With the rise of infectious diseases among an aging population, bachelor’s in health services are more necessary than ever. Health services administrators and managers ensure that facilities run smoothly and effectively. To do this, it’s important to have a grasp on the laws, regulations, and technology within the field. It’s also important to learn some of the knowledge of the clinical side, as you’ll work closely with nurses, physicians, and doctors.
For those who are compassionate as well as detail-oriented and organized, a bachelor’s in health services can put you on course for a lifetime of fulfilling work.
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What Is a Health Services Degree?
A degree in health services is multi-faceted. To prepare for this type of career, the degree program must be, as well. A bachelor in health services will begin like most degree programs—with general education credits. These can be completed through an associates or when you begin the bachelor’s program.
From there, you’ll move into the preparatory material. Health services, at its core, is about business. This means much of the coursework will be business-related. Major material will teach essentials such as finance, marketing, and strategic planning. Technology plays a big role in the organization of health services, so technology systems and data analysis will be part of every program’s curriculum. Since you’re working in a business with people’s lives on the line, you’ll also have to understand ethical issues and a touch of psychology. Most programs will also have some sort of required practicum or internship so you can get a feel for what it’s really like when you’re on the job.
Careers for Health Services Majors
Jobs within health services can range from general administrators to managers and specialists. Opportunities exist within all types of doctors’ offices and hospitals, as well as in-home care and outpatient facilities.
As a specialist, you might find your niche within insurance or resources. These more focused roles will still require knowledge of the ins and outs of managing all facets of business from a health services standpoint.
Health services in all its forms is an area of the workforce that will witness consistent growth over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates it will grow 18%, much faster than the average sector. This is good news for incoming college students. Choosing a bachelor’s in health services is a promising option when it comes to spending on an education and being hireable as a new-grad. While you can also continue on to achieve a master’s degree, a bachelor’s is all you need to get through the door.
Bachelor’s in Health Services Salary Potential
There is just as much earning potential as a health services professional as there is job opportunity. It requires a great deal of knowledge to understand the business of healthcare and be able to manage it efficiently. Finding the time and money to afford this type of education is well worth it when you consider the salary potential. The median pay, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is just shy of $100,000.
Though you might not make this as an entry-level professional, the lowest-earners within these types of roles still make about $58,680. This is about the average income of American workers according to CNBC, and significantly higher income than the average $38,640 annual income reported by the BLS.
The highest earners in this field are by far those who work within government roles or in hospitals. Outpatient care facilities and physicians’ offices aren’t far behind, ensuring the very high likelihood of becoming a higher-than-average earner when you opt for a bachelor’s in health services.
What Are the Best Health Services Degrees?
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University of Maryland Global Campus
Average Net Price
Getting your bachelor’s in health services is accessible, affordable, and exciting through the University of Maryland Global Campus. The program combines management, ethics, and data analysis through a healthcare perspective. What’s best is that it’s all delivered completely online, giving you the chance to study on your own time and in your own space.
The major coursework consists of 33 credits. These include Managerial Epidemiology and Decision Making in Health Care, Health Care Policies, Health Care Economics, and Strategic Planning. Through this portion of the program, you’ll learn the ethical ways to manage healthcare services while staying compliant to the regulations set in place.
This program is open to all incoming freshmen as well as mid-career professionals. U of M recommends that students have an overall understanding of the healthcare system so that core requirements can fall into place. General requirements are also part of the curriculum, teaching necessary areas of communications, mathematics, and sciences.
The cost of the program is unique in that it varies by semester. It will also vary whether you are in-state, out-of-state, or military. Those who hold an existing associates from a Maryland community college can apply for the Maryland Completion Scholarship. The quality of education when considering the cost has earned plenty of recognition. The U.S. News & World Report lists University of Maryland in the top 100 Best Universities in the World–and #1 here for Bachelor’s in Health Services.
University of Central Florida
Average Net Price
The University of Central Florida is a very close second to our top pick with its health services administration bachelor’s. There are a few graduation requirements that must be taken in the physical classroom. Otherwise, the program can be completed online.
UCF has several online programs, making them a master at teaching—and learning—at a distance. This forward-thinking has earned recognition from the U.S. News & World Report which ranks UCF as one of the most innovative universities in the nation.
To get started in this program, there is no experience or knowledge needed. The curriculum prepares you completely for the managerial duties of a health services professional.
