Human Performance and Fitness

Maybe you want to work with elementary students, helping them discover the joys of fitness and accomplishment. Or, help an elite marathon runner increase athletic performance. Or, perhaps you want to own and operate a fitness center, guiding your community of members to a healthier life. St. Ambrose has a program to help you be successful in any, or all, of your goals.

Our graduates work at Quad Cities Acceleration, Feldman Performance, Unity Point Health, and Pleasant Valley High School.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Faculty Experts
  • Real World Experience
  • Excellent Fitness Facilities

students working out

professor and student on treadmill

Breathing test on treadmill

The human performance and fitness major at St. Ambrose provides you with a solid understanding and knowledge of the benefits of physical fitness, and you get to apply your skills now, not later. Be a personal trainer or step into a fitness leadership role while you're still a student. That's how we prepare you to be a professional.

See Our Human Performance and Ftiness Program Fact Sheet (pdf)

Learn in our New Fitness Labs

SAUtv Report

SAU students share how the new Wellness and Recreation Center already has enhanced their St. Ambrose experience.

Click here to see what's inside

More Information on the Human Performance and Fitness Program

What Will I learn?

Courses cover the gamut (because we want to cover all the bases!):

  • marketing, planning, and management of sport facilities,
  • group fitness leadership,
  • prevention and care of athletic injuries,
  • personal training methods,
  • exercise and sport psychology,
  • strength and conditioning,
  • exercise testing,
  • and law in sport, PE, exercise science, and leisure.

Our Kinesiology professors represent diverse fields of expertise and research and focus on giving you a well-rounded education. Students must be willing to engage in their learning and take advantage of many service and participation opportunities.

Seniors participate in a semester-long internship as an important component of your education and development. The position, location, and duties you take on during this experience will allow you to connect your classroom learning with real-world situations. Don't worry: your professors will follow your progress during the internship, and as always, will be a resource you can call on if needed. You will also complete a project during the internship, and at the end of the semester you will present it to a panel of industry professionals and educators.
All SAU Kinesiology program graduates are expected to be knowledgeable and adaptable and able to:

  • compete successfully in graduate programs
  • teach and lead competently in school, business, and community-based programs
  • seek and obtain appropriate certification
  • perform competitively in the work environment
  • exemplify the values and ethics of the allied professions
What are some potential career outcomes?

Common career tracks for human performance and fitness majors include personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, employee fitness director, group exercise instructor, recreation program director, and health and fitness club manager.

There is a growing focus on fitness and recreation by individuals, and more employers and insurance companies are encouraging physical activity and prevention. This gives you so many additional career opportunities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016) placed the median pay for athletic trainers at $45,630 and predicts 21% growth in the number of jobs through 2024. It also placed the median pay for recreational therapists at $46,410 and predicts 7% growth in the number of jobs through through 2024.

Where will I learn?

As a Human Performance and Fitness major, you get the amazing opportunity to take classes, and apply what you learn, in our new state-of-the-art Wellness and Recreation Center. This massive, 80,000 square-foot building just opened in September 2017 and holds exercise physiology and biomechanics laboratories, classrooms, research-quality equipment, and a group exercise room. The building was specifically designed and equipped to give you a top-quality education and personal fitness opportunities.

The Quad Cities is a noted a leader in healthcare, wellness and fitness, making it a great community to prepare for, or even start, your career. The SAU College of Health and Human Services has deep, established relationships with major hospitals and healthcare providers, all who need highly trained health specialists. St. Ambrose students have a wide range of internship and clinical placement options without leaving the area. Organizations from the YMCA to the Rock Island Fitness & Activity Center offer a variety of opportunities for experts in wellness and fitness.

