Health and Human Performance Major

Athletic Training majors at George Fox study at one the West Coast's top Christian colleges.

Are you interested in sports, exercise science or wellness? George Fox University’s health and human performance major – with one of its three concentrations – gives you a comprehensive science-based education and clinical foundation in a Christian college setting.

Study health and nutrition, the biomechanical principles of human motion and motor learning, and gain techniques for teaching skills, stunts, games and sports.

In addition to the health-related courses, you’ll take general education classes ranging from Bible and humanities to communication and mathematics.

Choose from three concentrations:

Fitness Management

Those interested in all aspects of fitness would benefit from a fitness management concentration within the health and human performance major. More than 40 credit hours are offered in the field, including aquatics, tumbling/gymnastics, principles of conditioning, first aid and safety, exercise prescription, exercise physiology, and motor development and motor-skill learning. This is an ideal concentration for those who wish to work in the fitness industry and help clients with their fitness goals. The concentration incorporates 42 to 43 course hours of study.

Health Pre-teaching

Take the first step toward becoming a teacher. The 37-hour course of study emphasizes a wellness theme that incorporates individual responsibility and promotes a healthy lifestyle. The curriculum covers the sciences, including kiinesiology, exercise physiology and nutrition, as well as classes that address societal topics, including drug education, contemporary health issues, the sociology of families, and stress management.

Students who wish to become health teachers are essentially entering a five-year program. They take the health preteaching concentration, and upon successful completion, are directed to enter a one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program. Upon completion of the MAT, students will be certified to teach K-12 health or obtain positions in community, public health, and health promotion settings.

Physical Education Pre-teaching

This concentration focuses on skills acquisition and teaching methodology pertaining to team and individual sports and lifetime recreation. The curriculum includes courses that cover teaching as a profession, aquatics, field sports, sports psychology, kinesiology, exercise prescription, and motor development and motor-skill learning, as well as instruction in specific sports, including tennis, volleyball, basketball, golf and tumbling/gymnastics.

Students customize the concentration by choosing a coaching class that covers a specific sport (basketball, baseball/softball, soccer, track or volleyball), or opting for either a course in care and prevention of athletic injuries or nutrition. All told, the concentration incorporates 44 or 45 hours of study.

Students who wish to become physical education teachers are essentially entering a five-year program. They take the physical education preteaching concentration, and upon successful completion, are directed to enter a one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program. Upon completion of the MAT, students will be certified to teach physical education.


Request more information about the health & human performance major at George Fox University or schedule a visit to begin your education at Oregon's Christian university, ranked as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation by Forbes.

Jobs and Graduate School

George Fox's health and human performance major prepares students for a number of careers in the field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of health educators and community health workers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. This will be due in part to national efforts to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

Employment of coaches and scouts is expected to rise 13 percent during the same time period, due in part to increasing participation in high school and college sports. Fitness trainers and instructors should see a growth rate in their field of 10 percent through 2026.

  • Owner, Progressive Fitness
  • Anatomy Teacher, Newberg High School
  • Biology Teacher, Newberg High School
  • High school PE teachers: Newberg, Sherwood, Sunset, David Douglas, Barlow, Salem Academy, Horizon Christian, The Dalles, West Linn
  • High school health teachers: Newberg, Sherwood, Salem Academy, Horizon Christian, West Linn, Oregon City
  • George Fox University, M.Ed and MAT
  • Arizona Health Sciences University
  • Portland State
  • Oregon State
  • Western Oregon
  • Concordia University
  • Fitness management majors are required to procure an internship at a fitness facility for a total of at least 240 hours and to keep a journal of their work-related activities.   
  • Students who choose the physical education pre-teaching concentration are often asked to help in both public and private school classes.
  • Students concentrating in both health pre-teaching and physical education pre-teaching who aspire to a career in coaching are often sought out to fill openings in youth and junior high teams as well as local youth leagues.
Expand All

Major Requirements

Complete the following:

Structure and function of the human body. Fall semester topics include basic chemistry, body organization, integument, skeleton, muscles, and the nervous system, including special senses. The course is designed for nonscience majors. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required.
Structure and function of the human body. Spring semester topics include cardiovascular, reproductive, endocrine, respiratory, urinary, and digestive systems. The course is designed for nonscience majors. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BIOL 221 Human Anatomy and Physiology I, or permission from instructor. Additional course fee is required.
An introduction to the scientific study of human behavior. Major topics include the biological bases of behavior, sensation, perception, thinking, learning, memory, development, emotion, motivation, personality, social interaction, and abnormal behavior. Prerequisite to most other psychology courses.

