Best Online Healthcare Degree Programs

More jobs are projected to open up in healthcare than any other field. Enrolling in an online healthcare degree program can help you build the real-world skills needed for a job in the healthcare industry.

The demand for healthcare occupations arises from the need for more healthcare services overall and the aging baby-boom population, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As reported by the White House, the healthcare sector is likely to open up 3.5 million new jobs by 2026. Some healthcare occupations, like registered nurses, home health aides, massage therapists, genetic counselors, and EMTs, are seeing significant job demand. 

Government initiatives such as Health Career Pathways launched in 2016 seeks to identify jobs in healthcare that are most in-demand and align education and skills to meet the needs of healthcare employers. The government’s 10-year plan initiated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop an interoperable IT healthcare infrastructure is also likely to directly impact those who are interested in careers related to online health information, health administration or health informatics. The highest projected job growth in upcoming years is expected to be for the healthcare support, healthcare practitioner, and healthcare technical occupations.

What makes a successful healthcare professional? According to Ram Raju, President and CEO of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, “One of the most critical elements for success is having high-quality diverse talent that can engage patients in improving their health – not just providing routine healthcare services.”

Whether you are a high school graduate, a working professional or an adult learner ready for a career change, there is a vast array of choices from associate to graduate levels for online degree programs in healthcare. This page can serve as a guide providing the information you need as you consider a career in the healthcare industry.

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
  • Offering over 200 online degree programs

Online health degree programs vary in length of time and depth of study, but the Lumina Foundation estimates that two-thirds of high-quality jobs will likely require some type of postsecondary education by 2020. A variety of online health degree programs can be found in the fields of administration, rehabilitative therapy, health and fitness or mental health and may offer the quality education you seek.

Be sure to click on the buttons under each section to find detailed information on each degree program — information that can serve as a guide as you consider your degree options.

Use our top college listing to find an online college that can provide you with the best online student experience. Our rankings consider factors important to you as a distance education learner.

Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

Healthcare administration is a broad field with online healthcare degrees available at many levels. The Lumina Foundation reports that “technology growth and the retirement of the baby-boom generation is creating more demand for IT and health care workers,” suggesting that online healthcare programs in the IT field — like informatics — could be a smart move. However, administrative jobs could include others, such as dental office management, medical billing and quality control and safety.

Click on any of the buttons below to find detailed information such as the salary you can expect, the typical duties you may be performing, career outlook and the kind of coursework you can expect, by degree level.

Online Healthcare Therapy Degree Programs

Healthcare therapy is another field offering many different career paths and room for growth. For example, you could choose a degree program in an area like respiratory therapy or occupational therapy. These fields can be highly rewarding, allow you to work one-on-one with people and also earn a rewarding salary. Reasons for entering a therapy field, such as physical therapy, include the opportunity for growth, the shot at a flexible schedule and the chance to help rehabilitate patients.

Click on the buttons directly below to find out what you can do with any one of these degrees and what might your income, responsibilities and coursework look like.

Online Health and Fitness Degree Programs

You may love the opportunity to help others get fit and healthy through a career in nutrition, sports and fitness or even public health. While academic courses are different for each of these, they all give you the opportunity to impact others. The fact that people are interested in health and fitness is reflected in the demand for nutritionists and dieticians. Job growth in these fields is expected to be 15 percent, or much faster than average, from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS. Similarly, job growth for fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by 10 percent by 2026.

Check out degree programs related to health and fitness by clicking on the buttons below to find detailed information on wages, coursework by degree level, and the kind of jobs you might be able to do with any one of these health and fitness degrees.

Online Mental Health Degree Programs

You may think that pursuing a career in the mental health field means becoming a psychologist and while this is one option, you also could train to become a counselor or school counselor. In fact, job growth for school and career counselors is expected to be 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than average job growth for all occupations. As a career counselor, you can help people transition from one career to another while counseling on college campuses is a need as students prepare for the work force and its real-world demands, according to the BLS.

