July 18, 2023
How to Research Undergraduate Health Science Programs and Majors


In the United States, there are numerous institutions offering top-notch undergraduate programs in Health Science. Among these, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, and California Institute of Technology are recognized internationally for their Health Science programs.

As an undergrad at the University of Maryland, College Park, I once planned on majoring in Biology and preparing my resume for Medical School. I bought books by renowned medical professionals like Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande and attended monthly Premed Society meetings at Stamp Student Union. At the time, I was dead-set on becoming a doctor, but did I overlook other interesting health science classes, majors, and programs? Were there questions that I could have considered as a high school student that would have helped me prepare for life as an undergrad health science student and ultimately as a health professional?

Atlantis.com premed reading recommendations.

Below we’ll talk through some key information about undergraduate health science programs. Using some insights and questions from this blog, I hope you find a method for conducting your health science program research that ultimately prepares you for life as an undergrad!

Academic Concentrations

Health science programs provide a comprehensive curriculum that covers a wide range of subjects, including biological sciences, psychology, statistics, and more. They also offer various concentrations such as Leadership, Grant Writing and Entrepreneurship, Health Promotion, Gerontology, and Sociology of Medicine and Aging.

During your studies, you’ll find that learning health science can prepare you to think about problems like a health professional. Paired with research, health promotion, or grant writing skills, you can work on marketing a new health drug or getting grant funding for a critical public health need during and after school.

Questions for a high school junior or senior:

What health science subjects and concentrations are you interested in?
What health majors and concentrations are taught at the colleges on your list?


The field of health science is vast and offers a plethora of career opportunities. Some of the highest-paying undergraduate health science careers include Radiation Therapist, Dental Hygienist, Dietician or Nutritionist, Physician Assistant, Genetic Counselor, Occupational Therapist, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Epidemiologist. These professions are part of the rapidly growing healthcare field, which is projected to see a 14% job growth between 2018-2028, significantly higher than other professions.

As an undergrad, I noticed that many of my health science classmates found part-time opportunities at local hospitals or clinics volunteering or shadowing health care specialists. A friend of mine volunteered at a local neurosurgery and spine clinic in Baltimore. Through the experience he realized that he felt really passionate about spine health and physical therapy. He’s since graduated from PT and joined a practice in Washington, DC. Volunteering was a huge missed opportunity for me as an undergrad, and I recommend anyone interested in health programs researches local hospitals and clinics.

Screenshots of a hospital volunteer application form found online.

I recommend spending 1-2 months volunteering once a week for a clinic or specialized health practice as an underclassman. If you can start now! As you find fields and careers in the health science sector that most interest you, consider reaching out to a couple of doctors in your town. Send them an email. Say “Hi,” introduce yourself, and tell them why you want to learn more about health sciences.

Question for a high school junior or senior:

What kind of health science career would you want to test out?
What kinds of health science professional clubs and volunteer opportunities exist at your the colleges on your list?

Graduate Degrees

For those interested in pursuing a medical career, a Biology major is often chosen, with 48.7 percent of all physicians and surgeons employed in 2015 having chosen biology as their undergraduate major. However, a Health Science degree is versatile and can prepare students for both clinical and non-clinical professions, including administrative positions, patient care, or research roles.

Graduates are also well-prepared for graduate-level studies, with common paths including a Master in Public Health (MPH), a Master in Healthcare Administration (MHA), or a Master’s Degree in Nursing for Informatics (MSN). Some school even offer accelerated degrees programs. These programs allow students to earn two degrees in less time. For example the University of Maryland, College Park offers a BS+MPH accelerated degree program which allow students to earn their graduate degrees with 1 or 2 years of additional coursework.

Tweets published by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in 2020.

Public Health is an exciting field for students interested in working with communities, government agencies, and private companies to prevent diseases and promote healthy living. Public health students can enter careers in public policy, emergency management, and biostatistics, addressing issues like the potential threat of pandemics, emergency department staff shortages, or nationwide medicine shortages.

Question for a high school junior or senior:

What are your thoughts on getting a graduate degree in the health sciences?
Are the programs to receive an accelerated graduate health science degree at the colleges on your list?

Minimum Requirements

Admission into these programs often requires a strong academic record. For instance, the National University of Health Sciences requires students to have earned a baccalaureate degree and a minimum GPA of 3.00. Meanwhile, other schools require an 80% in 4 units on biology, chemistry, math, with a minimum cumulative average of 3.00 (including prerequisite courses) for admission consideration.

Question for a high school junior or senior:

Do the schools you are applying to have minimum requirements to major in health sciences?

In conclusion, as you start evaluating health science programs, consider coursework, volunteer opportunities, clubs/extracurriculars, and potential graduate degrees and professional paths. Every school has a unique set of opportunities for you to become a successful health professional, but it’s your job to do the research and find the school that fits your needs.


  1. https://www.nuhs.edu/admissions/requirements/
  2. https://flex.wisconsin.edu/stories-news/what-can-you-do-with-a-health-sciences-degree/
  3. https://www.besthealthdegrees.com/best-health-science-degrees/
  4. https://nursejournal.org/healthcare/health-science/salary/
  5. https://www.idp.com/india/search/health-and-medicine/all/united-states/
  6. https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/health-care-professions/health-services-sciences/related-majors/
  7. https://healthsciences.nova.edu/healthsciences/bhs/bhsadmissions.html
  8. https://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-rankings/25-healthcare-with-best-value/
  9. https://www.usuniversity.edu/degrees/bachelor-of-science-in-health-sciences
  10. https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/health-science-major-3105
  11. https://bhsc.queensu.ca/future-students/admission
  12. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/explore-careers/career-clusters/health-sciences/5-majors-to-consider
  13. https://hhd.psu.edu/undergraduate/student-organizations
  14. http://www.besthealthsciencedegree.com/lists/5-great-on-campus-organizations-for-health-science-majors-to-join/
  15. https://sph.umd.edu/academics/dual-degrees/accelerated-bsmph-program
  16. https://joinatlantis.com/blog/5-books-every-pre-med-student-should-read/

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