School of Interdisciplinary Health

Welcome to the School of Interdisciplinary Health!

Established in the fall of 2021 within the College of Health Professions, the School of Interdisciplinary Health (SIH) combines three previous departments into one unit: Allied Health Sciences, Diagnostic and Treatment Sciences, and Public Health. The School currently houses three masters programs and nine undergraduate programs, which are located on the Health Campus in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences and in Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall. Dr. Randy Wyble is the School Director. 


Undergraduate Programs

Most undergraduate programs in the School of Interdisciplinary Health require Secondary Admission - this means that a student must first complete a specific set of courses at or above the required GPA level, then submit a secondary admission application for the program. Applications open in October; application deadlines vary by program. Transfer students must be accepted into GVSU prior to the secondary application deadline.

Learn more about SIH Undergraduate programs.

Interested students should meet with a CHP Student Services Academic Advisor for planning and application assistance. 

The term Allied Health is used to identify a cluster of health professions, encompassing as many as 200 health careers. There are 5 million allied health care providers in the U.S., who work in more than 40 different professions and represent approximately 60% of all health care providers. Even so, this is just a drop in the bucket in terms of how many allied health care workers are needed to meet current and future healthcare needs in America.

When you work in allied health, you are involved—directly or indirectly—with patient health, and you are regarded as an expert in your field. Some allied health professionals practice independently; others work as part of a health care team, providing continual evaluation and assessment of patient needs. They also play a major role in informing the attending clinician of the patient's progress and response to treatment.

In addition to the Allied Health Sciences (AHS-General emphasis) degree program, emphases are also offered in Health Professional degree completion, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Physician Assistant Studies, Histotechnology, Social Science. Students in the general AHS degree program can also choose to pursue a combined degree, receiving their AHS B.S. and a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in 5 years.

Visit the Allied Health Sciences program website for more information.

Grand Valley State University's Bachelor of Science in Applied Food and Nutrition (AFN) program is an innovative Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) incorporating elements of competency-based education. The bachelor’s program is part of Grand Valley's School of Interdisciplinary Health.

The skillset for food and nutrition practitioners includes the communication, interpersonal and collaboration skills needed to manage employees and work with clients/patients and health team members; knowledge needed to manage food service operations; and food and nutrition knowledge and skills to provide nutrition education and basic medical nutrition therapy for clients/patients.

Qualified undergraduates may choose a Combined Degree Program (CDP) and obtain both a B.S. in Applied Food & Nutrition and a M.S. in Clinical Dietetics within an accelerated time frame. Grand Valley’s Applied Food and Nutrition Program has been granted Candidacy status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Visit the Applied Food & Nutrition program website for more information.

Sonographers specialized in Echocardiography and Vascular Sonography utilize sound waves to produce diagnostic images and guide invasive and non-invasive procedures of the body. Sonographers work collaboratively with cardiologists, radiologists, and vascular surgeons to diagnose a diverse range of conditions related to heart and circulatory system. A sonographer practicing in the field of Echocardiography and Vascular sonography must be well versed in sectional anatomy, clinical medicine, cardiovascular pathology, and ultrasound physics.

Students spend two years completing the general education and prerequisite courses. After admission to the secondary competitive program, students complete two years of full-time professional coursework.

Students working toward a B.S. degree in Cardiovascular Sonography from GVSU become eligible for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) examinations specific to the concentrations completed. The Cardiovascular Sonography Program is accredited under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP).

Visit the Cardiovascular Sonography program website to learn more.

Abdominal and obstetrics-gynecology sonographers work collaboratively with radiologists and other specialized physicians to diagnose a diverse range of conditions using invasive and noninvasive procedures using complex computerized high frequency sound waves and Doppler signal equipment. The sonographer must acquire excellent knowledge of sectional anatomy, clinical medicine, pathology and the use of sonographic instrumentation. Sonographers are responsible for patient care during procedures, which may include inpatient, outpatient, surgery, and mobile work.

