College of Science and Health | DePaul University > Academics > Health Sciences > Student Resources > FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What program is best for me if I am interested in pursuing a degree in medicine or a related field?

There is no one correct answer to this question- it all depends on you! All of the professional school programs in health, including medicine, are looking for well-qualified candidates from a diverse array of undergraduate academic backgrounds.  We turn the question back to you- what do you want to study? What are the topics that you are most passionate about? You can prepare for professional programs while pursuing just about any area of study. Some programs, like Health Sciences, Biological Sciences, and others in the College of Science and Health, will include the pre-requisite courses you need for professional programs as part of their degree requirements. Are you interested in studying the processes underlying all life forms? Then a Biological Sciences major might be the right fit for you. Are you hoping for a more human-centered approach, where health care is studied in an interdisciplinary context?  Then Health Sciences is the place to be!

If you would like some help exploring majors and preparing for your career goals, we recommend that you contact the Office of Academic Advising Support.

Which concentration- Public Health Sciences or BioScience- is the right choice for me?

In Health Sciences there are two concentrations available depending on your interests within the fields of health care.
 
The BioScience concentration is available for students whose career interests focus on the health of individuals, whether as a clinician or through work in a laboratory connected to health care. This concentration can help you prepare for careers in nursing, medicine, and physical therapy, among others.

The Public Health Sciences concentration is available for students whose career interests focus on the health of populations, and want to develop the expertise necessary to provide information, manage and reform policy, develop interventions, and administer health care systems that people and communities need to protect their health. ​
 
Students in both concentrations will be taking a set of core courses together to stimulate a community of Health Sciences students that learn how to work in a team-based approach in providing health care.
 
For more information, see our programs in our Academics section​.

When should I meet with my academic advisor?

You are always welcome to contact your academic advisor if you have questions about your degree planning, course enrollments, or other resources available at DePaul. We definitely recommend that you meet with an advisor at least three times during your academic career- early on to plan for your courses, about a year away from your intended graduation to make sure you are on track, and before your final quarter for a degree conferral audit. You may also reach out to the College of Science and Health Office of Advising and Student Services in McGowan South Suite 400 if you need assistance and your assigned advisor is unavailable!

There are some questions best handled by other offices on campus. A list of some of those topics include:

Financial aid and scholarships- DePaul Central in Schmitt Academic Center (SAC) 101
Exploring and/or changing your major- Office for Academic Advising Support in SAC 192
Personal or medical crises- Dean of Students Office in Student Center 307
Job and internship search- The Career Center in SAC 192

Please note that these are Lincoln Park Campus locations. Loop campus offices can be found on the websites linked.



If I want to be a nurse, is Health Sciences a good major?

Yes! The Health Sciences major is a great way to prepare for a nursing career. While DePaul doesn't offer a traditional BSN program, our BioScience:Pre-Nursing concentration is a great way to earn your liberal arts undergraduate degree while preparing for Master's Entry to Nursing Practice. The benefits of this kind of preparation are numerous.

1. Students who do their clinical training at the graduate level receive significantly stronger preparation for nursing, including roles in leadership, research, and for continuing their education (for example to DNP or PhD).

2. Many students will change their mind about their professional goals during their undergraduate career. With our program you get the breadth and depth of a liberal arts degree which gives you flexibility to pursue any number of career options, including nursing!

3. As you might expect, a graduate degree will make you a more attractive job candidate to hospitals and other employers, and will allow you to take on leadership roles.

We also have  a new combined degree program that allows some students to accelerate their program. For eligible students, the BS in Health Sciences/MENP program allows students to share their first year of the nursing program with their undergraduate degree programs, making for a 5 year time to completing their BS and master's degree training.  For more information on that program, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog. Current students who are considering that program should schedule a meeting with our academic advisor.


How can I fulfill my Experiential Learning requirement? Do I have to do an internship?

The Experiential Learning requirement (or JYEL, as it was formerly called), can feel very amorphous. Let's break it down:

Experiential learning is about learning from doing. The options for fulfilling your Experiential Learning requirement are numerous. Some students fulfill it in conjunction with an internship or job, some through a study abroad or service program, some through positions on campus like Chicago Quarter Mentor or Resident Assistant, some through doing research with faculty, and some through service-learning courses. The important thing to remember is that you are doing something, and then taking a class where you will learn from that experience and earn credit to complete the requirement.

Our advice to you is that you don't wait too long to start thinking about this requirement! If you are hoping to do an internship in your field of study to prepare for your post-graduation job search, there is no time like the present to meet with a career advisor and learn all about the resources that The Career Center has to offer! Or you may be thinking that a study abroad experience would be awesome so you should attend a Study Abroad 101 session. Ask your friends how they completed their JYEL requirement!


