Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies


Bachelor of Science in Health, Wellness and Occupational Studies
Westbrook College of Health Professions (WCHP)


Caryn Husman, director, Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies
11 Hills Beach Rd. Biddeford, ME 04005
(207) 602-2065
Fax (207) 602-5921


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

The Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies program gives students a broad education that will prepare them for a variety of career paths. Students are prepared for opportunities including application to graduate programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, special education, public health, or related health professions — as well as professional opportunities such as careers as an assistive technology professional, wellness coach, wellness coordinator, activity director, health educator, case manager, medical salesperson, or paraprofessional in mental health and educational settings.

The curriculum is grounded in a holistic conceptualization of health and wellness that teaches students to assess health from both a macro and micro level. Students gain depth in understanding of a wide variety of determinants of health through the study of health science, public health, and human occupation – an often-overlooked determinant of health. Students also gain practical skills applicable to a variety of paths through training in motivational interviewing, wellness assessment, health literacy, stress management, health education, and program development, implementation and evaluation. Thus, Health, Wellness and Occupational Studies students learn how to work with people by understanding where they come from, and employing tools to help them take the next steps toward a healthier life. Further, students are encouraged to find their passion by using flexible electives to concentrate their studies in their unique interests, explore a wide range of topics, elect for an internship in health and wellness settings, or take experiential electives. Service learning, active learning, and interprofessional education are embedded into the curriculum with themes of resilience, advocacy, and wellness across the lifespan. 

Health, Wellness and Occupational Studies students also have the opportunity to pursue an Assistive Technology Specialization. The specialization prepares students to make a difference in the lives of people who have disabilities by by recommending and training people to use health-related technical assistive devices. Students develop skills in promoting independence in the use of devices and equipment, thereby supporting engagement in meaningful activities, occupations, and enhanced quality of life for people across the lifespan. 

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the program, the Health, Wellness and Occupational Studies 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.

At the conclusion the of program, the Assistive Technology Specialization student will: 

  • Assess the characteristics of patient/client to determine candidacy for assistive technology services. 
  • Complete a patient/client examination and effectively interpret the data to develop a plan of care with appropriate interventions.
  • Implement the appropriate interventions for a patient/client based on an established plan of care.
  • Complete a patient/client re-evaluation and effectively interpret the data to evaluate the effectiveness of the current plan of care/interventions.
  • Exhibit professional conduct and behaviors that are consistent with the legal and ethical practice of the assistive technology profession.
  • Critically evaluate data and published literature in order to examine and utilize the theoretical and scientific basis when delivering patient/client care and providing practice management.

Curricular Requirements

Courses Credits
BIO 104/104L - General Biology 4
BIO 208/208L - Anatomy & Physiology I 4
BIO 209/209L - Anatomy & Physiology II 4
BIO 309 - Pathophysiology 3
PHY 125/125L - Introduction to Biomechanics  4
ENG 110 - English Composition or ENG 122/123 - College Reading & Writing I/II 4-6
EXS 120 - Personal Health & Wellness 3
EXS 180 - Motor Learning & Performance 3
IHS 130 - Interprofessional Health Care First Year Experience 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 previs ARH, ART or MUS) 3
Explorations Course 3
Social Global Awareness Course 3
Advanced Studies Course 3
Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies Requirements  
BIO 404 - Neuroscience 4

HWOS 305 - Introduction to OT and Related Fields

HWOS 313 - Occupational Media 3
HWOS 315 - Assessment for Wellness Consultation  3
HWOS 316 - Research Methods  3
HWOS 331 - Principles of Health Promotion and Disease 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 Health Education  4
HWOS 432 Disability Studies & Inclusive Communities  3
HWOS 434 - Substance Misuse & Prevention  3
Electives  21
Total Credits 121-123
Assistive Technology Specialization Requirements  
HWOS 201 - Foundations of Assistive Technology 3
HWOS 301 - Assistive Technology and Methods 3
HWOS 302 - Assistive Technology Process 1 3
HWOS 402 - Assistive Technology Process 2 3
HWOS 490 - Internship in Assistive Technology Practice 3
Elective in Assistive Technology  3
Total Credits 18

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 for the first two years of enrollment apply to 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.

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: 

  1. 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 120/150, PHY 125, BIO 104/105, BIO 208, BIO 209, BIO 309, and BIO 404.
  3. Students must achieve a minimum grade of a "C" in all HWOS prefix courses.
  4. Failure to achieve the above referenced minimum grades will result in program level probation and the need to retake the course - therefore affecting academic progression.
  5. Students may enroll in any of the courses referenced above a maximum of two times. Enrollment in a course consists of achieving a WP, WF, or letter grade. Receiving a W in a course is not considered officially enrolled and will not result in academic penalty. 
  6. Failure to achieve the above referenced minimum grade a second time a course is taken will result in dismissal from the major. 

Transfer Credit

Courses completed at another accredited college can be transferred to this degree program.  Transferred courses must be reasonably close in scope and content to the required courses offered at UNE in order to count as exact equivalents. Otherwise, they may transfer as general electives. All courses completed must be no older than five years. Other restrictions apply. See Undergraduate Admissions also.


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 Director of 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 Director of the HWOS program.
  4. Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above, and be in good standing in accordance with the HWOS standards 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.

See Undergraduate Admissions also.

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.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2020-2021 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication May 1, 2020.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.