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Health Sciences Department

Bridging The Gap

Health sciences bridge the gap between scientific research and the application of this knowledge to help patients. Tailor your degree to meet your interests and needs to become a pioneer in this ever-changing field.

Health Sciences Department

The undergraduate Program in Health Sciences prepares students to enter a wide variety of careers in health care and related professions. Examples of careers and graduate programs our students pursue include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, cardiac rehabilitation, physician assistant studies, nursing, exercise physiology, nutrition sciences, clinical research, public health, health advocacy, bioethics, health psychology, and others.

Why Drexel?

Dedicated and highly-qualified faculty – Our diverse faculty hold doctoral degrees in several specialty areas including  Anatomy, Physiology, Medicine, Pharmacology, Physical Therapy, Statistics, Clinical Research, Embryology, Exercise Science, and more. They have extensive experience teaching and mentoring undergraduate students in the health professions.

Curriculum choices – Our Health Science Program allows students to tailor their undergraduate degree to meet the needs of a variety of health care related graduate programs and careers. Furthermore, the integrated co-op experience provides our students the opportunity to work with health care professionals in the workplace.  Qualified students may participate in accelerated dual-degree programs with Physician Assistant Studies and the Physical Therapy programs.

Employment opportunities – Health care professions are the fastest growing job sector for the upcoming decade. There is tremendous demand for trained health care providers at all levels. In the Health Science Program, the multidisciplinary faculty, flexible curriculum, and co-op experience provide students with a competitive edge in the market place and in the pursuit of graduate studies.


Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences

Two Accelerated Track Options

Articulation Agreement Options

Health Sciences Faculty

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News & Events



On January 11, US News and World Report published their 2017 Best Jobs list and 52 of the top 100 are in health care. Nurse practitioner and physician assistant are number two and three on that list with no surprise as the demand for more skilled health care professionals skyrockets. Susannah Snider, personal finance editor at U.S. News said in a press release about the jobs list, "Health care jobs often require a human element, so they can't be exported or entirely replaced by robots – at least not yet.
“Continued growth in the health care sector, low unemployment rates and high salaries make these jobs especially desirable. Plus, individuals can pursue a range of health care positions that require varying levels of skill and education," furthered Snider. While the opportunities for PAs and NPs expand practically every specialty — orthopedics, endocrinology, cardiology, pediatrics — a reported 80% of nurse practitioners choose primary care whereas a study from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) states physician assistants tend to practice outside of primary care. 
Regardless of the position a person chooses, it’s all good news for CNHP. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics cited nurse practitioner and physician assistant among the fastest growing occupations with 35% and 30% growth respectively. This expansion can be attributed to a few factors including a move to patient-centered care models and an aging population. But another reason is the expansion of coverage for an additional 20 million people through Affordable Care Act. “The ACA recognized physician assistants as an essential part of the solution to the primary care shortage by formally acknowledging them as one of the three primary care health providers,” said Patrick Auth, PhD, MS, PA-C, CNHP clinical professor and department chair. “They also committed to expanding the number of PAs by providing financial support for scholarships and loan forgiveness programs, as well as by funding the training of 600 new PAs,” he continued.
“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowed millions of Americans to have access to insurance to pay for the cost of their health care. That meant hospitals and providers reduced their cost of indigent care.  While these figures have presented a hopeful outlook on what new health care reform may mean, one recent report has portrayed a potentially much different outcome.
The study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund revealed repealing the ACA, likely starting with the insurance premium tax credits and the expansion of Medicaid eligibility would result in a doubling in the number of uninsured Americans while having widespread economic and employment impacts. In 2019, the study predicts a loss of 2.6 million jobs nation-wide, primarily in the private sector, with around a third of them in the health care industry. Pennsylvania could see around 137,000 jobs lost. 
Elizabeth W. Gonzalez, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, associate professor and department chair of the doctoral nursing program and Kymberlee Montgomery, DrNP, CRNP-BC, CNE ’09, associate clinical professor and department chair of the nurse practitioner program, both suggest that it is too early to tell what any real impact will be to healthcare or employment. “The ACA also lowered Medicare spending by allowing people to enter into share savings plans with accountable care organizations where providers are reimbursed based on the quality, not the quantity, of their services,” Gonzalez said. “This emphasis on quality has resulted in significant savings, lower cost of health care for seniors, individuals with disabilities, low income families, and children. The ACA encourages a focus on the patient experience and this has led to some wonderful innovations because clinicians are being paid to focus on ways to enhance the quality of the care they provide patients,” she added. 
“The Affordable Care Act introduced patients to the role of the nurse practitioner. Patients were forced to see us for primary care — nurse practitioners provided care at a lower cost,” stated Montgomery. “Now patients want to see us because of the level of care we provided.” There are just so many unknowns where the ACA is concerned. While the current administration seems determined to repeal the law, they haven’t yet put forth a replacement that will provide affordable healthcare for those who would undoubtedly lose what they currently have. It’s uncertain whether a new law might be proposed that would guarantee that no jobs created under the ACA are lost or if patient outcomes will decline.” But both Gonzalez and Montgomery feel that advanced practice nursing will continue to be a cost effective way to deliver outstanding clinical services. While it’s tough to speculate, Montgomery thinks opportunities for nurse practitioners will continue to grow regardless. “Who knows, it might make it better for the nurse practitioner especially because we provide high-quality, comprehensive care at lower costs,” she said.

