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Health Sciences

Degree Options

Bachelor of Science with a major in health sciences.

Description of Program

The undergraduate program in the health sciences is a 4-year degree program that focuses on developing the knowledge base, skill sets and professional experiences necessary for success in health science-related fields. Students will participate in an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines coursework in the biomedical, pharmaceutical and clinical sciences, business and health care management, 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, this degree will expose students to a wide range of health care-related experiences while providing the foundational skills of a liberal education.

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 are required to complete the Drake Curriculum.

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 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 or employment in related health care fields such as insurance companies, health systems, pharmacy benefit management companies, managed care organizations and health-related nonprofit 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 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 Lifelong 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 fields. 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 chosen career and to society in general. 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.

Requirements for Major

The following links display the curriculum for the different tracks within the health sciences major.


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