what is a health science degree

What is a Health Science Degree?

Providing adequate and beneficial healthcare to the growing and aging population is one of the most pressing problems of the twenty-first century. But this problem is solvable, especially as more and more individuals enroll and pursue an education in health science.

Health science is one of the most diverse areas of study in the United States right now, with students of all economic and educational backgrounds wanting to learn how to help others.

However, as you research prospective programs, you may be wondering…

What is Health Science, Exactly?

Health science is the study of applied science that deals with human physical and behavioral wellbeing.

A Health Science degree is the award granted to graduates of this science-focused program. It is typically offered at the bachelor’s degree level.

Students completing a Health Science degree can kick off careers in either a research or care application capacity.

Research capacities are typically lab-based, investigative occupations that require someone to constantly push the envelope and develop new medial processes – such as oncology or cancer research.

Application capacities, on the other hand, are hands-on professions that require direct work with patients or tests that patients need to recover their health.

Pursuing a Health Science Degree

Students can start learning and pursuing their interests in health science as early as middle school. Then continue that pursuit throughout high school, career and technical centers (CTC), and in post-secondary institutions.

However, health science in postsecondary institutions is where students learn about the aforementioned research-based career courses, application-based career courses, and take advanced health science courses.

Postsecondary health science education is much more complex and expansive than it is in middle school, high school, or CTCs. This is because students have the opportunity to continue their education to earn advanced degrees, including doctorates. Not to mention, postsecondary institutions are also where students learn more about the research elements of health science, in addition to the previously learned process-oriented rudiments. With this knowledge, students continue on to learn about specialized medical professions like oncology, radiology, pediatrics, and more.

Health science degree students often go on to pursue advance, master’s and doctorate level education after their undergraduate study. For example, at UB, many Health Science degree holders go on to earn their Master’s in Nutrition or Master’s in Public Health . They may also take pre-med courses that prepare them to become medical doctors, surgeons, chiropractors, and other licensed professionals – in contrast to professions that only require a certification.

Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Sciences program builds upon a common foundation, consisting of courses in:

  • General education
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Health Sciences such as:
    ○ Medical terminology
    ○ Biostatistics
    ○ Research
    ○ Epidemiology

Students also select one concentration from the four areas of:

  • Community health education
  • Exercise and fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Pre-professional

Let’s explore those four concentrations a little more in depth.

Health Sciences: Community Health Education

Students who earn a BS degree in Health Sciences, with a focus on Community Health Education, will be prepared for a career that seeks to improve the health of individuals and communities.

They will gain knowledge and experience that protects and promotes public health through healthy promotion, health education, and disease prevention programs and activities. Students in this career track aim to reduce disease, promote healthy behaviors, encourage the use of available healthcare services, and reduce healthcare cost.

Graduates of this concentration are also eligible to earn a Community Health Education Specialist (CHES) certification from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

Health Sciences: Exercise and Fitness

Students in the exercise and fitness concentration of Health Sciences will be prepared to understand principles involved in exercise science and general fitness. By the end of their college career, students will understand the basics of kinesiology, body mechanics, exercise physiology, nutrition, and overall fitness.

Graduates of this program are ready to pursue a variety of career paths such as managing a wellness center or working with the elderly in a rehabilitation center.

Health Sciences: Nutrition

Students enrolled in the Health Sciences nutrition concentration learn to understand and communicate evidence-based principles of nutrition science. They learn about metabolism and the role of nutrition in health as well as the knowledge to identify and guide others toward healthy dietary and life-style choices.

Students are also adept in promoting overall wellness on a personal and communal level.

Health Sciences: Pre-Professional

The last concentration, pre-professional, allows students to select 30 semester credit hours from Health Sciences courses so they can prepare for admission to a graduate program.

Students in this pre-professional track complete the program core and general education courses common to all Health Sciences degree programs at UB.

Health Science Degree Outcomes

Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree in Health Science, graduates can apply principles of health and wellness as a lifelong process of learning rooted in the study of basic sciences and the behavioral arts.

Students will:

  • Understand fundamental biological, chemical, and physical properties underlying life systems
  • Be able to gather and analyze research data and make inferences based on the data
  • Be aware of professional, ethical, and privacy issues that are pertinent to careers in the health sciences

Health Science Career Paths

Health science careers make up an extremely large sector of the U.S. economy. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts growth to be “faster than average” or “much faster than average,” which is why the Health Sciences program focuses on this area of growth.

Program graduates will often work in healthcare settings at the entry level or seek additional education in a healthcare or related profession as these areas are among the fastest growing in the overall economy.

University of Bridgeport’s program offers students the ability to pursue a variety of career paths, such as:

  • Community Health Educator
  • Healthcare Project Manager
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Personal Trainer
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Grant Writer
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Health Advocate
  • Fitness Instructor

And work in a variety of locations, like:

  • Nonprofit and for-profit healthcare facilities
  • Community health centers
  • Hospitals
  • Private Companies
  • Colleges
  • Health and fitness clubs
  • Private practices

These are just a few of the many careers and employment locations that await you when you earn a Health Science degree in CT.

Apply today and take the world’s health into your hands!