Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness

Courses & Curriculum

The major will provide a BS degree that will allow graduates the opportunity to be employed in facilities offering personal health and fitness programs ranging from health clubs and corporate fitness/wellness to physician-based wellness programs. Student eligibility for certification through organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine, National Academy of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, and American Council on Exercise will be available following completion of the degree. Graduates of the program may also qualify for management positions within these facilities with an additional business background.

Many students in health and exercise-related fields go on for graduate school.  Students in this major may take electives to meet competitive admissions requirements for graduate programs in related fields.  Additionally, a minor in an area such as business could allow the student to pursue management positions in the fitness industry or lead them into areas related to sport administration. Through the use of guided electives, students will have the ability to complete pre-requisites for other health care professions. Examples include professions such as physical therapy, chiropractic, physician assistant, and for an exceptional few medical school. 

Admission to these programs is extremely competitive and requires a strong academic record and standardized test results and many also expect evidence of leadership, service/volunteerism, written and oral communication skills and a working knowledge of the health profession.  Students must work closely with the Canisius College Pre-Med director for advisement and the professional school of interest to determine the curriculum electives needed to satisfy necessary prerequisites.  View additional suggested courses. The Health and Wellness major may also be combined with another major within the college, such as athletic training or marketing. A plan of study must be devised as early as possible with an academic advisor in the chosen majors.

Admission and Graduation Requirements

The major is open to all students accepted to the College.  Completion of the major shall require all major courses to be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or above.

Core Curriculum

View complete information about the Core Curriculum

BIO 114 & Lab Human Biology: An Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology 4 credits
BIO 115 & Lab Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Physiology 4 credits
KIN 170 Emergency Care 3 credits
HED 205 Wellness and Fitness 3 credits
KIN 235 Kinesiology 3 credits
HED 115 Basic Nutrition 3 credits
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology I 3 credits
PSY 102 Introduction to Psychology II 3 credits
HED 220 Healthy Behaviors 3 credits
KIN 336 Physiology of Exercise 3 credits
KIN 336L Lab Physiology of Exercise 1 credits
HED 337 Exercise Principles 3 credits
HED 425 Evolution of Disease and Illness 3 credits
ATH 398 Statistics and Research Design 3 credits
KIN 350 Organization and Administration of Health and Wellness 3 credits
HED 461 Psychology of Sport and Mental Health 3 credits
KIN 498 Internship in Health and Wellness 6 credits
Required Major Credits 54 Credits
Electives- enough to achieve 120 credits for graduation  
Total 120 Credits

Specialization Tracts for Major in Health and Wellness

Strength and Conditioning and other Health/Wellness Professions
  • Entrepreneurship Dual Major
  • Marketing Dual Major
  • Business Management Minor
  • Human Resources Minor

Exercise Physiology/Biomechanics Preparation for Masters/Doctoral Programs
  • BIO 111 Introduction to Biology I and Lab (4 cr)
  • BIO 112 Introduction to Biology II and Lab (4 cr)
  • CHM 111 General Chemistry I and Lab (5 cr)
  • CHM 112 General Chemistry II and Lab (5 cr)
  • PHY 201 General Physics I and Lab (4 cr)
  • PHY 202 General Physics II and Lab (4 cr)
  • MAT 111 Calculus I (4 cr)
  • MAT 112 Calculus II (4 cr)

Pre-Health Care Professions     
  • BIO 111 Introduction to Biology I and Lab (4 cr)
  • BIO 112 Introduction to Biology II and Lab (4 cr)
  • CHM 111 General Chemistry I and Lab (5 cr)
  • CHM 112 General Chemistry II and Lab (5 cr)
  • CHM 227 Organic Chemstry I and Lab (5 cr)
  • CHM 228 Organic Chemistry and Lab (5 cr)
  • PHY 201 General Physics I and Lab (4 cr)
  • PHY 202 General Physics II and Lab (4 cr)

Note:  Courses may be added or deleted based upon individual needs. Specialization tracts depend on required coursework in a MS program or area of employment.

Course Descriptions

Go to the Undergraduate Course Catalog for specific course descriptions

Typical Schedule

Freshmen Year
Fall   Spring
BIO 114 and Lab (Field 6) 4   BIO 115 L 4
KIN 170 3   HED 205 3
FYS 101 3   ENG 101 3
RST 101 3   PHI 101 3
Elective 3   Elective 3
Total Hours 16   Total Hours 16

Sophomore Year 
Fall   Spring
KIN 235 3   HED 115 3
PSY 101 3   HED 337 3
COM 201 (Oral Communication) 3   HED 220 3
Field 1 3   Field 2 3
Elective 3   Elective 3
Total Hours 15   Total Hours 15

Junior Year
Fall   Spring
KIN 336 & 336L 4   HED 425 3
KIN 350 3   ATH 398 3
Attribute 3   Field 4 3
Field 3 3   Elective 3
Elective 3   Elective 3
Total Hours 16   Total Hours 15

Senior Year
Fall   Spring
HED 461 3   KIN 498 6
Elective 3   Core Capstone 3
Elective 3   Elective 3
Elective 3  
Elective 3      
Total Hours 15   Total Hours 12

Career Opportunities

The Health and Wellness curriculum has been designed to prepare students for work in a variety of health fitness contexts.

Commercial Programs – Health fitness facilities

  • Personal Training
  • Membership Sales and Marketing
  • Facility Management

Corporate Programs – Work site health promotion

  • Health risk appraisals
  • Exercise programming
  • Smoking cessation
  • Nutrition education

Community Programs –Physical Activity/Health promotion

  • American Heart Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • YMCA
  • American Red Cross

Clinical Programs – Health care facilities

  • Physical therapy
  • Sports medicine
  • Cardiac rehabilitation

Strength and Conditioning Programs – Sport related programs (High school, Collegiate, Professional)

  • Strength and conditioning coach
  • Speed coach

Strength & Conditioning Minor

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a minor in addition to their major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Minors generally range from six to eight required courses. A listing of the minors can be found under the Academic Curricula section of the catalog. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional course work may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form. The Strength and Conditioning Minor is a common minor for many athletic training, health and wellness, and physical education students. The minor provides students with preparation for the fields of exercise physiology and wellness, and other related health professions and graduate work. It also helps students prepare for health and fitness specialty certifications through the American College of Sports Medicine and/or the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Kinesiology courses have specific pre-requisites, which are stated in the course descriptions.

Admission to the strength and conditioning minor is based on skills and knowledge competencies acquired in BIO 114, BIO 115, and KIN 235. Each course must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher. The applicant must attain a minimum C (2.0) cumulative G.P.A. in these three courses and an overall college G.P.A. of C (2.0) or higher. Majors from other departments are eligible for selection by meeting the above requirements. Pending qualifications, the minor may be declared following enrollment in KIN 235.

Strength and Conditioning Minor Courses




BIO 114/L


Human Biology and Lab



BIO 115/L


Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Lab



KIN 235





KIN 336/L


Physiology of Exercise and Lab



HED 337


Exercise Principles



ATH 373


Nutritional Issues for Athletic Trainers








HED 115


Basic Nutrition



PED 365


Principles and Philosophy of Coaching



KIN 420


Strength and Conditioning Applications