Health Science, Animal Science, & Medicine

Students looking to enter the world of health care are pursuing careers that promote health, wellness, and diagnosis as well as treat injuries and diseases. Some of the careers involve working directly with people, while others involve research into diseases or collecting and formatting data and information. Work locations are varied and may be in hospitals, medical or dental offices or laboratories, cruise ships, medevac units, sports arenas, space centers, or within the community.



  • I enjoy helping people learn, grow, or heal.

  • I like to teach, counsel, train, etc.

  • I am concerned about the welfare of others.

  • I like to solve problems by guiding or treating.

  • I want to take care of children, elders, or people in need.

  • I like dealing with illness or emotional challenges.

  • I enjoy physical activities and sports.

Kids in Art Class
Living Room Sketch
Image by Christian Joudrey
PROBLEM Solving & CRITICAL Thinking

Explore the Different Possibilities

Check out the specific concentrations within this interest cluster, with information regarding specific careers, as well as potential majors to pursue in college!

Neuroscience & Psychology

Students in neuroscience investigate the biological mechanisms that underlie behavior as well as how brains process information. They study the nervous system at every level: from the macroscopic (behavior and cognition) to the microscopic (cells and molecules).

Potential Majors

Research & Development

For the student that seeks to fuse scientific research and medicine in order to create innovative health care advancements. Potential careers include: Biomedical Engineer, Biomedical Chemists, Lab Technicians, Pharmaceutical Scientists, Epidemiologists, Geneticist

Potential Majors

Animal Science & Veterinary Medicine

Students interested in animal and veterinary studies will engage in the biological and chemical sciences to learn about various types of animals, their anatomy and diseases that affect them, using their expertise to tend to the healthcare needs of animals. Potential careers include: Veterinarian, Veterinary Technician

Potential Majors

Rehabilitation & Prevention of Injuries

For the student seeking to direct the rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions or to work directly with athletics in order to prevent or to rehabilitate injuries. Potential careers include: Physical Therapist, Athletic Trainer, Sports Medicine Physician, Occupational Therapist

Potential Majors

Imaging & Diagnosis

For the student looking to lend a helping hand in the initial diagnostic phase of the disease or injury process. Potential careers include: Radiologists, Diagnostic Technologists, Clinical Laboratory Technologists, Radiology Technicians, Radiologists, Pathologists, Phlebotomy

Potential Majors

Direct Patient Care

For the student looking to work directly with patients and providing face-to-face, hands-on care. Potential careers include: Nursing, Rehabilitation and Therapy, Care Management, EMT/Paramedic, Physician Assistant (PA) Chiropractor, Dentist, Dental Assistant, Geriatric Care Manager, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacist,

Potential Majors




Connect with Alumni or a Senior Mentor

Check out how our alumni students and current seniors are pursuing this pathway! Learn about what it takes. To learn more about an alumni's journey, check out their roadmap.

Isabella Pregozen
Class of 2015
Masters Student at CSUN
Athletic Training, San Diego State University
Lawrence Adhinatha
Class of 2019
Undergraduate student
Neurobiology, UCSD
Diego Dela Pena
Class of 2019
Undergraduate student
Biological Science, UC Irvine
Marquessa Bryce
Class of 2017
Pursuing Doctorate of Physical Therapy
Public Health Policy, UC Irvine
Erin Suk
Class of 2019
Undergraduate student
Nursing, Boston College
Spencer Richman
Class of 2016
Biological Researcher
Bioinformatics, Rochester Institute of Technology
Priyanka Karthikeyan
Class of 2016
Health consultant at Health Tech Startup
Molecular Environmental Biology & Public Health, UC Berkeley
Sneha Lakshmanan
Class of 2017
Undergraduate student
Bio Informatics, UCSD
Megan Lange
Class of 2019
Undergraduate student
Nursing, Point Loma Nazarene University
Kian Taylor
Class of 2013
Medical school student at Emory University
MD at Emory University + PhD in Genetics & Molecular Biology at Georgia Tech, Molecular & Cell Biology at UC Berkeley
Dhivya Vadapalli
Class of 2019
Undergraduate student
Global Health, USC
Jessica Castro
Class of 2018
Undergraduate Student
Human Biology & Society, UCLA



Choosing the Right Courses

Provided here are the COC classes that are recommended for your pathway. You are not required to take all them, so you should talk to your counselor to clarify which classes are right for you. Explore the different possibilities below!

