One of the best online bachelor’s in health services programs might be your key to unlocking countless career opportunities. In the next ten years, healthcare organizations will create more jobs than any other industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a demand for 1.9 million new jobs to provide health services to an aging U.S. population.
With a bachelor’s degree in health services, not only will you get a foot in the door of this rapidly growing sector, but you’ll also be poised to lead, enacting positive, healthy change in roles like health services manager, hospital administrator, or health insurance specialist.
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What Is a Health Services Degree?
In short, a health services degree focuses on the business of healthcare. To lead in this industry, you’ll need to know medical terminology and how to run a marketing campaign. You’ll want a comprehensive understanding of U.S. health systems and a firm grasp of financial management. This degree is designed to make you an expert in both health and business.
As a health services student, you’ll examine topics like healthcare law, policy, and ethics. You’ll also focus on the business of operating an organization, covering management and leadership techniques, human resources, and information technology.
This is a career-focused degree ideal for students confidently pursuing work in health services. However, general education requirements will ensure that you receive a well-rounded education through exposure to other academic disciplines. And the skills you gain from courses in writing or math analysis, for example, are sure to come in handy on the job.
To apply, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED and SAT or ACT scores.
See Also: Best Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management
What Careers Does a Health Services Major Lead To?
Obtaining a bachelor’s in health services is the first step in becoming a health services and medical manager. This person oversees the operations of a healthcare organization, from hospitals and nursing homes, and clinics to private practices. The BLS projects that these job opportunities will grow by 18% in the next ten years.
This bachelor’s degree does not, however, limit you to serving organizations that only deal directly with patients. You can work at a marketing firm helping healthcare organizations advertise their services. Or you can serve in a healthcare advocacy organization, helping to set policies that improve patients’ experiences across the nation. These jobs demand the same holistic understanding of the industry and sharp strategic problem-solving skills that are taught in a health services bachelor’s degree program.
What Is the Salary Potential for a Health Services Major?
In May 2018, the BLS reported a median annual income of $99,730 for medical and health services managers. That is approximately $60,000 more than the median annual income of all U.S. occupations. The BLS found higher-paying jobs in government and hospitals, while a lower median annual income was reported in nursing and residential care facilities.
Graduates of a bachelor’s degree program in health services are qualified to step into entry-level management positions, however, some might choose to continue their education. Master’s degrees are not a definitive requirement for promotion, but they are commonly held by executive-level professionals in this field. Medical and health services managers in the top 10% of earners took home more than $182,000.
What Are the Best Health Services Degrees?
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University of Central Florida
Average Net Price
Based in Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida has gained several accolades from U.S. News & World Report for its commitment to online undergraduate education. Currently, UCF ranks at No. 14 on its list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, which takes into account an institution’s graduation rates and innovative student support offerings.
As an online learner at UCF, you’ll not only gain an academic advisor but you’ll also be assigned a success coach for the duration of your academic journey. Your success coach helps create a plan of study that aligns with your specific professional goals. They then help you stay on track to graduate by connecting you to any campus resources you need, like financial aid or tutoring.
UCF’s online courses can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. Currently ranked at No. 16 on U.S. News & World Report’s Most Innovative Schools, this institution takes pride in its cutting-edge technology. The university’s app, UCF Mobile, provides an easy, central hub where students can check email, enroll in new classes, search library catalogs, and more.
UCF’s fully online Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration requires 120 credit hours. You’ll complete 36 hours of general education courses. An internship and capstone project are required.
Florida International University
Average Net Price
More than 42,000 students enroll in Florida International University’s online courses each year. This institution’s Bachelor of Health Services Administration (BHSA) is one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. Centered in Miami, Florida, FIU has offered online learning opportunities for more than 20 years. This experience and the growing number of graduates translate into top-of-the-line technology and optimal support for online students.
Currently, FIU ranks at No. 58 on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. By choosing to enroll in its BHSA program, you’ll gain a support coach who will direct you to any opportunities to help you reach your career goals. And even though this degree can be earned entirely online, you can celebrate your accomplishments in person at FIU’s graduation ceremony.
FIU’s BHSA program requires 120 credit hours. You’ll complete 60 hours of core curriculum before focusing on the major’s specific coursework. This program covers all aspects of leading health organizations, from managing finances and setting policies to understanding health systems and evaluating programs.
