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2023 Best Online Health Sciences Degrees

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 8/15/2023
2023 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Health Sciences Badge

The healthcare industry is ever-changing due to relentless medical research and the implementation of advanced technologies. Prospective healthcare workers enroll in an online bachelor’s in health sciences in order to confidently join a competitive job market and meet employer demands. We’ve identified the top programs across the country offering these degrees and have ranked them by salary score so that you can gauge the potential return on your educational investment. If you’d like more information on these programs, our guide to online health science degrees can help you explore options and show you where your education can take you. 

View our methodology for more details about our list, or learn more about OnlineU.

2023 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Health Sciences Badge
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Online Health Sciences Bachelor's Degrees You May Be Interested In

2023 Best Online Health Sciences Degrees

RankSchool Salary Score Median Starting Salary
# 1 #1 Southern New Hampshire University Online 79 79 $57,436
# 2 #2 University of Cincinnati 77 $56,463
# 3 #3 Indiana University - Northwest 75 $55,454
# 4 #4 Wilmington University 72 $53,939
# 5 #5 Weber State University 72 $53,825
# 6 #6 The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio 67 $51,415
# 7 #7 Excelsior University 66 $50,832
# 8 #8 Ohio State University - Main Campus 64 $50,086
# 9 #9 Trident University International 60 $48,519
# 10 #10 Northern Kentucky University 60 $48,496

#1 Southern New Hampshire University Online

  • Salary Score: 79
  • Median Starting Salary: $57,436
  • Locations: Manchester (NH)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Southern New Hampshire University Online (SNHU) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. Graduation requires completing 120 credit hours of coursework, which may take full-time students four years. Students may finish faster if transferring up to 90 credits from other accredited institutions. SNHU accepts 94% of applicants, of which 40% graduate with a degree.

Online students use Brightspace to access the SNHU course curriculum. Health Science distance learners choose from classes such as Ethical and Legal Considerations of Healthcare, Healthcare Quality Management, and Healthcare Delivery Systems. Students must also complete a capstone project to graduate. The online program curriculum helps students prepare for leadership roles in medical assisting and office management, radiography, respiratory therapy, clinical laboratories, and neurodiagnostic technology.

#2 University of Cincinnati

  • Salary Score: 77
  • Median Starting Salary: $56,463
  • Locations: Cincinnati (OH) (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Cincinnati (UC) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours of coursework — 60 of which are in the Health Sciences curriculum — which can take four years of full-time attendance. Up to 90 credits may be eligible for transfer. UC has a 76% acceptance and a 66% graduation rate.

Canvas provides UC distance learners access to online course content. Depending on career goals, Health Sciences students can choose from classes such as Introduction to Biomechanics and Kinesiology, Pharmacology for Health Sciences, and Health Care Ethics. Graduation also requires completing a capstone project. Alums may apply skills they gained throughout the program to explore careers in health administration, hospital management, and research.

#3 Indiana University - Northwest

  • Salary Score: 75
  • Median Starting Salary: $55,454
  • Locations: Gary (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Indiana University (IU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science. This 120-credit degree is part of a consortial program taught by IU's East, Kokomo, Northwest, South Bend, and Southeast campuses. It takes full-time students approximately four years to complete. Students can choose from either a Community Health Education or Health Administration track.

IU uses Canvas to deliver online course content and instruction to distance learners. In the Applied Health Science program, students enroll in classes such as Consumer Health, Intercultural Health Communication, Healthcare Delivery and Leadership, and Epidemiology/Biostatistics and Population Health. The Community Health Education track also prepares students for the Certified Health Education Specialist examination. Program graduates work as wellness coordinators, community health workers, healthcare consultants, and human resources managers.

#4 Wilmington University

  • Salary Score: 72
  • Median Starting Salary: $53,939
  • Locations: New Castle (DE)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Willmington University (WilmU) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. Graduating requires completing 40 classes — the equivalent of 120 credit hours — and may take full-time students four years. WilmU accepts 100% of its applicants and 40% graduate with a degree.

