Health and Fitness Education

When you major in Health and Fitness Education at SPU, you build a strong foundation in the application and pedagogy of human movement science. You are prepared for leadership positions in a variety of fields in which you can promote healthy lifestyles for people of all ages. Whether you plan to become a teacher, a coach, or another type of health care or fitness professional, a Health and Fitness Education degree from SPU gives you the skills and knowledge base you need.

Students in an exercise science lab

As an SPU Health and Fitness Education major, you will benefit from outstanding faculty members who have years of experience working in the exercise industry. They have experience in academic settings and with recreational and elite populations. They have also been coaches and trainers for individual athletes and teams.

In this major, which emphasizes information delivery and includes instructional methods, your courses include “Human Anatomy and Physiology,” “Motor Learning and Development,” “Biomechanics,” “Sport Injury Management,” and “Exercise Physiology,” in addition to classes in teaching methods. Whether you plan to enter the workforce after graduation or attend graduate school, a Health and Fitness Education major provides you with a solid foundation.


Whether you plan to teach in a school, coach on a sports field, or serve in another movement-related profession, the Health and Fitness Education major gives you the knowledge base and experience necessary to educate various age groups about fitness and health. In this major, you will:

  • Move through a sequential, comprehensive curriculum that prepares you to enter a variety of movement-related careers, including health and fitness teacher, corporate wellness director, and outdoor education specialist.
  • Learn from practical, hands-on experiences in areas such as research, physical-fitness testing, exercise prescription and leadership, and methods of teaching movement skills.
  • Access state-of-the-art equipment in the HHP Lab, which includes assessment of maximal oxygen uptake, in-vivo muscle mechanics, motor skills, isokinetic dynamometry, and functional movement screening, all of which will be used with future clients, patients, and students.
  • Discover how to promote healthy lifestyles through good decision making, improved fitness, and movement skills that last for a lifetime.
  • Experience project-based learning in classrooms and labs with an excellent faculty-student ratio.
  • Intern with professionals in your field of interest, gaining valuable real-world experience with a local organization such as a school, corporate wellness facility, or local sports organization.
  • Fulfill the requirements of your senior colloquium and capstone by completing an original research project and paper, and presenting it during the annual Health and Human Performance Colloquium.

Apply online »

Career opportunities

After graduation, you will be equipped to enter a variety of careers.

Possible roles in education

  • K–12 health and fitness teacher
  • Health and wellness educator
  • Athletics coach

Other possible roles

  • Community recreational director
  • Fitness center trainer
  • Wellness coach

Major courses and degree requirements

As a Health and Fitness Education major, you will be required to take a minimum of 72 credits, including at least 35 upper-division credits.

Review the Health and Fitness Education major courses and requirements.

For future teachers

If you intend to earn your Residency Teacher Certification and teach elementary and secondary health and fitness classes, you can choose from two paths to teacher certification within the Health and Human Performance Department — Health and Fitness P–12 Certification and Integrated Studies.

Residency Teacher Certification program

Find more information about SPU’s Residency Teacher Certification program.

Integrated Studies major with a concentration in Health and Fitness

If you intend to earn your Residency Teacher Certification and teach elementary health and fitness classes, you must major in Integrated Studies with a concentration in Health and Fitness.

Requirements for Integrated Studies: Health and Fitness concentration

Dale Cannavan

Why I Teach at SPU

Dale Cannavan, Professor of Exercise Science

“I am fortunate to be involved in a profession that I love. This love for exercise science excites me, and being able to teach SPU students the things I know and love is hugely rewarding. If I can pass on a little of my excitement and enthusiasm for exercise science and life to my students, my role as an educator will be successful.”

Royal Brougham Pavilion

Consider a Minor in Health and Human Performance

See how a minor in Exercise Science, Health and Fitness Education, or Coaching Science can enhance your current major.