Health and Medical Degrees
Read about careers in health and medical services, including how much postsecondary education you'll need to work as a doctor, medical records technician or nurse. Find out what types of hours are required of healthcare workers, as well as how much you can earn in this fast-growing field.
Healthcare & Medical Degrees
Students wanting a healthcare career have almost unlimited choices when it comes to what medical field to focus on or what area to specialize in. Along with practice-based healthcare careers, there are also careers available in healthcare administration and healthcare management.
However, it is important that students understand what healthcare degrees and medical degrees are needed for their chosen profession, as these degrees usually have a specific course of study that covers specific skills and courses. Examples of specialized degrees in the healthcare and medical field include:
- Nursing degrees
- Veterinary degrees
- Dental degrees
- Pharmacy degrees
Once a student decides what type of healthcare profession that they want to pursue, they should then pick a degree type and level that fits that specific career.
Health Science Degrees
The health science major is usually designed to give students a broad base of knowledge of healthcare, including health care delivery, life sciences, patient care, and healthcare administration. Typically, in a health science program, students take courses on:
- Healthcare economics
- The US health system
- Healthcare ethics and law
- Anatomy and physiology
- Healthcare delivery systems
Some of the most common health sciences degrees include the Associate of Science in Health Science, the Bachelor of Health Science, and the Master of Health Science. Generally, associate programs can be completed in 18 months to 2 years, and many bachelor's programs in health science can be completed in 2 to 4 years, depending on the number of transfer credits a student has. A master's degree can take about 2 years to earn and are for healthcare professionals who want to further specialize or enhance their career.
As this is a wide-ranging field, there are a variety of health science careers available, including in respiratory therapy, medical assisting, and more.
Physician Assistant Degrees
Physician assistants, or PAs, work with medical teams where they can examine, diagnose, and treat their patients. To become a physician assistant, you generally need several healthcare degrees, including a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. Generally, bachelor's degrees in physician assistant studies are rare, so students tend to first earn an undergraduate degree in a biological sciences field, such as biology, that offers a track in pre-physician assistant studies or that includes the prerequisite coursework needed for admission to a graduate-level program, such as classes in biology, zoology, statistics, microbiology, and organic chemistry.
A physician assistant degree on the master's level usually takes about 2 years to earn. These programs include a didactic phase where students take such classes as:
- Clinical medicine
Students then complete hands-on clinical training in the form of clinical rotations and placements. Along with earning a degree on campus, students can also earn a physician assistant degree online. However, only coursework can be completed in an online format, clinical training must still be done in-person.
Healthcare Administration & Management Degrees
Healthcare administration degrees typically prepare students for office management and administrative jobs in health clinics, medical offices, and other settings. In this field, students can earn an associate degree in healthcare administration, a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration, and/or a master's degree in healthcare administration. There are also some doctorate-level programs in the field for those who want to conduct research, learn policy, or teach in academia.
These types of degree programs usually include the study of healthcare, management, and leadership topics, such as:
- Healthcare quality and risk management
- Healthcare informatics
- Human resource management
- Healthcare law and ethics
- Health policy
Typically, associate and master's degree programs of this type take around 2 years to complete while bachelor's degrees take 4. Students can earn a healthcare administration degree online at the undergraduate and graduate level.
There are several types of nursing degrees available, and the type of degree you need for this profession depends on the type of nurse you want to be. A certified nursing assistant, or a CNA, however, only needs to complete an approved educational program and on-the-job training. Nursing programs usually include clinical, hands-on training experiences in healthcare settings as well as coursework.
|Degree||Prerequisites||Length of Program||Common Courses||Career Options|
|Associate degree in nursing (ADN)||High school diploma/GED||2 years||*Anatomy and physiology *Nursing management *Microbiology *Nursing concepts||Registered Nurse|
|Bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN)||High school diploma/GED||4 years||*Adult/elderly nursing *Nursing care *Pharmacology *Pathophysiology *Pediatric nursing||*Registered Nurse * Medical and Health Services Manager|
|Master's in nursing (MSN)||Bachelor's degree||1.5-2 years||*Leadership for nursing practice *Clinical management *Health assessment *Nursing research *Health promotion||*Nurse Anesthetists *Nurse Midwives *Nurse Practitioners|
|Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)||Master's degree, although some programs may only require a bachelor's||3-4 years||*Diagnostic skills *Analytic methods *Healthcare policy *Healthcare informatics *Statistical methods||*Nurse Anesthetists *Nurse Midwives *Nurse Practitioners|
|Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)||Master's degree||4-6 years||*Nursing theory *Research methodology *Policy development||*Nurse educator *Nurse researcher|
Along with traditional BSN programs, there are also RN to BSN programs that are designed for nurses with an associate degree and accelerated BSN programs for those with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field.
There are many different types of MSN programs, as well, including those for nurses who want to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and specialize in one area of nursing, such as psychiatric-mental health, family nurse practitioner, or adult gerontology, and non-nurse MSN programs for those with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. DNP degrees generally prepare nurses for clinical leadership roles, while PhD programs prepare nurses for research or academic jobs.
Online programs are available at every level. However, finding online nursing programs to prepare individuals to become an RN is more difficult given the hands-on training required.
Public Health Degrees
Degree programs in public health are the perfect choice for students who want to manage health programs, create health policy, and serve their community. While there are public health degrees available at the undergraduate level, including associate and bachelor's degrees, the most common degree type is a master's degree in public health.
A public health bachelor's degree may prepare you for a lower level position as a health service manager or a community service manager, while a master's degree in public health can help you achieve a higher-level position or can help other types of healthcare professionals transition into the field. Additionally, a graduate degree in public health can also help you pursue a career as an epidemiologist or a nutritionist. There are also doctorate-level programs in public health available.
The coursework in public health degree programs focuses on the following topics:
- Health policy
- Healthcare management/administration
- Health program planning and development
Further, many public health programs allow students to concentrate their degree in one area, such as community/population health, epidemiology, global health, or biostatistics. Master's programs can take about 11 months to 2 years to complete. Students can also earn an on-campus or online public health degree. However, some online programs may have in-person practical requirements, such as field work in a healthcare setting.
