College of Health Professions

Interim Dean
Dr. Janelle O’Connell

The College of Health Professions was established in 2019 and includes the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and graduate programs in Athletic Training, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant studies. Training students in both didactic and clinical education in a Christian environment, students are prepared to enter the healthcare field and carry out the mission of Christ in a compassionate and loving manner. Clinical research is integrated into all programs, and the opportunity to participate in mission trips across the United States and abroad to serve others is one of the hallmarks of this college. Communication Sciences and Disorders offers bachelor’s degrees, the Athletic Training (MAT) and Physician Assistant Studies programs are master’s level, and the college includes the oldest accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in the state of Texas. All programs incorporate medical ethics into their curriculum. A strong foundation of science prerequisites can be found at the undergraduate level in the Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics where faculty also conduct active research and coordinate internship and shadowing experiences with healthcare providers in Abilene and around Texas in order to prepare students for admission into the graduate programs.

Department of Communication Science and Disorders

A major in Communication Sciences and Disorders provides an academically challenging pre-professional education in the field of speech-language-hearing pathology in an environment that encourages intellectual and spiritual growth in preparation for graduate school or for licensure as a Communication Sciences and Disorders Assistant. Support courses are provided in the fields of biology, physics, and psychology that are required for professional certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Students are encouraged to lead lives of service to individuals across the life span who have communication delays or disorders by providing clinical opportunities in a variety of assessment and treatment settings.

Master of Athletic Training

HSU offers a Master of Athletic Training degree which upon completion provides students the opportunity to become licensed and certified as an athletic trainer. Other athletic training programs may have different prerequisites; students should check with the programs they are interested in for specific information.

A 3-2 option is available for qualified HSU students, providing students the opportunity to earn both their bachelor’s and MAT degree in 5 years. Specifics about entrance requirements for the HSU MAT program and the 3-2 option can be found on the program’s website.

Hardin-Simmons University is currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), 6850 Austin Center Blvd., Suite 100, Austin, TX 78731-3101. The program is currently applying to the CAATE for a change in level of degree and is pending approval.

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Hardin-Simmons University is pleased to offer a seven-semester Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. This entry-level professional degree prepares the graduate to be eligible for licensure and entry into the profession as a physical therapist. It is not necessary for applicants to hold a master’s degree to pursue the DPT. Applications are generally accepted a year in advance by applying to PTCAS (Physical Therapy Central Application System: beginning July 1. A new class begins each fall semester. There are two options for admission to the physical therapy program at Hardin-Simmons University: the early admission option and the post baccalaureate option.

Master of Physician Assistant Studies

The Hardin-Simmons University PA Program is dedicated to academic excellence in medical education. Our mission is to develop compassionate PA leaders who are committed to lifelong learning and community service. Working together as part of a greater healthcare team, our graduates will deliver exceptional healthcare to patients in West Texas and worldwide.