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Online Healthcare Degree Programs

Healthcare is a large, complex, and evolving field in which physicians and nurses are only the most visible practitioners. There are in fact dozens of other types of specialists whose expertise and services are integral to the healthcare system. These specialists include a wide and varied range of allied health professionals who work as nutritionists and dietitians, physical therapists, clinical researchers, medical technicians, information technologists, regulatory compliance and safety officers, policy experts, program administrators, and organizational leaders.

Making an informed decision about career preparation and advancement in healthcare can be difficult. There are different types of degree and certificate programs for various healthcare specializations and often several pathways for career advancement within each field. Clinical healthcare fields generally require practitioners to receive supervised training through formal internships and practicums prior to applying for state licensure and/or professional certification. However, there are degree programs that allow students to fulfill internship requirements while taking all or most of their classes online. There are also online programs that offer professional training and instruction in non-clinical areas of healthcare, such as public health and healthcare administration, and in the management of healthcare data and informatics systems.

These online healthcare degree programs represent a flexible alternative to traditional, campus-based programs, and provide a more convenient option for students who would prefer not to move, travel, or commute to a school’s campus in order to earn a degree in the field.

How Classifies Online Healthcare Degree Programs conducts in-depth, independent research into online baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in healthcare and classifies these programs based on several important criteria. In order to be included on the site, a healthcare degree program must be offered by a regionally accredited, non-profit college or university. In addition, all or most of the program’s didactic instruction must be offered online. Programs that require students to attend more than two campus visits or on-campus sessions per year are considered hybrid or campus-based programs and are not included on the site.

Online healthcare degree programs are classified based on their degree level, and through an analysis of program curricula using the best available data and information from recognized institutional and programmatic accreditation organizations. Currently, identifies healthcare programs in the following areas and groups them accordingly:

  • Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration (BHA) Programs: Online BHA programs provide students with a designated major in the administrative aspects of healthcare, including instruction in the economics of healthcare, the operation challenges of managing healthcare enterprises, and complexities of healthcare policy.
  • Bachelor’s in Health Science (BHS) Programs: Online BHS programs offer a major in either health science or health sciences, which generally includes coursework in biology, physiology, psychology, and other medical sciences, and can serve as preparation for graduate studies in various clinical fields, including medicine, dentistry, nutrition, and pharmacology.
  • Master’s in Clinical Research Programs: A master’s-level curriculum in clinical research prepares students for the administrative and management challenges of coordinating and facilitating healthcare research projects for hospitals, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and academic institutions.
  • Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) Programs: The MHA degree is designed to provide students with advanced knowledge and proficiencies in the various functional areas of running hospitals and other healthcare businesses, including financial management and budgeting, staffing and human resources, and logistics and quality control.
  • Master’s in Health Informatics Programs: Studying health informatics or health information management (HIM) at the master’s level involves coursework in the design and management of healthcare database and electronic medical records systems, the data mining process, analytics methods, and the legal and privacy issues surrounding patient data.
  • Master’s in Nutrition Programs: Online master’s in nutrition programs provide students with advanced theoretical and practice-based training in the science of food and diet, nutritional assessment protocols, health and wellness programs, and the therapeutic use of nutrition to treat disease and other medical issues.
  • Master’s in Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality (PSHQ) Programs: Students in an online master’s in PSHQ program learn how advances in healthcare technologies and evidence-based clinical practice are applied in clinical care settings to reduce risk, improve outcomes, and create a culture of accountability around patient safety and healthcare quality issues.
  • Master’s in Public Health (MPH) Programs: The MPH curriculum is designed to provide students with the tools to connect research in healthcare, medicine, and social science to practical policies that improve community and population health and reduce the incidence of chronic and infectious diseases.
  • Master’s in Regulatory Science and Affairs Programs: A master’s-level curriculum in regulatory science and affairs covers topics relevant to managing the research, development, and approval processes for drugs, medical devices, biotechnology products, and other therapeutics that are regulated by state, federal, and international agencies.
  • Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) Programs: Online tDPT programs are designed to provide advanced training and a terminal degree to licensed, practicing physical therapists through a curriculum that includes coursework in diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, and business management principles for PTs.

