AHEC Scholars

Welcome to the AHEC Scholars Program!

AHEC Scholars is a two-year national certificate program funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, designed to better prepare health professions students for future practice serving rural and urban underserved communities.

The program blends a didactic curriculum centered on eight core topic areas with community-based experiential learning at clinical practice sites throughout Oregon. We partner with colleges and universities around Oregon to recruit Scholars training to become doctors (MD & DO), physician assistants, occupational therapists, pharmacists, dentists, nurse practitioners and physical therapists. We aim to launch students into their careers with the most topical, leading-edge learning to bolster personal and professional success.

AHEC Scholars graduate with a more thorough understanding and appreciation of the complexities and rewards of working with rural and underserved populations. Explore the benefits, eligibility and annual requirements and submit your application below.

Why you should apply

                                                                              The application cycle for Cohort 7 beginning in 2024, is now open.

Eligibility Criteria

Students must:

  • Be a health professions student enrolled in a participating Oregon-based academic program.
  • Be in good academic standing.
  • Commit to two years of participation, culminating in graduation. Health professions programs of less than two years may receive an exception on a case-by-case basis.
  • Complete the AHEC Scholars application (link via the button below).


  • AHEC Scholars is not a scholarship and does not conflict with any scholarships you may have and/or pursue.
  • This program is not linked to a service commitment. It will not conflict with any program that does have a post-graduation service commitment.
  • Participation makes you eligible to apply for the Primary Loan Forgiveness (PCLF) program, administered by the Oregon Office of Rural Health.

Year 1 Requirements

  • Attend New Scholar Orientation for your program
  • Complete 40 hours of didactic learning
  • Complete 40 hours of team-based, community-focused experiential learning with a rural or urban underserved population
  • Report all program hours
  • Complete Year 1 survey

Year 2 Requirements

  • Complete 40 hours of didactic learning
  • Complete 40 hours of team-based, community-focused experiential learning with a rural or urban underserved population
  • Report all program hours
  • Share an email address for one-year program follow up survey
  • Complete Year 2 survey


  • Be part of a nationally recognized program
  • Eligibility to apply for the Primary Loan Forgiveness (PCLF) program
  • Scholarship and poster presentation opportunities at the Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference
  • Opportunities to engage with students from diverse health professions, academic institutions and backgrounds
  • Utilize curricular and non-curricular learning opportunities to better prepare for rural and urban underserved patient care
  • National AHEC Certificate of Completion
  • Eligibility to apply for the AHEC Scholars Fund (up to $1,000 per student per academic year)
  • Career planning support through the Office of Rural Health including loan forgiveness and loan repayment options, access to rural job postings through www.3RNet.org & connection to HR departments in rural communities

Academic Partners

Oregon AHEC enrolls 75 - 125 new students in the program each year. The rich diversity of learners is a valuable asset to the program, with 11 participating programs across four universities. 

Oregon Health & Science University
School of Dentistry
School of Medicine - M.D.
School of Medicine - P.A.
School of Nursing - N.P.

OHSU and Oregon State University
College of Pharmacy

Oregon State University - Cascades
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Pacific University
School of Occupational Therapy
School of Physician Assistant Studies
School of Pharmacy

Western University of Health Sciences
College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest
College of Health Sciences NW - D.P.T.


Email Education Coordinator Kate Hubbard: hubbarka@ohsu.edu

"Being a member of the AHEC Scholars Program has truly allowed me to see health care through a different lens. I am grateful for the many opportunities the program has provided. Thank you again."

- Pacific University PA-S, Class of 2023

Support AHEC Scholars

Your gift to Oregon AHEC will directly benefit health professions students through our student fund by supplementing travel and housing costs during rural rotations and other educational needs.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under U77HP03052 Model State Area Health Education Centers. This information of content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.