Health Science

Composite Major

Department Chair: Dr. Andre DeLorme,, (701) 845-7573
Faculty Contact: Dr. Hilde van Gijssel,, (701) 845-7337
Department Office: 203 Rhoades Science Center, (701) 845-7452
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101


The Health Science major is organized to prepare you to pursue professional programs. There is flexibility of pursuing education beyond the undergraduate level, such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, chiropractic, physical therapy, physician assistant, mortuary science. This major combines all of the courses you need to put you on the right track for a biomedical career or for entry level positions that require an understanding of the biomedical field and its practical application, such as jobs in laboratories, hospitals, the government, field offices, and small business and industry.

The program is thorough and rigorous. VCSU prepares you by educating with hands-on opportunities that are usually reserved for graduate students. Our students run the planetarium, conduct research, and gather samples. The department has a strong field and practical application emphasis, and classes involve field study in local areas.  Students also travel to regional and national scientific meetings to present on their current research. We pride ourselves in our small class sizes, which makes a superior learning environment for our students. All faculty in the program have earned their Ph.D.s, and several have research grants and research labs which they run with the assistance of VCSU students.


The Pre-Professional Club is for students interested in continuing their education in the medical field (including nursing), law, accounting, and graduate school. This club provides support for students going through the application process and provides opportunities to practice aptitude tests such as the GRE, mCAT, LSAT, and DAT. Volunteer work, job shadowing, and educational and leadership opportunities are also part of the club’s activities. The goal is for students to support each other, learn from other students’ experiences, thus making your applications stronger, and increasing your chance for successful admission into your program of choice.

Practical Experience

The Rhoades Science Center includes a greenhouse for work in biology and botany, a planetarium and laboratories for biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, computer science, and photography studies.  You will have access to Cell Culture and Synthetic Biology instrumentation and fully equipped Biomedical Research and Aquatic Macroinvertebrate labs. This major provides opportunities that are not part of any regular programs that exist on and off campus that provide sound practical experience, such as student assistants, participation in the campus-tutoring programs, field studies, lab experience with relevant equipment, and biological travel tours. Internships and job shadowing at numerous facilities are available to students to develop and apply their skills.

“Instead of bringing the outside world into the classroom, VCSU brings the classroom out into the world—they make sure that students are doing projects that involve what is going on in the world. The overall concepts were so engrained in everyday lectures that they stuck with me.” —Marcie Bata ’08, Carrington, N.D.; Southeast Central Regional Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinator for Public Health

“At first I was afraid that I would be behind other students in graduate school, but as time goes by I realize that I am on the same level in some subjects and even ahead on others. I feel so fortunate that I attended VCSU, for I received an excellent foundation to build on.” —Erika Schumacher ’09, veterinarian


General Education Requirements

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III: Persuasive Writing
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I 1
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I 1
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
College Physics I
College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Cognition and Brain Science
Technology, Engineering, and Design
Select one of the following:2
Concepts of Fitness and Wellness
Introduction to Stress Management
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
Ethics and Philosophy of Science
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
World Music
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select two of the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits39

Major Requirement

Required Courses
BIOL 151General Biology II4
BIOL 220Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL 221Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
BIOL 310Microbiology4
BIOL 340Research Methods4
BIOL 491Integrated Science Capstone2
CHEM 122General Chemistry II5
Directed Electives
Students future career choice determines the electives to be taken.27
Medical Terminology
Biostatistics and Experimental Design
Cell Biology
Quantitative Analysis I
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II
Elements of Biochemistry
Physical Chemistry I
Technical and Scientific Writing
Applied Calculus I
Calculus I
Calculus II
Applied Probability and Statistics
College Physics I
University Physics I
College Physics II
University Physics II
Developmental Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Total Credits54

Total General Education 39 Hrs
Total Major Requirement 54 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 120 Hrs

For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.

Plan of Study

First Year
BIOL 150 (Gen Ed)4BIOL 1514
CHEM 121 (Gen Ed)5CHEM 1225
CIS 170 (Gen Ed)3ENGL 125 (Gen Ed)3
ENGL 110 (Gen Ed)3PSYC 111 (Gen Ed)3
UNIV 1501 
 16 15
Second Year
BIOL 2204BIOL 2214
SOC 1103BIOL 3104
MATH 107 (Gen Ed)3HPER 100 (Gen Ed)2
Speech Communication (Gen Ed)3MATH 165 (or Health Science Elective)4
 13 14
Third Year
BIOL 3404Art and Music (Gen Ed)3
Health Science Elective4Elective3
Health Science Elective4Health Science Elective4
Literacies (Gen Ed)3Health Science Elective4
 15 14
Fourth Year
BIOL 4912Health Science Elective4
Health Science Elective4Elective4
Social Science (Gen Ed)3Elective 2
 15 18
Total Credits 120

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Health Science Program the students should be able to

  1. Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the major concepts in chemistry and biology.
  2. Exhibit critical thinking skills by applying the scientific method to solve problems.
  3. Exhibit the ability to read and communicate in scientific style.
  4. Analyze the consequences of activities on themselves and their environment.
  5. Apply and gain admission to professional or graduate school.