June 11, 2018

Buena Vista University has approved a new interdisciplinary rehabilitation health sciences undergraduate program. 

The major – which was designed specifically for students who wish to pursue health-related careers in fields such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and athletic training – is set to launch in the fall and will integrate classes from BVU’s School of Science and School of Education & Exercise Science. 

“Students are required to take classes in science and exercise science, and this combination of coursework equips them with a unique skillset and a competitive edge for post-graduate work.”

Dr. Shinichiro “Shinbo” Sugiura

“The partnership between schools is what makes this program truly unique,” said Dr. Shinichiro “Shinbo” Sugiura, assistant professor of exercise science at BVU. “Students are required to take classes in science and exercise science, and this combination of coursework equips them with a unique skillset and a competitive edge for post-graduate work.” 

With a science core, the new rehabilitation health sciences program teaches students skills that can be applied in the healthcare field before they apply for physical therapy, occupational therapy, or athletic training school. 

“Many professional schools require core coursework in science, and the new rehabilitation health sciences major is specifically designed with this in mind,” said Sugiura. 

Courses include chemistry, physics, human anatomy, human physiology, biomechanics, and exercise physiology. Students are also required to complete a biology internship and a culminating health sciences capstone course. 

Students who graduate from the program can pursue careers in many areas, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, healthcare and nursing home settings, orthotics and prosthetics, and more.   

“With a growing elderly population and an increase in awareness of the effects of sports-related injuries, the need for physical and occupational therapists, as well as athletic trainers, is increasing, and we’re here to help prepare students for success in these areas,” added Sugiura. “There aren’t many other undergraduate programs that are similar in nature.”