Changing Your Major

Finding the best fit starts here.

If you are contemplating changing your major, you are not alone! At least 80 percent of undergraduate students switch majors at least once before graduation.

There are many good reasons to change your major, and many good resources at UB to help you make a smooth transition. If you want or need redirection to a “better-fit” major, you are encouraged to:

  • Think about your strengths. Which classes were a challenge? Why? What classes did you enjoy most?
  • Understand there are many academic programs and careers to help you achieve your goals.
  • Speak with an academic advisor and career counselor who can help guide you through the decision making process.
  • Be mindful that you need to gain acceptance to a major by no later than 60 credits completed, maintain appropriate academic, state and federal financial progress, and finish your degree in 4 years.

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Alternative Majors

Remember that many majors and minors may share aspects of your first-choice program. If your original major was in one of UB’s professional schools, here are some alternatives you can explore.

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Explore these alternative majors to Architecture

Art—A major in art is a good fit for students who are drawn to architecture but are looking for more open-ended creative flexibility. If you are interested in graphic design, emerging practices, painting, photography, print media, sculpture or general studio, then the art major could be perfect for you. Many alumni go on to become successful artists. Other possible careers include working in art galleries, museums and auction houses as directors, curators, preparators, installers and art handlers, as well as in conservation, fabrication, grant writing and more.

Art History—The major in art history explores what the visual arts reveal about the cultures that produced them. These arts include painting, sculpture, performance art, graphic arts, architecture, photography and decorative arts. Using a diverse range of methodological approaches, the art history faculty help students acquire the necessary tools and knowledge to make sense of our visual world. An art history major is ideal for students who wish to pursue a career in the arts, but it is equally valuable for those seeking to develop visual, analytical and communicative skills.

*Business Administration—The curriculum of the business administration program emphasizes a broad exposure to mathematics and the social sciences along with a general education in management studies. The programs of study in management give particular attention to understanding the role of the business firm in society; the management functions of planning and control; the behavior of organizations; the tools of modern management; and the ways in which managers perform such functions as operations and supply chain management, production, marketing, finance, management information systems and human resources management. There are nine undergraduate concentrations in the business administration program, including data analytics, entrepreneurship, financial analysis, general management, human resources management, international business, management information systems, marketing and operations and supply chain management. The School of Management also offers an Information Technology and Management degree. *Selective admission

*Civil Engineering—Civil engineers build societies, from the landmarks that define who we are to the hidden infrastructure essential to our quality of life. Projects such as the Hoover Dam, the Tappen Zee Bridge, Boston’s “Big Dig,” the interstate highway system, and New York City’s water supply system illustrate the diversity, scale, grandeur and functionality that is civil engineering. Because they often work in the public arena, civil engineers require broad technical training as well as strong communication skills, and usually must be licensed as professional engineers. *Selective admission

*Computer Science—Computer science is the systematic study of algorithmic methods of representing and transforming information, including theory, design, application and efficiency. In addition to algorithms and computation theory, this major focuses on software systems and engineering, artificial intelligence, graphics, networks and databases. Both the BA and the BS programs are excellent preparation for graduate study or professional positions in the computing field. *Selective admission

Environmental Design—Environmental design, offered by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, prepares students for careers that shape our natural and built environments. Through methods of design inquiry, students learn the planning and development of healthy, sustainable, and vibrant communities, as well as acquire skills to improve physical places in which people live, work and play. Environmental design encompasses natural landscapes, neighborhood design, buildings, historic assets, ecological features, land development, transportation and infrastructure systems. Environmental designers help communities make decisions concerning physical development, preservation, safety, mobility and environmental protection, utilizing the Buffalo Niagara region as their design workshop.

Mathematics—A mathematics degree has diverse applications in the social, managerial and physical sciences, and can lead to a career in business and industry, government agencies, teaching or research. The department offers both a BA and a BS as well as a variety of program tracks for students preparing for graduate study in either pure or applied mathematics.

