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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.




Health Sciences Faculty

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Click to enlarge photos

April 2022

Sidewalk leading to nearly complete-looking Health Sciences Building facade

Sidewalk leading to nearly complete-looking Health Sciences Building facade

February 2022

Health Sciences Building level 3

Health Sciences Building Level 3

Health Sciences Building Level 3

Health Sciences Building level 3

Health Sciences Building level 6

Health Sciences Building level 6

Health Sciences Building level 12

Health Sciences Building level 12

Health Sciences Building Level 11

Health Sciences Building roof

Health Sciences Building roof

January 2022

The Health Sciences Building is going strong. The steel stud framing is beginning on level 12, the final floor! Drywall is completed up through level 8 with the medical gas systems installed and tested on levels 7 and 8.

The service elevators (cars 11 and 12) will be up and running for construction use within the next six weeks.

Tower cranes have been removed, and they will begin removing the hoist and closing up the curtain wall panels immediately after the elevators start up.

Carpet install is to begin February 1. Resinous flooring on level 12 (anatomy spaces) will begin March 11, and the finishes trades are scheduled to begin once space is temperature controlled.

Click to enlarge photos.

Ground floor of the Health Sciences Building looking north

Health Sciences Building 300 Person Active Classroom view looking east

Health Sciences Building third floor classroom looking east

Health Sciences Building fourth floor

Health Sciences Building fifth floor - booth alcove

Health Sciences Building sixth floor community breakout space in the center of the building

Health Sciences Building twelfth floor looking from west to east end of building

Health Sciences Building penthouse

December 2021

The Health Science Building now has permanent power, and it is watertight with curtain wall (exterior) completed. The service elevators should be operational by early March, and the passenger cars up and running by end of March. The flooring installation should be starting on the second floor within three weeks. The HVAC system chilled beam has been installed up to the fourth level. Things are moving along!

Click to enlarge photos.

Exterior of Health Sciences Building

Exterior of Health Sciences Building

Exterior of Health Sciences Building

Exterior of Health Sciences Building

October 2021

Construction on our future home is moving along! The building perimeter is almost complete and should be “zippered up” by the end of November.

Core and shell work (elevators, toilet rooms and stairs) are really taking shape. The HVAC work is in place, metal stud installation is up to the 12th floor and drywall work is underway on the lower floors. Visible spaces and rooms are replacing the big empty floors. Interior photos to come soon.

Click to enlarge photos.

photo from ground looking up at new health sciences building mid-construction

distance photo from end of sidewalk of new health sciences building with cranes on roof

June 2021

Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction

May 2021

Cement trucks ready to start pouring concrete floors of the new building.

Cement trucks ready to start pouring concrete floors of the new building.

March 2021

Six cement trucks lined up to pour the concrete floors.

Cement trucks ready to start pouring concrete floors of the new building.

Cement trucks ready to start pouring concrete floors of the new building.

Click images to magnify

January 2021

Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction 

Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction 

Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction

December 2020

When the announcement about a new home for the College of Nursing and Health Professions was made in May 2019, no one could have imagined that construction would be delayed by a global pandemic. It was expected that groundbreaking would be in spring 2020 with a substantial completion delivery of mid-2022. Beginning in late July, it is still the hope to maintain the same timeline.

Google Earth screenshot of the location of the Drexel Academic Tower

With CNHP being the first occupants of the new facility, some of the College of Medicine’s administrative functions, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies and its first- and second-year medical program will join the College in phases. President Fry, in a message to the University in late 2019, said “at the new academic building, many of Drexel’s health-related programs will be under one roof, enhancing opportunities for interdisciplinary education in a facility that affords health sciences students, faculty and professional staff the best possible environment for continued development and growth.”

















Undergraduate Health Sciences student Amy Kwok has already gained more valuable, applicable experience in health care and research in three years than many students do in their entire college careers.


