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 Health Sciences and Education


  • 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)
  • Accelerated MPH
  • 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


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.



Saint Margaret Hall Blessing and Dedication

University Marketing & Communications | 10/24/2023
On Friday, October 20, 2023, Saint Francis University celebrated the Blessing and Dedication of Saint Margaret Hall. The facility, bearing the name of St. Margaret of Cortona, will primarily serve Occupational Therapy and Physician Assistant Science majors and is scheduled to open in January 2024.

Public Health Alumni Spotlight

University Communications & Marketing | 09/12/2023
Amongst the public health scene are five SFU alumni who have embarked on inspiring journeys, each contributing uniquely to the field. Read the stories of Lucy Rojas, Christine Yakicic, Makenna Topka, Joe Theiss, and Hannah Anderson.

Nursing alumnae finds success at Walter Reed

University Communications & Marketing | 08/29/2023
Abigail Cooper, a 2012 BSN graduate from Saint Francis University, was recently profiled by her employer, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. in the the article, A Nursing Story: Answering the Call to Serve one Patient at a Time, appearing on Aug. 23, 2023.

Go Baby Go! Alternative Electric Mobility for Kids at SFU

General Engineering & PT Departments | 07/27/2023
Physical Therapy and General Engineering students teamed up to take on the challenge of providing a custom-modified Power Wheels car for a local child struggling with physical disabilities impeding her from getting around on her own.

Four stand-out educators receive Dr. John Powers Outstanding Educator Award

University Communications & Marketing | 05/10/2023
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 four outstanding educators during the Saint Francis University President's Awards Convocation on May 4, 2023.

Addressing the Teacher Shortage: SFU and TEACH

Dr. Melissa Peppetti | 05/09/2023
While the teaching crisis impacts all locales, rural schools are having issues finding teachers for specific classes and grade spans, especially the disciplines of math and science. Saint Francis University's Graduate Education Department is committed to improving teacher quality by offering research-based solutions that may serve as viable solutions to the teacher shortage.

Advanced Concepts in PT Practice

Dr. Shannon Scanlan, PT, DPT | 04/12/2023
Physical therapy majors at Saint Francis University must master the foundational patient-management classes included in the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree curriculum. Yet they can also explore areas of specialty practice. Special Topic Courses are a practical way for students, as part of their physical therapy education, to discover areas of PT practice that they may be passionate about.