Jul 13, 2024  
2020-2021 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2026 
2020-2021 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2026 [Archived Catalog]

Health Science (BS)

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Affiliation: School of Health Sciences & Education


The mission of the Health and Exercise Sciences Department is to prepare students of strong academic ability and character to become agents of change for the health and well-being of all people. 


The Health and Exercise Sciences faculty and staff are dedicated to providing students with a world-class education in a stimulating and supportive environment. This student-centered philosophy is expressed through an emphasis on problem-based learning, practical experience, and scholarly research that promotes a rich learning environment, greatly enhancing student development.


The Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science is enhanced by a broad liberal arts and sciences background in English, mathematics, biological and physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities, together with the specialized courses that comprise the depth of the Health Science major.

The Health Science curriculum is designed to prepare students to promote health in educational or clinical settings in school, worksite, community, or public health environments. The undergraduate degree provides training for entry-level positions in municipal, county, state and national health departments, voluntary health agencies and HMOs (health maintenance organizations) as well as the curricular background necessary for graduate work in public health, health administration, occupational therapy, medicine, or physician assistant (PA) programs. 

One of the unique features of the Truman Health Science undergraduate experience is the opportunity to actively engage in research. A significant number of Health Science majors present their findings at international, national, regional, state, or local professional conferences, or publish their work in peer reviewed professional journals.

Another unique feature of the Health Science program is its focus on accountability. The health science graduate also demonstrates a high level of health knowledge as well as skills based on the seven Areas of Responsibility of a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), as assessed by a senior exit examination. Health science faculty and the University have selected and approved the CHES examination as the measure of this competency. This feature affords Truman health science students the opportunity to obtain validation of their education through a nationally recognized examination in their specialized field of study. Truman is among only a handful of institutions in the country to provide this opportunity for their health science graduates. Additionally, the Health Science program capstone experience is obtained through the required course of HLTH 440 Program Implementation and Evaluation. 


For students wishing to transfer to the Health Science major, Department Chair approval must be obtained prior to admission.

Students wishing to concentrate in Community, Worksite Public Health must first declare the Pre-Community, Worksite Public Health/Individualized Concentration. Upon completing the below requirements, students can then apply online to concentrate in Community, Worksite Public Health. The Health Science faculty and Department Chair will approve entrance into the concentration.


Suggested deadlines for applying to the concentration are September 20th for spring admission and February 20th for fall and summer admission. Students who apply after the deadlines will be admitted to the program on a rolling basis.


  1. Based on the Core Public Health functions and a strong liberal arts and sciences foundation, demonstrate proficiency in the responsibilities and competencies of the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
  1. Effectively assessing needs, resources, and capacity for health education/promotion
  2. Planning effective health education/promotion
  3. Effectively implementing health education/promotion
  4. Conducting effective evaluation and research related to health education/promotion
  5. Effectively administering and managing health education/promotion
  6. Serving as an effective health education/promotion resource person
  7. Effectively communicating, promoting and advocating for health, health education/promotion and the profession
  1. Apply CHES competencies through field experiences and community involvement.


  1. An overall cumulative 2.0 GPA
  2. A 2.0 GPA in all courses completed at Truman
  3. A 2.5 GPA in select major, required support, and BS requirements (see major GPA calculation)
  4. 40 credits of 300- or higher-level courses
  5. Minimum 120 total credits of undergraduate coursework
  6. Assessment, residency, and all other requirements as outlined in this catalog
  7. Grade of “D” or higher must be achieved in all required support, BS requirements, major and concentration requirements, and “C” or higher in core major courses.


To provide the opportunity for students to explore and develop more specialized interests, the Health Science curriculum requires the selection of one career concentration ranging from 20-25 credits. Courses comprising the program concentrations are based upon the recommendations of faculty members whose expertise is identified with these specialties. Individualized concentrations may also be designed to meet personal goals. The specific courses required for each concentration are listed in the Major Requirements section below.

Community, Worksite, and Public Health (24 Credits): The Community Public Health Educator may be employed as a disease prevention/health promotion specialist in voluntary agencies (Red Cross, American Lung Association, Women’s Health Clinics, etc.), local agencies (private companies, HMOs, PPOs, hospitals, etc.), county or state agencies (health departments), or federal agencies (CDC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, etc.). The specific job may be a one-on-one approach (HIV/AIDS Educator) or it may involve an entire state, as in the case of coalition building. Leadership, ability to work independently, health knowledge, and a vast resource library are the principal ingredients for a Community Public Health Educator. A person in this position would likely be responsible for grant proposals or alternative sources of funding, especially when employed with voluntary agencies. In addition, the health educator may have some research and writing responsibilities, thereby necessitating excellent writing and oral communication skills. The expectation of most employers is to minimize or eliminate illness and injury through the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of quality health education/health promotion programs.

