Science + Health

Uncover Your Curiosity

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Have you ever found yourself wondering why something is the way it is? Do you want to generate new insights through cutting-edge innovations? Perhaps you strive to use recent advancements to help others or address large-scale problems? You may be a scientist in the making.

With the world at your fingertips, UCSB presents you with a number of opportunities, resources, and experts to help you build your career in Science + Health. Whether your interests lie in the life and physical sciences, health professions, biotechnology, environmental studies, physical geography, or other areas that call you, a career in Science + Health can put you at the forefront of humankind's greatest discoveries and advancements.



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Discover Options: Science + Health

For complete information on assessing yourself, choosing majors, and exploring careers, review our starter tips to Discover Options in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.

Gathering Information on Your Options

Oftentimes, careers in Science + Health are conceptualized as a choice between two occupations: Physician and Professor. However, there are hundreds of career paths within Science + Health; the challenge is discovering and navigating the opportunities available to you at different points in your education and experience.

To begin navigating your options, it is important to consider what you enjoy about Science + Health. 

  • Do you like experimenting in a laboratory? 
  • Are you interested in working in a field position? 
  • Can you see yourself in a hospital setting? If so, is it a big hospital, or a local one? 
  • Are you drawn to the idea of small, remote clinic or international work?
  • Are you interested in working with complex, potentially breakthrough ideas?
  • Do you aspire to help individuals directly?
  • Do you want to travel for your work?

No answers are right or wrong, as there are excellent career opportunities in the Science + Health field for all types of individuals; some are less obvious than others. For example, a Bachelor of Science degree can invite you to the worlds of Biotechnology and Drug Development, Scientific Writing, as well as Technical / Scientific Product Support, all of which fall under the umbrella of Clinical Health

In addition, obtaining a degree in the Environmental Science field can prepare you to lead others in making a positive impact on our environment. Knowledge of Physical Sciences can equip you with skills to engineer, manage architecture, and pursue astronomy. 

Whatever you choose to pursue, trust that it will provide you with a strong foundation in your scientific career.


Choosing Your Degree

The first step in pursuing a career in Science + Health is determining a degree. Depending on the field you pursue, different degrees will equip you with different specializations in skills to implement afterwards. Most degrees related to Science + Health at UCSB focus on academic research, thus preparing you for graduate school and beyond. We recommend thoroughly reviewing your options and taking prerequisite coursework before committing to a degree; this will help to ensure that you are on the best path for yourself and your career. 

Click below to see lists of UCSB degrees related to specific fields in Science + Health:

The Environmental Studies program at UCSB offers 3 degrees

  • Environmental Studies, B.A. 
  • Environmental Studies, B.S.
  • Hydrological Sciences & Policy, B.S. 

Additionally, it is important to note that these are not the only majors relevant to a career in environmental sciences. Know that you can study a number of other majors that can offer you insight regarding different aspects of environmental science:

  • Aquatic Biology
  • Earth Science
  • Ecology & Evolution
  • Geography
  • Physical Geography
  • Zoology

Want to learn more about careers in climate science? Check out the Climate Career Moves blog, featuring personalized advice from the former Director of UCSB Career Services, Dennis Nord!

If you are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, make sure you take all of the required undergraduate coursework while at UCSB. Students can pursue these through: 

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biopsychology
  • Cell & Developmental Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Psychological & Brain Sciences 

Since most healthcare careers will require additional education after graduation, it is important to remain on track during your time at UCSB. Because of this, we advise consistently reviewing the Pre-Health Tracks pages and speaking with an advisor.

UCSB degrees in the realm of physical science include:

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Physical Geography
  • Physics
  • Physiology

Knowledge in these areas can equip you with tools necessary for careers in fields such as medicine, geology, engineering, astronomy, and material sciences. 

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of majors and career paths available at UCSB; you can apply these degrees to various fields in various fashions. To learn about the areas of study at UCSB, we recommend that you explore the full lists of Undergraduate Majors and Undergraduate Minors, and speak to academic advisors in departments of interest.


If you are struggling to determine a UCSB major, see our Self-Assessment page for assistance in determining major options and matching careers.

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