Concentrations (37-45 hours) - choose one

Complete the following:

This course is intended to introduce the basics of swimming and is appropriate for all ranges of swimming aptitude. This course will teach the five basic swimming strokes along with other aquatic activities and will prepare students who intend to pursue certification as a lifeguard and/or obtain the Water Safety Instructor's certification. Additional course fee is required.
A survey of the history and development of physical education and athletics in America. The course will also emphasize fundamental principles of physical education and sport.
Beginning to intermediate instruction in skills, teaching techniques, spotting, and safety factors involved in tumbling and gymnastics.
Instruction in concepts related to developing and maintaining physical fitness and movement skills.
Instruction in the planning and implementation of health, physical education and athletics programs. Course content will include curriculum design, budget formation, facility design, and coordination. Professional conduct and ethics will be stressed.
A study of theory and practice of experiential leadership in adventure and recreation education/programming. Leadership styles, techniques, methods, and practices will be the core subjects taught in this highly experiential class involving an outdoor lab component. Additional course fee required.
An introductory survey of athletic training. Emphasis will be on terminology, injury prevention, evaluation, treatment, and emergency care procedures. Common taping techniques also will be presented. Additional course fee is required.
Application of human anatomy and physical laws to the explanation of movement activities. Special emphasis is given to detailed analysis of various sports activities. Prerequisites: BIOL 221 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 222 Human Anatomy and Physiology II.
Application of exercise testing and prescription of individuals ranging from athletes to special populations. Includes aspects of nutrition, disease, training methods, and exercise responses. Prerequisites: BIOL 221 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 222 Human Anatomy and Physiology II. Additional course fee required.
Application of principles of physiology to physical activity. Special attention is given to the effect of exercise on the various body systems and the construction of training programs. The laboratory component explores the assessment of resting metabolic rate, energy expenditure, body composition, respiratory function, maximum oxygen uptake, lactate threshold, strength and flexibility, and other physiological responses to exercise. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 221 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 222 Human Anatomy and Physiology II.
This course considers the nature and etiology of disability and handicapping conditions, as well as the implications for and development of appropriate physical education programs.
A study of the development of motor skills. Psychological principles of learning are applied to motor-skill learning. A review of research and an inquiry into the effect of various conditions on the learning and performance of motor skills from early childhood through the adult years.

A supervised experience in the discipline, including internships and practica required for professional programs. This experience must have an on-site supervisor and a departmental instructor overseeing, designing and evaluating the content of the course. Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.

Research of current issues in health, physical education, and athletics. Senior thesis and public presentation of thesis is required.
Instruction in first aid and safety and leading to certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR). Additional course fee is required.
A study of nutrients present in food and their relation to the nutritive needs of the human body. Emphasis on the young adult, along with discussion of contemporary nutrition-related topics of national and global concern. Computer-assisted dietary analysis included. (Identical to HLTH 300.)

Choose one of the following:

In-depth study of the lower extremities including skills of injury evaluation, physical examination and treatment. One 1-hour lab per week. Pre-requisite: Athletic Training major or instructor permission.
In-depth study of the spine and upper extremities including skills of injury evaluation, physical examination and treatment. One 1-hour lab per week. Pre-requisite: Athletic Training major or instructor permission.
Emphasis is given to methods of evaluation in programs of physical education. Testing procedures, standard tests, physical examinations, and evaluation activities are discussed.
A study of causes, symptoms, and results of stress. Introduces practical techniques to alleviate stress, promote relaxation, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Complete the following:

