School of Health Sciences

The highly-collaborative School of Health Sciences (SHS) at Chatham University stands in stark contrast to the “lost in the crowd” health sciences programs at many larger universities. The School's unique makeup allows for interprofessional education among students in nursing, psychology, physician assistant studies, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and athletic training.

Critical Thinking & Service-Oriented

SHS programs are highly selective, with an approximate 24% acceptance rate (313 accepted out of 1,299 applicants). We excel in training students through problem-based learning, fostering critical thinking skills, and encouraging students to serve local, national, and international communities through service-oriented programs for medically-underserved populations.

Active Learning

Our approach to learning places students in a position of active responsibility for absorbing and mastering content. They learn new material by confronting and solving problems as applied to actual clinical cases.

Dedicated Faculty

Students learn from dedicated faculty members—many of whom are practicing clinicians themselves—in a close-knit atmosphere known for providing personal attention to every student.

Chatham Eastside

The School of Health Sciences is located at Chatham Eastside, part of the Shadyside Campus. Chatham Eastside is in Pittsburgh’s bustling East End district, near Bakery Square, a vibrant retail district that is home to Google’s Pittsburgh office. The building was a LEED-Silver renovation project that uses sustainable design practices, recycled materials, and energy efficient lighting to create academic and social space within a green environment.

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Making an Impact in Ecuador

The School is known for its international collaboration with the CRECER organization in Ibarra, Ecuador, where faculty and students participate in service learning experiences related to occupational and physical therapy.

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Expanding Your Education Abroad

Our most recent international collaboration has been with Wenzhou Medical University. Psychology students spend the summer at Chatham participating in educational seminars and cultural experiences.

International Travel Opportunities

Some of our programs include international travel opportunities to provide services in healthcare settings.

Partnership Opportunities

Our collaborators—including preceptors, clinical sites, and guest speakers—are an essential (and highly appreciated!) part of the healthcare education system. Many contribute to give back to the profession, but there are a number of other benefits, too.

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Fellowships & Service Opportunities

SHS students are eligible for fellowships and competitions, some of which are compensated, through which they can gain valuable skills including working with underserved communities. Opportunities include the Jonas Falk Health Activist Fellowship, the Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program, and more. 

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Program Newsletters

Stay updated on the latest from Chatham's health sciences programs, student and faculty accomplishments, alumni achievements, and more with our individual program newsletters.

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Meet the Dean of SHS

Dr. Pat Downey became the inaugural Dean of the highly collaborative School of Health Sciences (SHS) in 2014, having joined Chatham in 1994 as a Physical Therapy Faculty member.

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Getting More Comfortable With Death and Dying

Last winter, Victoria Kissell, MPAS ’18, was able to add a facet to her education that not many PAs are able to claim. “We don’t learn how to deal with death in school,” she says. “Because we’re focused on making people better, we tend to push it aside, even though it’s inevitable. Through the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Fellowship in Death and Dying, I was able to talk to people who handle it every day, so that if I do have a patient who is terminally ill, I’m more comfortable talking about it.”

Nola the Nurse and Scharmaine Baker-Lawson, DNP '08

Waving to the crowd, Nola the Nurse® reaches the front of the church, and starts to dance with her creator, Dr. Scharmaine Lawson-Baker, DNP ’08. They sway, bump hips, clap. Soon the music settles down and so do the kids, which is good, because Nola and Baker are up from New Orleans to do some educating.