2021 Best Bachelor Degrees in the Medical Field

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Bachelor degrees in medical field can lead to rewarding careers that make a difference for others.

Bachelor Degrees in the Medical Field

From hands-on patient care and administrative leadership to research and development, there are many different roles in the healthcare field. Medical majors include bioengineering, health services, healthcare management, nursing, and more.

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To find the healthcare studies and career path that are right for you, you can take a look at the many bachelor degrees in healthcare and see which one clicks with your skills and interests.

Bachelor Degrees in Medical Field

The medical field is vast, and it offers a wide variety of academic and professional paths. The following are popular degree programs for students interested in building a healthcare career in clinical practice, administrative leadership, patient education, or research and development.

Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

Both of these fields offer plenty of opportunity for growth, a lot of different job prospects, and plenty of job security.

Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering

Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering

If you have a head for engineering and a passion for improving others’ health, then a degree program in biomedical engineering might be a good fit for you. This field is committed to developing devices and systems that contribute to patient care and medical practice.

This program is heavy on science courses. You can expect to study biological processes and the physiology of the human body. Other sciences studied can include chemistry, physics, and computer programming.

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Additional topics covered in a bioengineering program can include tissue growth, device design, and medical imaging. You can expect to take courses on ethics and government regulations as well.

Graduates of this program may work as bioengineers or biomedical engineers. Jobs in this field are available in research and development, manufacturing, and consulting. For the most advanced positions, some choose to pursue graduate degrees in this field.

Bachelors in Health Informatics

Bachelors in Health Informatics

These days, technology is integral to the healthcare field. Practitioners collect data on patients, and researchers analyze data to learn about health behaviors, disease trends, or effective treatments.

Developing robust systems for gathering, organizing, storing, and retrieving healthcare data is essential. That’s the task of professionals in the health informatics field. Students in an informatics program learn about health science. The classes may cover topics like pharmacology, healthcare finance, medical ethics, and healthcare delivery systems.

Information technology is another key area of study for this degree. Topics of study typically include medical coding, data mining, databases, programming languages, and cybersecurity.

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Healthcare organizations have a variety of positions for people with a background in informatics. Potential job titles include health information technician, records specialist, project manager, database administrator, and systems analyst.

In addition to roles in medical facilities, graduates could also work for insurance companies or healthcare technology firms.

Bachelors in Health Science

Bachelors in Health Science

As the name implies, the field of health science focuses on the scientific foundations of healthcare practice. In a health science degree program, students explore topics like pathophysiology, nutrition, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment.

A degree program also provides a broad overview of the healthcare field with courses on ethics, health law, diversity, healthcare delivery, and leadership. You can expect to take multiple science courses, and you may take a statistics class as well.

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Health science graduates often take administrative jobs after graduation. These roles include health services manager or community health worker. Some professionals in this field review claims for health insurance companies. Others use their health science degree as the beginning of their academic endeavors.

After graduation, they enroll in a professional program for occupational or physical therapy, speech pathology, pharmacy, or healthcare social work. They could also pursue training to become a dentist, a chiropractor, or a physician assistant.

Bachelors in Health Services

Bachelors in Health Services

If you’re interested in the leadership and administrative side of healthcare, you might consider a degree in health services.

This bachelor’s program can help equip you with the behind-the-scenes skills that keep healthcare organizations running effectively and efficiently. In many ways, health services is a business program. You’ll typically take classes on marketing, information technology, finance, and strategic planning. Other courses can explore law and ethics.

This program is distinct from a standard business program, though. Nearly all of the business courses you take will involve a healthcare perspective so that you’re specifically equipped for work in that field.

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In addition, you’ll study a variety of other healthcare topics, such as quality management, healthcare communication, and health education. The curriculum will probably include courses on anatomy and physiology or medical terminology, too.

Graduates often pursue leadership roles in healthcare departments or organizations. Many choose to work in the field of long-term care.