When it comes to affordability, The Princeton Review and Kiplinger both recognize UCF as a best-value university. Forbes also considers it among the most affordable colleges in the nation. Florida residents enjoy the best rates, while out-of-state students will pay 75% more per credit.
Weber State University
Average Net Price
You can attain a bachelor of health services administration online through Weber State University. Management topics are a major focus of the curriculum. Elements of decision-making, the process of change, group behavior, and leadership are all necessary skills that Weber State prioritizes.
The program requires 120 credit hours. At least 40 of these are upper division, and can be completed when you declare the major. Before declaring the major, you’ll need to tick off the prerequisites. These aren’t necessarily general education credits, but related to health services themselves. Some examples include Medical Terminology, Anatomy, Physiology, and Microeconomics.
The required major courses are above 300 level. These cover more managerial-focused subjects, like human resources, communication, resource development, and marketing. The senior internship and final capstone project are also within the upper division course bracket, and can be completed after taking Health Informatics. The internship gives direct practice while the capstone is a seminar in which students can “assess and enhance their competencies.”
Tuition rates for Utah residents are $278 per credit. Given the opportunities this degree affords you, Weber State is voted the top online university in Utah for return on investment by Payscale.com.
South Texas College
Average Net Price
At South Texas College, you can take the first steps to a management role with the medical and health services management bachelor’s. The curriculum blends managerial skills with knowledge of government regulations, health information technology, and ethical training in the healthcare sector. All of it can be done completely online.
Through this curriculum, you’ll be prepared for entry and mid-level management roles in your chosen industry. It takes 120 credit hours to get there. Some core courses are required before you begin foundational courses in the major. These core include math, statistics, calculus, and an assortment of psychology, government, and history courses.
The foundational and upper division curriculum pivots to health services management knowledge. This covers accounting, medical terminology, financial management, human resources, and related topics. A practicum puts you into practice at an approved health care facility. To fulfill these credits, you need to spend 144 hours on site.
Tuition rates put affordability in your control. You pay $850 per semester for all competency-based courses, and have the liberty of taking on as many courses as you can for the flat fee. Core and upper-level courses fall under this competency-based category.
San Diego, California
Average Net Price
National University in San Diego goes beyond teaching just the skills and knowledge you need from a Bachelor of Science in allied health. Through courses in the ethical and legal issues surrounding healthcare trends on a global scale, you’ll also learn to understand the values that make a successful health services professional.
The program is presented in 4-week classes. You can opt to join either online or on campus, giving you options to fit school into your busy schedule. Issues & Trends in Healthcare, Intro to Biomedical Statistics, and Healthy Aging are all part of the required coursework. These, among others, are set requirements for the program, but there is some flexibility with electives.
Electives within the health services department allow you to customize what matters most to you. You can choose from courses like Culture & Health, Health IT Virtual Simulation, or Chronic & Communicable Disease, to name a few. In total, you’ll get to choose six elective courses to fill the requirement.
This program also offers the opportunity to opt for a health informatics concentration. To do so, extra courses are needed. These include Health Information Exchange, Management Information Systems, and Health Informatics.
New York City College of Technology
New York City, New York
Average Net Price
If you’ve already earned an associate degree in a clinical capacity, you can move on to your Bachelor of Science in health services administration at New York City College of Technology. It acts as a way to build on your knowledge and experience so you can move into entry-level management positions.
Since this program covers everything after an associate degree, the coursework is all upper-level. The program accommodates the schedule of a working student by holding classes on weeknights and Saturdays. Some are able to be accessed remotely, giving you the online experience.
In total, 120 credits are required to fulfill the program. About half of these will be fulfilled by previous common core classes. To work toward the bachelor’s, there are 18 program-specific requirements in which all students need to enroll. These include Health Services Management, Health Research Methods, Health Care Ethics, and Health Care Information Systems.
Electives allow you to cross the finish line with a bachelor’s degree. Four of these electives—Health Services Internship, Introduction to Public Health Administration, Nursing Home Administration, and Social Marketing in Healthcare Settings—are all program-specific electives you can take. The remainder are free electives.
Keiser University–Ft Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Average Net Price
Keiser University offers their Bachelor of Arts degree in health services administration both on campus and online. You don’t need any prerequisites, prior education, or prior experience to work toward this degree. All of the 120 necessary credits are available to you as a Keiser student.
