Points of Pride

WMU College of Health and Human Services prepares students for careers that are high in demand, high in meaning, high in satisfaction and unsurpassed in impact.

Unmatched clinical education: Through College of Health and Human Services affiliates -- the Unified Clinics and the Center for Disability Services -- students practice clinical skills (with faculty supervision) and a broad population of community members receive specialized health care. These enterprises serve more than 80,000 individuals from across the state of Michigan on an annual basis. 

Comfortable, high-tech facility: Our academic programs are housed in a beautiful LEED-certified building that features technology to facilitate progressive methods of teaching, learning and research. Located on WMU's east campus, parking is close and convenient. Inside, you'll find a comfortable atrium where students often meet and study over Water Street Coffee or to-go meal options from our own Bella Vita Cafe.

Holistic admissions: Many of our excellent graduate programs have transitioned to holistic admissions processes, where a student's perseverance and grit can be evaluated and taken into account along with data points like grade point averages and standardized test scores.

Focus on interdisciplinarity: Our Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Ph.D. program engages students with departments across campus and institutions across the country, and it is one of the largest Ph.D. programs at Western Michigan University. Our Healthcare Services and Sciences bachelor's degree program prepares students to apply skills necessary to think critically, act ethically and respond flexibly to change in health and human services, and it includes preparation tracks for our professional graduate programs.

Academic excellence: U.S. News & World Report ranks our audiology, speech-language pathology and occupational therapy graduate programs among the top 50 programs of their kind in the nation. Social work and physician assistant programs are also ranked in the top 100.

Research productivity: For more than 10 years, the College of Health and Human Services has been among a select few of the nation's schools and colleges of allied health that consistently receive prestigious research awards from the National Institutes of Health.

The Center for Excellence in Gerontology in the College of Health and Human Services addresses the aging of America and forecasted future needs and services for older adults. It provides for the study of aging, the education of WMU students in gerontology, interdisciplinary research to improve health and human services for older persons, and education and service learning activities for professionals and older adults and their families.

The Center for Health Information Technology Advancement is a collaboration between the Bronson School of Nursing and the Department of Business Information Systems at the WMU Haworth College of Business. It addresses state and federal priorities aimed at using technology to reform health care delivery. Through courses and real-world experiences, students are able to offer ways to organize and deploy information technology effectively and efficiently for better health care outcomes.

The Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies is the oldest and largest—and regarded as one of the best—programs of its kind in the world. Faculty members are engaged in groundbreaking national research on safety issues related to quiet cars and traffic roundabouts, which impact the safety of persons with blindness and low vision.

The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at WMU was one of the nation's earliest clinics for the study and treatment of speech disorders and the preparation of speech therapists. Its founder Dr. Charles Van Riper was a pioneer in the field, known worldwide for his innovative treatment for stuttering. The department's graduate program was the first in Michigan and one of the first six in the nation to gain accreditation.

The Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness program is one of only four similar programs in the country and offers both an undergraduate minor and graduate certificate that foster "holism" within health care and across other disciplines.

The college's occupational therapy department is the first and oldest non-teacher education program at WMU; its founding in 1922 initiated Western's expansion from a teachers' college to a comprehensive institution of higher learning. It is also the highest-ranking occupational therapy program in Michigan by U.S. News & World Report.

The college's physician assistant program is the first to be established with legislative approval and funding appropriation in Michigan and has one of the highest pass rates in the country for its national licensure exam.

The School of Social Work is a research-driven professional program that focuses on social change, social justice and service transformation, working closely with students and the community. It serves the profession, and has reached national and international audiences through its Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare since 1974.

Established in 1973, the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse was the first of its kind in Michigan and the first university-based training clinic in Michigan to address the criminal justice population of substance abusers.