BHS in Health Science

Degree Program Description

A Health Science major is for students who are interested in non-clinical health careers and for those interested in graduate or professional health science programs.  Non-clinical health career options include medical case management, corporate wellness, human services, medical sales, pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution, and more. Graduates holding the BHS in Health Sciences may also be qualified to enter either graduate or professional health science programs, such as physical therapy, public health, chiropractic medicine, health informatics and hospital administration. On-campus Health Science majors choose one of four emphases. These emphases include: Rehabilitation Sciences, for students pursuing physical therapy, chiropractic, orthotics/prosthetics, and similar degrees; Pre-Professional, for students who are pre-medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, optometry and related graduate/professional programs that require an undergraduate degree; Leadership and Policy, for students who are interested in pursuing non-clinical pathways after graduation, through graduate programs in health administration or working in areas such as health informatics, sales, program coordination and support areas in healthcare; and Health and Wellness Services, for students who wish to pursue health promotion, occupational therapy, wellness programming, non-profit work, applied behavioral analysis, as well as students who wish to pursue accelerated nursing after graduation with the health science degree. The health sciences curriculum includes courses in public health, health literacy, healthcare leadership and management, healthcare policy and funding, and clinical ethics. The capstone course sequence includes a required internship experience appropriate for the chosen sub-plan. Students may choose a health sciences study abroad experience approved by the Office of Experiential Learning to meet the internship requirement.

Major Program Requirements

  • Students must have a 2.0 GPA, most recent fall or spring term, cumulative including all transfer credit, and MU GPA to declare the Health Science major.
  • All required core and elective coursework for the BHS in Health Science program, including emphasis and approved health science elective courses, must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
  • If a student earns a deficient grade in a core required course for the Health Science major, they may repeat a core required course one time. If the second attempt is not a C- or higher, students are required to transition out of the major.
  • Students must complete all university requirements, including general education, and departmental requirements, in addition the degree requirements below.

Capstone Requirement

The BHS in Health Science capstone is comprised of two courses: HLTH_SCI 4975 and HLTH_SCI 4985. HLTH_SCI 4975 is an internship that is approved by the Department of Health Sciences' Office of Experiential Learning. Students may find their own internship experience or work with the course instructor/internship advisor to identify an appropriate placement given interests and goals.

Students may choose from:

  • an internship at an agency, company, or corporation of their choice. For an internship to be approved as a capstone experience, it must help students solidify and explore areas of concentration. Internships must have prior approval from the Health Sciences Internship advisor;
  • service learning project which allows a student to serve approximately 50 clock hours in an organization. This can be arranged with the Internship advisor or through the Office of Service Learning on campus, and
  • an approved study abroad program

In addition to University of Missouri requirements, including University general education, the Health Science degree requires the following, each of which must be completed with a grade of C- or higher:

Program Requirements
ENGLSH 1000Writing and Rhetoric (or equivalent)3
or ENGLSH 1000H Honors Writing and Rhetoric
MATH 1100College Algebra *3-5
or MATH 1160 Precalculus Mathematics
BIO_SC 1010
BIO_SC 1020
General Principles and Concepts of Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
or BIO_SC 1500 Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory
or BIO_SC 1500H Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory Honors
Physical Science course1+
Behavioral Science course1+
STAT 1200Introductory Statistical Reasoning3
or STAT 1300 Elementary Statistics
or ESC_PS 4170 Introduction to Applied Statistics
Approved Diversity Course This requirement may overlap with the Health Science Electives requirement, but not emphasis requirements.3
Major Core Requirements
HLTH_SCI 1000Introduction to the Health Professions (Honors students may add HLTH_SCI 1000H discussion)3
or HLTH_SCI 1000H Introduction to the Health Professions - Honors
HLTH_SCI 2400Contemporary Health Issues3
or HLTH_SCI 2400H Contemporary Health Issues - Honors
or HLTH_SCI 2400W Contemporary Health Issues - Writing Intensive
or P_HLTH 2200 Introduction to Public Health and Health Promotion
HLTH_SCI 3000Health Sciences Seminar1
HLTH_SCI 3700Health Care in the United States3
HLTH_SCI 4200WIntroduction to The Research Process and Evidence Base - Writing Intensive3
or HLTH_SCI 4200HW Introduction to The Research Process and Evidence Base - Honors/Writing Intensive
HLTH_SCI 4480Clinical Ethics3
or HLTH_SCI 4480W Clinical Ethics - Writing Intensive
HLTH_SCI 4975Internship in Health Sciences1, 3 or 6
HLTH_SCI 4985Healthcare Organization and Leadership3
Health Science Electives18
Students must complete 18 hours of approved elective coursework.
At least 9 credit hours must be taken as 3000/4000 level courses.
Students must complete coursework in at least two out of the following three thematic areas: Social/Behavioral; Medical/Biological; Administrative/Leadership.
Transfer courses taken at the freshman-sophomore level and accepted as equivalent to a 3000/4000 level course at the University may not count towards the 9 hour upper-level Health Science Elective requirement for the Health Science degree.