WilmU delivers online coursework and instruction via the Canvas learning management system (LMS). Distance learners in the Health Sciences undergrad program choose from classes such as Professionalism in Health Sciences, Essentials of Public Health, and Leadership for the Healthcare Professional. Students choose electives that reflect their career goals and interests, and they must also complete a capstone to graduate. Others may choose hands-on, cooperative learning experiences. The curriculum helps prepare them for managerial, clinical, and educational roles in healthcare after graduation.

#5 Weber State University

  • Salary Score: 72
  • Median Starting Salary: $53,825
  • Locations: Ogden (UT)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Weber State University (WSU) is a public, two-year institution offering an online Bachelor of Integrated Studies - Health Sciences in partnership with the University of Utah. Students can choose from three emphases — (1) Health Science, (2) Electroneurodiagnostics, and (3) Neuroscience — as part of this 120-credit-hour program. Full-time students generally complete program requirements in four years. WSU has a 100% acceptance rate and a 42% graduation rate.

WSU delivers remote instruction through Canvas, where students in the Health Sciences program enroll in courses such as Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Interdisciplinary Health Care Teams, and Foundations of Health Sciences Technology. Students who pursue a neuroscience emphasis must meet with a program advisor to determine course availability.

#6 The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • Salary Score: 67
  • Median Starting Salary: $51,415
  • Locations: San Antonio (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) is a Hispanic-serving public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Emergency Health Sciences. This program is a 124-credit program for previously certified paramedics so they can pursue career advancement, and it takes approximately four years to complete. Overall, UT Health San Antonio has a 90% graduation rate.

UT Health San Antonio provides access to Canvas so students can participate in classes through distance learning. Online courses in the Emergency Health Sciences program include Professional Orientation and Legal Foundations, Mobile Integrated Healthcare Paramedicine, and Physical Examination and History Taking. The curriculum integrates classroom study with clinical experiences so students can apply skills on-the-job before graduation.

#7 Excelsior University

  • Salary Score: 66
  • Median Starting Salary: $50,832
  • Locations: Albany (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Excelsior College is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate. Excelsior may award up to 38 credits for any relevant licensures and certifications students hold. They can choose an emphasis in Health and Wellness, Management, or Public Health. Program completion may take full-time students up to four years. Excelsior accepts 100% of applicants, 35% of which graduate with a degree.

Excelsior uses Canvas as its LMS. Health Science students enroll in courses such as Introduction to Epidemiology, Budget and Finance in Health Care Organizations, and Introduction to Health Coaching. Students must complete a capstone project to graduate. The program curriculum helps students gain skills that may provide them with career advancement opportunities.

#8 Ohio State University - Main Campus

  • Salary Score: 64
  • Median Starting Salary: $50,086
  • Locations: Columbus (OH)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Ohio State University - Main Campus (OSU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. Students generally transfer into this program in their third year, enabling the completion of the required 59 credit hours in two years if attending full time. However, first-year students may be considered for enrollment if they complete 120 credit hours, which may take four years. Students may also have to declare a minor. Overall, OSU's acceptance rate is 68%, and its graduation rate is 77%.

OSU utilizes the Canvas LMS to deliver online instruction and coursework. Depending on career goals and interests, distance learners in the Health Sciences program can choose to enroll in classes such as The Evolving Art and Sciences of Medicine, Assistive Technology for Seating and Mobility, and The Role of Integrative Medicine.

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Overview of Online Health Science Degrees

Bachelor's degrees in health science are designed for students who are interested in healthcare occupations. Enrollees can pursue an online health science degree to study patient care coordination, leadership, and public health policy.

Some students begin their college experience studying for a bachelor's degree, while many others first earn an associate degree in a specialization, such as nursing, medical assisting, or laboratory science. These alumni with associate degrees can enroll in a two-year completion program to earn their online bachelor's. To graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, students typically need to earn a total of 120 credit hours, and first-year students may need four or more years to graduate.

