Health Promotion and Education : Exercise & Fitness


Why study Health Promotion and Education : Exercise & Fitness?

The bachelor degree program in Exercise and Fitness was formally a concentration in the Health Promotion & Education program. This program option is designed to prepare future exercise professionals with the knowledge and skills to meet the diverse health and wellness needs of our community. Students are equipped to take entry level positions in the exercise field or pursue graduate and professional degrees as they complete comprehensive coursework in anatomy, kinesiology, exercise physiology, exercise testing and prescription, fitness program administration, and more. 

One of the wonderful things about this field is the diverse array of places our graduates work! Throughout the program, students are exposed to, complete internships in, and often go on to work in positions and settings such as:

  • Fitness Managers or Directors (commercial, private, university, and community settings)
  • Exercise Physiologists (hospitals, clinics)
  • Strength and Conditioning Coaches (youth, high school, college, and professional levels)
  • Health Coaches 
  • Employee Wellness Managers
  • Personal Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors
  • and more!

This program is unique in that it allows students to become credentialed in several professional certifications at the completion of the program. Upon graduation, students are qualified to sit for the American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Physiologist certification (ACSM-EP®) and the Certified Health Education Specialist certification (CHES®). Additionally, many students choose to pursue the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS®) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Students may also opt to pursue a nationally-accredited personal training or group fitness instructor certification while in the program, as we offer various preparation courses within the curriculum.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Health educators must be good communicators and like working with people. They need to be able to comfortably speak to individuals and groups and must have excellent writing skills. Further, those majoring in exercise and fitness are usually committed to their own health and are excited about helping others improve theirs. Creativity is a real plus for health educators, as it often takes creative thinking to motivate and help individuals or communities to change health behaviors.

Both the behavioral and biological sciences form the foundation for health education. Course work is required in such areas as psychology, sociology, human growth and development, human anatomy and physiology, statistics and speech/communications.

Graduates of the exercise and fitness program can work in a variety of settings including corporate fitness centers, commercial fitness centers, hospitals, YMCAs and recreation departments.

There is no minor offered in health education - exercise and fitness.

Student Services Center College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services PO Box 210014 Cincinnati, OH 45221 513-556-2336

The Exercis and Fitness program at the University of Cincinnati is one of the premier programs in the country. The University of Cincinnati has 12 full-time faculty serving students in the program. UC’s faculty members are well known in the profession and are recognized leaders at the local, state and national levels. For example, UC’s faculty have served as presidents of national associations, served on boards of directors of national associations, participated in accreditation visits and site reviews of other health education programs, served on numerous professional committees, acted as editors of national journals and continue to receive some of the highest student evaluations for their teaching and mentoring in the college.

UC faculty regularly present papers at professional meetings, publish in professional journals and write textbooks that are used throughout the profession. As a result of their involvement, UC faculty members are well connected with other health educators in the profession, which helps students effectively network, enter graduate school and obtain employment in the field. Opportunities for internships are outstanding in the Greater Cincinnati area. Our students have interned with Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Company, GE Aircraft Engines, local health departments, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Red Cross, UC Athletics, the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals, and many other outstanding companies and agencies. Another advantage to studying at UC is the fact that the health education program is offered at the bachelor's, master’s and doctoral levels. This provides students with the opportunity to obtain advanced degrees and to interact with graduate-level health education students.

Students that complete this degree program also have the opportunity to obtain additional national certification which include:

Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)

The Certified Health Education Specialist examination is a competency-based tool used to measure possession, application and interpretation of knowledge in the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists.  Consisting of 165 multiple-choice questions the CHES examination is offered in paper-and-pencil format that you can take through UC testing services.  There is a 90-Day Eligibility Option offered to students scheduled to graduate within 90 days of an exam date, please speak with an Academic Advisor regarding this opportunity.

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

For future professionals interested in train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance by conducting sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs, provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.  CPR and AED Certification required to take the CSCS exam. Individuals enrolled as seniors at colleges or universities are eligible to sit for the CSCS examination.  

Personal Training Certifications

Eta Sigma Gamma ESG is a national student health education honorary organization with a chapter (Gamma Eta) at UC. The mission of the honorary is to promote the discipline of health education by elevating the standards, ideals, competence and ethics of professionally prepared men and women in health education. CECH Tribunal The purpose of the CECH Tribunal is to ensure that the interests of CECH students are voiced and to provide student representation on behalf of all undergraduate students in CECH. Also, the tribunal organizes programs and social events for students of the college. CECH Student Ambassador The Student Ambassador program represents CECH at the University of Cincinnati by assisting with the recruitment and retention of students in the college. CECH Student Ambassadors provide a valuable service by representing the student perspective of university life to prospective and new students. Ambassadors also represent the college at numerous collegiate functions, professional events and key promotional events. Being selected as a CECH Student Ambassador is an honor that reflects academic rigor and a commitment to the fields of education, health promotion and education, and criminal justice.

In order to graduate from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, a student must:

  • Complete all required course work and program requirements.
  • Obtain a grade of C- or better for all health education exercise and fitness courses.
  • Obtain at least a 2.0 university grade point average.
  • Be in good academic standing; that is, not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Meet the college's residency requirement of 30 semester credit hours.
  • File formal application for the degree by the posted deadline.

Admission to this program is generally available for students transferring to the University of Cincinnati if they were admissible directly from high school and have a 2.0 cumulative GPA (all prior institutions combined).

Students who were NOT admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA (all prior institutions combined)

Admission to this program is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges of the University of Cincinnati if they were admissible directly from high school and have a 2.0 cumulative GPA (UC and any prior institutions combined).

Students who were NOT admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA (UC and any prior institutions combined)

Current UC students wishing to transfer into the program should contact the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services at 513-556-2336.

International students should contact the University of Cincinnati's Office of Admissions for details. 513-556-1100.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester


  • Early Action Deadline: Dec. 1*
  • Rolling Deadline: March 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: May 1

* Your application must be complete by this date in order to be considered for scholarships and the Honors Program.


  • Application Deadline: July 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: Aug. 1

Spring Semester

Freshmen and Transfers: 

  • Application Deadline: Nov. 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: Dec. 1

Summer Semester

Freshmen and Transfers: 

  • Application Deadline: March 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: April 1
The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

CECH Office of Recruitment
PO BOX 210014
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-6308

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Program Code: 18BAC-HEDU-BS-HEDU-E