Jun 25, 2024  
2011-2012 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2017 
2011-2012 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2017 [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 promote 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. The major requires a Public Health Practicum or field experience in which students gain important practical experience directly related to their career interests.

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 nationally.

Another unique feature of the Health Science program is its focus on accountability. In addition to the comprehensive testing program of the University, all required health science courses incorporate pre/post testing to determine achievement of educational objectives. The health science graduate will also demonstrate 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. The Health Science program is approved by the Society for Public Health Education-American Association of Health Education Baccalaureate Program Approval Committee. 


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


  1. Based on a liberal arts and sciences background, demonstrate proficiency in the responsibilities and competencies of the Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES).
  1. Assessing individual and community needs for health education
  2. Planning effective health education programs
  3. Implementing health education programs
  4. Conducting evaluation and research related to health
  5. Administering health education
  6. Serving as a health education resource person
  7. Communicating and advocating for health and health education
  1. Utilize CHES competencies in the performance of the Core Public Health functions
  1. Assessment
  2. Community mobilization
  3. Policy development and action plan
  4. Assurance
  1. Apply appropriate research principles and methods in health science.
  2. Apply CHES competencies through field experiences and community involvement.
  3. Articulate the historical and philosophical basis of health science. 


  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 hours of 300- or higher-level courses
  5. 63 hours of liberal arts and sciences coursework
  6. Minimum 120 total hours of undergraduate coursework
  7. Assessment, residency, and all other requirements as outlined in this catalog
  8. Grade of “D” or higher must be achieved in all required support, BS requirements, major and pattern requirements 


To provide the opportunity for students to explore and develop more specialized interests, the Health Science curriculum allows the selection of one career pattern ranging from 24-27 hours. Courses comprising the program patterns are based upon the recommendations of faculty members whose expertise is identified with these specialties. Individualized patterns may also be designed to meet personal goals. The specific courses required for each pattern are listed in the Major Requirements section below.

Community, Worksite, and Public Health (25 Hours): The Community 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 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.

Health Administration (25-26 Hours): The individual interested in Health Administration must be able to effectively serve as a supervisor or leader while at the same time answering to the organization or governing body of the particular health facility or voluntary health agency. This graduate will be prepared to manage a facility/organization/agency that employs a number of the community members from the higher socioeconomic groups (physicians, nurse managers, pharmacists, etc.). These are autonomous people working as a team to provide care for the sick, injured, and debilitated. The individual should be a highly motivated self-starter to resolve the daily management concerns associated with the health care industry. Additional qualities include a self-paced individual who stays in control under pressure, one who possesses excellent communication skills, and has a good general knowledge of health facilities. Employment opportunities are found in voluntary agencies, health departments, hospitals, state agencies, and federal agencies. Entry-level positions may be found in some aspect of personnel management or as an assistant administrator. To be successful, the graduate must have a solid background in human resources, legal aspects of health care, marketing, and health services. Expectations of the employer are to hire an individual who can lead a health care organization in a competent and professional manner. Students must be accepted into the Business Administration Minor before enrolling in any BSAD or ACCT course. A minor in business administration will be awarded to students who complete this pattern and satisfy all other requirements for the minor. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 to remain in the pattern.

Pre-Medical Sciences (24-27 Hours): 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 Pattern 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 will need. Students in this pattern typically obtain a minor in biology. The Pre-Medical Sciences Pattern also requires completion of HLTH 250 Public Health Practicum I, a 1-credit course requiring 40 hours of shadowing of a health care provider, and HLTH 321 Seminar in Graduate School Admissions or HLTH 322 Seminar in Graduate Job Searching. 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. (Students should complete CHEM 130 Chemical Principles I to fulfill the Physical Science Mode of Inquiry requirement and BIOL 107 Introductory Biology I for the Life Science Mode of Inquiry. MATH 198 Analytic Geometry & Calculus I is recommended to fulfill the Mathematical Mode of Inquiry, and PHRE 188 Ethics is recommended to meet the Philosophical/Religious Mode of Inquiry.)