  • Becoming a Patient Care Ambassador and shadowing physical therapists at Magee Rehabilitation.
  • Working on a qualitative study on chronic pain management among community-dwelling adults with dementia.
  • Conducting independent research to assess the relationship between dietary protein intake and sarcopenia from a national population-based cohort (NHANES).
  • Becoming a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
  • Completing a six-month co-op as a research assistant at Tridiuum.
  • Working as a student administrative assistant in the Pennoni Honors College.

As far as a career or a plan of study, when she arrived at Drexel University in 2019, Kwok only knew she wanted to pursue something healthcare-related. "I knew that the College of Nursing and Health Professions' Health Sciences department offered accelerated tracks in both physician assistant (PA) or physical therapy (PT)," she mentioned. The concentrated academic track option appealed to her, but her curiosity in physical function led her to select the BS/DPT Bridge Program. Amy Kwok, a Health Sciences student in the BS/DPT Bridge program standing in front of the Philadelphia Water WorksKwok will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences and Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in six years instead of the seven it usually takes. "I was really interested in physical therapy—I found that it connects my interest and fascination with human health, my desire to help people and improve their quality of life, and my appreciation for how movement really improves our well-being, both physically and emotionally," Kwok said.

A member of Drexel's Pennoni Honors College, Kwok is pursuing minors in exercise science and nutrition while also seeking out additional occasions to increase knowledge and understanding. She realizes how many paths PT offers, so when the COVID-19 virus disrupted academics, she found herself drawn to research. "I really wanted to find a way to stay engaged and learn more."

With limited in-person opportunities at Magee because of the pandemic, Kwok reached out to Annalisa Na, PhD, PT, DPT, an assistant research professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, about helping with her research in developing non-pharmacological pain management strategies that would prolong physical function and mobility while aging in the community. Na was excited, like many research faculty, to have students curious about her work and welcomed Kwok's help. "Faculty genuinely want us to succeed," Kwok commented. "When you show them that you're driven and engaged in the work that they're doing, they'll collaborate with you on their projects."

In addition to her work with Na, Kwok developed an independent research project through Pennoni with Michael Bruneau, Jr, PhD, an assistant teaching professor in the Health Sciences Department. Culminating in a presentation of her findings at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (MARC-ACSM) conference in 2021, Kwok embraced a personal growth situation it offered. Acknowledging a need to improve her confidence while speaking or presenting publicly, Kwok pushed out of her comfort zone this time by opting for the oral instead of a poster presentation. "I wanted to challenge myself," Kwok admitted, adding that "learning how to communicate my work, trusting myself and applying what I learned are important skills to practice, especially for my professional career."

Kwok had other possibilities to discover various aspects of health care. Drexel University is well-known for its cooperative education program and the opportunities it affords students to gain hands-on experience while getting paid as employees. Kwok is doing her co-op outside of physical therapy. She is a research assistant at Tridiuum, a digital behavioral health company in Philadelphia dedicated to advancing the treatment of behavioral health conditions. "While my positive experience here has allowed me to build professional skills, it also provided me with a unique perspective of how behavioral health and physical health interact and integrate"

 A group of students including Nicholas Eltman and Amy Kwok, Health Sciences students, and professors Michael Bruneau, PhD and Steve Vitti, PhD, at the MARC-ACSM conference.
Nicholas Eltman and Amy Kwok, Health Sciences students, with professors Michael Bruneau, PhD and Steve Vitti, PhD at the MARC-ACSM conference.

Kwok, who grew up in nearby Cherry Hill, NJ, shared the university's campus in the heart of the vibrant city of Philadelphia was part of the reason she chose Drexel. Living in the fast-paced city has not only helped her learn to manage her time better, but it is also home to numerous health care companies, providers and clinicians, centers of excellence and research facilities.

"I like the convenience of having everything within the area," she observed. "It also opens up so many opportunities to find my passion."


Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions Health Sciences student Nicholas Eltman standing in front of an ivy covered wall.Growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, Nicholas Eltman was a self-professed "homebody," reading books, playing video games and avoiding physical activity. However, while in high school he decided to pursue an ROTC scholarship for college which motivated him to get off the couch and start running.

