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Health System Studies BS

College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Science

About this program

This program provides individuals holding a health related associate degree the opportunity to complete a baccalaureate degree, Bachelor of Science in Health Systems (BSHS).

The growing and complex healthcare environment creates exciting opportunities within the health care industry. Our innovative baccalaureate degree completion program prepares individuals for positions of increasing responsibility and greater opportunities in clinical practice, management and leadership, community health, program development, education, and product sales. Several current trends support the need for baccalaureate preparation by those working in health related fields including:

  • Health care reforms and increasing access to care
  • Complex delivery and payment systems
  • Technological advances in health care
  • Emerging discoveries and evidence-based best practices
  • A well informed and health conscious public
  • Changing demographic including an aging population with more complex health needs
  • Increased diversity of our communities

This multi-disciplinary program helps students build careers in health promotion and disease prevention within complex health systems located within diverse communities. Building on foundations of the liberal arts, behavioral and life sciences, students in this program learn to effectively lead people and projects.

Program Overview

This Health Systems educational program is based on academic excellence, and the values of community involvement, service, and health equity. Completion of a baccalaureate degree provides new and relevant knowledge and skills to healthcare professionals. An important benefit may be broadening employment prospects in traditional and/or non-traditional work settings. Contemporary non-traditional work settings and roles may include:

  • Product development or sales
  • School or community-based health programs
  • Local, state or federal health programs
  • Health care related project management
  • Health care management or leadership roles
  • Health care insurers or payers
  • Educational roles
  • Research

The health systems baccalaureate completion program is designed to meet the professional and educational goals of individuals involved in some aspect of the health care field. Students determine the pace of their education, allowing flexibility in advancing the education while maintaining employment. The curriculum, in establishing content domain areas, provides opportunities for students to individualize the degree program. Students work with their academic advisor to select courses appropriate to meet the focus area requirements.

The program focuses on:

  • Expanding project management knowledge and skills
  • Deepening professional growth in the role as a community minded health professional
  • Preparing students to work within diverse communities and teams
  • Expanding team collaboration and communication skills
  • Preparing for greater leadership opportunities.

Student outcomes

Graduates of this program should be able to:

  • effectively communicate with culturally diverse individuals, groups, and communities.
  • collaborate across disciplines to address complex health care issues.
  • evaluate and apply relevant scientific evidence to advance health.
  • analyze dynamic situations within complex health care systems and make evidence-based, theory-informed decisions.
  • effectively lead people and manage organizational resources to accomplish goals.
  • design effective, stakeholder-informed prevention and health promotion strategies to advance community health outcomes.
  • analyze ethical dilemmas specific to the provision of health care and determine actions based on sound ethical decision making.

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Enrolling in this program

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Health System Studies BS now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Health System Studies BS

Program eligibility requirements

To be eligible for acceptance to program, the following must be completed:

  • Approved admission to Metropolitan State University
  • An official transcript indicating completion of an associate degree in a health related field from a regionally accredited institution
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5. The GPA used for admission assessment is the cumulative GPA calculated from all coursework and evaluation of all transcripts.
  • Completion of all pre-major requirements with a grade of at least a C in each.
  • Completion of an official degree plan with an academic advisor.

Students complete the Undergraduate Program Declaration Form at this time.

Program requirements

The degree requirements for graduation with a Bachelor of Science in Health Systems include:

  • A minimum of 120 semester credits are needed for a Minnesota State granted baccalaureate degree. These credits will consist of:
  • Transferable Associate Degree coursework
  • Transferable General Education Liberal Studies (GELS) courses
  • Required Metropolitan State University Health Science Major and GELS courses
  • Required Metropolitan State University Racial Issues Graduation Requirement coursework
  • For more information, view the University wide graduation requirement information.


The coursework within the Bachelor of Science in Health Systems may be organized in many different ways with several offered in different formats such as on line or with a mix of online and in class meetings which provides flexibility and convenience while completing your baccalaureate degree. 

Health Related Degree Programs

This degree program builds upon an associate degree in a health related field. There are many program which offer degrees applicable for admission to this program including (but not limited to) associate degrees (AS) or (AAS) in the follow fields:

  • Radiologic Technology 
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Sonography
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Orthotics Technician
  • Prosthetic Technician
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Phlebotomy Technician
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Nutrition Science
  • Exercise Science
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Health Information Management Technician
  • Medical Equipment Technician
  • Dental Assistant

If you are interested in this program and have completed an associate degree in a health related field that is not noted above, please contact the Health Sciences Academic Advisor, David Jones, via or call 651-793-1375.

