Online Degree in Human Anatomy with Program Summaries

Dec 02, 2019

Essential Information

Online human anatomy and physiology programs are rare, so students who want to complete an in-depth course of study may want to consider an on-campus program.

Online certificate programs in anatomy and physiology are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels and are designed for students who would like additional training before applying to an allied health or professional healthcare program, such as a physical therapy assisting degree program or medical school.

At least one online master's degree program in this field is available, and it's designed as a professional development program for aspiring college instructors in anatomy and physiology.

To complete online programs, students may need to meet specific technology requirements. Hardware may include a Web cam, headset, microphone and CD-ROM capabilities. Software usually includes word processing and PDF reading software, Windows XP or Mac OS X and the latest version of Netscape or Internet Explorer.

Graduate Certificate in Anatomy and Physiology

Completion of a graduate certificate program in anatomy can help qualified applicants gain entry to medical school, nursing school or some other healthcare training programs. This certificate is often offered in complementary alternative medicine programs (CAM). Students in anatomy graduate certificate programs receive advanced training in the function and makeup of the components of the human body and how those components work on an interdependent basis. Successful applicants are required to have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and received appropriate recommendation.

Program Information and Requirements

Depending on the schedule chosen, the program can usually be completed in one year or less. There is usually no in-person work required, since the program is generally presented entirely online. Students often participate in live online classes and lectures. Online courseware programs like Blackboard and virtual discussion rooms are often employed for additional communication between students and instructors.

Technical requirements include a computer with Internet access. If live class interaction is part of the program, a Web cam, headset and microphone are usually needed. An operating system such as Windows XP or Mac OS X is usually the minimum required, along with CD-ROM capabilities. Other requirements usually include word processing and PDF reading software. Students are encouraged to have the latest version of Netscape or Internet Explorer.

Common Courses

Anatomy and Physiology I and II

These are two courses that approach the human body as a cooperative system. The theory of the interaction of anatomy and physiology is the focus of the course, stressing the principles of complementary organ functions. Students learn to compare and contrast bodily reactions in various pathological contingencies.


Students examine pathogenesis, etiology and how a disease appears or manifests itself in the human body. Recognition and treatment options are explored. Among the factors considered in recognition, diagnosis and treatment decisions are choices of lifestyle, environmental effects and genetic investigations. Allopathic, holistic and homeopathic treatments are compared and discussed.

CAM Protocols

Various complementary and alternative therapies and treatments as they can be applied to diseases of specific anatomical systems are the focal points of this course. The effects of such courses of action as phytotherapy, reflexology and lifestyle changes on organ functions are examined.

Masters Degree in Human Anatomy

Currently, the only online graduate degree in human anatomy is the Master of Science in Human Anatomy and Physiology Instruction (MSHAPI). This program is intended to provide training and to develop and improve the skills of current professors of anatomy and physiology at the university level.

Program Information and Requirements

Generally, this program can be completed in two years. Although most of the program is conducted online, because the course deals with actual teaching, an on-campus practicum component is usually necessary. The program delivery system includes online lectures, discussion rooms and programs like Blackboard.

Technical requirements include a computer with Internet access, Windows XP or Mac OS X operating systems and up-to-date browsers. Word processing software in addition to CD-ROM and PDF reading capabilities are also usually required.

Common Courses

All courses in this master's degree program are geared to enhance the qualifications and abilities of professional healthcare degree holders. This enables them to capably perform instructional duties in the laboratory or undergraduate lecture hall.

Classroom Foundations

This is a pedagogical course intended to introduce students to the principles, theories and techniques of classroom instruction.

Course Development

The essentials of course design are the focus of this course. Building on pedagogic principles and theories, students create and develop educational tools that enable them to devise and map out a teaching program.

Review of Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Cells and Histology

While improving overall knowledge in these essential areas, the student develops an understanding of the optimum intensity level of instruction to most effectively convey information to undergraduates.


Designed specifically to help instructors of anatomy and physiology, this course addresses current issues in genetics. Through this, students learn how to more effectively communicate the interrelationship of anatomy and physiology to undergraduates.


In this course, the student uses the information and instructional tools garnered through the program to develop and compile a teaching portfolio. With the portfolio as guide, the course culminates with an on-campus teaching practicum.

Career Information

Graduate Certificate in Anatomy and Physiology

Graduates with a certificate in anatomy and physiology may be able to use the credit to aid in admittance to nursing or medical school. In addition, the specialized, complementary training may lead some graduates to the further pursuit of education in alternative medicine in the areas of natural health consultation and holistic health.

Masters Degree in Human Anatomy

By taking advantage of continuing education and professional development courses, teaching healthcare professionals at universities improve their employability and aid in the advancement of their careers. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics (BLS) projected that job opportunities for postsecondary teachers is expected to grow 11% from 2018-2028. The BLS further found that in 2018, the yearly median salary for all postsecondary teachers ranged from $61,900 to $111,140 (

Finding degree programs online in human anatomy is challenging, though there are some certificate and master's programs that can be completed in a distance format. After completing one of these online programs, students can go on to medical school or receive training in various medical technology professions.

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