What Are the Different Types of Health Science Degree Programs?

Health science degree programs are divided into two categories: general studies and field specific. Health science undergraduate and graduate programs are available in traditional classrooms, online, and hybrid formats. Most professional medical programs and research positions require a bachelor’s degree, and a health science degree provides a strong foundation in health studies.

A bachelor’s degree in health science is broader in scope than allied health degrees such as nursing or physical therapy. It offers a broad range of studies rather than a narrow focus, allowing health science graduates to pursue a wide range of career and educational opportunities. Natural sciences, mathematics, the humanities, and a variety of other subjects are covered.

Students can select a concentration, or focus, to prepare them for a specific career in some cases. A health science degree can be combined with almost any field related to health, medicine, or scientific research, opening up hundreds of possibilities. If their program is well-designed, some health science students may be able to pass government exams and obtain a license to practice medicine.

Students who plan to attend graduate or professional school may benefit from health science degree programs that do not include a concentration. Many students who want to go into other medical fields, such as chiropractic, veterinary medicine, or health education, will first get a bachelor’s degree in health science. Individuals who are already working in the field of allied medicine frequently pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in health science. Higher education frequently leads to more job opportunities and higher pay.

A master’s degree in health science is common among health administrators and other specialists who work in the business side of medicine. The master’s degree is usually much more focused than the bachelor’s, and applicants for master’s health science degree programs must have a bachelor’s degree. Master’s in health science programs frequently include concentrations in education, administration, and public health.

Although online health science degree programs are available, the best programs provide students with partnerships with clinics, medical offices, and hospitals. Students are usually given the opportunity to work as interns in their third or fourth year to gain experience and develop hands-on skills. Typically, online-only programs do not include any hands-on activities. This is an advantage for students who are already working as allied health professionals, but for those who are not yet practicing, hands-on experience is essential.