College of Health Professions

Two women using microscopes

Sandra C. Bibb, dean
400 Ahlberg Hall • 316-WSU-3600
Stephen Arnold, associate dean

The College of Health Professions was established in 1970. Programs of study are offered in advanced education in general dentistry, communication sciences and disorders, dental hygiene, health services management and community development, medical laboratory sciences, nursing, physical therapy and physician assistant. The primary emphasis of the college’s health professions programs is the preparation of entry-level health professionals. Additionally, the college provides such services as continuing education and graduate education for health professionals.

The curricula of the health professions programs build upon a foundation of courses from the liberal arts and sciences, education, health sciences and business. In addition to the on-campus academic experience, health professions students learn in clinical settings as they care for patients and interact with clients of the health care system. All clinical programs are dependent upon the outstanding health care facilities within Wichita and surrounding areas.

Programs in the college are accredited through the following agencies:

  • the Council on Academic Accreditation of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association,
  • the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association,
  • the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association,
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Kansas State Board of Nursing,
  • the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, and
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.


Many state and national licensing and governing organizations will not grant a license, certification, registration or other similar document to practice one’s chosen profession if the applicant has been convicted of a felony, and in some cases a misdemeanor. Prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with their chosen professional governing or licensing organization for more detailed information before applying.

Clinical Learning

As noted above, learning in clinical settings is an important aspect of programs of study in the College of Health Professions. Many health care facilities require information on students engaged in clinical learning opportunities, including, but not limited to: verification of name, address and social security number, personal health information, drug and alcohol testing, criminal background checks, verification of education, listing on any registered sex offender lists, listing on the U.S. Office of Inspector General’s Excluded Individual’s list, and listing on the U.S. General Services Administration’s Excluded Parties List. While the College of Health Professions will assist students in obtaining and gathering the information required by a health care facility, the cost of obtaining such information must be assumed by the student. What information will be required to permit the student to participate in a clinical setting learning experience will depend upon the respective health care facility. If a student is unable to fulfill the clinical experiences required by the program of study, the student may be unable to matriculate and/or graduate.

Essential Functions/Technical Standards

Essential functions/technical standards define the attributes that are considered necessary for students to possess in order to complete their education and training, and subsequently enter clinical practice. These essential functions/technical standards are determined to be prerequisites for entrance to, continuation in, and graduation from a student’s chosen discipline in the WSU College of Health Professions.

Students must possess aptitude, ability and skills in five areas:

  1. Observation;
  2. Communication;
  3. Sensory and motor coordination and function;
  4. Conceptualization, integration and quantification; and
  5. Behavioral and social skills, ability and aptitude.

The essential functions/technical standards described by a student’s chosen discipline are critically important to the student and must be autonomously performed by the student. It should be understood that these are essential function/technical standards for minimum competence in a student’s discipline. Contact specific programs for detailed essential functions/technical standards. Reasonable accommodation of disability will be provided after the student notifies the department of the disability, and the disability has been documented by appropriate professionals.

College of Health Professions Policies

Undergraduate Admission

A new degree-bound student is admitted to the College of Health Professions as a premajor in one of the degree programs offered, a health science major or as a health profession undecided major. However, admission to the college as a premajor does not guarantee acceptance into any of the undergraduate professional programs. To be admitted to a professional program, a student must be admitted to Wichita State University, apply for admission to a particular program, and be accepted by the admissions committee of that program. See individual program information for application requirements and procedures.

Required grade point average for admission to College of Health Professions’ undergraduate professional programs: Minimum cumulative grade point averages are required for each undergraduate professional program. Please consult individual program information for application requirements.

New transfer students must present an earned grade point average required for admission to their program on a 4.000 scale for all prior college work to be admitted to their premajor. An earned grade point average of 3.000 is required for communication sciences and disorders, physical therapy and physician assistant premajors. An earned grade point average of 2.750 is required for premajors in dental hygiene and nursing. An earned grade point average of 2.500 is required for premedical laboratory sciences. An earned grade point average of 2.000 is required for health sciences, health management and health professions undecided majors.

Limitations on Student Credit Hour Load

Premajors in the College of Health Professions who are in good academic standing may enroll for a maximum of 19 credit hours during fall and spring semesters and a maximum of 12 credit hours during the summer session. Students wishing to enroll beyond these limits must request approval from an academic advisor in the College of Health Professions (CHP) Advising Center. Once students are admitted into their major degree programs they will be subject to limitations and requirements set by each program. See the individual majors section of this catalog and the Graduate Catalog for specific information.

Academic Advising

Academic advising is a sustained and comprehensive, developmental process which promotes progressive student responsibility, commitment to the pursuit of intellectual foundations, clarification of an appropriate major, disciplinary competence, academic success, and preparation for career advancement. Advising is coordinated through the CHP Advising Center in 402 Ahlberg Hall. Please call 316-978-3304 to schedule an appointment. Once students are admitted into their professional degree program, academic advising is provided by the program faculty.


Once the student is accepted into one of the professional programs, progression is determined by the program. Students should check the individual program section of the Undergraduate Catalog for additional program requirements.

Probation and Dismissal

Premajors should reference the academic probation and dismissal standards set by the university found in the Academic Probation and Dismissal section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

Students admitted to, and enrolled in, a College of Health Professions professional program are subject to probation and dismissal policy and procedures determined by each professional program. These are described in student handbooks available in each department. Additionally, students assigned to affiliating health facilities for clinical education will be subject to dismissal from their professional program for failure to comply with the rules, regulations or professional standards governing that facility.


Students may petition the program, college or university for exception to any requirement and should reference the Exceptions section of this catalog and the student handbook of their professional program.

Graduation Requirements

All health professions students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree must meet university requirements for graduation and fulfill course requirements and graduation requirements specified in the curriculum of the department offering the degree. For specific requirements, consult the individual program sections of the catalog.

General Education Requirements

The College of Health Professions conforms to the policy set forth by the division of academic affairs at Wichita State University. Students should refer to the General Education Program requirements section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

Cooperative Education

The College of Health Professions is one of the participating colleges in the university’s cooperative education program. This program is designed to provide off-campus paid employment experiences that integrate, complement and enhance the student’s regular academic program while providing academic credit. Students are placed for field study experiences in a variety of health settings, including hospitals and community agencies. Individualized field studies are formulated in consultation with the student and the employer and are approved by the program faculty advisor and the cooperative education coordinator for the college. Participation in the program requires enrollment for credit in specific cooperative education courses designated by the various academic programs in the college. These undergraduate courses may have prerequisites or other specific requirements for enrollment. To enroll in the program or for more information, students should contact the cooperative education office or a College of Health Professions advisor.

Clinical Affiliation

The college, because of its location in Wichita, has affiliation agreements with various excellent health facilities which assist in the clinical education of students. The clinical affiliates include a wide variety of hospitals, long-term care facilities, public schools, private practitioners and community agencies.

Liability Insurance Requirements, Health Insurance and Health Standards

Most students are required to purchase professional liability insurance (the specific level is determined by the professional program) as well as personal health insurance at the beginning of the professional phase of a College of Health Professions program. Additionally, other health standards are required prior to entry into the clinical agencies. Students should communicate with individual programs about specific requirements.

Financial Assistance

Scholarships and student loan funds are available for students in health professions. Information on these and other scholarships and loans is available from the WSU Office of Financial Aid and the program from which the student is seeking a degree or certificate.

Degrees and Certificates Offered


Of the programs offered at the undergraduate level, six lead to bachelor’s degrees:

  • communication sciences and disorders,
  • dental hygiene,
  • health sciences,
  • health management,
  • medical laboratory sciences, and
  • nursing.


Four programs lead to the master’s degree — aging studies, communication sciences and disorders, nursing and physician assistant. Four programs lead to the doctoral degree — audiology, communication sciences and disorders, nursing and physical therapy. Admission to all of these programs requires a bachelor’s degree and the fulfillment of additional requirements. 

More information on graduate programs is available in the WSU Graduate Catalog.


The College of Health Professions offers the following certificates:

  • educational interpreter development certificate program: signing exact English;1
  • graduate certificate in public health.2
  • postdoctoral certificate in advanced education in general dentistry

Inter-College Double Major

An inter-college double major allows a student to complete an academic degree and major in one of the professional colleges (Barton School of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, College of Health Professions) along with a major in Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For details see Inter-College Double Major.