Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences



120 credit hours

Program Length

4 years


Regionally Accredited by SACSCOC

Prepare for an exciting career in Health Sciences 

The Health Sciences major is designed to prepare students for a variety of health professional careers. This program focuses on an in-depth understanding of the human body and health. All Health Sciences students study human anatomy and physiology along with additional foundational science courses as well as courses in nutrition and personal health. Students choose a specialization to tailor the program to fit their career goals. The major also includes a significant number of elective credits so students can choose a minor or take additional courses to strengthen or broaden their experience. 

The Health Sciences program seeks to promote an appreciation of the design of the human body and the value that God placed on humans through creating male and female in His image. Promoting human health and healing provides a platform for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. 

Available specializations include: 

  • Nutrition and Wellness — includes common prerequisites needed for nutrition graduate programs including Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) 
  • Pre-Physical Therapy — covers common prerequisites for Doctor of Physical Therapy programs (DPT). Electives can be included for those wishing to become an Athletic Trainer (MAT). 
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy — includes common prerequisites for master’s degrees and doctoral-level occupational therapy graduate programs. 

Why Choose Columbia International University

The BS in Health Sciences is a flexible program that will prepare you for a range of graduate health programs. The basic science courses including anatomy and physiology will lay a foundation for your future. Choosing your specialization provides depth in your chosen area and prepares you with prerequisites for postgraduate healthcare programs if desired. The large number of available electives provides the flexibility you need to add breadth to your college experience. 

With small class sizes and laboratory courses in our new Health Sciences Lab, you will develop the hands-on skills for a successful career. Real-world research projects and simulations will help you increase your analytical reasoning ability. Courses taught from the biblical worldview will help you to grow in your faith in God and your recognition of each individual as created in the image of God. Internship and missions/ministry opportunities will round out your experience helping you to apply what you learn in the classroom. 


Nutrition and Wellness Specialization 

In addition to nutrition and wellness courses, students in this program take several chemistry courses. The specialization includes common prerequisites for admission to nutrition graduate programs including Master of Science/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (MS/RDN), or Master of Public Health/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (MPH/RDN) or Master of Science in Nutrition. Other careers available for students with this degree include wellness coach or clinical research coordinator. 

Pre-Physical Therapy Specialization 

The Pre-Physical Therapy Specialization includes all of the prerequisite courses that are common to physical therapy programs. Students who wish to become physical therapist will need to attend a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) graduate program following completion of the bachelor’s degree. Students who are interested in becoming an athletic trainer should also select this specialization and pursue a Master of Athletic Training degree. Electives can be selected to meet any additional prerequisites that may be required for specific Master’s in Athletic Training programs. Because of the large number of elective options, students can choose additional courses in Nutrition, Business or even Youth Ministry, Family & Culture to prepare them for their specific career goals including personal trainer or physical activities director. This specialization also includes coursework in first aid so students will become certified in CPR. 

Pre-Occupational Therapy Specialization 

The Pre-Occupational Therapy specialization includes the prerequisites that are required for most graduate programs including MS and PhD programs in Occupational Therapy. The large number of electives will allow students to take any additional prerequisite courses for their graduate program of interest. This specialization includes an emphasis in psychology and behavior. 

Overall Benefits of this Degree

You will learn in our new Health Sciences laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment. Freshman lab courses will introduce you to equipment to develop and sharpen your analytical skills to prepare you for the advanced courses later in the program. Our objective is to facilitate your professional development in safe laboratory practices which will help you in any career path. 

Caring faculty members are available to help each student reach their potential. Faculty are committed to helping you succeed in the classroom as well as provide pre-med and pre-health advising. Our experienced faculty have taught many students who are now athletic trainers, physical therapists, dentists, nutritionists, chiropractors, pharmacists, and more so they are knowledgeable about what it takes to succeed in the competitive market of graduate health education. Importantly, they want to help you to achieve your career goals too. 

We also have arrangements with a physical therapy graduate school and recruiters from a master’s degree in athletic training program who will visit the campus to inform you about professional program options. 

