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Nursing & Kinesiology Majors


If you’re passionate about wellness and fitness, this multidisciplinary curriculum provides the theory and practice to prepare you for professional work in schools, private agencies, clinical environments, government or business.  Selecting a concentration in either kinesiology or health promotion, you’ll have an opportunity to influence the physical activity, health, lifestyle and productivity of individuals, communities and organizations.  The kinesiology concentration focuses on enhancing the health of individuals through understanding the role of movement.   Your career after graduation might lead you to teaching, research, coaching, rehabilitation and sports medicine, or delivering services related to physical activity and fitness. This field is changing quickly in response to the aging population, increase cost of health care, and the understanding of the important role lifestyle factors play in one’s health. Graduates will have the opportunity to sit for national certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, and Certified Health Education Specialist.

An article in the Des Moines Register by columnist Daniel Finney featured the GV kinesiology department:

"Sullivan and his colleagues teach athletic training with the philosophy that job No. 1 is injury prevention.

'A lot of people think a trainer’s most important job is to improve athletic performance,” Sullivan said. “It’s not. That’s secondary to making sure bodies are healthy and strong.'"

Read the full article HERE. (Photo: Merle Laswell/For the Register)

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Meet Kinesiology Students

Kylar McCann '16
I started my educational career as a Biology major but switched gears when to Kinesiology.  Dr. Sullivan,  my instructor for Lifetime Fitness and Wellness freshman year, showed me how awesome it is to learn about the human body, its complexity, and how it can be shaped.  His enthusiasm in this field was a huge reason I changed my major.

Since beginning this major, I have learned more than I imagined I would, and have had fun doing so!  There have been many opportunities for anyone in our major to find places to intern in the Des Moines area, and there have been great work opportunities both on and off campus.  During my time here, I completed an internship at Wesley Acres of Des Moines, which opened my eyes to an entirely different age spectrum of the wellness world. (The population there was mainly 65 and older.) It is amazing to learn about all the different ways a degree in Kinesiology can be used, from working as a trainer/wellness director, getting into coaching, or becoming a doctor.  Personally, I am taking the path to becoming a doctor.

In September of 2016 I will be attending Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas and feel that my time as a Kinesiology major has prepared me for my continuing education.  This has been my dream since I was young, and the professors in my major have helped me immensely toward reaching my goal, getting accepted into the chiropractic program, and graduating early.  I cannot say enough great things about the professors in this major. They put students first and work hard to help us be successful.  The best decision I have made at Grand View is switching my major to Kinesiology because it fits my interests perfectly and has given me a great education.

Aaron Schultz '17
Since coming to Grand View in the fall of 2014 I have been enrolled in the Kinesiology program. The professors at Grand View University have made me certain about my future plans and made a positive impact on my educational and career plans.

Choosing the Kinesiology major has prepared me for my career goals of becoming a Strength and Conditioning coach. I have been able to confidently coach, teach, and learn while in the weight room with our Director of Strength and Conditioning coach for the past year because of what I have learned while in the classroom and have been able to apply it to the field. Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Viesselman have improved my confidence for this profession significantly, and have been able to offer their help and their contacts in the field to me. Dr. Sullivan helped lead me to an internship at Iowa State University working with the football strength staff the summer of 2016 by offering a recommendation and phone call to a former student who was in charge of the internship program. This is a great part of the program that the professors do care about your success and are able to lend a hand to help get these positions and opportunities.

The Kinesiology classes have taught me more than I ever could imagine about the human body and how it operates. I walk out of the classroom every day learning more than I ever thought was possible about what is going on with our bodies. The knowledge and passion the professors are able to provide for the students is everything and more that you want as you come into college.  They teach you very practical information and are able to answer any question you may have. The professors take the time to help you with recommendations for jobs, interviews, internships, or any scheduling problems. I will forever be grateful for the connection and knowledge I have from the Kinesiology program and professors at Grand View University!

