Skip Sub Menu

Health Sciences

Degree Option

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a degree in Health Sciences

Health Sciences web site

Program Overview

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 who enter 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

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 also can focus on laboratory-based courses and research experiences that prepare them for careers in research, drug development and pursuit of graduate education.

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.

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 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 guides for the different tracks within the health sciences major. Health Sciences students must also complete the Drake Curriculum requirements; these requirements are included in the information and curriculum guides listed at the following web site:

Specific Regulations / Academic Requirements

Health Sciences students should become familiar with the General Information section of this catalog, which covers many regulations that affect all Drake University students. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences also has a number of specific regulations and requirements that must be met to progress through the health sciences curriculum. Some of these are listed below; others are available in the Health Sciences Student Handbook (

Many health sciences courses have prerequisite requirements. Admission to a course is denied if prerequisite courses have not been successfully completed. Therefore, deviations from the curriculum as it is structured require careful consideration. Course prerequisites may be found in the course descriptions, as listed in blueView, located at

Health Sciences students may apply a maximum of 9 hours of elective coursework on a credit/no credit basis toward graduation. Courses regularly graded on a credit/no credit basis are not included within the 9 hours maximum. The student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 before registering in a course on a credit/no credit basis.

All fourth-year health sciences students are required to complete a senior capstone experience (HSCI 194/195 or 196/197) prior to graduation. Due to regulations at many of the experiential sites used for the senior capstone experiences, the college will complete a criminal background check and drug screen prior to entering the senior capstone year. Senior capstone sites have the right to refuse to accept a student based on the results of the criminal background check. Many of these sites also require that a copy of the background check is forwarded to them. Students who have positive drug screens and will be entering their senior capstone experience will be referred to the Chemical Dependency Policy.

Health Sciences students are assigned a faculty member as their academic adviser. Faculty advisers help students:

  • Adapt to the college environment
  • Assist in the development of the student's education plan by providing input and feedback
  • Encourage discussions about the appropriateness of their chosen career track and the career options within the profession
  • Assist in identification of opportunities for professional skill development and
  • Make appropriate referrals to university student service offices when academic or personal difficulties arise.

The Academic and Student Affairs Office is responsible for coordinating the registration process, verifying appropriate registration of courses, approving educational plan waivers and transfer credit requests, updating degree audits with regard to substitutions, waivers and transfer courses, answering student questions regarding registration, credit completion, course transfer process and study-abroad opportunities, and coordinating and communicating opportunities for internship, study abroad, research and postgraduate study. The final responsibility for completion of graduation requirements, however, belongs to the student and, accordingly, each student should become familiar not only with the curriculum but also with the academic regulations of the college.

Joint Degree Programs

Health Sciences / Law 3+3

Students may elect to earn both a Bachelor of Science-Health Sciences degree and a Doctor of Jurisprudence (law) degree in a joint degree program offered in cooperation with the Drake Law School. The program allows students to focus their education on legal and health care issues. Participating students are admitted first to the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. A student pursuing this program should plan to take the LSAT and formally apply to the Law School during the fall semester of the junior year and if admitted, complete the first year of law school course work in the senior year along with the remaining health sciences credits. The curriculum guide for this program exists at

Health Sciences/Mercy College of Health Sciences 3 + 1 Certificate Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology or Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Students may elect to earn both a Bachelor of Science-Health Sciences degree and a certificate in Nuclear Medicine Technology or Clinical Laboratory Sciences in a joint degree program offered in cooperation with the Mercy College of Health Sciences. The program allows students to focus their education on a specialization in these areas while achieving additional patient care hours required for a number of post-graduate professional programs. Participating students are admitted first to the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. A student pursuing this program should plan to apply to Mercy College of Health Sciences during the fall semester of the junior year and if admitted, will become a Mercy student during their senior year. The credits completed as part of the certificate program will fulfill credits required for the BS in Health Sciences degree.   See the curriculum guide for this program at

Students may use electives to pursue a second major, a minor, or a concentration.  Please visit for additional information on these options or the joint degree programs.


University News