Health Sciences - Fitness Wellness, Bachelor of Science

Department of Health Sciences

College of Health and Human Services

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.

  • 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 diversity, liberal studies, 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.

Students 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 Not Available
Student Learning Outcomes

Fitness and Wellness

Outcomes align with Standards from the American College of Sports Medicine

Domain I:  Health and Fitness Assessment

  • Implement assessment protocols and pre-participation health screening procedures to maximize participant safety and minimize risk.
  • Determine participant’s readiness to take part in a health-related physical fitness assessment and exercise program. 
  • Select and prepare physical fitness assessments for healthy participants and those with controlled disease.
  • Conduct and interpret cardiorespiratory fitness assessments.
  • Conduct assessments of muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility.
  • Conduct anthropometric and body composition assessments. 
Domain II: Exercise Prescription and Implementation
  • Review pre-participation health screening including self-guided health questionnaires and appraisals, exercise history and fitness assessments
  • Determine safe and effective exercise programs to achieve desired outcomes and goals.
  • Implement cardiorespiratory exercise prescriptions using the FITT principle (frequency, intensity, time, and type) for apparently healthy participants based on current health status, fitness goals and availability of time.
  • Implement exercise prescriptions using the FITT principle (frequency, intensity, time, and type) for flexibility, muscular strength, and muscular endurance for apparently healthy participants based on current health status, fitness goals and availability of time.
  • Establish exercise progression guidelines for resistance, aerobic and flexibility activity to achieve the goals of apparently healthy participants.
  • Implement a weight management program as indicated by personal goals that are supported by pre-participation health screening, health history, and body composition/anthropometrics.
  • Prescribe and implement exercise programs for participants with controlled cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic diseases and other clinical populations.
  • Prescribe and implement exercise programs for healthy special populations (i.e., older adults, youth, pregnant women).
  • Modify exercise prescriptions based on environmental conditions. 
Domain III:  Exercise Counseling and Behavioral Strategies
  • Optimize adoption and adherence to exercise programs and other healthy behaviors by applying effective communication techniques.
  • Optimize adoption of and adherence to exercise programs and other healthy behaviors by applying effective behavioral and motivational strategies.
  • Provide educational resources to support clients in the adoption and maintenance of healthy lifestyle behaviors.
  • Provide support within the scope of practice of a Health Fitness Specialist and refer to other health professionals as indicated. 
Domain IV: Legal/Professional 
  • Create and disseminate risk management guidelines for a health/fitness facility, department or organization to reduce member, employee and business risk. 
  • Create an effective injury prevention program and ensure that emergency policies and procedures are in place. 
Domain V: Management
  • Manage human resources in accordance with leadership, organization, and management techniques.
  • Manage fiscal resources in accordance with leadership, organization, and management techniques.
  • Establish policies and procedures for the management of health fitness facilities based on accepted safety and legal guidelines, standards and regulations.
  • Develop and execute a marketing plan to promote programs, services and facilities.
  • Use effective communication techniques to develop professional relationships with other allied health professionals (e.g., nutritionists, physical therapists, physicians, nurses).
Additional information from the Committee for the Accreditation of the Exercise Sciences

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 take a nationally accredited certification; ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C). (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 of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

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