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Health & Fitness

Bachelor of Science

The Health & Fitness emphasis is for students interested in developing and executing workout routines, whether it be for clients in private gyms or patients in rehabilitation centers. A strong foundation in health and fitness is critical if you aspire to be a sports coach, personal trainer, corporate wellness specialist or health educator.

Program Overview

Discover innovative ways to help people stay physically fit.

The Health & Fitness emphasis will teach you how to develop and execute workout routines for clients in private gyms or patients in rehabilitation centers. The curriculum is a dynamic balance between coursework in science, exercise physiology, anatomy, nutrition and psychology with technical classes in facilities management and fitness instruction.

To start building your resume, you can conduct research in our state-of-the-art High Altitude Performance Lab and help develop exercise programming for clinical populations in the Wellness Elevated program. If graduate school is on your radar, you can get a head start by collaborating on research projects with students in the High Altitude Exercise Physiology master’s program. Through the Association for Students of Exercise Sports Science, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in professional development and networking events to meet potential employers.

Fulfilling work

Health & Fitness students learn the skills and science behind the possibilities of exercise and its influence on health and mental wellness.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 62 credits is required, including the 15-credit Exercise and Sport Science Nucleus:

To graduate, all exercise and sport science majors must complete ESS 181 Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science and ESS 185 Lifetime Wellness with a minimum grade of “C”:

Exercise and Sport Science Nucleus
ESS 181Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science3
ESS 185Lifetime Wellness3
ESS 320Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity3
ESS 490Sociology of Sport and Physical Activity3
Select one of the following ESS Captone courses: 13
ESS 495
Senior Seminar in Exercise and Sport Science
EDUC 410
K-12 Student Teaching
ESS 498
Internship in Exercise and Sport Science
Total Credits15
1

EDUC 410 K-12 Student Teaching is a capstone option for K-12 Physical Education majors seeking Colorado licensure; ESS 498 Internship in Exercise and Sport Science is a capstone option for the ESS Standard Emphasis.

First Aid/CPR Competency and the following:

ESS 201Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology (with Lab)4
ESS 275Motor Development and Learning3
ESS 298Fitness Instruction3
ESS 330Exercise Physiology3
ESS 331Exercise Physiology Lab1
ESS 370Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning3
ESS 380Biomechanics3
ESS 385Physical Activity Programming3
ESS 410Assessment and Exercise Prescription3
ESS 411Wellness Elevated I3
ESS 450Risk Management in Physical Activity Settings3
One of the following:3
BIOL 300
Basic Nutrition
ESS 360
Nutrition for Wellness and Performance
One of the following:3
ESS 382
Management of Sport and Fitness Facilities
ROE 466
Facilities and Administration
Select three of the following:9
ESS 340
Mental Training for Peak Performance
ESS 355
Psychology of Injury
ESS 363
Inclusive Physical Activity
ESS 365
Topics in Physical Activity
Total Credits47
Plan of Study Grid
Year OneCredits
"C" or better required for both ESS 181 and ESS 185 to receive credit toward ESS degree.
 Credits0
Fall
ESS 181
or ESS 185
Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science
or Lifetime Wellness
3
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
Gen Ed General Education Courses 9
 Credits16
Spring
ESS 181
or ESS 185
Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science
or Lifetime Wellness
3
MATH 140 College Algebra (GT-MA1) 3
Gen Ed General Education Courses 9
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ESS 201 Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology (with Lab) Milestone course & prerequisite for ESS 330 & Ess 380. 4
COM 202 Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2) 3
Gen Ed General Education Courses 4
Elective Elective/Minor/2nd Major 3
 Credits14
Spring
ESS 275 Motor Development and Learning 3
ESS 276 Emergency Response 3
ESS 298 Fitness Instruction 3
Gen Ed General Education Courses 4
Elective Elective/Minor/2nd Major 3
 Credits16
Year Three
Fall
ESS 330 Exercise Physiology milestone 3
ESS 331 Exercise Physiology Lab 1
ESS 360 Nutrition for Wellness and Performance 3
ESS 380 Biomechanics 3
ESS 385 Physical Activity Programming 3
Elective Elective (upper division) ESS/Minor/2nd Major 3
 Credits16
Spring
ESS 320 Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 3
ESS 340 Mental Training for Peak Performance 3
ESS 370 Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning 3
ESS 411 Wellness Elevated I 3
Elective Elective (upper division) ESS/Minor/2nd Major 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
ESS 355 Psychology of Injury 3
ESS 405 Practicum in Exercise and Sport Science 1
ESS 410 Assessment and Exercise Prescription 3
ESS 450 Risk Management in Physical Activity Settings 3
Elective Electives (upper division) ESS/Minor/2nd Major 6
 Credits16
Spring
Capstone Senior Sem/Internship 3
ESS 382 Management of Sport and Fitness Facilities 3
ESS 363 Inclusive Physical Activity 3
ESS 490 Sociology of Sport and Physical Activity 3
Elective Electives (upper division) ESS/Minor/2nd Major 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits123