*Mechanical Engineering—is one of the broadest of the engineering disciplines and one of the most practical. Mechanical engineers are involved in research and development, innovation, design, manufacturing, and technical sales of a wide variety of products. Specific areas of involvement include computer-aided design and manufacturing, robotics, autonomous systems, sustainable energy systems, power-producing machines, engines, materials, vehicles and systems of transportation, industrial production equipment, control and sensor devices, instrumentation, biomedical devices, pollution control devices, underwater technology, space flight equipment advanced propulsion systems, and safety devices and sensors. *Selective admission

Media Study—Media study offers degree programs in media production and critical studies. Courses taught in the production of media cover 16-mm film camera work and editing, video camera use, nonlinear (computer) editing, documentary making, virtual reality creation, robotics, computer animation, web-based art and interactive software development, including gaming. Students are exposed to multiple mediums to foster artistic talent and encourage ingenuity.

Explore these alternative majors to Biomedical Sciences

*Biochemistry—Students seeking to examine the chemical basis of life while building a solid foundation in biochemical processes and research should consider studying biochemistry. The major is suitable for students with good laboratory and analytical ability. While a majority of graduates go on to pursue professional degrees in dentistry and medicine or attend graduate school, some find employment in such fields as consumer protection, food and drug analysis and technology, pharmaceutics, sales and more. *Selective admission

Biological Sciences—Students with a biological sciences degree find employment in such diverse fields as science writing, medical illustration, biologically oriented computer applications, teaching, sales, marketing, horticulture and as research technicians. A BA in biology allows students to do elective laboratory and lecture courses while providing a broad-based education in the biological sciences. The BS program provides the opportunity for in-depth study within sub-disciplines of the biological sciences, including cell and molecular biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, and pre-health studies.

*Biotechnology—Biotechnology is geared toward students interested in scientific careers in the rapidly expanding biotechnology industry. Employment is extremely varied and available in both the public and private sectors, industry research, regulatory affairs, management, sales and education. Biotechnology also provides an excellent background for advanced graduate or professional degrees in the sciences. Interdisciplinary in approach, the program provides a core curriculum of basic science and mathematics courses, and students choose technical electives from anthropology, pharmacology and toxicology, biology, chemistry, medicinal chemistry, medical technology and other majors according to their career goals. *Selective admission

Chemistry—Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry often work as bench chemists in industry, hospitals and government laboratories, or attend graduate or professional schools in such areas as medicine, law or business. The chemistry department offers two degree programs, in which students can specialize in analytical, inorganic, medicinal, organic or physical chemistry. The BA program is designed for students who wish to pursue a very flexible course of study, while the BS program is for those who desire more complete training in chemistry and plan to continue professionally in the field or pursue a PhD after graduation.

Medicinal Chemistry—Medicinal chemistry is an interdisciplinary area incorporating synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology and pharmaceutical chemistry in the search for better drugs. Medicinal chemists have the opportunity to advance science and to also see their work directly contribute to alleviating many of the diseases afflicting humankind.

*Medical Technology—Medical technology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disease. It is a field of applied biology and chemistry and is appropriate for students interested in the delivery of health care services. The BS program in medical technology is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing heavily upon the resources of both the natural sciences and the health sciences. Career opportunities for medical technologists are extremely varied, and employment is available in both the public and private sectors. Work settings include hospital or private laboratories, instrument manufacturers, research or industrial laboratories, and scientific writing or editing situations, to name a few. *Selective admission

*Neuroscience—Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of study that allows individuals to decipher the nervous system which guides all behavior, and cognition. In this program, students will examine the function and dysfunction of the brain through the utilization of a molecules-to-behavior approach. Students who complete a BS in neuroscience will be prepared and competitive for further study in both professional and graduate school. In addition, these students will be well-equipped to enter the job market in which neuroscience has become an increasingly driving force. *Selective admission

*Nuclear Medicine Technology—The BS in nuclear medicine technology prepares students for a health-related profession that uses radioactive materials for diagnostic, therapeutic and research purposes. Although it is a highly technical profession, the field also offers a lot of patient interaction. The majority of positions in the nuclear medicine technology field are in hospitals, physicians’ offices and outpatient imaging centers. Nuclear medicine technologists can also branch into health physics or work for commercial companies in sales, research or education. *Selective admission

Pharmaceutical Sciences—Graduates of the pharmaceutical sciences major are highly sought for employment in pharmaceutical research environments. Graduates may also find opportunities in university, hospital or pharmaceutical industry settings as research associates, drug analysts, manufacturing/production technologists or marketing/sales drug representatives, or they may pursue graduate studies. The program offers a unique interdisciplinary field of study that seeks to achieve better understanding of the factors influencing clinical responses to drug therapy. Coursework includes biology, chemistry, biochemistry and mathematics.

