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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 Health Sciences Department is pleased to announce a new Exercise Science major beginning Fall 2022! The new Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science program integrates a foundation of developmental health and wellness concepts with rigorous training in exercise science and sports medicine.

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, 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.




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Exercise science student Zach Jordan, wearing a baseball cap and sitting in a car."As soon as I heard that exercise science was becoming a major at Drexel, I knew I wanted to join," shares Zach Jordan, BS exercise science '26. During his high school years, Jordan was an avid basketball player, but a series of ankle injuries led him to seek physical therapy treatment. During this difficult recovery experience, Jordan became interested in studying exercise science so he could help other players treat and prevent injury. “Everything we are learning in this bachelors’ program feels applicable to my exercise regimens, athletics and real life,” says Jordan.

For students like Jordan, CNHP's new exercise science program in the Health Sciences Department sets itself apart with a curriculum that is innovative and adapted to current trends in exercise science and sports medicine. The program includes inclusive physical activity courses to prepare students for working with people who live with cognitive or physical impairments, an aging in exercise course that focuses on special issues with this growing and key demographic and a technology and advances in exercise science course that covers many of the new and innovative ways we interface technology and physical activity. Our program also features an Exercise is Medicine course that highlights how to integrate principles of exercise in basic health and wellness care following the American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine initiative on campus.

Jordan says he is excited to be one of the first members of this degree program and he looks forward to carving a new path for himself and others at CNHP. The practical co-op opportunities, specialized research and simulation labs and the senior research capstone course allow students like Jordan to gain real-world immersive experiences. The exercise science program is housed in the new Health Sciences Building, which features interdisciplinary labs and state-of-the-art equipment used for teaching and research. “The new building is really cool,” Jordan attests. “I am excited to use the same equipment and procedures that industry professionals use and gain that knowledge and experience while still in school.”

Throughout their program, exercise science students will receive a well-rounded experience in the many applications of physical activity and exercise lifestyle programs for the betterment of health and wellness. In collaboration with our academic advisors and exercise science faculty, who are active researchers in their field, students can tailor their exercise science degree to meet the needs of a variety of graduate programs or professional careers, as well as become certified with professional organizations and licensing agencies.

“After I graduate, I plan to pursue a career in athletic training,” Jordan shares. “I want to work for a big team, like the Phillies or Eagles. I am really happy with this exercise acience program so far because I know I am being prepared to be a leader in my field.”

Written by Izzy López


Raquel Ramos, BS health sciences ’23, wearing blue scrubs holding stethoscope.

“I’ve always wanted to help people and to have an impact in the health care system,” shares Raquel Ramos, BS health sciences ’23.

With a passion for inclusive health care, Ramos is preparing for a future career as a physician assistant (PA) by pursuing her bachelor’s in health sciences at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. In addition, she is pursuing a minor in medical Spanish and nutrition, and Ramos has trained as an EMT and critical care technician. She aspires to work as an emergency room PA and intends to serve as an advocate for non-English-speaking patients and patients from underserved populations.

Raquel Ramos, BS health sciences ’23, outside with mountains in the background.“I want to advocate for my people,” Ramos attests. “A lot of underserved populations come through the ER, and the quality of their care can vary. We need people who can translate, people who care, people who will go out of their way to assist patients in high stakes situations.”

In addition to her advocacy for inclusive care, Ramos is a community-driven student leader on Drexel’s campus. She is the co-founder of Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas, a student group that is creating safe spaces and learning communities on campus about indigenous cultures. The group is open to Indigenous students as well as allies. Together, they are advocating for greater inclusion and representation on campus.

“I remember when Sky Harper, the president of Drexel Indigenous Students, reached out to me and told me that he had an idea to start a group for Native Americans on campus to increase their voice and representation on campus,” Ramos shares. “Immediately, I knew this was the right thing to do. Together, we decided to expand the group to Indigenous students, since many Latinx students, like myself, have Indigenous roots blended into our identities.”

Raquel Ramos, BS health sciences ’23, representing Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas wearing a mask.Since their founding in March 2021, Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas has led several on-campus events, including mental health check-ins, and collaborated with Drexel leadership to incorporate land acknowledgements into university events. Thanks to her persistent efforts, Drexel’s University Commencement ceremony in June 2022 included a land acknowledgement for the first time, a major achievement for Ramos and Drexel Indigenous students.

