A health services degree program teaches students communication, leadership, and analytical skills while developing their expertise in the medical or healthcare industry.
Health care services majors typically have an interest in healthcare or are currently healthcare professionals looking to advance their careers.
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Health services professionals often find positions in hospitals, long-term care facilities, insurance companies, home healthcare, physicians’ offices, and other healthcare settings. Continue reading to learn more about health services degrees and the many specialty areas they may cover.
Online Health Services Degrees
As a health services major, your education will be focused on learning general knowledge about health and applied science while taking classes on leadership. Upon completion of your core classes, you can choose a specialty, such as information technology, administration, or nursing.
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A health and human services bachelors program typically consists of 120 credits, including core courses and elective courses, and takes approximately 4 years to complete with full-time study. There are a variety of career paths that a health services major may pursue. A graduate’s options when entering the workforce will likely depend on their prior experience and their degree specialization.
To give you an idea of potential career paths, here are some common health care settings:
- Physicians’ offices
- Dentists’ offices
- Home healthcare
- Offices of specialized medical practitioners
- Outpatient care centers
- Ambulatory healthcare services
- Diagnostic laboratories
In order to gain a general knowledge of the healthcare industry, students will be required to take classes that tackle numerous aspects of the industry. While the specific courses you encounter will vary by school, here are some subjects you may study:
- Healthcare operations
- Healthcare policy
- Healthcare financial management
- Healthcare information systems
- Public health
Earning a health services degree can be a strategic way to begin your journey in healthcare or take your current career to the next level.
Common Online Health Services Bachelor’s Degree Specializations
A health care services program typically requires students to choose a specialty in order to complete their education. Below is a list of some sample specialties you may take:
- Health Services Administration. This concentration is designed to teach you how to handle the finances of health organizations, deal with health services personnel, and manage state or federal departments’ health services.
- Mental Health Services. This specialty teaches you about mental illness as a physical illness and combines science and social work to form its curriculum.
- Nursing. A nursing specialty involves a rigorous curriculum for students who plan to move on to nursing school, so they will study many subjects within the medical field.
- Risk Management. This concentration teaches you how to reduce medical errors, control challenges, and implement patient safety initiatives.
- Information Technology. You’ll learn how to gather digital health information and handle technical systems within the healthcare industry.
Depending on the program, you may even be able to take electives that will help you choose your focus.
Health Services Careers & Salaries
A health services degree can prepare graduates for a wide range of career paths within the healthcare sector. Your degree specialization can help tailor your studies toward your preferred career.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some potential health services careers.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Human Resources Managers||$126,230|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$101,340|
|Administrative Services and Facilities Managers||$99,290|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$74,000|
|Health Education Specialists||$60,600|
|Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians||$57,800|
|Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars||$55,560|
|Medical Records Specialists||$46,660|
|Nursing Assistants and Orderlies||$30,290|
While a health care services degree can help you qualify for a range of careers, depending on your specialization, a degree does not guarantee a certain position or salary.
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If you have a particular career path in mind, it’s beneficial to search for schools that offer the health services specialization that best aligns with your goals.
Health Services Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses
A health care services program involves both core and elective courses that are designed to prepare you to be a leader in the healthcare industry. Here are some samples of courses you may encounter in your education:
- US Health Care System: This course provides you with an overview of the US healthcare system, including its organization, delivery, and financing.
- Research Methods and Issues in Health Science: You’ll learn the four main aspects of medical research.
- Health Care Leadership: Skills and Styles: In this course, you’ll learn about the behavioral styles that contribute to effective leadership within health care.
- Ethical and Legal Issues in the Health Professions: You’ll learn about the ethical and legal issues within the healthcare field.
- Public Health Concepts: This course introduces you to the core tenets of public health.
- Optimizing Your Health and Performance: This course delves into the practices and research involved in the optimization of health and performance.
- An Exploration of Well-Being: You’ll learn about the mindsets, habits, and strategies that lead to greater awareness of lifelong well-being.
- Cultural Aspects of Health: This course teaches you about how culture affects health care and the health disparities in the US.
- Introduction to Psychology: This course will outline the major areas of psychological theory and research.
