Applied Health Science, B.S.

Program Overview

Are you driven by curiosity, creativity, and the desire to improve the health of others? Are you equally fascinated by the human body and the sciences? If so, applied health science may be the perfect path for you.

A major in applied health science equips you to implement scientific principles together with practical clinical experience toward improving quality of life for patients in the healthcare and fitness industries.

A PLNU Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science prepares you for a rewarding professional career in the rapidly growing healthcare industry. You can use your degree as a springboard for graduate school in health-related fields.

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Student Profile

James Salassi

Lieutenant James Salassi serves in the U.S. Navy as an Aerospace and Operational Physiologist, conducting various aspects of survival training for aviators and aircrew members.

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Early courses in kinesiology, chemistry, and biology will provide the framework for you to apply concepts toward analyzing human movement, designing interventions to prevent injury, and improving function. Advanced courses in biomechanics, exercise physiology, and pathology, as well as electives like therapeutic exercise, orthopedic assessment, or neuroscience will connect your passions for healthcare, fitness, and exercise into applicable coursework.

At the same time, you can look forward to relevant practical experience working closely with other students and professors in clinical environments. With a high emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning, you will find yourself immersed in internships with local hospitals — acute care or outpatient physical therapy, emergency rooms, primary care, pediatrics, cardiac rehabilitation, or Veteran's Administration hospitals — and clinics: sports medicine, medical offices, and outpatient surgery.

As an applied health science student, you are given the support and encouragement to achieve the following during your undergraduate years:

  • Targeting the graduate schools you are most interested in attending and understanding the prerequisites unique to those institutions
  • Completing a program that includes all necessary prerequisites for your targeted graduate schools
  • Taking part in internships tailored specifically for your interests
  • Engaging in original research with the faculty and students in the Department of Kinesiology
  • Requesting professor and/or supervising internship clinicians to write letters of recommendation
  • Participating in departmental and graduate school application seminars
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Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

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Career Opportunities

Those considering health science as a career are entering into a field of exponential potential. The U.S. Department of Labor expects the job rate growth of health science occupations to outpace the national average of most industries over the next six years. PLNU applied health science majors find great success in developing the strengths and experience needed in preparation for graduate school programs. With an academic plan formulated on each individual, you can maximize the quality and efficiency of your degree to thrive in graduate school and as a professional practitioner.

Professor Jeff Sullivan balances on one leg as he gives a class demonstration in the Athletic Training Center


Jeff Sullivan, Ph.D., ATC

When students ask PLNU professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology Dr. Jeff Sullivan for career advice, he tells them to find what they’re passionate about and distinctly gifted in and use that to partner with God. For Sullivan, this is more than advice; these are the words he lives by.

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A Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science can lead to a career in the following:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Chiropractic
  • Podiatry
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Biomechanics
  • Orthotists and Prosthetists
  • Many other Medical, Allied Health, and Academic Careers

Department Faculty