Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies


Caryn Husman, Director, Health Wellness & Occupational Studies

11 Hills Beach Rd. Biddeford, ME 04005 

602-2065; Fax 602-5921

Degree name
Bachelor of Science in Health, Wellness and Occupational Studies


Our mission is to develop caring, collaborative scholars through a dynamic, student-centered, occupation-focused educational program.


Our vision is to address society's occupational needs by fostering excellence in health, wellness, and occupational studies through teaching, scholarship, and service.

Major Description

Our program in Health, Wellness and Occupational Studies gives students a broad education that will prepare them for a variety of career paths. Students will be prepared for opportunities including application to graduate programs in occupational therapy, disability studies, physical therapy, counseling, or related health professions, as well as a career as a wellness coach, wellness coordinator, activity director, health educator, case manager, medical salesperson, or paraprofessional in mental health and educational settings.

Our program grounds students in the core arts and sciences, with an emphasis on courses that study human occupation, such as Occupational Science, Occupational Media, and Disability Studies. The curriculum includes wellness courses such as Principles of Health Promotion, Stress Management, and Substance Abuse Prevention. Students also study interdisciplinary health subjects, alongside Nursing, Applied Exercise Science, Athletic Training, and Dental Hygiene students.

If students choose to enter the workforce directly with a Health, Wellness and Occupational Studies degree, they can work towards ACSM/NSPAPPH specialty certification in Physical Activity in Public Health, CHES certification as a Health Education Specialist, or FDC credentialing as a Family Development Specialist.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the program, the HWOS student will:

  • Critically analyze concepts of health and wellness through application at the personal (micro), population (meso), and societal (macro) levels.
  • Synthesize biological, psychosocial, and educational theories that influence human behavior and occupational participation.
  • Assess the influence  of disease and disability with respect to health promotion and occupational well-being.
  • Model compassion as an essential attribute in understanding diverse occupational engagement across the lifespan
  • Collaboratively engage in integrative leadership in occupational media, research and science in preparation for inter-professional endeavors.
  • Be prepared to apply for graduate study in the field of occupational therapy or a related health profession.

Curricular Requirements

Courses Credits
WCHP Common Curriculum  
BIO 104/104L - General Biology 4
BIO 208/208L - Anatomy & Physiology I 4
BIO 209/209L - Anatomy & Physiology II 4
BIO 309 - Pathophysiology 3
CHE 125/125L - Introduction to Chemistry & Physics 4
ENG 110 - English Composition 4
EXS 120 - Personal Health & Wellness 3
EXS 180 - Motor Learning & Performance 3
IHS 120 - Health Care Issues 1
IHS 110 - Introduction to Health Care 2
IHS 210 - Methods of Scholarly Inquiry 3
IHS 310 - Ethical Practice in Health Professions 3
MAT 120 - Statistics 3
PSY 105 - Introduction to Psychology 3
PSY 205 - Abnormal Psychology 3
PSY 250 - Lifespan Development 3
SOC 150 - Introduction to Sociology 3
Creative Arts Course (with prefix ARH, ART or MUS) 3
Explorations Course 3
Social Global Awareness Course 3
Advanced Studies Course 3
HWOS Requirements  
BIO 404/404L - Neuroscience 4
HWOS 305 - Introduction to OT 3
HWOS 313 - Occupational Media 3
HWOS 316 - Research Methods 3
HWOS 331 - Principles of HP, DX Prevention 3
HWOS 341 - Health and Wellness in an Aging Society 3
HWOS 405 - Occupational Science 3
HWOS 414 - Stress Management 3
HWOS 424 - Theories of Education & HP 4
HWOS 432 - Disability Studies & Inclusive Communities 3
HWOS 434 - Substance Abuse & Prevention 3
Electives 21
Total Credits 121

“A student in the health, wellness & occupational studies major may elect to pursue a bachelor’s degree in health sciences.  This degree is only open to matriculated students at the University of New England.  Special permission from the student’s advisor and the Dean of the Westbrook College of Health Professions is required for enrollment in the BS in Health Sciences”. 

Academic and Technical Standards

All students in the Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies major are subject to the UNE WCHP undergraduate grading policy (see undergraduate academic policy) and progression guidelines.

Progression Guidelines

HWOS follows the WCHP Common Curriculum Academic Progression Guidelines
The requirements laid out below are for the first two years of enrollment in any undergraduate program of the Westbrook College of Health Professions. Beginning with the Fall semester of the third year, students will be held to their program specific progression guidelines.

  1. In keeping with the guidelines of the University of New England, all students must achieve a minimum cumulative semester-end grade point average as follows: 

    Fall of First Year


    Spring of First Year


    Fall of Second Year


    Spring of Second Year


    Failure to maintain the minimum GPA requirements will result in academic probation as described in the Catalog of the University of New England.
  2. Students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” in the following courses: MAT 120, CHE 110, CHE 125, CHE 130, BIO 104, BIO 208, BIO 209, BIO 242, IHS 220, BIO 309 and BIO 404.  Failure to achieve a “C” will result in program level probation, and may affect academic progression.
  3. Students may enroll in any of the math/ sciences courses referenced above a maximum of two times. 
  4. Cumulative GPA required for enrollment into the “300” and “400” level courses of the OT Major is 2.50.


High School Graduates

For entrance into the BS in Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies (HWOS) students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Students seeking admission should have completed high school courses in chemistry, biology, and two to three years of mathematics including Algebra II.
  2. Applicants submit their application materials to the Admissions Office during the fall of the year prior to matriculation. Decisions on applicants will be made on a rolling basis. Qualified students who apply after the fall will be admitted on a space-available basis.

Internal Transfer Students

Students who are enrolled in other majors at the University may apply for admission into the Health, Wellness and Occupational Studies major by completing a change of major form.  The Admissions Committee meets at the close of each semester to determine eligibility on a space available basis.

The potential student is encouraged to explore the professional possibilities by shadowing a health professional, going to appropriate web-sites, and/or volunteering in a program that supports people with disabilities to participate  in occupations. Include this information in the required essay (see below). 

Students who wish to transfer into the Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies must complete the following:

  1. Discuss interest in the program with the Coordinator for the HWOS program.
  2. Fill out, complete, and submit a change of major form.
  3. Write an essay of 300 words or less on the rationale for transfer into the HWOS major. This statement should be submitted to the Coordinator of the HWOS program.
  4. Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above at the end of the semester of transfer request.

All of these steps should be completed prior to the end of the semester.

External Transfer Student Policy (For students who do not have a BA/BS)

  1. UNE accepts qualified transfer students.
  2. The minimum GPA to be considered from another institution is 2.75 (B-). A 3.0 (B average or higher is preferred).
  3. Students are responsible for completing all WCHP and University core coursework for the HWOS major.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.