Physical Activity and Fitness Group

Health Fitness Specialist Undergraduate Degree


The Health Fitness Specialist Program has been developed to provide specialized educational and practical experiences to those interested in a career in the emerging fitness/health/wellness industry. The Health Fitness Specialist Degree Program was endorsed by the Committee on Certification and Registry Boards of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as having fulfilled the educational program requirements expected of an ASCM Health/Fitness Specialist. This four-year degree is a combination of general education and core course work, as well as on- and off-campus field experiences that prepares students for a variety of work environments. The degree culminates with a professional practice internship that allows the student the opportunity to improve learned skills in an area of career interest.

Matrix competition 2014 winnersCongratulations to the Health Fitness Specialist students who won the Trinitas/Matrix challenge in the K416 Fitness Management class! Pictured below are: L/R: Doug Marquette, Matrix company and donor of the $500.00 cash prize; Zach Beachy, Kyle Olry, Kelsey Newcomer, Kevin Wisla, Hannah Orme (HFS students) and Travis Vernel, Trinitas Company. The HFS students were asked to develop a college housing fitness area (Trinitas community) that encompassed a combination of what students want; what they need to be healthy; and how to make the fitness center an "experience" within a college living area. They also were to utilize Matrix equipment in the design and to stay within a budget given by Trinitas. The above winners developed a workout buddy system that encouraged building community, teamwork, and social interaction within a fitness space.

View the winning presentation in PDF format here.

Career Opportunities
Students who graduate with the Department of Kinesiology Health Fitness Specialist major will be able to select work in the following settings:

  • Community wellness program director;
    Medically-based facilities (post-rehabilitation specialist);
  • Worksite fitness/wellness center directors;
  • Health coaches;
  • Private and commercial health clubs as directors, general manager, owner or consultant.
Individuals in this field of work will find a continuum of salaries based upon the position and the geographical location. Salaried positions may range from $25,000 to $75,000. Hourly positions range from $10.50/hr to $75.00/hr. In many instances, salaries will be determined by experience, certification and quality of service.

Students earning this degree will leave Indiana University with the possibility of securing the following nationally recognized certifications:

For information about internships, visit Careers & Internships.

Degree Requirements

Admission to the Health Fitness Specialist program is limited. Interested students must apply and be accepted by a screening committee. Students must complete an online application by March 1st. Notification of acceptance will be made no later than June 1st. In order to apply to the HFS program, students must complete the following requirements:

1. Complete the following prerequisite courses with the given minimum required grades:

  • SPH-K205 with a minimum of B-
  • SPH-K216 with a minimum grade of B-
  • SPH-K217 or K283 with a minimum grade of B-
  • (Note: Students may be enrolled in these courses when they apply.)

2. Overall university GPA of 2.50 or higher.

3. Grades for all prerequisite course work must be posted on the students's transcripts at the end of the semester of application. For purposes of admission, the average of the grades earned in the prerequisite courses will be used to compute the GPA. For repeated courses, the highest grade will be used in the computation of the prerequisite average GPA. Grades in transferred prerequisite courses will be included in the prerequisite GPA.

4. The online application must be completed by March 1st. HFS Online Application

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology
   Major in Health Fitness Specialist
   120 credit hours with a minimum 2.0 GPA required for graduation


For additional information contact: 

Rachel Ryder, Ph.D., Coordinator of Health Fitness Specialist Program
PH 296

Advisor: Tammy Nichols
PH C010