While some master's programs have no undergraduate major or work experience requirements, others prefer a healthcare or science background and work experience. Additionally, PhD programs require a master's in public health or a related field and work experience for admissions.
Occupational Therapy Degrees
Occupational therapists help people who have injuries, physical disabilities, or other issues heal or improve their conditions to improve their daily lives. The healthcare degrees that an occupational therapist needs include a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in occupational therapy. However, an occupational therapy assistant only needs an associate degree, which can be earned through an accredited occupational therapy assistant program.
The most common way that students prepare for master's programs in occupational therapy is by attending a pre-occupational therapy bachelor's program, which usually leads to a bachelor's degree in a health science. Typically, these programs help students complete the prerequisite coursework needed to apply to an occupational therapy master's program, including classes in physiology, biology, anatomy, and psychology.
Occupational therapy master's programs generally include practical training that is completed through fieldwork as well as classes that center on such topics as:
- Functional anatomy
- Treatment planning
- Pediatric interventions
Master's degrees in occupational therapy take about 2 years to earn. It is possible to earn an occupational therapy degree online; however, these are usually hybrid programs that feature some online coursework that is paired with on-campus training and in-person field work.
Physical Therapy Degrees
Physical therapists work with patients who have suffered injuries or are ill and help them manage their pain and improve their physical movements through rehabilitation and treatment. To become a physical therapist, you must earn a doctor of physical therapy degree, otherwise known as a DPT degree. Before you apply to a DPT program, you must earn a bachelor's degree.
While there are not generally bachelor's programs in physical therapy, there are pre-professional programs, such as in the field of health science or biology, that prepare students for DPT programs and help them complete the required prerequisite coursework needed for DPT admissions, including classes in chemistry, biology, psychology, statistics, and anatomy. Additionally, some DPT programs require prospective students complete a set number of clinical observation hours prior to acceptance.
Doctorate-level physical therapy degree requirements include extensive clinical internships as well as coursework that spans the following areas:
- Physical therapy integration
- Orthopedic physical therapy
- Therapeutic modality interventions
DPT programs take about 3 years to complete, and students can earn a physical therapy degree online through hybrid programs that have some online course options as well as in-person clinical requirements.
Additionally, students who wish to pursue a career as a physical therapy assistant, who work under fully a licensed physical therapist, can attend an associate-level physical therapy assistant degree program, which takes about 18 months to complete and includes coursework on kinesiology, therapeutic exercise, and medical terminology.
Speech Language Pathology Degrees
Speech language pathologists, or speech therapists, help both children and adults who have issues with communication and swallowing from a variety of causes. Typically, speech language pathologists need to earn a master's degree in speech language pathology. Generally, these types of master's programs require that students have a bachelor's degree and have completed certain prerequisite coursework, including classes on phonetics, audiology, hearing and speech science, language development, and more.
There are different types of undergraduate healthcare degrees for speech pathology, including bachelor's degrees in communication sciences and disorders and in speech-language pathology and audiology. While bachelor's degree programs in the field usually take 4 years to complete, master's degree programs are mostly designed to be completed in 2 years and require extensive clinical placements and coursework where students study such topics as:
- Neuromotor speech disorders
- Phonological disorders
- Child language disorders
Students can also go beyond the master's-level and earn a speech language pathology PhD if they wish to do research or work in academia. Additionally, students can earn a speech language pathology degree online at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduate programs can usually be completed 100% online; however, graduate programs typically feature a hybrid model with some online classes and in-person labs and clinical experiences.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Degrees
Diagnostic medical sonographers are trained to use imaging equipment, such as ultrasounds or sonograms, to create medical images that are used for diagnosing injury, disease, or pregnancy. Generally, for this career you need either an associate degree in sonography or a bachelor's degree in sonography. Associate programs generally take 2 years to complete while bachelor's programs take 4 years. However, there are also bachelor's degree completion programs for certified professionals that can be completed in less than 4 years.
A sonography degree program includes clinical practicums and experiences where students get hands-on experience using imaging equipment, and the types of subjects that are included in these programs are:
- Abdominal sonography
- Medical terminology
- Obstetrical and gynecological sonography
- Sectional anatomy
Students have several pathways for earning a sonography degree online. There are several bachelor's degree completion programs that are online as well as a limited number of online associate programs that feature a hybrid format of online classes, in-person labs, and real-world clinical placements.
Nutrition & Dietetics Degrees
Dietitians and nutritionists specialize in food and nutrition science and help patients with their diets and eating habits. Those in this field need at least an undergraduate nutrition and dietetics degree. However, nutritionists who wish to earn the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential must have a master's degree in nutrition or higher. Further, those wishing to earn the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential must earn a bachelor's degree and complete a Dietetic Internship (DI) through a coordinated program or take specific coursework before completing their internship. Some master's programs include an internship and required coursework for the DI credential as well.
Nutritional science degree programs usually include the study of:
- Food science
- Food safety
- Nutritional assessment
- Nutrition education
- Food service management
For those interested in research or teaching careers in nutrition or dietetics, they can choose to pursue a PhD in the field. Additionally, students seeking an undergraduate or graduate online nutrition degree have many options. They can earn a bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics online or a master's degree online. Usually, these are 100% online programs; however, some may require in-person clinical experiences.
Dental & Dental Hygienist Degrees
There are a variety of dental careers that all require a certain type of a dental degree. First, to become a dentist, you must earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry/Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. To apply to a doctorate-level program, you must typically have a bachelor's degree and completed coursework in biology and chemistry. DDS degree programs usually take 4 years to complete and include coursework and clinical study.
