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School of Health and Natural Sciences

FALL 2020 UPDATE: The Dean for the School of Health and Natural Sciences will provide assistance to all constituents remotely, Monday - Friday from 8am - 5pm, for the Fall 2020 semester. To make either a remote or an in-person appointment, please contact Sue Guartafierro at or by phone at 978-665-3655.

A Welcome from the Dean of Health and Natural Sciences

Portrait of Margaret HoeyWelcome to the School of Health and Natural Sciences, where our focus is on student-success and our programs and courses reach each and every student at Fitchburg State.

The faculty and staff in the school design and support high-quality, engaging programs across many fields which are in high demand. Through small classes, advising and mentoring, our faculty provide enriching learning experiences for students with a hallmark of personal attention to their needs and interests. In exceptional facilities such as the Antonucci Science Center, Exercise Science Labs, the Landry Arena and new laboratories for psychological studies at the McKay Arts Academy, students engage in integrative, hands-on and applied learning that prepares them to be scientifically educated individuals for future careers in healthcare, public service, as classroom teachers, fitness professionals or in industry.

Students majoring in our programs have participated in community research and service within the Commonwealth and the greater Fitchburg area, often presenting their work at professional conferences. Our relationships with partner institutions and organizations provide our students with opportunities to study abroad in the Americas, Asia, Africa or Europe. Research opportunities that allow collaboration amongst students and faculty-scholars are available using modern, sophisticated equipment in all of our programs, and faculty-sponsored internships give students practical experience that prepares them for graduate studies or to enter the workforce.

We invite you to look at our programs and contact the individual departments or the Dean’s office if you have any questions about the opportunities we have for you at Fitchburg State.

Margaret Hoey, Ph.D.
Dean for Health and Natural Sciences

Mission Statement

The mission of the School of Health and Natural Sciences is to help students develop the skills and habits of mind necessary for scientific inquiry and analysis in their professional, personal and civic lives. Faculty experts and engaged staff in the fields of biology, chemistry, earth and geographic sciences, exercise and sports science, mathematics, physics, psychological science, and nursing support students via  foundational learning in the general education curriculum and mastery of content in a variety of majors. Our faculty offer classroom, laboratory, and clinical instruction as well as research opportunities in the sciences and health professions. Faculty and staff collaborate across the University and beyond to offer interdisciplinary learning opportunities.

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School Resources

Academic Departments


CCNE AccreditedThe baccalaureate degree in nursing and the master’s degree in nursing at Fitchburg State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

School of Health and Natural Sciences News

EXSS: Strength & Conditioning Concentration Approved

The hard work of the EXSS department, led by Danielle Wigmore, has resulted in formal approval of this exciting new concentration. Students in the program will gain valuable, applied learning experiences in the renovated Landry Arena under the supervision of our faculty, including Jeff Godin. Well done!

Study Abroad: Nursing Students in Ghana, Costa Rica and more

Akwasi Duah and Debbie Benes in Nursing are leaders in providing experiences for our students abroad. Led by Akwasi and Debbie, a group of our majors offered health clinics for patients in Ghana while also learning about the healthcare systems and culture of Ghana.

Along with Deb Stone, a Spring semester trip took our students to Costa Rica to learn about the community-based healthcare systems in that country. Faculty from nursing and biology are planning courses in Costa Rica for spring 2019.

A spring 2020 course on the active geology of Japan is also in the planning stages. 

Mathematics Initiatives

The Department of Mathematics is a leader in the Commonwealth on first-year, developmental math and mathematics pathway initiatives. We now have clearly-defined math pathways in Statistics, Pre-Calculus, Education and Quantitative Reasoning.

Faculty across the department have worked hard on redefining the Basic Math course, consulting with colleagues across campus, adding prerequisite sections, and developing the new Math Lab in Edgerly 106. Stella Fateh joined us as Math Support Specialist this summer. As we work to achieve our goals in student success, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from the department this year.

2018-2019 and Beyond

The upcoming academic year will be a busy one for us all. Nearly every program in the division has grown in enrollment and our reliance on each other means that our classes are almost universally full. We are currently approved for two searches; a tenure-track position in Psychological Science and one in Mathematics.

In addition, there will be opportunities for faculty to provide feedback and work on any number of initiatives, such as new division and department webpages, the development of our School Mission Statement and long-term plan, seeking out of resources to continue summer-research and other programs, outreach to the community and more.