*Pharmacology and Toxicology—The BS in pharmacology and toxicology provides strong preparation for graduate study in the biomedical sciences and for professional programs such as pharmacy, medicine, dentistry and law. The broad academic background of a pharmacology and toxicology degree provides students with a wide array of career opportunities, including those in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, government or university laboratories, and technical or sales positions. Conceptually, this program is based on fundamental sciences, including physics, chemistry and mathematics, and it borrows from developments in allied biomedical fields such as physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology. *Selective admission

Psychology—The Department of Psychology offers both BA and BS degrees. The BS program includes strong science-oriented training that emphasizes the scientific foundation of psychology along with a strong basic science background. The BA program allows students to pursue diverse interests while obtaining a strong foundation in the behavioral sciences. Graduates of the program are prepared for science-based professions as well as for advanced training in psychology, medicine, cognitive science, neuroscience and related disciplines.

Public Health The BS in public health provides students with the skills necessary to understand the complex factors that influence the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations and to address these factors using a public health approach to improve health outcomes for both individuals and societies. The discipline is a combination of both the science and art of advancing the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations through education, promotion of healthy behaviors, and research for disease and injury prevention.

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary—The interdisciplinary degree programs in the social sciences offer students an opportunity to focus on a particular thematic area of interdisciplinary studies whose breadth and diversity overlap several departments. Each program is designed to offer choice and flexibility in building a program most suitable for individual interests and career goals. There are two different concentrations within the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary BA program: cognitive science and international studies. There are also BA programs available in health and human services, legal studies, and urban and public policy studies.

Explore these alternative majors to Engineering

Architecture—In addition to technical skills that relate to constructed and natural environments, architects must have knowledge of human behavior and needs. In this major, students focus on architectural communications, model-making and other visual skills, as well as issues and methods of design and construction. The BS in architecture is useful as a foundation for the architectural field as preparation for a professional degree program or for employment in related areas, such as urban planning, facilities management, real estate or architectural preservation.

Art—Yes, art! If you like using your creativity and visual abilities, you may enjoy graphic design (BFA or BA). An increasingly wide range of careers value imaging skills and creative problem solving, including commercial and freelance graphic design, web and CD-ROM design and arts management.

*Computer Science—Computer science is a suitable alternative to computer engineering. Computer science is the systematic study of algorithmic methods of representing and transforming information, including theory, design, application and efficiency. In addition to algorithms and computation theory, this major focuses on software systems and engineering, artificial intelligence, graphics, networks and databases. Both the BA and the BS programs are excellent preparation for graduate study or professional positions in the computing field. *Selective admission

Environmental Design—Environmental design, offered by the School of Architecture and Planning, prepares students for careers that shape our natural and built environments. Through methods of design inquiry, students learn the planning and development of sustainable communities, as well as acquire graphics skills to improve physical places in which people live, work, and play. Environmental design encompasses natural landscapes, neighborhood design, buildings, historic structures, urban environments, ecological features, real estate development, constructed spaces, transportation, and infrastructure systems. Environmental designers help communities make decisions concerning physical development, preservation, urban design, housing, mobility, and environmental planning, utilizing the Buffalo Niagara region as their design workshop.

Environmental Studies—Environmental Studies is designed for students who are interested in studying how humans interact with the natural environment. It offers both a BS and a BA and draws on courses from the natural and social sciences in order to study environmental problems, processes, resources and policies. Fieldwork and internships are a required part of the curriculum. Specialized tracks delve into a defined area within the field of environmental studies. Graduates of this major frequently find employment in the areas of government, advocacy, community education and organizing, and business, and/or pursue advanced study in programs such as biology, environmental policy, law or environmental science.