As a nationwide leader in awarding degrees to Hispanic students, FIU is committed to creating more diversity across the workforce. A goal of its BHSA program is to prepare graduates to lead in multicultural settings.
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Average Net Price
With campuses across the state of Florida and robust online offerings, Keiser University aims to prepare graduates for their specific professional pursuits. Enrolling approximately 20,000 students each year, this institution’s commitment to adult learners is reflected in its student body. A majority of Keiser’s students are over 25 years old, and more than 75% maintain full- or part-time jobs while earning their degrees.
To ensure it stays up to date on the skills and talent needed in the workforce, Keiser has several advisory boards that evaluate its offerings, curriculum, and standards twice each year. These boards are made up of industry experts, alumni, and statewide community leaders who aim to guarantee future success for Keiser’s graduates.
Keiser’s Bachelor of Arts in Health Services Administration is a 120-credit hour program with 36 hours of general education requirements. This program covers health organizations in both the private and public sectors, delving into topics like leadership, marketing, and public policy.
This BA degree does not have any in-person requirements, and its pace is specifically designed with adult learners in mind. To help students juggle work and family responsibilities as they study, students take only one class at a time. Each course lasts four weeks and culminates with a final exam.
Average Net Price
Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel University is nationally respected for its academics, earning the No. 97 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of National Universities. Beyond its commitment to excellence in the classroom, Drexel is also a leader in experiential learning. It ranks at No. 2 on U.S. News & World Report’s Co-Ops/Internships, a list of schools that excel in providing students with opportunities to apply knowledge in real-world contexts.
The option to study abroad is open to all of Drexel’s students, so online learners do not miss out on the chance to expand their education horizons. If your goal is to focus on global health, then Drexel’s international opportunities might be particularly attractive. Faculty-led, week-long excursions to foreign countries delve deeply into specific topics, for example, health systems in Costa Rica.
Drexel’s Bachelor of Science in Health Services administration is housed within the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Serving approximately 1,500 students, this college is one of the first accredited online nursing and healthcare schools.
The BS program requires 180 quarter credit hours and each course lasts 10 weeks. You’ll take foundational classes in topics like English composition, math analysis, and sociology before moving on to the major’s business and health services coursework.
University of Maryland-University College
College Park, Maryland
Average Net Price
In addition to locations across the state of Maryland, the University of Maryland Global Campus has more than 140 locations on military bases around the world. This institution’s global reach reflects a longstanding commitment to serving the U.S. armed forces. Today, that mission has expanded to providing military members and adult learners flexible, online degree programs that help them advance their education without putting a pause on their careers.
UMGC hires instructors with industry experience who can pass along their on-the-job knowledge to students. Additionally, 88% of its faculty members have terminal degrees. By enrolling in its Bachelor of Science program in health services management, you’ll learn from professors who have served in health organizations like Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Kaiser Permanente.
This BS program is earned entirely online, however, students do have the option to take certain courses in a hybrid format. The degree requires 120 credit hours, 41 of which cover general education topics. As you explore topics in health services management, like strategic planning, economics, and information systems, you’ll be challenged to apply knowledge through data-led research projects, group collaborations, and case studies.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Average Net Price
Founded in 1866, Davenport University is a private, non-profit university with locations across Michigan. It’s also the first in the state with an online learning community. Davenport’s Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration can be earned 100% online or at one of four campuses.
Davenport’s BS program boasts a 96% employment rate among its graduates. This means that nearly all of its program participants have found employment in their field of study within six months of graduation. This degree requires 120 credit hours. Thirty-four credit hours are comprised of general education requirements. Building on this well-rounded foundation, students take 27 credit hours in the foundations of health professions. These courses provide an overview of health organizations, systems, law, and ethics.
As students move on to the major courses, they can choose between three specialties: human resource management, health information assurance, and project management. Davenport requires a 120-hour practicum experience as part of its curriculum. Online students work with a Michigan-based healthcare organization to identify a problem and offer researched solutions.
Davenport offers both asynchronous and synchronous online learning. If you need the flexibility to study on your own schedule, you’ll have that option. But you can also feel more like a traditional student through Real-Time Virtual Learning, which lets you interact with faculty and peers at set class times.
