A health science major is a broad and interdisciplinary degree that will prepare you for many career opportunities within the healthcare field.
If you’ve considered going into the medical field and enjoy learning about how health and wellness can be applied to life in order to improve quality, a health science major may be the right choice for you.
What is a Health Science Major?
A major in health science provides for a flexible and interdisciplinary degree that applies science to human and animal health, including medicine, nutrition and other health-related subjects. A major in health science will prepare you with the knowledge and skills to work in various roles in the healthcare field. Like most majors, students can chose to earn their certificate in Health Science, an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or post-graduate degree in the field, depending on their overall goals.
What is Health Science?
Health science is the field of applied science that relates to human and animal health. It takes the knowledge of health and science and uses it to improve health, understand how humans and animals function, and manage and cure diseases.
Where Can You Work?
With a degree in health science, the job opportunities are numerous and vast in terms of where you can work. Some workplaces within the field include:
- Government agencies
- Non-profit organizations
- Research labs
- Rehabilitation facilities
Since the job opportunities are widespread when you have a major in health science, it helps to know the common paths that people take and the reasons why so that you can find your right fit.
Therapeutic services range from providing patients with short- and long-term care, counseling, treatment plans and education to help them manage their diagnosis. This could be in the form of physical therapy, psychological, speech or occupational therapies.
Through monitoring labs and scheduling follow-ups with patients, diagnostic services are the first step in helping a patient discover the root of their symptoms.
Roles in support assist doctors and other medical persons by offering assistant-type roles like medical aides and veterinary assistants.
Perhaps you want to take on a more technical role, but want to still be in the healthcare field. The field of Health Information marries technology to apply IT to the healthcare industry.
Research and development through biotechnology uses biological processes and organisms to develop treatments and cures for illnesses and diseases.
Depending on the amount of time, money and effort you can put into your studies, a health science major can be achieved through various levels, including Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees.
Each degree will provide the basic skills and knowledge for a role in the health science field, but they will require different coursework, time and, undoubtedly, costs.
For example, the average cost of a four-year online program is $24,000-$72,000. Then, to continue to pursue a post-secondary degree, it can cost roughly $10,000 for each additional year of study.
Here’s a look at some of the basic requirements for each level of a health science degree:
Typically a 2-year degree that will allow you to get your foot in the door working earlier than those who choose to continue their education. It will open the door for jobs in administration, health informatics, health science writing and technical work in labs. Some core classes include: General Health Care Topics, Medical Ethics, Medical Terminology, and Health Care Systems.
A Bachelor’s degree generally takes 4 years to complete full-time. It will allow for you to either pursue a general position within the healthcare field or grant the option to further specialize for a role regarding: advanced patient care, nuclear medicine, biomedical sciences, global health, child health and more. Courses include: Health, Safety and Ethics, Healthcare Informatics, Financial Management in Healthcare, Principles of Public Health, and more.
A Master’s degree takes between 18-24 months to complete. For more in-depth knowledge about the field, you can continue your education past a Bachelor’s degree for a Master’s degree, which will increase your salary potential and allow for roles within management and leadership in the field. The curriculum includes coursework in: Sports Medicine, Healthcare Leadership, Clinical Research, Mental Health, Immunology, to name a few.
A Doctor of Health Science, or D.H.Sc., is a post-professional academic degree that is intended for those wishing to advance in their professional career within the field in education, research, administration or practice. It creates opportunities for leadership and teaching positions.
If tuition fees and time is a cause of concern, online options exist that are tuition-free and fully flexible, like University of the People.
At UoPeople, the Health Science program offers the option to earn an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree from anywhere in the world. The only costs associated with the degrees are an application fee and course assessment fees, which means you can earn your Bachelor’s degree in Health Science for roughly $3,960. At the same time, you can still apply for scholarships if needed.
Here’s a look at some of the courses you’d take when you enroll in the Health Science program at UoPeople:
- Introduction to Human Psychology
- Introduction to Sociology
- Infectious Diseases
- Biology 1 and 2 for Health Studies Majors
- Community and Public Health 1 and 2
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
Same as above, plus:
- Human Development in a Global Perspective
- Psychopathology and Mental Health
- Health Policy and Management
You can find more information about the program here.
The health science field is experiencing 11% growth from 2012-2022 as the population lives longer and health technology continues to improve. Here are some options for careers, along with their average annual salary:
- Performs administrative assistant tasks in a healthcare setting
- Requirements: no degree, medical assistant certificate or Associate’s degree, plus training on the job
- Help patients by treating injuries, illnesses or diseases and creating therapeutic procedures to help them maintain skills and movement for everyday life and work.
- Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree, plus certification
Radiology and Ultrasound Technicians
- Medical personnel who perform diagnostic imaging examinations and treatments
- Requirements: Certificate, Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees
- Assist people in planning what to eat in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, manage a disease or lose weight.
- Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science or related field
A degree in health science offers many options for a rewarding and potentially lucrative career. It may even set you up on the path to continue studying to enter medical school as the coursework overlaps.
With an aging population and high demand for healthcare services, Health Science majors are filling positions worldwide that help the overall population in living a healthier and higher quality lifestyle.