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2019-2020 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog


Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Science

Requirements for a Major in Allied Health Sciences

The allied health sciences degree requires a minimum of 120 credits and includes general education requirements, Bachelor of Science course requirements, AHS core courses, and required courses for the completion of an emphasis. Once students declare the allied health sciences major, typically during their sophomore year, they will be assigned a major academic advisor who will assist in selecting the AHS emphasis that best meets their career goals. An approved internship/practicum/clinical experience may be required in a specific emphasis or will be strongly recommended for students not planning to attend graduate school. A minor may be required as a part of the emphasis the student elects or is secondarily admitted into (see table). If the student is in an emphasis that does not require a minor, the student may, under advisement, declare a minor if he or she has sufficient elective credit available or chooses to earn credits beyond the number required for graduation.

Emphasis within AHS Major Minor Required Secondary Admission Required Capstone Course

General Allied Health Science Emphasis

YES NO
Prehealth Professional Emphasis in Physical Therapy NO NO
Prehealth Professional Emphasis in Physician Assistant Studies NO NO
Health Professional Degree Completion NO YES
Histotechnology Emphasis NO YES (Winter Semester, Year 4)
Respiratory Care Emphasis NO YES

B.S. in Allied Health Sciences Major Core Courses (22 credits)

Individual emphases will require a Capstone course.

Bachelor of Science Course Requirements

Selection of an Emphasis in the AHS Program

In order to graduate with a B.S. in allied health sciences, each student is required to select or apply to an emphasis in the AHS program. Each emphasis is designed to be either preparatory to apply to a graduate level professional health care program or to prepare students for career entry upon bachelor's degree completion.

Emphasis in General Allied Health Sciences ' Minor Required, Secondary Admission not Required

The general emphasis is for students who are undecided as to their career/education/employment goals. A minor, selected and approved by the student's academic advisor, is required for this emphasis.

Emphasis Courses

Suggested Curriculum Sequence (assumes a 21 credit minor)

Fall Year One

Winter Year One

Fall Year Two

Winter Year Two

Fall Year Three

Winter Year Three

Fall Year Four

Winter Year Four

Prehealth Professional Physical Therapy Emphasis - Minor not Required, Secondary Admission not Required

Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals with health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their ability to move and perform normal daily activities. Employment projections are far greater than normal growth (30-percent growth between 2008 and 2018) based on changes in health care laws and the aging American population. The American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) accrediting body, The Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), only accredits graduate programs; however, a baccalaureate degree and the necessary undergraduate preparation is highly recommended for admission into a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The courses in this emphasis were developed in cooperation with GVSU's graduate Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) program. This emphasis also provides a curriculum that generally aligns with entrance recommendations for graduate physical therapy programs across the country. Students need to consult the prerequisites of D.P.T. programs outside of GVSU for specific requirements. Students will be advised that the GVSU D.P.T. program requires a minimum GPA of 3.2 and that GVSU, as do most D.P.T. programs in other institutions, admits students with an overall and science GPA far in excess of 3.2. Students are strongly encouraged to meet periodically with their academic advisor to determine their eligibility for continuing the prehealth professional PT emphasis.

The student should be advised that progression through the prehealth professional physical therapy emphasis does not represent the only route of preparation for application to this graduate program. Other majors are also suitable, so long as the student closely follows the prerequisite science curriculum set forth by the GVSU D.P.T. graduate program.

Prehealth Professional Physical Therapy Emphasis Curriculum

Suggested Curriculum Sequence

Fall Year One

  • General education - Arts

Winter Year One

Fall Year Two

Winter Year Two

Fall Year Three

Winter Year Three

Fall Year Four

Winter Year Four

Prehealth Professional Physician Assistant Studies Emphasis - Minor not Required, Secondary Admission not Required

Physician assistants (PAs) are health care professionals who practice under the supervision of physicians. PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative health care services as well as treating minor injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the PA profession will grow much faster than average between 2008 and 2018. Physician assistant programs provide this graduate-level education. The prehealth professional emphasis in physician assistant studies provides those courses necessary to enhance a student's science background needed for applicant consideration. The courses in this emphasis were developed in cooperation with GVSU's graduate physician assistant studies (PAS) program. This emphasis also provides a curriculum that generally aligns with entrance recommendations for graduate physician assistant programs across the country. Students need to consult the course entry requirements of PAS programs outside of GVSU for specific requirements. Students will be advised that while most PAS graduate programs require an overall and science GPA of 3.0 for application, a GPA far in excess of 3.0 is usually needed for admission. Students are strongly encouraged to periodically meet with their academic advisors to determine their eligibility for continuing the pre-PAS emphasis.


