Welcome to our ranking of the most affordable online health studies and health education degree programs available at the undergraduate level.
Healthcare is a booming field in the United States that will require the help of many more employees in the coming years. To make themselves marketable, some students are seeking degrees in general fields, such as "Health Studies" or "Health Science," as a way to get a broad foundation of knowledge and general skillset useful in the industry. Some students are also attracted to degrees in Health Education or Health Promotion; these degrees focus on preparing graduates for advocacy roles and to help build an emphasis on healthy living in corporations, schools, and communities.
Other than the requirement for internships and practicums, many schools offer these degrees through distance education programs. This makes earning a diploma in Health Studies or Health Education much more convenient for adults and working professionals. Online learning opportunities also encourage current health professionals to return to school to gain additional skills that can help them in their career.
If you're interested in pursuing a online health studies and health education degree, take a look at the list below. Particularly if you are on a budget, the following selection of colleges can help you make a decision about where to apply to school. These online colleges are all accredited, of great quality, but also very affordable – they are the 14 cheapest online colleges that offer Health Studies, Health Education, and/or Health Promotion degrees. (In order to determine the cheapest, we consulted the U.S. Department of Education's College Navigator database.) The online health studies and health education degrees are sorted most expensive to least expensive by their tuition rates, so you can scroll right to the section of the list that fits your budget!
Cheap Online Health Studies and Health Education Degree Program Ranking
14. University of Massachusetts Online
Online BA, Health Studies Concentrations
The University of Massachusetts has created a unique online college learning system that brings together the resources of five public school campuses across the state. This system allows students to complete their degree in a 100% online format. One such degree is a B.A. in Health Studies, which prepares students for a career in healthcare administration, public health, health management, health education, policy and advocacy, mental health and substance abuse, and many other fields. In addition to providing a high quality curriculum, this top online college also attracts distinguished professors who are extremely knowledgeable in their area of study. UMass as a great reputation not just in the U.S., but worldwide; Times World University Rankings named the college in the top 50 schools in the world.
Tuition: $13,443/yr (In-state) $28,159/yr (Out-of-state)
13. Pennsylvania College of Technology
Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Studies Online
The Pennsylvania College of Technology offers a bachelor's degree in Applied Health Studies that is perfect for students who want to combine the study of healthcare with the latest technological developments. The online health studies degree program is ideal for working professionals who are already registered in a healthcare profession and want to augment their experience. It is also a great option for those interested in becoming an occupational therapy assistant or physical fitness specialist, or working in radiography, cardiovascular technology, or emergency medical services. Penn College is an affiliate of Penn State and is dedicated entirely to technology education, a mission which sets it apart from other top online colleges. And it truly does have a reputation for excellence; U.S. News has rated it one of the best public colleges in the region.
Tuition: $14,940/yr (In-state) $21,180/yr (Out-of-state)
12. University of Iowa
Online Bachelor of Liberal Studies: Health and Human Studies Track
The University of Iowa's bachelor's degree program in Liberal Studies can be customized in a number of ways to meet your unique interests. Available specializations within the major include Organizational Studies, Global Studies, and Health and Human Studies, the latter of which emphasizes the social aspects of healthcare. Students study topics like anatomy and nutrition as well as psychology, trauma, behavior modification, and leadership. This degree is available entirely through Iowa's online college and also includes the opportunity to earn a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management, Nonprofit Management, or Public Health. To get into the program, applicants must be able to transfer certain credits from another accredited online college or community college. The university is a top-rated institution with rankings in U.S. News, Forbes, Times Higher Education, Washington Monthly, and other publications.
Tuition: $8,061/yr (In-state) $26,931/yr (Out-of-state)
11. University of Florida
Bachelor of Science in Health Education and Behavior Online
The B.S. in Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida is focused on health education training, with courses that focus on both individual and group settings. Instructors address a variety of methodologies, giving special attention to diversity and culturally appropriate strategies. Distinctive degree programs like this are part of what make U of F a top online college. And in fact, Forbes has listed the university among the top 15 public institutions in the country. Graduates of the online health education degree program can work in a diverse array of fields, including clinics, community health centers, or industry-related settings, or could pursue a master's degree.
Tuition: $6,263/yr (In-state) $28,541/yr (Out-of-state)
10. Excelsior College
Online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (Health Education Emphasis)
Excelsior is an accredited online college and a leader in distance education. Its program offerings include a number of subjects within the Health Sciences, including Public Health, Health and Wellness, and Health Education. Students take courses in a rotating 8-week schedule so that they can complete classes efficiently while maintaining their busy lives outside of school. Excelsior also offers substantial credit for prior academic experience and even professional licenses, which can significantly reduce the time that people have to spend earning their degree. Additional benefits of Excelsior include that it is a relatively affordable online college and that it offers advantages to veterans. In fact, Military Times has already rated the school as a "Best for Vets."
9. Kent State University
Online Bachelor of Science in Public Health: Health Promotion and Education Concentration
Kent State's B.S. in Public Health is fully customizable, with emphases available in a number of areas. No matter what, students build a foundation in key areas of public health, such as biostatistics, policy and management, epidemiology, environmental health, and behavioral sciences. Students can then choose to specialize in one of seven focus areas, two of which are available entirely through distance education. Individuals who want to attend college online should select a speciality in Health Promotion and Education or Allied Health, the former of which covers the promotion of healthy behaviors related to alcohol, drug use, sexual activity, violence, exercise, and more. Many consider Kent to be one of the area's best online colleges, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recently listed it among the best public research institutions in the state.