"I eventually found exercise to be an extremely cathartic experience, just the process of doing it," admitted Eltman, a Health Sciences major who is also pursuing a minor in exercise science and a certificate in Medical Humanities. "It helped me feel better about myself. I was much more confident and healthier."

It's not an overstatement to say that exercise changed his life. It set Eltman on a course that led him to Drexel University for a term in 2014 and four years as U.S. Army Rangers as a critical care paramedic before returning to Drexel's College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) in 2019. His ultimate goal is to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO), practicing the specialty known as physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) or physiatry.

A night vision picture of Army Ranger and Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions Health Sciences student Nicholas Eltman performing medical procedures a simulation exercise in darkness.
Army Ranger field training exercise.

"I knew that the Army Rangers specifically offered a higher scope of practice than a traditional army medic," he observed. He had one of the best medical experiences. "I worked in a consolidated aid station, where I practiced clinical and trauma medicine, and I worked very closely with a team that included a physician assistant (PA), physical therapist (PT), doctor, performance nutritionist, and athletic trainers." This experience was foundational in several ways. He narrowed his practice focus to physical medicine and rehabilitation, which combines elements of both physical therapy and clinical medicine.

Encouraged by the military benefits, Eltman returned to Drexel in 2019. The university has committed over $20 million since 2009 to provide education to eligible military veterans as part of its participation in the new GI Bill's® Yellow Ribbon Program. "That financial independence really gave me not only the confidence I needed to resume a full-time education but also allowed me to dedicate all of my resources to school."

Eltman has become a leader and advocate for veterans at Drexel. He got involved with Drexel's Military Transition Program offered through the Goodwin College of Professional Studies. The program “helps veterans transition from military to civilian life by enrolling them as full-time students," Eltman explained. "This program is an amazing opportunity Drexel gave me; I really wanted to help other vets that way."

A group of Drexel University veteran students at the Veterans Parade including College of Nursing and Health Professions student Nicholas Eltman.The student-run Drexel Veterans Association, of which Eltman currently serves as its president, supports and enhances student veterans' educational experiences and the unique challenges they may face as they transition to college life. "Among other things, we host veteran-oriented social events to help them feel welcome and included in the community," remarked Eltman. However, until restrictions are fully lifted on campus, he said that the association is "giving away a lot of swag, like T-shirts, hoodies, stuff like that to keep the interest going."

Drexel's renowned co-op education program allows students to balance their classroom education with real-life work experience. Eltman chose to complete his undergraduate co-op at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia, where he previously volunteered. He is the research assistant for the PM&R doctor he has been shadowing. According to the Association of Academic Physiatrists, PM&R "is one of the newer subspecialty areas of medicine that manages a diversity of conditions involving the nervous and musculoskeletal systems, and focuses on function, independence and quality of life."

 A group of students including Nicholas Eltman and Amy Kwok, Health Sciences students, and professors Michael Bruneau, PhD and Steve Vitti, PhD, at the MARC-ACSM conference.
Nicholas Eltman and Amy Kwok, Health Sciences students, with professors Michael Bruneau, PhD and Steve Vitti, PhD at the MARC-ACSM conference.

Given Eltman's attitude toward physical fitness, he champions the benefits of exercise. He's been working on Drexel's Exercise Is Medicine program with Michael Bruneau, Jr, PhD, assistant teaching professor, director of CNHP's Clinical Exercise Physiology Laboratory and president-elect for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of American College of Sports Medicine (MARC-ACSM). As part of a global health initiative managed by the ACSM, Eltman and Bruneau create podcasts and videos for social media, including Instagram and Facebook, which Eltman manages.

When he graduates from CNHP in March 2023, he hopes to enter a DO program, perhaps with a subspecialty in sports medicine. Eltman has forged a unique path encompassing all his interests and experience.

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