Health and Human Performance (HHP)



Program Overview

The Exercise/Fitness Specialist program is a laboratory-based science major that provides students with a strong foundational background in human anatomy, biomechanics, neurology, physiology and psychology as they apply to exercise and human movement. The curriculum is designed to expose students to the breadth and depth of exercise science and fitness. Students in this program leave Cleveland State University with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop personalized fitness programs and to assess the fitness of clients who either want to begin a fitness program or evaluate the benefits of their current program. Beginning with their entry level professional courses in the Foundations of Sport, Exercise and Physical Education, students are required to participate in building an ePortfolio. Using a variety of media, styles and strategies, the ePortfolio system allows students to demonstrate/showcase the competencies they have achieved by both traditional and non-traditional means. The Exercise/Fitness Specialist program provides both a curriculum and laboratory/field experiences that allow students to gain competencies in each of the six standards established by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). These standards identify both the knowledge base and skill competencies that Exercise/Fitness Specialists need to be successful in an entry level position in their chosen profession.


Cleveland State University graduates with an Exercise/Fitness Specialist major have been very successful in securing employment. Our graduates have excellent reputations and have secured positions in community and corporate health/fitness centers, YMCAs, and hospital cardiac rehabilitation units throughout the region and the state. Coaching is still another possible career choice.

Additionally, Exercise/Fitness Specialists may choose to further their education by seeking acceptance into graduate programs. For example, Exercise/Fitness Specialists with a master’s degree and licensure in early childhood education are in demand nationwide, qualifying for employment in preschools and Head Start centers, as well as public and private schools.


Beyond general education requirements, Exercise/Fitness Specialist students complete 65-72 semester hours of professional and major field course work, which includes an eight or 12 semester hour internship in the field. Students must have and maintain a 2.5 overall grade point average (GPA) to be admitted to the College of Education and Human Services and to take any of the College’s courses at or above the 300-level. Full acceptance to the program also requires completion of 30 semester hours of course work with demonstrated proficiency in English and mathematics as evidenced by an earned grade of C or better in ENG 101 and a college-level mathematics course. Internship eligibility requires a 2.75 GPA in professional core courses and a 2.5 GPA in specialty/major field course work.