Online Allied Health Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Allied health programs offer a wide variety of focuses and purposes that students can choose from depending upon their career goals. Look into the programs one can choose and what a typical course offering might involve as well as other important considerations.

Here you will read about different online programs in allied health, what some of their focuses are and what type of degrees are available. Then you will explore a couple of online programs that offer these degrees.

How to Select an Online Allied Health School

General allied health programs are often designed for working professionals who wish to earn a bachelor's degree while still being employed full time. Online allied health programs are offered by a variety of colleges. The focus of the program a student chooses should be based upon their career interests. Students should also consider the licensure and residency requirements.

Degree Type and Focus

There are a huge variety of degrees available under the allied healthcare umbrella. Some are preparatory degrees for a particular job role, such as a nurse or a particular type of healthcare technician. Others serve as general degrees in areas such as health science or healthcare management for a number of different allied health professions or for those seeking upward mobility. Still other degrees are specifically titled allied health degrees, such as those in nursing or radiologic technology. These too serve as general degrees, and can be found in the form of either continuing education options for professionals already working in an allied health profession, or as a preparatory degree for students who will go on to a higher degree that provides for their licensing requirements.

Licensure and Residency Requirements

Depending upon the type of work they want to do, students seeking an allied health degree program may face licensing requirements in their chosen subsection of the allied health field. This also means that some programs in a given area of study are not available fully online due to residency requirements. However, some schools offer find hybrid degree programs that allow students to take the bulk of their classes online and complete clinical requirements either on campus or at a suitable facility near their home.

Online Degree Options for Allied Health

Bachelor of Science in Allied Health

This program is usually intended for students who will serve in a support function to a healthcare provider of some sort, whether dental, medical or specialist. Some schools offer online allied health bachelor's degree programs geared toward working professionals. Such programs are often offered in a more accelerated format for students who wish to enter the workforce upon the completion of their degree. Subjects covered include:

  • Healthcare issues and trends
  • Biomedical statistics
  • Healthy aging
  • Health management for professionals
  • Case and outcomes management

Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management

A bachelor's degree in healthcare management is similar to an allied health degree except that it often emphasizes management or supervisory duties and is more often designed for working professionals who need a flexible program. Graduates find employment in hospitals, nursing care centers, physicians' practices or pharmaceutical companies. These programs aim to provide graduates with skills in:

  • Healthcare planning and policy management
  • Advanced healthcare law and ethics
  • Leading change
  • Quality improvement in healthcare

Bachelor of Science in Health Science

A bachelor's degree in health science is usually a general degree program intended for working professionals in health science who have not yet completed a bachelor's degree and wish to do so while still working. Subjects covered include:

  • Cultural and historical perspectives of healthcare
  • Biostatistics
  • Ethical responsibilities of administrators
  • Communication and management

Schools with Online Programs in Allied Health

National University offers students a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health that student may complete online. The program is designed to teach students with an associates degree in a related field, learn additional knowledge that will help them advance their careers in allied health. The program includes 16 courses including health courses, science courses, management courses and a capstone course.

Northern Arizona University has a distance learning bachelor's degree program that students may enter to complete a degree in number of different allied health careers, including Medical Assisting, Surgical Technology and Physical Therapist Assisting to name a few. This program is also designed for students with experience in the field. Applicants need to either have three years work experience in the field, a minimum of 30 college credits in the field or certification in a health profession.

Many of the online programs in allied health are designed to offer students with an associates degree in a medical related field additional classes that will earn them a bachelor's degrees and prepare them for advancements in the field of allied health. Many of these students go on to assist physicians, dentists, therapist and other medical professionals.

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