Health Sciences

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Experiential Education

Welcome to the Health Sciences Experiential Education website! 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 major is the year-long Senior Internship Experience.

Senior Internship Experience

Each Drake University Health Sciences student completes a Senior Internship Experience. Senior Internship Experiences allow each student to demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills, and ideas to a workplace environment, culminating in a project and presentation. The internship 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, and nonprofit organizations. In addition, several of our interns gain experience in the following settings dental, optometry, pathology, public health organizations, and long-term care.

Interested in becoming a preceptor?  Complete the preceptor form through CORE ELMS, our experiential learning management system. Please use the following link and code DRAKEHSPRECEPTOR to complete your registration.

Experiential Learning


Mentoring within the Health Sciences major occurs in many different ways. Faculty advisors work with students to choose a pathway to prepare for their future careers. The Health Sciences Student Organization has also developed a mentoring program. Students in upper-level 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 internship experiences.


In the first two years of courses in the Health Sciences major, 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 day-to-day operations in healthcare settings, 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 internship experience.

Community-Engaged Learning

Throughout their health sciences courses and the senior internship 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 serve the greater community. 

Active Learning

Within the 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.

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