Please note a few technical things:

  • UIP courses are managed by The Career Center. You can learn more about how to participate at their site. Your current job might count, if it meets certain learning requirements, so don't be afraid to ask! UIP 240 and 241, which are 2 credit exploration classes, do not fulfill the Experiential Learning requirement.
  • Your experience must coincide with the course you are taking. Prior internship or work experience cannot be used for this requirement.
  • Your job or internship does not have to be paid. Involved and substantive volunteer experiences will work! You just have to take a UIP course alongside your experience.

Where do I find out about combined degree programs?

There are several programs that allow students to shorten the time needed to complete the BS in Health Sciences and a graduate program in health. From the Public Health Studies concentration, students can pursue a BS+MA in Health Communications or a BS+Master of Public Health (MPH). From the BioScience concentration, students can pursue a BS+Master's Entry to Nursing Practice with the DePaul School of Nursing. We  also have specialized programs in conjunction with Rosalind Franklin University of Medical Sciences (RFUMS) for podiatry, pharmacy, medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, and pathology assistantship. For information about the requirements of each program, please see the Combined Degree Programs listed under BS in Health Sciences in the University Catalog. If you are interested in finding out whether you are a candidate for the combined degree programs at DePaul (MA in Health Comm, MPH, MENP), please meet with your academic advisor. If you would like to pursue one of the programs at RFUMS, please schedule a meeting with the PreHealth Advisor by calling 773-325-8490.


Please note that these programs require a separate application to the graduate program and admission is not guaranteed. Competitive applicants will have a high cumulative and major GPA (specified by each program), and be well-prepared to being their graduate study before the close of their undergraduate program. Also, given the restrictive nature of these curricula, it is not always possible for transfer students to take advantage of these programs. All students are encouraged to consider traditional application to these graduate programs if a combined degree program cannot be accomplished given their current student status.


What are the approved health ethics courses for the major?

There are currently three courses approved to fulfill the health ethics requirement. Please note that students in Health Sciences should only take ONE of these courses, since these courses have significantly overlapping material.


HLTH 229 Ethics for Health Sciences

This course can be applied to your track electives in the major or to your open electives. The department offers this course in Autumn, Winter, and Spring (and sometimes in the Summer). This course carries a Philosophical Inquiry requirement designation, but Health Sciences majors cannot HLTH courses toward their learning domains.


REL 229 Medicine, Ethics, and Society

This course can be applied to your Religious Dimensions requirement or your open electives.


PHL 229 Biomedical Ethics

This course can be applied to your Philosophical Inquiry requirement or your open electives.


Can I transfer courses from another school to DePaul?

Many students choose to take courses at colleges and universities other than DePaul and then transfer them. Once you are enrolled in a degree program at DePaul, you need to have permission from the college to transfer in credit. Please follow these steps to avoid problems with your transfer credits:

  1. Students must abide by the transfer credit guidelines outlined in the Undergraduate Student Handbook. According to university and major residency requirements, the final 60 credit hours and at least 50% of major requirements must be completed at DePaul University. If you are in senior standing (having earned 132 or more credit hours), you will not be eligible to transfer in additional credit from elsewhere. ​
  2. If you want to take courses toward the major at another institution, you must consult with your academic advisor.
  3. Use the Transfer Course Lists online tool to determine whether a specific course has been previously articulated to DePaul from your school of choice. While not a guarantee, this can help you find a course that is likely to fulfill the requirement you seek, including courses to fulfill your Liberal Studies requirements. 
  4. Complete the Transfer Credit Approval Form, found in the Undergraduate Advising section of the college website, and submit it to the CSH Office of Advising and Student Services (McGowan South Suite 400) before you enroll at another institution. If the college grants you permission to transfer in the credit, you will receive a message to that effect. Keep in mind that these requests can take up to 3 weeks to process.

How are online courses different? What about hybrid?

Online courses are taught online, but that's not the only way they might be different from a more traditional classroom setting. Your instructors are encouraged to used different teaching modalities, so the kind of work you do will be different. For instance, a classroom discussion might be replaced by a moderated message board in an online classroom. You may be asked to do more self-directed reading, writing or assessments in an online course. You should not assume that an online course is less work than a traditional classroom course! Both are designed to be worth 4 credit hours, and so will require the same amount of time. The difference will be how you are using that time and when you choose to do the work. Keep in mind that reliable D2L and internet access are critical to success in online courses, as is your own ability to meet deadlines without being reminded in a classroom setting. You will be responsible for reading and understanding the instructor's expectations, and reaching out as needed for clarification.


Hybrid courses are a combination of online and traditional classrooms. Depending on the instructor, different kinds of work will be expected online and in the classroom. Don't expect that these courses require less work because you aren't in class as often! Just like with online courses, the amount of work is designed to meet the requirements of a 4 credit hour class.

I want to do research, but I don't know where to start. Are there resources available to help me?

Yes! The CSH Office of Advising and Student Services is dedicated to helping you find research opportunities on campus and off. You can schedule an appointment by calling 773-325-8490. There is also agreat website for undergraduate student research that you can find at http://go.depaul.edu/cshstudentresearch