The two main goals of the Health Science major are
- to prepare majors for professional programs and/or careers in the health sciences or medicine and
- to inform students of the methods of science as a tool for understanding the natural world.
Recent graduates from our department have successfully entered and completed many graduate and professional degree programs including ones in pharmacy, medicine, physical therapy, physician’s assistant, dentistry, nutrition, athletic training, nursing, and forensics science.
All students in the Health Science program begin their training with a common set of core classes that include introductions to biology, chemistry, physics, and math. The Health Science student will work closely with an advisor on an appropriate set of courses in a recommended pre‐professional track such as pre‐physical therapy, pre‐pharmacy, pre-vet, pre‐nursing and pre‐physician assistant. NEC has articulations agreements with Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science in masters of Physician Assistant (MPA) program, Pharmacy (PharmD) and a bachelor program in Science Nursing in (BSN). Entrance into these programs requires the student to complete the application process.
Students completing the Health Science major should be able to:
- Know, understand and apply a broad range of basic biological concepts.
- Master applied laboratory skills.
- Apply mathematics to the field (i.e., statistical analysis).
- Understand the process of science and basic assumptions in the discipline.
- Think critically when reading and writing about research in the field.
- Generate hypotheses, design approaches to test them, and interpret data to reach valid conclusions.
- Communicate knowledge in an effective oral presentation.
- Demonstrate the ability to organize and write quality reports in the sciences.
- Demonstrate the ability to work effectively and responsibly with others.
- Demonstrate adherence to accepted standards of professional and ethical behavior.
As part of the Senior Thesis all majors are required to conduct their own research projects under the guidance of the Health Science faculty. Students are also encouraged to engage in more extensive research projects throughout their time in the major. New England College is located in a pristine natural setting with diverse terrestrial and aquatic habitats that are available for research and field studies. In addition, on-campus facilities and equipment as well as off‐campus affiliations are available for student research.
Health Science majors are encouraged to participate in internships and/or volunteer to further their career and personal development. There are numerous local internship and volunteers opportunities in private, state, and federal agencies, as well as non‐profit organizations. Additional opportunities exist at hospitals, animal rehabilitation facilities, and professional medical offices.
The Sophomore Review
Upon completion of BI 1111 - General Biology ‐ Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology to BI 1114 - General Biology ‐ Cellular Biology and one semester of CH 2110 - General Chemistry I , all Health Science majors will meet with the Health Science faculty advisors. The purpose of this review is to identify, early in the student’s career, potential strengths and weaknesses, to assist the student in clarifying his or her goals and to advise the student on an appropriate course of study.
Experiential Learning Component
For a science major, the act of doing science is fundamental to fully integrating the content contained in courses. Most of the courses in this major have a laboratory component that stresses experiential learning in the field and/or in the laboratory. These experiences include activities that range from a single laboratory session to an entire year (in the case of the Senior Thesis).
Furthermore, several classes include a public presentation component that is either done in the NEC community or even at professional scientific conferences. External funding, such as the current IDeA Network of Biological Research Excellent [NH‐INBRE] grant, also facilitates infusion of research into the curriculum, as well as providing research opportunities outside of standard coursework. These research experiences can range from a few hours of work in the lab each week to intensive 10‐week long summer research experiences.