Health Science


About the bachelor of health science degree

Job growth in the healthcare sector is booming, and professionals are in demand nationwide and throughout Pennsylvania. Build your future in this vital field with a B.S. in Health Science at PennWest California.

When you choose the health science major, you position yourself to pursue a healthcare career or continue with graduate-level education. The four-year, on-campus program instills knowledge of general and health-related sciences, and it introduces you to a variety of career pathways within the healthcare field.

In addition to classroom study, you’ll gain hands-on experience in the Applied Health Science Lab and complete a senior capstone course focused on your particular interests and career plans.

Students in related majors may choose to add the 18-credit minor in health science to their course of study.

What is health science?

This applied science discipline includes the study of human health, and the application of that knowledge to improve health and treat disease. PennWest California’s bachelor of health science program combines traditional science courses with specialized courses in multicultural healthcare, special populations and complementary medicine.

The program prepares you to pursue the post-graduate education required for a career in athletic training, physical therapy and occupational therapy, or to work as a health coach, healthcare administrator or other allied healthcare professional.

Program Highlights: Health Science

Experienced faculty: Professors in PennWest California’s health science bachelor’s degree program have a wealth of clinical experience in a variety of fields. You’ll study with experts in fields such as athletic training, gerontology, physical therapy, emergency medical services, kinesiology and exercise physiology.

Apply your learning: Hands-on activity in the Applied Health Science Lab complements some courses in the on-campus B.S. in Health Science program. You’ll build career-focused skills and gain confidence as you learn to conduct biomechanical evaluations or health and fitness tests, conduct experiments or tackle special projects.

Student outcomes: PennWest California’s career-focused health science degree covers topics such as required education and licensing laws for various healthcare professions; basic medical terminology and its uses; and common diseases and health disparities, including how they can be offset by physical activity and proper nutrition. It also prepares you academically for graduate-level programs in fields related to allied health or health science.

Learn more about applying

Healthcare jobs as a percentage of the overall U.S. economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018).
Number of new healthcare jobs that will be added by 2026, according to BLS projections.
Degree icon.

Degree Benefits

Students in PennWest California’s health science major learn in small classes, so they receive personal attention from faculty with real-world clinical expertise. Program alumni are employed around the world, and students often are placed with them for clinical experiences. The senior capstone course allows students to realize their personal potential by focusing on a field they intend to pursue as a career. Students in related majors can enhance their knowledge by completing the 18-credit health science minor.

Cap icon.

Graduate Outcomes

Successful students gain the foundation of scientific knowledge essential for advanced studies in fields such as athletic training, physical therapy or occupational therapy, where post-graduate education is required to achieve licensure. PennWest California’s health science program also provides diverse experiences with special populations, giving graduates a competitive advantage when they seek employment.

Bachelor's Degree (B.S.) in Health Science
A PennWest California student works as a health science professional.

Career Outlook

The demand for healthcare professionals is growing rapidly, and job growth is anticipated to remain strong, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The demand for health services is increasing as the baby-boom generation reaches retirement age; at the same time, large numbers of clinical workers are retiring.

An athletic training students works with an athlete.

What can you do with a health science degree?

The bachelor’s in health science is versatile, and PennWest California’s program prepares you for the future you envision. For example, healthcare professionals such as athletic trainers, physical therapists and occupational therapists must complete graduate-level studies in order to be licensed; PennWest California’s B.S. in Health Science is the first step on the path to these careers. A passion for healthcare and a health science degree also can lead to employment in non-clinical positions such as healthcare administrator, pharmaceutical sales representative or community health educator.

Health Science Degree Courses


Course Credits
General Education Courses 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
CDC 101  Public Speaking
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
MAT 181  College Algebra
Health and Wellness
HSC 115  Current Health Issues
Technological Literacy
Any Technological Literacy Course
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
HSC 110  Anatomy and Physiology I
Social Sciences
GTY 200  Aging in American Society
General Education Options
  • PHI 307  Medical Ethics 
  • HSC 315  First Aid and Personal Safety
  • PSY 100  General Psych
  • ATE 340  Sports Nutrition  OR  Student-Selected General Education Course
Required Major Courses 34
GTY 100  Intro to Gerontology 3
HSC 101  Foundations of Health Science 3
HSC 120  Anatomy and Physiology II 4
HSC 210  Culturally Competent Community Health 3
HSC 225  Medical Terminology 2
HSC 250  Nutrition for Health/Wellness 3
HSC 275  Functional Kinesiology 3
HSC 310  Special Populations and Pathology of Disease 3
HSC 325  Physiology of Exercise 3
HSC 360  Holistic Medicine and Healthcare 3
HSC 425  Health Science Capstone 4
Required Related Courses 26
BIO 117  Intro to Human Biology 3
BIO 120  General Zoology 4
CHE 101  General Chemistry I 4
CHE 102  General Chemistry II 4
MAT 205  Stats for Health and Social Science 3
PHY 121  General Physics I 4
PHY 122  General Physics II 4
General Electives 19
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): HSC 425 Health Science Capstone
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): HSC 360 Holistic Medicine and Healthcare AND HSC 310 Special Populations and Pathology of Disease
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): HSC 120 Anatomy and Physiology II

B.S. in Health Science - Related Programs

Associate Degree
Bachelor's Degree