News Flash


Posted on: April 9, 2021

Kansas State University Expands Human Health Programs to Address Healthcare Worker Shortages


To address state and national shortages of healthcare workers, Kansas State University is launching a series of new healthcare-related academic programs to help students prepare for medical and public health careers.

These programs will allow K-State to directly prepare students for careers as nurses, physician assistants and public health professionals — as well as lay the groundwork for many other health professions.

“There has long been an unmet need for healthcare professionals, and COVID-19 only exacerbated the situation,” said John Buckwalter, the Betty L. Tointon Dean of the K-State College of Heath and Human Sciences. “Our college, along with other colleges at K-State like veterinary medicine and arts and sciences, is excited to provide high-quality programs to meet the needs of the state of Kansas and beyond.”

Several of these programs are innovative collaborations between K-State and other institutions, or among multiple K-State colleges and departments.

One of the most innovative is a new partnership between K-State and Wichita State University. The Pathway to Nursing Program allows students to earn both a bachelor of science from K-State and a bachelor of nursing from WSU. This is the first program of its kind in the state. Students will spend their first three years in K-State’s program, then submit an application to WSU’s nursing program, which will be taught through a satellite program on the K-State campus in Manhattan. Accepted students will spend the next two years in the program and earn their nursing degree from WSU. Learn more.

K-State’s College of Health and Human Sciences has also begun a new Master of Science degree in physician assistant studies (MSPAS) that prepares students to be nationally certified and licensed medical professionals who work on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. Physician assistants work in hospitals, clinics and single and multi-specialty practice groups, in every area of medicine. Learn more.

An academic partnership between the College of Health and Human Sciences and Stormont Vail Health/Cotton O’Neil Clinics was recently announced to support the new physician assistant program. As part of this partnership, Stormont Vail is building a 55,000-square-foot medical office building in the K-State Research Park, providing medical services to the surrounding region.

Through this partnership, Stormont Vail leadership will advise on the program’s curriculum, as well as fund the building of a state-of-the-art simulation lab to give students and working professionals a realistic, hands-on learning experience with adult, pediatric, infant and trauma simulators. The medical building is tentatively set for completion in late 2022. Learn more.

At the undergraduate level, K-State is offering several new programs to help students prepare for professional training and careers. One such program is a 24-credit-hour secondary major in integrated health studies for undergraduate students who plan to enter a healthcare career, giving them a liberal arts foundation in the humanities, social sciences and scientific reasoning.

“As a secondary major, the integrated health studies major allows any student at K-State to participate in this program,” said Amit Chakrabarti, dean of K-State’s College of Arts and Sciences. “The secondary major provides appropriate coursework, but perhaps more importantly, it connects the students to high-quality undergraduate research, community services and internships, and trains them to successfully apply for health-related professional schools.” 

The integrated health studies program is for students preparing for fields such as medical laboratory science, medicine, chiropractic health, occupational therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry or nursing, and includes a customizable capstone experience that might include reflective writing, research or employment in a healthcare setting. A program website is forthcoming; in the meantime, get more information by contacting

Other New Health-Related Programs at K-State

In addition to these programs, check out other K-State offerings to help prepare the next generation of healthcare workers.

Online Master of Public Health

K-State’s fully accredited, interdisciplinary Master of Public Health program is now expanding to offer an online option for individuals currently employed in or anticipating a career in public health. Learn more.

Master of Science in Athletic Training

This 24-month program is continuous for six semesters and prepares graduates for a career in athletic training and related fields through a comprehensive curriculum and a two-semester clinical experience. Learn More.  

Master of Science in Biomedical Science

This pre-professional, non-thesis program through the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine can be completed in 12 months and serves as an introduction to the biomedical field for students interested in a variety of health professions. Learn more.

Bachelor of Science in Public Health

The first program of its kind among Kansas Board of Regents schools, this multidisciplinary degree includes courses offered across many departments and colleges at K-State, as well as applied practicum experiences in real-world public health environments. Learn More.

Bachelor of Science in Sports Nutrition

The sports nutrition program focuses on the application of nutrition principles as they relate to sport and human performance. Graduates will be prepared for careers in sports nutrition, personal training or fitness, or they can supplement their training in a variety of advanced career paths. Learn more. 

Bachelor of Science in Biology Programs

The K-State Division of Biology is launching two degree sub-options in fall 2021 to prepare students for healthcare careers: human health biology and medical microbiology. Get more information about both new sub-options by emailing

Bachelor of Science in Integrative Physiology

The integrative physiology bachelor’s degree program focuses on the major systems of the body and how those systems interact with each other in health and disease. Learn more.

Online Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

This new, completely online kinesiology bachelor’s degree program allows students to explore the importance of physical activity across a range of tasks, including exercise, daily living, play, sport and work. A program website is forthcoming; in the meantime, get more information by contacting

Certificate Program in Global Health, Medicine and Society

This undergraduate certificate program through the K-State Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work examines health issues as a result of the interrelation between biological, social and environmental factors. Learn more.

More information on academic requirements and admission to Kansas State University can be found at  

To learn more about living in Manhattan or locating your business near the Kansas State University campus, visit


Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in News

Manhattan Renews ED Tax to 2033

Posted on: January 12, 2021