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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 who have earned a Health Sciences degree are prepared to make a difference in the health of communities through work in hospitals, government agencies, non-profit organizations, private companies or schools.

What Will You Learn?

Build skills to determine the causes, impacts and interventions for health issues facing populations.

Health Sciences students complete an interdisciplinary program with courses designed to meet public health learning standards, which culminates with a required fieldwork experience. The core health sciences courses completed by all students in the major are:

  • Introduction to Public Health
  • Epidemics: Dynamics of Infectious Disease
  • Foundations of Global Health
  • Health Care Ethics
  • Health Promotion
  • Structure and Finance of US Healthcare
  • Health Communication
  • Statistics
  • Reading and Evaluating Research
  • Project Planning and Evaluation
  • Writing for Health Professionals
  • Capstone/Internship

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.

Connect with Communities

The Health Sciences program is committed to providing students with an opportunity to engage with communities through service. While in the major, students will begin to contribute directly to the health of populations through an integrated service-learning experience, where they are paired with a local agency for an entire semester. Students are also encouraged to pursue independent internship opportunities to explore the health issues that are most important to them. UVM's community partners include:

  • RiseVT
  • Lund Family Services
  • Special Olympics VT
  • Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) MedTrek Program
  • Whole Health Nutrition
  • Alzheimer's Association
  • Vermont Department of Health Office of Emergency Preparedness

Choose a Path That Aligns With Your Vision

Health Sciences prepares you for careers and professional graduate programs. Career-focused electives, recommended pre-requisites for graduate school, research with a faculty mentor or an optional minor or certificate can be incorporated into the four-year degree. This unique program also provides students with the added flexibility of online course options. Both pathways require students to complete 120 credits to receive a B.S. degree in Health Sciences. The breakdown of credits is as follows:

  • 36 credits in required Health Sciences courses
  • 84 credits in distribution requirements, including:
    • 18 credits in life and physical sciences
    • 12 credits in social and behavioral science
    • 6 credits in humanities
    • 6 credits in math or statistics (excluding STAT 111 and STAT 141)
    • 6 credits in English
    • 18 credits in health-related electives
    • Free electives
    • Diversity and sustainability electives

Students select electives based on their interest in a variety of health-related topics. Examples of focus areas include public health, international health, administration, policy, nutrition, gerontology and behavioral health and wellness. In addition to the interdisciplinary options above, 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.

What Can I Do With a Health Sciences Degree?

Students who complete the Health Sciences program are prepared for entry-level employment in a variety of settings such as hospitals, government agencies, non-profit organizations, private companies or schools. Example fields for careers:

  • Public Health
  • International Health
  • Health Education
  • Health Policy and Management

Students who also completed the recommended pre-requisites for professional or other graduate degree programs may opt to further their education in a wide variety of disciplines. Examples of graduate and professional programs of interest:

  • Medicine
  • Public Health
  • Law
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Physician Assistant Studies
  • Athletic Training
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Social Work

Eventually, students whose intent is to remain in public health may consider pursuing a master's (M.P.H. or M.S.) or doctoral-level (Dr.P.H. or Ph.D.) degree.

Learning Outcomes

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.

Apply Now

  • First-Year Applicant - First-year residential students should apply via the UVM Undergraduate Admissions Application >>
  • Internal Transfer Applicant - Current University of Vermont students may apply to transfer into the program at any time during their first two years as undergraduates. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.3. Application for Internal Transfer >>
  • External (non-UVM) Transfer Applicant to Residential Program - Students can apply to this pathway if they have earned credits at an accredited college or university. Prospective students should be aware that 45 of the final 60 credits must be earned at the University of Vermont. Application for External Transfer >>
  • Online Degree Completion Program Applicant - An applicant who plans to complete all the work online (online degree completion) must have a 2.7 GPA to be considered. Questions about eligibility and how to apply may be directed to the Office of Student Services within the College of Nursing and Health Sciences: (802) 656-3858 or


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 complete an interdisciplinary internship/field experience that focuses on health care, public health, community health or global health. Students will work with faculty to arrange an internship, research or service opportunity which provides an applied practical experience where students have the opportunity to integrate their knowledge, skills and experience. Fieldwork experiences may be in Vermont or elsewhere with approval from the Health Sciences program director. Internship settings include health care organizations, public health offices, and community-based and nongovernmental global health organizations.


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


Students with a health sciences degree pursue careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Health care administration, analysis and program planning
  • Patient and family advocacy
  • Health communications and education
  • Community health work
  • Health informatics
4 Year Plan for Career Success


College of Nursing and Health Sciences
002 Rowell Hall
(802) 656-3858

Graduate employment rate



  • Health care administration and program planning
  • Patient and family advocacy
  • Health communications