Health & Wellness

The majors listed below provide graduates with opportunities to explore social issues in our communities and beyond, equipping students with critical thinking skills that prepare them for jobs in a variety of fields.

PSU also offers a pre-professional programs in health fields including: Pre-Chiropractic, Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science, Pre- Dental Hygiene, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Naturopathic Medicine, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre- Physician Assistant, Pre-Radiation Therapy and Pre-Veterinary Medicine.

When choosing your major and exploring programs consider your interests, values, and skills. Begin researching career fields that fit your interests. As you begin to understand your career interests, choosing a major becomes much easier. Generally, the best major will be the one that interests and challenges you.


Gain hands-on research experience and open doors to a career in the research, environmental fields and health sciences

Biology is one of the most popular majors at PSU because it opens the doors for many careers in the health sciences. Biology majors spend a lot of time doing hands-on work with other students in the lab and have opportunities to get off campus to help with field research across the Pacific Northwest. Biology is a great major for students who are curious about how plants and animals function, enjoy solving problems, and have reasonably strong math and study skills.


Conduct research in our new labs in the state-of-the-art Collaborative Life Sciences Building

The Chemistry major is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in the physical sciences, and the course work focuses on fundamental chemical and physical systems along with advanced coursework in the subdisciplines of Chemistry.

Child & Family Studies

Get an interdisciplinary degree that prepares you to help children, youth and families.

The Child and Family Studies major represents an integration of theory, research, and practice from multiple disciplines, and it is a unique blend of liberal arts and professional education. CFS graduates may begin careers as early childhood educators, social service agency administrators, parent educators, family advocates, youth workers, social services caseworkers, early intervention/special education assistants, and services providers for community agencies serving children, youth, and families.


Our deep connection to Portland's thriving tech, transportation and sustainability sectors offer a one-of-a kind opportunity to jump a career

The Fariborz Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at Portland State University offers ABET accredited engineering and computer science academic programs that evolved in parallel with the growth of the high tech, and sustainability industries in Oregon.

Community Development

A comprehensive approach to addressing social challenges

The first of its kind in the nation, our undergraduate program in Community Development prepares students for careers as leaders and change agents in addressing myriad social challenges.

Health Studies: Community Health Education

Careers in community health promotion and disease prevention 

This area of study is for those students who want to pursue careers in community health promotion and disease prevention. It blends public health and related research with a range of strategies such as community organizing, behavior change, public education, and policy development to help create healthy environments. Health educators seek both to aid in the voluntary selection of healthy behavior patterns by individuals, and to encourage the development of environmental conditions that support good health.

Health Studies: Health Sciences

Multidisciplinary program that prepares students for careers in health

The School of Community Health’s multidisciplinary social science programs provide students with the opportunity to customize a focus of study and to create a trajectory toward careers of interest in the health field. As part of Portland State University’s College of Urban and Public Affairs, the School of Community Health benefits greatly from our unique location in the heart of the very livable, walkable, bike-friendly, nature-friendly, downtown core of Portland, Oregon.

Health Studies: Physical Activity & Exercise

Multidisciplinary program that prepares students for careers in health

The Portland State University School of Community Health offers this concentration for students with interests in physical activity and exercise. Students who complete this concentration typically pursue employment opportunities in health clubs, sports-related organizations, corporate wellness facilities and government health departments. A background in the basic sciences—including introductory biology/human anatomy-physiology—is critical for understanding the mechanisms through which many physical activity/exercise interventions operate. It is important, therefore, for students interested in the role of physical activity and exercise on health to be prepared to learn about scientifically sound principles that are based on physiology as well as policy.

Health Studies: School Health Education

Multidisciplinary program that prepares students for careers in health

This concentration area is intended for students interested in teaching health education within a public or private school setting. Upon completion of their bachelor's degree, they are eligible to apply to the fifth-year Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) in the Graduate School of Education at PSU. After completing the GTEP, they will be certified to teach in the state of Oregon.


Explore Psychology courses taught by nationally and internationally recognized faculty

Applied psychology creates understanding and solutions to enhance lives and address societal problems. In our research, we use science to generate knowledge that guides action and frames policy in the contexts and settings of daily life. We take our questions to neighborhoods, businesses and nonprofits, schools and families who are diverse in ethnicity, class, gender, culture, age, and disability status. This makes ours a science that is often collaborative not only with other researchers nationally and internationally, but also with people in the settings where they live and work. Through collaboration, we endeavor for our community collaborators to use and sustain what we have learned together.

Social Work

Study and research at one of the top 25% of social work programs nationally.

Social work has been defined as one of the best suited careers for the future to meet the needs of our complex society and ever changing social and economic circumstances. Students in our BSW Program will learn knowledge, values, and skills to become a professional entry-level generalist social worker for the 21st century.

Speech and Hearing Sciences

Applied learning opportunities at our on-campus speech-language and hearing clinic

The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences (SPHR) offers a course of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Coursework in the area of speech, language, hearing, and swallowing development, as well as speech-language pathology and audiology, are emphasized. An undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences satisfies the requirements necessary for graduate study leading to professional certification in speech-language pathology or audiology by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). A baccalaureate degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences also prepares students for graduate study in a number of other disciplines.

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) is an interdisciplinary program designed to foster students’ personal and intellectual development in the study of gender and sexuality within both local and global contexts; the intersectional analysis of race, gender, class, culture and disability; power, systems of privilege, and resistance; and the links between theoretical understandings of feminist/queer studies and community activism. A degree in WGSS prepares students for socially responsible community involvement and a broad range of careers in community agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies.