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Iowa State University

2007-2009 Courses and Programs

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Health and Human Performance (HHP)

Graduate Courses | (

Jerry R. Thomas, Chair of Department
Distinguished Professors (Emeritus): Forker, Toman
Professors: Anderson, Bloedel, King, Sharp, J. Thomas
Professors (Emeritus): Frye, Hutchison, Schneider
Professors (Emeritus Adjunct): Beran
Associate Professors: Conover, Derrick, Ekkekakis, Engelhorn, Franke, Kohut, K. Thomas, Welk
Professors (Emeritus): Wood
Assistant Professors: Baker, Eisenmann, Gillette, Murdoch, Schabel, Smiley-Oyen
Assistant Professors (Emeritus): McDonald
Assistant Professors (Collaborators): Buck
Instructors (Adjunct): Coberley, Harklau, Meier, Pak
Senior Lecturers: Atkinson, Denton, Power
Lecturers: Dukes, Horton, Lipsey, Miller, Nespor, Norris, Packheiser, Peel, Welch, Wissink


We promote health and well-being by creating and disseminating knowledge about physical activity and active living. Through discovery, learning and engagement we improve the lives of citizens of Iowa, the United States and the world.


The department has identified the following goals to support this mission:

1. We seek to improve the lives of citizens of Iowa, the United States, and the world by the creation and dissemination of knowledge about physical activity and its relationship to health and well-being.

2. We prepare scholars and professionals in the study of physical activity at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

3. We educate the public and the University community in the scientific aspects of physical activity especially exercise, sport, and the role of movement throughout the lifespan.

Overview of Programs

The Department of Health and Human Performance provides opportunities for matriculation leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. At both the undergraduate and graduate level, there are opportunities for study in the department's two specializations: the behavioral and biological bases of physical activity.

Undergraduate Study

Dance. Coursework in dance provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding and appreciation of dance as part of a liberal education. Those interested in teaching dance and Physical Education in the public schools may major in health and human performance (teacher licensure option) and minor in dance.

An interdisciplinary Performing Arts major with a dance emphasis is available through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For further information see Index, Theatre and Performing Arts.

The department offers a minor in dance that may be earned by completing the following: Dance 220, 222, 270, 320, 360, 384, 385 or 386, and three additional credits selected from dance courses numbered 200 or above. Participation in Orchesis I or II is recommended.

Health and Human Performance. The undergraduate curriculum in Health and Human Performance is comprised of four components: general education, the Basic Core, the Advanced Core, and the option component. The intent of the general education component is to promote intellectual and personal growth and to prepare students for success in the basic, advanced and option components. The Basic Core enables students to understand, define and explore their own health and physical activity through the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. The Advanced Core extends this learning to include disciplinary concepts and tools of inquiry that comprise scientific literacy associated with health and physical activity. Finally, coursework within each specialization option builds upon this personal and scholarly learning by enabling students to master content and skills specific to career applications. The specialization Options comprise a focused area of study within Health and Human Performance. Options available are 1) Athletic Training, 2) Community and Public Health, 3) Exercise Science, 4) General Studies, and 5) Health/Fitness Management and 6) Physical Education/Licensure. Enrollment in the Athletic Training and Physical Education Licensure options is limited because of accreditation requirements and the provision of more individualized field experiences.

Academic options within the undergraduate program. Students in the CAAHEP accredited Athletic Training option are prepared for the National Athletic Training Association Board of Certification examination or for graduate work in athletic training. Graduates of this option will effectively use their expertise to plan strategies aimed at the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries.

Students in the Community and Public Health option are prepared for professional employment at local, state or national health agencies, medical centers, and other public organizations that seek to promote health in the population. The curriculum prepares students to take the Certified Health Education Specialist certification examination upon graduation.

Students in the Exercise Science option utilize an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human movement. In so doing, they become prepared for graduate study in Health and Human Performance or advanced study leading to careers in medicine, physical therapy, or other allied health programs.

Students in the General Studies option combine health and human performance with a concentration in another area of study to support an individualized program, such as community sport and recreation, dance, and other sport, exercise, or health related fields. Programs of study must be approved by the undergraduate program coordinator.

Students in the Health/Fitness Management option are prepared for professional roles as health and fitness leaders or program managers. Employment opportunities include work in corporate fitness programs, health clubs, cardiac rehabiliation programs or personal training. Graduates are able to plan, implement and supervise exercise programs which will improve fitness and health. Graduates also have a basic understanding of economic and management issues related to business applications in the health and fitness field.