To fill all the necessary requirements of a bachelor’s degree, the program is broken into two parts: the lower and upper division. Lower division courses cover general education, such as English, math, communications, and social science. You also get started on the healthcare framework with 24 credits in major courses. These include Principles of Health Services Administration, Accounting, Healthcare Medical Terminology, and Human Resources Management.
The upper division courses move you into advanced concepts of health services management through 48 credits. Some courses to expect here are Research Methods in Healthcare, Long-Term Managed Care Systems, Health Law and Ethics, and Public Health Management. There are also four upper division general education classes on Research Writing, Interpersonal Communication, Intermediate Statistics, and Management Information Systems.
U.S. News and World Report puts it at #34 for social mobility, meaning it’s one of the top performers when it comes to inclusion and diversity. Federal Pell Grants are a large factor in making education affordable and accessible for disadvantaged students. All students who hope to apply can use the Net Price Calculator to gauge the tuition they can expect to pay. A vast majority (81%) of online students receive government-funded aid.
Robert Morris University
Moon Township, Pennsylvania
Average Net Price
At Robert Morris University, you can attain a Bachelor of Science in health services administration either in the classroom or online. This 4-year program prepares you for the growing and dynamic field of health services by starting with the basics. Coursework begins with core credits, moves into major requirements, and allows for a few electives so you can customize your education.
Though core courses are a big aspect of the curriculum, your very first course that kicks off the program is Introduction of Health Services Administration. Along with communication, psychology, and public speaking, you’ll also find yourself exploring Decision Support Systems, Sociology, and Economics in the first year.
The second year brings health services theory to the forefront. Two sections of Health Services Administration are presented back to back through the third semester. This is also joined by Basic Principles of Health Economics and Healthcare Informatics.
You’ll continue to explore case studies and hone your health services skills in your junior and senior year. During this time, there will also be room in your schedule for electives. During your final semester, you’ll get to highlight the values and knowledge learned throughout the program with the undergraduate thesis and internship at an approved site.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Average Net Price
Davenport University gets straight A’s when it comes to its Bachelor of Science in health services administration. Both graduate satisfaction and employment are at 96%. With the option to complete your bachelor’s coming in with an associate-level education or to enter the program fresh, you can get an education from one of three Michigan schools with Association of University Programs in Health Administration certification.
Like most other bachelor’s programs, 120 hours go into the degree from Davenport. If you don’t have credits to transfer, all of the general education can be completed at Davenport. Some of these inaugural classes are what they call “Foundations of Excellence.” They teach general education credits, like writing, algebra, and psychology.
Personal success is also taught within the curriculum itself. Education Success and Presentation Techniques are two courses that build your skills and confidence as you work toward your degree. The curriculum also highlights foundations of health professions through classes like Health Information Technology and Health Care Law and Ethics. These come before you get into the health services major requirements.
Major requirements put health services in the framework of the modern-day system. You’ll learn Cultural Issues in Health Care, Bioethics, and Strategic Planning through this set of requirements. One of the most unique elements of the program is that online students can also complete their practicum online. In place of clinical experience, you’ll spend 120 hours on a project coordinated with a healthcare organization.
Average Net Price
The final school on our list is far from being the worst option for your degree. Hodges University is one of Florida’s most diverse universities as well as one of the state’s best online colleges. The bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration has a blended format that means working professionals can continue their career just as easily as freshmen can begin the path to a bachelor’s.
In fact, the flexibility goes beyond just an online format. The Hodges program offers monthly start dates, so you don’t have to wait before you can get started. There are 60 credits that make up the healthcare administration curriculum. These are on top of 60 credits you’d earn in the first two years of study or through your associate degree.
The prerequisite requirements include core courses in healthcare office administration and health sciences. These cover issues like macroeconomics, personal finance, and principles of marketing. You’ll also be required to have completed general education in algebra, English, and medical terminology.
The major requirements put the health industry into focus. You’ll study the United States healthcare system, learn effective leadership, development, and supervision skills, and practice research methods in health services. The program teaches you the necessary skills, and accelerates the degree so you can put it into practice faster.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check our 25 Best Online Bachelor’s in Human Services and 5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Emergency Management 2020!
How Long Does it Take to Get an Associate Degree?