Departments & Centers

Applied Health Science

Areas of Specialization

The department offers comprehensive curricula of undergraduate and graduate degree programs and courses that emphasize the importance of education in the prevention of personal and family problems related to lifestyle and health behavior. Seven areas of specialization are available to the student:

  • Dietetics is the science of applying food and nutrition to health. It focuses on using nutrition to not only prevent and treat disease but also to promote a healthy lifestyle. Students learn to apply the principles of nutrition, food science, and food management in an applied setting. The curriculum meets standards established by the Commission on Accreditation of Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).
  • Health promotion enables individuals and communities to increase control over and improve their health. In this graduate-level program, students acquire skills to serve as health educators and health promotion specialists in educational, clinical, occupational, and community settings and for managing a diverse array of health education programs. A highlight of the program is the travel study course, in which students have the opportunity to learn firsthand about health care systems, main health challenges, and cultures of China and Thailand.
  • Human development and family studies examines human behavior from the perspective of lifespan development and within the context of the intimate environment of the family. As an applied field, it focuses on how theories on development and family can illuminate relationships and behavior.
  • Nutrition science integrates nutrition with physical and life sciences to promote healthy lifestyles. It has become an increasingly popular route for IU pre-med, pre-dental, and pre-physician assistant students. Nutrition science provides a thorough background in advanced science courses preparing not only nutrition-savvy medical professionals, but also nutrition educators and researchers.
  • Public health has the purpose of assessing, understanding, and responding to the behavioral and ecological factors that influence the health of communities throughout the world. Public health professionals work with individuals and communities through government agencies, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, and corporations. The MPH program focuses on the social and behavioral sciences, with core classes in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health behavior theory, and health administration. MPH students can further prepare for their public health careers by choosing one of two specializations: public health leadership and practice or public health research. The MPH program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
  • Safety and safety management programs develop the skills and professional competencies to support workplace safety and health programs and efforts in both public and private organizations. In today's technological workplace, safety is an increasing concern. The safety programs promote safety and health in the workplace through education; hazard identification, evaluation, and control; and risk management. Safety professionals are the leaders in protecting corporate resources and workers' lives.
  • School and college health programs provide comprehensive and coordinated programs that promote the health of children and young adults. Students accrue professional skills required to design, deliver, and assess effective health instruction in schools and colleges. Undergraduate students can earn secondary teacher certification in a joint program with the School of Education. Health teachers have a rich understanding of the health and lifestyle concerns of their students. They help students make decisions that will improve physical, mental, psychological, and emotional well-being. The graduate program allows for advanced study, focusing on leadership roles in school health programs and university health centers.

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