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Health Sciences


Health Sciences is an interdisciplinary program grounded in the liberal arts. The major is comprised of courses in Health Promotion, Nutrition, Addictions, Physical Activity, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology.

Students learn environmental, socioeconomic, and personal factors that influence the health of individuals and populations while creating targeted interventions.

To complete the Health Sciences major, students select one of four options: Pre-Health Professions, Nutrition and Dietetics, Health and Wellness or Addiction. All Health Sciences majors complete the Health Sciences core along with courses in their option.

This major prepares students for a wide variety of health-related careers and pre-professional health programs. Prospective students should meet with a faculty advisor during their first semester. Specific requirements and standards are listed for each of the options.

Program Options

Pre-Health Professions Option

The Pre-Health Professions Option in Health Sciences is a flexible track that will allow students to complete elective courses that help to fulfill pre-requisites for pursuing advanced study in nursing, physician's assistant, chiropractic, occupational therapy, or other health-related professions.

Students interested in the Pre-Health Professions option should meet with a Health Sciences faculty advisor to declare. Students who pursue this option are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor to discuss career goals and determine if additional coursework may be required for admission to post-baccalaureate professional programs.

Nutrition and Dietetics Option

The undergraduate Nutrition and Dietetics option is an ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) accredited dietetics program that prepares students to pursue careers in dietetics, food service management, community nutrition, and health promotion. Upon completion of the program, students will be qualified for entry-level work, application to graduate school, or dietetic internship with an advanced degree. To become an RD/RDN, which is mandatory for professional positions in healthcare, completion of a dietetic internship and an advanced degree are required to be eligible to take the Registration Exam for Dietitians. Students interested in the Nutrition and Dietetics option should meet with a Health Sciences faculty advisor to declare.

Health and Wellness Option

The Health and Wellness option offers two specializations: Nutrition and Wellness and Health Promotion. Students select one of the specializations and complete option and specialization requirements. Health and Wellness graduates work to change policies, environments, attitudes, and behaviors that affect health.

The Nutrition and Wellness specialization includes courses in food science and culture, nutrition for healthy populations across the lifespan and the role of nutrition in chronic diseases. This specialization prepares students for careers in community nutrition, corporate wellness, the food and supplement industry, nutrition communication or graduate school.

The Health Promotion specialization prepares students for professional careers in community health education/coordination, global health, or for graduate programs in public health or health education. Graduates may work for non-profits, public health departments, hospitals, schools, or private businesses. These specializations offer students an opportunity to pursue a second major.

Students interested in the Health and Wellness option should meet with a Health Sciences faculty advisor to declare the major.

Addiction Option

The Addiction option at Keene State College is an academic program that provides a foundation for further studies in the field of addiction or entry-level employment in addiction. Students will take courses such as alcohol and other drug fundamentals, counseling skills, addiction theory, co-occurring disorders, and apply to an internship. This area of study helps prepare students to work in community behavioral health settings limited to pre-professional roles such as entry-level addiction professionals, case manager, residential counselors, research assistants, and other related jobs.

Students will learn what is necessary to obtain licensure and certification in substance use disorders/addiction for the state of New Hampshire or where to find this information for other states. Most states require a Master’s level counseling degree that includes Master’s level addiction and related courses, along with other requirements, to be eligible to apply for a Master’s level addiction counseling license. In some states, the courses in this option may be applied toward becoming a Bachelor’s licensed or certified alcohol and drug abuse professional. However, there are other requirements. This process for licensure or certification is pursued separately through the student’s State Bureau of Substance Use Disorder/Addiction Prevention and Treatment Services. Students must officially declare their major through a faculty advisor in Health Sciences.

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In this Section:

Health Sciences graduates from Keene State College will be able to:

  • Discuss the relationship between health and public policy.
  • Identify and explain the social determinants that influence personal and population health.
  • Design effective health interventions.
  • Apply evidence-based knowledge in Health Sciences.
  • Apply behavior change theories in Health Sciences.
  • Identify and apply ethical principles.
  • Critically evaluate health information through the application of information literacy skills.
  • Effectively communicate health information.
  • Use research methods to complete scholarly work.

I had the chance to work for a coconut oil company in Nicaragua. It has created an entirely new economy in a part of the country that barely has access to electricity.
-Kelsey Bumsted '14

Graduates go on to professional or graduate programs in a range of health fields, including nutrition, addictions, behavioral health, health promotion, as well as nursing, physician assistant, occupational therapy, and naturopathic medicine. In addition, our graduates are working in a variety of fields:

  • WIC nutritionist
  • Nutrition services supervisor
  • Diet technician
  • Registered dietitian
  • Food service manager
  • Public health nutritionist
  • Nutrition and fitness coach
  • Peace Corps/AmeriCorps
  • Community health worker
  • Program manager
  • Health coach
  • Medical unit coordinator
  • Counselor
  • Drug/alcohol counselor
  • Court assistant
  • Recovery specialist
  • Case manager
  • Patient advocates
  • School counselors

Contact Admissions

Admissions Office
☎ 603-358-2276
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435