Additional Healthcare Program Resources

As part of our research into online healthcare degree programs, consults with and interviews experts in various healthcare fields and aggregates the most up-to-date information on trends and developments in healthcare education. The program pages below provide detailed information on admissions requirements and accreditation standards for each type of degree program, as well as on program curricula, internship requirements, and issues related to online program formats, such as the difference between synchronous and asynchronous instruction. In our FAQ section we provide answers to commonly asked questions about education, training, certifications, licensure, and careers in healthcare. Check out our school profiles to learn more about featured healthcare degree programs.

Online Healthcare Degree Programs:

Online Bachelor’s in Health Sciences Programs

Students in an online bachelor’s in health science program learn about human physiological, psychological, and social development, medical terminology and practices, and public health policy in preparation for careers in allied health professions and further professional graduate studies in medicine, nursing, and other healthcare fields.

Online Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Programs

Online bachelor’s in healthcare administration programs provide students with coursework in business management for healthcare professionals, the US healthcare system and healthcare policy, and technical aspects of working in healthcare management.

Online Bachelor’s in Medical Laboratory Science (MLT-to-MLS) Completion Programs

Online MLT-to-MLS bachelor’s programs provide medical laboratory technicians who hold an associate degree in medical technology or the equivalent with two years of advanced training in medical laboratory science, allowing those students to complete a bachelor’s degree without repeating associate-level coursework.

Online Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) Programs

An online Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) program can prepare students for clinical practice, policy research, and/or organizational management in the interdisciplinary field of behavioral health, which seeks to implement public health models that integrate behavioral and medical approaches to healthcare delivery.

Online Master of Public Health Programs

Online MPH programs provide professional, master’s-level training for public health professionals in community, population, and environmental health issues, public health research, and the implementation and coordination of policies to improve public health.

Online Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs

Online master’s in speech-language pathology programs provide training in SLP to students who want to prepare to work as speech therapists without having to commute to classes at a college campus.

Online Master’s in Clinical Research Administration Programs

Online master’s in clinical research administration (CRA) degree programs are designed to prepare students for professional careers overseeing and managing medical research projects for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and academic research centers.

Online Master’s in Health Administration Programs

Online master’s in health administration (MHA) programs use distance learning technologies to offer training and instruction in healthcare business, policy, and law, as well as healthcare technologies and other aspects of healthcare administration.

Online Master’s in Healthcare Informatics Programs

Students in an online master’s in healthcare informatics program receive training in data privacy and security, IT project management, and the design and management of data collection and storage systems used by healthcare organizations.

Online Master’s in Medical Laboratory Science Programs

Online master’s in medical laboratory science programs provide medical laboratory professionals with graduate training in laboratory management, advanced medical testing procedures, emerging medical technologies, and other areas that may provide opportunities for career advancement.

Online Master’s in Nutrition Programs

Students in an online master’s in nutrition degree program learn about the science of nutrition, policies and programs designed to improve individual and community health through diet, and the latest advances in food research in preparation for careers in dietetics, nutrition education and consulting, and dietary counseling.

Online Master’s in Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality Programs

Online master’s in patient safety and healthcare quality (PSHQ) programs train students in the practical application of risk reduction and quality improvement strategies throughout the healthcare system.

Online Master’s in Regulatory Science and Affairs Programs

Online master’s in regulatory science and affairs programs prepare students for the challenges of navigating the regulatory constraints and ethical concerns associated with the research, development, and manufacturing processes for biotechnology products and medical devices.

Online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs

A guide to online transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree programs, including eligibility requirements for tDPT programs, online instructional methods, and details regarding the tDPT curriculum.