What Is a Bachelor's in Health Sciences Degree?

Faculty design bachelor's degrees in health sciences to teach the structure and function of the U.S. healthcare system from a multidisciplinary perspective. These degrees also emphasize soft skills that students can use regardless of their chosen healthcare career. 

Online health science degrees are mainly asynchronous, with classes that don't meet at set times. Some online programs may have live video class meetings, and others are hybrid programs with a mix of online and in-person elements. Schools may use online laboratory simulation software, but they could require students to complete lab work with designated equipment at home or at an approved facility.

Degree-Completion Programs

Bachelor's degrees in the health sciences are often degree-completion programs. This means that they're designed for students who already hold a certificate or associate degree. Candidates transfer credits they've earned into the bachelor's degree program and complete any necessary courses at the new school.

Degree-completion health science programs usually require an applicant's certificate or associate degree to be in an allied healthcare field. Allied health professionals help doctors and nurses with specialized aspects of patient care. Although COVID-19 has stressed the healthcare workforce, it's also inspired a new generation to join the ranks, so allied health programs remain popular.

Here are some allied health certificates and associate degrees that can lead to growing occupations:

What's the Difference Between Health Science, Healthcare Administration, and Public Health?

An undergraduate degree in health science is similar to a bachelor's in healthcare administration and bachelor's in public health and many of the same courses are included in the curricula for these three degree programs. However, subtle differences in the educational outcomes may lend themselves to some occupations more easily than others. The following distinctions may be helpful to students when they're deciding which type of degree to pursue.

Health Science: While all three disciplines train students to perform nonclinical roles, health science is broader in scope and includes elements of healthcare management, public health and policy issues, and healthcare informatics. The versatility of this degree qualifies graduates for a wide range of patient-focused support positions, such as healthcare facilities managers and health informatics managers.

Healthcare Administration: A degree program in healthcare administration focuses almost entirely on managerial functions in healthcare settings. Students learn about the healthcare system and medical terminology and also explore management topics in more depth than health science students. Public health and healthcare policy practices are generally not covered.

Public Health: A program in public health often incorporates a study of both clinical and nonclinical practices to promote best practices among future health professionals who want to provide education, prevent public health crises, and address public health issues.

Degree Requirements

Administrations design health science bachelor's degrees to last four years, but many students take more than four years to finish. Degree-completion programs can take as little as two years to complete. 

Most schools require students to complete 120 credit hours, split between general education and major courses. Students in degree-completion programs can typically transfer up to, but no more than, 90 credits from their original institution. Because health sciences is a broad subject, programs often feature a choice of specialized concentrations, such as healthcare leadership, public health, and health policy. 

As a science-focused major, students in a health sciences program typically take a few courses that require laboratory work. Many schools also help health sciences students secure optional or required internships, externships, or other field placements to gain practical work experience in a medical facility or policy agency. 

Common Courses

While the curriculum for an online health science program focuses primarily on healthcare administration, it also addresses the forces that shape health services, public policy, and the various healthcare professionals involved. Coursework also helps students develop valuable critical thinking and communication skills. Most programs culminate in a one- or two-semester capstone course or senior seminar, which allows students to apply what they've learned in real-world settings. This may be in the form of an internship at a healthcare-related agency or organization, or it may be a research-oriented capstone project. 

The following courses are often included in an online health science degree program:

Law and Ethics in Healthcare

Patient choice and provider responsibility are just two of the many broad areas within healthcare that are governed by numerous regulations. This course explains specific healthcare-related laws and the principles behind major policies. Real-world examples are often used to discuss ethical models and decision-making in healthcare.

Healthcare Economics

Health economics professors aim to teach supply and demand for medical services and how they're financed. They usually touch on government policy, insurance, and risk calculation.

Health Information Systems

Students learn the latest technology for keeping health records in this class. Most faculty also offer a deep dive into the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and how it protects patient confidentiality.


