College of Health and Human Services2014-2015

Department of Health Sciences

Health Sciences - Fitness Wellness, Bachelor of Science

This degree is perfect for those individuals who would like to be involved in designing and facilitating fitness programs in a variety of recreational, nonprofit, corporate, and health club settings. At the end of the degree program, students will be prepared to select and sit for a nationally recognized certification for personal training or health and wellness coaching.


What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Fitness Wellness?

It is no wonder that the need for fitness and wellness professionals is growing, as a healthy lifestyle improves the quality and length of your life. If you are interested in helping others stay fit and healthy, you should consider the Fitness Wellness BS.

You will emerge fully prepared for a career in personal training or designing and facilitating fitness programs in a variety of recreational, nonprofit, corporate, and health club settings. In addition to the degree, you will pass a nationally recognized certification for personal training or health and wellness coaching. The flexible hybrid design of this major integrates face-to-face and online classes, allowing you flexibility in your schedule.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Fitness
  • Personal training
  • Health and wellness coaching

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Exercise instructor
  • High school teacher
  • Lifestyle coach
  • Wellness coach

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • 62 units of major requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA 2.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
University Honors Program Optional
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan
Student Learning Outcomes

Fitness Wellness
Outcomes align with Standards from the American College of Sports Medicine

  • Domain I: Initial Client Consultation and Assessment
    • Provide instructions and initial documents to the client in order to proceed to the interview.
    • Interview client in order to gather and provide pertinent information to proceed to the fitness testing and program design.    
    • Review & analyze client data (classify risk) to formulate a plan of action and/or conduct physical assessments.
    • Evaluate behavioral readiness to optimize exercise adherence.
    • Assess physical fitness, including cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and anthropometric measures in order to set goals and establish a baseline for program development.
    • Develop a comprehensive (i.e., fitness, goals, behavior) reassessment plan/timeline.
  • Domain II: Exercise Programming and Implementation
    • Review assessment results, medical history and goals to determine appropriate training program.
    • Select exercise modalities to achieve desired adaptations based on goals, medical history and assessment results.
    • Determine initial frequency, intensity and duration of exercise based on goals, medical history and assessment results.
    • Review proposed program with client; demonstrate and instruct the client to perform exercises safely and effectively.
    • Monitor client technique and response to exercise, modifying as necessary.
    • Modify frequency, intensity and duration to improve or maintain the client’s fitness level.
    • Seek client feedback to ensure satisfaction and enjoyment of the program.
  • Domain III:  Leadership & Education Implementation
    • Create a positive exercise experience in order to optimize participant adherence by applying effective communication techniques, motivation techniques and behavioral strategies.
    • Educate clients using scientifically sound health and fitness information and resources to enhance client’s knowledge base, program enjoyment, adherence and overall awareness of health and fitness related information.
  • Domain IV: Legal, Professional, Business and Marketing
    • Obtain medical clearance, for all clients who require it prior to exercise, based upon ACSM's model for classification of risk.
    • Collaborate with various healthcare professionals and organizations in order to provide clients with a network of providers that minimizes liability and maximizes program effectiveness.
    • Develop a comprehensive risk management program (including emergency action plan and injury prevention program) to enhance the standard of care and reflect a client-focused mission.
    • Participate in approved continuing education programs on a regular basis to maximize effectiveness, increase professionalism and enhance knowledge and skills in the field of health and fitness.
    • Adhere to ACSM’s Code of Ethics by practicing in a professional manner within the Scope of Practice of a Certified Personal Trainer.
    • Develop a business plan to establish mission, business, budgetary and sales objectives.
    • Develop marketing materials and engage in networking/business exchanges to build client base, promote services and increase resources.
    • Obtain appropriate personal training and liability insurance and follow industry-accepted professional, ethical and business standards in order to optimize safety and to reduce liability.
    • Engage in healthy lifestyle practices in order to be a positive role-model for all clients.
    • Respect copyrights to protect original and creative work, media, etc. by legally securing copyright material and other intellectual property based on national and international copyright laws.
    • Safeguard client confidentiality and privacy rights unless formally waived or in emergency situations.
  • Domain V: Global Learning
    • Provide culturally appropriate health coaching and personal training environments for clients to have the best opportunity to adopt and maintain positive health behaviors.
    • Provide age, gender and non-biased appropriate health coaching and personal training environments for clients to have the best opportunity to adopt and maintain positive health behaviors.


Major Requirements
      • Three 1 unit PES credits which must include the following:

        • Group Fitness (Mind/Body)
        • Weight Training
        • Group Fitness (e.g., aerobic dance)

  • *HS 408C satisfies NAU's senior capstone requirement. Students must sign-up, pay-for, and pass, a program-approved, nationally-accredited personal fitness, or well coaching certification exam. The fees for particular exams vary and is at the expense of the student. See department for list of approved certifications. (Please Note: a department approved CPR/First Aid course is required prior to taking this course. The student must locate, take and obtain verification of current certification to be cleared for internship/fieldwork.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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