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Potsdam Prepared: Spring 2022 Updates

STEM is Health

Many health professionals work on the “front line” as doctors, veterinarians, pharmacists, nurses, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and phlebotomists, but there are also many jobs behind the scenes in medical research, drug design & development, and hospital labs. SUNY Potsdam offers many programs that can jump start a student’s career in a health-related field. These programs include:

  • Biology with a Pre-med and Pre-health concentrationBiology is typically the path of choice for healthcare professionals: physicians, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, pharmacists, veterinarians, etc. But medical research is also a very important for continued advancement of the field. 
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry: Biochemists play a central role in many health-related areas such as medicine, medical research, drug design and toxicology. Organic and analytical chemists are involved in producing and testing pharmaceuticals.
  • Anthropology: Biological Anthropologists grapple with the evolution of human health as well as the genetic implications for disease and how people are the product of their DNA and their environment.
  • Exercise Science: Exercise Science serves as a springboard to high demand occupations such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Chiropractic, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Athletic Training.  Exercise Physiologists are also involved in research and application of theories relevant to health and human performance.
  • Mathematics: Statistics is the key tool for testing of new drugs in pharmaceutical research. Data science is being used to develop new cancer drugs that are customized based upon the patients’ genes. A master’s degree in statistics is often required to be a genetic counselor.  
  • Physics: Physicists apply fundamental scientific principles to healthcare and medicine. Applications of these basic principles can be found in diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and radiation oncology.
  • Computer Science: Computational tools are crucial in all aspects of the health sector, from computerized testing equipment, to lab test analysis, to patient records.

Contact Dr. Robert Ewy (pre-Health adviser) at (315) 267-2191 or for more information on preparing for a medical career.

The Department of Public Health and Human Performance offers a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science that focuses on the scientific and applied study of the human body and prepares students for a career in health.

The Biology program has a pre-med and pre-health concentration that prepares students for Medical School. The program includes classes like anatomy, virology, and immunobiology with plenty of chances for applied learning in laboratories and research opportunities.

Alumni Spotlight

After transferring to SUNY Potsdam his junior year, Logan Running ’17 quickly found his path working on cutting-edge nanoparticle research in the chemistry department—research with the potential to treat cancer more effectively, and with less harmful side effects. Learn More