CIU is excited about our postgraduate agreement with Liberty University. Students who meet admission criteria and prerequisites are guaranteed admission to Liberty University for the Masters in Athletic Training program. Learn more about the agreement

Our theme verse is Luke 9:6 “So they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.” (NIV) This verse, on the entryway wall of the Health Sciences Lab is a constant reminder of the mission we have at CIU: To know Him and to make Him known. As we prepare students to be successful on the job and in graduate school, our ultimate purpose is to help students grow in their faith and their ability to share it. As our graduates take care of the physical health needs of others, our prayer is that they also minister to the spiritual needs and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Featured Faculty

What Will I Study?

In addition to the undergraduate core courses, you will take courses in the Health Sciences major:

  • BIO 3360 Origins

    An exploration and evaluation of origins theories including evolution and creation models. Emphasis is placed on the origin of life, origin of species, and the origin of man. Prerequisites: BIO 2110 and BIO 2111.

    2.00 credit hours
  • BIO 4100 Biomedical Sciences Seminar

    A discussion of biomedical science research based on current literature. This course includes student presentations in both oral and poster presentation formats. Repeatable.

    1.00 credit hour
  • NTR 2110 Introduction to Nutrition

    This course is designed to provide a foundational knowledge about nutrition as health science that discusses the nutrients essential for human life. Students will begin to learn and better understand the biochemical composition, metabolic action, requirements, and food sources of the nutrients studied. Students will also learn scientific basis for promoting health and quality of life. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • PHE 2120 Health Science & Personal Wellness

    This course provides an introduction to health science and personal wellness concepts. You will have the opportunity to build a foundation of knowledge that will help you actively pursue a healthy and well lifestyle. An introduction to and application of the foundations of physical, aerobic, and muscular fitness will be included. Strategies to maintain personal health and wellness, including weight control through nutrients and physical activity, will be covered. You will gain an understanding of the impact physical activity has on personal wellness as well as the broad spectrum of health science issues. This course provides information and experiences that will enable you to make informed decisions by incorporating healthy solutions as they relate to quality of life and longevity.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PHY 2110 General Physics I

    A study of the principles of physics with emphasis on mechanics, motion, and thermodynamics. Corequisite: PHY 2111.

    3.00 credit hours

Nutrition and Wellness Specialization


  • BIO 3111 Microbiology Laboratory

    This laboratory accompanies : BIO 3110 Principles of Microbiology. You will learn about laboratory techniques as they relate to morphology, physiology, classification, distribution, and cultivation of microorganisms. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: BIO 3110 Principles of Microbiology.

    1.00 credit hour
  • NTR 2115 Food and Culture

    This course is designed to examine food as learned behavior through ideas, beliefs and rules through culture. Students will gain a better understanding of how food habits function beyond providing calories and sustenance. This course will explore connections between what we eat and who we are through cross-cultural study of how personal identities and social groups are formed though food production, preparation, and consumption. We will study six different ethnic food systems (Western [American], African, Middle Eastern, Latin, Asian, European) and analyze them based on nutritional recommendations for health in cross-cultural settings.

    3.00 credit hours
  • NTR 3110 Nutrition through the Lifecycle

    This course is designed to address the nutritional needs as specific stages of human development: pregnancy, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood including geriatrics. Students will be able to examine nutritional concerns, requirements, and metabolism through diet selection and promotion of health through the lifecycle. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • NTR 4110 Nutrition for Sports and Exercise

    This course is designed to address nutritional parameters of sport and exercise performance with relation to energy production, nutrients for optimal performance, micro- and macronutrients, principles of balanced diets, timing and composition of intake, hydration, and nutritional needs for special situations. Students will be able to discuss the biochemical process of how nutrients are absorbed, metabolized and used within the body. This course will also prepare students who would like to sit for the International Society of Sports Nutrition certification to become a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN or ISSN-SNS). (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • HMS 1115 Cultural Diversity

    This course introduces the application of diversity perspectives to social science research and practice. It emphasizes why all sub-disciplines within the social sciences need to understand diversity issues. Approaches for serving underserved groups will be examined with current theory and research applied. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • SOC 2020 Principles of Sociology

    This course is a study of contemporary Western society. The emphasis is on culture, socialization, group life, social processes and social change. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours

Pre-Physical Therapy Specialization


  • PHY 2120 General Physics II

    This course is a continuation of PHY 2110 with emphasis on electromagnetism and optics. Prerequisite: PHY 2110. Corequisite: PHY 2121.

