Best 15 Associate’s Degree in Health Science Programs in 2021 - Best Value Schools

Best 15 Associate’s Degree in Health Science Programs in 2021

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

Do you want to begin or advance your career in healthcare while earning a two-year degree?  Check out our list of 15 colleges offering affordable associate’s degrees in health sciences.

What is an Associates Degree in Health Science?

An associate’s in health sciences is a two-year degree, which is usually offered at community colleges or technical schools, but also at some four-year institutions.  The curriculum usually includes a broad overview of health science and general education classes, but some colleges offer emphasis areas which can lead to certifications in specific healthcare specializations.  Earning an associate’s is a cheaper way to complete bachelor’s degree requirements before transferring to a four-year university.  Depending on the field, a two-year degree can also qualify graduates for an entry-level healthcare position.  

What Can you Do with an Associate’s Degree in Health Sciences?

Depending on how they proceed with their careers, healthcare professionals can work in a variety of different jobs.  Demand for healthcare workers is rising, with jobs projected to grow by 15% by 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

What School Has the Best Associate’s Degree in Health Science?

We’ve compiled a list of schools with the best associate’s degrees in health science. We ranked these colleges based on their tuition (lowest is best) and total enrollment (highest is best).  

Best 15 Health Science Associate’s Degrees

1. University of the People – Associate of Science in Health Science (43 points)

The University of the People offers an Associate of Science degree in Health Science with a Community and Public Health Track.  The program has a strong liberal arts basis and an interdisciplinary approach.  Students learn about bioethics, healthcare systems, mental health, and more.

  • Tuition:  $0
  • Credits required:  62
  • Total enrollment:  51,322

2. American Public University – Associate of Applied Science in Health Sciences (37 points)

The AAS in Health Sciences program at American Public University provides a broad overview of the health field and includes general education courses to prepare students to earn a bachelor’s degree.  APU charges no application fees or textbook costs and offers tuition at $250 per credit for members of the military.  Many APU students serve in the military, but the university is not affiliated with the Department of Defense.  

  • Tuition:  $285 per credit
  • Credits required:  60
  • Total enrollment:  86,293

3. Glendale Community College – Associate in Arts in Health Science (30 points)

Glendale Community College in California offers an Associate in Arts in Health Science degree that prepares students to earn four-year degrees in fields such as nursing, optometry, and physical therapy.  Students study chemistry, biology, and anatomy.  

  • Tuition:  $225 per credit
  • Credits required:  20
  • Total enrollment:  18,078

3. Harrisburg Area Community College – Associate in Applied Science in Health Science (30 points)

Harrisburg Area Community College offers a Health Science Associate in Applied Science degree for students who are currently working in the health field with a credential such as RN or LPN.  Four options are available:  Social Services, Management/Marketing, Radiologic Imaging (which qualifies students for a CT or MRI professional certification), and Expanded Function Dental Assistant (which qualifies students for an EFDA certification).  Courses are available online and on campus.  

  • Tuition:  $267 per credit
  • Credits required:  61
  • Total enrollment:  19,450

3. St. Petersburg College – Associate in Science in Health Sciences (30 points)

St. Petersburg College’s Health Sciences Associate in Science degree includes a certificate in health care services.  The program prepares students for non-clinical healthcare careers, such as management and clinical jobs.  Courses are available online.  Students take classes in Spreadsheet Techniques and Programming, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Financial Accounting.  

  • Tuition:  $387 per credit
  • Credits required:  60
  • Total enrollment:  45,216

6. Columbus State Community College – Associate of Applied Science in Health Sciences (29 points)

Columbus State Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Health Sciences with six emphasis options:  Emergency Medical Services, Massage Therapy, Medical Assisting Technology, Multi-Skilled Health, Nursing Certificate, and Practical Nursing.  

  • Tuition:  $333 per credit
  • Credits required:  61
  • Total enrollment:  45,000

7. Northland Community and Technical College – Associate of Science in Health Sciences (27 points)

Northland Community and Technical College offers a Health Sciences Broad Field Associate of Science program in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, Thief River Falls, Minnesota, or online.  The degree prepares students to transfer to baccalaureate programs such as nursing, nutrition, or exercise science.  

  • Tuition:  $175 per credit
  • Credits required:  60
  • Total enrollment:  4583

8. Charter College – Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health (24 points)

Students can earn a five-month Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health at Charter College.  The program is available online and focuses on communication, problem solving, and management skills for current healthcare professionals.  

