CHS Academic Departments

The College of Health Sciences contains five departments:

  • Department of Health and Clinical Sciences
  • Department of Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition
  • Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Department of Physical Therapy
  • Department of Physician Assistant Studies

This structure benefits the college is several key ways:

  • Enables us to deliver educational opportunities in both our undergraduate pre-professional programs and our graduate professional programs with efficiency and excellence
  • Disparate departments afford our graduate programs the ability to function autonomously and with flexibility, according to their respective needs
  • Allows our doctoral program to interface with all five departments and serve multiple disciplines

Learn More about each department below.

The Department of Health and Clinical Sciences, chaired by Sarah Kercsmar, PhD, MHA, consists of our three undergraduate programs:

  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Human Health Sciences
  • Clinical Leadership and Management

Medical Laboratory Science enables graduates to sit for the ASCP certification exam at the MLS level. Graduates of our MLS programs often go on to pursue advanced degrees in medicine, physician assistant studies, pharmacy, and dentistry. Many may also specialize in areas like hematology, clinical chemistry, toxicology, virology, microbiology, immunohematology (blood banking) or molecular biology.

Human Health Sciences provides graduates with a comprehensive look at health care practices, a solid foundation in basic science, and robust opportunities to engage in real-world clinical experiences. Our graduates are prepared to pursue advanced degree programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, medical research, and more.

Clinical Leadership and Management students develop fundamental knowledge, values, and skills necessary to lead with cultural humility and promote compassionate, efficient, services to improve health care outcomes, patient experiences, and quality of life for every patient. Our graduates are positioned to move into entry-level management positions of health care organizations directing, planning, and coordinating health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care, and nonprofit agencies or to pursue graduate education.

The Department of Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition, chaired by Phillip Gribble, PhD, ATC, FNATA, contains our professional and post-professional programs in Athletic Training and an interdisciplinary graduate program in Clinical Nutrition.

Athletic Training prepares students to practice in a variety of settings including universities, high schools, sports medicine clinics, professional sports and more. This program offer several degree options, including a Professional Master of Science, a Post-Professional Master of Science, a Graduate Certificate and an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s path. Our rigorous curriculum provides every student with a solid foundation to continue their education through residencies, academic doctorates, and other post-professional opportunities.

Clinical Nutrition is a collaborative program, consisting of of faculty members from the UK Colleges of Medicine, Health Sciences, Pharmacy, Nursing and Agriculture, as well as the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education. This program enables students in its Ph.D. and Master’s of Science programs to explore the interrelationship between environmental factors and nutrients and their effect on biochemistry, physiology and disease development.

This department also contains our Certificate in Nutrition for Human Performance. This certificate is focused on the integration of nutrition and exercise to properly support physical activity, fitness, and athletic performance at all levels, from those just starting an exercise program, to elite athletes, and those recovering from injury.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, chaired by Anne Olson, PhD, CCC/A Audiologist, offers both graduate and undergraduate degree options. These programs uniquely qualify students to pursue a rewarding clinical career in speech-language pathology or audiology, as well as related careers in education, healthcare and rehabilitation. Our programs also prepare you to seek advanced degrees in fields spanning the sciences underlying speech, language, and hearing.

The Department of Physical Therapy, chaired by Patrick Pabian, PT, PhD, offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy program prepares students to become compassionate, ethical practitioners who help patients reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Additionally, our program is committed to building an internationally recognized research enterprise focused on frailty, injury prevention, neuromotor and sensory performance, and rehabilitation.

The Department of Physician Assistant Studies, chaired by Virginia Valentin, Dr.PH., PA-C, contains a Master of Sciences degree program in Physician Assistant Studies, as well as a novel Academic Residency Program to assistant graduates in transitioning into specialty practice. Graduates of the Master of Science program are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination and upon successful completion, are then eligible for state certification/licensure to practice as a certified Physician Assistant.