Health science and education

School of Health Sciences and Education

From diverse global communities to underserved rural populations, be prepared to share your gifts with compassion and confidence.

Turn Your Calling Into a Career

Saint Francis of Assisi had a legendary gift for caring, and our School of Health Sciences and Education will help you follow in his footsteps.
Here we offer programs in healthcare, education, social work, and psychology that carefully blend specialized professional curricula with a liberal arts education rooted in Catholic Franciscan values developed to foster your unique gifts.  Whether you aspire to heal minds, bodies, and souls or you choose to cultivate the minds of tomorrow; our majors can help you be ready for an innovative, high-touch profession where learning never stops.  
A diligent student with a cross sticker on their laptop

focus on leadership development and service-learning

Enthusiastic Faculty member gesturing with hands

direct connections with expert faculty

Students hands-on learning with a stethoscope

quality clinical, internship, and student teaching opportunities

Why Saint Francis?

Approach Your Future with Confidence

Our curriculum is designed to prepare you for success on any corresponding certifications or exams associated with your program, graduate programs, and your career. Our students benefit from:
  • Hands-on learning
  • Small class sizes
  • Practical, authentic educational environments
  • Opportunities for research, community engagement, inter-professional experiences, simulation and study abroad
Faculty instructing students

Opportunities for growth. Support for your passion.

Our School of Health Sciences and Education is designed to provide you with the skills, practical experience, expert support, and innovative facilities you need to follow your calling. 
Students in white lab coats enjoying learning

Facilities and Resources 

stained glass window up close

A personalized approach to learning and leading


The School of Health Sciences and Education utilizes exceptional learning opportunities to help you become the competent, compassionate and ethical professional you are destined to be. Experience our unique camaraderie through hands-on learning in small classes lead by expert faculty. Saint Francis University professors will know you by name and provide individualized focus, attention and support to help you achieve your highest potential in your program of focus.


Kerri Golden Profile Image

Dr. Kerri GoldenInterim Dean, School of Health Sciences and Education

An expert in administration and management, leadership, ethics, and occupational therapy, Dr. Golden is dedicated to supporting students in the School of Health Sciences and Education through high-quality experiences and individualized attention. Dr. Golden is a trained CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) where she serves as a child advocate for those at-risk in Cambria County. She has received numerous awards for teaching and advocacy from the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association. 


Undergraduate Degrees in the School of HSED


  • B.S. in Early Childhood Education (on-campus)
  • Online ECE degrees (associate, degree completion and bachelor's) 
  • Subject-Specific B.S.  in Secondary Education: Grades 7-12 ( Biology, English, History, Mathematics, and Spanish)
  • B.S. in Special Education

Education degree paths   

Exercise Physiology

  • B.S. in Exercise Physiology ( concentrations in Fitness Professionals, Graduate Allied-Health, and Pre-Med)
  • Minors in Diving, Movement Science, and Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology degree paths 


  • BSN (on-campus)
  • Accelerated RN to  BSN (second degree)
  • Online RN to BSN

Nursing  degree paths

Occupational Therapy

  • Accelerated /Early-Entry Master of Occupational Therapy

Direct-entry occupational therapy path 

Physician Assistant Science

  • Accelerated Early-Entry MPAS (3+2)
  • Pre-PA ConcentrationHealth Care Studies, B.S.

Physician Assistant Science degree paths


Physical Therapy

  • Accelerated 3+3 option, direct-entry to DPT program
  • Traditional 4+3 option, direct-entry to DPT program

Direct-entry Physical Therapy degree path 


  • B.S. in Psychological Science (concentrations in pre-med and neuroscience)
  • Neuroscience (double major: Psychology/Biology)
  • Minor in Animal-Assited Health & Education
  • 4+3 DPT early-entry program

Psychology degree paths 


  • Pre-Med (concentrations under Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Exercise Physiology, Psychology, and Public Health)
  • Early-Acceptance programs in dentistry,  optometry,  medicine, and pharmacy

.Pre-med degree paths  

Public Health

  • B.A./ B.S.  in Public Health (concentration in Environmental Science, Epidemiology, Health Policy Administrator, and Pre-Med)
  • Online B.A. in Public Health

Public Health degree paths


Social Work

  • B.S. in Social Work

Social Work degree path

More Healthcare Degrees

Signature Minors & Certificates

Graduate Degrees in the School of HSED




An Ancient stone wall hosting a hooded and pious Saint Francis gazing towards heaven. Sparsely garnished conifers glow green in the sunlight.

Several academic programs within the School of Health Sciences and Education at Saint Francis University are accredited by their respective specialized accrediting agencies.
Learn more 

Mission Statement

The School of Health Sciences and Education provides an inclusive learning community with a focus on rural and underserved populations that integrates collaborative and innovative educational opportunities with a liberal arts foundation. Inspired by the teachings and character of Saint Francis of Assisi, we prepare competent, compassionate, and ethical educators, researchers and health care professionals to live in solidarity with all creation.



Go Baby Go! offers cool wheels and big smiles

Rachel (Vasilko) Heckman ‘13 | 05/09/2024
Interdisciplinary, community-engaged program, Go Baby Go! benefits children with disabilities and offers hands-on experience for OT, PA, and engineering students at Saint Francis University.

Occupational Therapy in Action: Eating it All Up

Rachel (Vasilko) Heckman ‘13 | 05/03/2024
4-year-old Ava’s weekly feeding treatments offer hands-on experience for OT students. Since fall 2022, she has been attending these feeding sessions as part of a hands-on, community-engaged lab with the students in the pediatrics course.

SFU Nursing BSN student receives international recognition award

Nursing Department | 05/03/2024
Kelsey Crittendon, senior Saint Francis University nursing BSN student, received a DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students on April 22, 2024. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students recognizes and celebrates nursing students for the above-and-beyond care and compassion shown to patients and their families.

Three stand-out Cambria Heights educators receive Dr. John Powers Outstanding Educator Award

University Communications & Marketing | 05/01/2024
Saint Francis University presents the Dr. John Powers Outstanding Educator Award to a deserving elementary or secondary teacher or administrator each spring. This year, the university presented the award to three outstanding Cambria Heights educators during the Saint Francis University President's Awards Convocation on April 30, 2024.

A new high school sport that connects all the students

University Communications & Marketing | 03/25/2024
On the March 10 episode of Kaleidoscope, host Sara Cameron introduced viewers to Unified Bocce Ball, a competitive co-ed high school sport similar to lawn ball that taking hold in the region.

Lessons Learned from Shelter Cats

University Communications & Marketing | 02/22/2024
In 2022, SFU welcomed its first feline cohort. Dr. Flaisher-Grinberg outlined the diligent work that went into this class in a recent article recently published in IAABC, the Journal of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

SFU Nursing Chair Elected to AACN Board Appointment

Department of Nursing | 02/21/2024
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) elected the Saint Francis Univesity Nursing Department chair, Rita Trofino, DNP, MNEd, RN, to serve a two-year term on its Board of Directors.

Hands-On Learning Experiences Making Headlines

University Communications & Marketing | 02/09/2024
Saint Francis University garnered front-page headlines in The Tribute-Democrat newspaper twice this week, both showcasing experiential learning in action.

OTs celebrate opening of new facility

SFU Occupational Therapy students and faculty hosted an open house on January 26, 2024 to share their new space, St. Margaret Hall, with the campus community. The department is planning an official open house in April (OT Month) for the public (and alumni!).