Dec 07, 2023  
Undergraduate Catalog 2015-16 
Undergraduate Catalog 2015-16 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Health Services (122 hours)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments and Programs

The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Services at Western Michigan University prepares students to take their place as interdisciplinary team members in today’s health and human services systems. Students will be competent in working in interdisciplinary teams; providing patient- and family-centered services; building health literacy skills; developing quality improvements; and utilizing informatics for documentation, training, program development and evidence-based research.

The IHS is divided into four parts in addition to general education requirements (

  1. Students must complete the recommended Pre-Professional sequence to enter the program.
  2. Once enrolled in the program, students will complete a 30-semester hour professional core curriculum which will educate them in the common competencies required by all health and human service workers.
  3. Students will gain specialized knowledge through the selection of a minor or an approved concentration.
  4. Finally, as a capstone experience, students will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in a semester-long internship in a clinical or administrative setting, or through applied research, if the student is already clinically qualified. 


A minimum of 30 academic credits and completion of the pre-professional sequence with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5
A minimum of 30 academic credits with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 and current registration, certification, or licensure as a health or human services professional.

Please contact your advisor for official admission into the program from the Pre Interdisciplinary Health Program.

Special note: The Occupational Therapy concentration requires a separate admissions process. Please refer to the Occupational Therapy section for additional information. 

Academic Advising 

The College of Health and Human Services provides advising to all students who wish to enroll in and who are admitted to the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Services program. Students should contact an advisor as early as possible. Advisors will assist students in program planning, in the selection of a pre-professional sequence and concentration/academic minor, and in the choice of electives. Failure to meet with the advisor on a regular basis may result in difficulty in completing the program in a timely manner.

Graduation Requirements

Students must meet the University’s graduation requirements. In addition, students must maintain a grade point average of 2.5, with no less than a “C” in any professional core or concentration course. Students may repeat no more than once, one course in the professional core, and one course in a concentration. Specific program requirements follow (for those accepted into the Occupational Therapy concentration please refer to the Occupational Therapy section for specific information regarding the Occupational Therapy program).

University General Education (37 hours)

Students must successfully complete the University’s General Education Proficiencies and Distribution requirements.

Pre-Professional Requirement (14 hours at a minimum)

Students are required to complete a pre-professional sequence. This sequence will be tailored to the student’s interests. A common Pre-Professional Sequence is: BIOS 2110: Human Anatomy, BIOS 2400: Human Physiology, HSV 2250: Growth, Development, and Aging and MDSC 2010: Medical Terminology. Currently registered, certified, or licensed health and human service providers may be granted academic credit for previous course work completed at an academically or professionally accredited program or institution. These credits will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis and applied to the pre-professional requirements. However, all students must also complete the following course in addition to a pre-professional sequence:

Professional Core (30 hours)

Students must complete all the courses in the Professional Core

Concentrations/Academic Minors/Accelerated Degrees

The Professional Core will be complemented by advanced study in an area concentration or academic minor. Some concentrations and minors will prepare students for candidacy in professional graduate programs. Others will enable students to enter administrative positions in a variety of public and private agency and institutional settings.

Students who elect a concentration will do so in consultation with their program advisor. A concentration will be designed to fit the student’s individual learning objectives, it must consist of a minimum of 14 semester hours, at least 9 of which must be from 3000-, 4000-, or 5000-level course work. All concentrations must be pre-approved by an advisor.

Examples of Academic Minors/Concentrations

Academic Minors

Community Health Education (leads to a certification)
Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness
Non Profit Leadership (leads to a national certification)
Addiction Studies


American Sign Language
Disability Services
HSV Health Administration Concentration
Pre-Physician Assistant
Occupational Therapy
Student developed concentration (students may work with their advisor to develop a unique concentration based on their goals in a health services profession.)

Accelerated Degree Programs (all of the programs below require a separate application)

Audiology (3+4)

Occupational Therapy (4+1)
(must be accepted into the occupational therapy program; students begin occupational therapy courses as an undergraduate receiving a B.S.-I.H.S. degree and an OT master’s degree.

Orientation and Mobility (Blindness and Low Vision Studies)

Visual Rehabilitation (Blindness and Low Vision Studies)


Internship (4 hours)

The capstone experience is a required internship of a minimum of 200 clock hours in the U.S. or abroad (some placements require more hours due to the nature of the position), designed to provide students with the opportunity to integrate and apply the knowledge and abilities learned and to hone skills in readiness for employment or graduate study. The capstone Internship placement is one of the most important courses in the program, giving students needed experience for the next step in their careers. Students should read the internship handbook when they first enter the program to begin to consider what type of internship would be the most helpful to them in their future careers. The requirements of the internship are:

1. Completion of all course work in the Professional Core prior to enrollment in the internship seminar, HSV 4900: Internship (4 hours).

2. Application to the internship program. Application includes the application form (found on the program website at, the student’s resume and unofficial transcripts. All applications must be submitted to the internship coordinator. Application must be made by the deadline for the semester in which a student wishes to begin the internship. See below for deadlines and please note that they are one academic school year ahead of the semester in which the student wants to complete the internship.

Internship Seminar Application Seminar
Summer May 1, of the year before
Fall Nov 1, of the year before
Spring April 1, of the year before

3. Students should review the listing of internship descriptions on the B.S.-IHS website and mention any placements that they are interested in on their application.

4. After the application is received the student will meet with the internship coordinator and decide on the most appropriate placements for student to apply and interview.

5. Students must enroll in HSV 4900, and attend the internship seminar.

Students who are registered, certified, or licensed health care providers may pursue a clinical experience providing it exposes the student to the development of new skills, or is in a situation outside their usual employment. As an alternative to an internship they may substitute a research project or an approved elective (3 hours) for this internship.

If a health care provider chooses HSV 4890: Independent Research (3 hours), the project must conform to the following standards:

  1. The student must select a research committee consisting of a faculty mentor knowledgeable in the field of inquiry and a reader who will act as a resource person (the resource person may work outside the University).
  2. The research project must be approved by the Program Coordinator at the beginning of the senior year.
  3. The completion of the research project must be documented in a paper written in the professional or academic style appropriate to the discipline and presented in a public forum approved by the Program Coordinator.


Health and Liability Insurance

Students engaged in an internship must give evidence of having health insurance at the time of course enrollment. Liability insurance coverage will be provided by the University through a fee assessed at the time of enrollment in the following course.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments and Programs