  • Tuition:  $150 per credit
  • Credits required:  90
  • Total enrollment:  2853

8. Thomas Nelson Community College – Associate of Science in Health Science (24 points)

Thomas Nelson Community College in Virginia offers an Associate of Science in Health Science that prepares students to transfer to a baccalaureate program.  Three tracks are available:  public health, exercise science, and/or pre-professional.  The degree is available online and in person.  

  • Tuition:  $333 per credit
  • Credits required:  62
  • Total enrollment:  10,982

10. Riverland Community College – Associate of Science in Health Sciences (23 points)

At Riverland Community College in Minnesota, students can complete a Health Sciences Broad Field program.  The program has a guaranteed transfer agreement with several four-year universities in Minnesota.  

  • Tuition:  $197 per credit
  • Credits required:  60
  • Total enrollment:  4015

11. Casper College – Associate of Science in Health Science (19 points)

Besides general education, the AS in Health Science program at Casper College in Wyoming has only one course required for the major, giving students flexibility to choose an emphasis and explore elective courses.  Nine emphasis options are available:  Pre-Respiratory Therapy, Pre-Radiography, Pre-Pharmacy Technology, Pre-Paramedic Technology, Pre-Occupational Therapy Assistant, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Medical Lab Technician Training, General Health Science, and Athletic Training.  

  • Tuition:  $419 per credit
  • Credits required:  60
  • Total enrollment:  4970

12. Rasmussen College – Associate of Science in Health Science (15 points)

Students at Rasmussen College in Illinois can earn an associate’s in Health Science in 18 months, or as few as nine months if they transfer in previous courses.  Rasmussen offers three specializations:  Medical Administrative Assistant, Pharmacy Technician or Medical Assisting.  Depending on the specialization, courses are offered online only or both online and on campus.   

  • Tuition:  $260 per credit
  • Credits required:  91
  • Total enrollment:  1729

13. Northwest Technical College – Associate of Science in Healthcare Sciences (14 points)

Northwest Technical College in Minnesota offers an AS in Healthcare Sciences Broad Field online and on campus.  Courses include Bioethical Issues in Contemporary Society, Principles of Nutrition, and Child Development and Learning.  The program consists of 32 general education credits, 16 required health science credits, and 12 elective credits.  

  • Tuition:  $183 per credit
  • Credits required:  60
  • Total enrollment:  1022

14. Central Wyoming College – Associate of Science in Health Science (10 points)

Central Wyoming College offers a Health Science AS for students working toward a bachelor’s in health science but are not sure what they want to focus in, as well as for students in nursing.  Students can explore different areas through electives such as Phlebotomy and Lab Techniques, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, and Cadaver Anatomy.  

  • Tuition:  $435 per credit
  • Credits required:  60
  • Total enrollment:  1974

15. South College – Associate of Science in Health Science (5 points)

South College offers an AS in Health Science in Asheville, North Carolina, Atlanta, Knoxville, Tennessee, Nashville, and online.  The program prepares students to start a career in a range of healthcare fields or for practicing healthcare professionals to expand their job options and further their careers.  

  • Tuition:  $917 per credit
  • Credits required:  not listed
  • Total enrollment:  1241

How Did We Rank this List?

Our ranking was based 33.3% on tuition and 66.7% on total enrollment.  

From each institution’s website, we gathered in-person tuition rates for out-of-state domestic students in the different programs.  

Where tuition was only listed on a per-year or per-semester basis, the year was assumed to consist of two semesters, twelve credits each. Tuition figures do not include fees or other expenses. 

Each school was given a score from 1 for the highest tuition to 15 for the lowest.  Schools were also scored from 1 to 15 for total enrollment (15 for the highest to 1 for the lowest) based on data from the university websites, U.S. News and World Report, or other sources.  

These scores were added together to create the final ranking.  

Problems with your Ranking?  

If your school isn’t on this list and you think it deserves consideration for an update, please contact us.  Also, if you work for one of the schools on this list and you notice an error, please let us know.  We always seek to provide the most accurate information available and let readers know about the best schools across the country.  

Choosing the right career path is an important decision.  If you need more information to pick the right degree in health sciences or another field, see our other lists or our degree finder.  

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