Many health science programs provide students with a course on the causes and distribution of infectious disease epidemics. This class may cover new diseases, such as COVID-19, and recurring diseases, such as whooping cough. Coursework may cover disease prevention, outbreak investigation, factors that influence distribution, public health policy, and more.

The U.S. Healthcare System

In this course, students learn how the U.S. healthcare delivery system is structured and funded. Some of the topics often addressed include employment-funded and government-funded health insurance, access to quality healthcare, and other current issues. Students may also learn about the politics surrounding healthcare reform and the future of the U.S. system.

Medical Terminology

Whether they're interested in pursuing clinical or nonclinical roles in healthcare, health science majors need to be familiar with the vocabulary used in the medical field. Coursework typically covers the terminology used to describe anatomy, diseases and conditions, and treatment methods. The course may also introduce students to the root sources of these terms.

Concentration Options

Many schools offer areas of concentration as part of their online health science programs. Students often select a concentration to study a subject of personal interest, set themselves apart as well-qualified candidates for particular jobs, and/or position themselves for acceptance into graduate school. In health science, concentrations sometimes require courses, such as electives, from other fields besides health. Some of the more common concentrations include the following.


Students who opt for a concentration in aging may be required to take several courses related to healthcare for older adults, such as Gerontology and Health Issues Across the Lifespan. There may also be one or two required courses in Business Management to help graduates prepare for managerial roles in healthcare service organizations catering to the aging population in the U.S.

Health and Wellness

Health science majors interested in the field of public health may consider focusing on health and wellness. Some of the possible courses in this area of emphasis include Public Health Principles, Health Communication and Education, and Health Services Administration. Graduates can choose one of several career paths, such as working in health promotion or wellness programming through a nonprofit organization or pursuing a graduate degree in occupational therapy.

Healthcare Management

Enrollees who already know they would prefer a nonclinical career in healthcare may focus on healthcare management. Required courses will most likely be an interdisciplinary combination of Business Management and Leadership along with Health Informatics and Health Services Administration. This concentration helps prepare graduates to become health services managers, but they could also become community health program managers or pharmaceutical sales representatives.

Physical Rehabilitation

A concentration in rehabilitation could be a logical choice for bachelor's degree students who want to complete pre-professional studies on their way to earning graduate degrees in rehabilitation, such as physical therapy, orthotics, or chiropractic care. It may also be of interest to clinicians who have earned associate degrees in healthcare — for example, respiratory care therapists — and now want to pursue a bachelor's program. Two of the more common courses for this concentration include Health and Disability and Occupational Health and Safety.


Your college application timeline usually begins several months before you start classes. Enrolling for the fall term means applying to college sometime between November and February.

You'll need to follow one of two paths to apply, depending on the type of program you're interested in. Here's what many schools require for a traditional bachelor's degree track:

  • Official high school or GED transcripts, usually showing a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • A letter of recommendation from a teacher
  • A personal statement on education and career goals
  • Official ACT or SAT scores, with a minimum that varies by school

And here are typical requirements for a degree-completion program:

  • Official high school or GED transcripts
  • Official certificate or associate transcripts from any postsecondary school you've attended, usually showing a minimum 2.5-3.0 GPA and an allied health major
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors
  • A personal statement on education and career goals

No matter which option you choose, each college application will cost $30-90 to process.

What Can You Do With a Health Sciences Degree?

A health sciences education can help you start down a number of educational and career paths. Health sciences is a broad field of study, so many students use this bachelor's degree as a foundation for a career that requires an advanced degree, but others seek work at the bachelor's level.

It can be tough to decide which healthcare occupation is right for you, so we've laid out a few options below.

Health Science Careers

A health sciences bachelor's degree might qualify you for several healthcare occupations. For example, as a degree-completion program graduate, you might use your new degree to improve your chances for promotion or salary increases in an allied health field. You may even pursue management positions in medical billing and coding, health information technology, or medical assistant roles.

