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Integrated Health Studies

The College of Education, Health, and Human Services at Kent State University offers a Bachelor of Science degree program with a major in Integrated Health Studies. The program is interdisciplinary and involves a variety of academic areas both from the College of Education, Health, and Human Services as well as other departments at Kent that deal with health and human services.

The primary mission of the Integrated Health Studies program is to educate individuals to serve present and future needs of an increasingly diverse society in the professional fields associated with health and/or medical services. Fundamental to its mission is the education of students to excel as practitioners and provide leadership to their respective disciplines.

All students pursuing a bachelor's degree at Kent complete a series of liberal education requirements (Kent Core). Students majoring in Integrated Health Studies take courses in the following areas: English composition; mathematics and logic or foreign language; humanities and fine arts; social sciences including psychology; and biology and chemistry.

All Integrated Health Studies (IHS) majors take a core of courses that relate to health studies. The core consists of courses that focus on medical terminology, careers in health sciences and human services, research design and statistical methods for the health professions, health care ethics, health care policy and delivery systems, quantitative statistics, a writing intensive course, and a professional seminar experience at the end of the program. The program may culminate in a 3-10 credit hour practicum in a setting consistent with the students' career goals. A seminar class accompanies the practicum to address topics related to the practicum experience.

The knowledge and understanding gained from the core coursework are then applied within the context of a specific concentration selected by the student based upon the student's interests and career goals. Each of the three concentrations prepares the student for specific occupational opportunities and/or advanced study in the health and human services fields.

  1. The health sciences concentration includes a strong basic science core (biology, chemistry, physics) as well as an applied science core (exercise physiology, nutrition). IHS majors in the Health Sciences Concentration will be preparing themselves for science-based professional health-related graduate programs, especially physical or occupational therapy. Other advanced study options include biomedical sciences, exercise sciences, nutrition, and therapeutic recreation. This concentration requires some study at the Kent Campus.
  2. The health services concentration provides comprehensive study of health professions, human development, and human services, emphasizing the integration of the various service delivery models related to the many health professions. The student completing this program would find a career in the service delivery sector of the health care industry. Some students may wish to concentrate in Health Services as an exploratory prelude to a more specific major or program. Others may wish to obtain a "generalist" background prior to graduate study in such fields as clinical psychology, counseling, health education, rehabilitation counseling or therapeutic recreation. This program is also designed to provide students in associate degree programs in the allied health areas, such as physical or occupational therapy assisting technology or dental hygiene, with the opportunity to obtain a highly relevant bachelor's degree.  This concentration requires some study at the Kent Campus.
  3. Students interested in preparing for administrative positions in the health care industry are served by the health care administration and systems concentration. There is a strong focus upon business (accounting, management, marketing, finance, human resource management) as well as specialized courses related to long-term care administration and social welfare policy. The student completing this concentration would assume a position in the business sector of a health related industry. Other students may wish to pursue graduate study in such fields as business administration, health administration, exercise/leisure/sport administration, and public health. Some of the coursework required for this concentration can be completed at Kent State Tuscarawas. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in health services and human services areas will grow faster than average through 2012. Students completing the IHS Health Services concentration will be prepared to assume a role in the service delivery sector of the health care industry. Others may wish to pursue graduate study leading to advanced professional credentials. The student completing the IHS Health Care Administration and Systems concentration would be prepared for careers in the business sector of the health care industry, but others may wish to pursue graduate study to obtain mid-management administrative credentials.

Following a degree in Integrated Health Studies, students may wish to pursue graduate study in many areas, including:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Athletic Training
  • Sports Medicine
  • Therapeutic Recreation
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Gerontology
  • Business Administration
  • Health Administration
  • Public Health
  • Health Education
  • Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise/Leisure/Sport Administration

Students are encouraged and some (Health Care Administration & Systems Concentration) are required to participate in practicum experiences. Examples of some of these opportunities include: area hospitals and health care facilities, HMOs, health networks, nonprofit organizations and sports medicine clinics.