Clicking on the buttons below provides more details about online mental health degrees such as the kind of jobs you may be able to get, estimated wages, and coursework, by degree level.

Online Specialized Health Practices Degree Programs

Specialized practices in healthcare may include degrees in medical technology, nursing, radiological services, veterinary and health sciences. These fields provide an opportunity to specialize in very specific fields of care and to complete a degree that prepares you for entry-level work. Job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026 — growth that is considered much faster than average, according to the BLS.

Be sure to click on the buttons directly below for information on salary, jobs related to each degree and the kind of coursework you might need to take.

We ranked the top 10 colleges for an online healthcare degree based on a number of quantifiable factors. These data-driven rankings include schools offering an online or hybrid degree program in the healthcare field. We ranked these online colleges for healthcare using factors important to online students such as tuition, percentage of financial aid and placement services. We encourage you to look at the methodology at the bottom of the page.

10 Best Online Colleges for Associate Degrees in Healthcare

An online associate degree program can take around two years to earn. If you choose an allied healthcare field, such as dental hygiene, medical technology, respiratory or occupational therapy, you may quickly be able to find an entry-level job. Check out the chart below for degree ideas, and keep in mind that online programs at the associate level in healthcare could lead to competitive wages.

10 Best Online Colleges for Bachelor’s Degrees in Healthcare

Online healthcare programs at the bachelor’s level typically take four years to complete, but sometimes can be completed at an accelerated pace. This means you could find a job in the workforce earlier than anticipated and begin to earn wages appropriate to your degree. Some occupations, such as healthcare management or health information management, require just a bachelor’s degree.

10 Best Online Colleges for Master’s Degrees in Healthcare

An online master’s degree program in healthcare typically takes two years to complete, although some programs are available at an accelerated pace. Available degree programs include a master of science in healthcare administration and an MBA in healthcare administration. Healthcare administration can be a high-paying field, reports the BLS.

About 2.4 million new healthcare jobs are expected to be created between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. This is much faster than average, resulting from an aging population and an increased demand for services. Overall, the healthcare sector should add more jobs than any other sector to the economy. The chart below can help you explore the most in-demand, top-paying jobs in healthcare, many which may be achievable through online healthcare programs.

Job Openings
Median Salary
Typical Entry Level Education
Acupuncturists and Healthcare Diagnosing or Treating Practitioners, All Other3,40075,640Master's degree
Anesthesiologists1,200208,000Doctoral or professional degree
Animal Scientists30060,300Bachelor's degree
Athletic Trainers2,50048,440Bachelor's degree
Audiologists80077,600Doctoral or professional degree
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians3,70057,720Associate's degree
Chiropractors1,80070,340Doctoral or professional degree
Coaches and Scouts47,60034,840Bachelor's degree
Dental Hygienists17,90076,220Associate's degree
Dentists, All Other Specialists200147,220Doctoral or professional degree
Dentists, General5,300155,600Doctoral or professional degree
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers5,80074,320Associate's degree
Dietetic Technicians3,10028,400Associate's degree
Dietitians and Nutritionists5,50061,270Bachelor's degree
Exercise Physiologists1,10049,170Bachelor's degree
Family Medicine Physicians5,100205,590Doctoral or professional degree
General Internal Medicine Physicians1,400201,590Doctoral or professional degree
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists2,70073,410Associate's degree
Medical Dosimetrists, Medical Records Specialists, and Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other042,630Associate's degree
Nuclear Medicine Technologists1,20077,950Associate's degree
Nurse Anesthetists3,200174,790Master's degree
Nurse Midwives500105,030Master's degree
Nurse Practitioners16,900109,820Master's degree
Obstetricians and Gynecologists700208,000Doctoral or professional degree
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists6,30074,100Bachelor's degree
Occupational Therapists10,50084,950Master's degree
Occupational Therapy Assistants7,00061,510Associate's degree
Optometrists1,700115,250Doctoral or professional degree
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons200208,000Doctoral or professional degree
Orthodontists300208,000Doctoral or professional degree
Orthotists and Prosthetists90068,410Master's degree
Pediatricians, General1,000175,310Doctoral or professional degree
Pharmacists14,100128,090Doctoral or professional degree
Physical Therapist Assistants16,50058,790Associate's degree
Physical Therapists16,90089,440Doctoral or professional degree
Physician Assistants11,500112,260Master's degree
Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric16,500206,500Doctoral or professional degree
Podiatrists700126,240Doctoral or professional degree
Prosthodontists0208,000Doctoral or professional degree
Radiation Therapists1,10085,560Associate's degree
Radiologic Technologists and Technicians14,00060,510Associate's degree
Recreational Therapists1,10048,220Bachelor's degree
Registered Nurses210,40073,300Bachelor's degree
Respiratory Therapists10,60061,330Associate's degree
Speech-Language Pathologists13,50079,120Master's degree
Surgeons, Except Ophthalmologists1,200208,000Doctoral or professional degree
Therapists, All Other2,20052,650Bachelor's degree
Veterinarians5,10095,460Doctoral or professional degree
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians11,80035,320Associate's degree
Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,



