BHS Mission

Supporting the SoNHS’ mission to prepare the health professional workforce in improving health outcomes, the purpose of the Bachelor of Health Sciences program is to prepare graduates for a wide variety of careers in health or to pursue post-graduate education. Through an innovative combination of coursework, service learning, volunteerism, and a senior year internship, students will apply theoretical concepts in evidence-based health programming and health policy development into diverse community settings.  


In 1973-74, a graduate nursing program was started under the aegis of the School of Graduate Studies. On Nov. 16, 1979, the Board of Curators approved a proposal to establish a school of nursing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 1981, following a developmental period, two new curricula were implemented. These were an upper-division baccalaureate degree for registered nurses and a revised master's degree program for clinical nurse specialists. In 1992, the Board of Curators approved the offering of an inter-campus, cooperative doctoral program in nursing (Ph.D. N.D.). The doctoral curricula was implemented on the Kansas City campus in the Fall Semester of 1995. In 2000, the Board of Curators approved the offering of a pre-licensure baccalaureate degree program beginning in the Fall Semester of 2001.  The Board of Curators approved Doctoral of Nursing Practice (DNP) program began in 2007 and graduated its first post-masters class in December 2008. The newest program in the School of Nursing is the Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS), which received final approval and began enrolling students in the fall of 2011. A name change to the School of Nursing and Health Studies was approved in February 2013.


The University of Missouri-Kansas City has extensive educational facilities on the Volker campus combined with the health care educational facilities and the School of Nursing and Health Studies offices on Hospital Hill campus. Facilities include libraries, resource centers, audiovisual resources, data processing and science information specialists. 

What is a Bachelor of Health Sciences?

With a comprehensive science-based curriculum, the Bachelor of Health Sciences degree combines urban-focused coursework in health policy, health program development, health and wellness, and population health outcomes. With a combination of coursework, service learning, volunteerism, and a senior year internship, students will apply theoretical concepts in evidence-based health programming and policy development in community settings. The UMKC BHS Degree Program offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to prepare students for a wide variety of careers in health or to pursue post-graduate education.  The program is offered through the UMKC School of Nursing & Health Studies and includes coursework in the physical, biological, behavioral, business and social aspects of health.

Interest Areas and Minor Options

The BHS requires completion of 120 credits of coursework, which includes 17 credits of elective courses. Students are urged to align those elective classes within a targeted area of specialization. These interest areas and minor options may enhance your marketability in the workplace.











What can I do with a Bachelor of Health Sciences?

The UMKC BHS Degree Program is the perfect choice for students who are interested in a career in health focusing on health prevention, health promotion, population health, and health behavior change. UMKC is offering the BHS Degree in response to the growing workforce demand for health professionals in a variety of areas including, personal health and wellness, social determinants of health, occupational health and safety, community health, and environmental health. Graduates may find career options in government settings, non-for profit organizations, community health centers, workplace health and wellness companies, and health promotion organizations.

Student Organization

BHS Society is a student organization centered around the health sciences field of study. The goals of this organization are to promote philanthropy within the community, advocate health education, and cultivate leadership among members.

University Requirements

General Education

The UMKC General Education Core is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete.  The 30-credit hour core curriculum includes three course types designated as Anchor, Discourse and Focus and is detailed in the General Education section of the catalog.

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

RooWriter Assessment

Candidates for all baccalaureate degrees must complete the online UMKC RooWriter Writing Assessment after they have passed Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) but before they have attained 90 credit hours. Incoming transfer students with more than 90 credit hours must complete the RooWriter by the end of their first semester of enrollment or within one semester after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent). Students who have not completed the RooWriter Writing Assessment within two semesters after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) will be blocked from enrollment until they successfully complete the RooWriter. Additional information is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations and/or major field exams is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Apply knowledge from physical, biological, behavioral, business, and social aspects of health into inter-professional practice.
  • Create (plan, implement, and evaluate) evidence-based health programs relevant to targeted populations and desired health outcomes.
  • Demonstrate professional conduct, and strong interpersonal skills in their chosen career path.
  • Identify the specific challenges, and opportunities of improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities in diverse and urban environments.

Program Requirements

Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all HLSC and science coursework and a minimum grade of D in all other courses. To remain academically eligible, a minimum semester GPA of 2.00 must be maintained.

Program Specific Recommendations for UMKC General Education Core Coursework

Anchor I 13
Anchor II 13
Anchor III 13
DISC 100Discourse I: Reasoning and Values (Speech and Writing)3
DISC 200Discourse II: Culture and Diversity (Writing and Speech)3
DISC 300Discourse III: Civic and Community Engagement (Speech and Writing)3
Focus A 13
Focus B (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Focus C (May be satisfied by the Constitution course requirement below)
Focus Elective (Satisfied in program requirements below)
'Total credits' in this section indicates the number of General Education Core credit hours that are not met by the degree specific requirements outlined below.
Total Credits21

See the UMKC General Education Core section of the catalog for available Anchor and Focus course options.

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877 (Focus C) 1
U.S. History Since 1877 (Focus C) 1
Constitutional History of the United States
Honors American Government (Focus C) 1
American Government (Focus C) 1
Total Credits3

 Course may satisfy both the UMKC General Education Core (Focus C) and Constitution requirements.

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

Other Program Requirements

CHEM 206Human Nutrition (Focus B)3
Foreign Language3
HLSC 120Anatomy & Physiology I4
HLSC 160Anatomy and Physiology II4
HLSC 325Human Sexuality3
MATH 110College Algebra (or MATH 116: Mathematics for Liberal Arts or higher (Focus B) )3
PSYCH 210General Psychology (Focus C)3
Total Credits23

Major Requirements

HLSC 101Introduction to Health Sciences3
HLSC 110Personal Wellness3
HLSC 125Medical Terminology1
HLSC 200First Aid / CPR1
HLSC 230Health Issues in Aging3
HLSC 252Human Growth and Development3
HLSC 300Diversity in Health3
HLSC 310Healthcare Systems3
HLSC 345Quantitative Analysis in the Health Sciences3
HLSC 410Epidemiology3
HLSC 430Health Program Management3
HLSC 440Policy and Ethics in Health3
HLSC 450Urban Health3
HLSC 460Global Health3
HLSC 470Technology, Marketing and Media in Health3
HLSC 476Scientific Inquiry3
HLSC 480Leadership and Management in Health Professions3
HLSC 492Health Sciences Specialty Course3
HLSC 494Health Science Internship6
Total Credits56
General Electives17

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major.

UMKC’s Degree Audit System provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education Core, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.