Online Health & Wellness Degree Courses

Create healthy lifestyles with your Bachelor of Arts in Health and Wellness. Your online coursework includes nutrition, health program planning, and community health.

Introductory Course

All Bachelor’s program students are required to successfully complete EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education as their first course. Students with zero (0) traditional college-level transferable credits are also required to successfully complete the Student Success Orientation prior to enrolling in credit-bearing coursework. Following successful completion of orientation, students are required to successfully complete EXP 105.

Student Success Orientation 

The orientation is designed to provide students with a complete overview of the Ashford University experience, prepare them for success in their courses, and help them to self-evaluate their readiness to succeed in an online classroom setting. Students will be instructed on Ashford University policies and the learning resources that are available to them through interactive videos and assessments. Students enrolled in orientation must successfully complete all assigned activities.

EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education 

This course is designed to help adult learners beginning their university studies to achieve academic success. Students will explore learning theories, communication strategies, and personal management skills. Adult learners will develop strategies for achieving success in school and work. Students will also be introduced to the University's institutional outcomes and learning resources. A minimum grade of C- is required to successfully complete the course.

Major Course Requirements

(37 credits, all courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted. Courses are listed in the recommended sequence.)

HWE 200 Introduction to Health & Wellness
This course provides students with a holistic overview of the multi-faceted dimensions of health and wellness across the lifespan. The seven dimension of health: physical, social, intellectual, emotional, occupational, spiritual, and environmental are explored within the context of a wellness lifestyle.

HPR 205 The Human Body, Health and Disease (4 credits)
This introductory course provides students the opportunity to develop a basic understanding of health and disease as it relates to basic human physiology for non-science majors. The functions of the skeletal, muscular, integumentary, nervous, special senses, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, gastrointestinal, urinary and reproductive systems are explored. The most common conditions and diseases associated with these systems are examined. Students are provided the opportunity to learn about the major contributing factors associated with these conditions and diseases. In addition to coursework, weekly laboratories provide students the opportunity to explore various aspects of human physiology while applying the scientific method.

HCS 308 Introduction to Nutritional Concepts
This introductory course provides an overview of the basic principles of nutrition including the basic functions, needs, and sources of micro and macronutrients. Students apply nutrition principles to personal needs, as well as needs of individuals across the lifespan. Nutrition controversies are explored in addition to learning about the anatomical and physiological impacts of inadequate/improper nutrition practices and the risk for disease. Note: This course is designed for students with no previous and/or a limited science background.

HWE 330 Musculoskeletal Anatomy & Physiology
In this course, students study the structure and function of muscular and skeletal systems within the human body using a regional approach. Students are given the opportunity to learn about anatomical variation, the functional importance of this variation, and common pathologies of the upper and lower extremities and trunk. This course expands upon the anatomical concepts provided in the prerequisite, The Human Body, Health, and Disease.

HCS 334 Personal Fitness & Wellness for Optimal Living
Students will compare their own physical activity habits to national guidelines and explore the benefits of physical activity as well as the consequences of physical inactivity. Written assignments, case studies, and discussion forums provide students with an opportunity to design exercise and wellness plans for themselves and potential clients.

HWE 340 Exercise & Physiology
This course introduces students to physiological responses to exercise in the human body. Students compare the major physiological systems (energy transfer, cardiovascular, respiratory, neuromuscular, etc.) at rest, explain the systemic adaptations that occur with acute and long-term exercise, and evaluate how these activities affect health and human performance. Students also analyze how nutrition and pharmacological aids impact athletic performance.

PSY 361 Health Psychology
Students explore the mind/body relationship as it pertains to health, stress, and the person’s response to medical treatment. This course includes a review of anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, the endocrine system, the immune system, and other organ systems. Students explore new strategies of applied psychology for sustaining health, managing stress, and recovering successfully from disease, injury, and medical treatment.

PSY 380 Counseling and Behavior Change
This course is designed for students entering into human service fields. Students compare and contrast behavior change theories and models, determine client needs, apply motivational strategies and counseling skills, and evaluate moral and ethical issues. Cultural competency and cultural sensitivity concepts are also discussed.

HWE 415 Stress Management
This course will provide students with the opportunity to learn about the effects of stress, apply stress management techniques, and develop stress management programs while considering various cultural backgrounds. Students will analyze the relationship between stress and health. This course is designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of stress management concepts including causes and effects of acute and chronic stress as well as techniques used to manage stress.

HWE 420 Wellness for Special Populations
This course is designed to provide students the opportunity to enhance their understanding of nutritional concepts and designing exercise programs for special populations. Students will learn how to apply knowledge to develop and modify exercise plans for individuals with special conditions. Special populations that will be covered in this course will include but not limited to: the elderly, pregnant women, individuals at risk for disease (i.e. elderly, obese), and individuals living with health conditions (i.e. cardiovascular disease, arthritis, pulmonary disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc.). Risks, contraindications, and benefits of exercise for these special populations also will be covered.

HPR 460 Analysis of Health Research
This course is designed to provide students the opportunity to develop a basic understanding of health research. Students are given the opportunity to learn about the various types of health research and associated research designs and methodologies. This course provides the students with increased exposure to health research literature and teaches students strategies to critically analyze this literature. Students are provided the opportunity to learn about the ethical dimensions, physical limitations, and practical application of health research. The students are provided a supplemental booklet containing example literature and figures that highlight the major concepts covered in the course.

HWE 498 Health & Wellness Capstone
This course is a synthesis of the major ideas, perspectives, and concepts gained from the study of health and wellness. Assignments provide students with an opportunity to create health and wellness programs for target populations and apply appropriate health promotion strategies and techniques to benefit these groups. Students analyze lifestyle factors that negatively or positively affect health and evaluate the effectiveness of wellness programs. This course also provides an opportunity for the students to develop career- related tools for use in professional situations. This course should be taken as the last course in the program.


You may also choose to delve deeper into other areas of health care when you add a specialization to your degree program. A specialization consists of four (4) courses, each worth three (3) credits each. These courses are taught online as part of your degree program. Choose the following specialization:

Health Informatics

HIM 301 Introduction to Health Informatics 
This foundational course details the history and factors driving the emergence of health informatics. In addition to emphasizing the concepts, terminologies and scope of health informatics, the course delves into health information exchanges, data standards, health informatics ethics, online resources and E-research. The course includes and overview of basic database architecture, design and file structure and data warehousing and data mining in healthcare.

HCA 417 Electronic Health Records 
This course begins with an exploration of the evolution of electronic health records (EHRs) and then delves into the current forces driving the adoption of electronic health records. The components of EHR's are reviewed and the core functionalities of the EHR are examined. Major consideration is given to HIPAA and confidentiality regulatory requirements in terms of EHR management. In addition, the different methods of data capture and recording of data are reviewed, as well as a comparison of contents for an inpatient versus an outpatient EHR.

HIM 410 Health Informatics – A Systems Perspective 
This course focuses on the behind the scenes components of exchange, standards and interoperability of information in healthcare. The course will evaluate informatics-based support resources to include evidence based practice, clinical decision support and transport protocols.

HIM 435 Analyzing Healthcare Data 
This course is a synthesis of the major ideas, perspectives, and concepts gained from the study of health informatics. Students will learn about the construction and utilization of health care data sets; the use of computerized statistical packages in health care; and the role of health informatics in financial and performance improvement goals. The student will apply common performance improvement models and tools to develop data-driven organizational reports.

If this program fits your personal and professional goals, contact Ashford University at 866.711.1700 to learn more, or request additional information.