Become Well-Versed in Health and Wellness

Undergraduate Study

The Department of Kinesiology offers a Bachelor of Science degree program in kinesiology and health. The undergraduate curriculum is comprised of three components: general education, required departmental courses, and the major/option courses. The intent of the general education component is to promote intellectual and personal growth and prepare students for success in the basic, advanced, and major/option components. Required courses provide an introduction to the field and fundamental principles of physical activity, fitness, health, and disease.

B.S. Degree in Kinesiology and Health

The kinesiology and health major includes five specialization options. Options comprise a focused area of study within kinesiology and health. Coursework within each specialization option builds upon personal and scholarly learning by enabling students to master content and skills specific to career applications. Options available are:

  1. Community and public health
  2. Exercise science
  3. Physical activity and health promotion
  4. Physical education teacher education
  5. Pre-health professions

Academic Options Within the Kinesiology and Health Major

Students in the community and public health option are prepared for professional employment at local, state or national health agencies, medical centers, and other public or private organizations that seek to promote health in the population.

Students in the exercise science option are prepared for professional roles as health and fitness leaders or program managers. Employment opportunities include work in corporate fitness programs, health/fitness facilities, clinics, or hospitals. Graduates are able to plan, implement and supervise exercise programs which will improve fitness and health. Graduates also have a basic understanding of management issues related to business applications in the health and fitness field.

Students in the physical activity and health promotion option are prepared for careers focused on health and physical activity. This option provides more emphasis on behavioral and psychological aspects of physical activity. Students are prepared for careers in community based settings, including work sites, schools, hospitals, and other community agencies.

Students in the physical education/teacher education option are prepared to teach physical education in grades K-12 and to meet the State of Iowa learning outcomes for teachers. Graduates can plan developmentally appropriate physical education, and individualize instruction and assessment for diverse audiences.

Students in the pre-health professions option utilize an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human movement. In so doing, they become prepared for advanced study leading to careers in medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant or other healthcare professions.

Learning Outcomes for the Undergraduate Degree

Despite the diversity of options, the learning outcomes comprise a common framework for each student as they progress through Iowa State University.

The learning outcomes emphasized in academic coursework in the Department of Kinesiology are:

Uses clear and effective written, oral, visual, and electronic (WOVE) communication techniques to foster inquiry, collaboration, and engagement in physical activity and health related settings.

Analyzes and evaluates one’s own knowledge, abilities and actions relative to professional standards, seeks opportunities to grow professionally, and utilizes self-assessment and assessment of others to foster physical, cognitive, social, and emotional well-being.

Understands fundamental concepts of physical activity and health, conducts scientific inquiry, and applies critical thinking to solve problems from personal, scholarly, and professional perspectives.

Demonstrates leadership and social responsibility to improve quality of life for others and ensures equitable access for diverse groups by creating appropriate environments to initiate and maintain a physically active, healthy lifestyle.

Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees:

Incoming students in the pre-athletic training program follow an undergraduate curriculum in the Department of Kinesiology; during their junior year, they apply for graduate admission into the M.A.T.R. program. The program is designed so you can earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years and be academically and be clinically prepared to pass the Board of Certification examination upon completion of the program to seek employment in a variety of settings. Learn more about the M.A.T.R.

A combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science (B.S./M.S.) degree in diet and exercise is available. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FS HN), and the Department of Kinesiology. Students interested in this program must enroll as freshmen in the pre-diet and exercise program. In the fall of the junior year, students will apply for admission to the B.S./M.S. program. Students not accepted into the program will continue toward completion of a B.S. degree in dietetics or kinesiology and health. Coursework has been designed to facilitate a 4-year graduation date for those students not accepted into the program and electing to complete a single undergraduate degree. Students accepted into the program will progress toward completion of B.S./M.S. degrees in diet and exercise. Learn more about the diet and exercise program.

The State Department of Education has provided for the endorsement of licensed teachers for the coaching of athletic teams in schools. The endorsement does not lead to licensure to teach physical education. For requirements of the program, leading to the coaching endorsement, see School of Education, teacher education. Learn more about the coaching endorsements.

Those interested in teaching health education in the public schools may get a primary licensure or an additional endorsement. The State Department of Education has approved the Health Teaching Licensure for grades 5-12.

The department offers a wide selection of beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses in the areas of aquatics, dance, fitness, martial arts, and sports. These courses are designed to serve general education purposes for all students.

Coursework in dance provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding and appreciation of dance as part of a liberal education. Those interested in teaching dance and physical education in the public schools may major in kinesiology and health (physical education teacher education) and minor in dance.

An interdisciplinary performing arts major with a dance emphasis is available through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For further information see Index: Performing arts to find performing arts major, emphasis in dance.