It is critical that sonographers have exceptional critical thinking and problem solving skills in order to develop a high level of interpersonal relationships with patients, other staff, physicists, and physicians.

Students spend two years completing the general education and prerequisite courses. After admission to the secondary competitive program, students complete two years of full-time professional coursework.

Students working toward a B.S. degree in radiologic and imaging sciences with a major in diagnostic medical sonography from GVSU become eligible for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) examinations specific to the concentrations completed. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is accredited under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP).

Visit the Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Abdominal and Obstetric-Gynecologic website for more information.

Health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. HIM organizes and manages health information data by ensuring its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security. Health information managers regularly communicate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to clarify diagnoses or to obtain additional information.

Students pursuing the health information management program will also be required to complete the minor in healthcare information systems, through the computer information systems (CIS) department.

The Health Information Management Baccalaureate degree is a CAHIIM accredited program.

Visit the Health Information Management program webpage for more information.

Medical Laboratory Science, (also known as clinical laboratory science or medical technology), is an undergraduate field of study that prepares graduates to become certified medical laboratory scientists (MLS). Medical laboratory scientists are essential healthcare professionals; they perform clinical laboratory tests that aid in the detection, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of disease. Blood, tissue, urine, and other body fluids are examined and analyzed, and results of these complex chemical, biological, hematological, immunologic, microscopic, and bacteriological tests provide important decision making information to a patient’s medical team. Medical laboratory scientists work primarily in hospital settings; however, job opportunities exist in molecular, research, forensic, and veterinary labs as well as in instrument training/sales, lab management, and education. Medical laboratory scientists are required to use significant analytical and independent judgment; their technical skills are in high demand. Expected employment growth indicates a future with solid job security.

Students spend two and a half years completing the general education and prerequisite courses. After secondary admission to the competitive MLS program, students complete one and a half years of full-time professional coursework, including clinical rotations. Grand Valley State University medical laboratory science graduates are prepared to take the national certification examination that grants them the credentials of Medical Laboratory Scientist (formerly known as medical technologist and/or clinical laboratory scientist).

The Medical Laboratory Science program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)

Visit the Medical Laboratory Sciences program website for more information.

Radiation therapy is a health care discipline that utilizes ionizing radiation for the treatment of mostly malignant diseases. Radiation therapists are health care professionals skilled in the art and science of radiation treatment delivery. The radiation therapy program is designed to prepare students for the technical, theoretical, and psychological aspects of this career. The program provides a unique learning environment which includes state of the art equipment. By recruiting the help of highly qualified Radiation Oncology faculty, students acquire skills necessary to become successful Radiation Therapists. 

Students receive didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences in both existing and emerging radiation therapy practices and procedures. This may include treatment planning, simulation, quality assurance, brachytherapy, external beam therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, intraoperative radiation therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy, image guided radiation therapy, and total body irradiation. Students will rotate through a minimum of three clinical facilities to ensure exposure to emerging technologies. 

Students spend two years completing the general education and prerequisite courses. After admission to the secondary competitive program, students complete two years of full-time professional coursework. Students who receive a B.S. degree in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences with an emphasis in radiation therapy from Grand Valley are eligible for The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national credentialing examination in radiation therapy. The Radiation Therapy program is accredited by the The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Visit the Radiation Therapy program website for more information.

Recreational Therapists use recreation and leisure as a therapeutic modality to improve function and quality of life for individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions. They practice in a variety of health and community settings ranging from schools and rehabilitation centers to mental health facilities and skilled nursing facilities, providing services to infants through older adults. They use interventions such as the therapeutic use of horticulture, adventure-based programs, community integration, and adaptive recreation and sports to improve or maintain all domains of functioning and to facilitate full participation in life for individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions. Secondary application and admission is required.

Students spend two years completing the general education and prerequisite courses. After admission to the secondary competitive program, students complete two years of full-time professional coursework.

Grand Valley’s Recreational Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education.

Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the program and obtain both the B.S. and M.S. in recreational therapy within the accelerated time frame. Students interested in the combined degree program will follow the undergraduate curriculum for recreational therapy, and will apply to the graduate program during their first year of undergraduate recreational therapy coursework.

Visit the Recreation Therapy program website for more information.

 

Program start: Winter Semester 2022

Respiratory therapists help people who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. People who have had heart attacks or who have sleep disorders and infants who are born prematurely might also need respiratory therapy to help them breathe more easily. They also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, drowning or shock.

Advanced level therapists participate in clinical decision-making and patient education, the development and implementation of protocols and treatment plans, health promotion, disease prevention and disease management. Although they practice under the supervision of a physician, they exercise considerable independent judgment in providing respiratory therapy to patients.

Visit the Respiratory Care program website for more information

For advising and application information, please visit the College of Health Professions Student Services Office website - Respiratory Care, B.S.


Combined Degree Programs

Combined Bachelor/Master degree programs allow students to complete both degrees sooner by counting graduate credits towards the undergraduate degree. This reduces the time and cost to complete both degrees separately, saving students money and allowing them to enter the workforce sooner. Learn more about Combined Degree programs.

Contact the College of Health Professions Student Services Office for advising and admissions assistance.

The following Combined Degree programs are available within the School of Interdisciplinary Health:

Allied Health Sciences (B.S.) + Public Health (M.P.H.) 

Applied Food & Nutrition (B.S.) + Clinical Dietetics (M.S.)

Recreational Therapy (B.S. + M.S.)

NEW! Students in the CLAS major Exercise Science have this combined degree option:

Exercise Science (B.S.) + Public Health (M.P.H.)

GVSU also offers students the opportunity to develop their own unique Bachelor/Master degree combination.

Student Initiated Combined Degree program 


Graduate Programs

Most graduate programs within the School of Interdisciplinary Health do not require specific undergraduate majors. Students with an interest in pursuing a graduate degree in Clinical Dietetics, Medical Dosimetry, or Public Health are encouraged to choose a major that is best suited to their particular interests and goals. The Recreational Therapy 1-year track master's program requires the completion of a recreational therapy or therapeutic recreation undergraduate degree.

Applications for these programs are always open, but application submission deadlines vary by program. All SIH graduate programs use the GVSU graduate application platform.

Learn more about SIH Graduate programs.

ONLINE/HYBRID

Clinical dietetics is a systematic approach to treating medical conditions, complex disease processes and their associated symptoms through medical nutrition therapy (MNT). The registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) uses and applies advanced nutrition knowledge, MNT, and the nutrition care process to promote health and prevent disease. RDNs work in a variety of settings:  clinical, outpatient counseling, community, food service, corporate, school systems, management/leadership, private practice, and sport/athletics.

Grand Valley State University's Master of Science in Clinical Dietetics program is an innovative program taught by nationally recognized faculty. Upon successful completion, this program provides eligibility to sit for the registration exam leading to the RDN credential. The Coordinated Graduate Program at Grand Valley State University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Qualified students in GVSU's Applied Food & Nutrition (B.S.) degree program may choose the Combined Degree Program option to earn a M.S. in Clinical Dietetics within an accelerated time frame.

Visit the Master of Science in Clinical Dietetics program website for more information.

ONLINE/HYBRID

The Medical Dosimetrist performs calculations for the accurate delivery of the Radiation Oncologist's prescribed dose, documents pertinent information in the patient record, and verifies the mathematical accuracy of all calculations using a system established by the Medical Physicist. We perform, or assist in, the application of specific methods of radiation measurement including ion chamber, thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD), or film measurement as directed by the Medical Physicist. Another area that we may contribute to is giving technical and physics support to the Medical Physicist; this support could be in radiation protection, qualitative machine calibrations, and quality assurance of the radiation oncology equipment. Also, we often take on the role of educator in facilities that have radiation oncology residents, radiation therapy students or medical dosimetry students.

The most common and recommended undergraduate major for students admitted to the program is radiation therapy (RT). 

