Experiential Education

Welcome to the Health Sciences Experiential Program! Experiential Education for the Health Sciences major provides students the opportunity to apply and integrate classroom instruction with hands-on experiences in healthcare and research environments.  A highlight of the Health Sciences program is the year-long Senior Capstone Experience.

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Senior Capstone Experience

Each Drake University Health Sciences student completes a Senior Capstone Experience. Senior Capstone Experiences allow each student to demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills, and ideas to a workplace environment, culminating in a project and presentation. Health Sciences Capstone Experiences include students taking Senior Experience I & II and Issues in Health Sciences V. All 3 required courses make up the Senior Capstone Experience for Health Sciences students in the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. These experiences may provide the opportunity to work in the following environments: clinical, pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology research and development, hospital and health services administration, rehabilitation and therapeutic services, diagnostic services, and other medical practices such as dental, optometry, podiatry, orthopedics, and general medicine.


Mentoring within the Health Sciences program occurs in many different ways. Faculty advisors work with students to choose a pathway to prepare for their future career. The Health Sciences Student Organization has also developed a mentoring program. Students in later classes act as role models to guide other students in their early decision making. Mentor programs may also be available through service learning projects, as well as during the senior capstone experiences.


In the first two years of the Health Sciences Program through the Issues in Health Sciences courses, students will have the opportunity to observe and shadow healthcare professionals. These experiences allow students to become aware of the different healthcare fields before they choose a professional pathway, to understand the day to day operations, and to inquire about issues facing today's healthcare providers.


Students may participate in innovative research projects directed by faculty. This type of experience prepares our students for graduate school in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, as well as careers in medical fields. Students are able to present their findings during DUCURs (Drake University Conference on Undergraduate Research), as well as part of their senior year capstone experience.

Service Learning

Throughout the Issues in Health Sciences courses and the senior capstone experience, students may encounter service learning as part of their coursework. Service learning allows students to improve their individual skills and knowledge of the healthcare field, become socially aware of the issues within healthcare, and to serve the greater community. 

Active Learning

Within the Issues in Health Sciences courses, active classroom learning is utilized in order to allow students to work together to attain shared learning goals for a course project. Students collaborate in groups to gain skills in teamwork, communication, trust, leadership, decision making and conflict resolution.


Internships are offered for Health Sciences students throughout the school year, as well as summer break.  In addition to area internships, students may have the opportunity to participate in internships located abroad.