Health and Human Services Majors


Biology(opens in new window)

The Department of Biology’s mission is to prepare biology majors for the next step in their careers, to educate and train the next generation of biological scientists, to provide all students at CSU, Chico with an opportunity to learn more about the scientific process and significant biological knowledge everyone needs to know, to contribute to the expansion of our knowledge about biology, and to serve as a resource of biological expertise for the campus and surrounding community.

Career opportunities:

  • Research scientist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Biologist
  • Ecologist
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Biotechnologist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Government agency roles
  • Teacher 


Holt Hall, Room 205

Child Development(opens in new window)

The child development major prepares students for careers that involve children of all ages from infancy through young adulthood. Students who major in child development are interested in early childhood education, after school programs, youth development, family services, advocacy, resource support, or researcher roles.

Career opportunities and potential employers:

  • Public and private schools (Pre-K–12)
  • Public and private preschool programs
  • Colleges and universities
  • Child development and early intervention service agencies and programs that serve infants, young children, and youth with special needs
  • Community centers such as YMCA, YWCA, Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Family strengthening and support services
  • Hospitals as Child Life Specialists or Parent Programs
  • Adoption and foster care agencies
  • Summer camp and after-school programs
  • Religious and non-profit organizations
  • Child care and early learning programs
  • Youth Empowerment Services
  • Family and child treatment facilities and rehabilitation organizations
  • Birth to Five and youth services agencies
  • Occupational therapist

Contact: Modoc Hall, Room 216

Communication Sciences and Disorders(opens in new window)

The Communication Sciences and Disorders program prepares students to assess and treat individuals with a variety of communication disorders. Students in this major will also obtain knowledge and skills that can be applied to a variety of health and human services fields.

Career opportunities:

  • Audiologist
  • Speech-language pathologist
  • Speech-language and hearing scientist


Aymer J. Hamilton, Room 100

Communication Studies 

The study of communication brings an important lens to interpersonal, group, organizational, cultural, and public settings where human interactions and meanings are central to everyday life, relationships, and achieving collective goals. Health Communication is a transdisciplinary field that focuses on the creation, circulation, and consumption of verbal, symbolic, and written strategies needed to influence and empower individuals, populations, and communities to make healthier choices. The medical field and related professions are actively exploring, innovating, and expanding the role of communication research and training for a variety of health contexts and outcomes.

Career Opportunities


Excercise Physiology

Career Opportunities


Health Services Administration(opens in new window)

Employees in public health and health services administration assess the needs of individuals. To assess the public’s health, employees will promote certain techniques or advice to individuals to maintain and improve their individual health. A career in public health also provides the opportunity to advocate for community and specialized health issues.

Career opportunities:

Health services administrators work in many types of organizations, which include hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, public health agencies, voluntary health agencies, and managed care organizations. Chico graduates from this program have worked in the following positions: Business Development analyst, Business Manager at an assisted living facility, Community Relations Director, Financial Analyst, Medical Equipment Sales Representative, Memory Care Supervisor, Performance Management Analyst, Privacy Officer, Quality Review Coordinator, Recruitment Specialist, and many other jobs.

What is the career outlook for health services administrators?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster than average growth as the healthcare industry expands and diversifies. Between 2014 and 2024, health services administration jobs will increase by 17 percent.

How can I specialize within health services administration?

Health services administration majors have several opportunities to increase their skills and knowledge in order to be more competitive in the job market. Some students also complete a minor in accounting or business management. The certificate in Gerontology is appropriate for those who want to pursue a career in skilled nursing facilities and other long-term care facilities.


Stan Salinas
Department of Public Health and Health Services Administration
Butte Hall, Office 635

Journalism and Public Relations (Health Communication)(opens in new window)

Public relations professionals educate the public about important events, trends and issues in the health care industry. They are often the voice of a company and develop the communications strategy for working with important audiences, from patients to doctors to investors and regulators. There are endless opportunities when working in health care PR, including media relations, branding, social media, community outreach, event planning, and the management of emerging issues (e.g. illness outbreaks, healthcare product recalls, medicine label changes).

Career opportunities:

Health care PR is one of the biggest growth areas for communication jobs. Most health care companies, from hospitals to pharmaceuticals, employ PR specialists to build their brand and increase community health education through digital content streams including social media, influencer relations, website development, advertising and marketing campaigns, fundraising, and special events.


