Health Science Students Inside a Patient Simulation Room

Health Sciences

A degree in health sciences provides you with knowledge of and exposure to a wide range of health care fields. Gain real-world experiences and a foundation in health care as you begin the path to your future career.

Why Study Health Sciences?

In the B.S. in health sciences program at USD, you will gain an interdisciplinary foundation in health care, including knowledge of a variety of health care fields and development of skills that are essential for quality patient care. This flexible degree is offered fully online, as well as in-person at the Vermillion and Sioux Falls campuses. If you are unsure which health care profession interests you most, or if you want a broad understanding of the field, this program is the right fit for you. You can choose an individualized pathway to a specific profession; we offer close mentorship and advising to help you meet pre-professional program prerequisites in addition to the core health sciences courses. Whether you want to focus on health care studies, health care advancement, professional studies, clinical informatics, or clinical research, you'll find the classes and experiences you need to start your career or to continue your education.

Become a health care leader who can face tomorrow's challenges with expertise, poise, and thoughtfulness with a degree in Health Sciences.

Degrees & Offerings

Health Sciences (B.S.)

  Vermillion Main Campus, Sioux Falls and Online

Your degree in health sciences will help you start your path to graduate school, launch your career in the health care field or advance your existing career. You'll gain real-world experience through service learning and hands-on practice, and you can personalize the degree to fit your unique interests. USD offers the most options for health care degrees in South Dakota, which means you're right where you need to be to take the next step.

Health Sciences: Clinical Studies (B.S.)

  Vermillion Main Campus
This specialization is intended for students who are interested in pursuing careers as clinicians in disciplines such as medicine, physician assistant, physical therapy or occupational therapy. Students who desire to become clinicians in these health care professions must complete a rigorous graduate-level program. The purpose of this specialization is to prepare you for the demands of graduate programs in clinical fields.

View Articulation Agreements

Health Sciences

  Vermillion Main Campus and Online
Through a minor in health sciences, you can gain a foundation in health care, explore a wide range of fields and discover the paths that interest you most.

Accelerated Doctor of Occupational Therapy (B.S./O.T.D.)

Accelerated Program
  Vermillion Main Campus

This 3+3 program is available to current USD students pursuing a B.S. in health sciences with a specialization in clinical studies; a B.S. in kinesiology and sport management with a specialization in exercise science; or a B.S. in neuroscience with a specialization in cognitive neuroscience. The accelerated track will allow the undergraduate program to count 20 hours of the first year of a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree toward the electives in the B.S. degree. The student will complete 100 hours by the end of the third year toward the undergraduate degree.

Clinical Research Coordinator Certificate


Students can complete the clinical research coordinator certificate to begin a career in clinical research. The certificate encompasses the six areas of clinical research: research design, ethics and patient safety, product development and regulation, clinical trial operations, study and site management, and data management and informatics. Clinical research coordinators facilitate and coordinate the daily research activities in clinical trials. Clinical research coordinators work with the principal investigator to support the compliance, financial and personnel aspects of clinical research studies.

Program Details






Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Health Sciences Pathways

After you've earned a bachelor's degree in health sciences, there are many directions you can go. Whether you want to continue your studies in one of our many graduate and post-graduate programs, start a career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or work with other scientists in biomedical research, you'll leave the health sciences major prepared to take your next step.


As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.

Student Using Lab Equipment for Medical Research

A unique part of your USD education is access to undergraduate research opportunities. As a health sciences student at USD, you will have the chance to explore your interests and conduct innovative research with the support of professors who care about your success. Grants and travel funding are available through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Learn More

USD is home to more than 170 student organizations, including several that are housed in the Department of Public Health and Health Sciences. You may be interested in joining pre-professional clubs or Sigma Delta Honor Society to make friends, develop new skills and explore your interests.

Explore Student Organizations

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in public health & health sciences.
Woman in Red Blazer Seated at a Table.

Public Health & Health Sciences

The Department of Public Health and Health Sciences emphasizes collaborative learning, equipping students with a rich understanding of the health care field and preparing them to excel in careers such as advocating for health policy, promoting health through education, managing health data analytics and leading collaborative health care teams. The department offers degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Department of Public Health and Health Sciences. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in productive aging and gerontology, management of chronic disease, health and culture, attachment, Native American health and more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Musheera Abdellatif

Musheera Abdellatif

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Amanda Huber

Amanda Huber

Program Assistant I
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jonelle Hook

Jonelle Hook

Bio Image for Faculty Member Kerri Muehler

Kerri Muehler

Bio Image for Faculty Member Brittany Schultz

Brittany Schultz

Academic Advisor
The outside of the new health sciences building.

Learn in a State-of-the-Art Environment 

The world of health care is expanding and changing each day. At USD, we believe your learning environment should be as innovative and dynamic as this rapidly-growing field.

In August of 2022, health sciences students will begin learning in a new School of Health Sciences building, which will house modern classrooms, innovative technology, simulation centers, study spaces, health science labs and more. Here, you'll find exceptional opportunities, training and support that will propel you into your career as a health care professional and leader.
Student Gaining Hands-On Experience Working With a Patient Inside a Clinic

Gain Real-World Experience

At USD, your education will not be limited to the classroom; you'll get hands-on experience in our state-of-the-art labs and at centers off campus so you can explore your interests and make a difference in the lives of others. Our service learning opportunities are fully integrated into the curriculum and provide you with a range of experiences. You'll take a hands-on approach to applying your knowledge to organizations that create positive change in the world.
Practitioner Helping a Patient

Become the Leader Your Patients Need

Your future patients have complex health care needs that extend beyond a single area of expertise. They should have an expert, compassionate care team that can work together to help them live healthy, fulfilling lives.

At USD, we prepare you not only to thrive in your unique career path, but also to collaborate effectively with health care professionals from a variety of fields. With the state's only comprehensive health sciences school and medical school, USD offers a learning environment that mirrors the health care industry – bringing you and your peers together to learn, study and practice as coordinated teams. You'll graduate with the skills, knowledge and connections you need to make holistic healing possible.

Surprisingly Affordable

USD offers low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as scholarships, financial aid and employment opportunities to help make your education even more affordable.

Undergraduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities. Visit the Undergraduate Tuition & Costs Detailed page for program specific costs and fees. 

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.


USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. View our scholarships to see which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply.

Alum Success Story

Success story Celina Lohre smiling.
I chose the health sciences program at USD so I could learn about different aspects of health care, and to figure out a direction for myself. I enjoy my staff, the residents and the families I work with. The team I work with is terrific. USD's health sciences program was my foundation. It had lots of hands-on projects and it gave me lots of leadership coursework and experience.

Celina Lohre

B.S. Health Sciences '14
Administrator, Legacy Healthcare LLC

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