North Central College health science students working on a simulation dummy.

Is Health Science a Hard Major?

Jacob Imm

Aug 19, 2022

Is Health Science a Hard Major?

If you’re looking at college majors, it is natural to wonder how easily you’ll be able to handle them. College is a big adjustment from high school, and until you have experienced it for yourself, you can’t be expected to know for sure if you can handle it. 

When you’re looking at health science as a field, that question becomes even more prominent. Most of us think of doctors, nurses, and health care professionals as highly trained, and we assume it’s hard to become one. So while it makes sense to ask, “Is health science a hard major?”, that question may actually be too simple.

Every major has the potential to be within your ability, especially if it fits your goals and you attend a school that can properly support you as a student. The best way to find out if a health science major is right for you is to get as much information as you can and let your own drive carry you to get the work done. If you find yourself wondering, “what is an applied health degree,” make sure to read up on the intricacies of the degree before committing to the field of study.

So let’s look into some pros and cons of health science and why it might be the right fit for you.

Is a degree in health science good?

Like any science degree or even any bachelor’s degree, choosing to pursue a degree in health science has a lot of factors that go into it. 

There is plenty to like. Health science can create numerous opportunities in everything from healthcare management to physical education to sports medicine. An undergraduate degree in health can also be a great first step to a graduate program that gives you an expanded understanding and opens even more avenues to work in occupational therapy, physical therapy, health care management, health care administration, or working on setting health policy. Not to mention that a health science salary can be very attractive, can offer exclusive benefits, respect and status, and give you the chance to make a tremendous positive impact on the world.

To attain these benefits, though, requires taking on a great deal of hard work. Doug Wintemute wrote in Best Colleges, “Healthcare studies can … be difficult and demanding, as can the resulting careers. Healthcare professionals work in fast-paced environments, sometimes for long and atypical hours.”

He goes on to say that you should look forward to having more school to complete than some of your peers. “Non-clinical professionals may need to complete a certification or licensure, which usually requires continuing education credits,” Wintermute said. “Graduates who aspire to clinical positions likely need to pursue a graduate or professional degree.”

So to answer whether health science is a good major or not, you have to ask yourself what kind of student you think you are and what kind of professional you want to be. Do you value the subject enough to want to spend more time in school than other majors? Maybe you really like being in an academic environment, or maybe you think four years as a college student is more than enough. 

When you are done with school, are you prepared to put more than the average amount of time into your work, or is it vital that you have enough time to devote to other parts of your life? These are important conversations to have with yourself and your loved ones. 

For now, let’s say you want to commit to health science as your major and career and see what you have in store for yourself.

Find out more about North Central College

Why Health Science is a good major

Beyond the benefits that we typically associate with working in healthcare or related industries, like salary, benefits, and a chance to find work almost anywhere you want, a health sciences degree can provide a lot of less obvious positives as well.

One is the high number of job prospects a health science degree brings with it–way more than just being the first step to being a doctor, nurse, or physician assistant, or even finding a position in public health or allied health. Health science will teach you a lot that can be applied in a wide variety of ways.

Versatility goes hand-in-hand with pursuing health science, though there are some subjects that particularly benefit future health professionals. According to Ilana Kowarski, writing in U.S. News and World Report, “Experts say health science degrees are especially suitable for individuals with eclectic academic interests. An undergraduate health science program is most appropriate for college students who enjoy technical fields like math and social sciences like anthropology.”

The style of teaching and learning that occurs in health science courses and medical school also lends itself to a wealth of work areas. Kowarski goes on to say that, “Experts explain that because the discipline of health science focuses on the application of scientific knowledge to real-life problems, it requires a practical, hands-on approach. Alumni of health science programs say the programs provide a solid foundation for a career as a clinician … and excellent preparation for graduate-level health care professional schools.”

Wondering about more of these choices, and asking yourself, “What is an applied health science degree?” or looking for a guide to health science salaries? Check out our guides on the subjects.

Is a health sciences degree useless?

Believe it or not, this is a commonly asked question on Google, as some people spread the idea that health sciences don’t have the same professional applications as other sciences or business-oriented fields. We can acknowledge this question because it is asked a lot, at least enough to answer: far from it.

Even if money is not the most important thing for you when it comes to professional fulfillment, health science has a lot to offer, especially at this moment in history. According to Nalea J. Ko, writing for Nurse Journal, “Beyond financial stability, health science degrees prepare graduates for fulfilling careers. Earning a health science degree gives graduates a chance to make a difference in the world at a pivotal moment in history. The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our society's priorities and heightened the importance of healthcare.”

It’s likely that you are at an age where leaving a beneficial imprint on the world matters to you–a lot. Health science will help you follow the example of your peers, who are likely focused on doing good for its own sake. Ko’s article quotes Summer McGee, president of Salem Academy and College, saying, "Because 65% of (Generation) Z wants to personally create something to change the world — health is an industry ripe for radical change, and this makes a health sciences major a great choice for them." 

Take the next step

Whatever you decide in terms of a major, you will for sure need to find the right school to get you started. Look for a school like North Central College, with a health sciences program that covers all the most important concepts and lets you get your hands on the latest technology, all taught by experts with a great combination of academic expertise and practical experience.

Find out more about what North Central College can do for you.

Jacob Imm is the associate director of communication in the North Central College Office of Marketing and Communications. He has 12 years of collegiate communications experience and has worked with hundreds of college students. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University.



Doug Wintemute, Best Colleges. 

Ilana Kowarski, U.S. News and World Report.  

Nalea J. Ko, Nurse Journal.