Undergraduate Academic Programs

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Public Health - Fitness and Wellness Degree

Description of Program

The B.S.P.H. in Fitness and Wellness degree program focuses on the applied science of movement and research-based preparation of a health and fitness professional. Students who choose to study in this program become qualified to seek certification through many NCCA accredited organizations, including the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). This undergraduate program provides the education and practice that students need to be competitive in health and fitness careers. The curriculum is based on guidelines and standards developed by the ACSM. The fitness and wellness curriculum delivers a scientific academic foundation in topics such as physiology, functional kinesiology, biomechanics, motor learning and epidemiology. This knowledge is combined with the latest research and training methods as well as a variety of community engagement experiences which promote active and healthy lifestyles that impact the health of the public at large.

The fitness and wellness program strives to provide students with numerous practical experiences in the areas of assessment, exercise prescription and leadership, program administration, posture and movement analysis, communication and coaching strategies, and program design for a variety of populations across the lifespan.


Apply online for undergraduate admission to Indiana University at http://admissions.indiana.edu/.

A newly admitted freshman or transfer student, beginning in the fall 2019 semester, pursuing the B.S.P.H. in Fitness and Wellness degree, will receive an offer of direct freshman admission to this program if he or she meets both of the following criteria:

  1. Entrance Test Scores: The applicant must have earned one of the following minimum standardized test scores:
    • a combined critical reading and math score on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) of 1280. --or--
    • a composite score on the ACT (American College Test) of 27.
  2. Academic Performance: The applicant must either:
    • possess a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.5. --or--
    • rank in the top 12 percent of his or her high school graduating class.

Before entering the School of Public Health - Bloomington's fitness and wellness degree program, all other students begin studies in the University Division, and then subsequently certify into this program as soon as they satisfy the following two admission criteria:

  1. successful completion of at least 30 credit hours.
  2. minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Indiana University.

Students in the University Division must also declare their intended fitness and wellness major to the University Division Records Office. If a student earns less than 2.0 semester GPA for the term before entering the School of Public Health-Bloomington, the student may be admitted on academic probation as long as the student has completed 30 credits and has at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA.

International applicants for admission to a second undergraduate degree program in the School of Public Health - Bloomington, whose primary language is not English, must satisfy one of the following criteria before being considered for admission directly into one the School's degree programs:

  • submission of a minimum score on the Test Of English As a Foreign Language (TOEFL), of 550 on the paper-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the Internet-based test.
  • submission of a minimum score of 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • proof of completing at least three full years of secondary school in a predominantly English speaking country.

For students from countries where the TOEFL and the IELTS are not available, other evidence of English proficiency may be considered.

All entering international students whose primary language is not English will be required to take a special examination in English with IU prior to registering. Prepared by IU and designed to test a student’s ability to use English in an academic setting, the exam consists of three parts: an essay on a general topic, a listening comprehension exercise, and a grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension section. There is little that one can do to prepare for this exam other than to continue using written and spoken English at every opportunity. Appropriate remedial English courses may be prescribed on the basis of the results of this test.

International students whose primary language is not English must agree to take any English language courses prescribed from the results of this examination. Fees for special part-time English courses are the same as for other courses; however, credits earned do not meet degree requirements. If the results of the proficiency examination indicate that full-time work in English is required, the student will be assigned to the Intensive English Program (IEP).  

Students enrolled in IEP do not take academic courses until they achieve adequate English proficiency. If a student has serious doubts about English ability and is not financially prepared to undertake the additional time and expense of an intensive English program here, the student should consider completing English study in the student’s home country. In addition, the student may consider delaying admission to a future session.

Degree Requirements

The four-year B.S.P.H. in Fitness and Wellness degree curriculum is designed to prepare students to work in the fitness/wellness industry. The core course work is designed to follow the behavioral objectives of American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Physiologist (EP-C) certification. Students are encouraged to also sit for other health-related certifications such as the ACSM/National Physical Activity Society (NPAS) Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist (PAPHS) certification. Graduation requirements include:

  • completion of general education requirements.
  • completion of fitness and wellness major requirements.
  • a minimum of 120 successfully completed credit hours which count toward the degree program.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in courses used to complete the portions of this degree entitled: public health core and fitness and wellness courses.
  • No Pass/Fail except for free electives.
General Education (20 – 39 credits)

All undergraduate students must complete the IU Bloomington campus-wide general education common ground requirements. Such students must visit the 2018-2019 General Education Bulletin to view these requirements.