Course requirements


Pre-major requirements

In preparation for the health system core program, courses in the following content areas are required: Introductory college level writing course, 3 credit minimum; Introductory or general psychology course; Introductory or general sociology course; General, organic, or biochemistry course with lab or human, cell, or general biology course with lab; Human anatomy course with lab; Human physiology course with lab; Introductory statistics. To matriculate into the BSHS major student must also complete a degree plan with the academic advisor.

Requirements (120 credits)


In addition to the courses shown, the Health Science Capstone 4XXX is also required.

WRIT 331 Writing in Your Major

4 credits

Primarily for students who have completed their writing requirement, but who seek further writing instruction and practice, this course begins with a brief review of the principles of academic writing. It then engages students in the thinking and writing required in various disciplines throughout the university. Students study and practice summary, explanation, analysis, interpretation and other critical strategies used to write essays, reports, research papers, case studies and other texts. The course also emphasizes understanding how audience, purpose and situation shape writing. Students learn how to use a flexible process of writing and revision to complete assignments, and how to respond constructively to the writing of others.

Full course description for Writing in Your Major

HSCI 301 Understanding the U.S. Health System

4 credits

This course focuses on understanding the complex organization and operation of the health care system in the U.S. The history, stakeholders and their interactions, financial considerations, and the role of government are discussed and incorporated into critical analyses of the operation and performance of the health care system, current health care issues, and possible future directions for health care in the U.S.

Full course description for Understanding the U.S. Health System

HSCI 309 Global Health Issues

3 credits

This course examines global health issues that influence population health outcomes, including the interaction between domestic and global health. Students study frameworks such as vital statistics, Millennium Development Goals, and human rights principles and apply these frameworks to the definition, prevention, or mitigation of identified global health issues or concerns with particular attention given to the health of infants, children, and women in low and middle income countries. The course concludes with a study of cooperative efforts designed to mitigate or prevent global health problems.

Full course description for Global Health Issues

PSYC 346 Health Psychology

4 credits

This course will provide an introduction to the field of health psychology, which is concerned with the roles of behavioral/lifestyle, psychological, and social/cultural factors on health/wellness, illness and chronic disease. The course will address four general subject areas: 1) attitudes, behavior, and lifestyle factors affecting disease prevention and development; 2) stress and the related psychological and social processes associated with disease development and progression; 3) social and psychological factors involved in the illness experience; and 4) long-term social and psychological implications of chronic illness (e.g., heart disease, cancer).

Full course description for Health Psychology

HSA 369 Program Evaluation

4 credits

This course focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to appropriately identify, collect, analyze and report evaluative information to be used in making decisions about, and changes in, programs. Topics include approaches to program evaluation, the process of planning and conducting an evaluation, basic principles and practices of designing evaluation instruments, and methods for interpreting and presenting data with an emphasis on providing relevant information to decision makers. This course is appropriate for anyone in business, public, nonprofit or human services administration who is responsible for making decisions about service programs or for conducting evaluations.

Full course description for Program Evaluation

Other required courses (currently under development)

HSCI 4xx, Health Science Capstone (4 Credits)

Other requirements

Students must also select approved courses within the following focus areas: Evidence-based practice (1 course), Communication, Collaboration with diverse groups (2 courses), Health Topics (1 course), Leading People, Organizations, Projects (1 course), Ethics (1 course). Approved Courses in each Focus Area Focus Area: Evidence-Based Practice NURS 335 Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice PSYC 312 Research Methods HSER 368 Understanding and Using Research for the Practitioner Focus Area: Communication Collaboration & Diversity (Group 1) COMM 333 Intermediate Intercultural Communication HSER 395 The Intersection of Race and Diversity in Human Services MGMT 360 Managing a Diverse Workforce Focus Area: Communication Collaboration & Diversity (Group 2) COMM 352 Organizational Communication PSYC 314 Group Dynamics and Facilitation COMM 351 Communication In Work Groups Focus Area:Leading People, Organizations, and Projects HSA 370 Supervision in Human Services NURS 465 Leadership and Management in Nursing PSYC 344 Personnel and Industrial Psychology MGMT 320 Organizational Behavior DSCI 420 Project Management Focus Area: Health Topics PSYC 363 Community Psychology NURS 456 Population Based Care HRM 380 Managing Employees Health and Safety RMI 300 Risk Management and Insurance HSG 374 Aging in America: A Personal Challenge PSYC 340 Understanding Death and Dying HSFS 338 Family: Racial, Gender, Class Dimensions COMM 372 Health Communication HSVP 301 Violence: Individual, Community, and Global Response HSVP 308 Family Violence Across the Lifespan Focus Area: Ethics PHIL 320 Business Ethics PHIL 321 Medical Ethics *Additional courses maybe added to these focus areas in future and are subject to change based on course offering.