CWU News

CWU Health Sciences Helps Address Interruptions in Employment, Education

Last year’s college graduates and students completing degrees this year are having difficulty finding jobs or furthering their educations because of the worldwide pandemic--this includes students in healthcare-related professions.

In response, Central Washington University’s Department of Health Sciences has developed an intensive Master of Science degree in Integrative Human Physiology (IHP). The first classes in the nine-month-long program will be offered fall quarter.

“It was conceived over the past month as the severity of the crisis and student concerns became obvious,” said Karen Roemer, director of CWU’s IHP program. “Many students sought our advice on how to best proceed in these challenging times. While access to employment and professional programs are out of our control, we can control how we help our students.”

The program focuses on human structure and function, anatomy and dissection, heart and vascular diseases, and metabolism and metabolic diseases, such as diabetes.

“Very few post-baccalaureate programs have such an intense focus in those areas,” said Vince Nethery, director of Clinical Physiology Division. “In addition, the students will enhance their capacity to read and interpret scientific literature through better understanding of statistics and research. And to do all of this within a nine-month span is incredible.”

Human ribcage being studied in CWU labThe curriculum provides graduates with the knowledge and skills they will need to compete for admission to highly selective post-baccalaureate professional programs which can lead to careers in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

“Completing this graduate degree will benefit students from a range of science-based degree backgrounds like biology, chemistry, nutrition, physiology, and public health,” Nethery added.

About 15 students are expected to enroll in the new program. CWU will also continue offering its traditional two-year research-oriented IHP program.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Public Affairs, 509-899-0235,

Note: Application processes and program details can be found at the Master of Science: Integrative Human Physiology website. The applications and admissions processes will continue throughout the spring and summer.