    3.00 credit hours
  • SPT 3200 Strength and Conditioning Concepts

    This course will explain the key theories, concepts, and scientific principles of strength training and conditioning as well as their direct application to athletic competition and performance.

    3.00 credit hours
  • SPT 3210 Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries

    This course is designed to provide entry-level knowledge regarding the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries. This includes the recognition of signs and symptoms of injuries that occur during exercise, physical activity, or athletic participation. Students will also have the opportunity to earn a nationally recognized certification in First Aid, CPR, and AED use.

    3.00 credit hours

Pre-Occupational Therapy Specialization


  • EDU 2110 Foundations of Education

    This course is an introductory study of the historical, social, philosophical, psychological, and pedagogical "foundations" of education, designed for those preparing to become professional educators. You will develop the tools to articulate a personal philosophy of education, with an emphasis on the social context of urban schools and an understanding of biblical principles relating to education.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 3330 Psychology of Learning

    This is an in-depth study of learning, motivation, and change, and the implications this will have for teaching and counseling methods. You will focus on historical and modern cognitive research and testing, especially within the academic, relational, emotional, and spiritual arenas. You will also give particular attention to the development of biblical perspectives of learning theory.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 3310 Abnormal Psychology

    In this course, you will learn about the causes, symptoms, assessment/classification, and prognosis of mental and emotional disorders. You will also focus on treatment and prevention, as well as the influence of personal faith and the local church upon mental health and functioning.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 3370 Human Growth and Development

    In this lifespan course, you will examine developmental psychology covering the stages of physiological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual growth of the individual from conception to adulthood. You will analyze significant terms, theories, methods of assessment, and the biblical nature of the developing person. Special attention will be given to the cultural diversity of developing persons in varied learning environments.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 4810 Special Topics in Psychology

    A special topics course will offer a variety of courses that address current developments and/or special-interest topics in the field of psychology. The special topics courses may be repeated for credit, as long as the content is different.

    3.00 credit hours
  • SPT 3210 Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries

    This course is designed to provide entry-level knowledge regarding the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries. This includes the recognition of signs and symptoms of injuries that occur during exercise, physical activity, or athletic participation. Students will also have the opportunity to earn a nationally recognized certification in First Aid, CPR, and AED use.

    3.00 credit hours
  • HMS 1115 Cultural Diversity

    This course introduces the application of diversity perspectives to social science research and practice. It emphasizes why all sub-disciplines within the social sciences need to understand diversity issues. Approaches for serving underserved groups will be examined with current theory and research applied. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • SOC 2020 Principles of Sociology

    This course is a study of contemporary Western society. The emphasis is on culture, socialization, group life, social processes and social change. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
For a comprehensive list of courses related to this program visit the Academic Catalog.

Accreditation and Accolades

SACSCOC (The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges)
ABHE (The Association for Biblical Higher Education)

Career Path Opportunities 

  • Physical Therapist * 
  • Occupational Therapist * 
  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist * 
  • Athletic Trainer * 
  • Clinical Research Coordinator 
  • Wellness Coach 
  • Personal Trainer 
  • Public Health Specialist 

* Requires postgraduate education


Top FAQs

What is the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree?

The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree is a comprehensive program that immerses you in the study of human health. It provides a strong foundation in subjects such as biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, genetics and microbiology. This multidisciplinary approach equips you with a deep understanding of the human body, its functions and the scientific principles underlying health and disease.

What can I do with a degree in Health Sciences?

A degree in Health Sciences opens diverse career paths in healthcare. With this degree, you can pursue advanced professional programs such as physical therapy, athletic training, occupational therapy or pursue further studies in health sciences through graduate programs in public health or nutrition.

What is the difference between a Health Sciences degree and a Biomedical Sciences degree?