This is a one-semester introductory course on the teaching profession for those planning to enroll in an MAT program or considering teaching as a profession. Students will expand their understandings of the field of education and the role of teachers through class topics and experiences. They will also participate in a 10-hour classroom field experience. The George Fox University MAT program application process and requirements will be discussed. (This course is not part of the undergraduate elementary education major.) Prerequisite: junior or senior status
A survey of the history and development of physical education and athletics in America. The course will also emphasize fundamental principles of physical education and sport.
Instruction in the planning and implementation of health, physical education and athletics programs. Course content will include curriculum design, budget formation, facility design, and coordination. Professional conduct and ethics will be stressed.
Application of human anatomy and physical laws to the explanation of movement activities. Special emphasis is given to detailed analysis of various sports activities. Prerequisites: BIOL 221 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 222 Human Anatomy and Physiology II.
Application of principles of physiology to physical activity. Special attention is given to the effect of exercise on the various body systems and the construction of training programs. The laboratory component explores the assessment of resting metabolic rate, energy expenditure, body composition, respiratory function, maximum oxygen uptake, lactate threshold, strength and flexibility, and other physiological responses to exercise. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 221 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 222 Human Anatomy and Physiology II.
This course considers the nature and etiology of disability and handicapping conditions, as well as the implications for and development of appropriate physical education programs.
This course examines and offers opportunities to apply health and physical education methods.
Research of current issues in health, physical education, and athletics. Senior thesis and public presentation of thesis is required.
Issues concerned with the use, misuse, and abuse of selected pharmacological agents. Social, psychological, physical, and moral implications are considered. Particular consideration is given to ergogenic aids in athletics.
A study of marriage and the family from a sociological perspective, including historical, cross-cultural, and economic backgrounds. A Christian faith perspective will emphasize the worth of people, the importance of the family as a place of nurture, and the gift of marriage. (Identical to HLTH 223.)
Instruction in first aid and safety and leading to certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR). Additional course fee is required.
A study of causes, symptoms, and results of stress. Introduces practical techniques to alleviate stress, promote relaxation, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
A study of nutrients present in food and their relation to the nutritive needs of the human body. Emphasis on the young adult, along with discussion of contemporary nutrition-related topics of national and global concern. Computer-assisted dietary analysis included. (Identical to HLTH 300.)
A study of our nation's current health problems and concerns. Emphasis on health consumerism and current trends, diseases, the sanctity of life, and fitness. Goal is to develop an educated view on current health issues.
Applied statistics for the social and behavioral sciences. Emphasis is placed on statistical logic and decision making. Prerequisite: high school algebra or equivalent.

