School of Health Sciences
Dean: Kyle McInnis
Associate Dean: Kevin Finn
Full Professors: Glod
Associate Professors: Ferrara
Assistant Professors: Alberti, Bowling, Cohen, Corcoran, Szivak, Yan
Lecturers: Cannon, Peacock
Lecturer/Graduate Fellowship Manager: Sarah Benes
Director of Athletic Training Education Program: Birgid Hopkins
Athletic Training Clinical Coordinator: Dennis Fontaine
Athletic Training Clinical Instructor: Leah Poloskey
Medical Director/Team Physician: Matthew Savory, M.D.
Mission. The School of Health Sciences at Merrimack College prepares students to excel in a wide variety of careers in the health professions and human performance.
Health Sciences Program
The program offers a strong foundation in the basic sciences, mathematics and technology, enhanced by diverse experiential learning opportunities. Students are mentored in the development of career-related skills in a student-centered curriculum that fosters an active learning environment and practical experience in the health care and human performance fields. Clinical and laboratory competencies are acquired in coursework and through participation in off-campus clinical experiences. Internship, Service Learning and Co-op programs in healthcare facilities, clinical laboratory science, biomedical research, and community health and educational settings maximize opportunities for direct career entry, for obtaining BOC certification, American College of Sports Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association certifications, and for pursuing advanced professional study.
The School of Health Sciences offers Bachelor of Science degree programs in Exercise Science, Health Science, Nutritional Sciences, Public Health, and Rehabilitation Sciences. Each of these areas of study follows a specific curriculum that offers a core of courses exposing students to the breadth of their discipline and advanced courses whose content is current, relevant and explores the specific subject area in depth. All programs in the school emphasize 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. The school also serves the college as a whole by offering non-major courses that fulfill the college’s STEM requirement in the Core Curriculum in Liberal Studies. The school encourages professional involvement by faculty and students in the Merrimack Valley community by offering service learning opportunities, seminars and workshops. The Lawrence Math Science Partnership program places Merrimack students with Lawrence middle school youth in after school programs that focus on math and science inquiry-based activities. The Community Service Partnership Program identifies community institutions, organizations, and facilities that focus on health and wellness, share and support our vision of community service, and assist in the placement of our students into their programs for diverse experiential learning and service opportunities. Faculty invite Health Sciences students to participate in a research program designed to mitigate childhood obesity in Lawrence by targeting middle school children in a technologically advanced “Active Science” project that promotes health and mobility, enhances teaching and learning in science, and educates our undergraduates in community-based research methods.
With the expansion of the health care industry, and with its continuous evolution into new forms of service for patients, the opportunities for Health Sciences graduates are growing. At Merrimack, we provide students with an excellent scientific foundation in the study of human biology as well as program flexibility to find their appropriate niche within the health care system. The School of Health Sciences attempts to make students aware of the many facets of health care delivery, and to assist in selecting options for career development and advancement. All college wide and School requirements must be satisfied by students in the School of Health Sciences.
Departmental Academic Policies
- All Exercise Science, Health Science, Nutritional Sciences, Public Health, and Rehabilitation Science Majors must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) to remain in good academic standing within the School. Athletic Training Majors must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA.
- All students must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in ALL Departmental courses (SME, HSC, ATR prefix). Students must successfully repeat any Health Sciences course that falls below these grades.
- All students must successfully complete with a grade of “C” or higher in all School of Health Sciences courses that serve as a prerequisite to other courses. For example, students must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in Anatomy and Physiology I before progressing to Anatomy and Physiology II.
- Students are allowed to repeat any School course below a “C”, as long as the course is re-taken in the Department
- Students will only be allowed to retake a School course (e.g., HSC, SME, ATR prefix) in which a grade is issued no more than two times.
- Receiving a W in a course will not be considered officially enrolled, therefore will not result in an academic penalty.
Policies on Probation / Dismissal from the School of Health Sciences
Any student that falls below the 2.5 / 2.75 cumulative GPA will be notified that they are on academic probation in a formal written letter from the Associate Dean of Health Sciences. Any student who does not show satisfactory progress in completing the academic requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in EX, HS, NS, PBH, RBS for two consecutive semesters will be subjected to academic dismissal from the major.
All students will have the opportunity to appeal their probationary or dismissal status. Once the student has received formal notification, they have five business days to petition to the Associate Dean of Health Sciences in writing, outlining any perceived or extenuating circumstances that may support their case. The Student Affairs Committee comprised of faculty from the School of Health Sciences will review each appeal, and present their recommendations to the Associate Dean. The Associate Dean will then notify the student and the Dean of the final ruling.
Health Sciences Graduates
Health Sciences graduates have successfully entered graduate programs in areas such as public health, environmental health, microbiology, and professional programs in medical schools, dental schools, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical technology, optometry and podiatry, and MBA programs. (A partial list of postgraduate schools attended by our graduates is available on the college website.) Graduates have also entered the work force after graduation in positions as teachers, laboratory technicians in academic and industrial laboratories, and as community leaders in public health.
Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy
To become a registered physical therapist, students must study for two-three years to get a Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy. There are several graduate programs in Massachusetts, and there is a very competitive application process for admission into these programs. Merrimack College does not have a graduate program in physical therapy.
Students interested in certification by the American College of Sports Medicine or National Strength and Conditioning Association may use their major electives to take courses that provide the pre-requisites needed for careers in these fields.
Note: A minimum grade point average of 2.5 is required to remain in the Exercise Science major.