Health Science


The Health Science program leading to the Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) degree includes didactic and experiential activities for students to learn the foundation skills necessary for success in the dynamic health environment.

About this Program

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

Department Information

The Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) program is a limited access program designed for students whose career goal is to work in the health professions providing service to individuals and communities. BHS students are typically pursuing health related professions such as medicine, physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, speech-language pathology, dentistry, epidemiology, or public health.


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Related Programs 

The program has two major goals: to teach foundational skills to students whose career goal is to work in health care, particularly for those who want to become health care providers, and to teach foundational skills to students who want to work with individuals, groups or communities who face social, economic or health challenges. In addition, interested students have the opportunity to explore a combination-degree program in public health.


The college offers five specializations in the freshman and sophomore years:

General Health Science

For students who want to work in a health care field not mentioned in the other specializations below. The number of electives allowed in this specialization affords the student the opportunity to incorporate a range of prerequisites for different career paths.

Occupational Therapy Accelerated

A combination-degree program that allows students to take first-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program courses during their junior and senior years in the health science program.

Pre-Physical Therapy

Offers a suggested prerequisite course sequence for students interested in pursuing entry-level physical therapy education at the graduate/professional level.

Pre-Occupational Therapy

Offers the core health science curriculum plus prerequisites necessary for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at UF.


For students pursuing careers in fields such as medicine, physician assistant and dentistry, all of which require significant basic science prerequisites. This specialization is set up to integrate commonly required preprofessional courses with requirements for the health science major.

The General Health Science, Preprofessional and Pre-Physical therapy specializations collapse into one track beginning in the junior year and follow the same core curriculum, focusing on the health care system, different diseases and disabilities, the role of the health care provider in prevention and treatment, research methods and understanding core public health concepts. The senior year focuses on patient provider communication, effective leadership and critical-thinking skills important to clinical problem solving and the bioethical and legal issues affecting health care.

Regardless of specialization selected, students complement core courses with electives to round out their academic skills and interests.

Upon successful completion of the Health Science program, students receive the Bachelor of Health Science degree. While the majority of students pursue graduate or professional training in a health field (e.g. occupational therapy, physical therapy, medicine, physician assistant, health administration, dentistry, public health), some students seek employment in hospital or related community organizations after completing the BHS.

Course Sequence

While all specializations are designed for students interested in health care, students should select the specialization that most closely approximates their career plans and overall academic performance. Included in specific tracks are typical prerequisites for UF graduate and professional programs.

All course specializations in the health science program require a minimum 3.0 overall and prerequisite GPA for admission at the junior level.

Each specialization incorporates General Education Mathematics and Writing Requirements and Health Science prerequisites. All specializations accept AP, IB, or AICE credit for any prerequisite course. Students must earn a minimum of C in any BHS prerequisite course that is not satisfied by AP/IB/AICE credit.

While students can use AP/IB/AICE credit to satisfy BHS prerequisites, students should be aware that graduate/professional programs may not accept AP/IB/AICE credits in lieu of letter grades for their respective prerequisites. Students should consult a college advisor if they need assistance or have questions about a specific course schedule.

The Bachelor of Health Science prepares students for a career in health care systems or organizations that provide health or general human services to individuals/communities with health concerns. Students will learn the foundational interprofessional skills necessary to succeed in the dynamic healthcare environment and/or enter postbaccalaureate academic programs such as medicine, physical therapy, and public health.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Receive a satisfactory grade (S) in the BHS capstone portfolio.
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major Will Learn to

Student Learning Outcomes | SLOs


  1. Describe key elements of the US healthcare system.
  2. Comprehensively describe major chronic illnesses and disabilities.
  3. Describe the core functions of public health.
  4. Apply knowledge and application of core bioethical principles to contemporary health issues.
  5. Develop appropriate professional behaviors for health careers.

Critical Thinking

  1. Develop and apply critical analysis skills to contemporary health issues.


  1. Apply effective basic communication skills for health professionals.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3 SLO 4 SLO 5 SLO 6 SLO 7
HSA 3111 I, R
HSC 3057 I
HSC 3502 I, R I
HSC 3661 I, R, A
HSC 4184 R
HSC 4558 I, R I
HSC 4608L R R I, R, A R
HSC 4652L I, R R R
OTH 3416 I, R
PHC 4101 I, R I, R I
RCS 4415L I I
Capstone Exam A A A A A A A

Assessment Types

  • Assignment
  • The Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) capstone exam in the final semester
  • The degree candidate's exit survey