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Public Health vs Health Science Degree

Classiest2002@me[email protected] 47 replies31 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
So I want to major in one of these but I honestly don't know which one. Both have a lot of similarities. But what I want to know, are the differences between them. What sets them apart? Which one would do a better job at fulfilling PA school requirements? What CSUs offer these programs?
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Replies to: Public Health vs Health Science Degree

  • GumbymomGumbymom 27636 replies148 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    edited August 27
    To find out which CSU’s offer either Public Health or Health Science, you can do a search on the CSU website.
    For Public Health the following CSU’s offer this program:
    http://degrees.calstate.edu/search-results/10987/all/10941/all?areaofstudy=Public Health

    For Health Sciences the following CSU’s offer this program:
    http://degrees.calstate.edu/search-results/10987/all/all/all?areaofstudy=Health Science

    Which one fulfills PA school requirements will depend on the curriculum. You would need to investigate each degree program at the specific Cal state you plan to apply and also the PA school requirements. The courses alone will not satisfy all the PA school requirements. Here are the basic PA school requirements:
    1) Complete your bachelor's degree (a science or healthcare related major is usually best);
    2) Gain experience either working or volunteering in a healthcare setting;
    3) Apply to ARC-PA accredited physician assistant programs;
    4) Complete a 2-3 year, master's level PA program.

    General PA course requirements:
    Most programs will require at least:
    One year of chemistry with labs*
    One course each of human anatomy and physiology with labs
    One course in microbiology with lab
    One course in statistics
    One course in psychology
    *Schools can be very particular about which chemistry series they prefer. It is important to consult websites of schools you are interested in, and then check with your academic adviser.
    Other frequently required or recommended courses:
    general biology
    organic chemistry
    additional courses in social/behavioral sciences
    languages (some schools require coursework in Spanish)
    medical terminology
    public speaking

    Here is an example of what USC’s PA program requires: https://keck.usc.edu/physician-assistant-program/admission/

    Also you want a degree that will serve as a backup in case you are not accepted into a PA program since these are highly competitive.

    Career Possibilities for Health Science: Health Educator • Government Inspector • California Middle/High School Health Teacher • Researcher/Evaluator • Health Education Specialist • Public Health Educator • Patient Educator

    Career Possibilities for Public Health: Career Paths in Public Health
    Dietitian and Nutritionist. ...
    Emergency Management Specialist. ...
    Epidemiologist. ...
    Health Educators and Community Health Workers. ...
    Microbiologist. ...
    Occupational Health and Safety Specialist. ...
    Public Health Nurse. ...
    Social and Community Service Managers.

    Both degrees will have significant overlap of pre-req PA school course requirements and career opportunities.
    Review each CSU’s degree program to see if they will meet your goals.
    edited August 27
    Post edited by Gumbymom on
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