Program Highlights

Individuals with a Health Promotion degree are health and physical activity experts in various health, recreation, sport and medical settings. Our program prepares students for a variety of careers, such as:

  • Health Promotion Coordinator
  • Recreation Director
  • Personal Trainer
  • Health Educator
  • Sports and Athletic Performance Trainer
  • Wellness Program Manager
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Wellness Coach
  • Fitness Club Manager

The program is designed to prepare students for post-graduate programs, as well as entry-level positions in the fields of fitness, coaching and recreation. Additional academic combinations with the Health Promotion major might include the nutrition minor and/or courses from the Behavioral Sciences, Communications or Natural Science departments.

The department is currently following curriculum recommendations of the National Council on Strength and Fitness and the National Strength and Conditioning Association for the preparation of professionals in the fitness and personal training field.

Health Promotion Plan of Study

Departmental Course Offerings

Courses change each semester, so this list should not be considered a commitment to these individual topics. However, this does represent a list of many of our current and popular courses. The list is provided so that you can begin to imagine your academic career at Millikin in this major.

Foundations & Theory of Health Behavior & Fitness  Exercise science encompasses a growing number of subdisciplines, each aimed at integrating the unique demands of movement and the basic science associated with the subdisciplines. The aim of this course is for students to learn the introductory science and basic concepts of exercise, movement and healthy behaviors. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the requirements for career preparation in the major subdisciplines of health, fitness, athletic performance and recreation. (ES206)
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and First Aid Response, care, and treatment in emergency situations are the primary focuses of this course. Personal and community safety and disaster response will be addressed. CPR certification for workplace and home is included. Offered fall and spring semester. (ES140)
Prevention and Treatment of Athletic Injuries This is an introductory course emphasizing prevention and treatment of injuries particular to athletics and recreational activities. Rehabilitation procedures are included. (ES130)
Personal and Community Health This is an introductory course surveying topics and issues pertaining to the health/wellness classroom. Developing the wellness concept; physical, mental, social, emotional, environmental, and spiritual well-being are discussed. (ES160)
Introduction to Safety Education This is a foundation course designed to provide standard information on safety and accident prevention in the school environment, as well as in the workplace and home. Identifying safety hazards and education for proactive rather than reactive responses is a major emphasis. (ES202)
Physiology of Exercise I This course provides a foundation of the cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, and respiratory systems and health issues related to these systems. Emphasis is placed on the relationships between physical activity, exercise behavior, and the physiological adaptations to exercise as they relate to health and fitness. Also addressed are the rationale of exercise training programs for various sectors of the population and exercise prescriptions for healthy individuals and those with health risks. (ES305)
Physiology of Exercise Lab I Taken in conjunction with ES 305. Through demonstration and laboratory experiences, students will gain skills needed to assess acute and chronic physiologically changes that occur in the body in response to exercise. (ES306)
Human Sexuality and Family Life Material covered in this course will include social and biological foundations of human sexuality, the developmental and social perspectives of gender roles, relationships and communication, sexual values, family lifestyles and parenthood, reproduction, sexual behavior in modern society, sexual coercion, rape and abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, and sex, art, the media and the law. (ES324)
Growth and Motor Development Study of child, adolescent, and adult motor development will be the primary focus.  Reference to similarities and differences in motor development through the lifespan of the individual will be emphasized.  Secondary considerations of the cognitive, social and emotional development will be included. (ES325)
Kinesiology This course focuses upon the anatomical understanding of the human body, with emphasis on biomechanics, origin, insertion, action, and innervation of the primary muscles used in human movement. (ES310)
Health-Related Nutrition This course will explore the role of nutrition in physical fitness and health as professionals strive to promote optimal wellness.  Fitness components, testing, and program design will be discussed.  Nutritional concepts, nutrient function, and dietary considerations will be explored. (ES328)
Practicum in Health Promotions This practicum offers experiential learning in the application of fitness and nutrition knowledge and concepts in the campus community setting. Nutrition and fitness components, program design, implementation, evaluation, and revision will be utilized. (ES330)
Organization and Administration

This course focuses on the critical decisions and action steps that students must make in the planning, initiating, and sustaining new health and fitness ventures. The course uses experiential learning as the paradigm for engaging students in discovery and hypotheses testing of their personal business model. (ES335)


This course introduces students to the scientific discipline that studies the etiology of diseases, disorders, and injuries occurring in humans. This course focuses on the nature and scope of health problems, the distribution of determinants of health and disease, and overall health morbidity and mortality. The course will cover evaluation of association, causality, subsequent clinical and public health interventions designed to reduce or resolve the incidence of these health problems. Quantitative aspects of epidemiology will also be covered. (ES336)

Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Health Education This course addresses curriculum theory, teaching methods, and course content for health education. Sources and resources available to the health educator will be included. Specific ideas for cross-curricular integration of health topics will be explored. Current health topics will also be incorporated. (ES402)
Health Needs Assessment The purpose of this course is to engage students in the process of systematically assessing the health needs and strengths of a target population.  Students will apply needs assessment concepts and professional skills to a practical experience throughout the semester. Course experiences include defining and assessing a specific community health issue, synthesizing relevant literature, and collecting data from key stakeholders. Students will receive practical experience working with community stakeholders to interpret, prioritize, and determine best practices for utilizing assessment findings. (ES412)
Strategies in Health Promotion The purpose of this course is to improve Health Promotion majors’ abilities to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based health education.  Emphasis is placed on the identification, analysis, and application of various health education methods and strategies.  Educational presentations, material development, advocacy, community organizing, and working with groups are included. (ES414)
Community Health Problems and Practices Exploring the community resources and public health policies designed to meet the health needs of individuals and families in their normal environment such as the home, school, and place of work. Understanding health-related data about social and cultural environments will be included. (ES428)