Missouri State University
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College of Health and Human Services

College of Health and Human Services  

For More Information

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-4176
Fax: 417-836-6905
Email: CollegeofHealthandHumanServices@


Career Preparation

The College of Health and Human Services is dedicated to educating tomorrow's healthcare leaders by offering students an array of academic programs to choose from.  Majors are offered in the fields of athletic training; biomedical sicences; communication sciences and disorders; gerontology; Kinesiology; nursing with a masters in public health; physical therapy; physician assistant studies; psychology; and social work.  The college also includes research and service centers, such as the Speech Language Hearing Clinic and the Physical Therapy Clinic.

Departments and Majors

Biomedical Sciences
The Department of Biomedical Sciences offers science-focused programs intended to prepare students for the pursuit of a number of different career paths. Students may choose to apply to graduate or professional school within a related field (medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, cell and molecular biology, nutrition/dietetics, etc.); directly enter the workforce; or seek pre-career internships. Graduates from this program work in a variety of settings including: hospitals, nursing homes, government agencies, universities, public and private schools, public and private businesses, independent laboratories and many more.

Majors: cell and molecular biology, dietetics and clinical laboratory sciences-medical technology
Minors: biomedical sciences, exercise science and molecular biology
Master of Science: nurse anesthesia, cell and molecular biology (accelerated option available)

Communication Sciences and Disorders
Majors in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department prepare students to pursue rewarding careers assisting individuals in the areas of speech, hearing and language. Students work with individuals of all ages with a variety of needs. Graduates from this program can pursue careers in the areas of speech-language pathology, audiology, or education of the deaf and hard of hearing. The department facilitates hands-on learning by operating its own speech-language hearing clinic. It has received approval for its hearing impaired program from the Council on the Education of the Deaf. The speech-language pathology and audiology programs were awarded accreditation by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. The department has received approximately $1 million in grants for research, equipment and other needs.

Majors: education of the deaf and hard of hearing, speech-language pathology and audiology
Master of Science: speech-language pathology (accelerated option available) and education of the deaf and hard of hearing (accelerated option available)
Doctor of Audiology Au.D. (Masters to Doctor of Audiology completion program available)

TheKinesiology continues to grow. A variety of majors are offered to students that prepare them to directly enter the workforce or pursue graduate/professional education. Graduates from this program are employed in a variety of industries ranging from parks and tourism to personal training, education and fitness. Those who have pursued graduate/professional education have also found employment in the fields of radiography, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, prosthetics/orthotics, and more. Several programs within the department have received state or national recognition including the Recreation and Leisure Studies program which received national accreditation, making it only the second baccalaureate program of its kind in Missouri to be nationally accredited by the NRPA/AALR Council. The Physical Education program is based on health, exercise science and movement education and is recognized as one of the strongest programs in the Midwest.

Majors: exercise science, physical education (certifiable K-12), recreation and leisure studies (options: private/commercial recreation, community recreation, wellness, outdoor recreation and natural resource management), and completion programs in radiography and respiratory therapy
Minor: coaching (for non-physical education majors) and recreation and leisure studies
Master of Science: health promotion and wellness management, administrative studies with an option in sports management, secondary education with an emphasis in physical education

The Department of Nursing offers three undergraduate opportunities to pursue nursing careers: a pre-nursing program, a 4-year baccalaureate program and a baccalaureate program for registered nurses. A health care management minor, which helps train health managers who are employed in a variety of facilities and organizations, is available to both nursing and non-nursing majors. At the graduate level, the department offers a Master of Science in Nursing as a Nurse Educator or a Family Nurse Practitioner, in addition to post-master’s certificate programs in both specialties. The Master of Public Health degree is also available to students who wish to work in areas related to monitoring and improving community health.

Majors: pre-nursing and nursing
Minor: health care management
Master of Science: nursing (MSN; accelerated RN to MSN option available)
Master of Public Health

Physical Therapy
Physical therapists provide consultation, evaluation, treatment and preventive care in a variety of settings. Graduates will be prepared to function as primary care practitioners with direct access to patients, where allowed by applicable state laws. In addition to mastering substantial knowledge and skills, graduates are expected to have effective interpersonal skills, to be lifelong learners, to communicate effectively and to be critical thinkers who can recognize and implement solutions to improve health care. The Physical Therapy (PT) program is three calendar years in length (eight consecutive terms) with each new class starting as a group in August of each year. Several CHHS majors provide appropriate preparation for students applying to the PT graduate program.

Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Physician Assistant Studies
Physician Assistants are health professionals prepared to practice medicine with physician supervision. Within the physician/PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. Their clinical role includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings in rural and urban areas. PA practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research and administrative roles. The Missouri State Physician Assistant program is a graduate entry-level, professional course of study designed to prepare highly competent practitioners to practice primary care medicine. Enrollment is on a continuous, full-time basis only. Several CHHS majors provide appropriate preparation for students applying to the PAS graduate program.

Master of Science: physician assistant studies

Psychology is a profession where theories and techniques regarding behavior and development are applied in practical settings. Students have the opportunity to select from two undergraduate majors within the department, gerontology or psychology. Students who select the gerontology major study psychological concepts and theories, but apply them specifically to older adult and elderly populations. Most careers relating to the study of psychology require training beyond the bachelor's degree. However, some bachelor-level graduates have jobs as live-in-rehabilitation counselors, long-term care facility managers, personnel managers, public relation directors, manager trainees, recreation planners and data processing analysts. At the graduate level, students are able to specialize in a specific content area. Common areas of specialization include clinical psychology, child psychology, school psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, forensic psychology, and experimental psychology. The psychology department at Missouri State University offers a Master of Science degree in psychology with areas of emphasis in clinical, industrial/organizational, and experimental psychology.

Majors: psychology and gerontology
Minor: psychology and gerontology
Master of Science: psychology with an emphasis in: clinical, experimental or industrial/organizational
Graduate Certificate: forensic child psychology

Social Work
The social work profession has a long history of working with individuals, families and communities to improve quality of life. Social workers are employed in agencies - large and small, public and private, religious and secular - that concern themselves with the wide range of social problems: health, mental health, public and child welfare, family services, corrections, alcohol and drug abuse and services to the elderly. If you want to work with people in need; are warm, caring and sensitive; accept the differences in people; and support values of individualism, democracy, self-determination and social justice, you will find social work rewarding.

Major: social work (comprehensive)
Master of Social Work (MSW; advance standing admission option available to BSW graduates)

Sports Medicine and Athletic Training
Athletic training is a health profession devoted to the prevention, management and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries. Opportunities exist with athletic programs, sports medicine clinics, corporate locations and as personal athletic trainers. The Athletic Training major is a four-year undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree that prepares students for entry-level positions and prepares students to take the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) certification examination. The major is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Admission to the major is competitive; not all who apply can be accommodated.

Major: athletic training