Other dental professionals include dental hygienists and dental assistants, who need less education than dentists. A dental hygienist degree is usually an associate-level degree that takes 2 to 3 years to complete and includes clinical experiences and the study of such topics as:
- Dental hygiene
- Dental anatomy
- Dental radiology
Along with on-campus programs, students can earn a dental hygienist associate degree online; however, there programs are only offered partially online and are not widely available. There are also bachelor's degrees in dental hygiene as well, which can be for those with no dental hygiene background or those already with an associate degree. There are also a limited number of master's degree programs in dental hygiene, which are for those who may want to teach or do research in the field.
A dental assistant degree is also usually an associate-level degree; however, as dental assistants only need to graduate from an accredited program, some dental assistant programs lead to a diploma or certificate.
Pharmacists mainly dispense prescription medications to patients and inform them about how to take those medicines and side effects. To become a pharmacist, you must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, known as a PharmD, which requires that students either have completed 2 years of undergraduate study or have earned a bachelor's degree for admission. While students can earn a bachelor's degree in pharmacy studies, they can also earn a bachelor's degree in chemistry, health sciences, or biochemistry that includes a pre-pharmacy track. Usually, these bachelor's programs help students fulfill the prerequisite requirements for PharmD programs, including classes on chemistry, physics, biology, and possibly more.
A pharmacy degree on the doctorate level usually takes 4 years to earn, and PharmD programs include pharmacy practice experiences and courses that cover such subjects as:
- Calculations and compounding
- Medicinal chemistry
- Patient care
Another type of pharmacy career is a pharmacy technician, which is a position that aids pharmacists. Usually, this career only requires a high school diploma or the completion of a certificate program, but students can earn a pharmacy technician associate degree, which can prepare you for a more management-level position. These are usually 2-year programs that cover topics related to pharmacotherapy, pharmacy practice, and pharmacy calculations.
Although pharmacy programs are more prevalent as on-campus programs, students can earn a pharmacy degree online. There are an extremely limited number of online PharmD programs, which require some in-person campus visits and clinical training. Online pre-pharmacy bachelor's and pharmacy assistant associate degree programs are also available but may also require in-person elements as well.
The 50 Best Health Science Degrees (2020-2021 School Year)
Learn.org analyzed colleges across the country to give you a list of the top 50 schools that have the best health science degree programs. This list has been compiled with thought given to academic excellence, program choice and flexibility, and student opportunities. The rankings are partially based on data from the U.S. Department of Education such as graduation rates, tuition costs, and student-to-faculty ratio. Featuring schools that provide hands-on experience and access to renowned laboratories and facilities that are vital to a health sciences career, this list can help prospective students find the health science program they're looking for, whether it be at the undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral level.
1. Misericordia University
Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania boasts a Bachelor of Health Science program that features an abundance of specializations that include exercise science, medical science, patient navigation, respiratory therapy, and surgical technology. With a broad range of choices, students interested in pursuing a health science career have no shortage of options. Several of the specializations have full and part-time learning formats, online, traditional, and hybrid classes, and transferrable credits with Luzerne County Community College, so flexible learning is easily accessible for students with different life situations. Additionally, a few specializations, including exercise science and patient navigation, require fieldwork so that students can gain hands-on experience that will prove to be beneficial career preparation. The health science offerings follow Misericordia's mission to teach students to be accepting and understanding individuals who can provide competent care.
2. Stockton University
Located in Galloway, New Jersey, Stockton University's School of Health Sciences provides bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in public health, nursing, occupational and physical therapy, and communication disorders. They also have an accelerated nursing BSN program, minor options in holistic health and public health, and a post-master's certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner or Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, so students have options for higher education no matter their degree level or experience. With a faculty committed to teaching, community service, and research, students have the ability to be as involved in their learning experience as possible. Student involvement is taken a step further through the school's Cross-Cultural Speech, Language, and Acoustics Lab, where students and speech scientists collaborate on research projects.
3. Heidelberg University
Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio provides a health science bachelor's degree that can be a pre-professional track for many health-related educational and career paths, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, and physician assistant studies. A small liberal arts school, Heidelberg gives students the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty, gain a well-rounded education, and participate in extracurriculars, so students can have the attention, opportunities, and diverse experiences that can be an advantage when applying for graduate school. With the healthcare field being so broad, choosing a path of study can be difficult; that's why the university also has special academic advisors for students in the pre-professional option, so they can rest assured they will be guided in taking the right steps for their educational and career goals.
4. University of the Sciences
The University of the Sciences, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, emphasizes hands-on learning with practical training in the city's esteemed medical and rehabilitation centers and care facilities. Undergraduate health science and exercise physiology students can participate in practical training as they gain a strong foundational education in the natural and social sciences, as well as learn marketable skills in communication, leadership, and organization that can give them an edge in the healthcare job market. Professional programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant studies prepare graduate students to work closely with patients, with clinical experience beginning as soon as their first year in the program. Occupational and physical therapy students have the option to earn their doctorate in 6 years so they can get started in their career as soon as possible.
5. Alma College
Alma College in Alma, Michigan is a great option for students who are looking for a pre-professional health science track; with track options that include pre-medicine, pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, pre-sports medicine, and pre-physician's assistant, the Integrative Physiology and Health Science Department (IPHS) gives a fundamental undergraduate science education for students with a variety of health science interests. The department also has a public health major for students who want to get started in their careers right away. Hands-on laboratory and clinical experience is an integral part of the student experience; all students in the pre-professional tracks must take a human anatomy course, which allows them to work in the human anatomy laboratory and dissect a cadaver to learn first-hand about the human body. For emerging leaders, the IPHS allows students to lead exercise programs for older adults in the community, and for excelled achievers, the department has a student-run honors society that organizes on and off-campus events, such as charity runs.
6. Carroll College
Carroll College, located in Helena, Montana, offers three undergraduate options for students; a bachelor's degree in health sciences and a bachelor's degree and/or minor in public health. The university has a strong liberal arts focus, so in addition to taking fundamental math and science classes, students in the health sciences programs take social science and philosophy courses, which can provide them with a well-rounded education and help them better understand and interact with their future co-workers, patients, and the communities they serve. Carroll College also has a Student Undergraduate Research Festival, where students can present cutting-edge research projects that they've worked on with health science faculty members or as part of an internship. For students who show an exceptional commitment to academics, community service, and research, the school annually offers several awards, including the Undergraduate Research Award, the Fahlberg Memorial Scholarship, the Mike Franklin Endowed Scholarship, the Health Sciences Departmental Award, and the John Snow Health Sciences Award.
