Health Sciences

Gain a solid scientific foundation for future work in fields as diverse as nutrition, clinical research, medicine, and therapies that integrate both Eastern and Western healing traditions.

A student in a white lab coat is looking into a microscope standing in a lab while a faculty member in a white lab coat is observing and smiling behind the student.

Maxine Hansford/The Ithacan

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, 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

  • Leadership and Health Promotion

A student in a pink shirt is standing with their arms behind their back, smiling at the camera.

Christine King ('20), a Health Sciences major with a Planned Clinical Emphasis was named a President's Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year. She will focus on how various multicultural identities influence a student’s sense of belonging and success at Ithaca College.

You will also familiarize yourself with the structure and functions of the human body with foundational science courses including:

  • Anatomy and Physiology

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Physics

In addition to these foundational science courses, you will have the option of completing upper level science courses such as microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, animal physiology, and much more.

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

Food and Nutrition

  • Best suited to students pursuing graduate education in dietetics or other nutrition-related professions.

Planned Clinical

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


  • Best for students planning to attend medical, optometry, or veterinary graduate school.

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 advance, we 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.

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. Examples of the pathways of our recent graduates include:

Graduate School

  • Columbia University (nurse practitioner)

  • Harvard University (medicine)

  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (medicine)

  • Simmons University (nursing)

  • Stony Brook (biomedical sciences)

  • Thomas Jefferson University (physician assistant)

  • USF Morsani College of Medicine (medicine)

Job Titles

  • Assistant Manager, Farmer's Market

  • Care Coordinator

  • Flight Nurse

  • Gastrointestinal Specialty Representative

  • Patient Navigator

  • Physician

  • Trainer/Coach


HPPE Department Office
Michelle Lang, Administrative Assistant
G40 Hill Center
Ithaca College
953 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

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