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Bryant University Announces Interdisciplinary School Of Health And Behavioral Sciences, Extends Its High ROI Academic Programs To Healthcare

Answering the call for impact thinkers equipped with critical 21st century skills, Bryant’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan is expanding the University’s academic programs that prepare real-world ready students for outcomes and economic mobility ranked in the nation’s top 1%.

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A new School of Health and Behavioral Sciences with a unique interdisciplinary education—integrating studies in health sciences, cognitive and behavioral sciences, data analytics and business—addresses the growing demand for healthcare experts and prepares students for successful careers in data-rich STEM fields.

“In establishing its School of Health and Behavioral Sciences, Bryant University is providing a uniquely focused education for future healthcare professionals,” said Bryant President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “Bryant’s new programs at the intersection of health and behavioral sciences, data analytics and business will prepare students for exceptional career opportunities in fields including healthcare analytics, healthcare management and finance, and public and community health.”

Data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicates a growth rate of 16% percent for occupations in healthcare until 2030, more than triple the projected average employment growth rate of 5%, with projected earnings well above national and New England averages for college graduates.

“Bryant’s School of Health and Behavioral Sciences has a unique perspective on healthcare education that addresses the need for skilled professionals who can integrate knowledge between disciplines. We will prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals by building on our core strengths in business and leadership skills, data analytics and quantitative skills, and cognitive and psychological skills,” said Provost and Chief Academic Officer Rupendra Paliwal, Ph.D. “Bryant is creating an ecosystem of experiential learning where students will develop the specialized skills and insights to provide employers and society with professionals who can enter the field directly and make immediate impact and contributions.”

Bryant has recently commissioned architectural design to establish a dedicated Science wing and expanded lab and classroom space within its landmark Unistructure facility.

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“With the new School of Health and Behavioral Sciences and its new degrees, Bryant is poised to provide leaders who are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of others and embrace a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to solving problems,” said Kirsten Hokeness, Ph.D., Chair of the Biology Department who will be assuming the role of Director of Bryant’s School of Health and Behavioral Sciences. “Healthcare is a data-intensive industry,” she notes. “Specialists who can transform data into meaningful insights for numerous and diverse stakeholders are urgently needed and in high demand.”

“Our new Bachelor’s degrees in Health Analytics and Exercise and Movement Science are a natural extension of Bryant’s core strengths,” said Joseph Trunzo, Ph.D., Chair of the Psychology Department and a practicing clinical psychologist who will be assuming the role of Associate Director of the School. “Bryant’s student-centered focus and strong interdisciplinary collaborations between faculty and students across the University empower Bryant graduates to excel. The new School and added majors will provide students with unparalled opportunities.” Bryant University’s School of Health and Behavioral Sciences builds on the success of its School of Health Sciences, first established in 2014, and its fully-accredited Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) program and Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences.

The new School unites undergraduate and graduate programs and complements the University’s College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences. It also unifies new majors in some of the world’s fastest-growing fields, Healthcare Analytics and Exercise and Movement Science, with areas of strength in Bryant’s current Health Sciences, Biology and Psychology majors.

New majors in Healthcare Analytics and Exercise and Movement Science
Bryant’s Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Analytics degree is the first of its kind in Rhode Island. The interdisciplinary degree integrates health sciences, statistics, math and data science with behavioral science and is designed to provide students with real-world, specialized skills for careers in fields such as biomedical research and public health. At Bryant, Healthcare Analytics majors will have the flexibility to minor in a complementary discipline they select from either the College or Business or the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Movement Science draws upon the strength of the University’s highly competitive NCAA Division I athletics program to prepare graduates for certification as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and surging career opportunities in a wide array of fitness and athletic settings. The program develops the foundation to understand and analyze human movement, incorporating an appreciation of the overlapping influences from anatomical, physiological, psychological and neurological factors. Two tracks of study are available: the Applied Exercise and Coaching track, designed for students who plan to enter the workforce directly after graduation, and the Healthcare Provider Prep track, designed for those who plan to pursue graduate study in a healthcare or medical field. All students will select a complementary minor in the College of Business and complete an internship to gain real-world experience in a setting that aligns with their career goals.

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