Effective Fall 2025, DGS will become the Division of Exploratory Studies. Same mission; new name.

Interdisciplinary Health Sciences

Major Description

Based on the premise that human health is too complex to be addressed within a single discipline, the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences degree program integrates knowledge from a variety of social and behavioral sciences fields such as psychology and sociology, as well as the applied health sciences. The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences degree provides a foundation to understand health from perspectives related to individual lifestyle, family, community, and culture. The curriculum is grounded in a health-related understanding of the way people live their life and engage with their family and community. 


Students select one of three concentrations and customize it to include their specific interests in health by combining it with 24–28 free elective credits. 


Emphasizes health processes across the lifespan, with particular focus on people ranging from young adults to end-of-life. The concentration includes fundamental knowledge of human development, and the physiological, psychological, and developmental processes associated with aging. It also provides opportunities to focus on specific aspects of aging, such as physical activity, nutrition, and communication processes.

Emphasizes an understanding of the interplay among personal traits, family contexts, social structures, and cultural factors for the promotion of healthy lifestyles. The educational experience will include engaging students in developing strategies to implement and evaluate interventions that foster constructive health behaviors and lead to desirable health outcomes.

Develops an understanding of the varied health needs of an increasingly diverse population. Coursework is directed at understanding people's health from various kinds of diversity factors, including: race and ethnicity, disability, gender, sexuality, religious and spiritual beliefs, and groups who may be marginalized due to poverty or social status. Students develop an understanding of the complexities of promoting and maintaining healthy living among diverse communities of people, and will take a solution-oriented approach to examine health disparities.

Develop the skills and knowledge needed to implement and support information technology solutions for health sector organizations. Coursework will focus on the areas of health information management including health information processing and exchange, health care analytics, enterprise management, and information storage and security management.


Courses That Introduce the Major:
  • CHLH 101/ HK 111—Introduction to Public Health
  • FSHN 120—Contemporary Nutrition
  • KIN 122/ HK 154—Physical Activity & Health
  • PSYC 100—Introductory Psychology
  • RST 100—RST in Modern Society
  • SHS 170—Introduction to Human Communication Systems & Disorders
  • STAT 100—Statistics

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program prepares undergraduate students for a wide range of graduate studies in health-related fields, and pre-professional study for a range of biomedical careers. The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences is customized, encompassing an interdisciplinary curriculum to encourage students to examine complex health issues from more than one perspective. The Occupational Outlook Handbook (2008-09 edition) states that “Healthcare and social assistance—including public and private hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and individual and family services—will grow by 25.4 percent and add 4 million new jobs.”

  • Organization & record keeping skills
  • Familiar with computers
  • Able to work in dependently & as a team
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Report/possible grant writing
  • Individual/Group health counseling skills
  • Knowledge of community/ societal health issues
  • Teaching, assessing, planning, and evaluating
  • Administrative
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Program Planning and Development
  • Leadership and supervisory
  • Oral and written communication
  • Public speaking
  • People skills
  • Remaining objective
  • Endurance
  • Chiropractor
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dietician
  • Doctor
  • EMT
  • Geneticist
  • Home Health Care Aide
  • Massage Therapist
  • Medical Researcher
  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Pathologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Recreational Therapist

Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree.

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:
  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • American Medical Student Association Pre-Med (AMSA): Educates pre-medical and pre-health students on health care issues on a local and global level, as well as promotes active improvement in medical education by involving members in the social, moral, and ethical obligations of the profession of medicine including education in community outreach, volunteering, fundraising, and philanthropic events in the Champaign-Urbana area. 
    • Applied Health Sciences Student Council: Educates students of the various academic, social, and professional opportunities available. Promotes enhanced interaction between students, alumni, staff, in addition to organizations within the college of Applied Health Sciences.
Further Information:

There are several professional organizations dedicated to careers in Health. Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Health. These organizations include American Health Care AssociationAmerican Medical Association, and American Nurses Association