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 – without paying extra tuition – 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, Asst. Professor and Assistant Chair
Rhiannon Seneli, PhD, Asst. Professor, MSEP Director

Darla Baumgarten, EdD, Assoc. Professor
Kyle Bohnert, MS, Asst. Professor
Michael Dahlinghaus, PhD, Asst. Professor
David Lantis, PhD, Asst. Professor
Chris Schwartz, PhD, Asst. Professor
Erica Thomas, MBS, 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 (57-59 credits)

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

Required:
BIOL 205 Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology -or- BIOL 230/232 (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 (3 credits)
KIN 240 Nutrition Concepts (3 credits)
KIN 258 Principles and Methods in Personal Training (2 credits)
KIN 282 Exercise and Aging (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)

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 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)

+satisfies General Education requirement

Click here to read course descriptions for Kinesiology

Plan to Graduate

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 Composition 3 +Humanities elective 3
+BIOL 101, 199 OR 112 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, 210, 217 3
KIN 101 Foundations of Kinesiology 2 IL 101 Information Literacy 3
+KIN 149 Activity 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 3 +Humanities Elective 3
BIOL 205 or BIOL 230/232 4 KIN 340 (must take at SAU) Nutrition Concepts 3
KIN 282 Exercise and Aging 3 STAT 213 3
Elective 3 KIN 216 Exercise and Sport Physiology 3
+Foreign Language or Elective 3 +Foreign Language or Elective 3
+Elective 3
TOTAL 16 credits TOTAL 18 credits

Year Three

Fall SemesterCreditsFall SemesterCredits
KIN 366 (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 6-8
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 3
MGMT 310, MKTG 209, OR KIN 307 3
Elective 3
TOTAL 15 TOTAL 12-14


+=satisfies general education requirement

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Scholarships

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

First-Year Scholarships

Amounts are for first-year students entering St. Ambrose in the 2020-21 academic year.

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.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies, for up to four years, as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and remain a full-time student. 

FOR STUDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

On Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Ambrose Advantage Scholarships
Criteria: Iowa resident, Pell Grant eligible, 2020 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.8, admitted to SAU and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15
Award: Full Tuition

Trustee Scholarships
Criteria: unweighted 4.0 GPA and minimum 30 ACT or 1390 SAT score
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship

Presidential Scholarships
Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score
Award: $22,500/year

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $14,000-$20,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
$12,000/year

On Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

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

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of a Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $500-$1,000/year


FOR STUDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Off Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $12,000-$15,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $10,000/year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate

Award: $1,000/year

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of a Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $500/year

International Student Scholarships

At SAU, our international students can qualify for university scholarships and grants based on academic achievement, merit, and their performance and abilities in fine arts and athletics.

Below, you'll find a quick summary of financial awards, and we continually look for ways to make an Ambrosian education even more affordable and attainable. Recently, we began offering athletic scholarships for Marching Band and Esports.

If you have any questions or want to apply, please contact the International Student Admissions office. 

Institutional Scholarships (2020-21)
There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students are automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria, although some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible.

Academic Scholarship – $14,000-$20,000/year

Athletic Scholarships
We have many international student-athletes who are contributing and growing their skills as valued team players. As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes. The amount varies and is based on performance and ability. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody the value of developing both the mind and body.

To qualify for an athletic scholarship you must be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

To learn more about all of our athletic teams and opportunities – including Esports – click here

Fine Arts Scholarships

These scholarships are based on your performance and ability in art, music, or theatre, and you may qualify for the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required. Contact the Admissions office to apply or for more information. 

See below to learn more about outside scholarships and we encourage you to begin your search early.

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2020-21 academic year. 

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

Scholarships

Phi Theta Kappa
Criteria: awarded to all Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society members transferring from a community college
Award: $15,500

OR

Transfer Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on GPA
Awards:
3.5-4.00 GPA $15,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $14,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $13,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $11,000 

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000 per year (on campus); $500/year (off campus)

Dual Admission Scholarships
Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: Ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required. Additional aid available by application
Award: $1,000/year (on campus); $500/year (off campus)

Athletic and Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: Based on performance and ability
Award: varies

Federal and State Aid

Federal Pell Grant
Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $6,195 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Iowa Tuition Grant
Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: $6,000

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes.

These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

With more than29 varsity athletic teams and state-of-the-art facilities in which to play them, the Fighting Bees of SAU are bold contenders on any field. Watch this video

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

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.


Apply Visit Info

Contact


Sandra Lund

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

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 29 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!