Health Science

Health Science combines biomedical instruction with an understanding of how psychological and societal factors impact health.

The Health Science major prepares students for medical, dental, and other healthcare graduate programs such as physical therapy, physician's assistant, occupational therapy, podiatry, optometry, or nursing. Saint Michael's graduates have outstanding admission rates to healthcare professional schools.

Majoring in Health Science can also prepare you for direct entry to jobs in many sectors of the healthcare industry right after graduation.

The Health Science major combines courses in Biology and Chemistry that provide a foundation in the science of medicine with classes that explore the broader context of health like psychology and medical ethics. Students are encouraged to supplement these required courses with electives in science and the role of medicine in history and society. This approach provides the background necessary to be a successful medical professional.

Saint Michael's offers personal pre-health advising for all students considering careers in healthcare. Our goals are to help students identify the healthcare profession that is appropriate for them, and assist students on their journey to develop into qualified, competitive applicants for healthcare professional schools and programs.

Health Science Major Requirements

Required Courses:

  • BI 152 - Introduction to Health Science
  • BI 153 - Introduction to Cell Biology and Genetics
  • CH 110 - General Chemistry I
  • CH 117 - Organic Chemistry I
  • BI 207 - Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BI 219 - Anatomy and Physiology II
  • PS 350 - Psychology of Health and Illness

Choose one:

  • ST 120 - Elementary Statistics
  • ST 140 - Biological Data & Statistics
  • PS 213 - Psychological Statistics

Choose one:

  • PH XXX - Bioethics (new course)
  • PH XXX - Medical Ethics (new course)
  • RS 328 - Christian Health Care Ethics
  • PH 351 - Otherness and Marginalization

Choose two:

  • BI 215 - Epidemiology
  • BI 222 - Population and Evolutionary Genetics
  • BI 225 - Cell Biology
  • BI 230 - Microbiology
  • BI XXX - Nutrition (new course)
  • BI 365 - Immunology and Parasitology

Choose one:

  • CL 118 - Ancient Medicine and the Greek and Latin Roots of Scientific Terminology
  • FR 101 - First semester French
  • FR 102 - Second semester French
  • FR 20X - Medical French (new course)
  • SP 101 - First semester Spanish
  • SP 102 - Second semester Spanish
  • SP 20X - Medical Spanish (new course)

Choose one:

  • Senior Seminar in Health Science or Biology or Neuroscience
  • Internship or Practicum approved by the Program Director

Health Science majors not pursuing medical, dental, or other clinical professions are encouraged to complete a minor in a field related to their career goals.  Health Science majors who are pursuing medical, dental, or other clinical professions should take the following six additional courses (not required for the Health Science major):

  • MA 130 - Elements of Calculus or MA 150 - Calculus I
  • CH 207 - Organic Chemistry II
  • CH 208 - General Chemistry II
  • One 300- or 400-level Chemistry course (except a seminar)
  • PY 220 - General Physics I
  • PY 221 - General Physics II

Electives of potential interest to Health Science majors which may fulfill Core requirements include:

  • AN 341 - Culture, Illness, and Healing
  • EC 225 - Economics of Health Care
  • EM 101 - Fundamentals of Emergency Management
  • HI 345 - The Black Death
  • PO 351 - Politics of the Global AIDS Pandemic

Donna Bozzone, PhD

Professor of Biology
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Contact Professor Bozzone

Cheray Hall 302C
Box 283
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M.A., Ph.D. Princeton University
B.S. Manhattan College

Areas of Expertise:

Development and embryogenesis; cells; cell communication; cancer; evolution; evolutionary medicine; the connection between developmental biology and ecology and evolution; the history of science.

Courses I Teach:

  • Cell Biology
  • Communications in the Biological Sciences
  • Developmental Biology
  • Introduction to Cell Biology and Genetics

Paul Constantino, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology
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Cheray Hall 302B
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Ph.D. Hominid Paleobiology, The George Washington University
M.A. Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University
B.S. Biology, Saint Michael's College

Areas of expertise

  • Evolutionary biology
  • Human evolution
  • Evolution of the vertebrate skull and dentition

Courses taught

  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Human Evolution
  • Introduction to Ecology and Evolution
  • First Year Seminar - Africa and Its Peoples


Shane Lamos, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Pre-Pharmacy Degree Coordinator

Contact Professor Lamos

Cheray Hall 216
Box 352
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Ph.D. University of Wisconsin
B.S. Saint Michael's College

Areas of Expertise:

Using Organic synthesis to develop new tools for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of proteins and metabolites

Courses I Teach:

  • Chemistry Senior Seminar
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Chemistry

Dagan Loisel, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology

Contact Professor Loisel

Cheray Hall 312
Box 283
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Postdoctoral degree, The University of Chicago, Department of Human Genetics
Ph.D., Duke University, Department of Biology & University Program in Genetics
B.A., Colby College, magna cum laude

Areas of Expertise

  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genetics
  • General Biology 

Courses I Teach

  • Introduction to Health Science
  • Fundamentals of Genetics
  • Immunology and Parasitology in Genetics

Karen Talentino, Ph.D.

Director of the Health Science Program, Professor of Biology

Contact Professor Talentino

Saint Edmund's Hall 131
Box 283
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I have been interested in science and biology, specifically, for as long as I can remember. I attended the University of California at Santa Barbara for my undergraduate degree, and then moved to Nevada where I received my Master’s and Ph.D. at the University of Nevada at Reno. My graduate research focused on hibernation physiology, a project studying the Belding ground squirrel, a high altitude species that is active above-ground for only four months a year. My Ph.D. project looked at the development of tapeworms in hibernating squirrels. I loved living in Nevada, and to this day I am still very intrigued by the desert environment and the physiological adaptations to extreme environments – whether high altitude habitats, deserts, or some other environment which presents significant challenges to those organisms that live there.

