Health Sciences Major (B.S.)

Health Sciences Major (B.S.)

Health Sciences student working with a student athlete

WHAT IS HEALTH SCIENCES?

The health sciences program is for students concerned with the well-being of others and interested in a career in healthcare. Health sciences majors should possess a strong science aptitude and a passion for health and wellness. As healthcare has evolved in the U.S., degree programs in the allied health professions (athletic training, physical therapy, physician assistant, etc.) have moved to post-baccalaureate education. Individuals with career interests in allied health professions must first attain prerequisite knowledge to be prepared to study in these advanced degree programs. This rigorous academic program prepares students for graduate study in a variety of allied health disciplines,including but not limited to athletic training, physical therapy and physician assistant.

WHY STUDY HEALTH SCIENCES AT UNH?

As a health sciences major at UNH, this program of study will prepare you for a range of careers in the large and interdisciplinary healthcare field. This versatile major provides the foundational, prerequisite knowledge for graduate education in health professions, and is general enough to give you flexibility to structure your program of study to your professional career interests. A health sciences student will have an academic advisor who understands the requirements and nuances of applying to advanced degree programs. Students will receive instruction in the life sciences, personal and community health and welfare, nutrition, epidemiology, injury and disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment, fitness and exercise, and health behaviors.

POTENTIAL CAREERS

  • Athletic training
  • Chiropractic
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Physician assistant
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Osteopathic medicine

Contact

Department of Kinesiology
New Hampshire Hall, 124 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2071

  • 2022 Grimes Research Competition
    Kristen Sinagra '22, a Health Sciences major, is presenting her research at the 2022 Grimes Undergraduate Research Competition.  Her research title is: Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Have a Greater Likelihood of Comorbid Depression
    2022 Grimes Research Competition
    Kristen Sinagra '22, a Health Sciences major, is presenting her research at the 2022 Grimes Undergraduate Research Competition.  Her research title is: Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Have a Greater Likelihood of Comorbid Depression

Curriculum & Requirements

The Health Sciences program is for those students who are concerned with the well-being of others; and who also possess a strong science aptitude. As healthcare has evolved in the U.S., degree programs in the allied health professions (athletic training, physical therapy, physician assistant, etc.) have moved to post-baccalaureate education. Individuals with career interests in allied health professions must first attain prerequisite knowledge to be prepared to study in these advanced degree programs. This rigorous academic program meets requirements for entry into graduate school for a career in athletic training, physical therapy, or physician assistant studies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a much faster than average job growth for most careers in health care.

Admission to graduate study in medical or allied health professions is very competitive and requires applicants to demonstrate exemplary academic performance for admission.  Students are required to have earned a minimum, cumulative, GPA of 2.85 by the end of their Sophomore/2nd Year in the Health Sciences Major.  Students with a GPA below 2.85 will be excluded (removed) from the Health Sciences Major.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
BMS 507 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIOL 411 Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
HS 406 Introduction to Health Sciences 1
Discovery/Elective (HU) 4
 Credits17
Spring
BMS 508 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
BIOL 412 Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology 4
PSYC 401 Introduction to Psychology 4
Discovery/Elective (FPA) 4
 Credits16
Second Year
Fall
HS 605 Exploration of Allied Health Professions (fall or spring) 2
INCO 403 Healthcare Professions Seminar 2
CHEM 403 General Chemistry I 4
EXSC 620 Physiology of Exercise 4
PSYC 402
or SOC 402
or HHS 540
Statistics in Psychology
or Statistics
or Statistics for Health and Human Service Professionals
4
Discovery/Elective (ETS) 4
 Credits20
Spring
HS 605 Exploration of Allied Health Professions (fall or spring) 2
CHEM 404 General Chemistry II 4
NUTR 400 Nutrition in Health and Well Being 4
KIN 585 Emergency Medical Responder 4
Discovery Elective (WC) 4
 Credits18
Third Year
Fall
PHYS 401 Introduction to Physics I 4
AT 667 Pharmacology for Athletic Training 2
Discovery Elective (HP) 4
Discovery Elective (see recommended electives under requirements) 4
Discovery Elective (see recommended electives under requirements) 2-4
 Credits16-18
Spring
PHYS 402 Introduction to Physics II 4
HS 656 Musculoskeletal Pathologies for Health Professions 4
HS 657 Musculoskeletal Pathologies for Health Professions Lab 1
KIN 652 Clinical Kinesiology 4
Discovery Elective (see recommended electives under requirements) 4
 Credits17
Fourth Year
Fall
SPST 780 Psychological Factors in Sport 4
Discovery Elective (see recommended electives under requirements) 4
Discovery Elective (see recommended electives under requirements) 4
Discovery Elective (see recommended electives under requirements) 4
 Credits16
Spring
HS 717 Cultural Considerations in Health Care 4
EXSC 722 Applied Biomechanics 4
Discovery Elective (see recommended electives under requirements) 4
Discovery Elective (see recommended electives under requirements) 4
 Credits16
 Total Credits136-138