Lab Sciences


Nutrition for Fitness and Balanced Living

Examines the psycho-biological, cultural, social, cognitive, and environmental factors that influence a person’s eating, physical activity behaviors, and body image. Provides practical strategies to promote healthy attitudes and behaviors.


KPET 210

Prevention/Care of Athletic Injuries

Introduces the field of athletic training, including the role of the athletic trainer in relation to the physician, coach and athlete, emphasizing the prevention, recognition, and treatment of common sports injuries.


KPET 200

Introduction to Kinesiology

Examines the field of kinesiology as a profession and an academic discipline including: exercise physiology, sports nutrition, biomechanics, motor behavior, sports medicine, coaching, and sport psychology.


CHEM 151

Preparatory General Chemistry

A preparatory course for Chemistry 201. Provides basic foundation in problem solving, atomic theory, stoichiometry, nomenclature, states of matter and solution chemistry.



Organismal & Environmental Biology

Surveys the basic biology and diversity of unicellular and multicellular organisms. It emphasizes general biological principles including population biology and ecology, basic genetics, animal behavior, evolution, classification, structure, function and adaptations of organisms (including plants, fungi, animals, and unicellular organisms) to their environments. This course is intended for Biological Sciences majors. Field trips may be required.


Gimple, P.


General Biology

Explores the nature of science, including cell structure and processes, energetics in living systems, heredity, development, evolution, diversity, and environmental relationships.


CAWT 140

Survey of Microsoft Office Programs

Examines operating systems, Microsoft Office, word processing, spreadsheet analysis, database management, presentation software, and the application of information technologies to organizational settings.


COMS 105

Fundamentals of Public Speaking

Examines the principles and practices of public speaking, communication theory, and techniques for public speaking. Includes speech organization, development, research, audience analysis, reasoning, and presentation skills for the development of informative and persuasive speeches.



General Physics I

Presents a non-calculus-based introductory study of Newtonian mechanics, the conservation of energy, momentum, and angular momentum, including topics in vibrational motion, waves, and fluid mechanics. Designed for students majoring in the life sciences or any other major requiring a non-calculus based physics course.


MATH 140


Examines statistical methods including empirical and theoretical frequency distributions, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation, regression, probability, counting techniques and computer-based statistical software.


MATH 212

Calculus II

Covers differentiation and integration of transcendental functions, techniques of integration, improper integrals, infinite series, and applications.


MATH 211

Calculus I

Introduces limits, derivatives and integrals, as well as applications including rate of change, maxima-minima, curve sketching, and area problems.



Four-Year Ed Plans

Provided here are ed plans for you to take AOC & COC coursework for specific concentrations within this pathway. 

Keep in mind that these ed-plans are subject to change based on your individual needs and preferences.

AA Degrees

The ed-plans above will allow you to earn an Liberal Arts & Science Associate Degree in Health Science or Mathematics & Science. All of the ed-plans above will allow you to complete your IGETC and to transfer several General Ed college credits.


Back in the day, almost every undergraduate who wanted to go to med school majored in biology, chemistry, or physics. This has changed, as med schools realize the value of a liberal arts education, and there will be a variety of pre-med majors in the applicant pool. So, study what you love. You'll still need solid MCAT scores along with good grades and stellar extracurriculars.

Bear in mind that each medical school has its own pre-med course requirements. Depending on where you plan to apply, courses in the following subjects may be required or recommended.

Primary care experience is particularly valuable. Many hospitals and clinics have volunteer positions that allow you to interact with patients. You can also consider finding a position at a hospice or a chronic-care facility, or assisting disabled children or nursing home residents.

If you want to learn at a more depth level you can set up a preceptorship. In a preceptorship, you’ll shadow a knowledgeable physician as an observer over an extended period of time. The best preceptors are doctors with great people skills, patience, and a passion for education.

Medical research is another worthwhile extracurricular to pursue. A number of well-known universities, labs, and private companies run summer internship programs for undergraduates.