In good health

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Health Sciences ranked seventh out of 25 by The Best Schools

DePaul’s health sciences program was recently ranked seventh out of 25 other schools in the nation by The Best Schools. The program, which is a popular one at DePaul, prepares students for various jobs in the field of healthcare, including nursing and physical therapy.

DePaul's health sciences program shares labs in McGowan North with other programs. With the growth of the program, the university has talked about the possibility of building new labs. Photo by Nathan Weisman

DePaul’s health sciences program shares labs in McGowan North with other programs. With the growth of the program, the university has talked about the possibility of building new labs. Photo by Nathan Weisman

DePaul’s degree program was preceded by programs at University of South Florida, Arizona State University and the first-place winner, Boston University.

Health    sciences    is    an interdisciplinary major at DePaul, meaning that it combines various concepts and faculty   from different departments in order to provide a wealth of knowledge to its students.

“I am excited that our program is being recognized for its excellence in academic quality and service to students,” Dr. Craig Klugman, chair of the department of health sciences, said. “It is always an honor to be acknowledged for your work and for building an interdisciplinary program that addresses needs of the community and the students.”

The ranking, which the department learned of Thursday morning, came as a surprise since the department didn’t know it was being considered for the review conducted by The Best Schools, according to Klugman. In its review, the site mentions that the health sciences department allows students to choose a focus area and a track for their studies.

Also highlighted in the review is how the structure of each concentration aims to help students meet their professional goals and program requirements for graduation. This allows students to continue learning about what interests them while trying to graduate.

“It is a truly interdisciplinary program where we bring together the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to explore the human condition in relation to health and illness,” Klugman said. “We will continue to work with the university, our students and our community partners to develop courses and programs that meet learning needs and that inspire people to greatness.”

Possible areas of study include biosciences and public health studies, while possible tracks include medical, lab investigations or pre-nursing. DePaul also offers a five-year dual degree in health communication,allowing students to pursue a bachelor of science and a master of arts consecutively.

“The ranking definitely fits with the curriculum,” Jonathan Wheeler, a freshman studying biosciences who hopes to become a pediatrician, said. “It’s difficult to be a health sciences major but I know I want to go to medical school and (the health sciences program) is helping me to reach that goal.”

The health sciences program has been offered for three years so far, and those leading the department plan to continue trying to cater to the needs of students as well as their interests. This summer the department plans to look at its curriculum in hopes of building on it, according to assistant professor Sarah Connolly. The goal is to analyze what has been working and what can be improved as the college continues to build and expand.

“Health fields are changing and growing, there are new types of jobs, so it’s nice that right now we can design what we want,” Connolly said. “It’s an opportunity to direct where we want the department to go.”