The Health Studies curriculum allows students the flexibility to complete the entry-level general education requirements needed to enter other allied health programs at Mercyhurst and the health-specific coursework needed to give them a well-rounded health education degree. In addition to the general education courses in English and math, other coursework includes science-based courses in human biology, human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry, and health-profession-specific clinical courses, as well as courses in social sciences such as psychology, sociology, and human growth and development. Because this program offers students the flexibility to map their curriculum to their educational goals, they are able to seamlessly move general education credit from this program into other allied health curriculums without having to retake courses.  

Fast Facts

  • Our recent grads work in a multitude of positions as Occupational, Health and Safety Technicians, Pharmacy Technicians, Patient Access and Patient Care Representatives, and many others.
  • The Associate of Science in Health Studies can be used as a standalone degree or as an allied health track for students who are interested in gaining acceptance into a health program such as: Medical Laboratory Technician, Nursing, Occupational Therapist Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant, or Respiratory Therapist.
  • This degree can be a completion associate degree for those with a certificate in License Practical Nursing, Massage Therapy, or Medical Assisting.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Associate of Science in Health Studies degree will be able to:

  • Accurately analyze data and communicate scientific and health-related findings using effective written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Apply critical and creative thinking skills to help develop solutions for issues and challenges that all health care facilities and individuals face
  • Utilize knowledge gained in the social, behavioral, natural, and health sciences to serve as ethical, professional, and competent health care professionals


The mission of this program is to provide students the remedial coursework needed to successfully gain acceptance into the allied health program of their choice, and give students the knowledge base to achieve their future professional goals. As program faculty, we strive to provide students with a well-rounded health education experience that focuses on critical thinking, effective communication, and collaboration that will make students highly employable.

Career Outlook

In the United States, health care is one of the fastest-growing career fields. Students who graduate from the Health Studies degree will be well equipped to pursue job opportunities in hospitals, clinics, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies. Because of the vast number of job opportunities available in the health care field, students can cater their coursework for their ultimate career goal.

Students will be able to find jobs as:

  • Occupational, health and safety technicians
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Patient access and patient care representatives
  • Hospital unit secretaries
  • Social and human service assistants
  • Substance abuse and behavioral disorders counselors
  • Home health and laboratory aides and processors
  • Teacher aides/assistants (to help with children with special needs)
  • Childcare workers

Course Requirements

Major Courses

  • Human Biology and Lab or Human A&P I and Lab
  • Microbiology and Lab or Human A&P II and Lab
  • 4 additional Science/Health Electives

Cognate Courses

  • Elementary Algebra or Statistics
  • Introduction to Psychology or Abnormal Psychology

General Education Courses

  • REACH Curriculum

Admissions Requirements

The Associate of Science in Health Studies program follows our standard admissions requirements for associate degrees, which include a high school diploma, a minimum GPA of 1.75, and either an ACT, SAT, or Mercyhurst Placement Test score. Official, final transcripts are required prior to the start of classes.

Transferring in from another college? Transfers are welcome in this program, assuming we get a final, official college transcript from each college you have attended. If you maintain an unpaid balance with another university/college, and cannot acquire a transcript, you will not be permitted to start classes.

Students may wish to enter the Associate of Science in Health Studies program before gaining acceptance into the allied health program of their choice.  If a student wishes to gain admittance into an allied health program from the ASHS program they must follow that health program’s admissions requirements before they can gain admission into that program’s curriculum.


Contact Us

Kari Dundore Shrout
Program Director, Biology and Health Sciences
Phone: 814-725-6258

Meet the Faculty

Dyan Jones, Ph.D.
Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences
Janice Haas, M.S.
Associate Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences, Program Director, Physical Therapist Assistant, Assistant Professor