Encouraging healthy lifestyles for all.
Department of Health & Sport Sciences
Our goal is to create an inclusive, engaging, and dynamic educational experience for students.
The Department of Health and Sport Sciences is deeply rooted in the history of Otterbein University as a department that prides itself as being a place that supports hands-on learning for our students and as a department committed to excellence in teaching and advising for our students. We have achieved long-standing success with helping our students reach their future professional goals. The Department of Health and Sport Sciences works to prepare students to become competent, self-directed professionals through sound curricular programming, dedicated faculty, and outstanding facilities and equipment.
Department faculty work closely with students within the classroom and through close, personal advising relationships. This mentorship allows our students to succeed at Otterbein and beyond! In 2022, 100% of the Allied Health students that applied to graduate school in physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assisting were accepted. The 3+2 Master of Science in Athletic Training has grown from our well-respected undergraduate program in Athletic Training! Exercise Science and Health Promotion majors benefit from the experience of working with faculty and staff in our OtterFit Wellness program as early as their sophomore year and grow that experiential learning into respected internships in the fitness and wellness industries. Students majoring in Sports Management are actively engaged on-campus with event planning such as the recent Zero Waste Gameday program and also benefit from an array of outstanding internships. Public Health students are well connected to the Westerville and greater Columbus community where they benefit from real-life application of their coursework.
Take a look at this video produced entirely by HSS students to learn more about what they value about their department.
Programs of Study
Allied Health majors learn about human movement, evidence-based medicine, and exercise response. Our program is designed to prepare you for graduate school in physical therapy, athletic training, occupational therapy, and physician assisting, among other health-related fields.
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The Exercise Science & Health Promotion major prepares you to work in health education and the promotion of health programs as well as exercise science, nutrition, lifestyle management, and corporate wellness. Students gain hand-on experience with personal training and can earn one or more certifications in fitness as part of their degree.
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Public Health Education majors can work as a health educators in health departments, community service organizations, and other healthcare settings. In this program, you will be able to volunteer in our field, join the Eta Sigma Gamma honorary society, and even become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) before you graduate.
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Sport Management majors learn to think critically, problem-solve, collaborate, and lead while networking with professionals in the sport industry and gaining real-world experience through internships, practicums and other opportunities. Our exciting, hands-on curriculum prepares you to work with professional and collegiate sport teams, and other sport, fitness, or recreation organizations.
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The MSAH program supports health and wellness leaders in the growing healthcare industry. Designed to be flexible for working adults, it gives students a strong voice in developing their practicum experiences for maximum benefit to their career. Our robust curriculum ensures a strong foundation in one of two tracks, Healthcare Administration or Exercise & Health Science.
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The 3+2 MSAT lets you complete an undergraduate degree and be eligible to sit for the Board of Certification examination with your Master’s degree. Our unique undergraduate curriculum gives majors experience in athletic training through clinical experiences in a wide variety of settings while preparing them for graduate work in the Masters program.
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Students interested in pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, pre-physician assistant or other health-related careers should consider a degree in Allied Health.
Student, Faculty, & Alumni Spotlights
Throughout my internship with the Columbus Clippers, I have been able to see a different side of the professional sports world. I have been able to offer my ideas on corporate sales and sponsorship as well as ballpark promotions. Otterbein’s Sport Management Program has allowed me to excel in this role.
Jordan Aronowitz ’22
Sport Management Major with a Marketing Analytics Minor
HSS students have the opportunity for additional academic challenge by participating in Otterbein’s Honors Program. Joining this “Community of Scholars” provides important exploration and the chance for advanced research.
OtterFit lets Exercise Science and Health Promotion majors work as personal trainers for Otterbein faculty and staff. They can also lead group training classes, educational programming and events.
Having access to this kind of technology allowed me to pose questions and research I had not even thought would be possible as an undergraduate. The experiences I gained as a researcher, student, and future clinician were unmatched.
Lauren Rumbalski ‘22
Bachelor of Science in Allied Health with a minor in Psychology
Read more about Lauren’s story >
I started as a timid student who was hesitant to speak her mind. Now, I’m president of the Athletic Training club and I’m a future intern at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Sydney Fojas ’21
Sydney says that her close-knit cohort group helps challenge her and hold her accountable in her studies.
I don’t owe my professional success to my destiny, courage, luck, belief, confidence, or fortune. I owe it to the wonderful scholar-teachers at Otterbein University. Nothing can come close to the inspirational presence of my instructors who placed me on this journey that has become Public Health.
Sheronda Whitner ’12
Students will learn about biomechanics using state-of-the-art technology and will be able to collaborate with faculty on research projects involving our athletes and community members.
Dr. Shelley Payne
Professor, DHS, PT, LAT, ATC
The new Biomechanics Institute at The Point offers a state-of-the-art facility that will provide Allied Health and Athletic Training majors with exceptional opportunities for hands-on learning.
The type of student that is attracted to Otterbein is one that energizes me to not only come to work every day, but to be the best I can be.
Dr. Joan Rocks
HSS Department Chair and Otterbein Professor since 1992
Learn more about her story >
Department Features & Student Opportunities
HSS proudly offers additional competitive scholarship opportunities to recognize student excellence, service and leadership.
HSS facilities include modern classrooms with integrated technologies and labs for students to conduct individual or group research.
Students enjoy the benefit and professional development that a wide-range of professional experiences and internships provide.
Fun with HSS
It’s easy to carve out time for fun and learning in HSS. Stay connected with department events – including the annual Pumpkin Carving Contest.
The Black Student-Athlete Summit is a three-day gathering to openly examine and candidly discuss the numerous and complex issues surrounding black student-athletes.
Make a Difference
HSS students organize an annual run/walk 5K to raise awareness and funds. Their work supports charitable organizations and helps fund an Otterbein scholarship.
Health & Sport Sciences Department News
In Loving Memory of Dr. Kim Fischer
Posts - May 24, 2023The following video is in honor of Dr. Kim Fischer. There is no doubt that the world has lost a phenomenal person who was a true friend, colleague and mentor. Hundreds of students benefited from Dr. Fischer's guidance, persistence, nudging and support. We all have such positive memories of Kim. She is forever woven in our hearts! https://vimeo.com/829951325?share=copy
Sport Management Presents International Sports Film Festival of Ohio, March 20-23
News - March 16, 2023Sport Management presents the 2023 International Sports Film Festival of Ohio. This year’s festival will showcase three films — Landis; Category: Woman; and The Loyola Project. There will also be a presentation from Super Bowl-winning strength coach Jeff Friday, and a Q&A with the writer for Landis, Pete Brown. The 2023 International Sports Film Festival of Ohio is the sixth edition of the festival, with this being the third held at Otterbein University. All events are free and open to…
OtterFit Program Offers the Best of Both Worlds to Students and Faculty
News - February 8, 2023By Erica Bush ’25 After a brief pause, the OtterFit Faculty and Staff Health and Fitness Program is back in action at Otterbein and is ready to benefit both students and faculty members. The OtterFit program is part of two required courses for students majoring in exercise science and health promotion, EXSC 2300: Introduction to Exercise Testing and Prescription and EXSC 2900: Practicum in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. Together, these two courses combine textbook learning with hands-on application of…
The Athletic Training program at Otterbein is nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Additionally, the Exercise Science and Health Promotion major is recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as an Education Recognition Program in Strength and Conditioning. Only four other institutions in Ohio have earned this recognition.
Center of Health & Sport Sciences
140 Center St
Westerville, OH 43081
The Department of Health and Sport Sciences here at Otterbein University is like a family to me, and has helped me develop both professional and real-life skills that I will use the rest of my career and life.