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Anatomy and Physiology Training and Certificate Programs

Courses in anatomy and physiology cover the basic structures and functions of the human body. Find out about the options for undergraduate and graduate education in anatomy and physiology, see what courses are required by training and certificate programs, explore online options, and learn about career possibilities in this field.

What Are the Training and Certificate Options for Studying Anatomy and Physiology?

If you're looking for an education in anatomy and physiology, there are a few different options. These courses may be offered individually or as part of a certificate program. Certificate programs can vary in the number of courses required.

Anatomy and physiology courses can also be found in a variety of science- and healthcare-related degree programs, such as biology, animal science and nursing. These classes are also common in non-degree programs that prepare you to work in such areas as massage or Pilates instruction.

Graduate certificate programs in anatomy and physiology are available too. These courses are generally geared towards those who plan to teach or for individuals who work in other fields, such as a branch of biomedical engineering concerned with the development of rehabilitative technologies.

Program OptionsIndividual course offerings, part of certificate program, part of degree program, part of graduate certificate program
Common CoursesBiology, chemistry, anatomy, pathophysiology
Availability Completely online, completely on campus, or hybrid mixture of both
Career OptionsMedical coding, medical transcription, pharmaceutical technician, health field
Median Salary (2018)$34,770 (Medical Transcriptionists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)3% decline (Medical Transcriptionists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Will I Learn?

You'll learn how to identify various parts of the body such as organs, muscles and tendons. You'll also explore cell functions and the various organ systems, including the digestive system and the immune system. Some coursework may involve applying what you've learned to different health problems and conditions. Certificate programs commonly address the following topics:

  • Biology
  • Cross-sectional anatomy
  • Pathophysiology
  • Chemistry

Can I Complete Programs Online?

You can find both individual courses and certificate programs online from multiple schools. As an online student, you'll be required to have reliable access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. On-campus anatomy and physiology courses often make use of 3-D organ models and specimens to help students identify body parts; to provide these important visual references, online courses typically require you to purchase textbooks and workbooks. They may also incorporate video lectures for you to download, such as a video of a dissection.

Some programs are self-paced, allowing you to complete work and take exams at the rate you choose. Most assignments and tests can also be completed over the Internet.

What Can I Do With This Training?

Your education may be applied to a few different areas. A background in anatomy and physiology may be beneficial to a number of health-related fields such as medical coding and medical transcription, and it is often a required part of training for such jobs. These courses may also be useful for medical record technicians or for various positions in the pharmaceutical industry, such as a pharmaceutical technician.

Anatomy and physiology courses may also be required as prerequisites for graduate studies in some health-related fields and are found in pre-professional health science programs, such as pre-medicine, pre-physical therapy and pre-veterinary medicine.