Geography The geography BA prepares students to think critically about how and why the location and arrangements in space of human and natural phenomena contribute to a wide-range of issues affecting the environment and society. The BS in geographic information science (GIS) prepares students to process, collect and manage geospatial data; to analyze and quantify spatial relationships; and to evaluate, design, and produce maps. The GIS degree allows training in cartography (the art and science of mapmaking), remote sensing (digital information about the earth through electronic sensors), and GIS (a set of theories and tools for analyzing spatial data), as well as sub-disciplines in geography, such as physical geography (e.g. environment) or human geography (e.g. health). Graduates can find employment in such areas as consulting companies, engineering and marketing consulting, GIS software development, government agencies, planning offices and social services organizations.

Mathematics—A mathematics degree has diverse applications in the social, managerial and physical sciences, and can lead to a career in business and industry, government agencies, teaching or research. The department offers both a BA and a BS as well as a variety of program tracks for students preparing for graduate study in either pure or applied mathematics.

Natural Sciences & Other Majors—Majoring in one of the sciences is a logical option due to easily transferable course requirements and similar interests. Whether you choose biology, chemistry, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, geology or physics, a BA or BS degree can lead to a variety of careers, from ecology to patent law, teaching to public health, meteorology to genetic research.

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary—The cognitive science concentration studies how the mind works. It investigates thought and consciousness, the senses and emotions, the structure of language, cultural patterns, neural organization and the computational analogs of mental processes. Students use an interdisciplinary approach to examine the cognitive aspects of such fields as artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, philosophy and computational linguistics. Students often choose to pursue graduate work in fields such as psychology, cognitive science or linguistics.

More Alternatives

You can also consider the BS degree program in accounting or business administration, with a possible concentration in financial analysis or management information systems. Majors such as psychology, English, history, sociology or any other liberal arts field can be as attractive to potential employers as a degree in business.

Explore these alternative majors to Management

Communication—As a communication major, you will gain comprehensive knowledge of the nature of human communication. The coursework for this liberal arts degree emphasizes writing, speaking and theory, and places less emphasis on math skills than the degree in business administration. Communication majors find careers in marketing, public relations, human resources, mass media, advertising and a variety of other areas in business.

Economics—An economics degree focuses on production and employment issues; money and banking systems; government taxing and spending; and international trade and finance. The theories learned in this social science about the efficient use of resources are widely applicable to a number of business areas. Other options to consider include a minor in economics or a joint degree in economics and geography.

International Trade - The degree in international trade focuses on the study of global production and innovation networks, international trade patterns and regulations, the impact of global business on communities and regions, and the diffusion of information and ideas. A degree is also available in international trade, which focuses on the study of global production and innovation networks, international trade patterns and regulations, the impact of global business on communities and regions and intercultural business practices. Graduates can find employment in such areas as consulting companies, government agencies, planning offices, multinational corporations, and social services organizations. Joint majors are encouraged and students can also minor in geography with a focus on international business and world trade.

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary — The international studies concentration is designed for students who want to develop a global understanding of the world today. The program is rooted in the belief that significant language competence is fundamental to international competence and that interdisciplinary study provides a deeper understanding of the world’s events. International studies provides useful background for careers with international involvement, and emphasizes foreign language studies, politics and trade. Some graduates choose to pursue careers with international businesses, foreign governments, or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), while others opt to work domestically by providing services or advocacy for immigrants or refugees.

Urban and Public Policy Studies Urban and public policy studies provides an opportunity for students to explore a number of important contemporary issues that influence life in the United States. Students can explore such questions by taking courses in political science, sociology, economics, geography, and environmental design, which offers a rich interdisciplinary perspective to different methodological approaches to the study of cities and policies. The major provides an excellent foundation for students who wish to pursue a wide range of careers, including government, urban planning and development, community/nonprofit work, real estate, and business, or to go on to advanced study in urban planning, public policy, public administration, social sciences, or law school.

