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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Anesthesia

Majors Overview March 20, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in anesthesia and their educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Anesthesia

No school offers bachelor’s degree programs in anesthesia. Some schools offer master’s degree programs to suit the requirements of those aspiring to become anesthesiologist assistants. Aspiring anesthesiologists must attend medical school and undergo a specialized residency.

Those seeking admission to a master’s degree program in anesthesiology assisting must hold a bachelor’s degree; the degree need not be in a medical field, but applicants may be required to complete prerequisite courses in pre-med sciences before they are admitted to the program.

Coursework combines classroom instruction and laboratory experiences, wherein various practices are taught to candidates; these include the monitoring of patients’ pulmonary and cardiac systems. Students often need 24 to 27 months of full-time study to complete these programs. An internship is a component part of most programs, wherein students perform work supervised by professionals in a healthcare environment.

The National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants offers professional certification that can be sought by graduates of accredited programs. Certification is available through satisfaction of various stipulations, including completion of an accredited degree program and passage of a competency examination. Licensure is compulsory in some states for anesthesiologist assistants.

Educational Requirements

Successful completion of an accredited undergraduate degree program is a prior requirement for those seeking admission to an anesthesiologist assistant program. Not insisted upon are pre-med or allied health bachelor’s degrees; schools accept almost any major.

However, applicants may have to complete supplemental medical coursework, such as pre-med chemistry or biology. Schools also require applicants to submit letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and college transcripts.


A medically focused curriculum without any elective requirements is featured in the majority of anesthesiologist assistant programs. Schools often require students to pass a competency exam part way through the course before they can begin their final term or year. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Airway management
•Pulmonary anatomy and physiology
•Healthcare terminology
•Methods of patient monitoring

Job and Wage Outlook

In December 2013, anesthesiologist assistants brought home an annual wage of between $49,627 and $141,914. Anesthesiologist assistants whose experience ranged between one to four years earned between $80,000 and $130,000 as annual income.

Continuing Education Choices

To be able to practice as an anesthesiologist, an aspiring individual needs to hold a four-year undergraduate degree, in addition to completing an anesthesiology residency and four years of medical school.

As in the case of many anesthesiologist assistant programs, applicants to medical schools are not required to hold a bachelor’s degree in pre-med or allied health majors. However, students may be required to complete supplemental coursework, such as chemistry, biology, or physics, before they can begin core coursework.

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