Can I Get a Dual Degree in Health Science and Public Health?

If you are getting ready to head to college but still settling on a major, you may be wondering if it is possible to get a dual degree in health science and public health. It is definitely possible, but only a limited amount of schools offers this unique degree program. Many colleges offer dual degree programs for public health and other similar majors like dentistry, biomedicine, psychology, physical therapy and even veterinary medicine so you may want to consider one of these options as well.

Dual Degree Program Basics

A dual degree program allows students to simultaneously study two majors at the same time. These are commonly offered at the undergraduate level. Each major is offered through different schools. For example, a student who earns a dual degree in management and health care administration must separately apply to the university’s Schools of Business and Health Care. Each of these schools will have varying admission and graduation requirements. A dual degree program offers expanded career options and it means that the student will complete two degrees in a much shorter period of time. Those interested in earning a dual degree should inquire through college admissions offices to see if there are any available programs.

Health Science Core Courses

A health science major offers students an interdisciplinary approach to health sciences and global public health. The curriculum includes core courses in the biological sciences, but will also include classes in the humanities and social sciences. Students nearing graduation will take advanced courses and most likely complete an internship. The health science major prepares students for graduate programs in nursing and medicine. Health science degree programs require students to complete courses in genetics, nutrition, cell biology, neuro-anatomy, general microbiology, behavioral endocrinology, infectious diseases and anatomy and physiology.

There are also interesting electives that students can take, such as food science. This class will provide an in-depth laboratory introduction to the physical and chemical properties of things like carbs and proteins. Classes on community nutrition will cover the profound effect that factors like culture and socioeconomic status play on food choices and overall health. There are also clinical experience classes that allow students to observe and learn the foundations of clinical practices, standard documentation, ethical decision-making and patient-centered care. Students can also study advanced topics like computational neuroscience, cardiopulmonary pathophysiology and medical nutrition therapy.

Public Health Core Courses

A public health degree will teach students about recognizing, assessing, understanding and controlling the environmental impacts that affect the public’s health. Public health programs introduce students to a wide range of classes that prepare them to monitor and manage community health needs. These programs include classes in epidemiology, which provide an overview of the methods used to research and address disease patterns in populations and biostatistics, which covers statistical methods, summarization writing and data presentation techniques. Students must learn about concepts like probability distributions, hypothesis testing, sampling estimation and descriptive statistics.

Introductory classes to the U.S. health care system familiarize students with basic concepts of health and illness, current political points of debate and future trends that may impact the delivery and availability of care. Environmental health surveys how physical, chemical and biological agents affect community health. Students learn about food safety, land resources and air and water quality. When students learn about current legal policies and frameworks, they are prepared to implement effective practices to improve public health. Students will also be exposed to major international environmental health problems, such as hazardous waste and ocean contamination.

Students who want to get a dual degree in health science and public health should note that there will be separate prerequisite requirements. For the public health program, they will need to have completed classes in physics and statistics. For the health science program, they will probably need to complete basic biology and chemistry classes.

Related Resources:
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