Health Sciences

PROGRAM OVERVIEW The undergraduate program in the Health Sciences is a four year degree program that focuses on developing the knowledge base, skill sets and professional experiences necessary for success in healthcare related fields. Because many students are drawn to the health care field but are often unsure of which direction may be best for them, this degree will expose students to a wide range of healthcare-related experiences while providing the foundational skills of a liberal education. Students will participate in an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines course work in the biomedical, pharmaceutical and clinical sciences, business and health care management, and health behavior.

The program provides students with coursework and laboratory opportunities in the health sciences that allow them to develop highly sought-after skills that are applicable to work in research and health care environments. The learning goals and outcomes of the curriculum provide students with a strong interdisciplinary component that integrates the chemical and biological sciences for applications in the health sciences. The program also provides a background in the liberal arts that prepares students to be engaged citizens and reflective practitioners.

Students who begin at Drake after completing their high school experiences will begin as open major health sciences students. Following their enrollment in the Issue in Health Sciences first year series, students select which track they would like to pursue:

  • Clinical and Applied Sciences
  • Health Services Management
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences

Students pursuing the Clinical and Applied Sciences track will follow a sequence of courses and experiences that focus on the application of biomedical and clinical sciences in preparation for clinical work in the primary health care professions as well as allied health fields.

Students pursuing the Health Services Management track will follow a sequence of courses and experiences that focus on developing skills in management, marketing and data analysis. This track prepares students or employment in related health care fields such as insurance companies, health systems, pharmacy benefit management companies, managed care organizations and health related non-profit organizations.

Students in the Pharmaceutical Sciences track will focus on laboratory-based courses and research experiences that prepare them for careers in research, drug development and pursuit of graduate education.

Health Sciences is an interdisciplinary program that involves faculty from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the College of Business and Public Administration and the College of Arts and Sciences. Students will take courses from faculty who are committed to the program and to providing activities and structure to their courses that maximize learning. Drake’s approach to the health sciences program is to expose students to and provide an understanding of the multiple roles, disciplines and professions associated with the health care system.

FACULTY Over 95% of the 30 faculty hold doctoral degrees including Pharm.D., Ph.D., Ed.D. Several areas of interest are explored through faculty research: cardiovascular medicine, biotechnology, neuroscience, and diabetes among others. All faculty are committed to providing activities and structure to their courses that maximize learning. Faculty honors include the Madelyn M. Levitt Outstanding Teacher of the Year and Outstanding Mentor of the Year Awards, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Innovations in Teaching Award, Iowa Pharmacy Association’s “Young Pharmacist of the Year”, “Health-Systems Pharmacist of the Year”, “Honorary President”, and “Innovative Practice” Awards.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION No specific high school classes are required for first-year students applying for admission into the health sciences program, but four years of English, science and mathematics are highly recommended. Students should take the most challenging courses available through their high school careers to best prepare themselves for the first year of coursework.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR All students in the Health Sciences major will complete four semesters of courses called Issues in Health Sciences in addition to a series of foundational courses in business and biomedical sciences. The Issues in Health Sciences courses provide an introduction to health science professions and the health care system as well as the opportunity to explore current issues and controversies facing professionals in the health care field. Students pursuing the Clinical and Applied Sciences track will follow a sequence of courses and experiences that focus on the application of biomedical and clinical sciences in preparation for clinical work in the allied health fields. Students pursuing the Health Services Management track will follow a sequence of courses and experiences that focus on developing skills in management, marketing and data analysis. Students in the Pharmaceutical Sciences track will focus on laboratory-based courses and research experiences that prepare them for careers in research, drug development and pursuit of graduate education.

DRAKE CURRICULUM The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.

The Drake Curriculum also requires first-year seminars, which foster development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus; and a Senior Capstone, in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills and ideas to bear on one project.

INTERNSHIPS & OPPORTUNITIES In the early stages of the program, students are involved in experiencing the world of health sciences through job shadowing, career mentoring and project development. In the latter part of the curriculum, students participate in work experiences in areas related to their career interests. Students in the Clinical and Applied Sciences track are provided the opportunity to participate in rotation-style experiences associated with major medical centers and local clinics. Students following the Health Services Management track are placed at sites associated with health insurance, information management, health systems management or public health. Students in the Pharmaceutical Sciences track carry out novel research projects with faculty in the clinical, biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences. Drake University strongly promotes research opportunities at the undergraduate level.

The Drake Undergraduate Science Collaborative Institute (DUSCI) is an organized group of faculty and students that works to promote, support and coordinate efforts in undergraduate research. The Institute also serves as a platform for interdisciplinary discussions and collaborations among faculty and students.

Drake is located in Iowa’s capital – the hub of business, insurance, government and health care for the state. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has a record of placing students in over 500 sites related to health care activities each year. The program in Health Sciences utilizes these opportunities to provide experiential learning throughout the curriculum so that students develop an understanding of all aspects of the health care system.

CAREER OPTIONS

  • The Clinical and Applied Sciences track: allied health (physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, optometrist, clinical and laboratory sciences) and primary care (physicians, dentists, vetrinarians).
  • Health Services Management track: health insurance industry, public health agencies, hospital administration, health care management or health education.
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences track: research careers in the pharmaceutical industry or graduate education in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences (pharmacology, pharmaceutics, physiology).

The health sciences major also readies students for law school and a legal career linked to the health care system.

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