Bachelor of Arts in Health Arts & Sciences
Goddard College’s Bachelors of Arts in Health Arts and Sciences offers interdisciplinary studies and transformative practices that advance personal and social health.
Goddard’s unique network of faculty advisors and learning partners will guide you to develop practitioner-scholar capacity in the field of health and healing. You will be supported to make a difference through systems-thinking and visionary practices that cultivate well-being, an ethics of care, and practices of justice.
We believe the foundation of health lies in an individual’s relationship with all of life.
As a student, your work will encompass direct action, rich contemplation, rigorous scholarship, creative projects and experiential learning, rooted in your unique passion, goals, and learning style.
The Health Arts and Sciences Program begins with students exploring intersecting aspects of biological, psychological, spiritual, social, and/or ecological health and concludes with a senior project. Your senior study engages diverse aspects of care and healing for the whole person within an ecological and cultural context.
Health Arts and Sciences Themes
Nature: Study of natural, ecological and biological systems to recognize, understand and promote a positive relationship between human health and natural systems.
Culture: Study of diverse cultural definitions of health and healing, and the values and practices that create healthier cultures and improve social ties.
Healing: Survey, synthesis, and applications of healing theories and practices in a multicultural world.
Senior Study Examples
Examples of recent Senior Study themes include:
- Affordable Herbal Medicine for Marginalized Communities
- DIY Cooking for Supporting Mood and Reducing Anxiety
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a Model of Community Health
- Emotional and Spiritual Aspects of Death and Dying
- Food Security and Nutrition Education
- Green Medicine, Herbalism, and Ethnobotany
- Healing Justice Activism
- Health as a Human Right and Community Affair
- Health Coaching and Addiction Transformation
- Holistic Nursing for Pain Modulation
- Medical Cannabis Health Education for Opioid Addiction
- Midwifery and Women’s Health in Underserved Areas
- Somatics as a Tool for Leadership in Racial Justice Work
- Spirituality, Grief and Recovery From PTSD
- Yoga and Movement for Healing Trauma
The BA in Health Arts and Sciences faculty work one-on-one with students as faculty advisors throughout the semester, as well as facilitating group studies, teaching workshops at residency, and acting as second readers to students’ final projects.
Our faculty is comprised of national and international scholar practitioners with extensive experience supporting students taking charge of their learning.
The Bachelor of Arts in Health Arts & Sciences is an undergraduate degree open to any interested students.
New students seeking admission may be admitted at any level up to and including the second semester of the junior year. Transfer credits and/or assessment of prior learning credits up to a total of 75 credits can be applied to the 120 semester hour credits required for the degree.
A minimum of three semesters of enrollment in the Bachelor of Arts in Health Arts & Sciences is required for graduation.
Students in the BA in Health Arts and Sciences Program attend residencies in Plainfield, Vermont, on Goddard’s historic main campus, located just outside Montpelier, the state capital. It’s a former farm with a manor garden, surrounding forests, and period architecture.
At the start of the semester, students attend an intensive eight-day residency in Vermont, followed by 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in close collaboration with a faculty advisor and course mentor. Goddard pioneered this format nearly a half century ago to meet the needs of adult students with professional, family, and other obligations seeking learning experiences grounded in the real-world.
Residencies are a time to explore, network, learn, witness, and share with peers, staff, and faculty. Students work with advisors and peers in close-knit advising groups to forge individualized study plans that describe their learning objectives for the semester.
Working closely with their faculty advisors, and supported by fellow learners, students identify areas of study, personal goals, relevant resources, and avenues to achieve these goals. Students also attend and are invited to help organize workshops, keynote addresses, celebrations and other events intended to stimulate, inspire, and challenge.
This low-residency model combines the breadth of a collaborative community with the focus of personalized learning, enhanced by insightful exchanges with a faculty advisor and course mentors.
In addition to fulfilling the general BA/BFA degree requirements, graduating BA students will have successfully accomplished the following program-specific criteria:
- Health Philosophy by clearly articulated your own health philosophy in relationship to multiple cultural views and critically evaluated your own values, biases, ethics, and orientation to health.
- Community Health Practices/Modalities by exploring at least one health-promoting modality and its application to the well-being of particular location or population.
- Life Sciences by identifying and examining fields and science- based studies fundamental to your inquiry and being able to transmit your science-based knowledge to others.
- Broader Context of Health by demonstrating an understanding of, and capacity to, evaluate the social and ecological context of your study by looking through such lenses as social ideologies, structures and norms; contemporary and historical, political influences, systems and economies; theories or and changes, and ecological settings or conditions, etc.
- Self-Care, Resilience and Renewal by recognizing the nested locations of well-being (from the pint of the self and beyond) and engaging in reflective and active participation in your own wellness processes.
Work of the Semester
During the semester on a set schedule, you will send your faculty advisor materials reflecting your academic studies for that period. Evidence of the work completed can include essays, creative and critical writing, materials related to practica, documentation of art practice/works, book annotations, and a cover letter in which you reflect on the learning process.
Your advisor responds promptly in writing to your materials with a detailed letter addressing the various components of your work and containing appraisal, feedback, and suggestions. Through the regular exchange of work and responses, a sustained meaningful dialogue takes place, centered on your learning and goals. At the end of the semester, students and advisors write comprehensive evaluations of the student’s learning.
Over the semester, the exchanges between student and advisor exchanges between student and advisor creates an exceptionally in-depth and meaningful dialogue. Students often describe these exchanges as transformative and empowering.