What is the Difference Between a Degree in Health Science and a Degree in Biology?

What is the Difference Between a Degree in Health Science and a Degree in Biology?The difference between a degree in health science and a degree in biology lies in their academic focus. Read on to learn the unique benefits of studying these degrees.

Academic Differences

Biology majors study all living organisms because biology encompasses everything from botany to zoology. Health science explores the human body through its functions, diseases, health conditions and physical structures. It involves everything from anatomy to physiology. Biology is very broad while human science only deals with the human body.

Because biology focuses so much on living organisms, students spend a lot of time dissecting animals and using microscopes. Biology is actually a good major to help students prepare for medical school. The academic major health science may actually involve a specialization in education, administration and community health. Thus, biology is for hands-on students who are interested in research and health science is orientated for students who want to manage health care policies and programs.

Health Science Degree

Health science degrees are often interdisciplinary and may be referred to as physiology and health or biomedical science. Coursework includes standard classes on nutrition, biology, chemistry and human anatomy. There are also advanced courses in physiology, neuroscience and microbiology. Although health science degrees do not include classes on botany and non-human biology, they do include classes on cellular, molecular and developmental biology.

Math related classes will include bio-statistics and quantitative methods and research. There are also health care focused classes that include patient care, health promotion and medical research. Some students learn about quality improvement programs and others study health care and public health administration.

Biology Degree

Medical students who want to study biology may choose a bachelor’s of biology program that has a strong pre-health curriculum. These programs will include a variety of human biology classes, such as human anatomy, physiology and cell and molecular biology. Students will learn about botany, zoology, animal histology. They will study genetics, immunization and biological instrumentation.

Math classes will include calculus, physics, analytical geometry and pre-calculus trigonometry. Biology degrees also include ecology, organic chemistry, and biochemistry classes. Health care related electives include introductory classes to health professions, public health and global health care environments. Other class options include epidemiology, health care systems and qualitative research strategies.

Potential Careers

Health science degrees are becoming popular because they offer flexible career choices. Graduates may become health care, medical record and health unit administrators. Clinical careers include cytotechnologists, who study the functions and structures of cells, and histological technicians, who study body tissues to identify problems or diseases. Some graduates become general medical lab technicians and perform routine diagnostic procedures with specimens collected from patients.

The field of biology also offers many specializations. For example, students who are interested in botany and working outdoors may become ecologists, foresters or conservationists. Those who enjoy math may go into genetics, biophysics or statistical modeling. Students who like chemistry may become a plant biochemist or plant physiologist. Other career possibilities include arborist, forensic scientist and biomedical engineer.

The difference between a degree in health science and a degree in biology is that the former focuses on humans while the latter involves all living organisms.

For more information on pursuing a health science degree, please see: Top 20 Most Affordable Health Science Degree Programs.