Major Requirements

Core courses required of all Health Sciences concentrations are:

AT 667Pharmacology for Athletic Training2
BIOL 411Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular4
BIOL 412Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology4
BMS 507Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BMS 508Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
CHEM 403General Chemistry I4
CHEM 404General Chemistry II4
HS 406Introduction to Health Sciences1
HS 605Exploration of Allied Health Professions2
HS 656Musculoskeletal Pathologies for Health Professions4
HS 657Musculoskeletal Pathologies for Health Professions Lab1
HS 717Cultural Considerations in Health Care4
EXSC 620Physiology of Exercise4
EXSC 722Applied Biomechanics4
INCO 403Healthcare Professions Seminar2
KIN 585Emergency Medical Responder4
KIN 652Clinical Kinesiology4
NUTR 400Nutrition in Health and Well Being4
PHYS 401Introduction to Physics I4
PHYS 402Introduction to Physics II4
PSYC 401Introduction to Psychology4
SPST 780Psychological Factors in Sport4
PSYC 402Statistics in Psychology 14
or SOC 402 Statistics
or HHS 540 Statistics for Health and Human Service Professionals
Required University Courses

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of their selected Health Sciences concentration.

Athletic Training Concentration

This concentration is intended for students interested in pursuing a career as an athletic trainer. Students in this concentration develop knowledge and skills to prepare them for graduate study in a CAATE Accredited Master’s Degree in Athletic Training.

Requirements for the Athletic Training Concentration are those presented in the Major Requirements – Core Courses, above.

Physician Assistant / Physical Therapy / ‘Other’ Medical Professions Concentration

This concentration is intended for students interested in pursuing a career as a physician assistant, physical therapist, or other medical profession. Students in this concentration develop knowledge and skills to prepare them for graduate study in medical fields.

Requirements for the PA / PT / Other Medical Professions Concentration are those presented in the Major Requirements, above, and the Additional Required Courses and Electives listed below. These courses are intended to provide an individualized component of the Health Sciences curriculum to meet the needs and interests of the student pursuing their personal career path.

Additional Required Courses

Health / Medical topic classes (may meet Discovery category requirements) of the following classifications:

  • 400/500-level classes – students must select 2 from this category
  • 600-level class – students must select 1 from this category
  • 700-level classes – students must select 2 from this category

Courses that meet these criteria are non-required Health Sciences courses; and course work in Communication Sciences & Disorders, Human Development & Family Studies, Health & Human Services, Health Management & Policy, Kinesiology, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Recreation Management & Policy, Social Work.

Recommended Electives

A student’s plan of elective courses must be approved by a Health Sciences adviser. 

