Guide to an Online Medical & Allied Health Education

by W. Randy Hoffman
Guide to an Online Medical & Allied Health Education

While you still can't get a legitimate M.D. online, you can study over the Internet for numerous other degrees and certificates in the allied health fields. Modern medicine and fitness are supported by vast amounts of technology, administration, and professional assistantship, all of which are in high demand and easily studied online. Why not become part of this growing field with a low-cost education you can undertake from anywhere?

How Online Programs Work in Allied Health

Universities and colleges are the primary institutions providing this kind of training. By and large, you can get into a net-based allied health program just as you would any campus-based program: register, enroll, and so on. Most people with a high school diploma or GED will qualify for undergraduate study; graduate schooling will have higher requirements.

Beyond that, courses and programs will vary based on how much of content is available over the Internet and how you access it.

Most online allied health programs will understandably require, or at least encourage, some kind of internship, practicum, or other field work at a clinical site.

Online Schools and Programs Offered for Allied Health Students

Many schools offer allied health certificates and degrees online or by distance learning. In particular, here are a few net-based programs of study by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP):

  • Independence University's California College for Health Sciences awards a Respiratory Therapist associate degree, among many other programs that don't yet have similar accreditation.
  • Jackson Community College confers various Diagnostic Medical Sonographer certificates and associate degrees.
  • Southeast Community College teaches Surgical Technologist and Radiologic Technologist programs (you'll need to make arrangements with clinical sites to do an internship or practicum).
  • The University of Texas Medical Branch offers a Specialist in Blood Bank Technology graduate certificate. They also provide numerous other degrees and certificates that aren't yet accredited in the same way, including a Bachelors in Applied Technology in Health Services Technology (BAT-HST), an RN to BSN program, and Nursing Education and Health Science Technology Teacher graduate certificates.

Paying for an Online Education

For the most part, you can get the same types of financial aid for studying allied health subjects online as you would for studying on campus.

Besides the scholarships listed at Medical and Allied Health Financial Aid & Scholarships and at, you should explore aid from all kinds of sources, including:

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