7. Lebanon Valley College
Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania has a variety of health science programs to fit the diverse education and career goals of its students. Available programs include the following:
- Master of Speech-Language Pathology
- Doctor of Physical Therapy
- Bachelor's degree in exercise science with an option of a professional/graduate track, an exercise, sport, and health promotion track, or a health and wellness track
- Master of Athletic Training (accelerated option for exercise science undergraduates)
The school additionally offers an Applied Spanish for Healthcare Professionals minor, with the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica for the summer. Health professions students can gain hands-on experience and conduct important research in the Jeanne and Edward H. Arnold Health Professions Pavilion, which is the home of several state-of-the-art laboratories, including the Lewis Human Performance Lab and the Gross Anatomy Lab. Through lab experience and clinical rotations, students can work alongside practicing clinicians and with the general public, including the opportunity to work in the student-led C.U.R.E. Clinic, where uninsured patients receive care free of charge.
8. Franklin Pierce University
Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences that can prepare students for a wide range of careers and graduate school options, such as medicine, veterinary science, physician assistant, dentistry, and pharmacy. For students with a concrete goal of becoming a physical therapist, the school has a direct-admit Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Pre-Physical Therapy option. The direct-admit DPT guarantees admission to highly qualified high school students and puts them on a smooth path from a health sciences undergrad to a physical therapy doctorate in just over 6 years; the pre-physical therapy option has a bit more flexibility, allowing students to choose biology or health sciences as their undergraduate major. For extracurriculars, students can join the Health Sciences Club, where they can gain additional knowledge on the topic, develop professional contacts, and access career opportunities through organized hospital visits and presentations from faculty and healthcare professionals. A close working relationship with faculty and students is available through opportunities to work with athletic training staff and varsity teams as well as conducting biomedical research and studying in the school's Exercise Physiology Lab.
9. Husson University
In Bangor, Maine, Husson University's College of Health and Pharmacy offers the following health science degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Master of Science in Nursing
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
- Doctor of Physical Therapy
- Doctor of Pharmacy
Occupational therapy, physical therapy, and pharmacy students can enter these programs directly as freshman and earn a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration/Public Health, Exercise Science, or Health Science in the process. There are several opportunities for students to expand their studies and qualifications even further; for instance, graduate nursing students can enroll in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track, where they can learn how to provide exceptional mental health care to patients of all ages through online courses and clinical internships, while graduate pharmacy students can earn a Master of Business Administration through a dual degree program. Physical therapy and pharmacy students can work in innovative facilities with renowned technology that reflects the current workplace and, thanks to small faculty-to-student ratios, work closely with accomplished faculty members to learn hands-on and develop close working relationships. Students can get the attention they deserve with small class sizes and graduate studies advisors who are dedicated to helping Husson students discover their goals and work to achieve them.
10. California State University-East Bay
If you are looking for a career change or want to expand your opportunities but already possess an undergraduate degree, California State University's East Bay campus in Hayward, California offers the Pre-Professional Health Academic Program, with 2 track options known as the Career Changer and the Academic Enhancer. Both track options provide a wide selection of health science courses so students can expand their knowledge and gain a strong foundational education to prepare for any future health science-related career they desire, including medicine, dentistry, optometry, and physical therapy. Students can complete their course of study in a shortened amount of time, with career changer students finishing in 2 years and academic enhancer students finishing in just 1 year, so they can get started straight away in applying to graduate school or finding a job. Classes are taken full-time, but with additional campuses in Concord and Oakland, along with some evening courses, students with busy schedules can find a course of study that works for them. The program additionally offers several community service, volunteer opportunities, and internships in different health professions, as well as research experience.
11. SUNY College at Brockport
SUNY College's campus in Brockport, New York has many health science programs to match the varied interests and career goals of its students, with bachelor's degrees in exercise science, kinesiology, nursing, and public health. Impressively, the exercise science program is one of only 18 programs in the country to be CAAHEP-accredited and endorsed by the NSCA. Graduate students and working professionals alike can pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice, an MS in Family Nurse Practitioner, or an MSED in Community Health Education. The opportunities to learn hands-on in a rich environment are plentiful here; nursing students are able to study abroad in Costa Rica, Haiti, and Peru, which can help them learn how to care for and appreciate diverse groups of people. Exercise science and kinesiology students work closely with faculty on research projects, and public health students complete an internship at a public health organization in the community.
12. Mercy College of Ohio
Mercy College of Ohio in Toledo is wholly dedicated to preparing students for careers in all aspects of the healthcare field. The Associate of Science in Health Sciences program can be a great option for students who are testing the waters of health professions, with its ability to transfer credits to several bachelor's programs, including biology, nursing, and healthcare administration. For aspiring and accomplished nurses, there are several programs ranging from the associate to graduate levels, including the following:
- Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program
- Pre-licensure BSN (also available in an accelerated format)
- RN-BSN Nursing online degree completion program
- MSN in Nursing
- Post-master's certificates in nursing education and nursing leadership
Additionally, a Master of Physician Assistant Studies is available for students and features the ability to gain formative clinical and laboratory experience. Students in all of these programs at Mercy College of Ohio can benefit from small class sizes, hands-on learning, and a commitment to teaching students how to give exceptional service and care to the community and world.
13. Parker University
In Dallas, Texas, Parker University's Health Sciences department prepares students for a number of careers in research, clinical practice, and general healthcare with a variety of degree programs that include the following:
- Associate of Science in Health Sciences
- Master of Science in Neuroscience and Clinical Neuroscience
- Master of Science in Functional Nutrition
- Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Strength and Human Performance
Several of the programs can be completed online, so students have the ability to learn at a pace that works for them. Under the direction of esteemed faculty with extensive real-world experience, students use state-of-the-art technology to learn hands-on, so they graduate prepared for practical work. For students who want to learn more than just the standard curriculum, the MS in Neuroscience and Clinical Neuroscience provides just that. Students in the program learn how to deal with complex cases that are rare to find in many primary care practices, so students graduate with exceptional knowledge and experience.
