BioHealth Sciences Major
Our BioHealth Sciences program is one of the nation's best
BioHealth Sciences Major
Our BioHealth Sciences program is one of the nation's best
"You learn so much in the BioHealth Sciences program that is hands-on besides things that you would learn in a textbook. I have worked with plasmids, origin of replication, glycolysis and I was able to apply my knowledge of everything I learned in the classroom."
Van Ahn Vu (BioHealth Sciences '16), Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Portland, Ore.
This field applies biological science to human health and society, studying the interrelationships between biological, physical, health and social sciences. OSU's interdisciplinary BioHealth Sciences major equips students to excel in professional health programs like medical school as well as pharmaceutical and clinical research.
Oregon State’s BioHealth Sciences curriculum is designed to give you the skills you need for a healthcare career. Your BioHealth Sciences degree from OSU will:
- prepare you for a rewarding healthcare career after graduation.
- help you drive future innovations in clinical practice, medical research and biomedical technologies.
- expose you to cutting-edge research techniques and technology you’ll use to interpret medical and research data.
Health scientists perform a crucial role in promoting and preserving human health. Their work encompasses a wide array of responsibilities to improve healthcare outcomes. If BioHealth Sciences is the major for you, we think you'll be thrilled by research happening in OSU's Department of Microbiology — it's the kind of work that gets recognized worldwide. Our researchers cover:
- Applied microbiology
- Cellular metabolism
- Microbes, microbiomes and health
- Microbial informatics and data science
- Microbial threats to food security
The PROGRAM: Studying BioHealth Sciences at OSU
This major gives you a strong biological and physical science foundation while incorporating a variety of health and social sciences courses. Through our BioHealth Sciences major, you can be prepared for a future as a healthcare provider, taking a blend of courses designed to meet the your needs as a student interested in a healthcare career.
Fun fact: Our medical school acceptance rate is 67 percent, well above the national average of 40 percent!
BioHealth Sciences degree options
In the BHS program, you can choose among seven academic options that prepare you for a specialized career in healthcare.
This option prepares you for a career as a clinical laboratory scientist (also known as medical laboratory scientist or medical technologist). You’ll learn the fundamental skills for performing routine and highly specialized diagnostic procedures in clinical laboratories. Learn more about this option and course requirements here.
The average annual pay for a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in Oregon is nearly $85,000 a year (ZipRecruiter). Learn more about salaries for this career here.
Students pursuing this option will study advanced anatomy courses and select among microbiology, biochemistry and nutrition courses based on your interests. Learn more about this option and course requirements here.
The average annual pay for a Dentist in Oregon is over $184,500 a year (ZipRecruiter). Learn more about salaries for this career here.
There are two traditional paths to becoming a doctor: allopathic medicine (Doctor of Medicine degree) or osteopathic medicine (Doctor of Osteopathy degree). A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), trained specifically to diagnose and treat conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. This option includes advanced courses in microbiology, zoology and the humanities. Learn more about this option and course requirements here.
The average annual pay for a Medical Doctor in Oregon is over $197,000 a year (ZipRecruiter). Learn more about salaries for this career here.
Optometry focuses on vision care and the diagnosis, examination and treatment of eyes. The option includes advanced courses in biology and elective courses in physics and biochemistry and biophysics. Learn more about this option and course requirements here.
The average annual pay for an Optometrist in Oregon is over $120,000 a year (ZipRecruiter). Learn more about salaries for this career here.
The pre-pharmacy option is designed to meet most or all of the requirements for admission to pharmacy schools across the U.S., including OSU’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) professional program. The option includes advanced courses in biology and core courses in economics focused on market structure and consumer behavior. Learn more about this option and course requirements here.
The average annual pay for a Pharmacist in Oregon is over $110,000 a year (ZipRecruiter). Learn more about salaries for this career here.
Physical therapists help injured clients with mobility and pain management. Patients in need of rehabilitation or those who suffer from chronic conditions rely on physical therapists. This option includes advanced courses in biology, kinesiology and psychology. Learn more about this option and course requirements here.
The average annual pay for a Physical Therapist in Oregon is over $80,000 a year (ZipRecruiter). Learn more about salaries for this career here.
Physician assistants work in collaboration with doctors and are licensed to diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans and prescribe medications. This option includes advanced courses in biology, public health and psychology. Learn more about this option and course requirements here.
The average annual pay for a Physician Assistant in Oregon is over $105,000 a year (ZipRecruiter). Learn more about salaries for this career here.