Bachelors in Healthcare Information Management Systems

Bachelors in Healthcare Information Management Systems

A degree in healthcare information management (HIM) can help prepare you for leadership roles related to healthcare data. This field of study incorporates principles from both health informatics and healthcare management.

Computer-related topics studied in this program may include information technology and medical coding. You can also study digital communication, databases, data modeling, and healthcare statistics.

On the management side of things, you might have classes about human resources, health law, finance, and reimbursement methods. You could take courses on providing team leadership as well.

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Finally, to prepare you for working in a medical setting, you’ll likely learn health terminology and pharmacology. After studying HIM, graduates tend to look for work in healthcare leadership.

Medical services managers and medical records technicians may work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, public health departments, and insurance companies. Other positions may be available in long-term care facilities or government agencies.

Bachelors in Healthcare Management

Bachelors in Healthcare Management

To prepare for a career as a management professional in a healthcare setting, you may want to consider earning your bachelor’s degree in healthcare management. You can learn a range of management skills that are tailored for working in health and medical settings.

Building your understanding of the American healthcare delivery system may be an important part of your studies. Quality management might be another key emphasis of your program.

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You can also study health law, information technology, finance, strategic planning, and human resources. Other classes may address organizational structure and team development. As a healthcare management graduate, you may look for work in a group medical practice or a hospital.

Managers often oversee individual departments, such as HR or information technology. With experience, there may be opportunities to move into roles with more authority, such as joining the organization’s executive team. In addition, managers may work in long-term care homes. Nursing home administration typically requires state licensure.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Nurses are always needed. Their contributions are an essential part of quality medical care. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can help provide you with the education and skill sets for this career.

Graduating from a BSN program may qualify you to pursue nursing licensure in your state. Nursing students need to take biology and chemistry courses with lab components. They also study anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and nutrition. Other topics can include public health, leadership, health education, and informatics.

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There may also be courses on specific areas of nursing, such as pediatrics or gerontology. You’ll likely do hands-on clinical rotations, too. Nursing graduates may pursue licensure and become registered nurses (RNs). Nurses can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, group homes, schools, and public health departments.

While it’s possible to become an RN with an associate degree, a BSN can offer additional training and can be a prerequisite for Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs.

Bachelors in Nutrition and Dietetics

Bachelors in Nutrition and Dietetics

If you’re committed to healthy eating, both for yourself and others, then you may enjoy a degree and career in nutrition. Whether you’re interested in providing nutrition education or heading up food-service initiatives, this degree could help you get started.

Nutrition and dietetics professionals study food and nutrients. In this program, you can learn about preparing food for groups, helping individuals choose healthy meals, and planning around people’s unique medical and nutritional needs.

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Most schools require lab experiences as well as classroom lectures. If you enroll at an industry accredited school, your degree could contribute toward the qualifications for becoming a registered dietitian (RD). Master’s studies may be required as well.

Nutrition graduates can work in public health departments, schools, and group homes. They can also look for jobs in hospitals. Before becoming an RD, you might work as a dietetics technician. Some nutritionists are self-employed and provide nutrition counseling services to individuals.

Bachelors in Public Health

Bachelors in Public Health

While doctors and nurses typically deal with health needs for individual patients, public health professionals think about how issues of health and wellness affect entire populations.

As a student in a public health program, you’ll typically study epidemiology, health research, health promotion, and healthcare policy. You’ll also take courses on planning, implementing, and evaluating public health programs. A public health bachelor’s degree can help prepare you for graduate studies.

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For example, a master’s degree is required for those wanting to become epidemiologists. Public health can also be a good undergraduate program for those who want to end up in medical or dental school. There are opportunities for those without graduate studies as well.

Health education specialists and community health workers are additional jobs you can get with a health science degree. Graduates may also work in research, disaster response, or public policy. Many public health professionals work in government roles, such as for local health departments.

