School of Professional Studies

Health Promotion & Exercise Sciences

Health Promotion Studies

Program Description

Our competency‐based curriculum prepares students for careers in education, community outreach, clinical settings, worksite health promotion, public health, health and wellness coaching, and sports and fitness. Students are well‐prepared for graduate studies in Public Health, Nutrition, Physical, Occupational and Recreational Therapy, Naturopathy, Chiropractic, Exercise Physiology, and more. Service learning is intertwined in the program’s unique experiential learning component. The core of our competency‐based program consists of five courses that provide group process experience to allow students to work together to plan, develop, market, implement and evaluate a health promotion program. Our students choose content courses to expand their knowledge base, identify career choices and enhance their understanding of diversity. These courses prepare students for their capstone experience ‐ a 450 hour internship which takes the experiential learning to the next level. Internship planning begins in the second year and allows for selective placement. Students apply and interview for competitive positions in local, state‐wide, national, or international organizations. These experiences allow the students to showcase what they have learned and continue the learning process as they create innovative programs applying what they’ve learned in the real world.

HPS Program Mission

The mission of the Health Promotion Studies program is to develop career professionals who are revolutionary leaders empowered to impact health promotion using an experiential, holistic and multi-disciplinary approach.

Program Goals

  1. Prepare students with the proficiencies to become life‐long learners, and provide the skills needed to contribute to a healthy lifestyle and improved quality of life for themselves and the people they educate.
  2. Provide a comprehensive and multidisciplinary academic curriculum that prepares its graduates for careers in a variety of health education and promotion fields.
  3. Prepare students to meet the standards set by state and national credentialing organizations for careers in health promotion and education.
  4. Provide a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach to health promotion and education.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the B.S. Health Promotion Studies program will be prepared to demonstrate the following outcomes:

  1. Use leadership, management, and collaborative skills as a member of a team to apply the health promotion program planning process to design, implement, and evaluate health promotion interventions. Specifically, students will demonstrate the ability to:
    1. Identify and assess health needs, resources and capacity for a health promotion intervention
    2. Examine secondary data to verify the relationship between behaviors and health issues and to prioritize the intervention focus
    3. Use health behavior theories and models to plan a health promotion intervention addressing prioritized needs
    4. Apply a variety of evidence-based strategies to design a health promotion intervention including marketing and instructional materials
    5. Integrate content knowledge into health promotion intervention program materials and lesson plans
    6. Apply ethical principles and scientific inquiry processes to create an Institutional Review Board Protocol and conduct a pre-post assessment of a health promotion intervention
    7. Market, implement, administer and manage a health promotion intervention
    8. Develop and implement a comprehensive evaluation plan using sound research principles
    9. Create a final report documenting the health promotion program planning and evaluation process
  2. Serve as a health promotion resource person by effectively communicating, promoting, or advocating for health, health promotion and the profession in oral and written forms through a variety of sources and channels.
  3. Demonstrate cultural competence when working with diverse populations.
  4. Synthesize knowledge and experience from HPX courses, the arts, sciences, and humanities into a field-based independent project.
  5. Articulate a plan for achieving a career of their choice in health promotion.


Completion of all general education requirements, the Health Promotion Studies core and option course work, and free electives, a total minimum of 120 semester hours. Overall minimum GPA of 2.5, grade requirements in HPX major classes (outlined in HPS Program Sheets). See the degree program sheets for the course requirements and sequencing.

Health Promotion Studies Core Course Work

BIO 105 Anatomy & Physiology I
BIO 106 Anatomy & Physiology II
PSY 260 Health Psychology
HPX 100 Health Promotion & Maintenance
HPX 200 Intro. to Community Health & Organizations
HPX 270 Health Ed. Theory & Application
HPX 370 Health Promotion Program Design & Implementation
HPX 371 Health Communication Methods & Strategies
HPX 470 Health Promotion Program Evaluation
HPX 490 Practicum for Health Promotion Studies*
HPX 491 Health Promotion Studies Senior Seminar*

Community Health Option Course Work
HPX 202 Epidemiology of Disease
HPX 353 Environment & Global Health
Nine HPX Elective Credits

Wellness Management Option Course Work
HPX 205 Nutrition & Health
HPX 207 Nutrition & Health Lab.
HPX 254 Fitness Seminar & Lab.
HPX 255 Group Fitness Instruction
HPX 281 Principles of Wellness
HPX 380 Worksite Health

Holistic & Integrative Health Option Course Work
HPX 240 Introduction to Principles of Holistic and Integrative Health
HPX 241 Mind/Body Interventions for Health
HPX 242 Cross-Cultural and Traditional Healing Methods
HPX 343 Food, Herbs, Supplements and Other Products
Three HPX Elective Credits

Allied Health Professions Option Course Work
HPX 202 Epidemiology of Disease
BIO 103 General Biology 1
CHEM 111 General Chemistry 2
PHY 120 General Physics 1

Community Health Program Sheet

Wellness Management Program Sheet

Holistic and Integrative Health

Allied Health Professions

HPS Service Learning

In the fall of 2008 the BS in Health Promotion Studies curriculum was revised.  A major part of this revision included the service learning component.  Service learning is integrated in the following courses, which must be taken in sequence:

  1. HPX 200 (3) Introduction to Community Health and Organizations                 (2nd year fall)
  2. HPX 270 (3) Health Education Theory and Application                                          (2nd year spring)
  3. HPX 370 (3) Health Promotion Program Design and Implementation            (3rd year fall)
  4. HPX 371 (3) Health Communication Methods and Strategies                            (3rd year fall)
  5. HPX 470 (3) Health Promotion Program Evaluation                                                (3rd year spring)

The courses, described in Table 1 of the BS Health Promotion Studies Sequence Courses document, focus on the process of health promotion.  There are other courses in the HPS curriculum which provide content information.

In HPX 200, students are placed into groups and are assigned a project for the next four semesters.  This will allow the students to learn team building as they apply the processes learned in each course. The content varies each year. Table 2 of the BS Health Promotion Studies Sequence Courses describes the expectations of the student group, organization, and HPX faculty members throughout the 2-year course sequence.

The goal of the service learning component is to provide the students with an opportunity to create a program from start to finish and to experience a real-life application of the material they learn in the classroom.  At the same time, a need of the local community is being met by creating a program that can be adopted by the organization in which it was established or by other local organizations.  The data that are collected throughout the process could be used to support funding requests or grant applications.

HPS Internship

In their senior year, our students are required to complete a full-time (450 hour) internship as a capstone experience. The student will be placed in a community or corporate organization where they will gain firsthand knowledge of what it means to be an entry level professional.

Each student is required to work with the department’s internship coordinator to find an appropriate placement. The majority of the internships are unpaid, and the students are responsible for their own transportation. We are exceptionally proud of our internship program as many of our students are offered jobs at their internship sites. We feel strongly that our internship program plays an integral part in preparing our students for graduate school and entry-level positions in the field.

HPS Internship FAQ’s

HPS Internship Opportunities- Examples of Current Internship Placements

Professional Certifications

Students in Health Promotion Studies often seek professional certifications in preparation for their internships and for entering the job market.  Examples of certifications that our students obtain are the Certified Health Education Specialist certification and various fitness, personal training, and group fitness instruction certifications.  Links to the most popular professional certifications among HPS students can be found below:

  1. Certified Health Education Specialist
  2. American College of Sports Medicine Fitness Certification
  3. Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Fitness Certification
  4. American Council on Exercise Fitness Certification
  5. National Academy of Sports Medicine Fitness Certification