14. Mercy College
Mercy College's main campus in Dobbs Ferry, New York and its surrounding campuses have no shortage of options when it comes to personalizing your health science education, with 4 track options for a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, which include:
- Health promotion
- Pre-occupational therapy
- Pre-physician assistant studies
- Pre-physical therapy
Options for graduate students include a Doctor of Physical Therapy, which is taught by practicing physical therapists, an MS in Occupational Therapy, which gives classes on the weekends, and an MS in Communication Disorders, which can be completed in just over 2 years so students can get to work as soon as possible. Students in the School of Health and Natural Sciences can make use of the main campus's Health Professions Clinical Simulation and Learning Labs, where state-of-the-art technology is used to simulate real-world situations that can happen in the healthcare field. The labs even record students on video as they participate in the simulations so they can have a visual component to use when assessing and improving their developing clinical skills.
15. Spalding University
Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky offers 3 health science degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, a Master of Science in Athletic Training, and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy. Undergraduate students have the option to choose from 2 pathways, with one leading to the athletic training master's in just 5 years and the other leading to the occupational therapy doctorate. The undergraduate health sciences program gives students the opportunity to dive in head first with field work and community service programs, so they get the experience they need to develop professional, leadership, and communication skills. Spalding accommodates students of all educational and professional backgrounds with its admission options that allow students with bachelor's degrees in a field unrelated to health science to apply to a health science graduate program.
16. University of Nevada- Reno
The School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada's Reno campus is abundant with academic programs, scholarships, internships, and research opportunities. Students have the choice between the following related programs:
- Bachelor of Science in Community Health Sciences
- Master of Public Health with online and dual accelerated options
- Master of Science in Biostatistics
- PhD in Public Health
- Dual Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health
Students take the lead in their education and experience, with several opportunities available to them that include researching with faculty, presenting findings at notable conferences, and publishing papers in respected academic journals. The student-led Graduate Society of Public Health provides support and valuable networking opportunities, while the Public Health Coalition gives students the chance to serve their community and make a true impact in public health. Additionally, finding an internship, which is often required, is made easier through the school's internship placement system; internship postings, applications, interview schedules, timesheets, and student evaluations are all on one convenient website.
17. University of Missouri- Columbia
The University of Missouri's main campus in Columbia offers a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Health Science with the following emphasis areas:
- Health and wellness
- Leadership and policy
- Rehabilitation science
Students in the program can gain a robust foundational education while tailoring it to fit their needs and aspirations. The university gives students the chance to learn by experience through their study abroad programs in South Africa, India, and Colombia. In these international programs, students can work with local public health organizations and learn about the countries' healthcare infrastructure, as well as gain experience promoting public health. Both the Mizzou Alternative Breaks and study abroad programs can additionally count towards internship credits. Additionally, new and transfer students can take advantage of the Department of Health Sciences' Peer Mentor Program, where students are paired with upper division students who have similar goals and interests, to make their transition into the program easier.
18. Bay Path University
Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts has an in-person and online option for their Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration: Health Sciences and Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Services: Health Sciences programs; these are great starters for their completely online MS in Healthcare Management, Doctor of Health Science, and Master of Public Health programs. For aspiring clinicians, their occupational therapy and physician assistant graduate programs are accelerated, so students can begin their careers as quickly as possible. Much of the learning takes place in the state-of-the-art Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center, with lab spaces specifically made for hands-on learning. The PA program places students with renowned private practices and institutions throughout the New England area, while the OT program provides students with fieldwork opportunities through partnering community-based organizations, such as the Enfield Holistic Occupational Therapy network, so there's no shortage of esteemed, immersive learning experiences.
19. Lincoln University
Students at Lincoln University in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania can earn either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Health Science. Designed for students who want to pursue graduate studies, the program integrates scientific learning with professional, ethical, and legal studies as they apply to the healthcare field, so students are equipped with a well-rounded education when they apply for graduate schools and start their careers. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor to guide them through the graduate school application process so they can confidently make the best decisions for their futures. Incoming first-year students who show a strong interest in pursuing a graduate degree in medicine, dentistry, public health, or another biomedical science discipline can join the Co-Curricular Pre-Professional Preparatory Program in Biomedical Sciences and Health Professions. Through the program, students receive personalized advising, can participate in rigorous training activities, and attend career path seminars. Most notably, however, is the chance to partake in research and clinical apprenticeships as an undergraduate, which is a valuable thing to have on a graduate school application.
20. Dominican University of California
The Dominican University of California in San Rafael, California combines liberal arts, professional, and scientific studies so their health science students are prepared to work with others in diverse settings. Their School of Health and Natural Sciences offers a combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Health Science/Pre-Occupational Therapy program that can be completed in 5 years. They additionally offer graduate programs in biological sciences and physician assistant studies. Dominican University keeps international students in mind with its unique Internationally Educated Nurses program, where students with nursing degrees from other countries can complete courses necessary to practice in California. Students in physician assistant studies can round out their clinical education by spending an entire year rotating through several departments including women's health, behavioral health, and emergency medicine, among others, so when they graduate, they have extensive experience in virtually all areas of healthcare.
21. Corban University
Corban University in Salem, Oregon is an excellent choice for aspiring nurses as its Associate of Science in Health Science can directly propel its graduates into George Fox University's BSN program. Although the associate program can also benefit non-nursing students who want to prepare for a variety of health careers, pre-nursing students have an advantage in this area, with up to 15 spots in George Fox's program specifically reserved for them, giving them priority transfer status as long as they maintain a 3.0 GPA. Other programs include amazing bachelor's and master's degrees in kinesiology and even a more unique bachelor's degree in biokinetics. Students in the undergraduate kinesiology and biokinetics programs can pursue clinical internships and perform undergraduate original research with faculty members, which can lead to their work being presented at the school's annual science symposium and even professionally published. The graduate kinesiology program is available online for busy professionals who want to grow their athletic training businesses, with courses offered one at a time in 8-week sessions.
