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UVM Medical Center

What is Health Science?

The field of Health Sciences 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.


The mission of the UVM health sciences program is to strive for health equity by preparing the next generation of leaders to improve the health of individuals and communities through basic science and applying the principles of population health.


Health Sciences students complete an interdisciplinary program with courses designed to align with public health learning standards. Upon completion of the Health Sciences program, students will have practiced foundational skills that are transferable to entry-level employment and are prepared to pursue graduate education in the basic and medical sciences and public health.

CAPSTONE: Partnering with Communities to Improve Health

In their final year, students contribute directly to the health of populations through a culminating, integrated service-learning capstone experience during which they are paired with a local community partner agency for a semester.

Selected Community Partners and Past Student Projects

  • RiseVT works with individuals, employers, schools and municipalities to promote healthy lifestyles.Project title: A mobile farmers market combating food insecurity in Richmond Vermont
  • Spectrum Youth and Family Services empowers teens, young adults and their families to make and sustain positive lifestyle changes. Project title: The Effects of Adequate Data Collection on Individuals Experiencing Homelessness
  • Northern Vermont Area Health Education Center programs inspire young people to consider health care careers. Project title: Creating a Diverse Health & Healthcare Workforce
  • Pride Center of Vermont celebrates, educates and advocates with and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Vermonters. Project Title: HIV in Rural Vermont: Determinants, Barriers, and Methods to Improving Care
  • Planned Parenthood of Northern New England offers free, confidential family planning services. Project Title: Unintended Pregnancies in Vermont College Aged Students

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/Competencies

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:

  • Communicate public health information, in both oral and written forms and through a variety of media, to diverse audiences.

  • Locate, use, evaluate and synthesize public health information.

  • Approach individuals, communities and populations with cultural humility and awareness of inequities that impact health.

  • Evaluate public and global health issues in the context of political, environmental, economic, and socio-cultural conditions.

  • Partner with communities to develop strength-based approaches to improve health outcomes. 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.

Students must complete a minimum of 120 credits to be awarded the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. These credits are allocated as follows:

Major Requirements:

  • 36 credits of required major core courses

Distribution Requirements:

  • 18 credits of Natural and Applied Science coursework

  • 12 credits of Social and Behavioral Science coursework

  • 6 credits of Math coursework

  • 6 credits of Humanities coursework

  • 6 credits of English

Health-Related Electives:

  • 18 credits of approved Health-Related elective coursework

General Electives:

  • 14-18 credits of general elective coursework

What Are Students Doing With A Health Sciences Degree?

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 >>

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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