Study Medicine Online: Your Complete Guide

Explore how to enter the medical field with options to study medicine online and pursue various degrees within healthcare.

While becoming a doctor still requires traditional on-campus medical school, you can choose to study medicine online and earn your undergraduate degree or pursue other positions within the healthcare field.


The healthcare field is filled with different types of professionals that all work together to diagnose, treat and cure patients.



What is Distance Learning?

Distance learning is a relatively new and rapidly spreading form of education in which students learn without being face-to-face with teachers. Instead, education happens online such that the university or academic institution provides students with the necessary materials digitally.


While some distance learning programs are hybrid, meaning there is some face-to-face interaction or meetings at defined intervals, others are 100% online. For example, University of the People is an entirely online and US accredited university that offers degree-granting programs; namely, in Computer Science, Health Science, Education and Business Management.

3 Benefits of Studying Medicine Online

If you’re wondering, “Why would I want to study medicine online?” there are many benefits to this form of learning over traditional education.


For starters, it is entirely location independent, which makes education accessible. Furthermore, distance learning offers the following benefits:



1. Affordable:


Without the overhead costs of running an institution, tuition costs or fees are generally lower for online academic institutions. At UoPeople, for example, you can start your education tuition-free, while students only need to pay for the application fee and course assessment fees.



2. Flexibility:


Since online programs are accessible 24/7, students can choose when they want to learn. As opposed to a traditional institution where classes are only offered at specific times of the day, online learning allows for students to log on when they have the time to learn.



3. Skills Development:


Although it may be considered challenging to do so, distance learning places the onus on the student to be responsible in managing time and keeping up with studying. These time management skills become a useful and transferable skill upon entering the job market.



What is Medicine?

Defined as the field of health and healing, medicine covers diagnosis, treatment, prevention of disease, research and development and surrounding aspects of health. The medical field includes doctors, nurses, administrative assistants, therapists, specialists and more.


The branches of medicine span: anatomy, biochemistry, biophysics, endocrinology, genetics, histology, microbiology, neuroscience, and nutrition, to name a few.



Source: Unsplash



Why Study Medicine?

Studying medicine offers a vast array of benefits to the individual who does so, including the scientific side of things, the human component, and the wide variety of job opportunities. For example, jobs within the medical field offer continuous learning and understanding of the human body.


Along with jobs being in high demand, they are inherently rewarding because you get to work within a team and sometimes directly with patients to assist in their healing. The skills within the medical field are transferable, like communication, empathy, time management, and attention to detail.


Furthermore, because of the high skills needed to be a part of the healthcare system, the salaries are typically well-paid.



Undergraduate Degree Options

Since the field of medicine is vast, you can choose to study many relevant undergraduate majors online before having to attend medical school or post-graduate studies in a traditional setting. An online certificate program in public health and health management can also be an added advantage in this competitive field of study.  


Let’s take a look at some common paths for studying medicine online.



Health Science


Health Science is the field of applied science that relates to human and animal health. It takes the knowledge of health and science and uses it to improve health, understand how humans and animals function, and manage and cure diseases.


Studying Health Science at University of the People offers students a pedagogical model to learn and apply their knowledge upon graduation within the healthcare field. The benefits of learning at UoPeople include:


  • Tuition-free: The only costs associated with earning your Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree include a one-time application fee of $60 and course assessment fees. Scholarships are also available in case you’re in need of assistance.
  • Online/Accessible: Everything is 100% online, so all you need to learn is internet connection. Course material can even be accessed from a mobile device.
  • Educational Quality: The Health Science advisory board is made up of professionals from top-tier global institutions who devise the program to prepare students for employability.


Additionally, if Health Science is a broad degree and you want to be more laser focused in your undergraduate studies, you can pursue an undergraduate in a major like one of the below and either continue onto medical school or enter the field in the respective subject area:





Biology focuses on the study of life, including organisms, communities, and cells that make up living matter. With a degree in Biology, students can continue to medical school or go into teaching or research.





A degree in Chemistry prepares students to become a biotechnologist, chemical engineer, forensic scientist, toxicologist and more. The degree programs typically include chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, statistics, analytical chemistry and related topics.





Those who study Kinesiology typically continue to work at the clinical level in rehab clinics, healthcare settings or as physical therapists. The degrees generally offer specializations in physical education, fitness management or exercise science.



Alternatives for Online Education

Perhaps becoming a doctor isn’t your intended goal. Since you are interested in working within the medical field, you can earn undergraduate degrees or certificates that will prepare you for various roles without a postgraduate degree. These may include:





You can earn your undergraduate nursing degree online and then upon graduation, pass a nursing licensure exam.



Healthcare Administration:


With an undergraduate degree in Health Science or Healthcare Administration, for example, you can be prepared to work in healthcare administration. Or, if you want to continue working up the ladder into leadership positions within administration, you can even earn your Master’s degree online.



Medical Coding:


Medical coders translate patient visits into codes to bill insurance companies. To enter a career as a medical coder, no degree is required. Instead, you can enroll in a vocational program and then take the certification test.



Online Options for Studying Medicine

Many schools offer online options for studying medicine. Whether they offer a mixture of hybrid learning or 100% distance learning, here’s a look at some universities where you can study medicine online.



Keiser University


Bachelor’s degrees in various health-related majors like: Health Information Management, Health Science, Health Services Administration, Medical Laboratory Science, etc.



Purdue University Global


Certificate programs for: Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, Medical Office Administration and Nursing. Plus Bachelor’s degrees in: Health and Wellness, Health Information Management, Health Science, Healthcare Administration, Nursing, etc.



University of Massachusetts


Master’s degrees in: Public Health, Nursing, Nutrition, Health Informatics and Managements



University of the People


Tuition-free Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Health Science



Take the Step

If the healthcare field feels like your calling, then online programs can help you get the job you desire. By studying online, you can become prepared for jobs in the medical field while being able to balance current responsibilities like raising a family or holding a job.


Online programs offer the flexibility and accessibility that traditional institutions physically cannot because of the set-up. The medical field is vast, but in whatever position you choose to pursue, you can rest assured knowing that you are helping to improve the lives of others.

"I'm happy someone came up with a tuition-free online university for busy moms like me that are struggling between getting an education and being a mom."

Haydee Mayorga

Community and Public Health Student, USA

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