To be included in our rankings for the top colleges for online degrees in healthcare by degree level all colleges had to meet the following 4 requirements:

  • Offer a degree or certificate program in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
  • Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
  • Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16
  • Have reported data for all 19 ranking variables for associate/bachelor’s and 11 ranking variables for master’s (listed below)

We then ranked colleges and universities in the United States that fit our criteria, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified. The final totals were:

  • 212 colleges for online associate degree in healthcare
  • 426 colleges for online bachelor’s degree in healthcare
  • 365 colleges for online master’s degree in healthcare

We then scored the final list of colleges by degree level on a 100-point scale using these specific data points:


  1. Associate’s/Bachelor’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
  2. Ratio of undergraduate students participating fully or partially in Distance Education to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Retention rate
  5. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  6. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
  7. Student-to-faculty ratio
  8. Variety of Programs, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level
  9. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  10. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Prepaid, Other)
  11. Services (Academic/Career Counseling, Placement for Completers)
  12. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)


  1. Master’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
  2. Ratio of graduate students participating fully or partially in Distance Education to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for graduates
  4. Credit offerings (Life, Military)
  5. Services (Academic/Career Counseling, Placement for Completers)
  6. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Prepaid, Other)
  7. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media

Methodology Sources

    • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics,


    • 6 High-Paying Healthcare Management Careers, Concordia University-Saint Paul,, Accessed September 2018
    • 7 Outstanding Pros and Cons of Being a Physical Therapist, MAS Medical Staffing,, Accessed September 2018
    • A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure, U.S Health and Human Services,, Accessed September 2018
    • Bachelor of Science Healthcare Management Degree, Payscale,,, Accessed September 2018
    • Dieticians and Nutritionists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Accessed September 2018
    • Fitness Trainers and Instructors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Accessed September 2018
    • Healthcare Trends for 2018, National Institutes of Health,, Accessed November 2018
    • “Healthcare: Millions of Jobs Now and in the Future,” Bureau of Labor Statistics,, Accessed September 2018
    • Healthcare Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Accessed September 2018
    • Highest Paying Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Accessed September 2018
    • How Long Does it Take to Become a Doctor? Kaplan,, Accessed September 2018
    • Medical and Health Services Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Accessed September 2018
    • Medical and Health Services Mangers, O*NET OnLine,, Accessed September 2018
    • Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Accessed September 2018
    • Medscape Physician Compensation Report, Medscape,, Accessed September 2018
    • National Health Initiatives, Strategies and Action Plans, CDC,, Accessed September 2018
    • Physical Therapist Assistant or Aides, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Accessed September 2018
    • Physical Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Accessed September 2018
    • Registered Nurses, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Accessed November 2018
    • School and Career Counselors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Accessed September 2018
    • The Key to Better Lives, The Lumina Foundation,, Accessed September 2018
Methodologies and Sources