Pre-Occupational Therapy (25-26 Hours): This pattern is designed to prepare a student for admission into a graduate program in occupational therapy. Pattern coursework emphasizes courses in psychology and exercise science, including biomechanics, movement neuroscience, exercise physiology, and assessment and prescription. Students in this pattern often obtain a minor in psychology. The Pre-Occupational Therapy Pattern also requires completion of HLTH 250 Public Health Practicum I, a 1-credit course requiring 40 hours of shadowing of an occupational therapist, and HLTH 321 Seminar in Graduate School Admissions or HLTH 322 Seminar in Graduate Job Searching. To be a viable candidate for admission to a graduate program in occupational therapy, a student should maintain a cumulative 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. (SOAN 190 Sociological Inquiry is recommended to fulfill the Intercultural Interconnecting Perspective, PHYS 100 or 185 to fulfill the Physical Science Mode of Inquiry requirement, and PHRE 188 Ethics is recommended to meet the Philosophical/Religious Mode of Inquiry.)

Individualized (25-28 Hours): The Individualized Pattern is designed to support the development of special support areas not available in an established pattern. This pattern must be relevant to the career goals of the student and logically follow from the courses included with the major. This pattern is not a “catch-all” for courses taken that do not fit the published degree requirements. The Individualized Pattern must be submitted to the Registrar and approved by the academic advisor. These patterns must include either HLTH 460 Field Experience in Health Education or both HLTH 250 Public Health Practicum I and either HLTH 321 Seminar in Graduate School Admissions or HLTH 322 Seminar in Graduate Job Searching. Examples of individualized patterns include those for students intending to apply to accelerated nursing programs or music therapy programs. 



To recognize outstanding students in the major.


Any Health Science major who attains the following will receive Departmental Honors. Students must apply through the Health and Exercise Sciences Department Office during the graduating semester. Applications will be sent each semester to degree candidates who qualify for the overall GPA requirement.

  1. Major GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  2. Overall GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  3. Complete a research project and present at Truman’s Student Research Conference, a professional conference, or publish a paper (a paper that has been submitted or accepted for publication will qualify)*.
  4. Obtain a passing score on the CHES exam.
  5. Receive concurrence from majority of health science, exercise science and athletic training faculty.

*Present means the individual was a major contributor to the research project including development of the question, collection and analysis of data, and manuscript/presentation preparation. The faculty mentor is responsible for verifying level of participation. 


Liberal Studies Program Requirements: 31-57 Credit Hours

Missouri Statute Requirement: 1-3 Credit Hours

Bachelor of Science Requirement: 8 Credit Hours


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 Credit Hours

Complete one of the following Health Science Patterns: 24-27 Credit Hours

Community, Worksite, and Public Health Pattern: 25 Credit Hours

Students in this pattern are highly encouraged to take at least one STAT class beyond STAT 190 Basic Statistics.


For students who wish to become American College of Sports Medicine/Health Fitness Specialist (ACSM/HFS) certified, the following courses are recommended:

Health Administration Pattern: 25-26 Credit Hours

Required minimum GPA for this pattern is 2.5. Students must be accepted into the Business Administration Minor before enrolling in any BSAD or ACCT course. Prior to applying for the minor, the student should complete ENG 190, COMM 170, STAT 190 or STAT 290, and the Mathematical Mode of Inquiry.

Pre-Medical Sciences Pattern: 24-27 Credit Hours

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 pattern requirements.

Select at least 3 of the following courses:


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

Pre-Occupational Therapy Pattern: 25-26 Credit Hours

PHYS 100 or PHYS 185 should be taken to complete the Physical Science Mode of Inquiry.

Select at least 3 of the following 4 courses:

Individualized Pattern: 25 Credit Hours

This pattern must include either

Electives to total minimum of 120 Credit Hours

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