Pre-Health Professions

Pre-Allied Health

Allied Health is a term used to identify a cluster of health professions, encompassing as many as 200 health careers (see list below). There are 5 million allied health care providers in the U.S. who work in more than 80 different professions and represent approximately 60% of all health care providers.


When you work in allied health, you are involved (directly or indirectly) with patient health, and you are regarded as an expert in your field. Some allied health professionals practice independently while others work as part of a health care team. They also play a major role in informing the attending clinician of the patient's progress and response to treatment.

The allied health professions fall into two broad categories: technicians (assistants) and therapists/technologists. Technicians are trained to perform procedures, and their education lasts less than two years. They are required to work under the supervision of technologists or therapists. This part of the allied health field includes physical therapy assistants, medical laboratory technicians, radiological technicians, occupational therapy assistants, recreation therapy assistants, and respiratory therapy technicians.

These programs are not offered at UNA but are offered as either associate's degree or certificate programs at community colleges and universities.  Students who want careers in the following allied health areas can take many of their pre-requisite classes at UNA then apply to transfer to another institution to obtain the appropriate certification or degree. Consult the websites of the schools to which you wish to transfer to determine what courses you can take at UNA and have them transfer appropriately to the school of your choice.

Among the pre-allied health careers are:

  • Cardiovascular perfusion technology
  • Cytotechnology
  • Dental hygiene
  • Diagnostic medical sonography
  • Dietetics
  • Emergency medical sciences
  • Health administration
  • Health information management
  • Medical technology
  • Nuclear medicine technology
  • Occupational therapy assistant (OTA)
  • Physical therapy assistant (PTA)
  • Radiation therapy technology
  • Radiography
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Audiology

Careers in Allied Health Professions

Association of Schools of Allied Health ProfessionsAmerican Association of Community Colleges