Interdisciplinary Health Sciences

Julie Bobitt
110 Huff Hall, 1206 South Fourth Street, Champaign
PH: (217) 333-2131

For the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences

The undergraduate degree program in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences is focused on applied health and societal issues that cut across a range of traditional fields. The program of study includes a set of core courses that builds an interdisciplinary foundation in the study of health, and provides a basic knowledge of health-related issues. The degree program also includes a set of three concentrations, of which a student must complete at least one, that emphasize some of the foremost issues facing society: health and aging; health behavior change; and health diversity. Finally, the degree program includes a capstone experience with several options for completion, e.g., an internship, faculty-guided research experience. The program of study addresses a major need across the nation and world for graduates prepared to enter a range of biomedical and health-related careers and/or to pursue graduate study in fields relevant to health, wellness, and the biomedical sciences. For questions regarding Interdisciplinary Health Sciences contact the advisor, Beth Frasca.

A 5 year BS/MPH joint degree program is available for students majoring in Community Health, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, or Kinesiology. Students apply for the program in the latter part of their third year (junior year) of study. Students accepted into the BS/MPH joint degree program take 12 credit hours of coursework in their senior year that apply to both BS and MPH degrees. In the 5th year of study, students complete the remaining requirements for the MPH degree, and graduate simultaneously with both BS and MPH degrees. A summary of the requirements for the MPH degree is provided here. The requirements are explained in more detail on the MPH program website.

Requirements Including General Education

The curriculum requires certain existing courses from the approved lists be taken as noted below. The prescribed courses prepare the student for upper division study and may be used to satisfy General Education Requirements provided they are on the appropriate General Education List.

Communication Arts
Composition I3-6
Advanced Composition3
Quantitative Reasoning I & II
From approved campus list 6
Humanities and the Arts
From approved campus list 6
Social and Behavioral Sciences
From approved campus list 6
Natural Sciences and Technology
From approved campus list 6
Cultural Studies 1
From Western cultures approved campus list 3
From non-Western cultures approved campus list3
From U.S. minority cultures approved campus list3
Total Hours39-42
Health Major Requirements
CHLH 101Introduction to Public Health3
CHLH 274Introduction to Epidemiology3
CHLH 456Organization of Health Care2-4
KIN 122Physical Activity and Health3
RST 100Recreation, Sport, and Tourism in Modern Society3
SHS 170Intro Hum Comm Sys & Disorders3
FSHN 120Contemporary Nutrition3
PSYC 100Intro Psych4
STAT 100Statistics3
REHB 330Disability in American Society3
IHLT 101Introduction to i-Health1
IHLT 102Survey of Interdisc Health1
IHLT 375Interdis Collab in Health Serv4
IHLT 474Pre-Field Experience in Health1
IHLT 475Field Experience in i-Health4
Total Hours42

Concentrations (at least one concentration is required)

Health and Aging
KIN 262Motor Develop, Growth & Form3
CHLH 404Gerontology3,4
SHS 271Communication and Aging3
PSYC 361The Psychology of Aging3
Select three of the following (at least two at the 300- or 400- level):9
Special Topics
Adult Learning and Development
Early Adolescent Development
Adult Development
Aging and Health Policy
Interdisciplinary Health Study Abroad
Civic Engagement in Wellness
Exercise Instruction & Elderly
Physical Activity & Aging
Leisure and Human Development
Development of Spoken Language
Comm Partners & Health
Death & Dying
Social Work Services for Older Adults
Planning for Healthy Cities
Total Hours21-22
Health Behavior Change 
KIN 340Soc & Psych of Phys Activity3
CHLH 304Foundations of Health Behavior4
RST 316Leisure and Human Development3
SHS 352Hearing Health and Society3
Select three of the following (at least two at the 300- or 400- level):9
Biology of Human Behavior
Environmental Health
Intro to Health Communication
Family Communication
Interpersonal Health Comm
Organizational Health Comm
Health Communication Campaigns
Communication & Health Equity
Adult Learning and Development
Leadership in Health
Interdisciplinary Health Study Abroad
Civic Engagement in Wellness
Exercise & Health Psychology
Intro to Social Psych
Intro Intellectual Disability
Attitude Theory and Change
Comm Partners & Health
Social Perspectives on the Family
Total Hours22
Health Diversity
SOC 162Intro to Intl Health Policy3
or GLBL 240 Global Health
CHLH 409Women's Health3
EPS 310Race and Cultural Diversity4
SHS 270Comm Disability in the Media4
Select three of the following (at least two at the 300- or 400- level):8-9
Racial and Ethnic Families
Biology of Human Behavior
International Health
Intro to Global Studies
US Latina and Latino Families
US History of Medicine
Constructing Race in America
Health Disparities in the U.S.
Interdisciplinary Health Study Abroad
Race, Gender and the Body
Immigration, Health & Society
Race, Medicine, and Society
Sex & Gender in Popular Media
Intro to Rural Society
Diversity in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Psychology of Race & Ethnicity
Communication and Aging
Diversity: Identities & Issues
Total Hours22-23
Free Electives 
Free Electives24-28
Total Hours24-28