22. Ave Maria University
Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida integrates natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities with their Bachelor of Arts in Health Science, so students have a well-rounded undergraduate education. The Biology Department has a Tri-Beta Biological National Honors Society, in which scholars can gain recognition for their academic achievements, which can help boost their resumes and provide networking opportunities. For students who want to get involved with their peers, there are several student-led clubs, organizations, and societies, such as the Science Club, Biology Club, Pre-Med Club, and Pre-Dental Society, that allow them to make connections before their careers have even started.
23. University of South Florida-Main Campus
The University of South Florida's main campus in Tampa, Florida accommodates the individual aspirations of its students by offering a wide range of concentrations within its undergraduate health sciences degree program. These concentrations include:
- Aging health studies
- Health information technology
- Biological health sciences
- Social and behavioral health sciences
- Health information technology
Students have the rare option to actually pursue two concentrations instead of just one, which provides them with a truly customizable education. With so many options, students have greater flexibility with their education and can receive more social science, business, and humanities courses than in other similar programs. Students can even get a head start on research through various undergraduate research opportunities, which gives them an advantage with their CV/resumes for graduate school applications or when pursuing work.
24. Stony Brook University
In Stony Brook, New York, Stony Brook University is prepared to foster the aspirations of both clinical and non-clinical undergraduate health science students with its Bachelor of Science in Health Science. Students can personalize their education with various program concentrations, which span from radiation therapy and radiologic technology to public health and disability studies. Among the top reasons why students choose Stony Brook are their state-of-the-art library and computer learning lab and the chance to learn hands-on in the nationally recognized Health Sciences Center. Another notable feature is that the health science program is kept current with evolving healthcare industry trends, so students are equipped with the most up-to-date knowledge when they enter the workforce.
25. Wheaton College
Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois emphasizes exploration and learning outside the classroom through its undergraduate degree programs in Applied Health Science and Health Professions. Students in the health professions program can take the lead in their education by declaring a specific career goal, such as nursing, medicine, dentistry, or physical therapy, and receive personalized academic advising based on that goal. Both programs offer an abundance of fieldwork, internships, community service, and undergraduate research opportunities. Applied health science students can work closely with faculty to perform biomedical research and gain important knowledge and professional skills, and they can even present this research at national and international scientific conferences. In addition to completing clinical practicums in community health facilities, health professions students also have the ability to travel to Wichita, Kansas during spring break to observe various health professionals in action, which can help them make important decisions about their own futures.
26. Indiana University- Kokomo
Indiana University's campus in Kokomo, Indiana offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences that is easily customizable with concentrations that include exercise and sport science, health education and promotion, and nutritional science. Students in the exercise and sport science concentration can take a unique blend of science and physical activity courses so they can understand the human body from a scientific and physical point of view. Nutritional science students can learn all about food through a hands-on, scientific lens by completing one-on-one research with faculty at the school's on-site food lab.
27. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, located in Tallahassee, Florida, ensures students in its School of Allied Health Sciences learn communication, critical thinking, and interdisciplinary collaboration skills through its various programs. These include the following:
- Bachelor of Science in Cardiopulmonary Sciences
- Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management
- Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
- Dual BS in Healthcare Management/MSHA in Health Administration
- Doctor of Physical Therapy
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
Students in the health sciences program can choose a concentration in occupational and wellness therapy or pre-physical therapy, which allows them to begin work immediately upon graduation. Physical therapy students participate in at least 5 clinical internships throughout the 3-year program, some of which are out-of-state, so they have the opportunity to travel and work with many different people.
28. North Greenville University
North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina offers a Bachelor of Health Science with track options that include exercise science, gerontology, and health promotion and education; they additionally offer a Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant program. Every spring, the health science department hosts a health fair to provide health screenings for the community; local vendors who provide the screenings explain their work to students and how they are involved in the way health is impacted in the community. The health science faculty have extensive experience and work closely with students in practicums and 375 hours of internships, so students are extremely prepared with practical knowledge and skills as soon as they graduate. Physician assistant students receive an impressive 11 months of clinical training and coursework, so they are well-equipped with medical experience and patient exposure upon graduation.
29. Alvernia University
Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania has a variety of health science programs that include:
- Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Science
- Doctor of Physical Therapy
- Master of Occupational Therapy
- Pre-professional programs such as Pre-Medical, Pre-Physician Assistant, and Pre-Pharmacy
Students in the occupational therapy program have the special benefit of being allowed admission with a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field and are able to receive hands-on training to work in a variety of environments like rehabilitation centers, schools, mental health facilities, and private practices. Since practical training is an important aspect of the physical therapy program, students here are actually allowed to begin clinical rounds as soon as their first semester. Students in the healthcare science program are also given chances to complete internships during their studies, with opportunities to work at major organizations such as Reading Health Dispensary, St. Joseph Medical Center, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, among others.
30. Utica College
Located in Utica, New York, Utica College offers several health science programs designed to prepare students for clinical and administrative positions. These include the following:
- Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management
- Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition
- Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
- Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
- Doctor of Physical Therapy
Students in the accelerated nursing program have the privilege of combining online/on-site instruction, multiple start dates, and rolling admissions, so they can begin learning at a time that works for them. Dietetics and nutrition students dedicate their last year of the program exclusively to an internship, so they can focus all of their efforts on translating their knowledge into practical skills. Physical therapy students have the option to enter as freshman direct-transfer students, and can complete clinical internships nationally and internationally so they have the chance to work with top professionals from around the world.
