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Healthcare Schools in Boston, MA with Course and Program Info

The Boston, MA, area has at least 13 schools that offer healthcare programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, all five miles or less from downtown, and make an informed education decision.

Boston Schools with Programs in Healthcare

Healthcare is a broad field of study, and Boston has an abundance of schools with programs in many areas of healthcare. This article profiles three of those schools and many of the degree programs they offer in a variety of fields of study. There is also a table of pertinent information about each school, such as tuition, enrollment, graduation rate and acceptance rate, which prospective students can use to help them find the school that's best for them. At the end of the article is information about other Boston-area schools that offer healthcare programs.

  • Boston University is a private university about two miles from downtown Boston that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a vast array of healthcare fields. Options include Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Endodontics, Doctor of Dental Medicine and Doctor of Medicine.
  • Only five miles from the city center, the University of Massachusetts - Boston is students' only choice for a public university offering healthcare programs. Students can earn bachelor's degrees in exercise and health sciences or nursing, a graduate certificate in nurse educator or a master's degree in nursing. Post-master's certificate programs in adult/gerontology and family nurse practitioner, and clinical nurse specialist are also offered. Doctoral degree programs are available in nursing practice and nursing.
  • The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is a suitable choice for those wanting to attend a specialized healthcare school that only offers programs in health-related fields. Its program offerings include Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene, Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs, Master of Physician Assistant Studies and Doctor of Pharmacy programs. This school is around three miles from the downtown area.

Comparison of Schools

Students who are looking for a college need to consider many factors. The following table presents a variety of data about these three schools, arranged in a way that allows prospective students to easily compare them.

Boston University University of Massachusetts - Boston Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
School Type Private, non-profit, 4-year university Public, 4-year university Private, non-profit, 4-year college
Total Enrollment (in 2014) 32,112* 16,756* 6,935*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016) $48,436* $12,682 in-state, $29,920 out-of-state* $30,530 *
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2013-2014) 59%* 76%* 92%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate 35% (Fall 2014)* 71% (Fall 2014)* 84% (Fall 2014)*
Retention Rate (2013-2014) 93% full-time students* 80% full-time students, 60% part-time students* 87% full-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (students who began in Fall 2008) 85%* 42% (34% transfer-out rate)* 71%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Boston University (BU)

Students can study a wide range of healthcare subjects in BU's College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College. Undergraduate and graduate programs fall within four departments. The Department of Health Sciences is the largest department with programs in health science, nutrition, dietetics, physiology and public health. Programs in occupational therapy are found in the Department of Occupational Therapy, while programs in physical therapy and athletic training are found in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training. Students wanting to learn about communication disorders and speech-language pathology can find several program options in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.

Healthcare degree programs are also found in the School of Public Health. Students in these programs prepare to improve community, national and global health. This school is comprised of departments in biostatistics; environmental health; epidemiology; health law, bioethics and human rights; health policy and management; international health; and community health sciences. Students wanting to learn about the dental field can find relevant programs in the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

Bachelor of Science in Health Science

This program combines concepts related to community health, health sciences and international health. Some of the foundational courses cover a variety of sciences like biology, chemistry and psychology as well as statistics. Upper-level courses may include epidemiology, healthcare delivery, healthcare informatics and gene structures. A practicum is completed in the final semester.

Master of Public Health

The curriculum for this degree program centers on biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, behavioral health and health administration. In addition to coursework, students conduct research under the guidance of a faculty member. Each student must also complete a practicum that equals a minimum of 112 hours.

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Someone with a bachelor's degree in a field unrelated to occupational therapy can apply to this program. Students in this program train to become occupational therapists by completing two years of coursework and about six months of field work. Some of the classes may cover neuroscience, human movement and learning functions.

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Endodontics

In this program, students prepare for board certification by the American Board of Endodontics. The curriculum includes clinical training, a research project and coursework. Classes may include oral microbiology, oral immunology, biostatistics, surgical endodontics and pain management.

Doctor of Dental Medicine

A 4-year traditional program and a 2-year program for graduates of non-accredited foreign dental programs are available. Clinical training and coursework are required in both program options. Courses found in both programs include endodontics, pharmacology, periodontology, pain management and implantology. Clinical specialty areas may include oral surgery, pediatric dentistry, periodontology and prosthodontics.

Doctor of Medicine/ Master of Public Health

Part of the admission requirements for this 4-year program includes having a bachelor's degree. Additionally, applicants must have completed classes in English, humanities, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. Once admitted, students spend the first two years completing coursework. Clinical rotations in various medical specialties and settings commence in the third year, and advanced clinical rotations are performed in the fourth year.

University of Massachusetts - Boston

The nine schools and colleges making up the University of Massachusetts - Boston include the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. As the only public university in Boston with nursing and exercise and health science degree programs, this college is UMass Boston's fastest-growing college.

Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health Sciences

Students can complete concentrations in health sciences, exercise science or fitness instruction and management. Regardless of concentration, all students in this major complete core classes covering nutrition, fitness, physical health, kinesiology and injury prevention. Internships are required for these majors.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

There are three pathways to earning this BSN degree. The accelerated option is for students who have already earned a bachelor's degree and completed specific prerequisite courses in microbiology, statistics, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, human development and behavioral science. A second pathway is for registered nurses who have yet to earn a bachelor's degree. The classes for this option are available online.

The traditional option is for first-time freshmen. Core classes for the BSN program may include mental health, pharmacology, adult care, community health and pediatric healthcare. Clinical training is acquired through the college's partnerships with more than 200 healthcare facilities.

Nurse Educator, Graduate Certificate

Those aspiring to teach nursing education may be interested in this program. A registered nursing license and a bachelor's degree are required for admission.

Master of Science in Nursing

Registered nurses with bachelor's degrees may be eligible for this program. Concentration areas include family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontological nurse practitioner and acute/critical care clinical nurse specialist. Students can complete the coursework online or on-campus.

Adult/Gerontology and Family Nurse Practitioner, Post Master's Certificate

This 12-credit program is designed for registered nurses with master's degrees in a nursing specialty. The program requires either 12 or 21 credits, depending on the program director's recommendation. Coursework and clinical training are required; a total of 48 credits and at least 500-600 clinical hours must be completed.

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Post Master's Certificate

Registered nurses with MSN degrees can complete this 12-credit program to help them prepare for the clinical nurse specialist certification exam. The curriculum is customized to fulfill any deficiencies in clinical hours or coursework.

Doctor of Nursing Practice, Post MS

This 39-credit program is designed for advanced nurse practitioners. Courses include health information science, biostatistics, epidemiology and healthcare policy. Students complete four internships and a capstone project.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

This program is intended for nursing professionals wanting to conduct research in public health and healthcare policy. Applicants may be eligible for this program with either BSN degrees or MSN degrees. Those with BSN degrees must complete 81 credits, while those with MSN degrees must complete 60 credits. Students can concentrate their studies in either population health or health policy.

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS)

MCPHS offers 49 programs in a wide array of healthcare fields. Students can find these programs within their relevant school: the School of Physician Assistant Studies, the School of Physical Therapy, the School of Pharmacy, the School of Optometry, the School of Nursing, the School of Medical Imaging and Therapeutics, the School of Arts and Sciences and the Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Students complete this accelerated program in 32 months by attending full-time, year-round. Some of the classes include human development, nursing duties, health evaluation, mental health, family health and adult care. Students also complete supervised clinical training at various local healthcare facilities.

Bachelor of Science in Predental/ Dental Hygiene

In this program, students may take classes covering chemistry, dental anatomy, dental radiology, dental equipment, periodontology and dental research. Clinical training is acquired at the on-campus dental hygiene clinic and at local healthcare centers. Students can complete this program in 33 months.

Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs

Students who complete relevant bachelor's programs may be eligible to earn this certificate. The courses required for the program cover FDA regulations. Students also choose one course from the Master of Science in Regulatory Affairs and Health Policy program.

Master of Physician Assistant Studies

A bachelor's degree is required for admission to this program, and 250-500 hours of practical training is recommended for admission. Students may learn about genetics, pharmacology and patient care evaluations. Clinical clerkships must be completed before graduation; students can choose from more than 10 medical specialties like pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine and women's health.

Pharmacy (Accelerated PharmD)

This program is open to students without a previous college degree. Students spend 6 years completing the two phases of the program. The 2-year pre-professional phase includes foundational courses in subjects like chemistry, calculus, biology, microbiology, organic chemistry and physics. The final four years comprise the professional phase, and students take classes like biochemistry, pharmacology, therapeutics, virology and research methods. The professional phase also includes an experiential requirement where students work in community pharmacy settings.

Other Schools

Boston has several other schools where healthcare programs can be found. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology has a certificate program in ophthalmic assisting and an associate's program in opticianry. Programs in medical assisting, medical coding, nursing, healthcare management and health information management or technology are offered at Fisher College. Students can study medical sciences, healthcare administration, mental health counseling, medical dosimetry or radiation therapy at Suffolk University.

New England College of Optometry offers bachelor's and doctoral programs in optometry and a vision science master's program. At Northeastern University students can study athletic training, health sciences, nursing, psychology, pharmacology, physical therapy and speech audiology. Some of the healthcare-related fields of study at Simmons College include nutrition, exercise science, dietetics, nursing, public health, physical therapy and healthcare administration.

Bunker Hill Community College has associate's and certificate programs in medical imaging, medical laboratory science, nursing, respiratory health, allied health, surgical technology and medical imaging. Certificate and associate's programs for medical office specialist, nursing, radiologic technology and health careers are also available at Roxbury Community College.

The Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions is a graduate school with programs in nursing, communication sciences and disorders, physical therapy, rehabilitation sciences and health professions education. Lastly, Laboure College has bachelor's, associate's and certificate programs in subjects like nursing, health information technology, nutrition, radiation therapy, medical coding and neurodiagnostic technology.


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