Online BS in Health Science (BSHS) Degree Programs
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The healthcare industry and allied health-related fields continue to grow. As people live longer, demand for qualified health professionals also increases. A bachelor’s of science in health science (BSHS) degree can prepare medical professionals for a range of roles in healthcare management, research, and education. Health science is a class of applied science embracing various disciplines including anatomy, microbiology, physiology, neurophysiology, epidemiology, immunology, microbiology, and clinical practices. Research, experimentation, and analytical skills are especially helpful.
While the convenience and flexibility of an online degree program may be attractive to many, it’s important to note that online BSHS programs typically are bachelor’s completion programs, and require applicants to have a qualifying associate degree, generally in a medical technology field. Therefore these distance-based degree programs best suit students with the hands-on clinical experience that comes from earning an associate degree. For example, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers a standout online BSHS degree “designed exclusively for professionals with an associate degree in the allied health field.” In sum, a distance-based BSHS degree may be a stepping stone for nurses, EMTs, technicians, and other healthcare workers to gain a bachelor’s degree and move into more advanced roles with leadership or managerial potential.
Health scientists research and discover information that helps healthcare professionals to provide effective, safe healthcare and health promotion. Professionals apply this knowledge to private clinical practice, hospitals, care homes, colleges, or public clinics. Some in-demand career specializations in health sciences include healthcare administration, marketing, management and communications roles, as well as research and education positions.
Read on to discover online BSHS programs and three exceptional educators in the field.
Professors to Know in Schools with Online BSHS Programs
Dr. Brent Arnold is the chair and a professor at Indiana University and Purdue University (IUPUI) Department of Health Sciences. He offers decades of academic experience and numerous peer-reviewed research publications. His areas of interest include sports medicine, chronic and functional ankle instability, and proprioception and kinesthesia of the musculoskeletal system. Notably, he was elected to the Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame and was a fellow of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association inaugural class. He holds a bachelor’s of science in health and safety; a master’s of science in exercise and sports science; and a doctorate in sports medicine from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Crystal Dunlevy serves on the BSHS faculty at Ohio State University. Her research and publications focus on teaching, community health, and healthcare disparities, and her peer-reviewed publications touch on topics such as providing care to underserved populations and smoking cessation programs. Notably, she received OSU’s College of Medicine faculty award and the Sphinx/Mortar Board outstanding educator award. She holds an associate degree in respiratory therapy; a bachelor of science in biology; a master of science in technical education; and a doctorate in educational theory, policy, and administration.
Dr. Stephen Palmer is the associate dean of Northern Arizona University’s College of Health and Human Services. He has taught and published peer-reviewed research papers in the fields of physical education, online health programs, and education. He’s the recipient of numerous awards, including the NAU Department of Health Sciences teacher of the year. He holds a bachelor of arts in physical education with a teaching certification; a master of arts in physical education pedagogy; and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech, where his dissertation work explored the impact of a web-based health intervention on fifth graders’ physical activity knowledge and behaviors.
Admissions Requirements to Online BSHS Programs
Admissions standards vary by institution, but here is a list of common admission requirements for online BSHS degree programs derived from the programs below:
- An associates degree in an allied health-related field.
- A satisfactory grade point average in previous coursework, usually at least a 3.0 GPA, but in some cases the requirement is higher
- A background check or proof of immunizations
- First aid and CPR certification
- Completion of approved college-level math and science coursework
- Statement of purpose
The primary benefit of an accredited program is that an independent body reviews the curriculum, facilities, standards, faculty, student outcome, and other variables. Therefore, human resource professionals, graduate and medical school program admissions officers, and employers tend to trust an accredited degree more than one that is not accredited. Numerous bodies accredit colleges and universities and most tend to be either regional or subject-specific. Most of the featured universities hold multiple accreditations.
Specific health-related specialties have their own accreditations. For example, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is the gold standard for health science program evaluation, while the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) awards accreditation to healthcare administration programs. Some of these colleges have allied nursing, physical therapy, or medical school programs and are accredited within those subject areas. While the accreditation may not be directly relevant, it may indicate the credibility and quality of the college, its faculty, and its programs.