What have alumni of this pogram done?
  • Dusty Feldman '08 owns Feldman Performance Gym in West Liberty, Iowa; is a strength and conditioning coach at West Liberty High School; and a personal trainer director for the North Dodge Athletic Club in Iowa City.
  • Kaitlyn Kielsmeier '13 continued her education and earned a Master of Kinesiology from Bowling Green State University, where she also worked as a research assistant and a teaching assistant in sport conditioning. Today she is a Health and Wellness Coordinator at Oregon Park District in Oregon, Ill.
  • Zachary Hild '16 is a Trainer at Quad Cities Acceleration.
Kinesiology Faculty and Staff

Sandy Lund, Assoc. Professor and Chair
Sarah Eikleberry, Asst. Professor and Assistant Chair

Darla Baumgarten, Assoc. Professor
Michelle Bibens, Instructor
Michael Dahlinghaus, Asst. Professor
David Lantis, Asst. Professor
Bo Li, Asst. Professor
Liz Sattler, Asst. Professor
Rhiannon Seneli, Asst. Professor
Erica Thomas, Asst. Clinical Professor
Jason Vorwerk, Clinical Asst. Professor
Suzanne Wiese, Administrative Assistant

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Human Performance and Fitness (57-59 credits)

Grade of C or better required for BIOL 205 and all KIN courses 200-level or above required for this major.

Choose one:
+BIOL 101 Principles of Biology (4 credits)
+BIOL 199 General Biology I (4 credits)
BIOL 112 Humans and Disease (4 credits)Choose one:
MGMT WI-310 Principles of Management (3 credits)
MKTG 209 Principles of Marketing (3 credits)
KIN 307 Planning and Management of Sport Facilities and Events (3 credits)

Choose one:
KIN 275 Methods in Group Fitness Leadership (2 credits)
KIN 217 Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries (2 credits)

BIOL 205 Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology (4 credits)
+STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning for the Sciences (3 credits)
KIN 101 Foundations of Kinesiology (2 credits)
KIN 216 Exercise and Sport Psychology (2 credits)
KIN 258 Principles and Methods in Personal Training (2 credits)
KIN 282 Exercise and Aging (3 credits)
KIN 340 Nutrition Concepts (3 credits)
KIN 350 Scientific Principles of Strength and Conditioning (3 credits)
KIN 361 Functional and Structural Kinesiology (3 credits)
KIN 363 The Law in Sport, PE, Exercise Science, and Leisure (3 credits)
KIN 366 Applied Exercise Physiology (4 credits)
KIN 392 Exercise Testing for Healthy and Special Populations (2 credits)
KIN 406 Practical Application in Program Design (3 credits)
KIN 418 Internship in Human Performace and Fitness (6-8 credits)

Choose three credit hours from the following three Advanced Topics:

KIN 409 Exercise Pharmacology (3 credits)
KIN 410 Biomechanics (3 credits)
KIN 412 Sports Nutrition (3 credits)+satisfies General Education requirement

Click here to read course descriptions for Kinesiology

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested course of study to graduate in four years with a major in Human Performance and Fitness.

First Year

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
+ENGL 101 3 +Humanities elective 3
+BIOL 101, 199 OR 112 4 +PSYC 105 3
+MATH 171 3 +COMM 129, 132, 203, 228, or 329 3
Elective 2-3 PHIL 101, 201, 207, 210, 217 3
KIN 101 2 IL 101 3
+KIN 149 1
TOTAL 14-15 credits TOTAL 14 credits

Sophomore Year

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
KIN 275 OR 217 3 +Humanities Elective 3
BIOL 205 3 KIN 340 (must take at SAU) 3
KIN 282 3 STAT 213 3
Elective 3 KIN 216 3
+Foreign Language or Elective 3 +Foreign Language or Elective 3
+Elective 3
TOTAL 15 credits TOTAL 18 credits

Junior Year

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
KIN 366 (must take at SAU) 4 +THEO 101, 102, 103, 107, 110, 120, 130, 132, or 160 3
KIN 258 3 KIN 350 3
KIN 361 3 Elective 3
PHIL/THEO/Catholic Studies Elective 3 +Humanities Elective 3
Elective 3 +Creative Arts elective 2-3
+KIN Physical Activity Course 1
TOTAL 16 credits TOTAL 15-16 credits

Senior Year

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
KIN 392 3 KIN 418 Internship 6-8
KIN 409, 410 OR 412 3 KIN 406 3
KIN 363 3 +PHIL/THEO/Catholic Studies Elective 3
MGMT 310, MKTG 209, OR KIN 307 3
Elective 3
TOTAL 15 TOTAL 12-14             

+=satisfies general education requirement

Apply Visit Info


Sandra Lund

Kinesiology Department
Hayes Hall 226
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
Fax 563-333-6488

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 27 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!