Design a special studies major. With the guidance of two faculty members and an advisor, you can create your own academic major program. For example, arts management and international marketing are just a few creative ways to combine courses into a business-related degree.

Other disciplines for students seeking a career in business

Believe it or not, a degree in computer science or a degree in psychology, English, history, sociology, political science or any other liberal arts field will prepare you well for success in the modern job market. With 110+ majors to choose from, you have a lot of options at UB.

Explore these alternative majors to Nursing

*Business Administration—The curriculum of the business administration program emphasizes a broad exposure to mathematics and the social sciences along with a general education in management studies. The programs of study in management give particular attention to understanding the role of the business firm in society; the management functions of planning and control; the behavior of organizations; the tools of modern management; and the ways in which managers perform such functions as operations and supply chain management, production, marketing, finance, management information systems and human resources management. There are nine undergraduate concentrations in the business administration program, including data analytics, entrepreneurship, financial analysis, general management, human resources management, international business, management information systems, marketing and operations and supply chain management. The School of Management also offers an Information Technology and Management degree. *Selective admission

Exercise Science—Studies how human movement influences health, fitness, performance and disease prevention. With a BS degree, students gain a solid knowledge base in various aspects of human physical activity (physiological, biomechanical and nutritional). The major prepares students for careers in settings such as hospitals, educational institutions, corporations, fitness facilities and community centers.

Health and Human Services—Health and human services studies the systems that deliver human services to individuals and communities in need, the problems affecting those individuals and communities, and the professions and professionals providing services. A structured internship program within the major adds to the diversity of experience available. The child and family studies concentration is designed for students with an interest in child development, the social and educational institutions that influence children and families, and the treatments and interventions associated with childhood issues. The concentration in community mental health is designed for students with an interest in the mental health field and examining the personal and social factors that affect mental health and wellness. The social gerontology concentration is designed for students with an interest in the aging process and health care issues as they pertain to older adults. Graduates of the health and human services major frequently establish careers in human services, health and counseling.

Nutrition—The study of nutrition concerns social, economic, cultural and psychological implications of food and eating. While nutrition is not an undergraduate major at UB, you can design a special studies major in the field of nutrition sciences with the help of two faculty members and an advisor. Coursework in this specialized major includes topics such as nutritional sciences, physiology, statistics, chemistry and physics. The minor in nutrition provides a foundation in human nutrition. Given the role that nutrition plays in chronic disease, mental health, public health, and physical activity, the minor compliments many majors that currently exist and allows students to explore nutrition in more depth while pursuing other disciplines, such as Exercise Science, Psychology and Occupational Therapy. Nutrition specialists work in hospitals, nursing homes and many other health organizations. Additional education at the graduate level may be required for some positions.

Psychology—As a psychology major, you will gain an understanding of the basic processes of sensation, perception, learning, cognition, development and personality, along with principles of social psychology, clinical psychology and behavioral neuroscience. The coursework for this degree emphasizes the scientific foundations of human behavior, but places less emphasis on science and laboratory skills than a degree in nursing. Psychology majors can be found in hospitals, mental health facilities, in the field of occupational therapy, and in a variety of other areas in the health field. Many careers require additional education at the graduate level.

Public Health—The BS in public health provides students with the skills necessary to understand the complex factors that influence the health of individuals, families, communities and populations and to address these factors using a public health approach to improve health outcomes for both individuals and societies. The discipline is a combination of both the science and art of advancing the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations through education, promotion of healthy behaviors, and research for disease and injury prevention. The minor in public health provides an advanced understanding of population-level approaches to protecting and improving health and is particularly desirable to students preparing to pursue a health-related career.