Healthcare Careers & Salaries

Healthcare Careers & Salaries

Some degrees in healthcare lead to clinical jobs, but this field isn’t limited to working one-on-one with patients. It takes entire teams of people to keep healthcare facilities running and patients healthy.

Healthcare graduates can work in other settings, too, such as nursing homes, insurance companies, and public health departments. Administrative jobs in healthcare include records technicians and medical assistants who carry out clerical duties. Some administrative professionals become medical and health services managers.

In addition to administrative medical assistants, there are other assistants who handle responsibilities related to patient care. Of course, one of the most popular clinical jobs for healthcare professionals is being a nurse. A bachelor’s degree in nursing can lead to licensure as a registered nurse.

Additional education can qualify graduates for advanced clinical roles. For example, becoming a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant requires a master’s degree. Becoming a doctor requires going to medical school.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, technical healthcare professionals and healthcare practitioners earn a median annual salary of $69,870.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners $117,670
Physician Assistants $115,390
Medical and Health Services Managers $104,280
Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers $92,620
Registered Nurses $75,330
Dietitians and Nutritionists $63,090
Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians $54,180
Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers $48,140
Medical Records and Health Information Specialists $44,090
Medical Assistants $35,850

While doctors and nurses are some of the best-known healthcare professionals, this field includes many other opportunities as well. Dietitians and nutritionists help groups or individuals eat healthy foods that satisfy their unique medical or nutritional needs.

Biomedical engineers design medical devices or other systems that help patients or healthcare professionals. Another option is to work in a medical lab. People with a science background can analyze samples and specimens from patients to look for signs of disease.

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People who are passionate about healthy living might also become health educators. They can run programs or distribute information to encourage others to make healthy choices.

How to Choose a Bachelor’s Degree Program in the Field of Medicine

Bachelor’s Degree Program in the Field of Medicine

Before you can get your degree in the medical field, you’ll need to decide which program is right for you. Here are some top criteria to help you decide:

  • Accreditation. Earning a reputable medical degree is critical. Credible schools tend to hold regional accreditation. Depending on your program, industry accreditation may also be necessary for earning licensure or a certificate.
  • Degree options. The medical and healthcare field is vast, so it’s strategic to choose a program that aligns with your career goals. For instance, a bioengineering degree would take you in a very different direction than a nursing degree.
  • Grad school preparation. Some programs have pre-med or pre-dentistry tracks that prepare you ready for advanced studies. Other schools have combined bachelors and masters degree programs so you can earn two degrees within a shorter timeframe.
  • Practicum experiences. Many medical programs provide opportunities for hands-on practice experiences, such as clinicals.
  • Program format. Some healthcare bachelors degree programs are based online or on campus. Online programs may involve in-person practicums through a local healthcare organization.

Your first step will probably be to narrow down which of the healthcare degrees you’d like to pursue. After that, you can start looking for the best college for your goals.

Admissions Requirements

Bachelor Degrees in the Medical Field admissions

Health majors sometimes have different admissions requirements than other applicants. Getting into a healthcare program may require the following:

  • Application form
  • Background check and drug screening
  • Test scores, such as ACT, SAT, or HESI Admission Assessment (if required)
  • Transcripts from high school and college work

Programs may have students enroll in college and take multiple classes before they can receive full admission to the healthcare department. Some programs even require an associate degree.

Bachelor Degree Programs Accreditation

Bachelor Degrees in the Medical Field Accreditation

When the health of others is in your hands, having a reputable education is essential. That’s why it’s beneficial to choose a college that holds regional accreditation. That way, you can rest assured that you’re earning a valuable degree that can be respected by others.

Regional accreditation is important in the world of higher education. If you want to transfer credits or get into a graduate program, your credits or degree generally need to come from a regionally accredited school.