Bay Path University
Average Net Price
Based in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Bay Path University is dedicated to providing higher education to the millions of American women without college degrees. Bay Path’s American Women’s College is the first in the country to offer an all-women, fully online accredited bachelor’s degree program.
All of Bay Path’s students take a foundational “Women as Empowered Leaders and Learners” course. This one-day program helps students discover their leadership strengths and design an individualized plan for completing their undergraduate education.
Bay Path’s Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration (BSHSA) is a 120-credit-hour program. Students progress through general education requirements in areas like history, science, and the humanities to then focus on health topics like healthcare finance, medical ethics, and policy and law.
A culminating capstone course encourages students to apply their knowledge by designing their own hands-on learning experience. Students can choose to exhibit what they’ve learned through research or a service-learning project, for example.
Bay Path’s BSHSA program is especially beneficial for women with associate degrees and professional experience in health services, like nursing. Fifteen credit hours of previous healthcare courses can be applied to the core requirements, accelerating your path to a bachelor’s degree.
Thomas Jefferson University
Average Net Price
Centered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University’s mission is to break down the long-standing silos that have divided academic disciplines. Instead, Jefferson aims to provide an interdisciplinary educational experience that mirrors the actual workplace, where professionals with various expertise work together to solve problems.
As an online student in Jefferson’s Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management program, you can expect to gain an all-around education and the specific skills you’ll need in the healthcare industry. This 120-credit-hour program’s general requirements cover history, math, and science, but they also delve into overarching topics like world politics, economic decision-making, and professional communication skills. Courses are provided in 8-week units, and this degree takes between two and three years to earn.
Especially valuable to aspiring healthcare professionals is Jefferson’s Institute of Emerging Health Professionals. Here, academic and professional experts monitor trends in healthcare services and practices, working to predict where the industry is headed. This knowledge is then used to improve healthcare professionals’ instruction and training. In other words, Jefferson’s students directly benefit from the research of forward-looking scholars, helping them stand apart in the job market.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Average Net Price
The nickname for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s athletic teams is the Ragin’ Cajun, and this university prides itself on the passion its students exhibit both on and off the field. UL Lafayette is dedicated to “research for a reason.” This focus on improving lives is imbued throughout its academic programs.
Enrolling nearly 20,000 students, UL Lafayette currently ranks at No. 114 on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. Its Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration is a four-year program. However, online learners may be able to earn this degree in less time. Students benefit from the industry experience of UL Lafayette’s faculty, which includes the former Department Head for Allied Health and chair of the Louisiana Center for Health Informatics.
As a student at UL Lafayette, your first year will be dedicated to completing general education requirements in science, math, and writing. All students also take a first-year seminar that delves into a contemporary topic. This course lays a foundation for the type of discussion, analysis, and research you’ll participate in throughout your academic experience.
In your second year and beyond, your credit hours will increasingly focus on your major, covering topics like medical terminology, trends in healthcare, and health information technology. A capstone project will allow you to put your knowledge into action through a clinical practicum or by completing a case study, for example.
St. Petersburg College
St. Petersburg, Florida
Average Net Price
Established in 1927, St. Petersburg College is the first two-year college in the state of Florida. While many community colleges only offer associate degrees, this institution is the first to also offer bachelor’s degrees. More than 20,000 students are currently enrolled in online courses at St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in health services administration. Unlike many of the other degrees on this list, this program is geared toward students with previous professional experience in health services. Rather than helping graduates secure their first job, its goal is to help students take the next step in their careers, advancing to a managerial role, for example.
To earn this degree, students complete 120 credit hours, including general education requirements, major courses, and sub plan credits. St. Petersburg’s subplans allow students to specialize in their course of study based on their professional backgrounds and goals. There are six subplans in areas such as compliance and security, public relations and marketing, and respiratory care.
Courses are provided fully online in 8-week sessions. However, to graduate, students must complete a semester-long capstone project to gain hands-on work experience under the guidance of a mentor.
Robert Morris University
Moon Township, Pennsylvania
Average Net Price
Robert Morris University is a private university of approximately 4,000 undergraduate students located in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. RMU’s students benefit from proximity to internship and employment opportunities without sacrificing the small class sizes and personal attention that come with a close-knit, suburban campus. This perk is reflected in RMU’s slogan: “Big enough to matter. Small enough to care.”