Meet Kinesiology Alumni

Jon Elmore '14, SPT
University of Saint Mary DPT class of 2018

Making the decision to attend Grand View University is a choice I will never regret.  Initially, I made the decision specifically for wrestling, but the vocation I gained from the faculty was nothing I could have ever anticipated.  One professor in particular, Dr. Sullivan, may have been the final influencing mentor I needed in my life to accomplish my dream of becoming a physical therapist.  I completed several of Dr. Sullivan’s courses, but the subject that sticks out the most, in my mind, was his exercise physiology course.  He continuously found ways to make learning the material enjoyable.  I loved how he encouraged active learning and even made it possible for us to participate in exercise experiments, including letting us test the effects of bicarbonate ingestion on our own exercise performance.

I graduated from Grand View University in the spring of 2014 with a degree in Health Promotion and a minor in biology.  I proceeded to apply to physical therapy schools with the intentions of being admitted.  Dr. Sullivan continued to believe in me and constantly was going out of his way to help me accomplish my goals.  He guided me to find an internship that would lead to me becoming very knowledgeable about the field of physical therapy and even wrote me several letters of recommendation along the way.  During the application process, he remained in my corner and strived to make sure I was prepped for my interview.  He gave me great insight on how I should prepare and even taught me the word “altruism,” which ironically was asked about during my interview. 

I was admitted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Saint Mary and will graduate in May of 2018.  I am currently in my third semester and am truly grateful for the opportunity I have been given.  I still to this day remain in contact with Dr. Sullivan and occasionally text him after successfully passing challenging exams, thanking him for previously teaching me similar material.  I am currently undecided on which area of physical therapy I would like to specialize in, but I am keeping an open mind. 

If I could do it all over again, there is not a thing I would change.  Grand View University is an outstanding school that provided me with the education I desired.  Without the help of Grand View’s faculty, Susie Sterns of the career center, and several other contributing resources provided by the university, I couldn’t imagine I would be where I am today.

Melanie Ellis '15
University of Utah Graduate Student

I graduated from Grand View University in April 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Promotion with concentrations in both fitness and wellness management. At GV, I was involved in many leadership activities, as well as being an athlete all four years.

During my second year, I started thinking about changing my field of study. I fell in love with fitness and wellness through an introductory class, and that love really deepened when I took classes with Dr. Zeb Sullivan. He changes the dynamic of teaching, making the material thoroughly enjoyable and memorable. He truly impacts every student – not just as a teacher, but as a mentor and truly an inspiration.

I followed my interest in wellness to an internship with Meredith Corporation, where I got to see what it’s like to run a wellness program for 500+ employees. The internship, coupled with my classroom experiences, led me to graduate school at the University of Utah and a graduate assistantship with PEAK Health and Fitness.

Grand View rises above the rest in many ways, but I will forever remember the care and concern the faculty and staff have for students. This is something that stood out throughout my GV experience—no matter what the situation, there was always someone there to help you. I will FOREVER be a Viking and I’m so proud to be a GV alum.

Courses and Requirements

Prequesite Courses:

  • General Biology I
  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • General Psychology
  • CPR Documentation

Kinesiology and Health Promotion Core:

  • Careers in Kinesiology and Health Promotion
  • Lifetime Fitness and Wellness
  • Personal and Consumer Health
  • Leadership Skills for Conditioning/Strength Training Instruction
  • Nutrition for Everyday Living OR Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Internship
  • Kinesiology and Health Promotion Practicum
  • Senior Seminar

Health Promotion Concentration

  • Computer and Information Literacy OR Fundamentals of Information Systems
  • Principles and Foundations of Health Promotion
  • Marketing
  • Writing for Business
  • Worksite Health Promotion
  • Program Planning and Evaluation

Plus 9 credits from the following:

  • Stress and Anxiety Management
  • Public Relations Principles
  • Human Resource Management
  • Human Development
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Psychology and Health
  • Kinesiology
  • Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Testing and Prescription

Kinesiology Concentration

  • Exercise Psychology
  • Motor Control and Learning
  • Kinesiology
  • Biomechanics
  • Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Advanced Strength and Conditioning
  • Exercise Testing and Prescription

Plus 3 credits from:

  • Computer and Information Literacy
  • Principles of Statistics
  • Principles and Foundations of Health Promotion
  • Worksite Health Promotion

 For detailed course descriptions, please see the current catalog HERE.

Reference Documents