Health and Human Performance

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Wellness and fitness

A fast growing field for healthier future.

From running a company’s wellness program to treating an injuryas a physical therapist, experienced professionals are needed for educating, managing and working in a variety of settings to encourage and promote active living.

Health and human performance professionals are found in many workplaces, including health care, education, recreational businesses and corporations.

Why study health and human performance?

  • Work as leaders in promoting active lifestyles through education, management, training, coaching, therapy or any number of roles.
  • Enhance people’s lives by increasing their ability to live actively.
  • Enter a fast-growing and rewarding career.

Dr. Razo and Dr. Petta are so much more than professors and advisors. They were some of my greatest encouragers. I wasn’t a traditional student. I lived off-campus, was married and had a kid. They met me where I was at and supported me. I would not be where I am without them.

Alyssa Walton, 2017 graduate—now helps run the top corporate fitness program in the world at Lincoln Industries in Lincoln, Nebraska photo Alyssa Walton

Find your calling.

The health and human performance team at Union knows a career dedicated to physical activity starts with the student. That’s why we help you become a leader, living a balanced lifestyle while enjoying Christian fellowship.

Why study at Union College?

  • Choose from four emphases: business/sport management, exercise science, fitness and wellness, and physical education.
  • Learn from professors who are experts in their field—including a physical therapist, and the professor-to-student ratio makes it easy for you to interact with these professionals
  • Each month, the department hosts HHP Awareness sessions highlighting career-boosting topics such as professionalism, resume writing and graduate experiences. These sessions feature guest speakers working in the fields you want to know about: physical therapy, business sports management, education and wellness.

I was in the HHP department all four years at Union, and I loved every minute! One of my favorite experiences was the athletic injuries class that I took. Everything in that class pertained to what I want to do for a living as a physical therapist. It was very hands-on, going beyond the class lecture to put what we learned into practice. We actually practiced wrapping injuries and assessing our classmates who walked in the door pretending to be injured. This has been great preparation for my future.

Jamie Stanley, 2013 graduate—now a physical therapist assistant in Florida photo Jamie Stanley

Majors and minors

The Health and Human Performance program offers majors in the following areas:

Exercise Science—four-year bachelor of science degree

Health and Human Performance—four-year bachelor of science degree with an emphasis in Fitness and Wellness

Find out more in the College Bulletin

Your career options

Athletic trainer

Specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone injuries and illnesses.

Job outlook 23% growth (much faster than average)

Median pay $46,000

Fitness instructor

Lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular exercises (exercises for the heart and blood circulation), strength training, and stretching.

Job outlook 10% growth (faster than average)

Median pay $39,000


Experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease.

Job outlook 15% growth (much faster than average)

Median pay $59,000

Meet the team