Health science degree programs are often a stepping stone for students who want to pursue careers such as occupational therapy, physical therapy or other healthcare professions. Florida has colleges and universities that offer bachelor's and master's degrees in health science.
Some programs offer concentrations and they may feature distance learning options. Depending on the level of the program, an internship, thesis or capstone project may be included in the curriculum. Below is an overview of the ten largest 4-year colleges and universities in Florida with relevant programs, along with a table comparing their tuition information and other details.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
The School of Allied Health Sciences at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee has a health science bachelor's degree program that allows students to choose one of two concentrations: pre-occupational therapy or pre-physical therapy. The pre-occupational therapy concentration includes all required courses that are needed for acceptance into an occupational therapy graduate program. The pre-physical therapy concentration is ideal for students who are interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy. Both programs include clinical experience as part of the curriculum.
Florida Gulf Coast University
Fort Myers-based Florida Gulf Coast University has a bachelor's degree program in health science with two available concentrations: health science and health services administration. The program is designed for students who aspire to work in health care, including students who want to pursue a career in physical or occupational therapy. Students can expect to take courses in health services administration principles, health care research methods, health care information systems and epidemiology, among others. The university also has a master's degree program in health sciences with a concentration in health services administration or health professions education. The coursework is offered through distance learning, and it includes courses and an internship, thesis or a capstone project.
Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale
Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale is a private not-for-profit school. It has a bachelor's degree program in health science that is designed to be a completion program for students who have an associate's degree in allied health. Students can expect to gain leadership abilities and to learn about the ethical and legal aspects of the healthcare field. Classes typically include healthcare public policy, healthcare billing and financial issues, healthcare marketing, health law and conflict management, among others. Prerequisites for the program include having an associate's degree from an accredited school in an allied health field and at least 6 months of work experience after graduation from the associate's degree program.
Miami - Dade College
Miami - Dade College's School of Health Sciences based on the college's medical campus, located in Miami's health district. The school offers a 130-program-hour Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Science with a concentration in physician assistant studies. During this 4-year program, students take courses such as healthcare research methods, physician assistant practice management, healthcare leadership, alternative medicine strategies, among others. Graduates of the program are prepared to take the national certification for physician assistants.
Stetson University, a private not-for-profit school in DeLand, has a bachelor's degree program in integrative health science, which combines nutrition, physics, biology, physiology and chemistry and applies those sciences the study of the body. The curriculum combines classroom lectures, laboratory classes, clinical experiences and other field experiences. The integrative health science program teaches students about how lifestyle factors affect the human body and individual health in addition to methods disease prevention. Students can expect to take courses in exercise physiology, biomechanics, therapeutic modalities, healthcare ethics, nutrition and epidemiology, among others.
The University of West Florida
Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in health sciences at the University of West Florida in Pensacola can choose to specialize in 1 of 7 specialties, including aging studies, allied health, health care administration, health care profession, medical information technology, psychology of health and public health. This 2-year degree program is designed for students who already have an associate's degree from an accredited college. The curriculum teaches students about the different issues that impact how health information systems are designed and deployed, along with the legal and ethical issues related to healthcare and public health. Core courses include health sciences technology, medical terminology, health science research and business analysis in health care.
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida in Orlando has a bachelor's degree program in health sciences with a pre-clinical track. This program is specifically geared toward students who intend to go on to enter graduate programs to further their education in areas such as occupational therapy, medicine, physical therapy or physician assisting. Classes include core requirements such as pharmacology, health sciences research methods, pathophysiology and preventive health care, among others. The school also has a master's degree program in health sciences with an executive health services administration track. The program is an online degree program that is typically completed within 24 months. It is open to prospective students who have at least 3 years of professional experience in the field.
University of Florida
The health science bachelor's degree program at Coral Gables-based University of Florida gives its students a firm foundation in skills and health science theory to prepare them for various careers in the healthcare industry. Students can expect to learn about professional communication methods, healthcare ethics, disease, disability, healthy functioning and the challenges faced in public health. The health science program begins in the student's junior year and consists of 60 credits. Students can choose between two majors: Health Science and Communication Sciences & Disorders.
University of Miami
The health sciences bachelor's degree program at the University of Miami in Coral Gables is offered through the private not-for-profit university's School of Nursing and Health Studies. The program is designed to provide students with a strong knowledge base, preparing them for advanced education in professional fields. Students can choose from specialties such as pre-physical therapy, pre-pharmacy, pre-forensics, health science general and health science/business administration. The program requires students to complete courses in chemistry, biology and health science with a grade of C- or better in each course. Additionally, students must have a grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 or better in the courses for their degree track.
University of North Florida
The University of North Florida is a public school located in Jacksonville. The university offers a health science bachelor's degree program with the option to concentrate in community health or exercise science. The prerequisites vary, depending on the program, but generally include courses in psychology, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry. Students pursuing the community health concentration must minor in health education as part of their degree track.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Health Science Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University||4-year; public; midsize city||Bachelor of Science in Health Science|| $5,785 (in-state),*
|Florida Gulf Coast University||4-year; public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Health Science,
Master of Science in Health Science
| $6,118 (in-state),*
|Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale||4-year, primarily associate's; private not-for-profit; midsize city||Bachelor of Science in Health Science||$17,664 (in-state and out-of-state)*|
|Miami Dade College||4-year, primarily associate's; public; large city||Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Science - Physician Assistant Option|| $2,834 (in-state),*
|Stetson University||4-year; private not-for-profit; midsize suburb||Bachelor of Science in Integrative Health Science||$41,590 (in-state and out-of-state)*|
|The University of West Florida||4-year; public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences|| $6,360 (in-state),*
|University of Central Florida||4-year; public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Health Science,
Master of Science in Health Science
| $6,368 (in-state),*
|University of Florida||4-year; public; midsize city||Bachelor of Health Science|| $6,381 (in-state),*
|University of Miami||4-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Science in Health Science||$45,724 (in-state and out-of-state)*|
|University of North Florida||4-year; public; large city||Bachelor of Science in Health Science|| $6,394 (in-state),*
Source: *NCES College Navigator