Tuition: $9,816/yr (In-state) $17,776/yr (Out-of-state)
8. University of North Carolina Greensboro
BS in Public Health Education Online
The degree in Public Health Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro reflects the need for healthcare professionals who are also beacons of advocacy, health promotion, and disease prevention. Similar to many other online colleges, UNC Greensboro's program is meant for degree completion, so applicants should either have an associate's degree already, or have at least finished the prerequisities for the B.S. program at another institution. In addition to preparing to be educators, students at this accredited online college also practice investigating health-related problems and evaluating the effectiveness of services. U.S. News has given UNC Greensboro top scores for its undergraduate programs, graduate programs, and overall standing as a public institution.
Tuition: $6,382/yr (In-state) $20,180/yr (Out-of-state)
7. Texas Woman's University
Bachelor of Applied Science (Health Professions) Online
Texas Woman's University also offers an undergraduate degree completion program for those interested in Health Studies. Because of the broad appeal of the accredited online health studies degree and the emphasis on applied healthcare, the online college will accept students with A.A. or A.S. degrees in a number of fields, such as echocardiology technology, diagnostic medical sonography, and biotechnology, to name a few. TWU is a particularly good choice for those who can get in-state tuition, as it makes this school an even cheaper option than other affordable online colleges. Students who are interested in graduate school might also want to choose TWU, as many of its healthcare-related master's degree programs have been recognized by U.S. News.
Tuition: $7,339/yr (In-state) $17,965/yr (Out-of-state)
6. Appalachian State University
Online Health Promotion (BS)
Appalachian State's accredited online college education program is designed with busy, working professionals in mind. The cheap online health studies and health education degree program is structured to continue year-round, with classes offered on a part-time basis, two per semester. Individuals attending the college online can move through the program at an easy pace and only need to take one face-to-face course in the form of a local internship. In addition to the internship, students take courses in Anatomy and Physiology, Public Speaking, Biology, Lifestyle Disease and Risk Reduction, and many other topics that will prepare them for work in health promotion. A small but reputable school, Appalachian State often makes it onto top-ranked lists by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Consumer Digest, and Princeton Review, and was even named "College of the Year" by Time in 2001.
Tuition: $6,462/yr (In-state) $18,670/yr (Out-of-state)
5. University of Louisiana at Monroe
Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Studies (BS) Online
The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers a bachelor's of science in Health Studies entirely online, but it is only available to students who have completed the Healthcare Management/Marketing degree plan option at the school. Another option also available to students who want to attend college online is the COTA to BSHS Bridge Program. This is a unique opportunity available to Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants who want to earn both a B.S. in Health Studies and a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy. Students can conveniently finish all these programs entirely through ULM's accredited online college and graduate with the experience they need to work in both healthcare management and applied health environments. As with many other schools on this list, ULM has been recognized by U.S. News in several categories, including being named a best online college for bachelor's programs.
Tuition: $6,318/yr (In-state) $16,890/yr (Out-of-state)
4. Walden University
B.S. in Health Studies Online
Walden University is a well known, reputable online college that offers bachelor's and master's degrees in a variety of fields. One such degree is the B.S. in Health Studies, which provides students with the skills and training they need to take on financial, managerial, and organizational roles in healthcare. The degree is highly flexible and is ideal for individuals with a wide range of backgrounds, including those with experience in allied health and those new to the field. It also allows students to concentrate in one of 10 areas, including Health Promotion and Wellness, Health Communication, and even a self-designed specialization. Students who went to this college online and submitted surveys on College Prowler overwhelmingly report that Walden's education is valuable, worth the money, and meaningful.
3. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Online BS Kinesiology, Health Promotion & Wellness Concentration
Students interested in attending the University of Louisiana are lucky in that they actually have two campuses from which to choose; besides Monroe, the Lafayette campus also offers a health studies-related degree. Furthermore, this school is actually a slightly more affordable online college for both in-state and out-of-state students than its Monroe neighbor. This degree is in Kinesiology and comes with an optional concentration in Health Promotion and Wellness. It is designed for students who want to work in a corporate setting and be responsible for promoting client and employee health, as well as for evaluating strategies that encourage a healthly lifestyle. ULL has not only received accolades from Princeton Review and U.S. News as one of the best online colleges, but was also rated the #4 school for social mobility by Washington Monthly.
Tuition: $6,192/yr (In-state) $15,742/yr (Out-of-state)
2. Kaplan University
Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Online
Kaplan University is another popular choice for students who want to attend college online. The school's B.S. in Health and Wellness was created in response to the country's growing emphasis on healthcare and provides the necessary training for a range of positions. Students take classes that cover everything from current trends in exercise and the impact of stress to wellness program design and alternative medicine. The university's base tuition is already affordable, but it's tuition discounts make it a really cheap online college for military members, veterans, and their spouses. Its value and quality have earned it multiple spots on top-ranked college lists, and U.S. News labeled it one of the best online colleges for bachelor's degrees.
1. University of Wisconsin Online
Online Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management
Lastly, the University of Wisconsin Online offers an online college program in Health and Wellness Management. To qualify, applicants must have earned at least 60 semester credits with at least a 2.0 GPA at another online school or community college. Classes include "Health and Medical Terminology," "Health and Wellness Coaching," and "Health Literacy," and are taught with the expectation that graduates will find successful work as healthcare managers, sports directors, and wellness coordinators. UW is a great choice for students who want access to the resources of a large public institution while also taking advantage of the benefits of an incredibly affordable online college. Admittants to the online health studies and health education degree program get great tuition rates and will also be excited to hear that the QS World Rankings placed UW as the 37th best school in the world.
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.