Iowa Medical Specialties Graduate Schools On-Campus Programs

Whether you are drawn to advanced study of holistic health, dentistry or medicine, there are a variety of accredited medical specialties graduate schools with on campus programs. Many individuals enter graduate school with a desire to study a specific field in order to prepare for clinical proficiency and independent practice as an acupuncturist, chiropractor, or optometrist. Others know specifically that they want to prepare for medical school or dentistry school. That said, there is no ‘one size fits all’ university; rather there are numerous graduate schools for the variety of integrated medicine and medical specialties that exist, and different things that could factor into your search for an on-campus program.

Medical Specialties Graduate Schools: The Basics: Masters & Doctorates

Medical specialties graduate schools may offer certificates, masters or doctorate degrees in their discipline and programs can range from pre-med to naturopathy and Chinese medicine. It is one thing to be on the path towards a medical education and practicing as a medical specialist, another to be looking into alternatives health oriented careers that require a graduate degree in order to practice in your niche career field. While each school sets out their own application process, the common prerequisite for a masters degree is a bachelors degree and some doctorate programs admit students after they have graduated with an undergraduate degree, although they may have to make up some required courses.

DID YOU KNOW? Chief Medical Officers and Naturopathic Endocrinologists, when asked in survey about their education level, responded: 86% Doctoral degree, 10% Post-doctoral training, 5% professional degree.[i]

Why Choose an On-Campus Medical Specialties Graduate Program?

Choosing a Medical Specialties Graduate School with an on-campus program may mean you have

access to more program choices.

Online programs can be limited since demonstration and interaction are via distance. There is something to be said for participating in live discussion, and having access to libraries, laboratories, student services and the support of classmates and professors. For some individuals, the choice isn’t ‘why?’ it’s ‘where?’ or even, ‘how do I choose a medical specialties graduate school out of all these options?’ Here are a few point to reflect on:

School Location: If location is important to you, initiate a search using a specific popular city, state or country; filter for specific medical specialties graduate degree programs;

Research: If research facilities and technological resources are important for you, compare the offerings of a few campus programs;

Leadership: If who you study from is important, compare institutions by their faculty. Sometimes you might find a professor who you feel would make a good mentor or advisor;

Education: If course curriculum is important for you, read the descriptions and course outlines to find one that resonates with you. Look for an integrated or well-rounded curriculum;

Business Basics: If your goal is to enter into a private client business such as the chiropractic profession, you might want to evaluate whether a school’s program offers you those real world business skills;

Culture and Community: If the campus atmosphere is important for you, schedule a visit to several medical specialties graduate schools to experience it first hand; while there, read or try to speak with, alumni to see what they have to say about the school you are interested in;

Time to Completion: Some schools may offer accelerated masters or professional degree programs; you can also refine your search based on masters or doctorate programs;

Financial Matters: If affordability is important to you, find out about scholarships or financing. Financial aid is usually only available at accredited schools;

Medical Specialties Graduate Schools: What is Your Specialty?

Searching for a medical specialties graduate school requires you to determine just what type of program you are interested in. Some of these categories could include:

  • Alternative Medicine Graduate Schools –Campus programs

(E.g. Study Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine)

  • Chiropractic Medicine Graduate Schools –Campus programs

(E.g. Earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree)

  • Dental Medicine Graduate Schools –Campus programs

(E.g. Earn a Doctor of Dentistry degree)

  • Medicine and Premed Graduate Schools –Campus programs

(E.g. Study Basic Medical Sciences, earn a Medical Doctor degree)

  • Optometry Graduate Schools –Campus programs

(E.g. Study ophthalmology, optometry)

  • Physician Assistant Graduate Schools –Campus programs

(E.g. Study integrative health, clinical science, clinical rotations)

  • Respiratory Therapy Graduate Schools –Campus programs

(E.g. Study respiratory care)


Since medical specialty fields are regulated, meaning there is usually a state licensure protocol that hinges on the individual having earned a graduate degree from an accredited school and / or program. Many of the specialized programs, in addition to being available at regionally and nationally accredited institutions, are also accredited for their curriculums. For instance, about 200 physician assistant education programs were accredited in 2014[ii], and in 2015 more than 60 dental school programs were accredited. Each ‘medical specialty’ has its own accrediting agency which vets the courses to ensure that industry standards are upheld. A few resources for your search:

  • The Commission on Dental Accreditation[iii]
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc.[iv]
  • The Council on Chiropractic Education
  • American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS)[v]
  • American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)[vi]
  • The Commission of Accreditation for Respiratory Care[vii]
  • American Board of Optometry[viii]

Take the Next Step

Practical, personal and professional factors in mind, browse our list of sponsored Medical Specialties Graduate Schools with campus, or residential program options. Many of the listings have links to a school’s website and a tab to request information about enrollment deadlines and admissions procedures.

sources[i] |[ii] |[iii] |[iv] |[v] |[vi] |[vii] |[viii] |

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