31. AdventHealth University
AdventHealth University, located in Orlando, Florida, exclusively offers programs focused on healthcare; a few of them include an AS and BS in Health Sciences, an online BS in Healthcare Administration, and an online dual Master of Healthcare Administration/Master of Business Administration. The dual degree is in partnership with Stetson University and is expertly designed to prepare students to forge their own path in the healthcare industry by giving them both healthcare and business knowledge after just 2 years of study. The school has fantastic labs with state-of-the-art technology and the ability to simulate real-life clinical situations. Students in the physical therapy and physician assistant studies programs can perform research and practice giving exams, interacting with patients, and performing clinical procedures, which will help them be well-equipped for their future careers.
32. Keene State College
Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire offers numerous health sciences programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, a BS in Public Health, a BS in Nursing, and a unique graduate Dietetic Internship program. In partnership with Plymouth State University, the program can result in a master's degree in athletic training in just 5 years. Students with a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a nutrition-related field who wish to become Registered Dietitians (RD) can pursue a dietetic internship through the university. As part of the dietetic internship, students get the special opportunity to complete several rotations, such as community wellness and nutrition promotion, clinical, distance clinical, management, and an individualized specialty rotation, so they have well-rounded training that fits their career interests.
33. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Slippery Rock University, located in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, offers an abundance of health science programs with a wide range of specializations on which students may focus. The pre-professional programs in physical therapy, physician's assistant, and pre-pharmacy can be specially combined with majors such as public health, chemistry, and biology. Among the many standout programs is the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science; in addition to working alongside faculty in a truly beneficial 12 credit internship, exercise science students can get involved with clubs and conferences. One such conference is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of the American College of Sports Medicine, which students attend with faculty and where they have the opportunity to build professional networks, compete in a fitness challenge, and present their research.
34. University of Washington-Bothell Campus
Located in Bothell, Washington, the University of Washington- Bothell's School of Nursing and Health Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies, a one-year RN-BSN program, and a Master of Nursing. Committed to the advancement of social justice, health, and nursing practice, the school teaches students through advanced pedagogical methods, research, and community engagement to produce professionals who improve the health of diverse communities. For nursing students with busy schedules, the BSN program has a variety of in-person, hybrid, full-time, and part-time options, including classes at locations in Harborview and North Everett. Graduate nursing students have opportunities to develop education, leadership, and community partnership skills through fieldwork programs with several incredible organizations. Some of the work they may complete includes leading a staff development skills day, developing a leadership training program, or creating a simulation exercise.
35. California State University-Channel Islands
The Channel Islands campus of California State University in Camarillo, California offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with an additional transfer program for students with an associate degree. With preparation for a variety of careers and graduate school options at the focus of its curriculum, the program offers several science and health-related courses, interdisciplinary studies, and electives. Students can participate in research opportunities as early as their freshman year and present their findings at conferences. Off campus, students can pursue internships with community-based and public health organizations, as well as complete community-based research.
36. Otterbein University
Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio houses the Health and Sport Sciences Department, which offers undergraduate degrees in allied health, athletic training, exercise science and health promotion, and public health education. For students who want an individualized health science education that can prepare them for various graduate school programs, Otterbein offers a Pre-Professional Health Studies program for biology majors. Students can work with academic and pre-professional health advisors to form a course of study that interests them as well as fulfills requirements for graduate school. For academic enrichment, networking, and experiences outside the classroom, Otterbein offers several student-led clubs. These include the Health Professions Club, the Otterbein Club of Athletic Training Students, and the Special Olympics, which raises awareness for individuals with special needs within the Otterbein and surrounding communities.
37. Touro College
In New York City, New York, Touro College's School of Health Sciences has several undergraduate and graduate programs that include clinical mental health counseling, physical therapy, physician assistant, and speech-language pathology. Health sciences faculty are esteemed professionals in their fields who continue to practice alongside teaching, so students receive instruction from experts who incorporate their clinical experience into teaching. With small class sizes and an environment that embraces change, students receive the attention they deserve while learning how to adapt in the fast-paced world of healthcare. Students have an abundance of opportunities to be involved in or conduct their own research so they can learn first-hand what it's like to work as part of a research team, as well as present their work at notable conferences.
38. University of North Florida
The University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida offers various undergraduate and graduate degrees through its departments of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences, Nursing, Health Administration, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Public Health. A few degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, and a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In order to get a broad view of how food shapes societal health, nutrition and dietetic students can study abroad in Italy. This school's Brooks College of Health partners with several major health organizations to not only serve the community, but to provide students with educational and career opportunities and teach them how to rise to the demands of the healthcare industry.
39. University of Central Florida
In Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida's College of Health Professions and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Graduate degrees include those in communication sciences and disorders and kinesiology, with communication sciences majors having the beneficial option of an accelerated degree. This university recognizes the importance of student participation in research, since it can be vital to many academic and professional positions. To make it easier for students to find university research positions, the school has a research position database, where students can filter positions by subject type and find the one that suits them best. Among the school's many health programs are online options in areas such as health informatics and health simulation, so students who lead busy lives or can't attend in-person can also gain a phenomenal education.
40. Monmouth University
Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies with Health Science and Exercise Science track options, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion with Fitness and Wellness or Public Health as a track option. Graduate degrees in occupational therapy, nursing, and physician assistant studies are also available. Among the graduate nursing options is the online Master of Science in Nursing: Forensic Nursing, an emerging field only offered by a handful of other universities. In this rare program, students learn about the combination of law and nursing science and use their knowledge to work in areas such as death investigation, sexual assault examination, and child abuse.
41. CUNY York College
York College, located in Queens, New York, offers 3 programs in its Department of Health Professions; a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science, a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. Students in each program are required or encouraged to participate in an internship, fieldwork experience, or clinical rotation so they can learn hands-on in a professional environment. Clinical lab science students can choose from 17 different hospitals and medical facilities to complete an internship. For strong academic achievers, York College's Honors Program provides a community of success and support, with opportunities for research, individualized study, and faculty mentorship.
