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About HES

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Welcome from the Interim Department Chair

Welcome to the
Department of Health and Exercise Science at OU!

I hope that you can use our website to thoroughly explore all of our programs, get to know our faculty and discover the many research opportunities available through our department. 

Our programs integrate the biological, physiological, medical, and behavioral sciences as they relate to physiological responses to exercise and human health. We have developed an excellent core of faculty in the areas of exercise physiology and health promotion and we take pride in the fact that all of our faculty are involved with both the undergraduate and graduate programs. More information about our faculty and their area of expertise is available on their individual pages listed on our Faculty page. 

Our undergraduate program attracts students who have diverse interests. We encourage undergraduate participation in the Honors College, departmental research projects, internships, and membership in professional organizations and societies as a means of enhancing their basic academic preparation. Students who graduate from our undergraduate program have successfully entered many professional and graduate programs and found employment in areas like strength and conditioning, fitness centers, pharmaceutical sales, and wellness programs.

We offer master's degrees in health promotion, exercise physiology, health and exercise science (an interdisciplinary degree that incorporates both health promotion and exercise physiology), and sports data analytics. We also offer separate doctoral programs in exercise physiology and health promotion. All of our graduate programs have a strong emphasis on research experiences that help develop competent and independent researchers in exercise physiology and health promotion. Graduates from our MS programs have been very successful in entering Ph.D. programs, gaining admission to allied health and medical programs, or securing employment in fitness and clinical settings. Our doctoral graduates have gone on to post-doctoral experiences, academic positions, or found employment in corporate settings. Our graduate programs often collaborate efforts with some of the programs at the OU Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, as well as departments on the Norman campus.

The University of Oklahoma, the flagship university of the state, is a doctoral-granting research institution. Norman is a great college town with a vibrant atmosphere and is within 30 minutes of Oklahoma City. If you have any questions regarding our programs, please contact us at or (405) 325-5211. 

Christopher D. Black, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Interim Department Chair


The mission of the Department of Health and Exercise Science is to lead the state and nation in exercise science and health promotion education and research by providing a rich and diverse undergraduate and graduate curriculum which draws from the life sciences, social sciences, health and exercise sciences, and the humanities; and to contribute to the enhancement of quality of life for the general public. 



Our faculty are some of the foremost scholars and researchers in their fields. Their cutting-edge research is published in trade journals and many are invited to speak at national and international conferences. In addition to doctorates, many hold certifications such as Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS), Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT), and are members of organizations such as Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM), Fellow of the Research Consortium, Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology. Most importantly, they truly enjoy teaching and are accessible to undergraduate and graduate students alike. 


At any given time HES faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students have multiple research projects ongoing focusing on the areas of bone density, nutrition, resistance training, stretching, aging and school/community interventions to increase physical activity. Our state-of-the-art laboratory facilities are conveniently located in the west wing of the S. J. Sarkeys Complex and the Collums Building. As a HES student, research opportunities will be an integral part of your educational experience. 


Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, studying health promotion or exercise physiology, you will have a broad educational experience that includes biological, physical, medical, and behavioral sciences as they relate to human health and physiological response. These multidisciplinary experiences will prepare you for many exercise physiology and health promotion-related careers. 

The Department of Health and Excercise Science is a member of the
American Kinesiology Association