Western is committed to doing our part to provide each student a clear path to graduation. This four‐year degree plan is a sample map for fulfilling requirements in the major and General Education. The pathway that you take to your degree may differ somewhat from this illustration, depending on where you start and the detours and side trips you may take along the way. You are responsible for ensuring your overall, upper division, and major‐specific credits as well as GPA requirements are fulfilled for graduation.

Careers

Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

Scholarships

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship

This scholarship is available to Exercise & Sport Science (ESS) majors with demonstrated excellence in academics and outstanding achievement in personal fields.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • ESS Major
  • Junior or senior class standing
  • 3.0 Minimum GPA
  • Demonstrated excellence in academics
  • Show outstanding achievement in four of the following:
    • Special talents
    • Leadership
    • Obstacles overcome
    • Community service
    • Unique endeavors
Application Procedures:
  • A written letter of application – please include local address
  • Unofficial transcript (may use DegreeWorks)
  • Two letters of recommendation from Western faculty or staff
    • Letters must NOT be from ESS department members
    • At least one letter must be from a faculty member
  • Essay addressing at least four of the five areas listed above

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship is Provided by:

Ernest Degutis

Amount depends on fund availability.

Scholarship Recipients Selected by:

Western Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science (RESS) Faculty.

Completed applications must be turned in to Terri in the RESS Department office in Wright Gym no later than the second Friday of April for the upcoming academic calendar year.

Eligibility

  • Woman Physical Education or Recreation major at Western
  • Must have completed a minimum of one year in residence at Western
  • Must be a Junior or Senior (ie., will have completed at least 64 semester hours at the completion of the spring semester in which the award is to be granted, but will not be graduated at the completion of that same semester).
  • Must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 at time of selection.
  • Must have exhibited leadership in intramurals, the intercollegiate program or other departmental activities.
  • Must have demonstrated professional promise in the field of Physical Education or Recreation.

Description

This award has been established in honor of Miss Hannah E. Praxl, in recognition of her long and illustrious service as a member of the Division of HPER at Western. The contributions made by Miss Praxl during her tenure at Western were many. In addi­tion to her everyday duties as professor of Physical Education and Counselor and advisor to many students, Miss Praxl contributed much time and effort in working with the Women’s Recreation Association, the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, and numerous local, state, regional and national organizations associated with the development and promotion of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Following retirement, a number of friends, faculty, and alumni have endeavored to establish a suitable award in honor of Miss Praxl, and to be known as the “Hannah E. Praxl Award.” Award for Outstanding Woman Athlete.

Application

A list of all women students majoring in Physical Education and Recreation and whose grade point averages meet the 3.2 criteria, or are close enough that they could meet the criteria at the completion of the spring semester, will be submitted to the selection committee for consideration. This list will be given to the committee as soon after April 15 as possible, with instructions that the recipient be determined by May 1.

The selection committee shall be composed of the women Physical Education staff members, the Division Chairman, and any other Division HPER staff members, as determined by the committee.

DEADLINE DATE: April 15 of each academic year; selection by May 1

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2022. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Description

The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Make your education a life changing experience.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Graduate Research: Collaborate on research projects with students in the High Altitude Exercise Physiology master’s program.
  • High Altitude Performance Lab: Take classes and conduct research in our state-of-the-art facility.
  • Publish Research: Publish your work in the Center for Wellness and Human Performance Health & Fitness Journal.
  • Wellness Elevated: Work with clinical populations and their exercise programming for a semester or more.
  • Association for Students of Exercise Sports Science: This club is specifically tailored to ESS majors. Outings and events provide social support, professional development and networking opportunities.

High Altitude Performance Lab

Exercise and Sports Science students work with a patient for research at Western’s High Altitude Performance lab. The HAP Lab allows students to study the physiological effects of Gunnison’s 7,703-foot elevation.

News & Research

Western professor shares insight on ‘fast fitness’ on popular biohacking podcast

Western professor shares insight on ‘fast fitness’ on popular biohacking podcast

Read More about Western professor shares insight on ‘fast fitness’ on popular biohacking podcast

Department Chairperson

Lance Dalleck, Ph.D.

Professor of Exercise & Sport Science

Administrative Assistant

Terri Stinson

Administrative Assistant

Contact Information

970.943.7129

970.943.7125

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Paul Wright Gym 209
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.