Biomedical sciences (BS) are the foundation of knowledge for all health care professionals, and as such, an undergraduate degree in this field is surprisingly versatile and can prepare you for a wide range of career and post-graduate educational options. In a biomedical sciences course of study, you’ll learn about everything from human anatomy and physiology, to genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, nutrition, kinesiology, and more. Not only can a BS degree be a stepping stone to traditional medical school, there are an increasing number of medical research, nutrition science, and biomedical engineering careers available to BS graduates.
What makes the biomedical sciences degree so unique? First of all, the breadth of study: no other degree combines basic science courses such as microbiology, physiology, chemistry, and anatomy with medical school courses like pathology, nutrition, immunology, epidemiology, and pharmacology. Some programs even allow you to build your own curriculum by choosing the kinds of courses you want to focus on, thus personalizing your degree. Secondly, a degree in biomedical sciences opens doors to careers in both science and medicine, as well as careers that combine the two.
Below are several examples of the unique opportunities enjoyed by graduates with a biomedical sciences degree, many of which are highly paid and sought after. If you’d like to see a more comprehensive list of career and educational options for BS graduates, check out our list on the NUHS website.
Unique Biomedical Science Career Paths
1. Forensic Technologist: In order to provide impartial evidence and testimony regarding crimes to legal officials, forensic technologists need to be well-versed in analysis of bodily fluids, DNA, hair, etc. A biomedical sciences degree prepares you to study and practice forensic science because of the wide range of course offerings, including anatomy, physiology, and human genetics.
2. Pharmaceutical Sales: Pharmaceutical sales representatives don’t just sell medicine, they teach prospective customers (usually physicians, nurse practitioners, etc.) about the scientific properties of various drugs, how they function in the body, and how they effectively treat illness. In short: they need to understand the science behind the products they sell, so a biomedical sciences degree is the perfect precursor to what can be an extremely lucrative sales career.
3. Health Policy: A degree in biomedical science is a great stepping stone to a graduate degree in health policy because of its emphasis on understanding the complexities of human health from a variety of disciplines such as pathology, nutrition, immunology, epidemiology, and pharmacology. Once you’ve earned a master of public health degree, you’re in a position to effect changes in health policy at the local, state, and even national levels.
4. Toxicology: Among science careers, toxicology is perhaps the most diverse. This is because toxicology combines various different fields including biology, chemistry, pharmacology, medicine and nursing to study the safety and biological effects of drugs, chemicals, agents, and other substances on living organisms, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS).Toxicologists with bachelor's degrees can expect to spend most of their time in a laboratory while those with higher-level degrees might spend their time in an office planning experiments and interpreting data. For more information about this field visit the NUHS Biomedical Science Blog.
5. Dentistry: Aside from medical school, a BS degree can be a stepping stone to other professional medical degrees such as dentistry, which may be a surprise. Some dental schools even have departments of biomedical science, in which they research and teach everything from the role of genetics in oral development to oral tissue engineering and regeneration. A bachelor’s degree in biomedical science can put you ahead of the game when it comes to mastering the complexities of dentistry.
6. Biomedical Researcher: The field of biomedical research continues to grow at a rapid pace. In December 2016, congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act to help advance innovation in biomedical research, spending $6.3 billion on various medical research initiatives. This means BS graduates could have even more opportunities to work in research hospitals, universities, labs, and other research institutes. The varied nature of coursework in a biomedical sciences degree allows for you to pursue research on the topics that most interest you.
7. Zoologist: Believe it or not, biomedical sciences can prepare you for further study in the field of zoology. Although most people who study biomedical sciences go on to work in fields related to human biology, the emphasis on basic biology as well as drug research, development of diagnostic techniques, naturally occurring antimicrobials, and so on apply to the rest of the animal kingdom as well.
8. Nutritionist: A BS degree provides the prerequisites needed for nutritionists, who need a solid grasp of the medicinal properties of certain foods, the science behind human metabolism, and the importance of macro and micronutrients for optimal health and wellness.
The Biomedical Science Program at National University of Health Sciences
Now that you know about the advantages to studying biomedical science as an undergraduate student, you’re probably curious about where you can find a program that will prepare you well for these exciting post-grad career and educational opportunities. NUHS bachelor of biomedical science is a completion program designed for students who have already begun their college education and need to finish their degree. The program allows you to select from any of our 40+ classes to develop a curriculum that will specifically fit your future plans. This kind of flexibility, plus the opportunity to learn from knowledgeable professors from a wide variety of fields of expertise, sets National University’s biomedical sciences degree apart from many others.