Health Science

  • Overview
  • FAQs
  • First year course
Health care is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic industries in the world, and GCC’s Health Science option is an excellent opportunity to find out if a health care career is for you! One of our most popular programs, Health Science gives you a solid foundation in liberal arts, a broad survey of health care jobs, and an emphasis on continued study in health science with options for transfer into one of our professional health occupations programs or a bachelor’s degree program.

A passion for science and technology, combined with a commitment to care, enables health care providers to respond to the needs of millions of individuals around the world, from newborns to the critically ill.  According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment growth in health care is expected to account for about 3 million new wage and salary jobs—20 percent of all wage and salary jobs added to the economy over the 2006-16 period.

Rapidly changing demand due to an aging population, combined with new possibilities with advancements in technology, make health care the fastest growing and most dynamic career field of our time.  Clinical developments, such as infection control, less invasive surgical techniques, advances in reproductive technology, and gene therapy for cancer treatment, continue to increase longevity and improve the quality of life of many Americans.

The basic Liberal Arts degree, which offers flexibility of focus alongside a breadth of academic fields, is supplemented with a grounding in health-related sciences in this option. You’ll learn about how Biology, Chemistry, or Physics underlies our understanding of human health. In addition, you’ll take a Survey of Health Careers course to understand the career options that might lie ahead of you. You may also bring academic experience in Emergency Medical Services, Massage Therapy, or Nursing to bear in this option.

Curriculum documents

This is just one way you might complete the Health Science program in 4 semesters over 2 years of full-time study, or 8 semesters over 4 years of part-time study. (Sample course sequences assume that all pre-requisites have been satisfied and the student is prepared for college-level work.) For a detailed list of required courses, optional electives and program information, download the Health Science program description from our official academic catalog.

Course descriptions are also available in the catalog. Find courses

Sample 2 Year Sequence of Courses
Fall 1Spring 1Fall 2Spring 2
ENG Comp. I
BIO course
HSC 101 or HSC 127, or 3 credits coded EMS, MAC, MOM, or NUR
MAT 114
ENG Comp. II
BIO course
HIS course
PSY 101
Open elective
CHE 111
MAT 107 or MAT 151
Beh/Social Science elective
ENG 200 level course
CHE 112
Beh/Social Science elective
PCS course
Humanities elective
Open elective
Sample 4 Year Sequence of Courses
Fall 1Spring 1Fall 2Spring 2
ENG Comp. I
BIO course
HSC 101 or HSC 127 or 3 credits coded EMS, MAC, MOM, or NUR
MAT 114
ENG Comp. II
BIO course
HIS course
PSY 101
Open elective
Fall 3Spring 3Fall 4Spring 4
CHE 111
Beh/Social Science elective
CHE 112
ENG 200 level course
MAT 107 or MAT 151
PCS course
Beh/Social Science elective
Humanities elective
Open elective

What’s next

Transfer to a Baccalaureate program related to health science, or a certificate or associate degree health occupation program such as clinical laboratory science or radiologic technology.

Consider this program if

  • You want a broad as well as deep understanding of the foundations of health science.
  • You want to work in a variety of health occupations.
  • You want to pursue higher academic study in health-related fields or technical training in health occupations.

By taking classes in a Liberal Arts option, students complete courses that help develop 100 and 200 course level knowledge and skills in a particular field. If you don’t satisfy the requirements of a specific Liberal Arts option, you may still be able to fulfill the requirements of another option, or fulfill the requirements of the Liberal Arts General degree. Students are advised to work closely with their GCC advisor to select the specific courses that will help meet their career or transfer goals. Note: Students who complete a Liberal Arts option will graduate with the degree “Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts.” Your area of concentration is reflected only in your transcript, not your diploma.

What can I do with an Associate’s degree in Health Science?

The Health Science Option is designed to transfer to a four-year institution with the potential to fulfill general education credit requirements and set a strong foundation in Health Sciences.  The degree also has built-in flexibility to allow for specific requirements for a major at the transfer institution.

Additionally, some students complete a Health Science associate’s degree before applying to an allied health program.

How long does it take to complete the Health Science Option in Liberal Arts?

The degree can be completed in two years as a full-time student.  However, students who work or have other responsibilities outside of school may need to take less than a full-time course load and complete the degree in 3 or more years.

What advantage does the Health Science Option provide students?

GCC has transfer agreements at a number of 4-year colleges.  Students who complete the LAH degree with a 2.5 GPA can automatically be accepted at:

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Worcester State University - Health Education (without teacher’s licensure)
  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts - BS in Biology
  • Bridgewater State University - School of Arts & Sciences; School of Education & Allied Studies

GCC also has an articulation agreement with

  • Bay Path University
  • Springfield College – Health Science/General Studies (allowing students to transfer in with 60 credits, completing the general education requirements at Springfield College)

Fore more information about transfer opportunities, visit gcc.mass.edu/transfer/schools/

I know I want to do something related to health care—I’m just not sure what it should be!

You are not alone!  Health sciences offer many choices for students who love science, from biotechnology to kinesiology to gerontology.  HSC 127 Survey of Health Careers, a required course for Health Science majors, helps students make an informed choice of major and career.  HSC 127 provides an excellent introduction to the wide range of professions in allied health, medicine, nursing, and health sciences.  Students meet professionals from a variety of clinical settings and develop a career plan using their own work style, interests, skills, and values.

Students also can work with GCC staff to choose a major and career path using a three-step process. Visit our Advising Center for more information about major and career advising.

HSC 127 – Survey of Health Careers

HSC 127-Survey of Health Careers is a required course in the Health Science (LAH) curriculum, recommended for the first year.  It is a 3-credit course offered in the fall, spring and summer semesters.

HSC 127 provides you with the opportunity to:

  • discover what competitive programs are looking for in their applicants
  • confirm or clarify your choice of a major
  • develop a career plan
  • map out your next steps
  • compare different majors and careers
  • hear guest speakers from a variety of professions
  • learn what other members of the health care team do
  • discover more about your work style, interests and values
  • match what you value, enjoy and are skilled in with a medical, allied health or health science career

Explore the variety of opportunities within the field of health science!

For more information contact Lou Peugh, 775-1848, peugh@gcc.mass.edu