Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences


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 health-science related fields

The program allows students the opportunity to build upon the foundational skills of a liberal education in an interdisciplinary curriculum.  Faculty representing three different colleges at Drake provide course work in the biomedical, pharmaceutical and clinical science, business and health care menagement, and health behavior. 

Because many students are drawn to the health care field but are often unsure of which direction may be best for them, the program provides opportunities early in the curriculum for students to interact and work with a wide range of scientific and health care professionals. The program also provides advanced experiences later in the curriculum that allow students to integrate classroom material with their work experience to develop higher level skills.

The curriculum is flexible to serve the needs of various health care career interests.  The program includes three different tracks that can be further individualized with a number of electives: Clinical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Health Services Management. 


Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with tracks in:

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences -- Clinical and Applied Sciences Track


Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences -- Health Services Management Track


  • The Health Services Management track entails additional course work or emphasis in business, marketing, pharmacy/health care administration. Click here for the Health Services Management Curriculum Guide
  • Potential capstone projects include non-laboratory based research projects and advanced practice experiences associated with healthcare administration, the insurance industry and public health.
  • This track prepares students for careers or graduate work in health insurance, public health, regulatory affairs or marketing/sales in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
  • An option exists for students to enroll in a 3+3 program with the Drake University Law School Click here for the 3+3 Health Services Management/Law Curriculum Guide.

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences -- Pharmaceutical Sciences Track



The Bachelor of Sciences in 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.

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.

All students in the Health Sciences major will take a four-semester sequence of courses call Issues in Health Sciences in addition to a series of foundational courses in business and biomedical sciences. The Issues in Health Sciences sequence provides 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 primary health care professions as well as allied health fields such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, audiology, and clinical and laboratory sciences.

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 for 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.


The Drake Curriculum, require 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 advisors 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.


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. 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 served as a platform for interdisciplinary discussions and collaborations among faculty and students.


Educational Goals
The purpose of the Health Sciences program is to provide graduates with the relevant knowledge base, skills, attitudes, ethics and values to succeed in basic and applied health-related careers.

Goal 1: Knowledge Base and Life Long Learning Skills
Graduates will have a strong foundation in the physical, biological, clinical and behavioral sciences coupled with an understanding of how business and management models apply to health sciences-related fileds. Graduates will develop the skills and habits to acquire and apply new knowledge.
Goal 2: Values and Ethics
Graduates will understand and accept their duties and responsibilities outlined by their chose career and to society in general. The graduates are expected to have developed value systems and ethical standards that guide their behavior.
Goal 3: Critical Thinking Skills
Graduates will use critical and creative thinking and an evidenced-based approach to identify, analyze and solve problems.
Goal 4: Communication and Collaborative Skills
Graduates will be able to communicate effectively with their peers and their constituents in a variety of formats and actively participate in collaborative environments.
Goal 5: Career Planning and Development
Graduates will emerge from the program with realistic ideas regarding how to implement their knowledge, skills, and values in a variety of settings.


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. The Clinical and Applied Sciences track is an excellent preparation for a career directed toward allied health (physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, clinical and laboratory sciences) and primary care (physicians, dentists, optometrists). Employment opportunities available for graduates of the Health Services Management track include positions in the health insurance industry, public health agencies, hospital administration, health care management or health education. The Pharmaceutical Sciences track provides students with the academic and research experiences for entry into 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.



"This program's participants are analogous to stem cells 0 the various course work and experiences will allow students to identify and differentiate into roles within the healthcare field that fit their interests and skills"
- Bryan Larsen, Ph.D., Dean for University Research, Des Moines University

"The healthcare field is looking for people who can do things - communicate effectively, work with diverse groups of people, generate passion. The health sciences program at Drake is designed to develop these characteristics."
- Jane Schadle, RN, MSHA, Iowa Department of Public Health

"The health insurance industry, in the past, would focus on hiring individuals with business and actuarial skills. Today, we need individuals with those skills in addition to knowledge of the healthe sciences and healthcare system."
- Mar Movic, Vice President, Principal Financial Group


Program Notes:
Students who begin at Drake after completing their high school experiences will begin as open health sciences students.  Following enrollment in the Issues in Health Sciences first year course series, students select which track (Clinical and Applied Sciences, Health Services Management, or Pharmaceutical Sciences) they would like to pursue.

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CPHS Upcoming Events
Doctor of Pharmacy Hooding Ceremony
Saturday, May 17 @ 4 p.m.
[Knapp Center]
Undergraduate Commencement [B.S., Health Sciences]
Sunday, May 18 @ 10 a.m.
[Knapp Center]
Graduate and Doctoral Commencement [PharmD]
Sunday, May 18 @ 2:00 p.m.
[Knapp Center]
April 1, 2014
Global and National Public Health Week at Drake University will begin Wednesday, April 2, and continues Monday, April 7 and Wednesday, April 9. Five events will be held throughout the week—all of which are free and open to the public.