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Midwifery programs prepare people to care for women and babies before, during, and after childbirth.

Midwifery programs include topics such as:

Midwifery programs prepare people to work in birthing centers and at home births.


A few community colleges and specialized schools offer certificates and associate degrees in midwifery. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program usually takes two years of full-time study.

A few colleges and specialized schools offer bachelor’s degrees in midwifery. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Very few schools offer graduate programs in midwifery. For information about graduate-level nurse midwifery programs see the nurse midwifery program of study.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

Proprietary schools, colleges, and universities all offer this program. If you want to study at a proprietary school, you can prepare for this program of study by completing your high school diploma or getting a GED. If you want to study at a college or university, you can prepare for this program by taking the following courses: four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Certificate programs that require only a high school diploma or equivalent sometimes also ask that you complete some general education or basic health science courses. Program requirements vary, but sometimes you need to complete these courses before you apply. Other times you can take them during your first term of study. These courses may include the following:

You also need certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), including neonatal resuscitation.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and letters of recommendation. In the case of admission to a doctoral degree program, you need a master's degree as well. Your degree should be either in midwifery or in another health care program.

Because graduate programs focus on research, you should take a statistics and research methodology courses.

You also typically need to be either a certified or licensed midwife. A personal interview may be required as well.

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Bachelor's degree programs also typically include general education courses such as the following:

Graduate Program Courses

Course work in midwifery graduate programs that leads to a master's or doctoral degree varies depending on the school and program. However, the curriculum generally tends to look like the following:

Topics of focus may include administration, education, practice, or community services.

All programs include clinical apprenticeships in their curriculum. Under the direct supervision of an experienced midwife, you assist in prenatal exams, births, newborn exams, and postpartum exams. You could be placed in a birth center or in various clients' homes.

Things to Know

Graduating from an accredited midwifery program qualifies you to take the national certification exam.

Certification does not, however, guarantee licensure. Every state has different legal requirements for practicing midwifery.

In some programs, you may be required to find your own preceptor. This is an experienced midwife who can oversee your course work and in some cases, your clinical apprenticeship.

You are expected to purchase your own scrubs and whatever other midwifery equipment you may need.


King-Snohomish Area

Bastyr University