Department of

Health Sciences


Empowering the next generation of public health professionals, researchers, clinicians, and healthcare leaders

The Department of Health Sciences provides a world-class education in a broad range of public health and clinical careers that promote the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and populations in culturally diverse contexts. We also train the next generation of clinicians by providing a strong foundation in health science, along with comprehensive pre-med and pre-health advising.

We are committed to evidence-based research and research translation to eliminate health disparities. Our department is a unique, transdisciplinary setting that incorporates teaching, learning, and serving, in a rapidly evolving, multicultural environment.

PreMed and PreHealth

Our comprehensive degree programs provide students the resources they need to become medical professionals through application guidance, workshops and presentations, course mapping and more. Prepare yourself for PreMed/PreHealth with the Bouvé experience.

Student walking amongst the reflections and light at the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex at Northeastern's Boston campus.

Northeastern University’s department of health sciences is connected to a rich cluster of evidence-based learning institutes and centers.

Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on learning through a number of health science focused institutes.

Video: Meet Ouarida Benatia, BS Health Sciences


Find your program

Meet the Department Chair

Rob Leeman

Dr. Leeman is an experimental psychologist with a public health focus. He has leadership roles in several national and international professional societies and is chair of the Health Science department at Northeastern University.

Faculty Spotlight

About Us

Our mission in the Department of Health Sciences is to educate the next generation of leaders in public health and clinical health professions; to conduct cutting-edge research on causes of negative health outcomes and ways to prevent them; and to contribute to our communities locally, nationally, and globally.

Our undergraduate major in Health Sciences is among the most popular at Northeastern and our major in Public Health is an outstanding option for students with an interest in sociocultural factors shaping health, public health policy or administration. Undergraduates in our majors learn hands-on through exciting co-op placements, mostly in the Greater Boston area – a hub of public health and clinical activity.

Our Master of Public Health (MPH) and other master’s programs share a commitment to experiential learning and offer unmatched levels of interaction between students and expert faculty. The Population Health PhD program offers close faculty mentorship and has an enviable track record of placement of students into faculty positions at top universities. The innovative PhD program in Personal Health Informatics, conducted jointly with the Khoury College of Computer Sciences, is a model of interdisciplinary education.

Though our faculty have a variety of backgrounds and foci, a passion for advancing health equity is a strong, unifying factor that permeates our research, teaching, and community involvement. These efforts take on many forms, including the activities of our Social Justice Steering Committee; efforts to advance LGBTQ+ health; and to mitigate negative impacts of racism and other prejudices.

I believe the more you learn about our department, the more excited you will become about what our faculty, staff and students have accomplished, but even more so about what can be accomplished in the future.

BS in Health Sciences


Upon satisfactory completion of the Health Sciences Program, Graduates should be able to:

  1. Elements and Functions of the US Healthcare System
    Critique how the healthcare system and public policies impacts healthcare access, quality, and outcomes.
  2. Role of Public Health
    Apply the core values, concepts, and functions of public health to address a major public health challenge.
  3. Social Determinants of Health
    Explain the socio-economic, behavioral, biological, environmental, and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities
  4. Research Methods and Analytic Strategies
    Describe the basic concepts, methods, and tools of public health data collection, use and analysis.
  5. Program Implementation
    Design a project that uses the fundamental concepts of program implementation including planning, assessment, and evaluation to address a public health challenge.

MS in Exercise Science


In additional to general education purpose, the Exercise Science Master’s Program seeks to assist students in meeting the following learning goals with associated student learning outcomes:

Learning goal 1: Synthesize and apply advanced principles and concepts in exercise science
  1. Apply advanced principles of exercise physiology including acute and chronic responses to endurance and resistance training of the cardiopulmonary, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems.
  2. Describe the role of physical activity and exercise in health, well-being and disease states.
  3. Integrate scientific rational and proven guidelines for the assessment and development of physical activity and exercise programs.
Learning goal 2: Analyze scientific research in exercise science
  1. Utilize the fundamental principles and concepts of conducting scientific research.
  2. Integrate and apply exercise science principles to design and conduct a research study
  3. Be able to demonstrate proficiency in written, oral and visual communication skills for scientific communications.
Learning goal 3: Describe the role of physical activity in public health
  1. Describe the fundamental concepts and principles of public health
  2. Plan and develop primary prevention programs or interventions for specific populations.
  3. Construct an assessment plan for prevention in a community.