Pre-Medical Sciences (20-25 Credits): Students seeking a career in the medical field need to develop excellent critical thinking skills and complete additional biology, chemistry, and/or physics courses in addition to their Health Science major courses. Thus, the Pre-Medical Sciences Concentration is designed to provide a foundation of science courses for students seeking admission to a variety of health professional programs such as osteopathic medicine, allopathic medicine, physician assistant, dental medicine, optometry, etc. The coursework is designed to prepare the student for the respective graduate medical admission test (Medical College Admission Test [MCAT], Dental Admission Test [DAT], and Optometry Admission Test [OAT]) students need. Students in this concentration often obtain a minor in biology. To be a viable candidate for admission to a graduate program in health care, a student should maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Pre-Occupational Therapy/Pre-Athletic Training (23-24 Credits): This concentration is designed to prepare a student for admission into a graduate program in occupational therapy or athletic training. Concentration coursework emphasizes courses in psychology and exercise science, including biomechanics, or exercise physiology. To be a viable candidate for admission to a graduate program in occupational therapy, a student should maintain a cumulative pre-requisite GPA of 3.25 or higher. Truman State University has entered into articulation agreements that provide Truman HES graduates with priority consideration or guaranteed interviews in a number of occupational therapy programs. More information about the criteria and prerequisites can be obtained at http://hes.truman.edu/articulation.asp

Pre-Community, Worksite Public Health/Individualized (24 Credits): The Pre-Community, Worksite Public Health/Individualized Concentration is designed to support future public health professionals and the development of special support areas not available in an established concentration. This concentration must be relevant to the career goals of the student and logically follow from the courses included with the major. This concentration is not a “catch-all” for courses taken that do not fit the published degree requirements. For students in the Individualized Concentration, the Individualized Concentration must be submitted to the Registrar and approved by the academic advisor. These concentrations can include HLTH 460 Internship in Health Education. Examples of individualized concentrations include those for students intending to apply to accelerated nursing programs or music therapy programs or dietetics programs. Students wanting to concentrate in Community, Worksite Public Health must apply to the major once they meet the requirements specified previously.



To recognize outstanding students in the major.


Any Health Science major who attains the following receives Departmental Honors. Students must apply through the Health and Exercise Sciences (HES) Department Office during their graduating semester. Applications are available on the HES website.

  1. Major GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  2. Overall GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  3. Complete an HES-related research project* and disseminate the results of the research at Truman’s Student Research Conference, in a professional setting, or via a paper that has been submitted or accepted for publication while a Health Science major.
  4. Obtain a passing score on the CHES exam.
  5. Receive concurrence from health science faculty.

*The individual was a major contributor to the research project who participated in multiple phases of the project (design, data collection, data analysis, and preparation of the manuscript, poster or presentation). An HES faculty member is responsible for verifying the student was a major contributor to the research project.


Dialogues Requirements: 42-61 Credits

Missouri Statute (1-4 credits)

Bachelor of Science Requirement: 7-8 Credits

  • Credit(s): 4
  • An additional Biology or Psychology course at the 200 level or above or a Chemistry or Statistics course at the 300 level or above.


The Health Science major consists of two (2) parts: Required Support and Major Requirements. Each student must complete both parts.

Part I: Required Support: 10 Credits

Complete one of the following Health Science Concentrations: 20-25 Credits

Community, Worksite, and Public Health Concentration: 24 Credits

Students in this concentration are highly encouraged to take at least one STAT class at the 300-level or above .

Selectives: Select at least two courses from the following:


For students who are particularly interested in worksite health promotion, the following courses are recommended in addition to ES 345 - Exercise Physiology :

For students who are interested in health administration, a minor in Business Administration is recommended (see Business Administration Minor ).  

Pre-Medical Sciences Concentration: 20-25 Credits

These courses are a foundation for students seeking to enter a clinical graduate or professional program such as Physician Assistant, Dental School, Medical School or Optometry School. However, the student is responsible for researching his or her desired programs and determining the necessary prerequisites for the program to which he or she is applying. Those additional courses are not part of the degree or concentration requirements.


* Students who wish to take the MCAT are recommended to complete a minimum of PHYS 185, PHYS 186, and CHEM 329, CHEM 331, CHEM 333 and CHEM 335.

Pre-Occupational Therapy/Pre-Athletic Training Concentration: 22-24 Credits

Pre-Community Worksite Public Health/Individualized Concentration: Minimum of 24 Credits

This concentration can include

  • Credit(s): 6 Students who do not complete HLTH 460 must include a minimum of five additional credit hours of HLTH courses at the 300-level or above in their concentration. This concentration may include no more than 15 credit hours of courses with the same course prefix (including HLTH).


Students may not earn both a BS in Health Science and a BS in Exercise Science degree.

Electives to total minimum of 120 Credits

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