Online Bachelor's in Health Science Programs (BSHS/BHS, BAS)

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Healthcare and social assistance make up one of the largest employment sectors in the United States, and it’s growing rapidly. By illustration, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted 20 percent job growth nationally for health service managers nationwide between 2016 and 2026—much faster than the projected average for all occupations during that same decade (7 percent).

Considering this higher-than-average growth projection and strong employment outlook, a degree in health science may be a wise investment for those contemplating professional work in health-related industries—those new to the workforce and career-changers alike.

Two types of degrees are available in health science: bachelor of science in health sciences (BSHS) / bachelor of health science (BHS), and bachelor of applied science (BAS). The BSHS or BHS is best suited to students who are undecided in their career, but want to explore the options in a range of clinical and administrative healthcare professions, or pursue a health-related graduate degree in the future.

Graduate or professional health science programs include clinical research administration, regulatory science, epidemiology, microbiology, bioinformatics, and community health education. If considering an advanced degree in one of these fields, be sure to consult program-specific requirements to ensure that a health science bachelor’s degree is an accepted precursor to graduate study at that institution. Most graduate programs in healthcare administration will accept a bachelor’s in health sciences, but graduate laboratory science programs may require more undergraduate biology coursework, for example.

The BAS is considered a career training degree with a more hands-on, experiential nature than most traditional BSHS or BHS degrees. Such programs are specifically designed to provide workplace skill development; the BAS generally builds upon the training students received in associate-level (AAS) programs to gain access to work in a particular segment of the health industry. Because of this, many BAS programs, and some BSHS programs, are actually bachelor’s completion programs (or “bachelor’s completers”) designed for medical technicians who hold associate degrees and wish to complete their bachelor’s.

Undergraduate programs in the health sciences entail around 120 hours of coursework. Programs tailored to students already in possession of an associate degree accept transfer credits and typically take two years to complete. Program length varies, however, depending on the number of transferable credits, completion of pre- and co-requisite courses, and full- or part-time study.

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Professors to Know in Online Bachelor's in Health Sciences Programs

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    Musheera AnisAbdellatif, PhD - University of South Dakota

    Dr. Musheera Anis is an assistant professor in the health sciences department at the University of South Dakota, where she leads courses in nutrition and research methods, among others. She has more than 15 years of clinical experience as a pediatric neuropsychiatrist, and is interested in developmental psychology, psychiatric disorders, disability studies, and attachment theory. Her current research includes a trans-cultural study of attachment theory in three countries: the US, Nigeria and Egypt, through which she mentors both graduate and undergraduate students.

    Dr. Musheera holds a PhD in child development and educational psychology (USD) and an MD (Mansoura University). She is the 2018 recipient of a USD School of Education Research Center grant to study the structure and function of adolescent attachment networks, and co-author of an article published in the Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing on cultural competency, sexual victimization, and student behaviors (2017).

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    Botswana Blackburn, PhD - University of Missouri

    Dr. Botswana Blackburn is the current program director of the health sciences program in the School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri and an associate teaching professor, where she leads courses in public health, healthcare in the U.S., and healthcare organization and leadership.

    Dr. Blackburn holds a PhD in education and the social science consortium (University of Missouri–Kansas City), an MEd in health education and promotion (University of Missouri–Columbia), and a BA in broadcast journalism. Notably, she worked as a public health specialist and health educator for the Kansas City Health Department and as a treatment adherence coordinator for the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network.

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    Crystal Dunlevy, EdD - Ohio State University

    Dr. Crystal Dunlevy is an associate professor and the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her work as a educator, faculty member, and scholarly writer. In 2015 alone she was honored with three such awards: the Sphinx/Mortar Board Outstanding Educator, the Ohio State College of Medicine Faculty Award, and the Ohio State Emerging Service-Learning Award.

    Among her many publications are two book chapters focused on respiratory care and an article in the Respiratory Care Education Annual on the use of tobacco in the LGBT young adult community in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Dunlevy holds degrees in educational theory, policy, and administration (EdD, Rutgers); technical education (MS, University of Akron); biology (BA, University of Akron); and respiratory therapy (AAS, University of Akron). Her research interests include teaching and learning, community health, and healthcare disparities.

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