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Guide to Earning Your Occupational Health and Safety Degree Online

Explore top-rated schools offering occupational health and safety degrees online, see what you’ll learn during your studies, uncover career paths after graduation, and much more in this guide.

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Updated

10/10/2023

Do you find yourself thinking about how to improve processes for keeping others safe? Do you enjoy problem-solving and proactively identifying things that could cause harm? If so, a career in occupational health and safety may fit your skills and interests. Whether inspecting a local power plant to ensure it operates according to environmental standards or working on a construction site to keep workers safe, these careers allow you to help others while earning a good living. One of the most popular careers in the field, occupational health and safety specialist and technician, brings a median salary of $70,480—more than $30,000 above the national median salary.

Online safety degrees provide all of the challenges of a rigorous curriculum with all of the convenience of learning from home. When you can keep pace with your studies and work around your schedule, you’re more likely to complete your degree on time and not incur extra educational expenses. Continue reading to learn about online degrees in occupational health and safety, common classes, available jobs, and required licenses and certifications.

Best Online Occupational Health and Safety Degrees for 2024

If you want to find the best online occupational health and safety degree options for 2024 but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. Our team pulled together all accredited programs for the coming academic year. We then weighed them based on overall affordability, academic quality, and online learning availability. So take a look at the top options and see how they fit your needs.

About the ranking

College Ranking Methodology

Generate List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in the subject area offered partially or fully online.
  • Career placement and academic counseling services.

Assign Weightings

After generating the list of eligible schools, the STEPS data team then assigned weights and ranked schools based on their performance in a variety of key categories. Affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings, followed by online learning and academic quality metrics (equally weighted).

Affordability

  • Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on in-state tuition for undergraduate students per academic year.
  • Percentage of students who receive institutional financial aid (directly from the school).
  • Average amount of institutional financial aid awarded.

Online Learning

  • Number of online programs in subject area self-reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Percentage of students at the school taking at least one class online.

Academic Quality

  • Student-to-faculty ratio.
  • Percentage of full-time, first-time students graduating within 6 years.

About Our Data

All STEPS rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: August 2023

Accreditation Glossary

ABHE: Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation

ABHES: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

ACCJC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

ACCSC: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

DEAC: Distance Education Accrediting Commission

HLC: Higher Learning Commission

MSCHE: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

NECHE: New England Commission of Higher Education

NWCCU: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

SACSCOC: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

TRACS: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission

WSCUC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

1

The undergraduate certificate program in Occupational Safety through Iowa State Online is a nondegree, 20-credit program that's completed 100% online. While this program doesn't have the traditional application requirements of an undergraduate degree, it's geared toward working professionals who have a bachelor's degree and professional experience relevant to occupational safety. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be ready to take on management and safety responsibilities without the need to become safety professionals.

Program Highlights:

Occupational Safety -- Undergraduate Certificate

  • Credits: 20
  • Length: 1 year
  • Cost: $435/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation HLC
Online Students 53%

2

University of Alaska Anchorage

Anchorage, Alaska

At the University of Alaska at Anchorage (UAA), students may complete a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health. This four-year, 120-credit degree program includes general education requirements (including UAA's mandatory course on Alaska Native perspectives) and core courses on the principles of occupational health and safety, including hygienic and environmental perspectives. Students also complete a three-credit capstone course. Applicants are expected to meet all requirements, including a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher or previous college credits.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $234/credit (in-state); $800/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: In person, Online, Hybrid
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 12:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation NWCCU
Online Students 87%

3

Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

The Occupational Safety Management program at Indiana State University is a fully online, 30-credit master's degree program designed to prepare students for management careers in any number of relevant areas, from healthcare to labor unions to the military. This program can be completed in as little as one year, although most students take closer to two years to finish their degrees. Students have the option to complete a master's thesis or follow a nonthesis track. Either way, expect a thorough grounding in the scientific and economic aspects of occupational health and safety. Applicants must hold an accredited undergraduate degree.

Program Highlights:

Occupational Safety Management MS

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Cost: $450/credit (in-state); $585/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation HLC
Online Students 61%

4

University of Wisconsin-Stout

Menomonie, Wisconsin

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 19:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation HLC
Online Students 65%

5

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Whitewater, Wisconsin

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 20:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation HLC