*Occupational Therapy The combined BS/MS program allows students to enter the field as occupational therapists in five years. In the first two years, a liberal arts education allows flexibility to meet student interests while preparing for study in the professional program. Once in the OT professional program, students develop clinical evaluation and intervention skills to work with individuals of all ages with physical, psychosocial, and cognitive challenges to work toward improving their health and function. Occupational therapists work in all types of private, nonprofit and public settings including schools, job training services, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, and community health agencies. *Selective admission

Speech and Hearing Science—The speech and hearing science program deals with the development of various communicative processes, the causes of communicative disorders, the ways in which these disorders manifest themselves, the techniques used to analyze speech, language and hearing disorders and the methods used to remedy these problems. The two primary subfields in communicative disorders and sciences are speech-language pathology and audiology. The undergraduate major in speech and hearing science is a pre-professional program. Students must earn a graduate degree in this field in order to obtain national certification, state licensure or teacher certification.

Explore these alternative majors to Pharmacy

Biological Sciences—Students with a biological sciences degree find employment in such diverse fields as science writing, medical illustration, biologically oriented computer applications, teaching, sales, marketing, horticulture and as research technicians. The BA program allows students to do elective laboratory and lecture courses while providing a broad-based education in the biological sciences. The BS program provides the opportunity for in-depth study within sub-disciplines of the biological sciences, including cell and molecular biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, and pre-health studies.

*Biomedical Sciences—A BS in biomedical sciences enables students to increase the breadth of their undergraduate experience, combine courses from various departments within the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and focus their undergraduate experience in preparation for professional or graduate studies. This major requires students to take core courses that are traditionally considered prerequisites for professional programs in medicine, dentistry, optometry and veterinary medicine. These courses are also generally required for admission to most graduate programs in health science disciplines. A small number of graduates who enter the job market upon graduation pursue careers in pharmaceutical sales or as laboratory technicians. *Selective admission

Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry—Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry often work as bench chemists in industry, hospitals and government laboratories, or attend graduate or professional schools in such areas as medicine, law or business. The chemistry department offers two degree programs in which students can specialize in analytical, inorganic, medicinal, organic or physical chemistry. The BA program is designed for students who wish to pursue a very flexible course of study, while the BS program is for those who desire more complete training in chemistry and plan to continue professionally in the field or pursue a PhD after graduation. Medicinal chemistry is an interdisciplinary area incorporating synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology and pharmaceutical chemistry in the search for better drugs. Medicinal chemists have the opportunity to advance science and to also see their work directly contribute to alleviating many of the diseases afflicting humankind.

Exercise Science—Studies how human movement influences health, fitness, performance and disease prevention. With a BS degree, students gain a solid knowledge base in various aspects of human physical activity (physiological, biomechanical and nutritional). The major prepares students for careers in settings such as hospitals, educational institutions, corporations, fitness facilities and community centers.

*Pharmaceutical Sciences—Graduates of the pharmaceutical sciences major are highly sought for employment in pharmaceutical research environments. Graduates may also find opportunities in university, hospital or pharmaceutical industry settings as research associates, drug analysts, manufacturing/production technologists or marketing/sales drug representatives, or they may pursue graduate studies. The program offers a unique interdisciplinary field of study that seeks to achieve better understanding of the factors influencing clinical responses to drug therapy. Coursework includes biology, chemistry, biochemistry and mathematics. *Selective admission

*Pharmacology and Toxicology—The BS in pharmacology and toxicology provides strong preparation for graduate study in the biomedical sciences and for professional programs such as pharmacy, medicine, dentistry and law. The broad academic background of a pharmacology and toxicology degree provides students with a wide array of career opportunities, including those in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, government or university laboratories, and technical or sales positions. Conceptually, the program is based on fundamental sciences, including physics, chemistry and mathematics, and it borrows from developments in allied biomedical fields such as physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology. *Selective admission

Public Health—The BS in public health provides provides students with the skills necessary to understand the complex factors that influence the health of individuals, families, communities and populations and to address these factors using a public health approach to improve health outcomes for both individuals and societies. The discipline is a combination of both the science and art of advancing the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations through education, promotion of healthy behaviors, and research for disease and injury prevention. The minor in public health provides an advanced understanding of population-level approaches to protecting and improving health and is particularly desirable to students preparing to pursue a health-related career.

Other alternative scientific disciplines for students strong in science and mathematics

Refer to the Degrees & Programs section of the Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog. Examples include engineering, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology (BS) and physics. Multidisciplinary fields such as anthropology, business, economics, psychology (BA), sociology, social sciences interdisciplinary and other College of Arts and Sciences majors can also provide a variety of skills that are attractive to potential employers.