“Land acknowledgements are very important to us,” Ramos explains. “We need to recognize that the land on which we stand was stolen from Indigenous communities. We need to acknowledge this history and the reality of this situation. A quote I heard once that resonates for me is: ‘it was not our fault, but it is our responsibility.’”

This fall, Ramos says Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas will remain active on campus and the group is in process of planning more cultural events throughout the school year. As Ramos completes her studies at Drexel and prepares to graduate at the end of the fall 2022 quarter, she says that she will apply everything she has learned at Drexel and in community with others in her career.

“I want to be a genuine support system for my future patients,” Ramos concludes. “I want to be there for them when they are at their most vulnerable and advocate for knowing and caring for the whole person, not just their symptoms.”

Written by Izzy López


The new academic home of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel's Health Sciences Building.An open house on August 25, 2022 welcomed the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) faculty and staff to their new academic home, Drexel's Health Sciences Building. Attendees had the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of nursing and health profession labs and classrooms hearing about how these advanced spaces will augment the academic experience for all students. “We educate leaders for the future, we discover and create new knowledge, and we practice our individual disciplines in order to make the world a better place. Seeing you all here today reminds me of our greater purpose as a college to assure health, service and wellness for everyone, locally, nationally and globally,” announced Dean Laura N. Gitlin, PhD.

Before Provost Paul Jensen welcomed CNHP employees to University City, Gitlin gave the history of the land on which the building sits and the people connected to it. Jensen spoke about the importance of connecting many of the University’s health-related disciplines within the Health Sciences Building. He commented how excited the University is to have CNHP on main campus and espoused the benefits this 12-story, academic space offers the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and next year, the College of Medicine and School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies.Dean Laura N. Gitlin, PhD addressing attendees from the College of Nursing and Health Professions during an open house in the new Drexel Health Science Building.

CNHP’s interim dean, Ann Branchini, PhD, who holds a doctorate in nursing with a focus on leadership, took a few minutes to address attendees. Excited to step into this new home, Branchini is eager to get to work supporting students, faculty and professional staff. “This is a critical time in the history of CNHP, and I am excited about the opportunity we share to forge our identity and secure the future of our programs and our students on this campus,” Branchini articulated.

College of Nursing and Health Professions Interim Dean Ann Branchini, PhD holding a microphone during an open house in the new Drexel Health Science Building.With the support of university leadership, and Gitlin as its determined champion, the Health Sciences Building can offer opportunities for interdisciplinary education in a facility that affords students, faculty and professional staff the best possible environment for continued development and growth. Over 1,450 tradespeople participated in the building with over 11K cubic yards of concrete, 5K light fixtures, 600 wood door frames and so much more—everything remained on track, despite a global pandemic, because of the dedication of many teams. Gitlin recognized three individuals who were exceptional in their management: Mary Gallagher Gordon, PhD, vice dean of CNHP’s Strategic Operations and Academic Services, Terri Schmitt, director of Planning, and Nancy Trainer, associate vice president and university architect. “Our trio of mighty leaders has led through immeasurable uncertainty, going far above and beyond their job descriptions to make sure this space is exemplary for the Drexel community,” Gitlin stated.

Terri Schmitt and Mary Gallagher Gordon, PhD holding their recognition awards during the College of Nursing and Health Professions open house in the new Drexel Health Science Building.At the end of the event, Gitlin invited everyone there to take the self-guided walking tour previewing classrooms and labs where faculty and staff greeted groups and shared unique details of the spaces. The eight stops along the tour included a 300-person classroom where international speakers, distinguished lecture series and events that honor students, staff and faculty will be hosted; clinical spaces; Creative Arts Therapies teaching spaces; and a virtual reality classroom, a state-of-the-art room where CNHP students will learn and practice skills in a safe, immersive and realistic environments.

Distinctive lab spaces—SIM, Clinical Skills, Digital Anatomy and Imaging and Gross Anatomy labs—rounded out the tour. All are outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and technology to enhance students’ hands-on educational experience. “The Health Sciences Building will support us in ushering in transformational opportunities for education and community engagement. This is the structure – but it is all about you and what you do – this beautiful new building is designed to enhance your purpose and everyday excellence,” concluded Gitlin.

Written by Roberta S. Perry


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