Program Spotlight: Health Sciences Broad Field

New A.S. degree starting fall semester 2020

Starting fall semester 2020, Inver Hills Community College is offering a new transfer degree program: the Health Sciences Broad Field Associate of Science (A.S.). The 60-credit  degree delivers a comprehensive base of coursework that will prepare you to pursue a more advanced degree on a wide range of career paths in healthcare-related fields.

You may use the A.S. degree to transfer to a variety of upper-division majors at a four-year university. The degree is ideal if you haven’t decided on a specific field in the health sciences.

Christine Petrich, health faculty, and Kristin Digiulio, biology faculty, collaborated to bring forward this new A.S. degree. Kristin reported that the coursework provides the flexibility to prepare students for dozens of potential careers in the field of allied health. In fact, the Mayo Clinic lists more than 40 careers for people with a strong interest in finding their future in healthcare.

Mayo Clinic: Explore Health Care Careers

“Health Sciences Broad Field program graduates can go on to land careers in public and community health, nutrition, dietetics and food sciences, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, nuclear medicine technology, genetic counseling, clinical psychology and more,” Kristin said. “This degree is also useful for students planning on careers in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, physician assistance, nursing and physical therapy.”

Kristin added that the new  A.S. degree is a solid option for individuals who already have a degree and are working on completing their pre-requisite coursework for professional or grad school, or a nursing post-baccalaureate program.

“We NEED people in these fields,” Kristin said. “The majority of these careers, including pathologists’ assistant [$69K/year], cardiac sonographer [$72K/year], cytotechnologist [$75K/year] and occupational therapist [$83K/year], offer salaries comparable to nursing and can be a better fit for many students seeking careers in healthcare.”

Christine Petrich agrees that the new Health Sciences Broad Field A.S. degree is a gateway to high-demand jobs with high wages. “Biostatistician [$130K/year], epidemiologist [$90K/year], health information technician [$48K/year] and public health communication specialist [$63K/year] are growing areas of healthcare with good to great salaries,” she said.

Health Sciences Broad Field A.S. Program Planning Guide

Health Sciences Broad Field A.S. • 60 credits

Statewide articulation agreement¹

A statewide articulation agreement for the Health Sciences Broad Field A.S. degree exists with 26 programs at six universities within the Minnesota State system.

Transfer options

Bemidji State University
Minnesota State University Mankato
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Southwest Minnesota State University
St. Cloud State University
Winona State University

More potential career paths in the health sciences…

Health sciences majors have a huge selection of career paths to follow. Employment opportunities range from direct contact with patients in a clinical setting to team-based endeavors in a corporate environment.

Healthcare is a tremendously diverse industry. That means health sciences grads have the capacity shift gears to find their ideal position as their life goals and interests evolve.

Minnesota State CAREERwise lists nearly 100 potential career paths.

Here are just a few:
Biomedical Engineers
Solve problems related to biological and health systems.
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians
Conduct tests on patients’ hearts and lungs.
Cytogenetic Technologists
Analyze chromosomes to aid in the study, diagnosis, or treatment of genetic diseases.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Use sound waves to perform diagnostic imaging exams on patients.
Endoscopy Technicians
Assist physicians and nurses who are performing endoscopies.
Genetic Counselors
Assess people’s risk for inherited conditions or diseases.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologists
Monitor patients and operate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners.
Neurodiagnostic Technologists
Use specialized equipment to monitor how well a patient’s nervous system is functioning.
Nuclear Medicine Technologists
Use a scanner to create images of various areas of a patient’s body.
Nurse Midwives
Diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birth process.
Occupational Therapists
Instruct patients on practices and equipment that can make daily living and working easier.
Orthotists and Prosthetists
Fit patients for medical support devices, such as artificial limbs.
Pharmacy Technicians
Assist pharmacists to dispense medications to patients.
Psychiatric Technicians
Care for people with mental or emotional conditions, under the direction of physicians.
Radiologic Technologists
Perform diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and CAT scans.
Respiratory Therapists
Care for patients with breathing problems.
Surgical Technologists
Prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help doctors and nurses during surgery.

Why Inver Hills?

Completing your Health Sciences Broad Field A.S. degree obligations at Inver Hills is smart on several key levels:
  1. You will receive an excellent education with one-on-one interactions with expert, student-focused faculty in the areas of chemistry, biology, psychology, mathematics, sociology, philosophy, communications and more
  2. You will get hands-on experience developing the skill set you need to continue your education as a junior at a four-year university in the health-sciences major that interests you the most
  3. You will be prepared to pursue career options in a wide range of healthcare fields
  4. You will save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt

On a national scale, student loan debt has mushroomed to $1.56 trillion with 44.7 million borrowers. Minnesota is ranked ninth in the nation with an average student loan debt topping $32,000.

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs less than $5,500. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a for-profit college, or $40,000 to $50,000 at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver getting a topflight education firsthand from Ph.D. faculty and then transfer to a four-year as a junior all while saving thousands of dollars.

Learn more about the new Health Sciences Broad Field A.S. at Inver Hills by contacting:

Christine Petrich
Health Faculty

Admissions Team
College Center

OR email

¹ An articulation agreement is a formal agreement between two or more educational entities to accept credits in transfer toward a specific academic program.

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