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Health Studies
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Undergraduate Advising Office
310 Vivacqua Hall
(215) 204-6779
(215) 204-8726 

Bachelor of Science in Health Studies

The United States Department of Labor projects that health-related disciplines will be among the 20 fastest growing fields of the 21st century. The Department of Health Studies is positioned to take advantage of these growth trends because of its emphasis on health, wellness and disease prevention, and its commitment to educate and train students to work in health-related careers. The department is dedicated to enhancing the health status and quality of life of the public, including those at greatest risk for chronic and debilitating health problems and poor quality of life associated with disease, injury and disability. Health studies is also committed to the role of play, recreation and leisure experiences as significant contributions to health status, functional capacity and quality of life. 

Careers in Health Studies

Employment potential for Health Studies graduates is excellent and is driven by these long-term trends: the aging population, the need for cost-containment in medical care, the importance of disease prevention through environmental and behavioral change related to AIDS, violence, substance abuse and diet, and the recognition that play, recreation and leisure are critical to good health and the quality of life. Depending on the area of specialization, graduates may find employment in physical rehabilitation units, county health departments, in agencies providing adult day-care, mental health, family planning services, and teaching in public schools. 


Health Studies majors take a set of common theoretical courses designed to promote an understanding of health, wellness and disease prevention. Core course content draws from the social and behavioral sciences, as well as related allied health practices, thereby preparing health studies majors with perspective and flexibility in planning, delivering and evaluating health and therapeutic recreation programs. 


  • 0100 Introduction to Health Professions (3 s.h.) 
  • 0103 Health Psychology and Human Behavior (3 s.h.) 
  • 0200 Professional Seminar in Health and Therapeutic Recreation I (3 s.h.) 
  • 0280 Internship I 
  • 0300 Professional Seminar II (3 s.h.)
  • 0303 Teaching Health and Leisure Education (3 s.h.)
  • W312 Research Methodology (3 s.h.)  
  • 0380 Internship II (9-12 s.h.) 
  • 0351 Emergency Medical Practice (0-3 s.h.*)
  • C100 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4 s.h.)
  • C050 Psychology as a Social Science (3 s.h.)
Students also must complete the University Core Requirements (36-43 s.h.) and fulfill nine semester hours of writing intensive course requirements through University Core, departmental or elective coursework. 

*Students may take HS 0351 to complete the Standard First Aid and Personal Safety requirement, or they may take a certification course in First Aid and CPR with the American Red Cross. 

Students select an AREA OF STUDY from the following:

Community Health (57 s.h. minimum)

Students in this major work in: voluntary health agencies, public health departments, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, corporate worksites, community health organizations, family planning clinics and managed care facilities. Students learn how to design educational strategies and interventions to motivate and involve clients/patients, organizations and community leaders, provide health information, carry out population needs assessments, and clarify program goals and objectives. 


  • 0101 Society, Drug, and Alcohol Perspectives (3 s.h.) 
  • 0102 Disease Prevention and Control (3 s.h.) 
  • 0104 Nutrition and Health (3 s.h.) 
  • 0106 Human Sexuality (3 s.h.) 
  • 0107 Consumer Health Advocacy (3 s.h.) 
  • 0280 Internship I (5 s.h.)
  • 0302 Teaching/Learning Process (3 s.h.)
  • W321 Introduction to Community Health Programs (3 s.h.) 
  • 0340 Administration of Health Education Programs (3 s.h.) 
  • 0324 Counseling Techniques (3 s.h.)
  • 0380 Internship II (9 s.h.)
  • 2 Health Electives (6 s.h.) 
  • C101 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 s.h.) 
  • 0065 Public Speaking (3 s.h.) 
  • W104 Writing for Business (3 s.h.) 
  • 0101 Health Administration (3 s.h.) 
Students participate in two field-based internships using local and regional health care and human service agencies. HS 280/Internship I involves 210 hours of field assignment. HS 380/Internship II requires a minimum of 400 hours of field assignment. STUDENTS GRADUATE WITH OVER 600 HOURS OF RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE! 

School Health (52 s.h. minimum)

Completion of this program demonstrates the accomplishment of competencies required to teach in schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition, completion of the school health major satisfies the requirements for teaching in several other states. Students who plan to become school health educators can anticipate teaching in a primary or secondary school setting. For this reason, many students develop expertise in a second area. School health educators usually teach content in a curriculum designed for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The idea is to introduce appropriate level content at the life span stages at which students would most benefit from it. The School Health curriculum is designed to guide students in planning the introduction of health topics appropriately at each development stage. The professional education component encompasses approximately 60% of the four-year program, divided among five areas: health science; foundations of health; learning, planning and teaching; research, measurement and evaluation; and interpersonal skills. 


