Premedical Concentration or Planned Clinical Concentration

Gain a solid scientific foundation for future careers in high demand fields such as medicine, nursing, nutrition, research, and clinical therapies.

The bachelors of science in health sciences is an extremely flexible major designed for students with varied career goals. It prepares students with a solid foundation for work in fields as diverse as allied health, clinical research, medicine, nursing,  nutrition, and therapies that integrate both Eastern and Western healing traditions.

You will take core courses in health promotion that will give you the knowledge you will need to address current challenges in health and wellness including Foundations of Public Health, Critical Health Issues, Disease and Lifestyle, Human Nutrition, Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Policy, Health Inequalities, and Leadership & Health Promotion. 

You will also familiarize yourself with the structure and functions of the human body with foundational science courses including anatomy & physiology, biology, and chemistry. In addition to these foundational science courses, you will have the option of completing upper level science courses such as microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, physics, neuroscience, animal sciences, and much more.

You can customize your studies by selecting from one of the following emphases:


Best for students planning to attend medical, pharmacy, optometry, chiropractic, or medical imaging graduate school.

Planned Clinical

Best for students planning to pursue post-baccalaureate education in fields such physician assistant, nursing or nurse practitioner, occupational therapy, or physical therapy careers.

Hands-On Practice

You will complement your classroom experience with a professional practicum. Our students typically complete these requirements during their junior or senior years as part of their coursework in the fall or spring semester. You may complete this on campus, although many of our students opt to complete this requirement with a variety of organizations in the Ithaca community. Six credits of fieldwork, internship, or supervised research (at most 3 credits can count from research) are required for graduation. You may break these credits up into distinct experiences - the majority of our students complete two, three-credit internships - one in each semester. It is also possible to complete fieldwork, internship, or research requirements during the summer months, however summer tuition does apply. All experiences must be approved in advancewe do not provide retroactive credit

An important component of this experience is reflection and evaluation. You will be asked to make connections in writing between your classroom learning and your observations while immersed in one of these experiences.

Support for Health Science Careers at Ithaca College

As you know, there are many different pathways to prepare for advanced studies in the health sciences, be it medicine, dentistry, physician assistant or other health care career options. Learn more about the support Ithaca College provides by exploring the pre-health options. There you can familiarize yourself with the different course requirements and academic programs, gain an understanding of application procedures and timelines, and explore frequently asked questions (FAQs).  

You can get involved by registering with the Health Professions Advisory Committee, where you can take part in events and take advantage of faculty expertise in preparing your application for advanced study.  

Our Graduates

The philosophy and methodology you'll learn will give you the tools you'll need in advanced study. With further professional training or graduate study, you could be a nurse practitioner, medical doctor, registered dietitian, physician assistant, or clinical researcher. Or you may choose an alternative path, studying to become a homeopathic clinician, practitioner of Eastern medicine, or chiropractor. Victor A. Lopez-Carmen ’17, a health sciences/premedical major, is currently working on his medical degree at Harvard University Medical School.  In addition to his studies, Victor has devoted  much of his time to improving health care and access for indigenous peoples. Read about Victor’s efforts in IC View article "A Medical Warrior with the Heart of a Soulful Healer."

Examples of recent graduates’ pathways include:

Graduate School

Health Sciences - Premedical Emphasis Health Sciences - Planned Clinical Emphasis Health Sciences - Food and Nutrition Emphasis
Harvard University (physician) Columbia University (nurse practitioner) New York University (clinical nutrition and dietetics)
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (physician) Ithaca College (physician assistant) Simmons College (nutrition)
Mercyhurst College (physician assistant) Simmons College (nursing) University of Wisconsin (clinical nutrition)
Stony Brook University (biomedical sciences) Touro College (physician assistant) North Dakota University (exercise science and nutrition)
University of Southern Florida Morsani College of Medicine (physician) Thomas Jefferson University (physician assistant) Meredith College (nutrition)
University of Illinois at Chicago (physician) University of Rochester (nursing) Bastyr University (Naturopathic Medicine)
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine (physician) St. George's University (physician) Regis College (nurse practitioner)
SUNY Binghamton - School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (pharmacy) Northeast College of Health Sciences (chiropractor)

Arkansas State University (public administration and not-for-profit management)

Drexel University College of Medicine University of North Carolina at Greensboro (genetic counseling) University of Utah (Coordinated Master's Program in Nutrition)
Binghamton University Decker College Accelerated Nursing Program (RN) Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing  (Accelerated RN Program)  
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (physician) University of the Sciences  Philadelphia (PA)  
Philadelphia College Osteopathic Medicine (physician) Monmouth College (PA)  

Job Titles

Health Sciences - Pre-medical Emphasis Health Sciences - Planned Clinical Emphasis Health Sciences - Food and Nutrition Emphasis
Physician - Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine Physician Assistant Outpatient Oncology Dietitian
Gastrointestinal Specialty Representative Nursing  Clinical/Registered Dietitian
Physician Assistant Care Coordinator Assistant Manager, Farmer's Market
Sales Representative for Stryker Corporation Patient Navigator Trainer-Coach
Health and Nutrition Coordinator Physical Therapist Nutrition Counseling

“I can't even begin to tell you how grateful we are that [our daughter] is at Ithaca. As you know, the Health Science major is challenging, but the support and relationships she has built with her professors has been awesome. I hate to compare it to my oldest daughter's experience at a [state] school, but what a difference!” M.F., Parent


HSPH Department 
G56 Hill Center
Ithaca College • 953 Danby Road • Ithaca, NY 14850