AHEC Scholars

AHEC Scholars is a national honors program for health professions students interesting in supplementing their education by gaining additional knowledge and experience in rural and/or under-served urban settings. This is a longitudinal program with interdisciplinary curricula to implement a defined set of clinical, didactic, and community-based activities. All experiential or clinical training will be conducted in rural and/or under-served urban settings.

Program duration is two years and includes the following for a total of 160 hours:

  • 80 hours community-based, experiential, or clinical training in rural and/or under-served area
  • 80 hours didactic education (focused on six Core Topic Areas)

Core Topic Areas

  • Inter-professional Education
  • Behavioral Health Integration
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Cultural Competency
  • Practice Transformation
  • Current and Emerging Health Issues

Eligibility Criteria

Students should have a current interest in rural or under-served healthcare and be currently enrolled in a health professions degree or certificate program and be two years from program or degree completion. This includes, but is not limited to, students in medical, pharmacy, nursing, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical lab science, psychology, and public/population health programs.

The most meaningful moment in AHEC Scholars occurred during the Poverty Simulation, which gave me insight into the hardships and stressors people face when their income is not enough to support them. The event also provided me with knowledge on places to contact to assist people in need.

– USD Physical Therapy Student, Class of 2020


Students should fill out the application, linked below. All fields must be fully completed. Any application that is missing fields or attachments will not be considered for acceptance. We accept applications on a rolling basis. Please click the button below to view and submit the AHEC Scholars Application.

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AHEC Scholars Testimonies