Associate's Degree in Health Science


Program Description

Why an Associate Degree?

An associate degree in an American university degree consisting of roughly 20 courses in a chosen field of study, which is typically completed in two years. Many students at American universities choose to begin their academic career with an associate degree for a number of reasons:

  1. After completing an associate degree, there are almost no formalities involved with continuing one’s studies toward a bachelor’s degree
  2. Obtaining an associate degree gives students a tool for career-advancement while still studying, as well as an advantage in searching for a job
  3. Research shows that dividing one’s goals into shorter, more manageable tasks greatly increases an individual’s ability to achieve defined goals
  4. The majority of UoPeople’s scholarship funds are allocated to students working for an associate degree.


Associate of Science in Health Science

The Associate of Science in Health Science – Community and Public Health Track provides an understanding of the social and biological causes of health and illness. The program is built on a strong liberal arts foundation that provides a broad understanding of community and public health theories and models and their application to real-world situations. Students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively within the context of disease prevention and the promotion of health, both with individual patients and communities alike.

This program takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing knowledge from areas of study such as biology, healthcare, public health, and bioethics. Students will learn about different models of healthcare systems and how they operate, as well as studying disease prevention, community health, nutrition, and mental health. Students of this program will graduate prepared for further study in the field of health science and ready to begin meaningful careers in community outreach and organizing, education, and healthcare.

Each student will be connected with a personal Program Advisor at the commencement of their studies, who will remain with them until graduation. The student's personal Program Advisor acts as his/her support system throughout their studies. The personal Program Advisor will be happy to answer any questions the student may have, offer academic advice, discuss course selection, and offer encouragement throughout the student's studies.

Program Goals

Within the context of each, students are provided with the opportunity to acquire relevant skills and knowledge.

The program has three overarching goals:

1. Provides an understanding of the social and biological causes of health and illness.

  • Explain human anatomy and physiology
  • Categorize the most commons forms of morbidity (for example, illness or other health disability), their prevalence, causes, and treatments
  • Read, analyze and interpret health data
  • Characterize the social and behavioral determinants of physical health
  • Describe the microbiological and molecular bases of human disease and its transmission
  • Place human development in the context

2. Covers the knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively within the context of disease prevention and the promotion of health.

  • Understand the principles of goal setting and of monitoring, mentoring, and motivating patients, in particular, and communities, in general
  • Identify and analyze health problems and challenges and opportunities in their communities and formulate recommendations for courses of action

3. Develops an understanding of the role of policy, ethics, and resources in the management of prevention programming and health service delivery.

  • Demonstrate how health policies can leave a lasting effect on society and how some portions of society may be differentially affected
  • Design ways to overcome stigma related to health conditions

[Note: The Associate of Science degree level has many goals in common with the Bachelor of Science degree level. This reflects the fact that students at the Associate’s level complete the same Year 1 and Year 2 program requirements. Because students at the Bachelor’s level then complete additional requirements in the major, they are expected to achieve these goals at a higher developmental level.]

Admission Requirements

As an accredited University, UoPeople has a number of requirements for all potential applicants, to help maintain a strong, intellectual student body.

To meet admission requirements, applicants must:

  • Be 16 years old or older
  • Be able to demonstrate high school completion
  • Have English proficiency

To apply for admissions consideration to UoPeople, applicants must complete an online application, including payment of a $60 non-refundable Application Fee.

Non-Native English Speakers

In addition, applicants who are non-native English speakers, or did not complete their high school education in an institution where the primary language of instruction is English, are required to provide proof of English proficiency during their application process. Should applicants be unable to provide proof of English proficiency, they will need to successfully complete a UoPeople English course before proceeding to UoPeople Foundations.

Paying For School

UoPeople is able to offer our students an online degree tuition-free because of our unique model of online higher education. Our minimal processing fees help to maintain our tuition-free online degree structure—allowing all qualified students to receive their online degree without educational instruction expenses, course material, or annual enrollment fees. We ask for a non-refundable application fee of $60 and an assessment fee of $120 per exam [not in one full payment but at the time of each exam] which can be covered by numerous grants and scholarships.

The estimated total fees for the Associate's degree are as follows: $2,460.

Program Requirements

The Associate of Science in Health Studies – Community and Public Health track requires the completion of at least 62-semester credits, including general education courses and all courses listed as prerequisites, and course requirements in the major.

  • Complete a minimum of 20 courses and 62 approved semester credits.
  • Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 in all coursework attempted at UoPeople.
  • Earn an overall grade point average of at least 2.00 in all courses taken in the major area of study.
  • Complete all requirements for the Associate’s Degree in no more than 25 terms of active enrollment excluding any periods of separation from the University.
  • Complete the 6 required proctored exams. Complete the 5 required proctored exams. 

University of the People has five terms in its academic year, each ten weeks in length. Students must complete all requirements for the Associate’s Degree in no more than 25 terms of active enrollment.


Individual courses are the building blocks of each degree program. Course requirements are structured to ensure that student study encompasses a broad range of topics and approaches, with an appropriate balance maintained among the three curricular components that comprise a liberal arts education:

General Education

Students pursuing an Associate of Science degree must complete the following 9 courses to fulfill the General Education requirements. 

Major Courses Required

  • Biology 1 for Health Studies Majors
  • Introduction to Human Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Biology 2 for Health Studies Majors
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology (proctored course)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Nutrition
  • Community and Public Health 1 (proctored course)
  • Community and Public Health 2

Other Electives

Students pursuing an Associate of Science degree may choose additional elective courses beyond those specified in the General Education requirements, and/or select introductory courses in other majors and/or take additional courses in a student’s major that may not be required for the degree.


The Associate Degree program in Health Sciences will prepare students for exciting and meaningful careers in the medical field. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines including medicine, sociology, and public health, earning your Associate Degree in Health Sciences will prepare you for a future in health care professions as well as for entry-level positions in hospitals, clinics, non-profit organizations, and governmental bodies focused on global health and local health initiatives.

The Associate Degree in Health Sciences is a great choice for students interested in the field of medicine and seeking a stimulating career in organizations focused on creating and shaping public health policy, educating local communities about healthy living, and advocating for the protection of the environment.

Students of Health Sciences will learn the basics of international trends in public health policy as well as how this information is put into practice to strengthen communities and individual lives. 

Getting your Associate Degree will make you a more competitive candidate for a wide range of employment opportunities and, per the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, earns employees an average of 20% more each week than those with only a high school diploma. Your Associate Degree can also set the stage for further study, in the exciting and rapidly developing field of health sciences and public health. You could work as a patient service representative, health information technician, medical assistant, and clinical technician, etc. 

Last updated Dec 2020

About the School

University of the People (UoPeople) is the Education Revolution. We are the first non-profit, tuition-free, American accredited online university. Dedicated to opening access to higher education globa ... Read More

University of the People (UoPeople) is the Education Revolution. We are the first non-profit, tuition-free, American accredited online university. Dedicated to opening access to higher education globally, UoPeople is designed to help qualified high school graduates overcome financial, geographic, political, and personal constraints keeping them from collegiate studies. Read less