Master's Degrees in a Medical Field

Master's degree programs in a medical field can qualify you for immediate postgraduate employment or prepare you for continued studies at the doctoral level. Read on to learn about the medical fields you could study on-campus and online, common courses, and program requirements. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Medical Fields Offer a Master's Degree?

If you want to qualify for a medical field with a master's-level education, physician assistant master's degree programs allow you to practice medicine without the additional years of doctoral education required to become a physician. As a physician assistant, you can practice medicine and perform most of a doctor's duties under the supervision of a licensed physician.

Several schools offer master's degree programs in a variety of medical fields to prepare you for medical school. These programs generally last 1-2 years and offer a convenient choice if you're undecided about your medical career goal. Medical fields offered through these special master's degree programs include biomedical sciences, physiology, biophysics and pharmacology.

Master's Degree Programs Physician Assistant
Other Degree Programs Informatics, medical research, genetics
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree (preferebly in health or science major)
Common Courses Ethics, clinical medicine, pharmacology, microbiology
Online Availability Most offered in hybrid format

Are There Any Other Options?

If you're interested in entering the health care industry in a more supportive role, master's degree programs in informatics, medical research, genetics or radiological physics exist for administrative or technical postitions in hospital and clinical settings. Additionally, you can enroll in a master's degree program as a doctoral student that prepares you for advanced research in neuroscience, pathological studies or biomedical sciences. Master's degree programs also offer several concentrations, including academic teaching, dentistry, veterinary science and pharmacology.

What Are the Requirements?

Physician assistant and most special or pre-med master's programs require you to hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in a health or science-related discipline. You might need to earn a doctoral degree to qualify for some advanced master's programs. You may need to have some working experience prior to enrollment, and most programs require undergraduate courses in medical terminology, chemistry, biochemistry, human anatomy and physiology.

What Classes Will I Take?

Physician assistant programs include medical courses in ethics, clinical medicine, pharmacology and pathology. After you complete your physician assistant master's degree program, you'll need to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination before you can practice medicine as a certified physician's assistant. You will also have to complete continuing education to maintain certification.

Depending on the focus of a special master's degree program, you might focus on microbiology, organic chemistry, psychology or genetics. Most of these programs are intended as preparation for medical school, and the curricula allow you to concentrate your courses and research on your intended medical field. Most master's degree programs in the medical industry offer or require you to complete clinical rotations under the supervision of a licensed practitioner.

Can I Earn These Degrees Online?

Quite a few schools offer master's-level education through online and distance learning. The level of study and the courses are similar to what you'd find in an on-campus program, but without the face-to-face interaction. Although many programs are defined as online options, you might be required to complete some courses, lab practicums or clinical rotations at the school or in a medical facility.

To participate in online programs, you'll need access to a computer with high-speed Internet access and an e-mail account for correspondence. Schools offer both synchronous and asynchronous classes, though you'll usually be able to study around a work schedule, if necessary. Course materials are provided online or sent to you, and you'll need to submit assignments through email, an online system or in person.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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