Students in the Physical Education Licensure option are prepared to teach Physical Education in grades K-12 and to meet the State of Iowa learning outcomes for teachers. Graduates can plan developmentally appropriate physical education, and individualize instruction and assessment for diverse audiences.

Learning outcomes for the undergraduate degree. Despite the diversity in specialization Options, the Learning Outcomes comprise a common framework for each student as they matriculate through Iowa State University.

The learning outcomes emphasized in academic coursework in the Department of Health and Human Performance are:

Content knowledge. The student has a broad conceptual view of physical activity and health, recognizes its scientific underpinnings (e.g. history, content, disciplinary concepts, and tools of inquiry) and appreciates the interdisciplinary nature of the study of physical activity and health. Literacy will be gained from the personal, scholarly and professional perspectives.

Discovery and critical thinking. The student can use accepted techniques of discovery and apply critical thinking within and outside of the discipline area. The student will be able to solve problems independently and evaluate opinions and outcomes at the personal scholarly and professional level.

Communication. The student uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal and media communication techniques to foster inquiry, collaboration, and engagement in physical activity and health related settings.

Numeracy. The student understands and uses qualitative and quantitative analysis through formal and informal assessment strategies.

Technology. The student understands and uses a variety of technological applications to improve personal understanding and to enhance scholarly pursuits and professional practice in their chosen area of study.

Learning in the following domains occurs both in and outside the Iowa State University experience. The department will foster development in these domains through its courses and other activities.

Citizenship. The student uses value and ethics based decision making to demonstrate personal, professional and world citizenship through fostering relationships, embracing leadership, accepting social responsibility, seeking and completing opportunities to improve the quality of life for others.

Lifelong learning. The student is a reflective professional who actively seeks to further self-knowledge and seeks opportunities to grow professionally.

Diversity. The student understands how individuals differ in their approaches to initiating and maintaining a physically active, healthy lifestyle, and creates appropriate environments for diverse participants.

The department offers a minor in athletic coaching. The minor may be earned by completing the following: Ex Sp 220, 258, 315, 355, 358, 365; Biol 155; and Psych 230.

Endorsement to Coach Interscholastic Athletics. The State Department of Education has provided for the endorsement of licensed teachers for the coaching of athletic teams in schools. The endorsement does not lead to licensure to teach physical education. For requirements of the program, leading to the coaching endorsement, see Teacher Education, Requirements for Areas of Specialization.

Basic Activity Instruction Program. The department offers a wide selection of beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses in the areas of aquatics, dance, and sports. These courses are designed to serve general education purposes for all students.

B.S./M.S. degree in Diet and Exercise. A combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science (B.S./M.S.) degree in diet and exercise is available. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FS HN), within the Colleges of Agriculture and Human Sciences, and the Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP), within the College of Human Sciences. Students interested in this program must enroll as freshmen in the pre-diet and exercise program In the fall of the junior year students will apply for admission to the B.S./M.S. program. Students not accepted into the program will continue toward completion of a B.S. degree in dietetics or health and human performance. Coursework has been designed to facilitate a 4-year graduation date for those students not accepted into the program and electing to complete a single undergraduate degree. Students accepted into the program will progress toward completion of B.S./M.S. degrees in diet and exercise.

Graduate Study

The Department of HHP graduate seeks to integrate discovery and learning by preparing graduate students to understand and create basic and applied knowledge in the study of physical activity, exercise and sport. For all graduate degrees the department offers specializations in behavioral basis of physical activity and biological basis of physical activity. The normal prerequisite to major graduate work is the satisfactory completion of a curriculum essentially equivalent to that required of undergraduate students in health and human performance at this university. However, it is possible for students to qualify for graduate study if undergraduate preparation has been in a related area.

Students in the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are required to complete original research and write a thesis or dissertation. There is a nonthesis degree option for M.S. students requiring more coursework and an internship experience or other creative component. Specific information about the requirements for these degree options is available from the department office or from the department web site (

The department participates in the interdepartmental minor in gerontology (see Index).

Courses open for nonmajor graduate credit: Ex Sp 355, 358.

Courses primarily for graduate students, open to qualified undergraduate students

HHP 501. Research Methods in Physical Activity. (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: Graduate classification in health and human performance. Methods and techniques used in the design and interpretation of research involving physical activity. Emphasis on styles of writing, library use, and computer applications.

HHP 505. Research Laboratory Techniques in Exercise Physiology. (0-4) Cr. 2. Prereq: Ex Sp 358 or equivalent course with basic laboratory experience. Application and use of laboratory research equipment in exercise physiology, including operation, calibration, and use in selected situations.