Summary of Degree Requirements

General Education36-39
Health Major Requirements42
Concentration Requirements22-23
Free Electives24-28
Total Hours128

IHLT Class Schedule


IHLT 101   Introduction to i-Health   credit: 1 Hour.

Introduction to the interdisciplinary major in Health. The course is designed to familiarize students with the concepts of interdisciplinary health, campus resources, academic policies, and program requirements.

IHLT 102   Survey of Interdisc Health   credit: 1 Hour.

Introduction to topics in interdisciplinary health with particular emphasis on the five dimensions of health: physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual. Students will explore their personal health beliefs and patterns and discuss the benefits of studying health within an interdisciplinary curriculum.

IHLT 230   Leadership in Health   credit: 3 Hours.

Develops a framework to understand practices of exemplary leadership. Topics include: 1) Modeling behavior, 2) Inspiring a shared vision, 3) Challenging processes, 4) Enabling others to act, and 5) Encouraging passionate leadership. Case studies of individuals who are recognized leaders in health and well –being at local, regional, national and global levels will be explored. Through various assignments, students identify their own leadership style and understand the important role they can play as leaders to address local and global health challenges.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Social & Beh Sci - Soc Sci

IHLT 232   Health Disparities in the U.S.   credit: 3 Hours.

Provides an overview of health disparities in the United States, including existence and magnitude of health disparities, theories that explain health disparities, strategies to address their complexity, and solution required to eliminate them. Disparities are examined related to groups of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds, socio-economic status, gender, age, and ability level.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Cultural Studies - US Minority

IHLT 240   Aging and Health Policy   credit: 3 Hours.

Provides an understanding of the policies that affect service delivery to older adults including key historical and current policies such as the Older Americans Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Theories of public policy and involvement of older adults in the political process will be introduced. Challenges of issues such as chronic disease prevention, housing, transportation, nutrition, and elder abuse will also be explored.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Social & Beh Sci - Beh Sci

IHLT 375   Interdis Collab in Health Serv   credit: 4 Hours.

Provides scholarly knowledge and field experiences for interdisciplinary collaboration in the health services. Topic include health service delivery systems, vulnerable populations, models of health and health promotion, communication, policy and ethics in health care. Emphasis on introducing students to the importance of working with individuals from a variety of health disciplines to best address issues of health in society.

IHLT 474   Pre-Field Experience in Health   credit: 1 Hour.

This is an independent study course that expands student's knowledge of health professions and prepares them for field work in an applied setting with a variety of health professionals. 1 undergraduate hour. 1 graduate hour.

IHLT 475   Field Experience in i-Health   credit: 4 Hours.

Designed to emphasize field/research experiences that facilitate working with individuals from a variety of health disciplines. Field experience/research placements will be selected to best prepare students address issues of health within their concentrations areas. In class sessions will focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, professionalism and important global health issues. Serves as the capstone course for i-Health majors. 4 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Restricted to senior i-Health majors.

IHLT 498   Interdisciplinary Health Study Abroad   credit: 1 to 6 Hours.

An advanced-level study abroad experience where students complete assigned scholarly readings; participate in facilitated discussions prior to, during, and/or after the trip; and write a final paper. The on-campus and abroad activities are supervised and facilitated by campus faculty. 1 to 6 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. May be repeated in separate terms for a total of 12 undergraduate hours, if the countries differ between terms. Prerequisite: Social & Behavioral Sciences General Education requirement fulfilled, and sophomore or higher standing.