The student should be advised that progression through the prehealth professional physician assistant studies emphasis does not represent the only route of preparation for application to this graduate program. Other majors are also suitable, so long as the student closely follows the prerequisite science curriculum set forth by the GVSU PAS graduate program.

Prehealth Professional Physician Assistant Studies Emphasis Courses

Suggested Curriculum Sequence

Fall Year One

Winter Year One

Fall Year Two

Fall Year Three

Winter Year Three

Fall Year Four

Winter Year Four

Health Professional Degree Completion Emphasis - Minor not Required, Secondary Admission Required

Health professionals whose disciplines have an entry education preparation at the associate or Associate of Applied Science degree level constitute an important population of health care workers today. These professions include medical assisting, occupational therapy assistant, surgical technology, dental hygiene, and dozens more. The health professional degree completion emphasis is designed to complement that associates degree professional education with a path to earn a Bachelor's of Science in allied health sciences (AHS), using both the students' professional education and the essential components of upper division baccalaureate education to maximum effectiveness and efficiency. Not only is there career enhancement for the health care professional with a Bachelor's of Science, but also earning a baccalaureate provides the prerequisite knowledge for the expansion of skills to graduate programs.

  • A transfer student wishing to enter the AHS health professional degree completion emphasis must meet three criteria prior to starting the program,
  • Possess an earned Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science from a school accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • The Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science must be in a health profession program requiring external accreditation by the professional body regulating that particular profession.
  • The health profession offers national voluntary credentialing or requires state licensing and the student either possesses or is eligible for earning that credential or license.

Up to 80 associate or Associate of Applied Science credits can apply toward earning the AHS bachelor's degree. Transferability of credit will be done on an individual basis through transcript evaluation. If the associate or Associate of Applied Science degree being used in this transfer is less than 80 credits, the additional credits needed to meet 120 credits for the bachelor's degree must be completed at GVSU. The student must earn 40 credits at GVSU with a total of 120 required for the bachelor's degree. Admission to GVSU requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for admission consideration. Precollege preparation courses that transfer as less than 100-level in GVSU's course numbering system cannot be applied to the possible 80 transfer credits.

There is no admission deadline for this emphasis. Enrollment will occur on a continuing basis over the academic year at the start of the next semester. The procedure for application requires the following:

  • Application for admission and acceptance to GVSU with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
  • Demonstrate transcript and professional documentation fulfilling the three criteria above.
  • Complete the AHS health professional degree completion application form found at the Allied Health Sciences website at www.gvsu.edu/ahs/.

All students will need to fulfill the AHS core course requirements, unless suitable transfer credit is arranged.

All students in the AHS health professional degree completion emphasis are required to complete the following core courses:

A minor is not required in the AHS health professional degree completion emphasis.

Students in the AHS health professional degree completion emphasis must also complete all general education foundation categories, upper division general education Issues requirements by taking the coursework at GVSU.

The AHS bachelor's degree requires that 40 of the 120 credits be taken at GVSU. During the GVSU application process students will submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Upon acceptance to GVSU the admissions offer will provide a formal evaluation of credits for transfer. The academic advisor and student will use this information to build an academic plan outlining courses required for completion of the allied health sciences emphasis and general education components of the degree. The remaining credits applied toward the Bachelor's of Science degree in allied health sciences (up to 80 total) will come from the professional coursework successfully completed in the respective associate or Associate of Applied Science health profession. Since each student's transcript will be different, depending on the school attended and the health profession pursued, the planning of what courses are required to earn the baccalaureate degree will be individually determined.

The AHS department recognizes that many students earning a bachelor's degree through this emphasis are concurrently working in their respective health profession. Every effort will be made to advise students to enroll in online/hybrid and evening course sections to lessen commuting and/or daytime presence.

The course of studies as follows is intended only as an example. It is formatted as a full-time student schedule. A part-time schedule would be different. Each individual student's plan of progress will vary as to the exact courses being taken each semester.

Suggested Curriculum Sequence

Semester One - GVSU

Semester Two - GVSU

Semester Three - GVSU

Histotechnology Emphasis - Minor not Required, Secondary Admission Required

Histology is a laboratory science concerned with the demonstration of cellular morphology, chemical composition, and function of normal and abnormal tissue. The histotechnologist cuts tissues removed through surgical procedures, mounts the tissue sections on glass slides, and stains them with special dyes to make the cell details visible under the microscope. With the information learned from the section of tissue biopsy, the pathologist and the patient's physician can make appropriate diagnoses and determine the best course of treatment for the patient.

The histotechnologist emphasis requires students to complete a minimum of 96 credits at GVSU and 24 credits of clinical practicum ( AHS 490) at an affiliated hospital that has a nationally accredited histotechnology program, e.g., William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI.

National certification in histotechnology requires the completion of a baccalaureate degree and completion of clinical training in a nationally accredited program. The accredited program at William Beaumont Hospital is a 10-month 40 hour per week educational experience. Students will spend their senior year at the hospital (known as the 3+1 model). This 3+1 educational model is used by a number of universities for their laboratory-based programs; e.g., medical laboratory science, histotechnology, cytotechnology, cytogenetics technology. The 24 credits of AHS 490 will serve as the student's Capstone course in the major.

To become a certified histotechnologist (HTL), students must complete a baccalaureate degree that includes a clinical practicum in a NAACLS-accredited histotechnology program (National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences; 5600 N. River Rd. Suite 720; Rosemont, IL 60018-5119.) Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree requirements and the clinical requirements, students are eligible to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification exam for histotechnology (HTL).

Acceptance into an accredited histotechnology program for the required clinical education experience ( AHS 490) is a competitive process that includes applying to the clinical site at William Beaumont Hospital. Availabilities are limited and the Beaumont program officials will determine those admitted to the clinical phase. A cumulative grade point average and a science/math grade point average of 3.0 are required for admission into the clinical program. Applicants are also required by NAACLS to complete the following courses prior to the start of their clinical experience: anatomy, physiology, microbiology, immunology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and intermediate algebra. The application process occurs during the sophomore year. Students must work closely with their academic advisor regarding the application process.

Required Courses for the AHS B.S. with Histotechnology Emphasis

( BMS 250 /251 Anatomy & Physiology I & II can substitute for BMS 208/290/291)

Electives 5 credits
Emphasis Total (a minor is not required) 70 credits
AHS Core 22 credits
General Education 28 credits
Total 120 credits
Suggested Curriculum Sequence

Fall Year One

  • General education - Arts

Winter Year One

Fall Year Two

Winter Year Two

Fall Year Three

Winter Year Three

Spring/Summer Year Three

Fall Year Four

Winter Year Four

Allied Health Sciences with Respiratory Care Emphasis - Minor not Required, Secondary Admission Required

Respiratory therapists provide direct patient care for those who have trouble breathing across a broad scope of reasons. The patients of respiratory therapists range from premature infants with undeveloped lungs, children and adolescents with asthma, to elderly patients with emphysema. Respiratory therapists work in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and in-home care where they provide emergency care to patients suffering from pulmonary failure, heart attacks, drowning, trauma, or shock.

The allied health sciences (AHS) respiratory care emphasis is conducted in collaboration with Muskegon Community College's (MCC) fully accredited program in respiratory therapy. There are two ways to be admitted to this emphasis:

  1. Up to 18 qualified GVSU students will be admitted to the respiratory care emphasis each year (fall) after completing GVSU's first year science prerequisite and general education courses. The curriculum sequence is listed as follows. Admitted students will complete the professional respiratory therapy curriculum at MCC during their second and third year. Following the completion of the MCC professional respiratory therapy curriculum, students return to GVSU to complete their fourth year, simultaneously earning an Associates of Science degree from MCC and a Bachelor's of Science degree from GVSU in allied health sciences - emphasis in respiratory care. The program sequence would include: one year GVSU + two years MCC + one year GVSU.

  2. Graduates of an accredited Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) associates or Associates of Applied Science degree respiratory therapy program may apply to the respiratory care emphasis. Up to 80 undergraduate transfer credits can apply to the AHS bachelor's degree. Transferability of credit will be done on an individual basis through transcript evaluation.

Secondary Admission Requirements for Admissions to the GVSU-MCC Respiratory Care Program

By the fall after admission, students must have completed the following with no course grade less than a C (not C-) and an overall GPA of 2.5 in order to begin the MCC professional respiratory therapy courses.

Application process: Students must complete and submit the following materials by March 15 for fall admission of the year of application.

  1. Application for admission to the respiratory care emphasis (available at www.gvsu.edu/ahs)
  2. Demonstrated completion of and enrollment in the courses listed above
  3. Demonstrated fulfillment of minimum grade requirements for courses completed
  4. Submission of two letters of professional reference

Students who are accepted into the emphasis must successfully complete the first year sciences and general education courses prior to starting the professional respiratory therapy courses in fall - year two.

Financial aid plans: Students in the GVSU cohort receiving financial aid will need to meet with a designated GVSU financial aid advisor to coordinate aid between GVSU and Muskegon Community College. This is necessary because there are two consecutive semesters where students take courses only at Muskegon Community College.

