Terminology, Consumer Education, Global Health, Environmental Health, Epidemiology in Public Health, and Legal Issues in Healthcare. The program also offers concentration areas of gerontology, health promotion, sociology of medicine and aging and leadership.
4. University of West Florida
Classes first began at the state system's University of West Florida in 1967 and it was in 2015 that the university established its College of Health, when it separated from the long-standing College of Science, Engineering and Health. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and has a diverse student population totaling 12,798. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #212 nationwide for it's Online Bachelor's Programs.
The B.S. in Health Science degree provides three tracks from which to choose: a general degree, a specialized degree in Health Administration or a specialization in Public Health. The degree also provides the foundation for students wishing to continue their education in physical therapy, chiropractic medicine, nutrition or physician assistance programs. The college recommends students incorporate core program requirements into their B.S. in Health Science if they wish to pursue an advanced degree in healthcare. Because of state regulations, not all states authorize online education and it's advised you verify that your state is one that does. University of West Florida will take you to the degree page for detailed information.
Length of Program: 120 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $218.98 (Florida Residents); $648.37 (Non Residents)
5. Southern Indiana University
Southern Indiana University began in 1965 as a regional campus of Indiana State University. The school currently supports four academic colleges, including the Romain College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Professions and Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education. Southern Indiana University holds accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This university has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report for its nursing, business and engineering programs.
This three-year BS in Health Science program will include studies in health administration, gerontology, health professions and public health. The program provides a generalist overview; but, the college also provides five specialty studies in: Gerontology, Long-Term Care Administration, Health Administration, Health Promotion and Worksite Wellness and Public Health. Southern Indiana University provides more information on SIU's BS in Health Science.
Length of Program: Varies by Specialty
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $246.16 (Residents); $587.56 (Non Residents)
6. Weber State University
This Oregon, Utah university was founded in 1889 as Weber Stake Academy. In it's long history, the school has grown to include 225 certificate and degree programs and 13 graduate degrees. WSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and has been ranked as one of the Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report and by College Choice as one of the Best Western Regional Universities.
Weber State university offers a BS in Health Services Administration, with a Health Services Administration, Health Information Management or Long-Term Care Administration emphasis. Coursework ranges from medical terminology, the health care system, human resources development, health care economics, computer applications in health care and legal and ethical aspects of health care. More information may be found at Weber State University.
Length of Program: Not Specified
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $252.00 (Online Students Only)
7. University of Missouri-Mizzou Online
The University of Missouri, through it Mizzlou Online distance education program, brings more than 837 classes online for students throughout the country, with 90 University of Missouri certificates and degrees. This public institution, located in Columbia, Missouri, was founded in 1839; and, now has a student enrollment of over 27,000 students. Accredited by the Commission on Higher Learning of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Mizzlou Online offers a Bachelor's of Science in Health Sciences developed for students wanting to enter a non-clinical profession in healthcare.
Besides the general education courses in humanities, mathematics and English, this Bachelor of Science degree concentrates on health care in the United States, clinical ethics, healthcare leadership and organization and pubic health principles. Mizzou Online ranks #159 in U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs. Detailed information on the curriculum, as well as scholarship opportunities and veterans' assistance, may be found at Mizzou Online.
Length of Program: 120 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $272.60 (Missouri Residents); $351,10 (Non-Residents)
8. University of South Dakota
Established in 1862, while the Dakotas were still a territory, the University of South Dakota, didn't begin accepting students until 1882 and had an enrollment of 69 students by 1883. From those meager beginnings, USD has grown to day into an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students with eight on-campus colleges and an active online program offering 12 undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as #180 in its National Universities ranking as well as #143 Top Schools for Veterans. The school offers special rates for military personnel. The University of South Dakota is accredited by the HLC.
The Health Science Bachelor of Science at USD prepares students for entry-level healthcare positions, based in humanities, math, science and healthcare delivery. This program is offers several career options in: Pre-Professional Studies, Health Care Advancement and Health Care Studies, Healthcare Advancement Studies, Undergraduate Clinical Informatics, Undergraduate Public Heath and Undergraduate Research studies. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and detailed information is available at University of South Dakota.
Length of Program: 120 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $333.35 (Online Only)
9. Bellevue University
Situated in Bellevue, Nebraska, this university was established in 1966 as Bellevue College to accommodate the many college aged students brought to the area by the town's growth and by the families of the Offutt Air Force Base. Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, the school, as of 2014, had graduated over 48,000 students and enrolls nearly 10,000 annually.
This private institution has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as #72 for Best Online Bachelor's Programs and offers an online, Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Science. The curriculum offers two concentrations one, with an emphasis on science for those pursing a medical professions; and one for students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare administration with a special emphasis on eldercare. More information on this flexible, online degree program may be found at Bellevue University.
Length of Program: 127 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $410.00
10. Northern Kentucky University
Located seven miles east of Cincinnati, Ohio, Northern Kentucky University has over 15,000 students enrolled and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). Ranked #80 in Regional Universities by U.S. News and World Report, NKU has 67 bachelor's degrees, three associate degrees and 23 graduate programs.
The Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree offers a generalized, holistic approach to healthcare and provides a clinical and non-clinical track. Core health science courses for this degree include studies in healthcare management, global perspectives on healthcare, foundations in healthcare informatics and leadership development. Depending on the degree track this B.S. in Health Science is specifically designed for those students currently with an Associate's Degree or applied science degree from an accredited institution. Additional information may be found at Northern Kentucky University.
Length of Program: 33-39 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $410.00