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Health Sciences

Degree Programs

The Department of Health Sciences offers 3 majors with 2 concentrations for students pursuing specialized career paths:

B.S. in Athletic Training

Merrimack College is excited to offer a new degree pathway that allows students to complete a Masters of Science in Athletic Training in combination with a BS in Exercise Science or Health Science in only 5 years. The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training (CAATE) recently announced that all professional education in athletic training must be at the master’s degree level. As a result, Merrimack College has decided to transition the current BS in Athletic Training to a MS in Athletic Training and has filed the Substantive Change Degree Level documentation with CAATE (Fall 2016).  

Merrimack College will no longer admit students in the undergraduate program, effective Fall 2016.  

Our Athletic Training curriculum is designed to prepare students for opportunities in the profession, focusing on the six domains of athletic training: Prevention; Recognition, Evaluation and Assessment; Immediate Care; Treatment, Rehabilitation and Recondition; Organization and Administration; and Professional Development and Responsibility. 

This program is directed at the incorporation of education requirements in combination with extensive hands-on experience as required by the CAATE and National Athletic Trainers Association. Graduates of the Athletic Training program are eligible to sit for the BOC Certification examination for entry-level athletic trainers.

Since 1998, Merrimack College’s first graduates of the Athletic Training Education Program, the College has 100% placement for graduate school and/or work place.

B.S. in Health Science

The Health Science Major focuses on human biology and prepares students for careers in diverse areas of the health industry. Our students develop an understanding of how the human body functions in health and disease, consider the methodologies used to obtain this knowledge, and acquire the skills to communicate this information within the scientific community .Our program emphasizes the scientific process by utilizing both independent and collaborative investigative approaches in the laboratory, stressing scientific communication and offering senior thesis research internships and practica so that students might gain practical experience in their area of interest.

Students who major in Health Science will explore various aspects of human biomedical science, and have the opportunity to choose from 3 different concentrations that suit their interests, aptitude and career goals. Students may enter: General Health Science, Public Health, or Nutrition. 

General Health Science: Health Science graduates of the Merrimack program have entered diverse fields within the health care system, including professional medical practices, positions in biomedical research and industry, public health, hospital administration, education, and medical technology.Students in the General Health Science major are advised on an individual basis to include certain courses into their program depending on the particular career path they have chosen.

Public Health: Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of health lifestyles and research for injury and disease prevention. Public Health work involves analyzing the effect of genetics, personal choice and the environment on health in order to develop programs that protect the health of families and communities. Many health challenges face our local and global communities, in the areas of emerging infectious disease, obesity and sedentary lifestyle, aging, health care policy and costs, environmental health, health promotion and education, etc. The public health field is currently experiencing a workforce shortage at local, state and federal levels.

Nutrition: The Nutrition concentration introduces students to the important role that nutrition plays in human health and wellness. Required courses explore the fundamentals of nutritional science, the public health applications of nutrition in the community, the clinical dimensions of human nutrition, and nutritional perspectives within the foodservices industry. Students enrolled in the Health Sciences Nutrition concentration are prepared for entry-level positions in the health and wellness and foodservice’s fields. Graduates of this major are encouraged to continue their education in graduate programs designed to maximize career options and mobility in the growing field of human nutrition.

B.S. in Exercise Science

Exercise Science at Merrimack (formally Sports Medicine) involves the study of the science of exercise and human movement and the role of physical activity and exercise in health and disease. Students will learn the anatomical, biomedical, and physiological basis of human movement and how inactivity might contribute to chronic disease. Students will also be able to apply their knowledge to real world settings through experiential learning and internship experiences. 

Graduates of the Exercise Science program are academically prepared for graduate study in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, and Physician Assistant programs, as well as graduate study in public health and biomedical sciences. Our graduates have been successful in a number of graduate programs in the New England region, including Simmons College, University of Vermont, UMass Lowell, University of Rhode Island and Franklin Pierce College. 

Graduates from the Exercise Science program are also prepared to work in a variety of settings, including health promotion, strength and conditioning, and personal training and fitness. Upon graduation, students are qualified to take the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam (National Strength and Conditioning Association) or the Certified Exercise Physiologist exam (American College of Sports Medicine).