Biola’s School of Science, Technology and Health to Launch Three New Undergraduate Programs

Applied physics, public health, and health science programs open doors to more career paths like aerospace, biotechnology, and public health for students

May. 6, 2019 By Irene Pan

In Fall 2019, Biola University’s School of Science, Technology, and Health will launch three new programs — Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics, Bachelor of Science in Public Health, and Bachelor of Science in Health Science. The three new degrees will open new career paths for students interested in pursuing careers in growing industries, such as aerospace, biotechnology and public health.


“Our three new undergraduate degrees in public health, health science, and applied physics will provide an even greater breadth of career options for our students in addition to our current offerings,” said Paul Ferguson, dean of Biola’s School of Science, Technology, and Health. “Grounded in our excellent basic science degree programs, each of these new programs provides new specialties and capabilities that can extend our students into professional fields that are growing rapidly in response to society's needs and demands.”


Each program provides hands-on experience and will equip students with essential job skills to join professionals in science and healthcare industries.


Applied Physics Develops Essential Industry Skills


Applied physics courses integrate principles of both engineering and physics. The program optimizes career preparation by providing students the opportunity to hone skills in mathematics, electronics, programming, and physics, which are in high demand. Applied physicists are considered to be generic engineers and hired for engineering positions by many companies, according to John Bloom, chair of the department of Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering.


“The applied physics degree is a middle path between engineering and physics, so it is less theoretical than physics and more mathematical than engineering,” said Bloom. “This new program gives students a broader range of academic options in preparing for their careers.”


The applied physics program helps students build a foundation in physics through projects that are hands-on. As students learn big-picture theoretical concepts and practical skills, they will apply their knowledge through research and developing technology.


Beside career preparation, courses are also designed to explore how science and faith can flourish together.


“As students study God’s handiwork and the laws that He has established in creation and work to find new, creative solutions in their research, it brings to mind an appreciation for God’s incredible wisdom, power, elegant design and problem-solving ability,” said Bloom.


Public Health Exemplifies Christlike Care for People


The public health program prepares students to promote and care for the well-being of individuals and communities in areas of health and wellness. Students learn what it means to practically merge faith values into their career paths.


“Public health, as a field of study, is growing in popularity and prominence specifically because of the people-centered nature of the field,” said Brent Peterson, professor of kinesiology and health science. “Public health opens up a greater breadth of opportunities for our students to be the hands and feet of Jesus by caring for people that spans from community health throughout government-level epidemiological work, which extends far beyond what is currently offered now.”


Students will gain academic training, research experience, and practical skills covered by a broad range of academic disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, and kinesiology. Further, courses will incorporate research and quantitative analysis to help students understand the structure of effective public health policies.


As part of the program, students will complete an internship or capstone project, which allows them to work directly with public health or public health-related organizations. This requirement provides students the opportunity to seek areas of interest in public health and gain real-world experience by working alongside practitioners.


Health Science Paves Path for Creative Job Opportunities


The health science program provides a strong academic foundation in kinesiology and health science that is needed to care for people in a variety of health-related careers. Throughout the curriculum, students can explore various possibilities of the field and can expect to enter the job market straightaway.


“In the current job market, there are a number of jobs that students can train for that do not require a graduate degree,” said Peterson. “[Health science] will be a specific pathway for students who are looking to get into the job market right away in fields where they can assist people with a variety of health-related needs.”


Professors and instructors who graduated from top research facilities train students in both technical and relational skills for careers in health promotion, assessment and administration. The program’s broad curriculum prepares students to educate, support and motivate people toward health and wellness.


“Similar to the public health degree, there will be a practicum experience where students will connect with an organization or corporation and gain real-world experience,” said Peterson. “For example, students in Health Science can visit K-12 food service locations, tour local governmental health offices, or shadow practitioners who develop health promotion programs for hospital staff. The field is broad and this program is intended to encourage student creativity in what and where they choose to gain these experiences.”


As students practice and develop their skills in an academically rigorous environment, the program encourages students to remain firmly rooted in the Christian faith.


“Because our students are going to leave and work directly with people,” said Peterson, “our goal is to train students to live out their faith through their future careers while lovingly helping people improve aspects of their health.”


For more information about the bachelor programs, visit School of Science, Technology, and Health. Applications for the fall are still being accepted.


Written by Irene Pan, media relations intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, manager of media relations, at (562) 777-4061 or

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