Kennesaw State to offer new degree

KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 14, 2020

Board of Regents approves Bachelor of Science in Integrated Health Science

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has approved a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Health Science for Kennesaw State University’s Wellstar College of Health and Human Services.

“In a world changed by the health pandemic, health professionals must address the chronic issues facing their communities today. As a leader in healthcare education, Kennesaw State is prepared to teach and develop this next generation of health professionals to fulfill the critical hire needs in the state of Georgia and the region,” said KSU President Pamela Whitten.

The B.S. in Integrated Health Science will take a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare education, using existing coursework from the College, as well as four other KSU units. It will fall under the purview of the College’s Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education. Department chair Kandice Porter said the College anticipated the need months ago and submitted the petition well in advance of the current COVID-19 crisis. The degree will be offered starting with the 2020-21 school year.

“The proposed IHS major provides an interdisciplinary curriculum that establishes a strong core knowledge of health and disease prevention along with quality delivery and oversight of health services,” Porter said. “The IHS major prepares students to become informed and engaged health professionals, able to think critically about health-related issues and to work as part of a healthcare team to develop innovative solutions to current and future healthcare issues.”

As an industry, healthcare is the fastest-growing occupational category in the nation, with a projected growth of 18 percent over the next six years. Healthcare services and related health occupations are expected to account for 16 of the 30 fastest-growing occupations nationwide during that time frame. The IHS major at KSU provides an interdisciplinary curriculum that establishes a strong core knowledge of health and disease prevention, along with quality delivery and oversight of health services. This interdisciplinary approach will allow degree recipients to take on numerous responsibilities as healthcare professionals.

“This program represents an inventive strategy that increases student access to courses in their area of interest while allowing the student to tailor the program to their healthcare career goals. This should improve KSU’s retention rates as well as time to degree,” Porter said. “It will be distinctive in the state of Georgia because it will specifically integrate interprofessional education and healthcare innovation at the undergraduate level.”

The new degree program further bolsters KSU’s commitment to public health education. In February, Wellstar Health System contributed nearly $9 million to the Wellstar School of Nursing to address the state’s nursing shortage by doubling the size of the program and increasing course offerings. The College now offers seven undergraduate degrees across four departments.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit