Human Performance and Fitness


If you're passionate about wellness, helping others achieve their highest potential, and approaching health and fitness with holistic confidence, then you'll want a degree from St. Ambrose in Human Performance and Fitness.

Helping elementary students discover the joys of fitness and accomplishment, helping an elite marathon runner increase athletic performance, or even owning and operating your own fitness center are just a few possibilities you can accomplish with this degree.

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


Ambrose Advantages

  • Faculty Experts
  • Real World Experience
  • Excellent Fitness Facilities

students working out

interior wellness center

Breathing test on treadmill

The Human Performance and Fitness major at St. Ambrose provides you with a deep understanding and knowledge of the benefits of physical fitness. Students can start applying the skills they learn right away by becoming personal trainers or stepping into a fitness leadership role.

See Our Human Performance and Fitness 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?

SAU courses for this program include:

  • 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 faculty members represent diverse fields of expertise and research, all who have the common goal of providing you with a well-rounded experience.

Every senior participates in a semester-long internship as an important component of education and development. The position, location, and duties you take on during this experience connects your classroom learning with real-world situations.

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.

By graduation, all SAU Kinesiology program graduates will be equipped 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.

American College of Sports Medicine: Career Center

National Strength and Conditioning Association: Job Board

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 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.

A regional leader in healthcare, wellness, and fitness, the Quad Cities is a great community in which to prepare for and 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. Local organizations from the YMCA to the Rock Island Fitness & Activity Center offer a variety of opportunities for experts in wellness and fitness.

Study Abroad

You've heard people say it before: "College will be the greatest time of your life!" With Study Abroad, you can add even more to your college years.

You can study in another country in a semester-long or short-term study abroad program (with a few offered during spring and winterim breaks). No matter the duration, these trips deepen your professional education while earning credit toward graduation.

There are also opportunities through an exchange program, an overseas internship, or volunteering. The limits for Study Abroad are only ones you set for yourself! SAU students have studied in Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, Korea, United Kingdom, Spain, Ecuador, Japan, Germany, Peru, Cyprus, Croatia, Belize, Canada, Chile, and more.

SAU students returning from their Study Abroad locations talk about their time away as life-changing – personally, emotionally, culturally, and academically.

Click here to search our Study Abroad programs, and for general information click here.

What have alumni of this program 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, PhD, Assoc. Professor and Chair
Sarah Eikleberry, PhD, Assoc. Professor and Assistant Chair
Rhiannon Seneli, PhD, Assoc. Professor, MSEP Director

Kyle Bohnert, PhD, Asst. Professor
Michael Dahlinghaus, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Chengming Hu, PhD, Asst. Professor
David Lantis, PhD, Asst. Professor
Chris Schwartz, PhD, Asst. Professor
Tyler Spencer, PhD, Asst. Professor
Erica Thomas, DHEd, Asst. Professor
Nick Voth, Lab Coordinator; MSEP Advisor and Recruiter
Jason Vorwerk, MS, Clinical Asst. Professor
Suzanne Wiese, Administrative Assistant

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Human Performance and Fitness (55-61 credits)

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

Courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Required:
BIOL 205 Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, 4 credits
+STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning for the Sciences
KIN 101 Foundations of Kinesiology, 2 credits
KIN 216 Exercise and Sport Psychology
WI-KIN 240 Nutrition Concepts
KIN 258 Principles and Methods in Personal Training, 2 credits
KIN 282 Health, Illness, and Well-Being Across the Lifespan
KIN 350 Scientific Principles of Strength and Conditioning
KIN 361 Functional and Structural Kinesiology
KIN 363 The Law in Sport, PE, Exercise Science, and Leisure
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
KIN 418 Internship in Human Performace and Fitness, may repeat at different sites

Choose one (Advanced Topics):
KIN 409 Exercise Pharmacology
KIN 410 Biomechanics
KIN 412 Sports Nutrition

Choose one:
+BIOL 101 Principles of Biology, 4 credits
BIOL 112 Humans and Disease, 4 credits
+BIOL 199 General Biology I, 4 credits

Choose one:
MGMT 310 Principles of Management
MKTG 209 Principles of Marketing
KIN 307 Planning and Management of Sport Facilities and Events

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

+satisfies General Education requirement
WI writing intensive

Click here to read course descriptions for Kinesiology

Plan to Graduate - 4 Years

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

This plan assumes the student has not taken three years of foreign language in high school. Current students should use MySAU Portal Student Planning and consult with an advisor to determine graduation requirements.

Year One

FallCreditsFallCredits
+ENGL 101 English Composition 3 +Humanities elective 3
+BIOL 101, 112, or 199 4 +PSYC 105 Introductory Psychology 3
+MATH 171 Elementary Functions 3 +COMM 129, 132, 203, 228, or 329 3
Elective 2-3 PHIL 101, 201, 207, 208, 210, or 217 3
KIN 101 Foundations of Kinesiology 2 +IL 101 Information Literacy 1
+KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1
TOTAL 14-15 credits TOTAL 14 credits

Year Two

FallCreditsSpringCredits
KIN 275 Methods in Group Fitness Leadership -or- KIN 217 Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries 2 +Humanities Elective 3
WI-KIN 240 Nutrition Concepts (must take at SAU) 3 BIOL 205 Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology 4
KIN 282 Health, Illness, and Well-Being Across the Lifespan 3 STAT 213 Applied Statistics 3
Elective 3 KIN 216 Exercise and Sport Psychology 3
+Foreign Language or Elective 3 +Foreign Language or Elective 3
TOTAL 16 credits TOTAL 16 credits

