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Minnesota Healthcare Universities with Program Overviews

Minnesota has more than 50 colleges that offer healthcare programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info, and program options for 10 of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Healthcare is a broad field that includes many different occupations and areas of interest. There are over 50 public and private educational institutions in Minnesota that offer healthcare-related training programs, and those programs range from nursing and mental health to community health education and healthcare management. There are both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the healthcare-related fields. Some programs may require completion of prerequisite coursework prior to enrollment. Other programs may require students to complete clinical training or internship training outside of the classroom.


Bemidji State University

Based in Bemidji, this state university offers five healthcare programs, including nursing, psychology, and exercise science. Prospective RNs (registered nurses) can pursue the school's Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, while working RNs without a baccalaureate degree can earn one through the RN to Baccalaureate track. Coursework in the latter program is offered both in the classroom and online. Coursework in the traditional program covers palliative care, psychosocial nursing, child health, and community health nursing, among other topics. Additionally, all nursing students will be required to participate in practicums in various healthcare settings.

Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology. Both programs require core courses in lifespan development, learning and cognition, abnormal psychology, and other topics. Students also choose electives that can include internships and research labs. In addition, the university offers a BA program in social studies with an emphasis in psychology, as well as a minor in psychology.

The BS in Exercise Science prepares students for graduate work in several areas, including physical therapy, medicine, and occupational therapy. This program also benefits those looking to enter the workforce in entry-level positions at health clubs or other fitness-related organizations. Students take 67 credits within the major, including course topics such as motor development, athletic training, and nutrition.

Metropolitan State University

Saint Paul's Metropolitan State University has a few program options in the healthcare field, with the largest programs in nursing, psychology, and addiction and drug counseling. Students enrolled in the 120-credit BSN program takes nursing courses in topics such as pharmacology, nutrition, chronic care, and nursing leadership. Students also complete a senior seminar and practicum experience. Professional RNs can pursue the RN-BSN program. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program allows students to choose from one of three tracks: leadership and management, public health nursing leadership, or nurse educator. All options emphasize holistic theories and learning models and boast an interdisciplinary curriculum.

The BS in Alcohol and Drug Counseling program is for students interested in issues surrounding substance abuse and prepares them for licensure. They'll complete 60 credits within the major, including a nine-credit practicum that consists of 880 hours. Coursework covers group counseling, case management, and chemical dependency assessment.

The BA in Psychology program focuses on learning psychology fundamentals, exploring scientific methodology, and developing sensitivity as part of interpersonal skills. Students also learn about the ethics of psychology. Coursework involves study in community, cognitive, child, adolescent, and abnormal psychology.

Minnesota State University - Mankato

The Mankato campus of Minnesota State University offers approximately 15 healthcare programs, and the most popular undergraduate options are registered nursing, community health, and dental hygiene. Earning the BS in Community Health Education requires the completion of 50 credits in the major, including core classes and electives. Core coursework includes health communication and advocacy, health education planning, human anatomy, epidemiology, and infectious diseases. Students must also complete a nine-credit internship. Electives include first aid, consumer health, women's health, and health and aging, among other topics.

The BS in Nursing program has a traditional track for those with no previous schooling in the field or an RN baccalaureate completion program for professional RNs interested in advanced training. The traditional program requires students to complete 59 credits within the major. The baccalaureate completion program consists of 30 credits and is taken completely online full-time or part-time.

The dental hygiene program provides students with practical and theoretical knowledge through clinical experiences and in-depth classes. Coursework includes pharmacology, community practice, oral embryology, periodontology, and radiography.

Minnesota State University - Moorhead

The Moorhead campus of Minnesota State University has less than 10 healthcare programs. The largest options are nursing, exercise science, and speech/language/hearing science. The school offers an RN to BSN program that consists of 120 total credits and includes a culminating clinical experience. Administered through the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership, students enrolling in this program must hold an RN license. Coursework covers family health nursing, transcultural nursing, and leadership. The university also offers an MS program in nursing.

Offered through the Department of Health and Physical Education, the BS in Exercise Science program requires students to complete a supervised internship at a local agency in addition to the didactic portion of the program. Students take courses such as motor learning, kinesiology, and exercise physiology.

The 120-credit BS in Speech/Language/Hearing Sciences program combines in-class training with several clinical rotations, including an audiology rehabilitation experience. Coursework will cover a handful of topics, including language development, linguistic phonetics, and language disorders in children. This subject is also available as a minor.

St. Cloud State University

Located in St. Cloud, this state university offers roughly 15 undergraduate and graduate-level programs in healthcare, including community health, nursing, and communication sciences and disorders. The 120-credit BS in Community Health program requires students to complete 51 credits within the major. In addition to general education requirements, students study nutrition, personal and community health, public health, and safety education.

The school offers a BS in Nursing program. Major-specific coursework includes holistic health assessment, professional nursing skills, and research in nursing informatics.

The 120-credit BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders program requires students to complete 55 major credits. Classes cover a variety of subjects within the field, including phonetics, speech science, and clinical methods. Additionally, students complete several supervised practicums and a final clinical experience in a school setting. An MS program is also available.

St. Mary's University of Minnesota

Winona-based St. Mary's University of Minnesota has over 10 healthcare programs, with the three largest - family therapy, nurse anesthesia, and health and human services administration - available at the graduate level and offered at the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis. The Master of Arts (MA) program in marriage and family therapy requires 57 credits and prepares students to become licensed therapists through core classes, electives, and a practicum. Coursework covers marriage and family studies, marriage and family therapy, professional issues, and treatment planning. Electives include courses such as sex therapy or family health and illness.

