Health & Exercise Science Major

Bachelor of Science Degree

Program Overview

The Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department is an integral part of the university's whole-person philosophy. Its objectives are twofold. First, through a general education program it seeks to assist every student in developing a personal wellness life-style that is conductive to optimal health fitness and well-being. Second, through a professional education program, it provides a curriculum and experiences for students to work in the heath, fitness, recreation or sports management fields, teach physical education or qualify for physical therapy or medical school.

"Many people just go to college to just get a degree and have an active social life- but these are not the only goals that ORU has for you. No other school really puts an emphasis on maintaining yourself, spiritually, intellectually, as well as physically, like ORU does. Maintaining your physical body, to me, is just as important as maintaining your GPA. To do the things you want to do in life, you need a healthy body that will allow you to do it!"

Jacqueline Morgan

Major: Health Exercise Science
Hometown: Jamesville, NY

The health and exercise science major provides a study of the concepts and principles that form the foundation of health, physical education and recreation. An HES major will experience classes in kinesiology and biomechanics, exercise physiology and techniques of health fitness evaluation. HES majors additionally have a choice of three concentration areas: exercise specialist, pre-physical therapy and pre-sports medicine.

Each of the concentration areas require involvement in organizing and administering health fitness and physical therapy programs in one of several settings, health clubs, YMCAs, YWCAs, corporations or medical facilities. Additional classes in chemistry and math are required in each of the concentrations.


The HPER department is located in the Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center. Kenneth H. Cooper, a former Air Force physician and innovator of the exercise program used by astronauts, supported this aspect of the whole-person philosophy. The Aerobics Center facility includes classrooms, an indoor swimming pool, basketball courts, an indoor running track and state-of-the-art exercise equipment for both men and women. The faculty and staff provide an encouraging environment for students to learn and participate in activities that will provide enjoyable leisure and fitness on a regular basis.


  • Personal trainer
  • Physical activity coordinator
  • Health promotion or corporate wellness specialist
  • Recreation sports coordinator
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Recreational therapist
  • Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Post-injury exercise rehabilitation trainer

What Do You Have to Look Forward To?

Exploring how health relates to the quality of life in today's society...examining trends of various populations and related health outcomes...learning how to change these trends to improve our world.

Course Offerings

  • Personal Health Science
  • Safety and First Aid
  • Organization and Administration of Programs
  • Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • Prevention and Care of Sports Injuries
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Prescription for Special Populations
  • Techniques of Health Fitness Evaluation
  • Microcomputer Applications for Business
  • Nutrition
  • Scientific Terminology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Internship in Health and Exercise Science
  • Exercise Specialist Concentration Course Offering
  • Pre-Physical Therapy Concentration Course Offerings 
  • Pre-Sports Medicine Concentration

Degree Plan