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It’s also valuable for employment. Sitting for a licensure exam or being hired by a reputable employer may depend on having an accredited degree.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Bachelor Degrees in the Medical Field Financial aid

Financial assistance is available to qualifying students who are pursuing a career in the medical field. To determine if you’re eligible for need-based aid, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may qualify for grants or loans from the federal government. States often have similar programs, so you may be able to receive additional assistance there. Grant money is a gift, but you’ll eventually need to repay a student loan with interest.

Scholarships may help you pay for school, too. Your college may have scholarship programs to reduce your tuition costs. Many private organizations have scholarship funds to distribute as well. In addition, some employers cover part of their employees’ higher education costs.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor Degree in the Medical Field?

Bachelor Degree in the Medical Field careers

The medical field has many different opportunities, so you can choose a career path that fits your passions.

Graduates of bioengineering programs often become bioengineers or biomedical engineers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those professionals typically work in medical manufacturing, academia, or research and development.

Graduates with a BS in Nursing (BSN) typically pursue careers as registered nurses. Job settings for nurses are diverse. Options can include hospitals, outpatient care centers, residential facilities, and government agencies.

Managerial and administrative degrees may lead to jobs in medical services management. Professionals in this sector may run departments or entire healthcare organizations.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelors Degree in Healthcare?

Bachelors Degree in Healthcare

Typically, students take about 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree. For most on-campus programs, a four-year program is pretty standard with full-time enrollment.

Timeframes can be more varied for online programs. While many do stick to a traditional 16 week semester schedule, others offer accelerated programs. With that arrangement, courses are held throughout the year. Each class tends to last just 8 or 10 weeks.

With an accelerated program, you might finish your healthcare bachelor’s degree in under 3 years. Transferring in credits or receiving credit for professional experience are other ways you may shorten your studies.

What Are the Benefits of a Bachelor’s Degree in the Medical Field?

Bachelor's Degree in the Medical Field benefits

Healthcare professionals are always in demand. When people have medical needs, they turn to the help of trained professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts above-average job growth for medical professions over the next decade.

Earning a bachelors degree shows that you are committed to excelling in the healthcare field. A degree program provides thorough training for entry-level healthcare roles and even some leadership positions.

A bachelors degree could also be an excellent foundation for future studies. Graduates can apply for entry into master’s programs to further their career trajectory and provide a higher level of patient care.

What Jobs Can I Get with a Bachelors in Health Science?

Bachelors in Health Science jobs

Majoring in health science could get you ready for various non-clinical healthcare jobs. Some graduates work as community health educators.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, educators often work for government agencies or family service organizations. Other health science professionals are medical managers. They’re involved with the business aspects of healthcare delivery.

Health science graduates sometimes work for pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, or medical device manufacturers. Their medical background could be useful for selling products or reviewing claims.

In addition to these non-clinical roles, grad school is another option. With more education, health science graduates may become occupational therapists or physician assistants.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree in the Medical Field Worth It?

Bachelor's Degree in Medical Field

Yes, a bachelor’s degree in the medical field is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 15% job growth for the healthcare field over the next ten years.

With training in the medical field, you can count on your skills to be in demand. People will always need experts to care for their health issues. To make that happen, healthcare organizations need both hands-on practitioners and behind-the-scenes administrators.

Many professionals find the medical field fulfilling, too. Working in healthcare, your efforts may make a long-lasting impact.

Getting Your Bachelor Degree Online

Bachelor Degree in medical field Online

Healthcare is a dynamic field, and it can be a meaningful career path, too. The work of medical professionals can make a real difference in people’s quality of life. If you want to play a role in helping others live healthy lives, then a healthcare bachelor’s degree could be a good fit for you.

For convenience and flexibility, you might think about earning your health science degree online. With online classes, you don’t have to wait for all the pieces to fall into place. Online studies can allow you to complete coursework in a way that suits your schedule.

If you’re ready to begin your career in healthcare, you can start exploring accredited colleges today to find programs that suit your educational needs and professional goals.

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Joy Cromwelle
WRITTEN BY
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.