How to Choose an Allied Health School

Allied health colleges and graduate schools are typically comprised of several medical and health care departments. At the undergraduate level, students may earn a diploma, certificate, associate degree or bachelor's degree in a variety of allied health programs. Graduate schools offer many master's and doctoral programs in allied health areas of study as well.

A wide range of allied health programs are offered at every degree level. Programs can be found at hospitals, vocational schools, community colleges and universities.

Schools with Allied Health Programs

Allied health programs are offered at a number of institutions, including the ones listed here.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition* (2015-2016)
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public Certificate, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: In-state $8,591; Out-of-state $33,673; Graduate: In-state $9,143; Out-of state $26,354
Columbus Technical College Columbus, GA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's Undergraduate: In-state $2,694; Out-of-state $4,830
Darton State College Albany, GA 4-year, Public Certificate Undergraduate: In-state $3,395; Out-of-state $9,470
Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: In-state $12,744; Out-of-state $23,364; Graduate: $20,412
Bossier Parish Community College Bossier City, LA 2-year, Public Diploma Undergraduate: In-state $4,070; Out-of-state $8,580
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate $27,660; Graduate $16,760
Washburn University Topeka, KS 4-year, Public Associate's, Bachelor's Undergraduate: In-state $6,350; Out-of-state $14,222
Brightwood Houston, TX <2-year, Private Certificate, Diploma, Associate's Undergraduate: $15,432
Southern Technical College Fort Myers, FL 2-year, Private Diploma, Associate's, Bachelor's Undergraduate: $14,400

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

Students in search of an allied health program may consider a number of factors.

  • Applicants are recommended to research necessary degree and educational requirements for entry into a chosen profession.
  • The type and caliber of clinical and research facilities may be a factor for students interested in a specific allied health career.
  • Currently employed students may be interested in programs which offer distance education through online courses and lectures.
  • There are a wide range of Allied Health programs, which can lead to a certificate, diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree, and it is important to consider which type of program to pursue to fit your career goals.

Certificates for Allied Health Professionals

Allied health certificate programs range from a single course which can be completed in one semester to a multi-year academic regimen. Training offered through a certificate program may qualify students to seek entry-level positions or enhance an associate, bachelor's or master's degree with specific education in a specialized health care field. A clinical practicum is typically required for all aspiring allied health professionals. Some of the careers certificate programs may lead to include medical assisting, surgical technology and emergency medical technology.

Associate Degrees in Allied Health Professions

Associate degrees typically take two years. Students may choose to advance to a bachelor's program within the field and may find transfer or completion programs that allow credit for the associate program's courses. General education classes are a required part of standard associate degree programs, and clinical experiences or internships in the allied health field are common. Standard career paths for graduates of an associate degree program include registered nursing, radiologic technology and dental hygiene.

Bachelor's Degrees for Allied Health Majors

Bachelor's degrees usually take four years, though completion programs may require less time for those who already have an associate degree. Most allied health majors include practical experience in the form of internships, which may consist of a student's entire final year of study. Bachelor's degree holders may find positions in clinical lab technology, nursing research and recreational therapy.

Master's Degrees in Allied Health Specializations

Master's degrees in allied health fields are commonly earned for career advancement or to specialize in a chosen profession. The curriculum for a master's degree often focuses on a distinctive aspect of a larger vocation, such as pediatric nursing or athletic rehabilitation. Allied health careers typically requiring a master's degree include occupational therapy, advanced practice nursing and speech-language pathology.

Allied health programs are offered at a number of institutions throughout the United States, and can lead to a certificate, diploma, undergraduate degree or graduate degree. There is a wide range of subject areas offered, and it is important to choose a program that fits your long-term career goals.


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