You could also seek a new occupation after earning your degree. Here are a few possible career options:

Certifications and Licensure

Very few professionals in health science need licensure to practice, except for nursing home administrators. In the U.S., these professionals must apply to their state boards and pass an exam administered by the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards to become licensed. Assisted living facility managers may also be required to obtain licensure in some states.

Some health science professionals may decide to pursue one of the many optional certifications available. Certification adds credibility to an individual's qualifications and may make a person more attractive as a job candidate, especially when applying for advanced or specialized roles in healthcare management. Below are some examples of healthcare certifications that may help professionals advance their career after graduation.


Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives offers a respected and versatile certification in the healthcare industry. Passing the exam requires a deep knowledge of healthcare management principles and practices. This certification is valued by many healthcare professionals working in a wide range of patient care facilities.


A Certified Medical Manager certification is designed for healthcare services managers of smaller private physician practices. The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management administers a 200-question exam that covers topics such as revenue, risk, and business management.


A Certified Healthcare Financial Professional certification is for health services administrators with a strong interest in financial management. CHFP certification is an opportunity to demonstrate their financial acumen, strategic and analytical skills, and collaborative work abilities. To obtain CHFP certification from the Healthcare Financial Management Association, candidates must complete a preliminary course before taking an exam. This certification may be beneficial to those who intend to become executive-level financial managers at large healthcare organizations.


A Registered Health Information Administrator certification is designed for healthcare professionals who aspire to become higher-level health informatics managers and executives. The RHIA credential demonstrates an individual's abilities in managing IT systems as well as interpersonal, communication, and people management skills. The American Health Information Management Association administers the certification exam.

FAQs About Programs in Health Sciences

What Can You Do With a Health Science Degree?

You can work in many parts of the healthcare industry if you earn a bachelor's degree in health sciences, such as medical office administration, healthcare management, or laboratory research. If you hold an associate degree in the allied health field, you might continue in that work at a higher level once you get your bachelor's degree.

Is Health Science a Hard Major?

You'll probably find at least some parts of a health sciences degree to be challenging. The curriculum draws from several disciplines and covers laboratory research, policy analysis, historical research, economics, and finance. Most students tend to excel in some of these areas and struggle with others.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Health Sciences Degree?

Administrators will tell you that your health science bachelor's degree will take four years to complete (or two years if you opt for a degree-completion program). But the truth is that only 64% of undergraduates finish their program within 150% of the expected time, which is six years for a bachelor's degree. This is because many choose to attend part time or need to take leaves of absence to attend to personal business.

Can I Get a Health Sciences Degree Online?

Many colleges feature online bachelor's degrees in health science. Applicants can choose a general degree path or specialize by putting electives toward a concentration, such as aging or healthcare management. In an online format, most health science degrees feature asynchronous courses that let students complete coursework on their own time.

What Else Should You Consider?

The cost of your online bachelor's degree is important but won't be your only consideration. Ask yourself the following questions for every school you research to see if it meets your expectations. 

Is the School Institutionally Accredited?

Institutional accreditation refers to an independent review agency giving a stamp of approval to a college. This approval indicates that the school is regularly checked for the quality of its curricula, faculty, administration, and student services.

Institutional accreditation used to be called either regional or national accreditation, but this distinction has gone away in recent years. Individual degree programs can also receive accreditation from agencies that focus on a narrow specialty. But there aren't any recognized accreditors for the broad health sciences major, so this isn't a concern for bachelor's degrees in this subject.

What Would My Dream College Offer?

Some colleges are known for robust student services, such as widely available tutoring, digital library access, or accessible and caring career counselors. Other schools may feature diverse student bodies, comprehensive disability accommodations, or deep alumni networks in your field. Figure out your must-have and nice-to-have features, then compare them across colleges.

Should I Study Online?

Some people need the structure of on-campus learning to succeed, but others prefer the flexibility and convenience of online learning. You likely don't need to worry about what employers think: More than ever, online degrees are respected by recruiters and professionals.

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