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Health & Fitness Promotion - Program Description

The fitness industry continues to grow as the benefits of good health and exercise become more evident in our society. Fitness is no longer reserved for the elite athlete, but is important for all of society as a means of disease prevention and longevity. Students who complete the bachelor program in Health and Fitness Promotion may pursue employment in settings that promote health and wellness including fitness centers, corporate fitness facilities, as personal trainers, as strength and conditioning coaches with athletic teams, community health, and health organizations.

The Health and Fitness degree program will prepare students for certification exams with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), or the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), to name but a few. The program is also designed to allow physical therapist assistants (PTA’s) to “bridge the gap” between the associates PTA degree and the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree. Students who complete this degree would be eligible to apply for admission to Doctor of Physical Therapy programs, Master’s of Occupational Therapy programs, Master’s of Athletic Training programs, or other Master’s degree programs in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, or Human Performance. Another possibility is pursuing the Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies, but this will take additional science and math coursework that is not included in the program.

Once enrolled in the program, students have three tracks to choose from to best meet their career goals: science, business, or physical therapy assistant.

Science Track

The science track is recommended for students who plan on pursuing graduate level studies in physical therapy, occupational therapy, or physician’s assistant. If a student is interested in physician’s assistant, they may also be required to take additional science and math course work that may not be included in this program, such as organic chemistry, microbiology, and calculus. This is best discussed with the student’s advisor.

» Recommended Science Track Program

Business Track

The business track is recommended for students who are interested in handling the day-to-day business operations of a fitness facility in addition to their personal trainer or strength and conditioning duties. These students are more interested in helping run a facility or perhaps owning their own business or facility. The business track will provide students with fundamental courses in business and management which should serve to prepare them for business ownership or positions of management in the field.

» Recommended Business Track Program

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Track

The physical therapy assistant track is recommended for students who have already obtained a two-year PTA degree and wish to complement their physical therapist assistant training with further knowledge in exercise and fitness, or who wish to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree after obtaining their bachelor’s in Health and Fitness Promotion.

» Recommended PTA Track Program

All tracks provide students with a core foundation in health promotion and fitness. Students will be able to choose from specialized electives with an emphasis on exercise and sports. Students also have the opportunity to pursue an internship in an area of their interest. Opportunities exist for public/community health, personal training, health/fitness instructing, and strength and conditioning.


Semester I Credits

Program Elective 3
BIOL 217 Anatomy & Physiology (GER 2) 4
ENGL 101 Composition and the Spoken Word (GER 10) 3
PSYC 101 Intro to Psychology 3
  General Elective (GER 4, 5, 6, 7, 9) 3

Semester II Credits

Program Elective 3
BIOL 218 Anatomy & Physiology II 4
  GER Math 4
  General Elective (GER 4, 5, 6, 7, 9) 3
  General Elective (GER 4, 5, 6, 7, 9) 3

Semester III Credits

Program Elective 3
PSYC 225 Human Development 3
ACCT 101PHYS 121 Foundations of Financial Accounting OR
College Physics I & Lab
  General Elective (GER 1-9) 3
  General Elective (GER 1-9) 3

Semester IV Credits

Current Issues in Health and Fitness* 3
HEFI 203
PHTA 103
Motor Development OR
Neuromuscular Pathologies
PHTA 102 Kinesiology 3
BSAD 201
PHYS 122
Business Law I OR
College Physics II & Lab
  General Elective (GER 1-9) (must be U/L if needed) 3

Semester V Credits

HEFI 404 Legal Aspects and Documentation in Health & Fitness Professions 3
BSAD 301
CHEM 150
Principles of Management OR
College Chemistry I
MATH 141 Statistics 3
  General Elective 3
  General Elective (must be U/L if needed) 3

Semester VI Credits

CHEM 155
SPMT 306
College Chemistry II OR
Sports Operations & Facilities Management
HEFI 303 Exercise Physiology 3
HEFI 375 Fitness and Sports Nutrition 3
HEFI 405 Current Issues in Health & Fitness* 3
  General Elective (must be U/L if needed) 3

Semester VII Credits

HEFI 401 Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription 4
HEFI 406 Orientation to Culminating Experience 1
HLTH 330 Grant Writing Strategies 2
  U/L Program Elective 3
  U/L Program Elective 3

Semester VIII Credits

HEFI 407 Health Fitness Internship AND/OR
U/L Program Electives

* Fulfills writing intensive requirement

U/L = Upper Level Courses (300/400)
GER = General Education Requirement

Program Electives: HEFI 310 Advanced Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries, HEFI 320 Psychology of Health and Fitness, HEFI 370/SSCI 370 Research Methods in the Social Sciences, HEFI 402 Strength and Conditioning, HEFI 403 Community Wellness, HLTH 303 Occupational Health & Safety, HEFI 408 Exercise Prescription for Special Populations.

NOTE: Health & Fitness Promotion students must take seven out of ten General Education Requirements including one and ten, 30 total General Education credits, 45 upper level credits, and successfully complete the SUNY Canton Computer Competency requirement.

Review the Index of Course Descriptions

Janet Parcell-Mitchell, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS
Associate Professor
Wicks Hall 211E