A degree in Health Sciences is broader and more flexible than Biomedical Sciences. Biomedical Sciences includes a larger number of required laboratory courses and is designed to maximize success on the MCAT for medical school. The focused Biomedical Sciences program includes rigorous upper level courses that give a strong background for students preparing to be physicians, dentists, pharmacists, or biomedical research scientists. Health Sciences, in contrast, explores human health more broadly including courses in nutrition, personal health and psychology. The Health Sciences major is best suited for careers that focus on therapy and behavior modification. Health Sciences is a better option for students who changed their major, transferred, or are interested in a less lab intensive program.

Can I get hands-on experience in the Health Sciences program?

Absolutely! CIU’s program provides extensive hands-on experience to prepare you for a successful career in the health sciences field. Starting from your freshman year, you will have access to our state-of-the-art Health Sciences laboratory equipped with cutting-edge equipment and technologies. Through research projects, simulations and practicums, you will develop practical skills and experience in health science. These hands-on experiences will help you chart your career and equip you with the necessary skills to succeed.

Are there research opportunities available for undergraduate students?

Yes, we offer research opportunities specifically designed for undergraduate students. Under the guidance of experienced faculty members, you will have the opportunity to engage in real-world research projects in various biomedical areas. These projects may involve conducting experiments, analyzing data and contributing to ongoing scientific inquiries. Participating in research as an undergraduate will strengthen your analytical reasoning abilities, foster your scientific curiosity and provide valuable experience for future research endeavors or graduate studies.

How does the curriculum prepare me for graduate health programs?

Our curriculum is thoughtfully designed to prepare you for admission to graduate health programs. You will take a combination of foundational science courses and specialized coursework that align with the common prerequisites required for admission to physical therapy (DPT) programs, Occupational Therapy programs, a master’s degree in Public Health, Master of Science in Athletic Training and Master of Science in Nutrition programs.

What is the student-faculty ratio in the program?

At Columbia International University, we prioritize a personalized and supportive learning environment. With small class sizes, you will benefit from a low student-faculty ratio, ensuring that you receive individualized attention and mentorship from our dedicated faculty members. Our professors are not only highly qualified in their respective fields but also deeply committed to your academic success and personal growth. They will provide guidance, support and personalized instruction, fostering an engaging and enriching educational experience.

Can I pursue internships or missions/ministry opportunities as part of the program?

Absolutely! We believe in the importance of practical application and real-world experiences. As a student in the Health Sciences program, you will have the opportunity to pursue internships or engage in missions/ministry opportunities related to healthcare fields. These experiences can be within hospitals, nonprofit organizations or healthcare settings, allowing you to apply the knowledge and skills you acquire in the classroom to real-world scenarios. These experiences will not only broaden your perspective but also enhance your professional development and help you make informed decisions about your future career path.

How does the program integrate biblical principles?

As a Christian institution, we integrate biblical principles into our curriculum and approach to education. We believe that faith and science are not mutually exclusive but complement and enrich one another. In the Health Sciences program, you will explore the ethical implications of healthcare practices, the sanctity of life and the responsibility to serve others. You will engage in discussions and projects that encourage critical thinking from a biblical worldview, emphasizing the value of each individual as created in the image of God. This integration of faith and science will not only deepen your understanding of the subject matter but also help you develop a well-rounded perspective that recognizes the spiritual and ethical dimensions of healthcare.

Are there opportunities for networking and professional development?

Yes, we provide opportunities for networking and professional development to enhance your career prospects. Throughout your program, we organize events, workshops and guest lectures where you can connect with professionals in the healthcare field. Additionally, our faculty members, who have extensive experience and connections in the field, will provide guidance and support for your career development. They can offer advice on graduate school applications, professional organizations, internships and other opportunities relevant to your career goals.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences is typically completed in four years, assuming you are enrolled as a full-time student. However, the duration of the program may vary based on individual circumstances, such as transfer credits, course load and participation in research or internships. Our academic advisors will work closely with you to develop a personalized academic plan that aligns with your goals and ensures timely completion of your degree.


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