These degree options are designed to meet most or all of the requirements for admission to corresponding health programs across the U.S. Satisfactory completion of your option facilitates, but does not guarantee, admission to a specialized health program; applicants are selected on a competitive basis.
Learn more about your BioHealth Sciences curriculum
Wondering what kind of classes you'll take? Your BHS major includes in-depth curriculum, including courses like
- Human Bacteriology
- Microbial Influences on Human Health
- Principles of Immunology
Want to know more about coursework requirements? Use the OSU Catalog to learn more about:
- your typical sequence of courses
- what pre-requisite courses you'll need
- your major's core curriculum
What does your four-year course load look like as a BHS major? Check out this sample plan for one example of how to map out your academic journey.
BioHealth Sciences online degree
- You can also pursue the BHS major online, learning from the same Department of Microbiology faculty that teach on campus. Online students receive the same OSU diploma and transcripts as OSU's on-campus students.
WATCH: Meet a BioHealth Sciences major
The EXPERIENCE: Hands-on opportunities
What makes a BioHealth Sciences degree from Oregon State better? One big reason: our hands-on learning experiences!
This is your chance to see up close what it means to be a scientist. Don’t just study science in the classroom — get in a lab and contribute to it, working alongside world-class faculty!
Internships serve as your perfect transitional experience into a career field. Gain real-world career experience while exploring the career possibilities your degree opens up.
Our students’ work spans the globe! Immerse yourself in another culture to gain a global perspective in your studies.
Clubs & Organizations
Here’s your chance to discover like-minded communities of peers who share your interests! Come together and engage in meaningful ways.
The SUPPORT: Learning resources for science students
Team Science is here to help you thrive. Our student support is another reason we always say, "science is better at Oregon State." As a Team Science student, you'll have access to a huge array of support services and resources designed to thrive both in and out of the classroom. Here are some places to get started:
At OSU, support comes in a LOT of forms — here's where to start. From our Science Success Center to health and wellness resources, connect with the support you need to thrive as a college student.
Learning Assistant (LA) Program
Love learning in smaller, collaborative group settings? Our Learning Assistant Program combines small-school attention with big-school resources. Your LA group replaces traditional lecture formats with active learning strategies, maximizing the way you engage with your STEM courses.
Our tutoring centers are welcoming, friendly spaces where peer and faculty mentors offer guidance and share study techniques to help you grasp course materials and improve your academic performance.
BioHealth Sciences majors benefit from our advising team in the Department of Microbiology. These advisors aim to work in partnership with you and help you to tend to the logistics of getting your degree, maximize your educational experience and set the stage for life after you graduate. They'll help with selecting courses, getting engaged in campus and academic culture and finding learning experiences outside of the classroom.
And of course, you can always reach out to our student Peer Advisors at email@example.com with questions, as well! Our Peer Advisor team is friendly, helpful and can share their first-hand knowledge of the Oregon State experience.
The PAYOFF: Careers in BioHealth Sciences
What jobs can you get with a BioHealth Sciences degree?
Our students find rewarding and relevant jobs thanks to degree options in pre-clinical laboratory science, pre-medicine/pre-podiatry, pre-dentistry, pre-pharmacy, pre-optometry, pre-physician assistant and pre-physical therapy.
Here are just several examples of jobs our BHS alumni have earned:
- Neurosurgery Physician Assistant | Providence
- Senior Biologist | Eli Lilly and Company
- Physical Therapist | ProMotion AFR
- Optometrist | Mile High Eye Institute
- Registered Nurse | Providence St. Vincent Health Center
- Clinical Research Associate | Formosa Biomedical Technology Corporation
- Formulation Technical Team Lead | BioFire Diagnostics
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Intern | John Peter Smith Hospital
- Dental Student | OHSU School of Dentistry
- Pharmacist | Pacific University School of Pharmacy/Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center
The PROOF: Successful students and alumni
As a 12th-grader, Van Anh Vu was accepted into the College of Pharmacy as part of the college’s Early Assurance Program and completed her bachelor’s degree in biohealth sciences and international studies at Oregon State University.
Gabriela Cortes Cortes is proud not to have let any obstacle, including a pandemic or the challenges of a first-generation student, hold her back from earning a four-year degree in the College of Science.
Jacob Maynes, a senior majoring in biohealth sciences, will start medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Erie, Pennsylvania, this July after only three years of college.
Meet Steven Kurtz, BioHealth Sciences alumnus who is studying to become a physician assistant and extreme sports enthusiast.
BioHealth Sciences junior Haelyn Epp used her SURE Science scholarship to do full-time research on motor proteins.