Master of Public Health (MPH)

The MPH Program in Urban Health has identified the following core public health and urban health competencies, which guide all program activities:

General Public Health Competencies

Analytic/Assessment Skills
  • Assess the health status of populations and their related determinants of health and illness
  • Selects variables that measure public health conditions
  • Interprets qualitative and quantitative data
  • Utilizes data to address scientific, political, ethical, and social public health issues
Policy Development/Program Planning Skills
  • Articulates the implications of policy options
Communication Skills
  • Communicates in writing and orally, in person, and through electronic means, with linguistic and cultural proficiency
  • Applies communication strategies in interactions with individuals and groups
Cultural Competency Skills
  • Explains the dynamic forces that contribute to cultural diversity
Public Health Sciences Skills
  • Describes the scientific foundation of the field of public health
  • Applies the basic public health sciences (including, but not limited to: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health services administration, and social and behavioral health sciences) to public health policies and programs
  • Determines the limitations of research findings

The MPH Program has one area of specialization, which is “Urban Health”. The specific competencies selected for this specialization mirror the general competencies the guide the entire program and have been amended to take into account the health of urban populations:


Analytic/Assessment Skills
  • Describes the characteristics of an urban population-based health problem
  • References sources of urban public health data and information Policy
Development/Program Planning Skills
  • Articulates policy options to address an urban health issue
Communication Skills
  • Solicits input from individuals and organizations in urban environments
  • Presents demographic, statistical, programmatic, and scientific information for use by professional and lay audiences
Cultural Competency Skills
  • Considers the role of cultural, social, and behavioral factors in the accessibility, availability, acceptability and delivery of urban public health services
Community Dimensions of Practice Skills
  • Establishes linkages with key stakeholders in an urban environment
Public Health Sciences Skills
  • Conducts a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence related to an urban public health issue, concern, or intervention
  • Retrieves scientific evidence from a variety of text and electronic sources
Leadership and Systems Thinking Skills
  • Promotes individual, team, and organizational learning opportunities

All graduates fulfill the competencies that guide the MPH Program.

MS in Health Informatics

After completion of the Health Informatics MS program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Produce systems, tools, processes, and analyses to collect, retain, interpret, visualize, and disseminate all types of healthcare data, including clinical, administrative, financial, consumer, and business intelligence, and place it into context.
  2. Manage the collection, retention, analysis, visualization, and dissemination of all types of healthcare data including clinical, administrative, financial, consumer, and business intelligence.
  3. Implement and explain the impact of data, systems, and processes to enhance interaction between clinical, administrative, and other potential users.
  4. Describe our national imperative that health care must be patient-centered, as well as the demographic and cultural changes, cost of care, technology advancements, and policy adjustments that have contributed to a more patient-empowered shift in care over the last century.

PhD in Population Health

After completion of the Population Health PhD program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of population health theories and principles.
  2. Explain theories of population health and demonstrate how such theories impact population health assessment.
  3. Use research methods and analytic strategies to contribute to body of knowledge.
  4. Implement fundamentals of epidemiology, biostatistics, data analysis, research design and program evaluation.
  5. Conduct high quality research on population health related topics, such as social, nutritional, pharmacological and environmental epidemiology; program evaluation; epidemiological, biostatistical, and health assessment methods development; exercise physiology; health economics; and health policy.
  6. Publish research papers in top-quality academic journals and present findings at conferences.
  7. Build and develop one’s own expertise in a research domain through active research and teaching in the classroom.

Department of Health Sciences
360 Huntington Ave
316 Robinson Hall
Boston, MA 02115

Health Sciences Majors
Steve Zoloth, PhD, MPH
[email protected]

MPH & MPH Dual Degree Programs
Neil Maniar, PhD, MPH
[email protected]

Exercise Science MS Program
Rui Li, PhD, MS
[email protected]

Population Health PhD
Beth Molnar, ScD, SM
[email protected]