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Department of Health and Exercise Science

Undergraduate Studies

About HES Undergraduate Studies

The university’s mission to advance the common good is fundamental to our work in Health and Exercise Science (HES). We strive to more fully understand the workings of the human body through exercise, to educate our community members about living healthier lives with balanced nutrition, appropriate physical activity, and better mechanisms to cope with the stresses of a challenging world, and to address health issues, including disease prevention and access to health care.

Our curriculum offers numerous opportunities to establish strong foundational knowledge and practical experience through community-based learning, inquiry-based teaching, internships, and student-faculty collaborative research. Department faculty support the mission through outstanding teaching, mentorship, intellectual inquiry, research and service to the community and profession.

Majors and Minors

Depending on your major, you'll study the complex functions of the human body's response to exercise and learn how to address the complex public health challenges within our community.

Exercise Science

The Exercise Science prepares students for a variety of allied health-related career paths or graduate program such as physical therapy, chiropractic, physician assistant, nursing, biomechanics, exercise physiology and other health-related fields.

Exercise Science Major and Minor

Health Promotion and Wellness

In this major, you will learn skills to coach individuals towards achieving healthy lifestyles, and plan disease prevention & wellness programming for schools, worksites, and communities.

Health Promotion & Wellness Major

Public Health

Public health is an exciting field of study centered on improving opportunities and conditions for everyone to achieve good health. To achieve this goal, we use various public health tools including education, scientific research, and policy development.

Public Health Major and Minor
Browse Health and Exercise Science Courses

Co-major and additional minor

Other Academic Options

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Public Health & Social Work Co-Major

With a double major in public health and social work, you will develop your understanding of two disciplinary perspectives committed to the promotion and protection of health and welfare, particularly among vulnerable and marginalized populations.

Public Health & Social Work Co-Major
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Nutrition Minor

Students will learn about nutrition and how a balanced eating pattern can support well-being and meet diverse nutritional needs across the lifespan. Available starting Fall 2021.

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01 Big time opportunities

Internships

Students typically complete a 100-hour internship their senior year in collaboration with their faculty advisor. Students are encouraged to think about internship sites based on career interests; the department has an internship coordinator for student questions about past student internship and sites.

ABOUT INTERNSHIPS

Faculty

Dr. Paul Mellick

Dr. Paul Mellick

Dr. Paul Mellick is an Associate Professor and department chair for the Department of Health and Exercise Science. He holds a Master of Arts from the College of St. Scholastica and a doctorate in Kinesiology from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. Dr. Mellick’s research interests are focused on metabolic function and hormonal regulation, particularly their relationships to high-intensity exercise.

DR. PAUL MELLICK
Dr. Starr Sage

Dr. Starr Sage

Starr Sage, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Public Health. Her research focuses on examining the ways in which social determinants influence health, particularly cancer outcomes. She also conducts qualitative research using a sociological lens to examine college students’ perceptions of diversity, inclusion, and difference in university settings.

DR. STARR SAGE
Prof. Amber Roy

Amber Roy

Amber Roy is Clinical Faculty in the Department of Health and Exercise Science. She holds a B.S. in Dietetics and an M.S. in Food Science and Technology from Iowa State University and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Amber is passionate about using culturally affirming, transparent and inclusive teaching and mentoring strategies in her work. 

Prof. Amber Roy