There are also various regional accreditation bodies, such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Overall, prospective students should ensure that their accreditation bodies are recognized by the Department of Education’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Featured Online Health Sciences Bachelor’s Degree Programs
The following section highlights eight accredited colleges or universities that offer online Health Sciences bachelor degree programs. Keep in mind that online degree programs change and evolve as distance learning continues to grow. Visit the college’s website for the most up-to-date information for each degree program.
Kettering College offers an online bachelor of science in health sciences. This bachelor’s completion program is designed for those who already obtained an associate degree or its equivalent in a healthcare field. Topics covered in the program include an emphasis in specific health care disciplines like sonography, education, advanced imaging, management, and respiratory care.
- Location: Kettering, OH
- Accreditation: The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE)
- Expected Time to Completion: Two years, post-associate degree
- Estimated Tuition: $517 per credit-hour
Indiana University and Purdue University (IUPUI)
The Indiana University and Purdue University (IUPUI) Department of Health Sciences offers several academic programs, including an online BSHS degree. They pride themselves on providing a stimulating interactive learning environment, even from a distance. The health sciences faculty help prepare students to help reach academic, professional, and career goals. Program course concentrations include global health rehab studies, rehab disabilities studies, and gerontology.
- Location: Indianapolis, IN
- Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Expected Time to Completion: Two-to-four years (depending on previous coursework)
- Estimated Tuition: Check with the Bursar’s Office for customized assessment
Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University’s online BSHS degree program requires an associates degree in an allied health field. This program is tailored for returning college students to help expand healthcare career opportunities. It presents an overview of multiple specializations in different fields, including medical imaging, occupational therapy, and speech pathology. Program learning objectives include gaining a knowledge of public health, project implementation, health communication, role and importance of data in public health, and health policy, law, ethics, and economics.
- Location: Flagstaff, AZ
- Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Expected Time to Completion: Program requires at least 30 units of upper-division courses
- Estimated Tuition: Around $583.00 per credit-hour
Northern Kentucky University
Northern Kentucky University’s online bachelor of science in health science program is also for professionals who have an associate degree in a healthcare discipline. Course highlights include units in healthcare management, current trends and cultural issues in healthcare, issues in chronic disease management, healthcare research, and global perspectives of healthcare.
- Location: Highland Heights, KY
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: Two years, bachelor’s completion (33 credit-hours)
- Estimated Tuition: $441 per credit-hour
Ohio State University
Ohio State University’s online bachelor of science in health sciences program serves as an introduction to the healthcare field including ah an in-depth science background. The program is taught by members of Ohio State’s distinguished College of Medicine. The flexible environment allows students to prepare for career success and to explore options. Highlighted courses include instruction in health promotion and disease prevention, application of ethical decision making in health care, and individual differences in patient/client populations.
- Location: Columbus, OH
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC), North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), The Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)
- Expected Time to Completion: Two-to-four years (120 credit-hours total)
- Estimated Tuition: $673.10 per credit-hour
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers an online bachelor of science degree exclusively to students with an existing associates degree in an allied health-related field. Course highlights include healthcare delivery systems, healthcare economics, healthcare reimbursement, and ethical and legal considerations of healthcare. SNHU’s faculty enter education with a wealth of real-world experience.
- Location: Manchester, NH
- Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Expected Time to Completion: Two years
- Estimated Tuition: $320 per credit-hour, discounts available for U.S. service members and their spouses
The University of Mississippi
The University of Mississippi’s online bachelor of health sciences program is designed to provide students with a foundation for understanding principles of health leadership and education and the role of healthcare in society. Students can develop the analytical skills necessary for leadership positions in the healthcare field. Although this is an online program, students are required to attend campus for orientation and again for capstone presentations.
- Location: Jackson, MS
- Accreditation: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: Two-to-four years
- Estimated Tuition: $344.50 per credit, plus nonresident surcharge each semester
University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota bachelor’s degree in health sciences is a flexible, interdisciplinary degree program that helps students to prepare for a range of health careers. All required coursework is offered online, and some also offer the option of classes at the Vermillion campus, and select courses are also offered in Sioux Falls and Rapid city. there are five concentration options including pre-professional studies, health care studies, healthcare advancement studies, undergraduate clinical informatics, undergraduate public health, and undergraduate research.
- Location: Sioux Falls and Rapid City, SD
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Expected Time to Completion: Two-to-four years (120 credit-hours)
- Estimated Tuition: $335.00 per credit-hour