Health Sciences Comprehensive Major
The goal of the Health Sciences Comprehensive Major is to provide students with a bachelor’s degree preparing them for competitive admission to professional schools in the health sciences or toward other non-clinical careers, including pharmaceutical sales, wellness coordination, medical equipment sales, healthcare advocacy or medical office administration. While students may take the required courses needed for their desired area of professional pursuit in addition to other majors at UWA, this major is designed specifically to meet the needs of those students clearly focused on a career in athletic training, occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant programs beyond the baccalaureate level and allows the flexibility to design their program via major electives to meet the varied requirements within these areas and between different universities. Additionally, professionals already working in the health science fields at the associate degree level may consider this degree to assist in advancing their careers in health science administration and related areas.
Professional school admission requirements vary for each program and school. Students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the specific requirements, deadlines, application processes, etc. of the desired professional program and to work closely with their Health Sciences advisor at UWA to ensure appropriate progress. The Health Sciences Basic Curriculum and Major contain the required prerequisite courses for essentially all athletic training, occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant programs. Additional courses should be chosen from the Health Sciences Electives based upon the requirements of the specific programs and schools to which admission is desired. Additional elective courses are provided for further insight, background, and experiences in specific areas of practice. Each student must be aware of the non-academic qualifications necessary for his or her chosen field.
Students utilizing this degree toward advanced studies in other health related areas or toward other non-clinical careers, including pharmaceutical or medical equipment sales, wellness coordination, healthcare advocacy or medical office administration should work with their advisor in selecting elective courses most appropriate to their specific needs.
Health Sciences Comprehensive Major Requirements: 56 hours
In all cases at least 28 hours must be from 300-400 level classes.
- Alpha Epsilon Delta
- UWA Sports Medicine Club
- UWA Chapter of Iota Tau Alpha (Athletic Training Honor Society)
- Opportunity for exposure to various occupational settings
- UWA Exercise Club
- UWA Walk With Wednesday
All health professions schools evaluate candidates on their academic record, volunteer experiences, shadowing experiences, and scores on the appropriate standardized tests. Each student's journey to be a competitive candidate is unique. For further information regarding each of the four professional programs that the Health Sciences Comprehensive major may be utilized for in admission preparation, please read below.
Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences. To become an athletic trainer, candidates must graduate with a degree in Athletic Training from an accredited athletic training program and successfully pass the Board of Certification (BOC) Exam. To practice as an athletic trainer in most states, the individual must also be credentialed within the state. Degrees in physical therapy, exercise science, strength and conditioning or others DO NOT qualify the candidate to sit for the BOC examination. Soon all Professional Athletic Training Programs will only result in Masters Degree. For more information regarding each CAATE accredited Athletic Training program, click here.
Is a career as an occupational therapist in your future? What does an OT do? An occupational therapist is responsible for helping people of all ages do the things they enjoy doing for themselves. OTs can help people recover skills following an injury or illness and can help children with disabilities live as normal a life as possible.
Since each occupational therapy school may require different supporting coursework, students interested in this field should make contact with the Health Sciences advisor for assistance in scheduling the appropriate coursework and for information regarding other application requirements. Click here for a list of accredited OT schools in the US.
Physical Therapists work with patients of all ages who have medical problems or other conditions that limit their ability to move around well or perform daily activities.
Physician assistants (PAs) work under the supervision of a physician. However, PAs may be the principal care providers in rural or inner city clinics, where a physician is present for only a few days each week. In these cases, the PA confers with the supervising physician and other medical professionals as needed or as required by law. PAs also may make house calls or go to hospitals and nursing homes to check on patients and report back to the physician. Locally, PAs work in our hospitals and emergency rooms.
PAs can do most of the same things that a physician can do but their scope of practice is determined by state laws. There were 137 accredited or provisionally accredited educational programs for physician assistants; more than 90 of these programs offered a master's degree. The rest offered either a bachelor's degree or an associate degree.
Make certain you do your homework as far as the scope of practice for PAs and how that is similar or differs from that of a nurse practitioner (NP). Schools will ask questions like this during the interview process.
Admissions Requirements vary from school to school, but one thing is certain: admission to a PA program is highly competitive. It is best to visit a particular school's website for specific prerequisite coursework required. In general, coursework is equally rigorous as the pre-medicine curriculum, but the content can differ substantially. For example, some PA schools require organic chemistry; others do not.
Healthcare Experience (Hands-on Patient Care) Many PA schools have specific requirements regarding the number of hands-on patient care hours necessary. Some schools require hundreds of hours whereas the more competitive schools require thousands of hours of hands-on patient care. Click here to determine admission requirements for each school.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
The GRE is the test taken for admission to schools of physical therapy. The GRE has three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The content closely mimics the types of thinking required of graduate programs. For more information on the GRE click here.
- Board of Certification, Inc. - www.bocatc.org/
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education = https://caate.net/
- National Athletic Trainers' Association - www.nata.org/
- American Occupational Therapy Association - www.aota.org/
- American Physical Therapy Association - www.apta.org/
- American Academy of PAs - www.aapa.org