Debra Johnson
Department of Journalism & Public Relations
Tehema Hall, Room 351

Kinesiology (opens in new window)

Kinesiology and Exercise physiology are excellent majors for students who feel passionately about helping people with their personal health and are interested in the promotion of physical activity and its impact on health, society and quality of life. The mission of the Department of Kinesiology is to communicate and create knowledge about sport, exercise, and physical activity. The department achieves its mission through innovative and engaging instruction, scholarship, and professional service.

Career opportunities for Kinesiology:

The Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology has two separate academic options to choose from: Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) and Movement Studies. Within the Movement Studies Option there are two patterns to choose from: Coaching & Administration and Fitness & Wellness. Career opportunities for graduates of these programs are varied but may include the following: K-12 physical education teacher, adapted physical education, coach, corporate fitness and wellness specialist, personal trainer, occupational therapist, entrepreneur, and more.

Career opportunities for Exercise Physiology:

This major prepares students to meet the academic requirements necessary for entry to postgraduate education in a variety of allied health fields including: physical therapy, chiropractic, occupational therapy, athletic training, physician assistant, and medical schools. Students find employment in a broad range of medical, commercial and educational environments.


Yolo Hall, Room 243

Microbiology(opens in new window)

Microbiologists work to understand how bacteria, viruses, and fungi affect human/animal health and disease, how these organisms impact the natural environment, and seek to take advantage of the physical and chemical properties of microbes to develop technologies that will solve our planet’s numerous environmental, energy, and climatic challenges. Students with a degree in microbiology are well prepared to select from a broad range of career choices that are as diverse and varied as the myriad roles that microbes play in our world.

Career opportunities:

  • Clinical laboratory scientist
  • Public health
  • Academic research scientist
  • Biotech research scientist (vaccines/antibiotics/gene therapy)
  • Fermented foods industry (wine/beer/cheese/kombucha, etc.)
  • Industrial microbiology
  • State and Federal government agencies
  • Environmental scientist
  • Veterinary microbiologist
  • Corporate sales/technical representative
  • Physician
  • Quality control
  • Education
  • Science writer
  • Public policy
  • Regulatory affairs


Troy Cline
Holt 301J

Nursing(opens in new window)

CSU, Chico School of Nursing is a top-ranked program which leads to a BS degree in nursing. Common responsibilities are to perform physical exams, provide health counseling and education, coordinate care, and administer medication. The nursing program admits 40 students each fall and spring. There is an impact on admission because there are many more applicants than the school can accommodate.

Career opportunities:

Graduates with a nursing degree work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Blood bank technician
  • Certified medication technician
  • Clinical research associate
  • Consultant nurse
  • Dietitian/nutritionist
  • Diagnostic medical sonographer
  • Director of Nursing Services
  • Forensic nurse
  • Health care facility administrator
  • Health information technicians
  • Hospital nurse
  • Infection control nurse
  • Licensed practical nurse
  • Medical/health service managers
  • Medical insurance specialist
  • Midwife (certified/licensed)
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Nursing instructor
  • Nursing home nurse
  • Occupational health nurse
  • Office nurse
  • Physician assistant
  • Private duty nurse
  • Psychiatric/mental health nurse
  • Public health nurse
  • Quality assurance coordinator
  • Registered nurse
  • School nurse
  • Social worker
  • Surgeon/physician
  • Technical writer
  • Utilization review specialist
  • Wellness educator


Trinity Hall, Room 121

Prospective Students/Pre-Nursing Questions: 

Nutrition and Food Science(opens in new window)

Nutrition and food sciences focuses on the ingestion and utilization of food for survival, prevention of disease and the promotion of positive health. Dieticians work to provide patient care for a variety of medical conditions. They also advise people who want to improve their overall health. Many nutrition and food science graduates go on to work in healthcare, clinical management, counseling, community outreach, and hospital/school/correctional food-service management.

Career opportunities:

The field of nutrition is growing, with a projected 16 percent increase in jobs for dietitians and nutritionists through 2024 as a result of the role of food in the prevention and treatment of illnesses, such as diabetes. The demand for dietitians will increase to provide more care for patients with various medical conditions and to advise people who want to improve their overall health. An aging population will boost the demand for dietitians in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The demand for nutrition managers is high. The fastest-growing segment is in the area of eldercare. Nutrition managers in schools will need expertise in child nutrition programs.


Holt Hall, Room 369

Psychology(opens in new window)

In the Department of Psychology, students and faculty explore the scientific study of behavior and the mind. The American Psychological Association reports that students select psychology because of its career possibilities and for its personal growth possibilities.