- Global Health Care Systems: You’ll study the healthcare system on an international level, including the challenges faced by those seeking health services.
The specific courses you take can vary depending on the school you choose to attend, but this list may give you an idea of what your courses will be like.
The admissions requirements for a health care services program are generally the same as most other bachelors programs. Admissions requirements can vary depending on the school you choose, but here are some common criteria you can expect to see:
- ACT or SAT scores (if required)
- Letters of recommendation
- High school transcripts
Admissions requirements can change over time, like with test scores. It’s helpful to research the specific criteria of your prospective schools.
If you decide to pursue a bachelor’s in health care services, it’s beneficial to research accredited universities that offer programs that fit your goals. Receiving a bachelors degree is an accomplishment in itself, but studying at an accredited university has many advantages.
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Regional accreditation is the process by which a university passes a variety of tests that testify to its standard of education. Studying at an accredited university means receiving a quality education. Attending an accredited school is a also a precondition for some forms of financial aid.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Many students seek financial aid to help them cover the cost of their education. If you find yourself in this position, there are a variety of options you can explore.
The most common aid option is student loans from the federal government. You can apply for federal aid by submitting the FAFSA. This form can also determine whether you’re eligible for grants or work-study programs. For students who qualify, aid is also available on the state level.
Many students also seek scholarship opportunities from their school or outside organizations. While student loans have to be paid back, scholarships and grants don’t require repayment. Some employers also offer tuition benefits to workers who are furthering their education.
Health Services Professional Organizations
If you become involved in the healthcare industry, it may be beneficial for you to join a professional organization. A health services professional organization allows working professionals to network and gain resources or information about the industry as a whole.
Below is a list of popular organizations that health care workers might join:
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM)
- American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
- Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA)
Joining a professional organization isn’t necessary for success in your field, but it could be a helpful way to experience different aspects of the industry.
What Is a Health Services Degree?
A health services degree is an area of study that is designed to provide students with a general knowledge of the healthcare system. After general knowledge is established, you can choose a specialty within the healthcare field to help prepare you for work in your preferred sector.
These programs are typically designed for emerging students with an interest in health care, but there are also many working professionals who become health services majors. This type of program may even be offered online, providing more flexibility for students.
What Can You Do with a Health Services Administration Degree?
A bachelor in health services administration provides students with a unique education. It combines compassion with knowledge of medical technologies to elevate wellness within a community.
People with a bachelor in health services administration may go on to work in hospitals, care facilities, physicians’ offices, or other healthcare facilities. Others may work in education or public health. Many health services administration graduates become medical or health services managers. Some may work as nursing home administrators, clinical managers, or health information managers.
Others may decide to continue their education in an on-campus or online health services administration masters degree program that a growing number of universities now offer.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelors Degree in Health Services Administration Online?
Generally speaking, a bachelors degree in health services administration consists of around 120 total credits and usually takes 4 years to complete with full-time enrollment. The time it takes to complete a program, though, depends on a few factors.
For instance, if you pursue a health services program online, then you may be able to complete the program more quickly with an accelerated track. Due to the flexibility that online programs provide, many students may also take courses more casually, causing them to take longer to complete their degree.
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The duration of your education also depends on whether or not you study full-time or part-time. How long the program takes for you may depend on your specific situation and goals.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Health Services Degree?
A health services degree can be applied to a wide range of jobs, and your degree specialization can help you develop skills in the chosen sector of your choice.
For instance, some graduates go on to become clinical laboratory technologists, health education specialists, health information technologists, or medical records specialists. Others become practitioners’ assistants, such as medical assistants, nursing assistants, dental assistants, or psychiatric technicians.
Those with experience or a specialization in healthcare administration may qualify for leadership roles. For instance, they might pursue work as medical and health services managers or social and community service managers.
What Does a Medical and Health Services Manager Do?
A medical and health services manager is primarily responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and supervising how a facility practices and delivers healthcare to its patients.
These roles and responsibilities may involve:
- Managing operations and activities of health clinics or programs
- Overseeing clinical teams
- Providing guidance to team members
- Staying informed about relevant laws and policies pertaining to clinic operations
Day-to-day tasks and overall responsibilities may vary depending on the specific organization and role. For instance, some health services managers work as health information managers or administrators of healthcare facilities.
What’s the Difference Between a Bachelors in Health Services Administration vs. Healthcare Administration?
A bachelors in health services administration and a bachelors in healthcare administration are often confused for each other. This table can help clarify some of the differences between the two.
|Health Services Administration||Healthcare Administration|
It’s helpful to understand the differences between these sectors so that you can choose the bachelor program that best fits your goals.
Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Services Management Worth It?
Yes, a bachelor’s degree in health services management is worth it for many students. Whether or not a health care services program is right for you depends on your goals and specific situation.
Many students choose to earn a health services degree because the careers it may lead to are in-demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations are expected to see 13% job growth over the next ten years, which is much faster than average. In addition, 28% job growth is expected for medical and health services managers.
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A health services degree tends to offer a range of specializations, allowing you to tailor your studies to your preferred career path in the healthcare industry.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Health Service Degree Program
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
CUNY School of Professional Studies offers a Bachelor’s in Health Services Administration. This program may be an ideal fit for students interested in administrative work in settings like clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Students must complete 120 credit hours at minimum with a 2.0 GPA or higher to graduate. The program is housed fully online.
The CUNY School of Professional Studies is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Drexel University offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration. Graduates often pursue careers as medical office managers, insurance analysts, healthcare administrators, or human resources managers. Classes are offered 100% online, and each one is 10 weeks long. The program allows the transfer of up to 75 approved credits from outside institutions.
Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Eastern Kentucky University offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration. The curriculum utilizes an online learning format and accelerated, 8 week terms. This program is designed to provide students with the skills to serve as leaders and administrators in the field of healthcare. Incoming students can select one of six yearly start dates.
Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Florida International University offers a Bachelor of Health Services Administration. The program aims to graduate competent and compassionate individuals to fill the growing need for leadership in healthcare. The curriculum consists of 120 credit hours total. Students can attend classes entirely online while having around-the-clock access to coursework and resources.
Florida International University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Missouri State University offers a Bachelor of Sciences in Health Services. This program is designed to prepare students for entry-level administrative roles or further studies in the field of healthcare. Upon completion of general education requirements, most students can complete their major-specific coursework in just 2 years. All classes meet online.
Missouri State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Bachelor of Health Sciences program at Old Dominion University offers an online concentration in Health Services Administration. This program may be an excellent next step for students pursuing administrative roles in diverse healthcare settings. The curriculum consists of 120 credits. Classes cover core concepts like population health, research methods, healthcare policy, informatics, and managerial epidemiology.
Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Central Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration. The program’s convenient online learning format is designed to give busy students flexibility. Students must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. Graduates of the program often pursue careers as administrators in human resources departments, nursing facilities, hospital systems, and community organizations.
The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Louisiana—Lafayette offers a fully online program for a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Education. This program’s interdisciplinary nature is designed to give students broadly applicable skills in the field of healthcare.
Students can attend classes using traditional, 16 week or accelerated, 8 week schedules. Classes cover topics like medical terminology, health information systems, organizational behavior, and healthcare policy.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Maryland Global Campus offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management. The program has a generous transfer policy and flexible online learning options. The curriculum consists of 120 credit hours. On average, students can complete their baccalaureate and major requirements in 4 years of full-time study.
University of Maryland Global Campus is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Western Governors University offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Coordination. The program may be an ideal next step for students interested in entry-level leadership or administrative roles in healthcare. After completing general education coursework, students can potentially complete their major-specific requirements in just 16 months. All classes are held online.
Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Health Service Degree Online
A health services degree is beneficial for students who have an interest in the healthcare field and in helping others. These programs are designed to merge critical thinking, people skills, and medical knowledge so that graduates can enter their chosen fields with the necessary skills.
Health services positions are essential jobs that are in demand. Health services professionals may focus on health education, administration, information technology, or nursing, among many other specialty areas.
If you’re ready to take your education to the next level, you can begin researching accredited schools today to find the health services program and specialization that’s best for you.