Thinking about Majoring in Allied Health? Here's What You Can Do With This Degree

by Naomi Mannino

Are you interested in a career in health, but not sure exactly what profession you want to pursue (or whether you want to wear scrubs, a lab coat, or a suit)? An undergraduate degree in allied health can keep your options open for many in-demand health careers—whether you want to interact with patients directly or be involved in some business aspect of the multi-faceted, constantly growing healthcare industry.

So, What Will You Study as an Allied Health Major?

This type of degree is perfect if you know you don’t want to be a doctor or dentist, but enjoy working with people and want to be involved in some aspect of the health industry. If you’re just not sure what role you’d prefer most, majoring in allied health is a great place to start.

The curriculum is based on a thorough study of modern human biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and psychology. Other subjects of study include math, science, and genetics. At Azusa Pacific University, these classroom lessons also delve deeply into the Christian perspective, combining the spiritual side of healing with the clinical approach. By learning to incorporate compassion and a holistic touch, the program teaches students to support patients’ long-term health and wellness, and affect their lives in a significant way.

With this degree, you can make a positive difference in the lives of others and the larger world around you. The major also allows you gain exposure to different aspects of the health industry, usually through internships at local hospitals, physical therapy clinics, and athletic training clinics.

What’s the Difference Between the Allied Health B.A. and B.S. Degrees?

The allied health major is consistent in meeting most undergraduate requirements for a vast range of interesting, ever-changing, and in-demand health industry careers.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is for those who want to work directly with patients or in a lab. This degree meets most of the prerequisites for professional careers and graduate work in nursing. For those interested in becoming a nurse practitioner, occupational therapist, medical technician, physical therapist, physical therapy assistant, or radiation technologist—this is the degree path to follow. It can even lead to careers in nutrition, dietetics, orthotics, prosthetics, and cytotechnology.

The Bachelor of Arts degree with a Business emphasis provides training for health industry jobs in both the private sector (for corporations) and the public sector (for government jobs) that require a background in science as well as business. This can prepare you for a career in healthcare administration or pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

On the other hand, the Bachelor of Science in Allied Health equips students pursuing career paths toward becoming a physician's assistant, chiropractor, or clinical laboratory scientist.

The coursework (and vast elective options) for both degree options prepare students to seamlessly move into their chosen career or graduate program. Some additional coursework may be required to meet specific job specifications, however.

Interested in Teaching Science to Children?

Many students may be excited by the thought of teaching science in schools, to kids in grades K-12. Through APU’s Integrated Bachelor’s and Teaching Credential Program, students enrolled in the allied health major can earn a preliminary California teaching credential and move directly into a career teaching children about science.

All of the major’s degree programs offer an array of exciting internship experiences, so students can discover the perfect career fit that enriches both their own lives and the lives of those around them.