The MATH 1100 / MATH 1160 requirement applies only to the Pre-Professional and Rehabilitation Sciences emphases.

Accelerated BHS to OTD in Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists are skilled health professionals who provide services to individuals across the lifespan to maximize their independence in meaningful everyday activities. Occupational therapists use research, scientific evidence, and a holistic perspective to incorporate an individual’s valued occupations into the intervention process.

BHS students have the option to apply and enter the OTD program after their junior year (90 credits of undergraduate coursework) and meet the requirements for completion of the BHS degree through the first year of coursework in the OTD.  This program will allow students to complete both degrees in six years.  

  • Students considering this option will apply during the summer/fall after their sophomore year (after 60 credit hours completed); selected students being coursework the summer after completion of their junior year.
  • Students must have evidence of a minimum of three semesters of college coursework after high school graduation.  
  • First year of OTD professional coursework also counts toward the BHS degree.  Students must have at least 90 credits, all OT prerequisites, and all BHS degree requirements except the capstone requirement completed before beginning the OTD program.  Students will then graduate with their BHS in May after successfully completing the first year of OTD coursework.  The first year of OTD coursework includes a fieldwork experience and practicum experience which combined will meet the capstone requirement for the BHS degree.
  • Students applying for the accelerated option (3+3) will be considered in the same pool as all other applicants.  There are no reserved spots for 3+3 applicants, nor is there a limit on the number of 3+3 applicants will accept. 
  • The more prerequisites you have completed at the time of application, the more strongly your application will be considered.
  • Professional tuition begins at the start of the OTD coursework.
  • MU Health Sciences students applying for the 3+3 option must work very closely with their undergraduate School of Health Professions advisors before, during, and after application to ensure that they have completed all Health Science degree program requirements and all OT prerequisites before beginning the OTD program. 

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester. A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
Behavioral Science course3ENGLSH 10003
BIO_SC 10103HLTH_SCI 10003
BIO_SC 10202Humanities course3
Humanities course3MO State Law Requirement3
MATH 10503Elective3
 15 15
Second Year
HLTH_SCI 24003HLTH_SCI 37003
STAT 120032000+ level Humanities course3
Physical Science course3Writing Intensive course3
Elective 3Elective3
 15 15
Third Year
Biological/Physical/Mathematical Science Course1HLTH_SCI 3900W3
HLTH_SCI 300012000+ level Approved Health Science Elective/Approved Diversity Course3
HLTH_SCI 448033000+ level Approved Health Science Elective3
2000+ level Approved Health Science Elective3Elective3
Elective 3Elective 3
 15 15
Fourth Year
HLTH_SCI 49753HLTH_SCI 49853
3000+ level Approved Health Science Elective32000+ level Approved Health Science Elective3
Elective33000+ level Approved Health Science Elective3
Elective 3Elective3
Elective3Elective 3
 15 15
Total Credits: 120

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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