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General Studies: Health Specialization

Earn certificates for various health specializations while pursing an associate degree.

Program Overview

With the Associate Degree in General Studies: Health Specialization, you can earn various certificates to enter the workforce while continuing your health path to complete your associate degree. You can choose from various health program electives to meet the requirements of your specific health specialization. This program will provide you with focused advising as you pursue your degree and/or simultaneously earn a certificate to enter the workforce.

Students who attend the General Studies: Health Specialization program through iHealth&@NECC can complete their course work in hybrid/blended learning courses.Hybrid or blended learning courses combine on-line work with in-class meetings and laboratory sessions.

Career Opportunities

Depending on the specialization chosen, you may be eligible to earn credentials as licensed or certified phlebotomist, EKG technician, dental assistant, medical biller, medical coder, medical laboratory technician, registered nurse, practical nurse, sleep technologist radiologic technologist, respiratory therapist, paramedic,, emergency medical technician, ophthalmic assistant, community health workers, clinical research coordinators, or medical assistant. You will also be prepared to transfer to earn your bachelor’s degree if you choose.

Program Requirements

Starting in the fall of 2014, any student enrolled in an associate degree program who is new to NECC and has no academic history at the college, must take at least one course designated as intensive in each of NECC’s six core academic skills in order to graduate. In most cases, the program’s core required courses include these intensive courses. Plan to see an advisor for more complete information about this graduation requirement.

Program science courses must be completed within five (5) years prior to the anticipated start date of the program to count towards completing the certificate or associate degree. Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” in all career and science courses in order to graduate. A minimum of 62 credit hours are required to graduate with the Associate in Arts in General Studies: Health Specialization. The actual number of credits will vary depending on the health specialization chosen.

Drug screening

Students enrolled in their academic program may be required to pass a drug screening analysis.


Students are required to be CPR certified at the Health care Provider/Professional Rescuer level for specific Associate Degree and/or Certificate health specializations selected.


Students must meet both the college and the Division of Health Professions immunization requirements prior to entering specific Associate Degree and/or Certificate health specializations and/or prior to the start of any semester that has a clinical/externship component.

Student Professional Liability Insurance

Students are required to carry professional liability insurance if a course requires it. The premium is to be paid at the time of course registration.


Students interested in participating in this program may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check, a Criminal Records Central Repository (CHRI) check, and a Sex Offender Record Information (SORI) check. For more information, visit the CORI/SORI/CHRI page on the NECC website

Northern Essex Community College is committed to the success of every student. Students with legal issues in their background will meet with a committee as part of the CORI/SORI/CHRI process and will receive guidance and counseling throughout the review of their records. NECC personnel make every effort to help students prepare for careers in their chosen field. Students are encouraged to seek assistance and support.

Required Courses
Course # Course Name Credits Comments
ENG101 English Composition I 3  
ENG102 English Composition II 3 Prerequisite
HES102 Learning Strategies for Success in Healthcare Careers 3 Offered in iHealth only
HES103 RICCS: Preparing for Success in a Healthcare Career 1  
HES108 Introduction to Healthcare Services 3  
HES115 Medical Terminology 3 Prerequisite
HES201 Healthcare Law & Ethics 3  
Electives ** Students must complete all electives
Required Electives Credits Comments
Program Electives (4) 12/16 Choose 4 Program Elective courses at the level listed or higher: BIO220, CHW100, CRC101, CTA201, CLS101, CVT101, DAS101, EMT101, HES103, MAS100, MRT103, NUR110, OPT101, PNS105, PSG101, RSC100, RTA110
Science Electives (2) 7/8

Choose 2 Science Elective courses at the level listed or higher: BIO101, CHM111, PHS111.

Students cannot use any of the following courses: BIO108, BIO111, BIO112, BIO117, BIO215, BIO230, BIO280, SCI100 through SCI299, or  ERS100 through ERS299

Behavioral Science Electives (2) 6  PSY101 and PSY200 recommended for CRC students
Literature Elective 3  
Math Elective 3/4 MAT120 or higher
History & Government Elective 3  
Humanities Electives (2) 6  
Free Elective 3/4 CIS110, CIS112. CIS113, or CIS210 is recommended

Program Notes

Students have a great amount of flexibility in developing their course sequence depending on the certificate or Associate degree chosen.

Required Course Sequence
General Studies: Health Specialization Associate Degree
  Semester Courses
Year 1 Fall ENG101, HES102, HES115, Science Elective
Spring ENG102, HES108, Science Elective, Behavioral Science Elective
Summer Behavioral Science Elective, Humanities Elective
Year 2 Fall HES201,  Math Elective, Literature Elective, Program Electives
Spring HES103, History & Government (Social Science Elective), Free Elective, Program Electives

Print the General Studies: Health Specialization Associate Degree Program Sheet (PDF)


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