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Health Science, B.S.

Whitworth's health science major is an interdisciplinary program that offers versatility in careers related to health and well-being. We believe in the value of experiential learning and will give you every opportunity to develop a practical understanding of human health and well-being, in addition to theoretical knowledge.

You will begin your studies with a foundation in biology and chemistry, and an introduction to health sciences. You will then study the form and function of the human body through classes in areas such as anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology and nutrition.

Why major in health science at Whitworth?

  • Gain valuable hands-on experience in our human performance lab and in our anatomy and physiology lab, which provides learning opportunities with human cadavers. Students who continue to graduate school often report that their Whitworth lab experiences put them ahead of peers.
  • Build strong relationships with professors. Health science faculty members are dedicated to their students and will challenge you to grow both academically and personally.
  • Connect your faith or worldview to your studies and career goals. You will learn to identify your strengths and discover how you can use them to serve humanity. You will also be encouraged to develop professional ethics that integrate cultural competence and personal values.
  • Draw inspiration from the state-of-the-art Robinson Science Hall, which houses the health sciences, chemistry, and biology departments, and the new Dornsife Health Sciences Building that houses the human performance lab.
  • Conduct original research and present your findings at academic conferences.
  • Apply your learning to your personal health through courses such as Exercise Physiology and Nutrition. 
  • Network with alumni and regional health providers to develop mentorship relationships to help you discern your vocational calling and connect you with hands-on experience.
  • Develop a holistic understanding of health. You will learn to recognize the interconnectedness of physical, emotional, social and spiritual health.
  • Discover what interests you. Internships and electives allow you to explore areas of personal interest in science and human behavior.
  • Health science is a diverse field and needs leaders from diverse backgrounds. No matter where you come from, you belong.
  • Become who you're meant to be.

Our health science grads make a difference (and get jobs)

Health science majors are prepared for professional schools, graduate programs, and careers in the health and wellness field. Our graduates have an excellent acceptance rate for graduate programs in medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic medicine, public health, health care administration, nutrition, clinical exercise physiology, strength and conditioning, and personal training, among other areas.

Recent job placements include:

  • J. Keith Parker, M.D., dermatologist, Advanced Dermatology and Skin Surgery, Spokane
  • Megan (John) Colwell, pediatric occupational therapist, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Portland, Ore.
  • Captain Jacob Kriegbaum, physical therapist, United States Air Force, Las Vegas, Nev. 
  • Emily (Travis) Shull, Ph.D., clinical research coordinator, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Greenville, S.C.
  • Michael Taylor, assistant strength and conditioning coach, Gonzaga University, Spokane

Our recent health science grads are accepted into Whitworth University’s professional programs, as well as graduate programs at institutions including:

  • University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
  • Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University
  • University of Southern California
  • Mayo School of Health Sciences
  • University of Colorado
  • Oregon State University
  • Emory University
  • Washington Universtiy (St. Louis)
  • Yale University 
  • University of Florida

Opportunities outside the classroom

We encourage students to work or volunteer in the community alongside professors. Opportunities are available at many organizations, including ParaSport Spokane, Habitat for Humanity and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Pack your bags!

A number of Whitworth study abroad programs are great fits for health science students. Learn about health care systems in Scandinavia. Participate in a healthcare internship as part of Whitworth’s semester-long Central America Study & Service Program (CASP). Immerse yourself in Japanese culture while you study Eastern medicine in Japan. Visit medical facilities, aid organizations and universities while traveling throughout South Africa. Or study for a semester abroad through ISEP.

Ask our faculty

Headshot of Elizabeth Abbey

Ask Elizabeth

Professor Elizabeth Abbey's areas of expertise include sports nutrition; exercise and personal health; food security and food systems.

Headshot of Michael Ediger

Ask Mike

Professor Mike Ediger specializes in nursing education and pre-professional healthcare preparation.

Headshot of Matt Silvers

Ask Matt

Professor Matt Silvers' area of expertise is exercise physiology.

Headshot of Daman Hagerott

Ask Daman

Associate Professor Daman Hagerott's areas of expertise are structural and mechanical biomechanics and elite-level athletic training and conditioning.

Headshot of Justin Ulbright

Justin Ulbright

Instructor Justin Ulbright's areas of expertise are human anatomy and physiology and overseeing the undergraduate cadaver lab.

What related majors can I explore?