BMCB 658/659WGeneral Biochemistry3
BMS 503/504General Microbiology3
CHEM 545/546Organic Chemistry3
GEN 604Principles of Genetics4
KIN 684/685Emergency Medical Care: Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)3
HS 696WIndependent Study2-4
KIN 706Neurology4
PSYC 561Abnormal Behavior4
PSYC 581Child Development4
  • Demonstrate understanding of core principles of biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, psychology, and kinesiology.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of musculoskeletal evaluation and assessment techniques.
  • Demonstrate responsiveness to cultural considerations in healthcare.

a. Understand influence of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, spirituality, socioeconomic status, and other aspects of diversity on individual healthcare needs and health-related quality of life.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of scientific research and writing.

a. Ability to identify and analyze scholarly literature.

b. Ability to synthesize and articulate research findings through writing.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of behaviors, scopes of practice, and legal and ethical standards for health professions.
  • Understand concepts of evidence-based practice and patient-centered care for health professions.

Explore Program Details

Faculty

Q: I’m currently an undergraduate student at UNH. I’m interested in changing my major to Health Sciences (BS), how do I do that?

  • Students seeking to change their major to Health Sciences must complete an internal transfer application and complete all necessary steps as outlined in the instructions.
  • Health Sciences is a competitive major. Students seeking to transfer to the Health Sciences major must complete and submit an application. Applications will be accepted during the spring semester; the deadline is April 15th. Applicants are required to have successfully completed BMS 507 with at least a C or better and either completed or be currently enrolled in BMS 508, attained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and submit a letter of intent that explains your interest in the Health Sciences major. Students granted acceptance will be informed after the completion of the spring semester in which they applied and will begin in the major during the subsequent fall semester. These requirements reflect the minimum standards for eligible applicants; competitive applicants will exceed these benchmarks by showing proof of academic excellence.

Q: I’m currently a high school student and I want to become a physician assistant, physical therapist, or another health profession with a degree program at the post-graduate level (MS or higher). How can I achieve this goal by attending UNH?

  • The Health Sciences major will provide you with the coursework that are common pre-requisites for post-graduate study in physician assistant studies, physical therapy, athletic training, medicine, nursing, and many other health-related professional programs of study. UNH does not currently offer post-professional degree programs in all of the allied health disciplines listed above; it is the student’s responsibility to identify, make themselves eligible for, and ultimately apply to their desired post-graduate programs.
  • The Health Sciences major includes full years (2 semesters) in biology, chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, and physics.
  • The Health Sciences major also includes introductory coursework in epidemiology, general medical conditions, pharmacology, exercise physiology, orthopedic injury assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • The Health Sciences major includes over 20 credits of elective/open coursework that students can use to design a curriculum that meets the specific pre-requisite requirements of their chosen field of professional education. The successful completion of pre-requisite coursework is the responsibility of the student. Students interested in specific allied health professional degree programs should research the eligibility requirements for those programs to which they intend to apply to ensure they meet all requirements for successful application and entry to those programs.
  • The Health Sciences major includes coursework that requires students to find observation experiences with practicing professionals in several allied health fields to assist students in making the appropriate career choice based on their interests.
  • The Health Sciences major is not a clinical education major, and there are no guaranteed clinical experiences or exposures for students in the major. Students seeking entry to professional post-graduate degree programs will learn discipline-specific clinical skills in those post-graduate programs. It is the student’s responsibility to take all pre-requisite coursework for the post-graduate programs in which they intend to pursue.

Health Sciences is a competitive major. Students seeking to transfer to the Health Sciences major must complete and submit an application. Applications will be accepted during the spring semester; the deadline is April 15th. Applicants are required to have successfully completed BMS 507 with at least a C or better and either completed or be currently enrolled in BMS 508, attained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and submit a letter of intent that explains your interest in the Health Sciences major. Students granted acceptance will be informed after the completion of the spring semester in which they applied and will begin in the major during the subsequent fall semester. These requirements reflect the minimum standards for eligible applicants; competitive applicants will exceed these benchmarks by showing proof of academic excellence.

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