Health and Human Performance, B.A.

Program Overview

Do you have a vibrant social personality that drives you to help people? Are habits like eating well or working out a priority for you? Does motivating, teaching, and being a catalyst for behavioral change in the health and lifestyles of others interest you? If so, a PLNU degree in health and human performance can lead to a very fulfilling and worthwhile career.

Pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Performance isn’t simply lifting heavy weights or being able to run fast — it's about working with people to overcome their fears; identify and prevent injuries; help them avoid preventable disease; and live out a healthy, happy lifestyle. From biomechanics and anatomy to physiology or psychology, expect to find yourself gaining important skills in fitness assessment, exercise prescription, proper nutrition for fueling performance, and ethical/faithful leadership in this fast-growing discipline.

The oldest greek amphitheater in the western hemisphere during sunset at PLNU in San Diego.

Student Profile

Troy Litchfield

Becoming a firefighter isn’t the career most people think of when pursuing a bachelor’s in kinesiology with a concentration in athletic training. But, for Troy Litchfield (12), this degree prepared him in multiple ways to pursue his lifelong dream job.

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PLNU health and human performance majors are also required to complete concentrations in either exercise and sports science or pre-allied health, which aim to engage students in topics around the health and fitness industry, strength and conditioning, nutrition, learning theory, physical education, coaching, and many more conversations.


Exercise and Sports Science

The Exercise and Sport Science Concentration focuses on the science and practice of sports performance, physical fitness, and life-long health. Students prepare for a range of professional certifications and careers in the movement professions, including Personal Training, Athletic Coaching, Strength and Conditioning, Sport Science, Physical Education, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Corporate Wellness, Fire, and Law Enforcement. Students in this degree program will explore the science of human movement, conduct physical fitness assessments, and learn to use metrics and evidence in developing exercise programs that help clients and athletes build physical fitness safely and efficiently.

Pre-Allied Health

The Pre-Allied Health Concentration is designed to prepare students for careers in Athletic Training (via our 3 + 2 year track leading to the MS in Athletic Training), Occupational Therapy, and Post-Baccalaureate Nursing. If you are interested in becoming an Athletic Trainer click here for more information on the 3 + 2 program.

Graphic of Overweight Individuals

Obesity Beyond the Individual

The obesity epidemic is complex, but finding ways to make a difference for those struggling with their weight and with related health problems is important.

Course List


Start Application

Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

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Current PLNU Student Information

MS-AT Application Info for Current PLNU Students

Athletic Training, M.S. 

The 3+2 accelerated Athletic Training, M.S. program in is coordination with the Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Performance (Pre-Allied Health Concentration) and prerequisites at Point Loma Nazarene University. Working with your advisor for this route of admission is critical for the application process, and applicants will apply directly through the internal application below.

Start Application

*If you are not currently a PLNU undergraduate student, please do not fill out the above application. Prospective students can apply for the MS-AT program after their third year. Students already with a bachelor's degree may apply on the MS-AT program page.


Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

The health and fitness industry is poised for huge growth as public demand for healthier lifestyle options has propelled exercise and sport science careers into some of the top job opportunities available. Increased public understanding and awareness continues to grow the need for alignment between fitness, nutrition, stress management, and treatment of preventable disease. PLNU exercise and sport science graduates are trained to successfully navigate the collaborative fitness and medical field to uncover ways of improving people's life and health. You will also leave with the scientific basis to achieve professional fitness certifications and specialized training to serve this growing need effectively.

Professor Jeff Sullivan balances on one leg as he gives a class demonstration in the Athletic Training Center


Jeff Sullivan, Ph.D., ATC

When students ask PLNU professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology Dr. Jeff Sullivan for career advice, he tells them to find what they’re passionate about and distinctly gifted in and use that to partner with God. For Sullivan, this is more than advice; these are the words he lives by.

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A Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Performance can lead to a variety of careers, including the following:

  • Fitness Industry Professional
  • Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  • Personal Training
  • Pre-health Professional (i.e., Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Athletic Training, or Pre-Physician Assistant)
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Corporate Wellness
  • Sports Coach
  • Physical Education Teacher
  • Clinical Exercise Physiologist
  • Nutritionist

Department Faculty