HHP 510. Advanced Medical Aspects of Exercise. (2-0) Cr. 2. Prereq: Ex Sp 358. The role of exercise in preventive medicine. Impact of exercise on various diseases, and the effect of various medical conditions on the ability to participate in vigorous exercise and competitive sports. Principles of exercise testing and prescription for individuals with these conditions.

HHP 516. Quantitative Analysis of Human Movement. (3-1) Cr. 3. Prereq: Ex Sp 355. Application of the principles of mechanics to the analysis of human motion. Investigation of the effects of kinematics and kinetics on the human body with special emphasis on exercise and sport applications. Includes consideration of two-dimensional and three-dimensional imaging techniques and force measurements.

HHP 520. The Social Analysis of Sport. (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: Ex Sp 360; open to majors only or by permission of instructor. Sociological analysis of sport with emphasis on sociological theory, sports structure, and function in modern industrialized society; the systems of sport in regard to their role structure; formal organization, and professionalization and its differentiation along social class, age, and sex.

HHP 521. Advanced Topics in Exercise and Sport Psychology. (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: Ex Sp 365 or 366, 3 courses in psychology; open to majors only or by permission of instructor. Aspects of psychology which form a basis for understanding and explaining behavior in the context of exercise and sport. Emphasis on evaluating published research, particularly theory and research methodology. Student presentations.

HHP 549. Advanced Vertebrate Physiology I. (Cross-listed with An S, B M S). (3-0) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Biol 335; credit or enrollment in BBMB 404 or 420. Neurophysiology, sensory systems, muscle, neuroendocrinology, endocrinology.

HHP 550. Advanced Physiology of Exercise I. (2-3) Cr. 3. Prereq: 505. Concepts and methods of assessing neurological, muscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory adjustments to exercise.

HHP 551. Advanced Physiology of Exercise II. (2-3) Cr. 3. Prereq: 505. Analysis of factors affecting work capacity and performance. Human energy metabolism concepts and measurement.

HHP 552. Advanced Vertebrate Physiology II. (Cross-listed with An S, B M S). (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: Biol 335; credit or enrollment in BBMS 404 or 420. Cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, and digestive physiology.

HHP 558. Physical Fitness - Principles, Programs and Evaluation. (2-3) Cr. 3. Prereq: Ex Sp 358. Physiological principles of physical fitness, design and administration of fitness programs; testing, evaluation, and prescription; electrocardiogram interpretation.

HHP 560. Principles of Motor Control and Learning. (2-3) Cr. 3. Prereq: Ex Sp 372. Theoretical perspectives of motor control and learning will be examined as well as factors that facilitate motor learning. Motor control and learning will also be addressed by studying functional tasks such as reach and grasp, posture and locomotor, handwriting, catching and/or speech.

HHP 561. Motor Development. (2-0) Cr. 2-3. Prereq: Psych 230. The physical development and characteristic reactions of children in relation to motor performance. Identification of special psychomotor needs of various age groups of children. All literature and theories applied to the physical education environment.

HHP 572. Neural Basis of Human Movement. (Dual-listed with 472). (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: Ex Sp 372 or Psych 310. (Dual-listed with EX SP 472) Addresses the role of the central nervous system in the control of voluntary human movement, with the focus on the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and cerebellum. Content organized around specific nervous system damage (such as stroke, apraxia, spasticity, or spinal cord damage) and functional movements (such as reaching and grasping, balance and gait). Converging evidence from human movement disorders, brain imaging, animal lesion and single cell studies provide the primary basis for the content.

HHP 590. Special Topics. Cr. 1-3. Repeatable.
A. Physical Education
B. Health and Exercise Promotion
D. Exercise Physiology
E. Sport Sociology
F. Sport/Exercise Psychology
G. Motor Behavior
H. Biomechanics
I. Human Growth and Puberty

HHP 591. Supervised Field Experience. Cr. 1-6. Prereq: 10 graduate credits in health and human performance and/or related areas. Supervised on-the-job field experience in special areas.
A. Physical Education
B. Health and Exercise Promotion
D. Exercise Physiology

HHP 595. Adapted Physical Education. (Dual-listed with 395). (2-3) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Ex Sp 375. (Dual-listed with EX SP 395) Specific disabling conditions in terms of etiology, characteristics, needs, and potential for movement experiences. Techniques of assessment, prescription, adaptation of activities, methods, and program planning. Laboratory experience required. HHP 595 may not be taken by students who have previously earned credit in Ex Sp 395.

HHP 599. Creative Component. Cr. 1-3. Repeatable.

Courses for graduate students

HHP 615. Seminar. Cr. 1-3. Repeatable.

HHP 699. Research. Cr. 1-6. Repeatable.