Jun 22, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Health Professions

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Health Professions

Phone: (540) 568-6510
Website: http://www.healthsci.jmu.edu/

Interim Academic Unit Head
Dr. Özlem Ersin

Graduate Program Director – Dietetics and Nutrition and Physical Activity
Dr. Jeremy Akers

Graduate Program Director – Physician Assistant Studies
Mr. Gerald Weniger

Graduate Program Director – Occupational Therapy
Dr. Twylla Kirchen

J. Gloeckner, R. Koslow, K. Lewis, P. Maxwell, D. Wenos

Associate Professors
J. Akers, J. Frye, S. Maiewski, C. Peterson, D. Torisky

Assistant Professors
M. Hesse, E. Kancler, T. Kirchen, K. Liskey, A. Skelly, G. Weniger, J. Walsh, J. Wenos, A. Russell Yun

E. Richardson

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for programs in the Department of Health Professions vary by program. Refer to the specific program for admission criteria and deadlines.


The graduate programs in health professions are dedicated to preparing students to become evidence-based critical thinkers in the health sciences. Specifically, these programs build upon the undergraduate health sciences programs by providing a more detailed knowledge base that is fortified by self-directed learning experiences and the development of practical, clinical and/or research skills.


The specific goals of the graduate programs in health sciences are designed to help students develop their critical thinking abilities while expanding their knowledge in the rapidly changing health-related environments. Specifically, students will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the current research in the ever-broadening field of health.
  • access current literature in the health fields.
  • interpret current health-related research.
  • develop basic research skills.
  • describe and evaluate various health education models.
  • critically evaluate past and present health care administration strategies.

The mission and goals are based, in part, on the Standards for the Preparation of Graduate-Level Health Educators.

In the Master of Science programs, courses must be selected with the approval of the major adviser in accordance with the program requirements. Students electing a major in the health sciences department are expected to have adequate undergraduate preparation in the chosen area of graduate study and satisfactory Graduate Record Examination scores.

Students entering the dietetics or nutrition and physical activity concentrations of the health sciences graduate program who do not possess the required prerequisites must obtain them before beginning the program.

Overview of Programs

The Department of Health Professions is home to three graduate programs: M.S. in health sciences with a concentration in either dietetics or nutrition and physical activity; M.O.T. in occupational therapy; and M.P.A.S. in physician assistant studies.


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