What Type of Graduate Program Would I Apply For With a Health Science Degree?

An interest in health science led you to an undergraduate degree, but now you are ready to look into a health science graduate program. The diversity of possibilities open to you may look daunting, but knowing your own particular skills, interests and career goals can go a long way toward helping you know what graduate programs to pursue.

Health Science as a Solid Base

The good news is that a health science degree can provide a solid base for any number of healthcare related careers. It can be a launching pad for a diversity of jobs. These may include work as a physician’s assistant, medical technician, physical therapist, healthcare manager or health educator.

How you first became interested in health science and what kind of undergraduate degree you got may affect the direction of your graduate studies now. If you got involved in health science because you already held a job or an associate’s degree in healthcare, you may have obtained an undergraduate degree in a clinical management track. If you got into health science with an eye toward graduate school later, it’s likely that you were steered into a pre-professional track.

Assess Your Interests and Background As You Move Forward

If the latter is the case, then you likely already have a solid area of concentration under your belt. If that concentration turned out to be a good fit for your skills and interests, you can use it now to help guide you toward a graduate degree that continues that concentration but takes it further. For instance, if you concentrated in physical therapy in a pre-professional track in an undergraduate health science degree, you may decide to get a Masters of Physical Therapy (MPT) degree.

If you didn’t see that far ahead when taking your undergraduate coursework, don’t worry overmuch. Even if you didn’t take a pre-professional track, there’s no reason why you can’t use your heath science degree, and your experience in a healthcare profession, as a stepping stone to graduate work. If you’ve actually worked in a healthcare environment in any capacity, for example as a medical transcriptionist or biller, an EMT or a physical therapist’s assistant, you can use that practical experience to assess what sort of healthcare environment you may want to work in. You may decide to get into a field connected to the work you’ve done before, or you may want to get into another field entirely, but chances are, your practical experience in any medical field will be helpful as you prepare.

The best thing you can do is know yourself well and then ask experienced professionals in your field of interest lots of questions. Read up on health science career options online and think over your job experience, practical internships and the coursework you took as an undergraduate. What courses and work have you found most fulfilling? Are your main strengths ones that will help you work directly with patients, or would they be more of an asset in a support or administrative role? Once you’ve answered those questions, speak with career advisers in the health science graduate program you’re considering as well as professionals doing the kind of work that interests you most.

For more information, see “Top 10 Best Online Health Science Degree Programs“.