At Saint Michael’s, I have taught Marine Biology, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Biology senior seminar, and Coral Reef Ecology. I have also taken students on a study trip to Cuba where we studied coral reefs. This trip is just one of many that I designed and led with students over my 40 years in college teaching. I have taken students to the Everglades, to the Southwestern US deserts, to the Bahamas and to the Chihuahua Mountains in western Texas. I believe strongly that students learn best by doing, and by being immersed in their topic of study. Intensive field trips provide students with an opportunity to learn first-hand about a topic, and also learn about themselves as they are challenged by a new environment, in collaboration with their peers. 


Melissa VanderKaay Tomasulo, PhD

Director of the Neuroscience Program, Associate Professor of Psychology

Contact Professor Tomasulo

Saint Edmund's Hall 208
Box 381
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Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, Specialization in Health Psychology, The Ohio University
M.S., Experimental Psychology, Specialization in Health Psychology, The Ohio University
B.A., Psychology, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio

Areas of Expertise: 

Psychology of health and illness, in particular the acute and chronic effects of stress on the brain and body; behavioral medicine including the biological, psychological, social, and behavioral moderators of disease pathogenesis.

Courses I Teach:

  • Introduction to Health Science
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology of Health and Illness
  • Research Methods
  • Lifespan Development
  • Neuroscience Senior Seminar

Adam Weaver, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience
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Contact Professor Weaver

Cheray Hall 313E
Box 283
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Ph.D. Ohio University
B.A. University of Delaware

Career Timeline:

  • 2014-Present Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Saint Michael’s College 
  • 2010-2014 Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Saint Michael’s College 
  • 2008-2009 Assistant Professor, Div. of Basic Pharm. Sciences, Xavier Univ., Coll. of Pharmacy
  • 2007-2008 Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Xavier University of Louisiana
  • 2005-2007 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington, Otolaryngology Department
  • 2002-2004 Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory University, Biology Department
  • 1995-2002 Ph.D., Neuroscience Program, Ohio University
  • 1990-1994 B.A., Biology and Psychology Double Major, University of Delaware
  • 2014-Present Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Saint Michael’s College 
  • 2010-2014 Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Saint Michael’s College 

Areas of Expertise:

Neurobiology / Neuroscience; Neuron Networks; Computer Modeling; Comparative Biology; Electrophysiology; Biophysical Modeling; Anatomy; Physiology

Courses I Teach:

  • Communications in the Biological Sciences 
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I/II
  • Introduction to Cell Biology and Genetics 
  • The 5+ Senses: Our Window to the World (Senior Seminar)
  • Neuroscience: Physiology/Behavior


Many local and regional organizations offer health-related internships to Health Science majors, including:

  • American Cancer Society
  • American Red Cross
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • UVM Medical Center
  • Associates of Cape Cod, Inc.
  • Associates in Orthodontics
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Whole Health Nutrition
  • Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center
  • Champlain Valley Agency on Aging
  • Community Health Centers of Burlington
  • Essex Physical Therapy
  • Hampton Physical Therapy
  • Howard Center for Human Services
  • Maitri Health Care
  • Brain Injury Association of Vermont


Health Science majors have the opportunity to conduct original research projects in collaboration with a faculty mentor. The Trustee Scholar Program provides students with stipends for full-time summer research projects. Other student-faculty research is funded through external grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, or other private foundations or government agencies.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering with local health providers is a great way to help the community while gaining valuable experience.  For information about finding clinical experiences and making the most out of your volunteer opportunities, visit the Association of American Medical Colleges

Saint Michael's College Fire and Rescue

The SMC Rescue Unit is a unique way for students to gain real-world, hands-on medical experience.  Student crews respond to 2200 calls annually, dealing with medical emergencies in nearby towns.  Student volunteers can earn CPR, EMT, and Advanced EMT certification.

University of Vermont Medical Center

There are many positions available at the nearby UVM Medical Center, including:

  • Art from the Heart: Assist with art sessions for children on the Pediatrics Unit
  • Emergency Department Waiting Room: Serve as a liaison between staff, family, and patients. Escort visiting family members.
  • Pediatrics: Participate in Child Life Play Program: involve pediatric patients in play activities. Training provided by Child Life Specialist.
  • Surgical Intensive Care Unit/Medical Intensive Care Unit Liaison: Assist staff by supporting families of patients who are in the SICU/MICU waiting areas. Act as a liaison between families and staff.
  • No One Dies Alone Volunteer: Volunteer to sit vigil with dying patients in the absence of family or friends.

Visiting Nurse Association

The Visiting Nurse Association provides volunteer opportunities in hospice, respite care, and other areas.

Saint Michael's has a long tradition of success for graduates entering healthcare professions.  Professional schools our students have attended in recent years include:


  • Albany Medical College
  • Dartmouth Medical School
  • New York University School of Medicine
  • University of Connecticut Medical School
  • University of Vermont School of Medicine
  • University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine


  • NYU Dental School
  • SUNY-Buffalo Dental School
  • Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
  • University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry

Not all health careers require you to go to graduate school.  Entry-level positions are available for Health Science majors at hospitals, community health centers, clinics, private health care practices, relief organizations, home health care agencies, rehabilitation centers, hospices, sports and fitness facilities, the Centers for Disease Control, refugee and immigrant organizations, non-profits such as the American Cancer Society, and nursing and residential care facilities. 

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