Online Health Science Degree Programs
Online health science degree programs teach how to effectively and efficiently help patients receive the health care they need. As a result, courses analyze the many aspects of health science, as well as the many processes of providing health care. Therefore, topics range from health care management and leadership to audiology and dentistry.
Did You Know?
According to Pediatrics, more than 11 million antibiotics prescriptions written for children may actually be unnecessary.
What Is Health Science?
Health science is the scientific research of how to improve human and animal health. As a result, health science includes a wide variety of sub-disciplines. One of the main components of health science is health care, which is considered the application of research in the field.
As a result, there are many components that make up the field of health care, many of which can be studied while pursuing an online health science degree. These are focused on the study of the treatment and prevention illness, the impact of data and analytics, and all of the processes that go along with providing health sciences to patients.
List of Health Science Fields
Some of the fields included in health science are:
- Physical Therapy
- Pharmacy Technician
Health science includes many disciplines and sub disciplines. As a result, this is only a sample of some of the most common fields. Check with a number of schools to find one that examines the discipline you’re looking for while pursuing your online health science degree.
Different Online Health Science Degree Levels
Usually, there are four levels of online degrees offered in health science and two types of certificates. Each of these levels have the similar goal of analyzing current methodology in health science and applying that knowledge to help patients in an efficient manner.
Each of the online health science degree levels typically requires more analysis and independent research by the student. Some levels also require clinical practice and collaborative projects to show an ability to work as a member of a team to apply theories and concepts.
The five levels of health science degrees and certificates are:
- Online Associates Degree in Health Sciences
- Online Bachelors Degree in Health Science
- Online Certificate Programs in Health Science
- Masters in Health Science Online
- Online PhD in Health Sciences
Keep in mind that every school doesn’t offer all five levels. Therefore, check with a number of schools to find one that offers the online health science degree level and concentration that you’re looking for.
Online Associates Degree in Health Sciences
Pursuing an online associates degree in health science may introduce you to the fundamentals of the healthcare experience. This may include courses that focus on developing critical thinking in order to think and act quickly in your patients’ best interest.
Typically, associates degree programs ask that students have earned a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some schools may have additional requirements, so be sure to check with a few of them. Most full-time students can earn their associates degree in two years, though this may depend on when courses are available (as well as your schedule, too).
Associates in Health Science: Common Courses
Health science associates degree courses are usually focused on providing a basic understanding of the key concepts in the healthcare field. Some programs offer a concentration for your degree, which may tailor your course of study to focus on one particular area, such as Pharmacy Technician or Medical Assisting.
Some of the courses you may take while pursuing your online associates degree in health science are:
- Medical Terminology
- Health Issues and Resources
- Pharmacology for Technicians
- Medical Billing and Insurance
- Fundamentals in Clinical Techniques
Keep in mind that courses may vary from school to school as well as whether or not you choose a concentration. However, many associates degree courses focus on teaching a foundation of the key concepts in the field.
Online Bachelors Degree in Health Science
An online bachelors degree in health science teaches an in-depth science background while focusing on the aspects of healthcare. Typically, programs analyze current research, theories, and methods. Students then complete collaborative projects to apply this knowledge.
There are some online health science bachelors programs that are designed for students who have earned an associates degree in the field. Therefore, all clinical requirements may be fulfilled and a bachelors degree may be earned completely online. However, other online programs require students to come to campus to complete clinical coursework.
Most bachelor degree programs require that you have earned a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some schools may have additional requirements, such as a minimum SAT score or minimum high school GPA. Therefore, inquire with a few schools first. Most full-time students can earn their bachelors degree in four years, but remember that each school has a unique design.
Common Bachelors Degree Courses in Health Science
While pursuing an online bachelors degree in health science, programs typically include science-based courses such as biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology, in addition to general education requirements. This format may help provide you with a well-rounded education while also allowing you to focus on your area of interest.
Some of the courses in health science bachelors programs include:
- Ethical and Legal Considerations of Healthcare
- Healthcare Delivery Systems
- Complementary Healthcare
- Fundamentals of Wellness
- Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Online Certificate Programs in Health Science
Certificates are short programs that do not offer a degree. Instead, they are a way for students to learn new skills or show progress towards a degree. Typically, there are two types of certificates available in health science:
- Undergraduate Certificate: Doesn’t require a bachelors degree
- Graduate Certificate: Requires a bachelors degree
Many certificates can be completed in one to two years, but this may vary depending on the format of the specific certificate. In fact, some programs can be completed in as little as nine months.
As opposed to offering a concentration like many degree programs, certificates are usually tailored to one specific component of the field. This may give students an opportunity to focus on a specific area of health science more in-depth. Some of the concentrations include:
- Health Informatics
- Health Administration
- Health Care Leadership
- Global Health
- Population Health Management
Some graduate certificate programs allow you to transfer certificate credits toward a masters degree program. However, if this is a feature you definitely want to take advantage of, check with a few schools to make sure it is offered at a school before applying.