Career opportunities:

Psychology is a multifaceted discipline with more than 50 specializations. While the profession of psychology requires an advanced degree, more than 80% of students graduating with a BA in psychology seek employment after graduation. One of five occupational areas where BA-level psychology majors report employment is health care. The other four broad occupational areas are business, human resources, teaching, and social services. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects opportunities in psychology to grow over the next decade.


Modoc Hall, Room 215

Public Health(opens in new window)

There are a variety of career paths in the field of public health. Safe water, clean air, and immunizations are all a part of public health. Ensuring the safety of these things, educating people, and improving community’s health are all parts of public health. A career in public health also provides the opportunity to advocate for community and specialized health issues.

Career opportunities:

Public Health Workers in county health departments, non-profit health agencies, medical service settings, school systems, and businesses.  Graduates from our program have gotten jobs as a Wellness Coordinator, Sex Educator, Program Specialist, Patient Educator, Health Counselor, Event Coordinator, Case Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator.

What is the career outlook for health services administrators?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics overall employment of public health workers is “projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be driven by efforts to improve health outcomes and to reduce healthcare costs by teaching people healthy behaviors and explaining how to use available healthcare services.”


For students with last names starting with letters A–L:

Kristina Carter
Department of Public Health & Health Services Administration
Butte Hall, office 630
Make an appointment with appointy(opens in new window)

For students with last names starting with letters M–Z:

Patti Horsley
Department of Public Health & Health Services Administration
Butte Hall, office 628
Make an appointment with appointy(opens in new window)

Science Education(opens in new window)

Those who choose a career in science education seek to provide inclusive learning environments to students of all ages. Those who choose to major in science education will prepare themselves to be part of the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) teachers. Educators are passionate people who want to spread their love of knowledge to others.

Career opportunities:

Science education leads to formal educational settings, such as a career teaching science at the intermediate or introductory high school level. Graduates can also work in informal science educational settings, such as museums, science outreach centers, nature centers, preserves, state parks, or national forests.


Science Building, Room 358A
Phone: 530-898-4599
Fax: 530-898-5697 

Social Science(opens in new window)

The BA in Social Science, Option in Specialization Studies allows students to focus on two disciplines, or areas of concentration, offered by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Department of History. Many of our students plan to apply these concentrations in specialized fields such as social and vocational services. There are 21 areas of concentration from which to choose: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Anthropology, Asia, California Studies, Career and Life Planning, Child Development, Economics, Environmental Planning, Environmental Studies, Family Relations, Geography, Gerontology, Health and Human Services, Health Science, History, International Relations, Multicultural and Gender Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, and Sociology.

A Minor or Certificate in Gerontology allows students to learn about issues older adults and their families may experience while providing an understanding of how to effectively work with older adults in various settings.  The Certificate in Gerontology requires an internship component consisting of 135 hours with a focus on the older adult population.  This allows students to gain direct experience working with the older adult population while giving back to the community.  Students interested in helping professions from various disciplines are encouraged to pursue the Minor or Certificate in Gerontology

Career Opportunities

According to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, individuals are living longer and the older adult population is increasing, therefore,  an increase in career opportunities in the field of aging is expected.  This will result in an increased demand for professionals with a wide range of knowledge and experience in working with older adults. 

Career opportunities in the field of aging can be found in a variety of settings:

¨ Community, human services, and religious organizations

¨ Health care and long term care facilities

¨ Federal, state, and local government agencies

¨ Retirement communities

¨ Professional organizations

Career duties may include working directly or indirectly with older adults:

¨ Program development

¨ Providing direct care in a variety of settings

¨ Counseling on a variety of issues

¨ Conducting research on age related diseases and conditions

¨ Planning workshops on the subject of aging and teaching older adults

 *From the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE)


Butte Hall, Room 611

Social Work(opens in new window)

Social workers help people and communities solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives.

Social workers practice in a variety of settings including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare and human service agencies, hospitals, non-profit organizations, and private practices.

The profession of social work is guided by a set of key values which include service, social justice, respecting the dignity and worth of every individual, holding the importance of human relationships as central, integrity, and competence in practice. A degree in social work is highly respected, valuable, malleable and offers prospects for a lifetime of opportunities in social service, government and grassroots organizations.

Career opportunities:

The next decade will see a 16% increase in employment opportunities for social workers. Specifically, there will be a 14% growth in child, family & school social work positions; a 20% growth in health care & medical social work positions; and a 19% growth in mental health & substance abuse positions. Social workers can also be found working on social welfare policy, community organizing, working with older adults and managing non-profit organizations.


Butte Hall, Room 511