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UVM Medical Center

What is Health Science?

The goal of health science is the maintenance and improvement of health through the application of science. The field encompasses a variety of sub-disciplines relating to the protection and promotion of health and well-being, including the study of public health, global health, epidemiology, health promotion and education, nutrition, health communication, rehabilitation and the study of disease. Students are prepared to make a difference in the health of communities through work in hospitals, government agencies, non-profit organizations, private companies or schools.


Health Sciences students complete an interdisciplinary program with courses designed to align with the public health learning standards, which culminates with a required fieldwork experience. Upon completion of the Health Sciences program, students will have practiced foundational skills that are transferable to entry-level employment or professional and graduate academic programs. Students also contribute directly to the health of populations through an integrated service-learning experience during which they are paired with a local community partner agency for a semester.

Selected Community Partners

  • RiseVT works with individuals, employers, schools and municipalities to promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Spectrum Youth and Family Services empowers teens, young adults and their families to make and sustain positive lifestyle changes.
  • Lund family services provide support to pregnant and parenting teens, young adults and adoptive families.
  • Special Olympics Vermont promotes sports opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Northern Vermont Area Health Education Center programs inspire young people to consider health care careers.
  • Whole Health Nutrition provides nutrition counseling and education.

A Path With Vision

Career-focused electives, recommended prerequisites for graduate school, research with a faculty mentor or an optional minor or certificate can be incorporated into the four-year degree. The program also provides the added flexibility of online course options. Students interested in fields such as medicine, occupational or physical therapy, nursing, athletic training, pharmacy, public health or other graduate programs work with their academic and pre-health advisors to incorporate the recommended requirements into their curriculum plans.

Learning Outcomes

The Health Sciences major provides students with a unique knowledge base grounded in fundamental public health competencies. Upon completion of the degree, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate public and global health issues in the context of political, environmental, economic, and socio-cultural conditions.
  • Describe the challenges associated with health disparities at the state, national and global levels.
  • Analyze and interpret data about health systems.
  • Participate in interdisciplinary and population-focused health policy research.
  • Contribute to the solution of health problems as they relate to individuals, communities, and populations.
  • Qualify for entry-level employment or graduate professional study in health-related fields.

Graduates may consider working in service positions with non-profits, local and international agencies, educational institutions and other public-serving organizations. Graduates can gain real-world experience and have a direct impact on the health outcomes of communities filling a variety of health-related service positions with agencies such as the Peace Corps and programs like Americorps.

Major requirements

Beyond the classroom

Study Abroad, Internship and Research Opportunities

Study Abroad

UVM hosts a full-semester Health Sciences exchange program with Maastricht University in The Netherlands; and offers a variety of health-related short-term travel options in locations including Belize, Cuba, Mexico, Mongolia and Iceland. Learn more about UVM study abroad options >>

Internships and Field Experience

Students are encouraged to seek extracurricular internship opportunities to complement their academic coursework. Students may seek to obtain credit for their experiences with prior approval from the Health Sciences program director. Internship settings may include health care organizations, public health offices and community-based and non-governmental global health organizations.


Students have the option to work directly with UVM faculty in their research laboratories. Learn more about research opportunities >>

4 Year Plan for Career Success

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Pre-Health Advising

Students who plan to pursue graduate school in the health professions may work with their academic and pre-health advisors to incorporate prerequisite requirements into their curriculum plans.

Graduate employment rate



  • Health benefits navigator
  • Global health program associate
  • Policy analyst
  • Health educator
  • Research assistant
  • Health communication associate
  • Disease prevention specialist

Related Information

Is the B.S. in Health Sciences or B.A. in Health and Society right for me?

Both the B.S. in Health Sciences and B.A. in Health and Society degrees require a total of 120 credits to graduate. The B.S. in Health Sciences requires 54 credits in health-related courses plus 18 credits in the life and physical sciences; the remaining 58 credits are distributed through other academic disciplines. The B.A. in Health and Society requires 33 credits in health-related courses, allowing students the flexibility to take 87 credits in other topic areas.

Learn more