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Brooks College of Health

Interdisciplinary Health Studies B.S.H.

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The Brooks College of Health offers an Interdisciplinary Health Studies concentration culminating in a Bachelor of Science in Health (B.S.H.) degree. Healthcare is a growing field and employers are increasingly seeking graduates with an interdisciplinary skill set to function in a variety of roles. This program introduces students to health behavior and management, legal and ethical issues, and environmental influences on health while offering the flexibility to design an individual program based on a student’s unique career goals and interests. Additionally, students have the opportunity to complete prerequisites for graduate studies and complete a minor in a program of their choice.

The degree culminates in a capstone experience with several options for completion including an internship, study abroad, or faculty-guided research. Graduates will be prepared for graduate studies or a career in health and biomedical sciences.

To establish a program of study for this concentration, students should complete the program proposal and return the completed proposal to the Program Director. Please contact the BSH-IHS Program Director, Julie Merten, Ph.D., for a digital copy of the proposal form. The proposal and interview process typically takes four to six weeks so be sure to plan early to complete the change of major process.

  • BSH-IHS to MSAT Accelerated Pathway

    Application Process to Begin BSH-IHS to MSAT Accelerated Pathway:

    1. Meet with BCH advisor to determine eligibility and a plan for completing prerequisite courses prior to applying to the MSAT program.
    2. Meet with the IHS Program Director to discuss career goals and why you are interested in this pathway.
    3. Meet with MSAT Program Director and submit a Personal statement describing prior experiences, accomplishments, and career goals.

    Additional Admission Criteria Prior to Enrollment in MSAT-level Coursework:

    • Earn a GPA of 3.00 in upper-level courses.
    • Completion of all MSAT prerequisites with a GPA of 3.0.
    • Meet MSAT Program Technical Standards for admission (AT Technical Standards located on MSAT FAQ).
    • 50 hours of observational experience under the supervision of a Certified Athletic Trainer (UNF Athletic Training Observation Form).
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted to MSAT Program Director. One letter of recommendation must be from an Athletic Trainer who supervised you during your observational experience.
    • Interview with the UNF Athletic Training Program Faculty.

    Below are the required MSAT program prerequisites and recommended free electives for students interested in the BSH-IHS to MSAT Accelerated Pathway.

    • BSC2085C Human Anatomy and Physiology I with lab
    • BSC2086C Human Anatomy and Physiology II with lab
    • PHY1028/1028L Introduction to Physics with lab
    • CHM 2045/2045L General Chemistry with lab
    • BSC1010C General Biology I with lab
    • STA2014 or STA2023 Elementary Statistics
    • PSY2012 Intro to Psychology

    Special Notes:

    • Completion of the UNF application in the Athletic Training Centralized Application System is not required for students enrolled in the accelerated pathway.
    • The following courses are for students admitted to the BSH-IHS to MSAT Accelerated Pathway and require Program Director approval. The two courses below can count towards IHS Major requirements or Major elective requirements
      • ATR 5105C Foundations in Athletic Training (3 credits, summer B only)
      • ATR 5126C Gross Anatomy for Athletic Trainers (4 credits, summer B only)

Program of Study

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  • What is the Interdisciplinary Health Studies (IHS) program?

    Healthcare is a growing field and employers are increasingly seeking graduates with an interdisciplinary skill set to function in a variety of roles. This program introduces students to health behavior and management, legal and ethical issues, and environmental influences on health while offering the flexibility to design an individual program based on a student’s unique career goals and interests. Additionally, students have the opportunity to complete prerequisites for graduate studies and complete a minor in a program of their choice.

  • How do I know if IHS is the right program for me?

    We recommend that you first explore other health programs offered at UNF () to see if another program is a better fit. The flexibility of the IHS curriculum requires students to create their own program of study using criteria that best prepare them for their future plans. In other words, you must purposefully select courses to increase your employability or obtain the appropriate pre-requisite classes for graduate studies.

    To be clear, the program is more student-driven than traditional bachelor’s degree programs. To be successful and avoid delaying graduation, students must proactively communicate with the Program Director, utilize resources available in Canvas, and seek assistance in advance of program deadlines.

  • How do I start the proposal process?

    You should have at least 45 credits to start the process. During freshman year, we recommend that you explore your major options, take HSC2000 Healthcare Career course to learn about various healthcare professions, meet with career coordinators, talk to program directors of the majors you are interested in, and get involved in student clubs. When eligible to start the process, your first step is to meet with Brooks College of Health (BCH) advising (Building 39 Room 2031, cohadvis@unf.edu, 904.620.2812) to discuss your interest. A BCH advisor will complete Section I of the IHS proposal form for you. Then, you will follow the steps below: 

    1. Complete the proposal and get it reviewed by BCH advisor.
    2. Email your proposal and resume to the BSH-IHS program director and BCH advising director.
    3. Meet with the BSH-IHS program director for the program orientation.
    4. Make an appointment with BCH advising for an official change of major request.
  • What does IHS Capstone entail?

    The IHS Capstone is not a one-size-fits-all experience and may include an internship, research project, leadership experience, or study abroad. You will work with the IHS Program Director to design a semester-long capstone that will give you the experience you need to be successful. For instance, many students in the IHS program are planning to apply for Physician’s Assistant (PA) school and they may need experience in a clinical setting to obtain patient contact hours or make relationships to ask for letters of recommendation. Those students would likely opt for a hands-on internship in one of the local healthcare organizations. While other IHS students hope to stay with their current company so they may select a capstone experience being mentored by a healthcare executive in their own organizations. The possibilities are endless and it is an exciting opportunity to enhance your resume, skill set, and community relationships.

  • For what type of career options does IHS prepare students?
    This degree prepares students for entry-level positions in healthcare and biomedical sciences roles like Data Coordinator, Research Assistant, and Operations Coordinator in clinics, hospitals, private and public organizations, community-based settings, and employee health organizations.
  • How does this degree work for dual degree/double majors?
    We welcome dual degree/double major students. We do require that students select 30 distinct credits not used for another degree/major for this program.

Contact the Program Director 

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Julie Merten, Ph.D.

Email: jmerten@unf.edu