By: Roberta Perry and Kinzey Lynch `17



Dr. Karyn Holt, associate clinical professor, graduate nursing, Advanced Role MSN Department, and director of online quality, and Dana Kemery, assistant clinical professor, undergraduate nursing, have been selected fellows of the Online Learning Council (OLC). A record number of applications from experienced faculty were received for consideration . In an effort to retain seasoned OLC faculty in the midst of projects needing completion, four former fellows returned while six new fellows were added. Along with other members representing 10 colleges and schools at the University, they will provide guidance and direction around best practices for quality online teaching and course design. Additionally, they will serve as mentors and consultants across a variety of other teaching, learning and assessment activities on campus. Dr. Holt continues as chairperson of the OLC.

Dr. Krista L. Rompolski, assistant teaching professor, Health Sciences Department, was recently interviewed at


In September, Krista Rompolski, PhD, assistant clinical professor in the Health Sciences Department, will begin a 2-year fellowship through the American Association of Anatomists (AAA).   The fellowship will allow Rompolski to receive formal training in cadaver dissection and dissection instruction.  The AAA program follows the standard medical student syllabus for gross anatomy.

Rompolski applied for the fellowship because she wanted to be more involved in Drexel’s gross anatomy lab.  “I knew I wanted to continue my education in some capacity, and I wanted whatever I studied next to be helpful to the department,” said Rompolski. She wants to follow in the footsteps of the senior faculty members who teach advanced anatomy and dissection courses.  “I had no cadaver training whatsoever prior to coming to Drexel, and I’d never even been in a cadaver lab until the day I interviewed.  I didn’t know what to expect, but from my first day in the lab, I’d never been so excited about anything I was doing. The first time I held a brain and a heart in my hands stand out in the top 10 moments of my entire life.  So I said to myself, how do I get formally trained in this?”

Throughout her fellowship, Rompolski will need to keep a portfolio of all of her dissections, how she’s meeting all of her objectives, and how and where she’s instructing the material.  She will be a teaching assistant (TA) in some of her mentor, Margery Lockard, PT, PhD’s classes, as well as other senior faculty teaching advanced anatomy courses.  Lockard is a clinical professor in both the Health Sciences and Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department. Both Rompolski and Lockard will be required to send monthly update reports. 

After Rompolski has completed the first half of her training, she will be required to attend a week-long practical with the Anatomical Society at Oxford University in England where she will be asked to demonstrate her newly acquired dissection skills.  At the completion of the program, Rompolski will receive a certificate in cadaver dissection and dissection instruction.   

About this opportunity and the many others that teaching at Drexel has brought, Rompolski said, “I wake up every day and I can’t believe this is what I get to do.  It’s reaffirmation that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.  I’d like to thank Dr. Sinclair Smith for being completely supportive of this endeavor and Dr. Lockard for being my mentor.  Ultimately, thank you to the entire health science faculty for bringing me on four years ago and continuing to be a part of my ongoing education.”

By Maggie McCrea  

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