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We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Health Science vs. Life Science: What’s the difference?

July 26, 2022

Among pre-medical students, there has always been a friendly debate about which of the two programs is best, however, there is no correct answer to the question. Both the programs share some similarities however, they also share many differences making them unique in their own way. As a prospective student choosing between the two programs, it can be quite difficult to determine which is the best fit for you. Due to this, you can feel free to view the simplified guide below as to what each degree would look like at Ontario Tech University. 

The program category Life Science falls under is Biological Science. There are other specialization options in the Biological Science program which include Environmental Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, as well as Science and Management. For the Health Sciences program, there are Human Health Science as well as Public Health. The most comparable specializations of Health vs. Biological Science include Human Health Science and Life Science respectively. 

Table 1: The similarities of Health vs. Life Sciences

Health Science (Human Health Science Specialization) 

Biological Science (Life Science specialization) 


  • North Oshawa Campus
  • North Oshawa Campus

Program length

  • Four (to five years)
  • Four years 

Program load

  • Full-time
  • Full-time

Admission requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma 
  • Six 4U or 4M credits 
  • Required credits include English
  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma 
  • Six 4U or 4M credits 
  • Required credits include English

Admission cut-off

  • 70s (more specifically mid-70s)
  • 70s (more specifically low 70s) 


  • Human Genetics and Society (Human Health Specialization)
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Introduction to Movement Neuroscience 
  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II
  • Biology I and II
  • Chemistry I and II
  • Foundations in Clinical Biochemistry 
  • Ethics
  • Research Applications I and II
  • Introductory Psychology 
  • Critical Appraisal of Statistics in Health Science
  • Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Fundamentals of Nutrition
  • Fundamentals of Neuroscience 
  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Biology I and II
  • Chemistry I and II
  • Biochemistry I and II 
  • Bioethics 
  • Biology Thesis project I and II
  • Introductory Psychology 
  • Statistics and probability for Biological Science 

Career Opportunities 

  • Medicine (will however need to take some Life Science courses such as Organic Chemistry)
  • Physician Assistant 
  • Chiropractor
  • Dentistry 
  • Pharmacy 
  • Medicine (many of the prerequisite courses are Medical College Admission Test related)
  • Physician Assistant 
  • Chiropractor 
  • Dentistry 
  • Pharmacy 

I found it quite difficult to choose which program to embark on for my undergraduate journey, as both programs possess many similarities. To assist with my decision, I compared and contrasted the various differences between the two programs to see where I would find the best fit. At the time of selecting my program, I found myself drawn to the upper-year level courses in Biological Science (Life Science Specialization) which is what sold me on the program. My recommendation to choose between the two programs if you’re unsure would include looking into the program maps, talking to students within each program, connecting with people working in the field, etc. to get a better understanding of where you can see yourself best. 

Table 2: The differences between Health vs. Life Sciences

Health Science (Human Health Science Specialization)

Biological Science (Life Science specialization) 


  • Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Science and Management (Honours)


  • Faculty of Health Sciences 
  • Faculty of Science 

Admission requirements 

  • Required credits include biology, and one of the following options: Advanced Functions, Calculus and Vectors, or Mathematics of Data Management 
  • Required credits include Advanced Functions, as well as two of the following options: Biology, Chemistry, Calculus and vectors, of Physics

Recommended Courses

  • Chemistry (for the Human Health Science Specialization) 
  • Calculus and Vectors
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics 


  • Information Literacy & written Communications for health Sciences
  • Health promotions & Healthy Active Living
  • Social Determinants of Health 
  • Interpersonal and Inter-Professional Communication
  • Principles of Prevention and Control
  • Altered Physiology: Mechanisms of Disease I and II
  • Introduction to the Canadian Health Care System 
  • Perspectives in Aging 
  • Introductory Physics
  • Mathematics in Bioscience 
  • Foundations in Bioscience 
  • Physics for Biosciences
  • Cell Biology
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Microbiology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Animal Physiology
  • Neuropharmacology  

Career Opportunities 

  • Health-care laboratory Admission
  • Government agency jobs relating to quality assurance and biosafety 
  • Business and Industry working in research and regulatory affairs 
  • Concurrent Education teaching secondary school
  • Business Systems Analyst 
  • Bioinformatics Programmer
  • Business Development Research Analyst 

There is an evident overlap between the two programs, especially in the specialization relating to the human body and its anatomy, physiology, psychology etc. One of the main differences is the focus on overall health and the health industry in Health Sciences. At the same time, there is a large focus on physics, but mainly on biology and chemistry and their subdivisions in Biological Sciences. The career options that stem from both degrees mostly require further education and training; however, they are very similar positions in the Health Care industry’s clinical and business sides. It is important to choose a program that suits both your interests and needs, hence be sure to choose wisely.


Life Sciences. (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2020, from

Health Sciences. (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2020, from

2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Calendar. (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2020, from

BHSc – Human health Specialization “Course Hub”. (n.d). Retrieved July 08, 2020, from

Career Centre: University of Toronto Mississauga. (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2020, from