Physical Activity and Fitness Group

Link to Undergraduate Degree Program Link to Masters Degree Program Link to Masters in Public Health Physical Activity Concentration

Health Fitness Specialist logoThe Department of Kinesiology is proud to present the Physical Activity and Fitness Group. This group manages and facilitates three degrees in physical activity and fitness: Undergraduate Program: Health Fitness Specialist; Masters in Physical Activity, Fitness and Wellness; and Masters of Public Health – Physical Activity.


Our vision is to educate, provide practical experiences, and research opportunities for future health fitness/wellness professionalsin order to impact and enhance healthy lifestyles for all.


To prepare qualified, certified and experienced health and fitness/wellness professionals who are capable of impacting society by enhancing healthy lifestyles across all ages.

To train students for careers as leaders in physical activity, fitness, and wellness by providing a comprehensive and cross disciplinary curriculum focused on: (a) the science of physical activity and fitness as applied to diverse populations; (b) the application of science to human movement experiences; and (c) program development, evaluation, and administration.

Health Fitness Specialist (Undergraduate) 
Contact Person: Rachel Ryder, Ph.D., HFS Coordinator,

The Health Fitness Specialist (HFS) undergraduate degree program provides specialized educational and practical experiences for those interested in the Fitness, Health and/or Wellness industry.  The HFS degree is designed to prepare students with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities needed for certification preparation by several accredited professional organization such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council of Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) the National Strength and Conditioning Associations (NSCA).  The HFS degree culminates with a required internship working in a health, fitness, wellness field of their choice.

The Department of Kinesiology Health Fitness Specialist Program offers preparation for professional employment in a variety of settings that include community and hospital wellness and rehabilitation programs, as well as commercial, corporate and privately owned fitness clubs and facilities, worksite fitness/wellness settings and government organizations.

To learn more about the HFS program, click here.

Master of Public Health, Physical Activity Concentration 
Contact Person: Jeanne D. Johnston, Concentration Coordinator,

Organizations have recently turned their attention to physical inactivity, a modifiable behavior, as it has been recognized as a major risk factor for chronic diseases. Physical activity/exercise is also well documented in the literature as way to enhance quality of life and prevent disease. Students majoring in the Master’s of Public Health Physical Activity concentration will draw from behavioral theories, public health and fitness administration, environmental health, biostatistics, and epidemiology to effectively monitor populations, design interventions, and develop policies to address physical inactivity and promote health and wellness. Students will have the opportunity to work with faculty with interdisciplinary interests such as health games, worksite wellness, recreation, and disabilities. Physical activity specialists graduating with a MPH in physical activity will be well suited to play an integral role in multidisciplinary team centered on health engagement and disease prevention.

To learn more about the Master of Public Health and the MPH in Physical Activity click here.

MS-Physical Activity, Fitness and Wellness (PAFW) Graduate Program

Contact person: Carol Kennedy-Armbruster, MSPAFW Coordinator,

Interest in the profession of physical activity, fitness and wellness knowledge as a means to influence health is on the rise. The majority of the population who choose to engage in preventive health behaviors begin with physical activity interventions. The American College of Sports Medicine has a new area of emphasis titled ‘Exercise is Medicine’ and continues to see a rise in certifications for fitness professionals. The need for fitness managers, behavior specialists, and workplace wellness practioners who possess an expertise in the delivery of physical activity programs/assessments is increasing. In addition, increasing health insurance costs are pushing organizations and corporations to seek preventive programs for employees who sit too much in their day to day jobs. This degree program addresses the training and behavioral expertise needed to deliver and manage effective, research-based physical activity and fitness professional practices. 

To learn more about the Master of Public Health and the MPH in Physical Activity click here.


Rachel A. Ryder, Ph.D., Coordinator of Health Fitness Specialist Undergraduate Program
PH 296D
SPH Profile Page

Michelle Miller, M.S.
PH 296
SPH Profile Page

Jeanne D. Johnston, Ph.D, Clinical Associate Professor, Coordinator Master of Public Health - Physical Activity
PH 042
SPH Profile Page

Carol Kennedy-Armbruster, PhD, Coordinator of Physical Activity, Fitness, and Wellness Masters Program
PH 296
IU Navy SHAPE Website:
Carol Kennedy-Armbruster won the 2004 and 2009 HPER Teaching Award.
SPH Profile Page

Georgia Frey, Ph.D, Faculty/Instructor
PH 112
SPH Profile Page

Tammy M Nichols, M.S.
Academic Advisor, Department of Kinesiology
SPH Profile Page

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