Year Three

Fall SemesterCreditsFall SemesterCredits
WI-KIN 366 Applied Exercise Physiology (must take at SAU) 4 +THEO 101, 102, 103, 107, 110, 120, 130, 132, or 160 3
KIN 258 Principles and Methods in Personal Training 3 KIN 350 Scientific Principles of Strength and Conditioning 3
KIN 361 Functional and Structural Kinesiology 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

Year Four

Fall SemesterCreditsFall SemesterCredits
KIN 392 Exercise Testing and Prescription 3 KIN 418 Internship 3
KIN 409, 410, or 412 3 KIN 406 Exercise Prescription and Program Design 3
KIN 363 The Law in Sport, PE, Exercise Science, and Leisure 3 +PHIL/THEO/Catholic Studies Elective 300-level 3
MGMT 310, MKTG 209, or KIN 307 3 Elective 3
Elective 3
TOTAL 15 TOTAL 12


+=satisfies general education requirement
WI writing intensive

Plan to Graduate – 3+3 OTD

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in three years with a degree in Human Performance and Fitness and another three years in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.

  • OTD prerequisites are bolded, a grade of "C or above is required in all prerequisites. A "C-" does not meet this requirement. All prerequisites except PSYC 215 and PHIL 310 should be complete prior to third year.
  • Order of courses taken and choice of general education electives can be varied in consultation with KIN advisor.
  • Students entering the SAU 3 + 3 OTD program after their junior year may make the following substitutions in the first year of the OTD Program (4th year undergraduate): OTD 550/551 will serve to replace KIN 392. OTD 540 will serve to replace KIN 410.
  • Meet the foreign language and writing intensive requirements as stated in the SAU University catalog.
  • Extended Exploration of Arts and Sciences include two additional courses in philosophy, theology or Catholic studies (one at 300 level) AND Option 3 Breadth of Study in the Arts and Sciences to include one additional course each of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

This plan assumes the student has not taken three years of foreign language in high school. Current students should use MySAU Portal Student Planning and consult with an advisor to determine graduation requirements.

Year One

FallCreditsSpringCredits
+ENGL 101 English Composition 3 KIN 282 Health, Illness, and Well-Being Across the Lifespan 3
+BIOL 101, 112, or 199 4 +KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1
+MATH 171 Elementary Functions 3 +COMM 129, 132, 203, 228, or 329 3
+PSYC 105 Intro to Psychology 3 +THEO/PHIL 3
KIN 101 Foundations of Kinesiology 2 +IL 101 Information Literacy 1
+Humanities elective 3 +KIN 240 3
PSYC 212 Lifespan Psychology 3
TOTAL 18 credits TOTAL 17 credits

Year Two

FallCreditsSpringCredits
STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning 3 BIOL 232 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
BIOL 230 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 KIN 258 Principles and Methods of Personal Training 3
KIN 216 Exercise and Sport Psychology 3 KIN 217/275 3
+Humanities Elective 3 KIN 363 Law in Sport, PE, and Exercise Science 3
+KIN Physical Activity 1 300-level PSYC or Social Science 3
+THEO/PHIL 3 HS 250 Medical Terminology 1
TOTAL 17 credits TOTAL 17 credits

Year Three

Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
PHIL/THEO/CathStudies Elective 3 KIN 361 Functional and Structural Kinesiology 3
KIN 307, MGMT 210, or MKTG 209 3 KIN 406 Practical Application in Program Design 3
KIN 366 Applied Exercise Physiology 4
PSYC 215 Research Methods 3 KIN 418 Internship 3
KIN 350 Strength and Conditioning 3 +PHIL 310 Biomedical Ethics 3
+Creative Arts Elective 2-3 +Creative Arts Elective 2
TOTAL 17-18 credits TOTAL 18 credits

+=satisfies general education requirement
WI writing intensive

Scholarships and Grants

First-Year

St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based upon your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2022-2023

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Please note, while St. Ambrose University has a test-optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for both admission to specific programs and/or eligibility for top academic scholarships. Scholarships and grants are renewable for four years of undergraduate study. 

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies - up to four years - as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, achieve certain GPA requirements (see below), and remain a full-time student. 

Download helpful PDFs of this information here: First-Year Iowa Resident or First-Year Out of State Resident


IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Iowa Resident On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $15,000-$21,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Iowa Resident On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Iowa Resident Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000-$16,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Iowa Resident Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Out of State On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $17,000-$23,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Out of State On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Athletic Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Out of State Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $14,000-$17,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Out of State Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1.


Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant. FAFSA deadline is July 1.
Award: $6,800

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a Expected Family Contribution (EFC) threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,345 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
To qualify, you must file a FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 15 and you must qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter. Award: $400 maximumFederal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $1,850

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


Alex Wright '19


“I was initially drawn to the Kinesiology department because of my passion for fitness and desire to be a strength and conditioning coach. My time at SAU has only enhanced my desires. I always looked forward to learning new skills that will enhance my ability to be the best that I can,” says Alex. His degree in Human Performance and Fitness took him to Bejing, where he is working as a Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Chinese National Long Track Speed Skating Team in preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Apply Visit Info

Contact


Sandra Lund

Kinesiology Department
Hayes Hall 229
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6042
LundSandraT@sau.edu

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