Health Science (BS) Program

Program Overview

The Health Science major offers students a solid academic and experiential foundation that positions them well to pursue graduate and professional school training in the following programs:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Physical Therapy

The Health Science major is also designed for students who are seeking a strong foundation for a career in health administration and in community-based health promotion and public health.

Emphasis on experiential and contextual learning

Focus on healthcare through a public health lens

Designed to provide pre-health preparation


The Health Science major is modeled on an integrated curriculum that includes foundational courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, and the liberal arts, as well as application-based coursework on public health and healthcare.

Natural sciences and quantitative reasoning

  • Calculus
  • General Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Foundations of Biostatistics
  • Healthcare Research

Social and behavioral sciences

  • Global Perspectives on Discrimination & Health
  • Moral and Social Problems in Healthcare
  • Foundations of Psychology

Students will take courses that introduce them to the United States healthcare system and beyond so they can develop a deep understanding of health policy and administration, quality-of-care improvement, and evidence-based healthcare.

  • The American Healthcare System
  • Community and Public Health
  • Communication Skills for the Health Professions

  • Health Education and Program Planning
  • Healthcare Policy and Administration

Students will take courses that provide them with a strong foundation in research methods and prehealth preparation.

Students interested in graduate school in medicine, dentistry, podiatry, veterinary medicine, and physician assistant studies may opt to follow a prehealth focus, which includes courses required for medical school. Please visit the PreHealth Advising website for course requirements.

Students interested in becoming a Physical Therapist can apply through an Early Assurance Pathway into the Northeastern DPT program. Students who meet the required criteria apply directly to the Physical Therapy Department instead of the Physical Therapy Common Application System (PTCAS).

In addition to the prerequisites courses listed below, students must complete 40 hours of Physical Therapy observation time or work in a health or medical related environment, which can be complete through co-op. Northeastern students that are admitted would also be eligible for the Double Husky Discount.

Courses to Complete for DPT Programs Are these in the Health Science, BS curriculum?
Chemistry with Lab (2 semesters) Yes – 1 semester, need one more semester as an elective
General Psychology (1 semester) Yes
Anatomy & Physiology with Lab (2 semesters) No – Complete courses as electives
Exercise Physiology (1 semester) Yes – Selective
Statistics (1 semester) Yes
Physics with Lab (2 semesters) No – Complete courses as electives
Developmental Psychology (1 semester) No – Complete course as elective

Complete at least three courses from the groups listed below. At least two must be in one category and at least at the 2000 level or higher.

  • Society and Health
  • Policy and Administration
  • Physical Activity and Nutrition
  • Digital Health
  • Research

Students in our Health Science major learn the value of working as members of a health care team in the class setting as well as on Co-op. Our Co-op positions allow students to learn and recognize the importance of professional behaviors both in the classroom and in the workplace.

Students have the option to complete the program in four or five years, with or without a Co-op experience. Sample curricular plans can be found on the Student Services Curricula page.

During their senior year, students participate in a Capstone Project intended to broaden and integrate the knowledge, skills, and experience gained from their particular program of study. Students have partnered with institutions both on campus and within the greater Boston area for their Capstone Projects including:

  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Boston Health Care for the Homeless
  • Northeastern University’s Institute on Urban Health Research
  • Harvard Medical School

The major also includes a significant number of electives that enable students to pursue their particular interests or a minor.  Through our interdisciplinary partnerships with other colleges of the university, students may also choose to supplement their health sciences foundation with courses in:

  • Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Clinical Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology
  • Engineering
  • Human Services
  • Psychology
  • Business
  • International Affairs

Accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health.

Dialogue of Civilizations: Comparative Healthcare Systems and Communications in London

Student Groups

Health Science students are actively involved on campus and in the community. Our student groups provide the opportunity to build upon your education, enhance your experience, and get to know other students both within and outside the Health Science major. Click each icon or item for more information.

Steve Zoloth
Program Director

Annemarie Sullivan
Associate Program Director

Apply to the Health Science BS Program