42. Merrimack College
Located in North Andover, Massachusetts, Merrimack College's School of Health Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate programs from nursing and public health to exercise science. Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Health Science can get a head start on hands-on experience and professional networking by working with faculty members on research projects. They can additionally complete internships at esteemed institutions such as Children's Hospital, Harvard University Center for Genomics Research, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Graduate students in community health, health and wellness, and exercise and sports science programs can choose from over 75 fellowships to apply to and receive intensive training from experts at prestigious healthcare and research institutions. Additionally, students who are accepted into a provost fellowship can get their tuition reduced by 50 percent and graduate in a year or less.
43. Eastern Connecticut State University
Eastern Connecticut State University, located in Windham, Connecticut, offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and a minor in Public Health. In addition to undergraduate research and internship opportunities, students can pursue a teaching assistantship, where they will assist professors in a course they have previously excelled in and can learn important leadership, communication, and mentorship skills. For scholars, the school has a Phi Theta Delta Honors Society for health sciences majors, which can provide them with service, outreach, and professional development opportunities. Public health majors even have the opportunity to participate in a 2-week public health internship in Ghana, West Africa, where they can gain experience and study public health in a cultural environment different from their own.
44. Spring Hill College
Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Science that fulfills graduate school requirements for several programs, including athletic training, clinical laboratory science, genetic counseling, cytology, health administration, nutrition/dietitian, and medical illustration. With unique elective courses in parasitology, emerging pathogens, and pharmacology, among others, students can gain knowledge in a vast array of subjects, fulfilling their academic interests and professional goals. For students who want to form friendships and possible networking opportunities with fellow health science majors and other medical majors, they can join the American Medical Student Association.
45. University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota, located in Vermillion, offers many programs through its School of Health Sciences, including a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with an additional paramedic specialization, a Master of Science in Nursing, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences. Students in the paramedic program can complete their education and training in just 5 semesters with classroom lectures, demonstrations, and laboratory simulations. They also engage in practical learning with patient care in hospital and pre-hospital settings. With an approach of enhancing what is learned in the classroom, health science students can participate in service learning opportunities, where they will serve at various locations such as nursing homes and food pantries so they can apply their classroom knowledge to the real world. Student organizations at the school include the Health Sciences Club, where students can form connections with various health majors, and the Sigma Delta Honor Society, where health science academic scholars are recognized for their accomplishments.
46. SUNY College at Potsdam
SUNY Potsdam, located in Potsdam, New York, offers several majors through its Department of Public Health and Human Performance, which include a Bachelor of Science in Community Health, a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, and a Master of Science in Community Health. Exercise science majors can choose an exercise and sports performance track or pre-professional track. Several minors, such as community health, nutrition, fitness, and sexual health, are available, so students can customize their education to fit their interests. Community health majors in particular can apply to the Community Health Honors Program, where they can complete an undergraduate thesis project and participate in a seminar, which can be a great addition to a resume or graduate school application. Students who want to promote healthy lifestyles can join the Health and Fitness Advocates club and plan health education-related activities such as managing a campus food bank.
47. California State University-Dominguez Hills
Located in Carson, California, the Dominguez Hills campus of California State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Science, a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, and a Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Health science majors have the opportunity to further specialize their studies to prepare for their ideal careers by concentrating in healthcare management, community health, and radiologic technology concentrations. The clinical sciences program is ideal for aspiring cytotechnology and medical technology professionals, with a goal of creating exceptional clinical scientists and practitioners. Orthotics and prosthetics students get the amazing chance to learn in the Orthotic and Prosthetic Education Center, a facility with well-equipped classrooms and laboratories designed for hands-on learning. Students in this program also complete several clinical rotations in VA clinics such as the Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center.
48. Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View A&M University, located in Prairie View, Texas, offers a Bachelor of Science in Health and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. The various career options students in these degrees have are expanded even further with the option to complete teacher certification requirements. Additionally, a Master of Education and a Master of Science in Health are available for students who are interested in working in schools, public health education agencies, and hospitals. Because Prairie View understands the importance of academic success and enrichment, it offers several health-oriented honors societies, such as Eta Sigma Gamma, Phi Epsilon Kappa, P.A.H.P.E.R.D., and the Allied Science Professional Society. Students in these societies can begin building professional relationships and make their resumes and graduate school applications stand out.
49. University of Hartford
The University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut offers undergraduate degrees that include a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care, and a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology. Graduate degrees in nursing, physical therapy, and prosthetics and orthotics are also available. Health sciences majors have the benefit of being able to choose from several concentrations, including pre-professional, pre-optometry, pre-chiropractic, pre-podiatry, and pre-pharmacy, so they can receive the foundational education they need to get into the graduate program of their choice. Physical therapy and prosthetics and orthotics students can choose a combined degree option so they can enter a direct course of study to fit their academic and professional goals. The University of Hartford shows dedication to making sure its graduates are career-ready with extensive real-world training and career services such as resume writing and interview coaching.
50. Oakwood University
Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama instills character excellence, leadership and service skills, and professional achievement in its students through its School of Nursing and Health Professions. Students can choose between numerous excellent majors, minors, and certificates in allied health, health and exercise science, nursing, and even nutrition and dietetics. The Bachelor of Science in Allied Health has 3 concentrations to choose from: pre-physical therapy, pre-occupation therapy, and pre-physician assistant, while students in the nursing and health professions programs enjoy small class sizes, which gives them the opportunity to work closely on research projects with faculty. Oakwood University proves its methods help students succeed, with an impressive 95% of their graduates in 2017 working in fields related to their major.
Healthcare & Medical Degree Accreditation
When choosing between healthcare degrees and programs, one factor you should consider is accreditation, which is a process a program or school undergoes to prove it has met high, independent standards in terms of academic quality. Each type of healthcare degree has its own agency that is responsible for accreditation, and below are some examples of accreditation organizations:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
- Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
- Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
- Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
- Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA)
- Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
- Accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (ADA CODA)
- Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
There are also several organizations that accredit nursing degrees, including the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Program accreditation is also important as some healthcare licensures and certifications require graduation from an accredited program. For example, occupational therapists must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam, which requires they have completed an accredited educational program. And dentists usually must have completed an accredited dental program to achieve state licensure.