Students with an earned associates or Associates of Applied Science degree in respiratory therapy (Care):

Students who are graduates of an accredited respiratory therapy (care) program and have an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science may apply for admission to the AHS respiratory care emphasis. A total of 80 credits in science and general education courses that have an equivalency with GVSU courses in addition to the professional respiratory therapy courses can transfer to GVSU in fulfilling the AHS bachelor's degree requirements. The maximum transferable credits to GVSU is 80 credits; an additional 40 credits must be taken at GVSU to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 120 credits. Transcript evaluation of applicants for transfer credit will be done on an individual basis and are subject to GVSU credit transfer policies. Students are responsible for consulting with their advisor to ensure all GVSU general education Foundation, Issues, and Supplemental Writing Skills requirements are met.

Allied Health Science Core Course Requirements

All students in the AHS respiratory care emphasis, whether in the GVSU cohort or transferring with an earned associates or Associates in Applied Science degree in respiratory therapy (care), are required to complete or transfer the following AHS core courses.

Suggested Curriculum Sequence - GVSU Student Cohort (1 + 2 + 1)

Fall Year One - at GVSU Credits: 14-15

Winter Year One - at GVSU Credits: 14

Spring/Summer Year One - at GVSU Credits: 6

  • AHS 100 - Medical Terminology Credits: 3
  • General education - Credits: 3
  • Fall Year Two - at GVSU and MCC Credits: 14 GVSU
  • BMS 251 - Anatomy and Physiology II Credits: 4
  • STA 215 - Introductory Applied Statistics Credits: 3
  • General education - Credits: 3
  • RT 101 - Respiratory Therapy Physics - Credits: 1
  • RT 102 - Basic Patient Care Skills - Credits: 3
  • General education Credits: 3
  • RT 110 - Equipment and Procedures I Credits: 3
  • RT 111 - Introduction to Respiratory Therapy Credits: 3
  • RT 120 - Equipment and Procedures II Credits: 3
  • RT 121 - Pharmacology Credits: 2
  • RT 122 Clinical I Credits: 2
  • RT 130 - Equipment and Procedures III Credits: 3
  • RT 131 - Physiology Credits: 3
  • RT 132 - Clinical II Credits: 3
  • RT 134 - Introduction to Mechanical Ventilation Credits: 1
  • RT 141 - Pulmonary Pathophysiology Credits: 2
  • RT 144 - Adult Mechanical Ventilation Credits: 3
  • RT 154 - Clinical III Credits: 5
  • RT 162 Clinical IV Credits: 7
  • Winter Year Three - at GVSU and MCC Credits: 14
  • AHS 321 - Ethical and Legal Responsibilities in Health Care Credits: 3
  • General education Credits: 3
  • RT 210 - Cardiovascular and Renal Physiology Credits: 4
  • RT 220C Peds and Neonatal Care Credits: 4
  • AHS 301 - Introduction to Health Care Research Credits: 3
  • Spring/Summer Year Three - at GVSU and MCC Credits: 10
  • AHS 340 - Health Care Management Credits: 3 (Issues course)
  • AHS 495 - Issues in Health Professions Credits: 3 (Capstone/SWS)
  • Issues (not AHS course)
  • RT 222A - Advanced Clinical Rotation II Credits: 3
  • RT 230A - Pulmonary Diagnostics and Rehabilitation Credits: 2
  • RT 240 - The Health Care Environment Credits: 1
Muskegon Community College - Students with an A.S. or A.A.S.

Students who have an earned associate's degree in respiratory therapy or care program can transfer 80 credits in science and general education courses that have an equivalency with GVSU courses in addition to the professional respiratory therapy courses in fulfilling the AHS bachelor's degree requirements. An additional 40 credits must be completed at GVSU to meet the minimum graduation requirements of 120 credits.

MCC Respiratory Care Emphasis - Suggested Curriculum:

Fall Year One - Fall Year Three 80 Credits transfer to GVSU

Muskegon Community College - Associate degree in respiratory therapy


The following coursework can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis at GVSU.

Winter Year Three Credits: 13-14

  • General education Credits: 3

Fall Year Four - Credits: 15

Winter Year Four Credits: 12

Minors Recommended for the AHS Major

If the emphasis admitted to or selected allows the election of a minor, the following are popular choices among allied health sciences students: aging and adult life, biology, business, philosophy, psychology, sociology, Spanish, and women, gender, and sexuality studies. Other minors may be applicable to the student's need. Please coordinate this choice with your major advisor. Be sure to contact the minor department and meet with an advisor to create a plan for the minor.

Allied Health Sciences Program Description

Click here for the program description.



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