Explore these alternative majors to Public Health & Health Professions (Exercise Science, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Public Health)

Anthropology—Anthropology combines the biological, historical and social sciences in a unique study of humankind. The discipline examines and attempts to understand humankind as a whole and to study the human being as an animal, a social creature and a literate being. The program includes the subfields of archaeology, cultural anthropology and biological anthropology. Archaeology studies the historical development of human cultures by analyzing cultural remains. Cultural anthropology studies the innate, shared and transmitted products of social groups. Biological anthropology studies the origins, adaptations and evolution of our own species and of our primate relatives. Several work settings for anthropology majors include government, education, banking, personnel work, public relations, marketing research and human services.

Communication—The communication major investigates communication processes as they occur among individuals, groups, organizations and societies. Students can explore interpersonal, small group, organizational, mass, and international or intercultural communication as a part of their studies. Graduates of this program often take positions as interviewers, counselors, representatives, negotiators and recruiters in the fields of personnel, public relations, customer relations, advertising, labor relations, public information and sales.

Geography—The Department of Geography offers courses in health geography and spatial data analysis. In working toward a BA in geography, students have the option to select courses to focus upon understanding patterns of disease clusters, spread of disease, urban health inequalities, access to health care and tropical/infectious diseases. Courses in health geography can be combined with classes in geographic information science and statistics to study spatial epidemiology. Graduates can find employment in such areas as consulting companies, government agencies, multinational corporations, and social services organizations.

Health and Human Services—Health and human services studies the systems that deliver human services to individuals and communities in need, the problems affecting those individuals and communities, and the professions and professionals providing services. A structured internship program within the major adds to the diversity of experience available. The child and family studies concentration is designed for students with an interest in child development, the social and educational institutions that influence children and families, and the treatments and interventions associated with childhood issues. The concentration in community mental health is designed for students with an interest in the mental health field and examining the personal and social factors that affect mental health and wellness. The social gerontology concentration is designed for students with an interest in the aging process and health care issues as they pertain to older adults. Graduates of the health and human services major frequently establish careers in human services, health and counseling.

Psychology—Psychology is the science of behavior and the mind. In both the BA and the BS programs, the study of psychology provides an understanding of basic processes of sensation, perception, learning, cognition, development and personality, along with principles of social psychology, clinical psychology and behavioral neuroscience. The basic goal of the BS program is to integrate the scientific foundation of psychology with a strong basic science background to better prepare students for advanced training in psychology, medicine, cognitive science, neuroscience and other related disciplines.

Sociology—Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations and societies, and how people interact and behave within these contexts. Graduates with a degree in sociology apply the sociological perspective to such sectors as business, education, the health professions, the criminal justice system, social services and the government.

Speech and Hearing Science—The speech and hearing science program deals with the development of various communicative processes, the causes of communicative disorders, the ways in which these disorders manifest themselves, the techniques used to analyze speech, language and hearing disorders and the methods used to remedy these problems. The two primary subfields in communicative disorders and sciences are speech-language pathology and audiology. The undergraduate major in speech and hearing science is a pre-professional program. Students must earn a graduate degree in this field in order to obtain national certification, state licensure or teacher certification.

Public Health minor—The minor in public health provides an advanced understanding of population-level approaches to protecting and improving health and is particularly desirable to students preparing to pursue a health-related career. The discipline is a combination of both the science and art of advancing the health of individuals, families, communities and populations through education, promotion of healthy behaviors, and research for disease and injury prevention.

Other scientific disciplines for students strong in science and mathematics include:

  • biochemistry
  • biomedical sciences
  • engineering
  • medical technology
  • nuclear medicine technology
  • nursing
  • pharmacy
  • physics

Refer to the Degrees & Programs section of the Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog for other multidisciplinary fields that can serve as an alternative to the public health professions, such as business, economics, and many other College of Arts and Sciences programs that will prepare you well for success in the modern job market.

Last updated: May 13, 2021 4:44 pm EST

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