Though 83% of RMU’s first-year students live on campus, this university is still dedicated to providing flexible options for nontraditional students. Currently, it ranks at No. 49 on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. RMU’s Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration is offered both online and on-campus.
RMU prioritizes experiential learning, and 80% of its students participate in an internship. To earn the 120-credit-hour BS in health services administration, all program participants must complete a 15-week internship centered on their specific career goals. This culminating experience will not only boost your resume by proving you can put your knowledge to work, but it also will connect you to key industry contacts to help with your job search.
Weber State University
Average Net Price
Located 40 miles north of Salt Lake City in Ogden, Utah, Weber State University caters to nontraditional undergraduate students. The average age of its students is 26, and more than half of the student body is attending part-time. As an online student at WSU, you’ll be in good company with classmates who are also balancing school with work and family responsibilities.
WSU’s Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration (BSHSA) is one of nine fully online bachelor’s programs. As a distance learner, you’ll move independently through the 120 credit hours of coursework at your own pace. Classes can be started at any time, and you’ll have up to six months to finish each one. WSU requires an internship before graduation to ensure you apply what you’ve learned outside the classroom.
WSU’s BSHSA is housed within the Dumke College of Health Professions Department of Health Administrative Services. In addition to offering student resources like academic advisement and help with internship placements, this department is home to the student-led Future Health Leaders Association. FHLA organizes opportunities for students to network with alumni working in health services and industry leaders.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Average Net Price
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Independence University does not have a brick-and-mortar campus. Instead, this non-profit institution solely provides online degree programs. When serving students online is your bread and butter, technology is top of mind. IU’s students receive a tablet and laptop pre-loaded with the programs they’ll need for their coursework. Best yet, these are yours to keep after graduation.
If you’re confident in your career goals and looking for a fast, no-frills way to earn your bachelor’s degree, then Independence University’s Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management might be your best option. This degree can be earned in as little as 38 months, or just over three years. Independence does not require electives as part of its curriculum. This allows students to accelerate their path to graduation.
At Independence, online courses are provided in 4-week modules. Each week, you’ll be expected to complete one assignment and one assessment. You’ll also contribute weekly to an online discussion board that encourages interaction with your classmates. Throughout your academic journey, you’ll be supported by a success team comprised of several advisers to help you with everything from enrolling and planning your course of study to securing financial aid and starting your job search.
Miami Shores, Florida
Average Net Price
Centered in Miami, Florida, Barry University is a Catholic university with a network of more than 52,000 alumni, including influential graduates like the mayor of Miami-Dade County, the prime minister of Haiti, and NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal. Since 1971, Barry’s School of Professional and Career Education has been dedicated to adult learners. This school offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in health services administration for students with at least two years of previous professional experience.
PACE’s priority is to help students earn their degrees as quickly as possible so that they can put their new credentials to work. Students can fast-track their degrees through Barry’s comprehensive transfer credit policy. In addition to accepted previous college credits, Barry awards transfer credits for previous professional experience. Students can earn as much as 30 credits by developing a portfolio that demonstrates the college-level learning they’ve gained on the job.
Barry’s BS in health services administration is a 120-credit-hour program comprised of 8-week online courses. Depending on your background, you might be able to solely focus on the 18 core credits covering topics like health law, healthcare finance, and public and community health. If this is the case, you can earn your degree in as little as 12 months.
South Texas College
Average Net Price
At the heart of South Texas College’s mission is to encourage social mobility, allowing graduates to improve their lives, families, and communities through career-focused higher education. More than half (70%) of South Texas College’s students are the first in their families to attend college. Delivering convenient online degree programs is one of many ways South Texas aims to help more people earn their degrees.
Though South Texas has several locations, online students never need to step on campus to earn a Bachelor of Applied Technology in medical and health services management. This 120-credit-hour program prepares graduates to take on leadership roles in healthcare organizations, and it has a specific focus on healthcare technology. For example, you’ll become well-versed in the technology used to collect and store sensitive patient information. Before graduation, you’ll participate in an onsite practicum to ensure you get hands-on training under the supervision of an experienced professional in your specific field.
More than 90% of South Texas College’s students are Hispanic—so you’ll find general education offerings, like minority studies and Mexican-American history, that reflect the college’s unique student body.