Geared towards working RNs, the 64-credit Master of Science (MS) in Nurse Anesthesia program integrates formal and informal training methods with various clinical experiences.

The MA in Health and Human Services allows students to choose from tracks in healthcare administration or human services administration and consists of 36 credits. Both options combine practical and theoretical training through core classes, electives, and coursework specific to the area of specialization. Core classes include health informatics, healthcare financial management, and human resource management. There's an option to prepare for Minnesota licensing as a nursing home administrator. Besides Twin Cities, this program is also offered at the Rochester location.

University of Minnesota - Duluth

The University of Minnesota offers two healthcare-related programs at its Duluth campus. Students in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Education program choose community health or school health as their area of focus. All students must take a handful of upper-level core classes, such as drug education, sex education, and health science evaluation.

Students can also earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) while pursuing the healthcare management emphasis. The 120-credit program requires students to take courses covering healthcare quality management, health services research methods, healthcare ethics, healthcare finance, and other topics. Students participate in an internship. Other required course topics include operations management, human resource management, and marketing.

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota, at the school's Twin Cities main campus in Minneapolis, offers almost 40 healthcare programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including nursing, occupational therapy, and public health. The school boasts several different nursing programs, including a BSN program. Consisting of 73-79 credits within the major, this program integrates didactic training with lab-based courses and various practical experiences, better preparing students to sit for the licensing exam and gain employment as an RN. Coursework covers nursing interventions, patient-centered adult care, healthcare reasoning, and nursing theory.

The public health program has many concentrations, including community health promotion, public health nutrition, and environmental health. All options include core classes, as well as courses specific to the specialization and a final project or culminating field experience.

The two-year Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program consists of 78 credits and requires students to complete a series of prerequisites. The first year of the program focuses on foundational concepts, such as community occupational therapy and functional anatomy. The second year emphasizes the practical application of learned theories and methods, culminating in two fieldwork experiences.

University of St. Thomas

Students may earn a BS in the 132-credit health promotion program. They complete 48 credits within the major, taking courses such as health and fitness nutrition, health promotion foundations, health research methods, and kinesiology. Students complete a 100-hour internship.

Winona State University

This state university in Winona has more than 10 undergraduate and graduate-level healthcare programs available, including programs in nursing, exercise science, and clinical laboratory sciences. The school's traditional BSN program requires students to complete a series of prerequisites before taking major-specific classes. The curriculum integrates practical experiences with didactic training in a variety of areas, such as pharmacology, leadership in basic nursing practice, and mental healthcare. The school also offers an RN to BSN Completion Program designed for RNs.

Students can choose exercise science as an emphasis in the BS in Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences program. The exercise science program consists of 75 credits and integrates research-based classes and electives with core classes, such as health perspectives and behavioral interventions. Additionally, students complete a practicum experience and eight-credit internship. Other concentrations include cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and movement science.

The BS in Clinical Laboratory Science program consists of 82 major credits, including 16 credits of clinical-based classes. Coursework covers genetics, clinical laboratory management, and human anatomy. Graduates are prepared to take the licensing exam and become certified clinical laboratory scientists or medical technologists.

Career Requirements

Depending on the field, licensure or certification may be required for some healthcare professions. Although this process varies by profession, Minnesota residents will most likely have to complete specific training programs and pass exams in order to be licensed or certified. Listed below are short overviews of the three largest healthcare fields of study offered at 10 of the largest healthcare schools in Minnesota.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Healthcare Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Bemidji State University University, public; remote town BS in Nursing,
RN-BSN Program,
BA or BS in Psychiatry,
BS in Exercise Science
$8,366*
Metropolitan State University University, public; large city BS in Nursing,
RN Baccalaureate Completion Program,
MS in Nursing,
BS in Alcohol and Drug Counseling,
BA in Psychology
$7,566 in-state; $14,394 out-of-state*
Minnesota State University - Mankato University, public; small city BS in Community Health Education,
BS in Nursing,
RN Baccalaureate Completion Program,
BS in Dental Hygiene
$7,836 in-state; $15,580 out-of-state*
Minnesota State University - Moorhead University, public; midsize suburb BS in Healthcare Administration, RN to BSN Program,
BS in Exercise Science,
BS in Speech/Language/Hearing Sciences,
MS in Nursing, Master of Healthcare Administration
$8,096 in-state; $15,232 out-of-state*
St. Cloud State University University, public; small city BS in Community Health,
BS in Nursing,
BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders,
MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders
$7,814 in-state, $15,732 out-of-state*
St. Mary's University of Minnesota University, private not-for-profit; distant town MA in Marriage and Family Therapy,
MS in Nurse Anesthesia,
MA in Health and Human Services
$31,335*
University of Minnesota - Duluth University, public; small city Bachelor of Business Administration in Healthcare Management,
Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Education
$13,082 in-state; $17,032 out-of-state*
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities University, public; large city BS in Nursing,
Master of Public Health,
Master of Occupational Therapy
$13,790 in-state; $22,210 out-of-state*
University of St. Thomas University, private not-for-profit; large city BS in Health Promotion $38,105*
Winona State University University, public; distant town BS in Nursing,
RN to BSN Completion Program,
BS in Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences: Exercise Science,
BS in Clinical Laboratory Sciences
$9,047 in-state; $14,744 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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