UMKC launches Bachelor of Health Sciences degree program

In response to growing workforce demand for allied health care workers, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is offering a new Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS) degree program. The program, which is accepting students for the Fall 2011 semester, is designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in pursuing a degree in a non-professional health field or for whom a professional degree is not currently feasible.

The need for professional degree program graduates continues to rise dramatically, as does the need for allied health-trained professionals. As the workload of those in nursing, medicine, dentistry and pharmacy increases, there is a growing need for well-qualified allied health workers to take on some of the non-essential duties that health care professionals have traditionally assumed.

Reflecting UMKC’s urban mission, the UMKC BHS program will provide coursework in the physical, biological, behavioral, business and social domains of health science and will focus on the issues encountered in the urban setting. Building on a sound liberal arts education, the UMKC BHS includes a science component combined with urban-focused coursework in health. Students will learn the concepts of epidemiology, wellness, health care systems, finance, technology, and leadership.

The new UMKC BHS program will be offered through the UMKC School of Nursing (SON), which has a long history and established reputation for providing excellent nursing education with an emphasis on urban health.

“The BHS will broaden the school’s offerings beyond nursing and provide opportunities to students interested in other areas of health science that are important in today’s health care arena,” said Lora Lacey-Haun, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing. “Additionally, the BHS will meet the needs of students who are not admitted to nursing school. The BHS will also serve as a stepping stone for students who wish to enter professional degree areas such as respiratory therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy.”

Students of all kinds will be drawn to the UMKC BHS program because of its variety of coursework and ability to prepare students for different careers. Coursework in the BHS will provide students with the necessary breadth and depth of knowledge to compete in the job market for good positions in health-related fields and in positions where knowledge of health care and health sciences is in demand. Students interested in careers such as business, marketing or journalism with special interests in health issues or products, will be particularly well-prepared by the BHS. Most importantly, the BHS will provide a “safety net” for those students who apply for a competitive health professional program and are not admitted.

Potential non-professional careers for UMKC BHS graduates include Hospital Administrator, Nutritionist, Wellness Coordinator, Pharmaceutical Sales, Social Service Case Manager, and Medical and Health Service Managers. The UMKC BHS will also effectively prepare students who wish to apply to enter a graduate health profession program, such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Nursing, Speech-Language Pathology, Chiropractic and Anesthesiology Assistants. Professional and graduate programs in healthcare accept students with a variety of degrees, and the BHS provides a strong foundation for students pursuing allied health careers.

For more information on the UMKC Bachelor of Health Science degree program, visit

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