Common Certificate Level Courses
Depending on the specific focus of your certificate, and whether it is an undergraduate or graduate certificate, courses may vary widely. Some of the various courses offered in certificate programs include:
- American Health Care: Challenges and Opportunities
- Health Care Management: Applying Concepts to Practice
- Health Care Information Systems Analysis and Design
- Health Informatics for Organizational Operations
- Health Promotion for Aging Populations
Masters in Health Science Online
As pursuing a masters in health science online is a graduate degree, many programs offer more variety in concentrations. This is to provide a specific curriculum designed to help you become an expert in a particular field of health science.
Some of the concentrations available for masters degrees are similar to other degree levels, however these typically require more critical analysis and research by students. Typically, students are asked to perform more writing and projects while pursuing their masters degree than while pursuing undergraduate degrees.
Some of the concentrations include:
- Health Care Informatics
- Health Care Operations
- Health Education
- Clinical Management and Leadership
- Clinical Research Administration
Typically, students need to have a bachelors degree from an accredited university in order to be accepted. Some schools have stricter requirements than others, and may require a minimum GPA of 2.75. Other requirements may include a resume, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.
Common Masters Degree Courses in Health Science
Many masters in health science online courses are designed to be highly interactive so that you can apply the research and methods that you study. This may help you use research to develop evidence-based programs to address unmet needs.
Some of the courses you may take include:
- Strategies in Health Policy
- Health Care Systems Management
- Research Methods for Health Professionals
- Leadership and Change in Clinical Management and Leadership
- Health Care Law and Policy
As with other online health science degree levels, choosing a concentration may change the courses you take.
Online PhD in Health Sciences
An online PhD in health science is the top degree in the field, or the highest degree you can earn. As a result, programs are designed to give students expert-level knowledge in the field so they can contribute their own research.
Many PhD programs offer concentrations in order to focus your study on one particular aspect of health science.
Some of the concentrations available for PhD programs include:
- Psychiatric Rehabilitation
- Speech Language Pathology
- Health Professions Leadership
These concentrations, and others that may be available but aren’t listed, are designed for health professionals who want to pursue an advanced research education. Typically, this is through developing research and communication skills, as well as using organizational skills to deliver healthcare in an efficient manner.
While specific admissions requirements may vary from school to school, typically students need to have earned a masters degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Many schools also require that PhD candidates have a professional license or certification as well, among other requirements.
Common Health Science PhD Level Courses
While pursuing a PhD in health science, courses are designed to develop your leadership, critical thinking, and research skills. Therefore, depending on the concentration of your degree, courses usually require you to analyze current research, concepts, and techniques so that you may develop your own findings.
Some of the courses while pursuing your health science PhD may include:
- Teaching in the Health Professions
- Data Analysis and Interpretation
- Contemporary Health Science Topics
- Strategic Management of Long Term Care
- Basic Research Design and Statistics
Upon completing all required courses, many online PhD programs require students to propose, write, present, and defend a dissertation to a board of faculty. This is to show a complete understanding of the principles of the field.
What’s the Difference Between Health Science and Life Science?
Health science is focused on all of the different aspects of human health, health care, and health care management. Meanwhile, life science looks at all living organisms. Therefore, life science degree programs are usually more heavily focused on biology and ecology.
On the other hand, health science is actually a branch of life science and is more interested in how humans function. While those studying health science usually take biology courses, they rarely, if ever, analyze various plant life. Therefore, while earning an online health science degree, courses focus on the health of humans and animals as opposed to plant life.
What Can You Do With a Health Science Degree?
Upon earning an online health science degree, there are a number of careers that you may pursue. The specific careers, responsibilities, and pay depend upon the level of degree you have earned and the position you accept. However, at each level there are still a number of options available.
Some of the common careers in health science, and their 2016 median annual salary, include:
- Dental Assistants: $36,940i
- Dieticians and Nutritionists: $58,920ii
- Medical and Health Services Managers: $96,540iii
- Audiologists: $75,980iv
- Medical Scientists: $80,530v
Each of these careers have different requirements. For instance, dental assistants typically don’t have any formal education requirements.vi On the other hand, most dieticians, nutritionists, and medical and health services managers have a bachelors degree.vii However, many companies now prefer that medical and health services managers have a masters degree.viii
Typically, both audiologists and medical scientists have a doctorates degree.ix However, audiologists need a license to practice in all 50 states, whereas there are no licensure requirements for medical scientists.x
Learn More About an Online Health Science Degree
Do you enjoy helping others? Do you want to learn more about the concepts and theories of helping patients receive the best health care?
Then take a leap toward earning an online health science degree. Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page for more information about specific schools and programs. Then, reach out to your favorites directly to request more information. Even get noticed by school recruiters!
[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-5 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-5 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-5 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm#tab-5 [v] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm#tab-5 [vi] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-4 [vii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-4 [viii] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-4 [ix] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm#tab-4 [x] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm#tab-4