Major (66-68 cr.)

Public Health Core (15 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each course.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-B 366 Community Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-E 311 (Formerly SPH-H 311) Introduction to Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-P 309 Public Health Administration (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 381 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 241 Foundations of Environmental Health (3 cr.) +N&M

Fitness and Wellness Courses (22 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each course.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-K 216 Foundations of Physical Activity and Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 319 Physical Activity/Exercise Leadership (3 cr.) (P: SPH-K 205 or ANAT-A 215, SPH-K 216)
  • SPH-K 395 Fitness Specialist Practicum (2 cr.) (P: SPH-K 216, SPH-K 218)
  • SPH-K 416 Physical Activity/Fitness Administration (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 417 Physical Activity and Disease: Prevention and Treatment (3 cr.) (P: SPH-K 409)
  • SPH-K 419 Fitness Testing and Interpretation (3 cr.) (P: SPH-K 218, SPH-K 409)
  • SPH-K 486 Field Experience in Fitness and Wellness (5 cr.) (P: public health core and fitness & wellness courses.)

Additional Required Courses (29 - 31 cr.)
Complete each of the following courses:

  • ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills (3 cr.) –or– ENG-W 240 Community Service Writing (3 cr.)
  • PHSL-P 215 Basic Human Physiology (5 cr.) +N&M
  • SPH-K 200 Microcomputer Applications in Kinesiology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 205 Structural Kinesiology (3 cr.) –or– ANAT-A 215 Basic Human Anatomy (5 cr.) +N&M
  • SPH-K 327 Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity (3 cr.) –or– SPH-B 416 Introduction to Health Counseling (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 391 Biomechanics (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 409 Basic Physiology of Exercise (3 cr.): (P: ANAT-A 215 or SPH-K 205, and PHSL-P 215)
  • SPH-K 452 Motor Learning (3 cr.)
  • BSPH-N 220 Nutrition for Health (3 cr.) –or– SPH-N 231 Human Nutrition (3 cr.) (P: Introductory Chemistry) +N&M

+ Courses followed by a N&M notation apply toward completion of both the major requirement and the general education, natural and mathematic sciences requirement.

Suggested Courses for the First-Year Health Fitness Specialist Student
First Semester (15 cr.)
ENG-W 131 Elementary Composition (3 cr.)
SPH-K 205 Structural Kinesiology (3 cr.)
MATH-M 118 Finite Mathematics (3 cr.)
Arts and Humanities Course (3 cr.)
Free Elective (3 cr.)

Second Semester (15 cr.)
SPH-K 216 Foundations of Physical Activity and Public Health (3 cr.)
Social and Historical Studies course (3 cr.)
SPH-N 220 Nutrition for Health (3 cr.)
World Languages and Culture Course (3 cr.)
Free Elective (3 cr.)

Special Opportunities

The Fitness and Wellness program fulfills the educational requirements established by the Committee on Certification and Registry Boards. This means that the current curriculum covers the knowledge, skills, and abilities expected of an ACSM Exercise Physiologist. This certification can only be taken by those individuals with a four-year degree in an allied health field.
In addition, students must complete a 5-credit professional field experience and a 50-hour practicum during their matriculation. Students are given numerous opportunities to demonstrate their skills by working at various on and off campus sites.
All students are encouraged to sit for the ACE, NSCA, NASM, or ACSM personal training certification within their junior year. Many students are actively involved both on campus and in the community as fitness consultants, instructors, and personal trainers gaining invaluable experience working directly with individuals.


Exciting, rewarding, and challenging careers in the health/fitness industry include:

  • community wellness program director
  • medically-based facilities (post-rehabilitation specialist)
  • worksite fitness/wellness center director
  • health coach
  • private and commercial health clubs as director, general manager, owner or consultant.

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