GVSU students receive didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences in both existing and emerging radiation oncology, including treatment planning, simulation, quality assurance, brachytherapy, external beam therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, intraoperative radiation therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy, volumetric modulated arc therapy and total body irradiation.

The GVSU Medical Dosimetry program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Students who receive a M.S. degree in Medical Dosimetry from Grand Valley are eligible for the Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board (MDCB) national credentialing certification examination in medical dosimetry. Upon certification by the MDCB, graduates will hold the title of Certified Medical Dosimetrist (CMD).

Visit the Master of Science in Medical Dosimetry website for more information.

Choose from TRADITIONAL or ONLINE/HYBIRD

Public health is the science and art of creating healthy communities through education, research and promotion of healthy lifestyles. In public health, the focus is on health promotion and disease/injury prevention, in contrast to the medical model of care, which focuses more heavily upon diagnosing and treating illnesses and conditions after they occur. Public health professionals analyze and develop programs that protect the health of individuals, families and communities in the United States and abroad. The United States is placing a high priority on building up the nation's public health workforce. A career in public health opens the door to diverse opportunities in a variety of sectors such as federal, private and non-governmental organizations. Because of their "big picture" perspective, public health experts play a key role in emergency preparedness and response. This may be why public health has become such a growing field in recent years. 

Grand Valley State University's Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree prepares students by enhancing career opportunities through the acquisition of quantitative and qualitative problem solving research skills, service, and experiential learning. Public health professionals promote good health and prevent disease within communities. The M.P.H. program provides graduate and community-based education and research grounded in social justice to help meet these goals. GVSU offers two emphasis areas in public health: epidemiology and health promotion, as well as two instructional formats: Traditional (in-seat) and Online/Hybrid.

Undergraduate students in GVSU's Allied Health Sciences (AHS) can apply in the fall of their junior year (after the completion of 55+ credit hours) for the combined AHS (B.S.) + Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program. Beginning Fall 2022, undergraduate students in GVSU's Exercise Science will also have the option to apply for the combined EXS (B.S.) + Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program.

The Public Health program at GVSU is fully accredited by the  Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Visit the Master of Public Health program website for more information.

Coming soon!

ONLINE/HYBRID

Recreational therapy is the specialized application of recreation, leisure, and experiential activities and interventions to maintain or improve the health, functioning, and quality of life for people with disabilities and chronic conditions.

The GVSU program is the only recreational therapy master's program in Michigan and the first advanced-practice program in the U.S. within a college of health professions. It is designed to meet the increasingly complex needs for more research and evidence-based practice to support the work of clinicians and advance recognition of the field.

The GVSU Recreational Therapy 1-Year track Master's program requires the completion of a Recreational Therapy or Therapeutic Recreation undergraduate degree. An accelerated combined degree program for earning both a bachelor's and master's degree in recreational therapy is also available.

Visit the College of Health Professions Student Services Office webpage for more information and to schedule an advising appointment.



SIH News & Notes

Recreational Therapy at ATRA

Faculty members from the School of Interdisciplinary Health and Recreational Therapy recently gave presentations at the American Therapeutic Recreation Association conference in Birmingham, Alabama. Read more...

Nov 29, 2022

Public Health Brings Healthy Smiles to GRPS

Students and faculty from GVSU's Master of Public Health teamed up with Colgate's Bright Smiles, Bright Future program to bring dental hygiene and health education to elementary students in Grand Rapids Public Schools. Read the GVNext story to learn more:

Oct 25, 2022

SIH Faculty Highlight

Dawn DeVries, associate professor and program chair for recreational therapy, was co-author of an article recently published in the Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. Read more...

Oct 11, 2022

SIH Faculty Highlight

Sarah Nechuta, assistant professor of public health, gave a presentation at the Society for Epidemiologic Research Annual Conference and co-authored an article published in the Journal of Substance Abuse. Read more...

Sep 13, 2022

View More SIH News & Notes


Images representing some of the programs within the School of Interdisciplinary Health.


Page last modified May 9, 2022