Health Sciences Department

Integrating the study of biology, chemistry, and physics with a focus on the science of the human body in conditions of health and disease.

The Health Sciences Department at Gettysburg College prepares students with a multidisciplinary approach to learning. Students who pursue the health sciences major may choose between the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in health sciences or the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in health sciences.

With Gettysburg College’s signature approach to undergraduate education through the Gettysburg Approach, students receive a breadth and depth of knowledge and enduring skills that prepare them to thrive in a health care landscape marked by change and adaptation. To ensure that health sciences students make the most of their academic studies and co-curricular activities, the Guided Pathways allow them to connect their education with practical, experiential learning to prepare them for their pursuits in health professions.

What is a health sciences degree?

A health sciences degree is highly flexible, with its focus centered on building the enduring skills of adaptability, communication, leadership, problem solving, and teamwork needed to enter the health care industry. Your coursework in the health sciences span subjects such as human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, health equity, and global health.

While the bachelor’s in health sciences doesn’t qualify you to become a clinician, you’ll develop the groundwork needed to pursue graduate study. Earning your health sciences degree qualifies you for various entry-level health professions.

Upon completion of the Health Sciences major, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the following areas:

Information acquisition and comprehension

Acquire and explain information from multiple health sciences topics using appropriate sources.

Quantitative and qualitative analysis

Appraise health sciences research findings using quantitative and qualitative data analysis knowledge and skills.

Written communication

Compose essays, research papers, and other forms of written scientific communication using high-quality health sciences sources.

Verbal and visual communication

Communicate health sciences knowledge through verbal and visual presentations, applicable to various audiences.

Participation and collaboration

Collaborate with peers using skills such as active listening, time management, resource sharing, and teamwork in health sciences laboratory experiences and projects.

Dimensions of human health

Describe physiological, physical, psychological, and social differences as they relate to health outcomes for individuals and communities.

Why should I major in health sciences?

The field of health care is a thriving, diverse field, with jobs available for those who are interested in medical school, physical therapy, physician assistant programs, public health, nursing, health care administration, or health policy. You’ll know that you’re a good fit for the health sciences major if you’re eager to learn about human health and improve the well-being of patients and communities.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in health sciences

The Bachelor of Science in health sciences is ideal for students who want to apply to medical school, physical therapy programs, physician assistant programs, nursing or related graduate study in the health professions. Students develop a solid foundation for their study of the human body and the natural sciences, discovering the conditions that cause disease or promote wellness.

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in health sciences

The Bachelor of Arts in health sciences differs from the Bachelor of Science in health sciences by placing a greater focus on public health. Students who seek to enter careers in public health, global health, epidemiology, health policy, health administration, health education, or other related population health professions can benefit from a Bachelor of Arts in health sciences.

Health sciences curriculum

As a health sciences major, you engage in health sciences coursework, labs, internships, and independent research that can lead to presentations at distinguished scientific meetings. To apply your knowledge and interests in the health sciences, B.A. and B.S. in health sciences majors enroll in a capstone experience course or internship.

Explore all health sciences courses.

What makes Gettysburg’s health sciences department different?

You may find yourself conducting research in one of our cutting-edge health sciences facilities, including the Molecular Physiology Lab, Neuromuscular Physiology Lab, Integrative Physiology Lab, or Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab. On other days, you may find yourself collaborating with the Pre-Health Professions Club. You can also get involved in community-based research working on health research in our local community in collaboration with Health Sciences faculty, the Center for Public Service, and community-based organizations.

The Department of Health Sciences offers a unique experience for each student seeking a health sciences degree, intentionally connecting the liberal arts and sciences with the human sciences. Collectively, the valuable insights gained from integrating a liberal arts education with the health sciences allow students to carry their interdisciplinary perspectives into their graduate studies and careers.

Hands-on learning opportunities

Within the Gettysburg Health Sciences Department, you have the opportunity to engage in invaluable internships within any health profession you would like to explore.

Your hands-on learning opportunities might also include volunteering in health care services within the Gettysburg community, studying abroad, conducting student-faculty research projects, or shadowing a physician.

Student life opportunities

Students who want to learn more about the health professions are encouraged to join the Pre-Health Professions Club, open to all students regardless of major. Club members learn about career paths through guest speakers, conferences, school fairs, volunteer work, field trips, and discussions in regular club meetings.

Additionally, students are welcome to participate in the Emergency Medical Services organization. Its members consist of student EMTs and first responders who educate members and the College community on CPR, Stop the Bleed, and other aspects of medical training.


All Gettysburg students and alumni have access to the connectGettysburg platform, our home for more than 32,000 alumni who are eager to grow their professional network. Our connectGettysburg platform links you with Gettysburg professionals inside and outside the field of health sciences to help you grow in your career.

Career preparation

 Students can connect with an array of helpful resources through Pre-Health Professions advising. Supported by the Center for Career Engagement, Pre-Health Professions advising can help students in their pursuit of an entry-level career in the health sciences, applying for medical school, or applying for other graduate programs in the health professions.

Through health sciences coursework, labs, internships, externships, and the Pre-Health Professions Club, you’re supported every step of the way. You will have an academic advisor in the Health Sciences department offering individualized guidance for the duration of your degree program, collaborating with you as you prepare for a successful career in the health professions. Along with the Center for Career Engagement, all health sciences majors are offered comprehensive advising through Health Professions advising.

For students seeking to apply to medical or dental school, the Health Professions Committee conducts interviews with students and provides composite evaluations for students who decide they are ready to apply.

Priority consideration for a Master of Science in nursing

Gettysburg’s Health Sciences Department prepares health sciences majors for nursing careers through a partnership with the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON). Through this partnership, Gettysburg students are given priority consideration in the application process of the Master of Science in nursing (MSN) degree program.

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Jump to level: All Health Sciences courses

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Support communities with your health sciences degree at Gettysburg

Making the decision to earn your bachelor’s in health sciences at Gettysburg connects you to a myriad of academic opportunities beginning on your first day of class. Whether you want to earn your B.A. or B.S. in health science, you’ll feel involved through each lab, class, and internship. Throughout your undergraduate education at Gettysburg, dedicated health sciences and health professions advising is always available to assist you. Experience the support of a community of faculty and students who are invested in your success.

Request more information about the health sciences programs at Gettysburg College.