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Health Studies, BS

Health Studies Bachelor of Science

Help shape the future of health care with a bachelor’s in Health Studies from the University of Central Missouri. Our interdisciplinary Health Studies major provides you with a broad base of health care knowledge, which in turn prepares you for a broad range of careers and graduate programs. 

UCM’s Health Studies degree program focuses on health care services in clinics, community and corporate settings. In addition to coursework, you’ll volunteer in communities to gain real-world experience and make a lasting impact. You can also study abroad in countries such as Costa Rica to experience the excitement of working with leaders and health organizations around the world.

Earn your UCM degree in Health Studies on your schedule

Before you can focus on the lives of others, you need to focus on your own. That’s why UCM’s Health Studies major is dedicated to flexibility and accessibility. Many of our students have jobs and families of their own. We offer a balanced combination of online and in-person classes to accommodate any schedule. We also use the latest technology to keep online classes engaging and interactive, so you can learn from anywhere at any time.

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Karen Doyle, Ph.D., ACSM, CEP
Associate Professor
Health Studies Program Coordinator
Morrow 133
Tel: 660-543-4662

College of Health, Science and Technology

Department of Nutrition, Kinesiology and Health

Health Studies

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96% First Destination Success Rate

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95% job placement rate

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Diverse career opportunities

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Small class sizes

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Personal career advising


What you will study

UCM’s undergraduate Health Studies program is interdisciplinary to promote your career interests and tailor the program accordingly. Throughout the program curriculum, you’ll learn to: 

  • Negotiate cross-cultural ideas of what it means to be healthy
  • Influence others’ lifestyles to encourage healthy habits in any environment
  • Discuss and sway current U.S. health policies and news coverage about public health

We encourage students to focus on three areas: academics, experience, and professional skills.

  • Academics: See new relevant course options in Program of Study, Four-Year Plan and the Approved Electives to focus on a career direction.
  • Experience: Begin exploring career options by volunteering or working in the health-related area you find interesting.
  • Professional skills: Develop your skills by studying abroad, attending/presenting at a professional conference, participating in a research study and becoming a certified health educator specialist.

4 Year Plan                  Approved Electives


Excellence in Health Studies

  • Best Value: Bachelor’s Degree College for General Health Services/Allied Health/Health Services (College Factual, 2022)
  • Most Popular: Bachelor’s Degree College for Health Professions (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in health studies

Your experience in UCM’s Health Studies program will take you far beyond the classroom. By the time you enter the job market or begin filling out graduate school applications, you’ll have hundreds of hours of practice in the real world.

  • Internships: Complete a 300-contact hour field experience, applying principles or theories in an approved community, corporate or clinical setting. Students have interned at Dairy Farmers of America, Humana, Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, Wellsource and Kansas City Probation & Parole Division #5.
  • Study abroad: Learn about global health while living and working in another country. Opportunities to study abroad include “A Taste of France With Nutrition” — a 10-day culinary tour for course credit. Look forward to 2024 trip to Pura Vida Cosra Rica.
  • Applied nutrition: Bring your knowledge and experience to the communities that most need it by working with food assistance programs such as the Salvation Army, local soup kitchens, Open Door and many others.

Flow chart identifying the academics, experience, and professional opportunities a HS student should consider


Internships and more

Interns will have a wide variety of responsibilities and opportunities! To know more details about internships, join the Health Studies group in Blackboard under My Community.  The Blackboard Health Studies group serves as a communication site which includes internship details, club information, job listings, and scholarships. Interns will have a wide variety of responsibilities and opportunities! 


What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in Health Studies from UCM?

Health care in the United States is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to become the largest job sector in the United States within the next decade. With this growing demand for experienced health care professionals, the time to earn a bachelor’s degree in Health Studies is now. 

96% of UCM’s Health Studies program graduates end up at their first choice of job or in a graduate program. They have gone on to earn graduate degrees in epidemiology, health administration, public health and occupational therapy. Many of our graduates work in schools, hospitals, corporations and government agencies. 

What to do with a Health Studies degree from UCM

Explore more options for future jobs with UCM’s degree in Health Studies using the interactive tool below. You can gain insights on health care salaries, job outlooks and more.




Financial assistance options for your UCM Health Studies degree

You’ve chosen to dedicate your career to helping others. We offer many scholarships to make that path as accessible and affordable as possible.

Beyond the general scholarships available through the University of Central Missouri, numerous scholarships are available specifically for Health Studies majors, including:

  • Mike and SueAnn Carter Scholarship

You can learn more about program-specific scholarships at the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Take your degree further.

UCM’s Health Studies degree is interdisciplinary, meaning the undergraduate program offers many pathways after graduation if you want to enter into an advanced degree program. Possible pathways include:

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Make yourself more marketable.

As you think about what to do with a Health Studies degree, consider adding a Spanish For Healthcare Professionals Certificate or one of many minors offered by UCM:

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Explore programs related to health studies.

The health sciences field offers many ways to reach your desired career. Explore different options at UCM, and choose the path that’s right for you.



“The Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) examination is a competency-based tool used to measure possession, application and interpretation of knowledge in the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists delineated by A Competency-Based Framework for Health Education Specialists 2015. The exam reflects the entry-level Sub-competencies of these Areas of Responsibility.”

“Promote physical activity from the playground to policy-makers by becoming an ACSM/NPAS Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist (PAPHS). In collaboration with ACSM and the National Physical Activity Society (NPAS) – learn how to make your voice heard for the advancement of your community on the way to building partnerships, developing initiatives, and advocating for programming that centers on physical activity as a path to stronger public health.”

 ”Wellcoaches founded the first coaching school for health and wellness professionals in 2002, in collaboration with the American College of Sports Medicine, and published the first coaching textbook in health and wellness. Since then, Wellcoaches has defined the cutting edge and the gold standard for high impact, evidence-based, and innovative education, training, and certification. We provide the tools and skills to become game-changing professionals in corporate, healthcare, military and consumer well-being. We have trained more than 10,000 coaches in nearly 50 countries and now train 1,200 coaches per year.”


Professional Organizations




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