  • 0101 Society, Drug, and Alcohol Perspectives (3 s.h.) 
  • 0102 Disease Prevention and Control (3 s.h.) 
  • 0104 Nutrition and Health (3 s.h.) 
  • 0106 Human Sexuality (3 s.h.) 
  • 0107 Consumer Health Advocacy (3 s.h.) 
  • 0302 Teaching Techniques (3 s.h.)
  • 0304 Student Teaching (12 s.h.) 
  • 0324 Counseling Techniques (3 s.h.)
  • Health Studies Electives (6 s.h.) 
  • C101 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 s.h.) 
  • X060 Education, Schooling, and the Individual in U.S. Society (3 s.h.) 
  • 0122 Development of the Individual across the Lifespan (3 s.h.) 
  • 0155 Inclusive Education in a Diverse Society (3 s.h.)
  • 0065 Public Speaking (3 s.h.) 
Therapeutic Recreation (60 s.h.)

Therapeutic Recreation (TR) majors develop an understanding of health and leisure behavior, and learn how to facilitate change in behaviors related to health, well-being, independence and leisure involvement of individuals with illness and disabilities. Therapeutic Recreation is the 12th fastest growing occupation, and is projected to have a 39% increase by the year 2005. By combining classroom learning with hands-on experiences, students are trained to become certified Therapeutic Recreation specialists in clinical, educational and community settings such as: physical rehabilitation hospitals and clinics, mental health agencies, nursing homes adult day care, outdoor community agencies and public recreation departments. Graduates of the Therapeutic Recreation program are eligible to take the national exam to obtain certification by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. 


  • 0108 Adapted Sport Fitness and Inclusive Leisure Studies for Individuals With Disabilities (3 s.h.) 
  • 0332 Therapeutic Recreation Modalities (3 s.h.)
  • 0330 Foundations of Professional Practice in Therapeutic Recreation (3 s.h.) 
  • 0331 Assessment and Documentation (3 s.h.) 
  • 0335 Clinical Procedures (3 s.h.) 
  • 0350 Administration of Therapeutic Recreation (3 s.h.) 
  • 0280 Internship I (3 s.h.)
  • 0380 Internship II (3 s.h.)
Therapeutic Recreation Electives (choose 3 of the following for 9 s.h.) 


  • 0109 Collaborative Studies in Assistive Technology (3 s.h.) 
  • 0353 Leisure and Aging (3 s.h.) 
  • 0354 Therapeutic Recreation and Mental Health (3 s.h.) 
  • 0355 Therapeutic Recreation and Physical Disabilities (3 s.h.) 
  • 0356 Therapeutic Recreation and Hospitalized Children (3 s.h.) 
  • 0357 Therapeutic Recreation and Developmental Disabilities (3 s.h.) 
  • 0358 Therapeutic Recreation and Long Term Care (3 s.h.) 
External Requirements (choose one of the following two 3 s.h. course) 

PSY 0131 Developmental Psychology (3 s.h.)
ED 0122 Development of the Individual Across the Lifespan (3 s.h.)

Required Psychology courses (6 s.h.)

PSY C050 Psychology as a Social Science (3 s.h.)
PSY 0150 Psychopathology (3 s.h.) 

Related Electives (12 s.h.)
TR majors may choose from several courses related to their major in departments throughout the university. 

Students participate in two field-based internships, after having completed 200 hours of relevant volunteer experiences, using local and regional health care and human service agencies. HS 0280/Internship I involves 150 hours of field assignment. HS 0380/Internship II is the last course a TR student takes and requires 600 hours under the supervision of a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS). All field-based internships are approved and supervised by Therapeutic Recreation faculty. TR STUDENTS GRADUATE WITH OVER 900 HOURS OF RELEVANT VOLUNTEER AND WORK EXPERIENCE! 

Pre-Physical Therapy (88-92 s.h.)

The pre-physical therapy program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of factors that influence health behavior. Completion of the curriculum helps prepare students for admission to graduate school in physical therapy. Students in the Pre-Physical Therapy track are strongly encouraged to seek academic advising because of the complex nature of course sequences. 


  • 0101 Drugs and Alcohol (3 s.h.)
  • 0102 Disease Prevention and Control ( 3 s.h.)
  • 0104 Nutrition (3 s.h.)
  • 0106 Human Sexuality (3 s.h.)
  • 0107 Consumer Advocacy and Environment (3 s.h.)
  • 0280 Fieldwork (5 s.h.)
  • 0302 Teaching- Learning Process (3 s.h.)
  • 0303 Teaching Leisure and Health Education (3 s.h.)
  • W312 Measurement and Evaluation (3 s.h.)
  • W321 Community Health Programs (3 s.h.) 
  • 0340 Program Administration (3 s.h.)
  • 0380 Practicum (9 s.h.)
  • 0065 Public Speaking (3 s.h.)
  • C101 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 s.h.) 
  • 0101 Health Administration (3 s.h.) 
  • W104 Writing for Business (3 s.h.) 
Science and Math Requirements for Physical Therapy


  • C083 General Biology 1 (4 s.h.) 

Recommended, not required:

  • C084 General Biology (4 s.h.) 
  • C071 & C073 General Chemistry 1 (4 s.h.)
  • C072 & C074 General Chemistry 2 (4 s.h.) 
  • C083 College Physics 1 (4 s.h.) 
  • C084 College Physics 2 (4 s.h.) 
  • 0050 Introduction to Sociology (3 s.h.) 
  • 0201 Statistical Methods in Sociology (4 s.h.)