Complete the following

This is a one-semester introductory course on the teaching profession for those planning to enroll in an MAT program or considering teaching as a profession. Students will expand their understandings of the field of education and the role of teachers through class topics and experiences. They will also participate in a 10-hour classroom field experience. The George Fox University MAT program application process and requirements will be discussed. (This course is not part of the undergraduate elementary education major.) Prerequisite: junior or senior status
Instruction in basic to intermediate steps and etiquette in ballroom dance including 6 count and 8 count swing, fox-trot, waltz, and tango.
This course is intended to introduce the basics of swimming and is appropriate for all ranges of swimming aptitude. This course will teach the five basic swimming strokes along with other aquatic activities and will prepare students who intend to pursue certification as a lifeguard and/or obtain the Water Safety Instructor's certification. Additional course fee is required.
A survey of the history and development of physical education and athletics in America. The course will also emphasize fundamental principles of physical education and sport.
Intermediate to advanced instruction in skills, teaching techniques, rules, and strategy for basketball and golf.
Beginning to intermediate instruction in skills, teaching techniques, rules, and strategy. Flag football, soccer, speedball, and korfball are emphasized.
Beginning to intermediate instruction in skills, teaching techniques, spotting, and safety factors involved in tumbling and gymnastics.
Intermediate to advanced skills and techniques, with emphasis on learning how to teach basic skills and drills. Tournament organization and game administration are included.
The development of a philosophy of coaching. Emphasizes the psychological, sociological, and technical aspects of athletic participation.
This course is designed to enhance the understanding of how personality, self-esteem, goal setting and behavior can influence performance and performance preparation. It is also designed to provide future teachers/coaches with coping skills and observational techniques which will serve them well in coaching as well as in managerial settings.
Instruction in the planning and implementation of health, physical education and athletics programs. Course content will include curriculum design, budget formation, facility design, and coordination. Professional conduct and ethics will be stressed.
Application of human anatomy and physical laws to the explanation of movement activities. Special emphasis is given to detailed analysis of various sports activities. Prerequisites: BIOL 221 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 222 Human Anatomy and Physiology II.
Development of competence, style, and confidence in teaching physical education for the physical education major. Emphasis is given to analysis of objectives, unit and lesson planning, instruction methods, means of evaluation, and class procedures and control.
Application of exercise testing and prescription of individuals ranging from athletes to special populations. Includes aspects of nutrition, disease, training methods, and exercise responses. Prerequisites: BIOL 221 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 222 Human Anatomy and Physiology II. Additional course fee required.
Application of principles of physiology to physical activity. Special attention is given to the effect of exercise on the various body systems and the construction of training programs. The laboratory component explores the assessment of resting metabolic rate, energy expenditure, body composition, respiratory function, maximum oxygen uptake, lactate threshold, strength and flexibility, and other physiological responses to exercise. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 221 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 222 Human Anatomy and Physiology II.
This course considers the nature and etiology of disability and handicapping conditions, as well as the implications for and development of appropriate physical education programs.
A study of the development of motor skills. Psychological principles of learning are applied to motor-skill learning. A review of research and an inquiry into the effect of various conditions on the learning and performance of motor skills from early childhood through the adult years.
Emphasis is given to methods of evaluation in programs of physical education. Testing procedures, standard tests, physical examinations, and evaluation activities are discussed.
This course examines and offers opportunities to apply health and physical education methods.
Research of current issues in health, physical education, and athletics. Senior thesis and public presentation of thesis is required.
Issues concerned with the use, misuse, and abuse of selected pharmacological agents. Social, psychological, physical, and moral implications are considered. Particular consideration is given to ergogenic aids in athletics.
Instruction in first aid and safety and leading to certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR). Additional course fee is required.

Choose one of the following:

An analysis of systems of play, principles of offense and defense, and strategies of the game. The organization of practice sessions, administration of games, and techniques of scouting are stressed. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
A study of systems of play, principles of offense and defense, and strategies of the game. The organization of practice sessions, administration of games, and techniques of scouting are stressed.
An analysis of systems of play, principles of offense and defense, and strategies of the game. The organization of practice sessions, administration of games, and techniques of scouting are stressed. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
A study of the techniques and principles of coaching each event. The organization of practice sessions and the strategy for - and administration of - track meets are discussed. Prerequisites: varsity experience and instructor's permission.
An analysis of systems of play, principles of offense and defense, and strategies of the game. Organization of practice sessions, administration of games, and techniques of scouting are stressed.
An introductory survey of athletic training. Emphasis will be on terminology, injury prevention, evaluation, treatment, and emergency care procedures. Common taping techniques also will be presented. Additional course fee is required.
A study of nutrients present in food and their relation to the nutritive needs of the human body. Emphasis on the young adult, along with discussion of contemporary nutrition-related topics of national and global concern. Computer-assisted dietary analysis included. (Identical to HLTH 300.)

†A Red Cross Lifeguarding or Water Safety Instructor Certificate can be used to fulfill HHPA 130 Aquatics requirement.

Student Experiences

Kira Wright

"Studying HHP has been so rewarding. I feel that my personal curiosity about how the body works and why we function the way we do during exercise or when there is stress on the body has been thoroughly explained. Classes like Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology break down what is happening while classes like Contemporary Health Issues and Drug Education explain some of the social aspects of health. Professors and peers have greatly shaped my experience at Fox and I have grown academically, spiritually and personally in my time here."

- Kira Wright

Maddi Storino

“Transferring to George Fox and studying HHP was one of the best decisions I have made. Health and human performance is something I have been very passionate about because I love learning about the body and what it is capable of doing. My time here at George Fox has been so rewarding. The classes and professors have all helped prepare me for a future career in personal training and I couldn’t be more excited. I have learned so much here and I am so thankful for that.”

- Maddi Storino

Points of Distinction

  • Students receive strong exercise science preparation.
  • Activity specific peer teaching opportunities are available.
  • Highly sought internships are available locally.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you’ll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.

Related Majors