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School of Education, Health and Human Behavior
School of Education

Applied Health Internship Program


The Exercise Science Internship program is designed to give students the opportunity to merge their academic knowledge with practical professional experience while earning academic credit. The experience allows students to explore and clarify professional goals, acquire new skills, and develop professional contacts in their chosen field. The internship is required for seniors seeking a degree in exercise science. 

 Specific benefits of the internship experience include:

  • Clarification of future career direction and goals
  • Observation of professionals in the field
  • Opportunity for a hands-on application of academic coursework, theories and principles
  • Participation in the decision-making processes
  • Gain a greater understanding of facility management and business operations
  • Demonstration of leadership and organizational skills
  • Accumulate practical job experience and professional contacts

Internship Eligibility

The internship experience is meant to allow you to take your academic knowledge and apply it in the real world. Therefore, it is generally most meaningful when it is one of the last courses you take, preferably in your last semester. Students will work with their Applied Health Academic Advisor to determine eligiblity for the internship. Generally, students are eligible for their professional internship after meeting the following requirements:

  • Have a minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Successfully completed KIN 416 (Exercise Assessment and Programming)
  • Have completed current Basic Life Support (BLS) certification
  • Have approval from the department

Students should be aware that some sites prefer additional course work to be completed prior to the internship. For this reason, it is important for students to discuss their career path with their Applied Health Academic Advisor and the Internship Coordinator. 

Internship Enrollment

The internship process begins during the semester prior to the actual internship. Because of this, it is important that students meet with their advisor regularly in order to be aware of their internship eligibility. The steps to be enrolled in KIN 460: Internship in Exercise Science are listed below:

  • Complete the Academic Approval Form with their Applied Health Academic Advisor and submit it to the Internship Coordinator.
  • Attend one of the mandatory Internship Orientation Meetings which are generally held within the first few weeks of the semester. 
  • After attending the meeting, students will be added to an Internship Community page on Blackboard.  All Internship guidelines, hour logs, site lists, forms, and evaluations are on this site.
  • The Internship Coordinator will then enroll all students in KIN 460 when registration opens.

Internship Sites and Locations

One of the most important factors in ensuring a successful internship experience is matching the interests of the student with qualified mentors from agencies across the region.  The Internship Coordinator can help students reflect on their experiences and professional goals to ensure that they identify both an internship site and an internship supervisor that can offer them the best possible experience.  A list of potential internship sites from the St. Louis Metro Region is posted on the Internship Community page on Blackboard; however, students are welcome to pursue additional agencies that we do not yet have an agreement with.  Instructions for obtaining approval for new sites can be found in the Internship Community on Blackboard as well.  It is the responsibility of each student to identify potential internship sites and to receive approval of the site from the internship coordinator.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Internship Site:

  1. Research the organization thoroughly (i.e., talk with employees/past interns, contact the Chamber of Commerce)
  2. Find out what the organizations mission and goals are and how you would fit into their agency during the semester.
  3. How many interns have they had in the past?  Is there one person in charge of internships?  To whom would you report?  Are they equipped to have interns?
  4. Find out the organizations expectations of interns (i.e., how many hours do they expect from you, is the scheduling flexible around your coursework, and what other responsibilities would you have?)
  5. How do they plan to utilize you and your skills?  Do they provide training for you?  Will you be learning new skills?
  6. What would an average day be like for an intern in their organization?
  7. What other expectations do they have of you?  (e.g., research, meetings, paperwork completion/filing, telephone calls/answering)
  8. How will you be evaluated by your supervisor at the agency?
  9. What are the possible future employment opportunities within the organization?  Do they hire interns?
  10. Have you visited the site?  Can you picture yourself working there?  Do the employees enjoy their jobs?

Questions about the internship?

For questions, students can contact Erin Vanderbunt, Internship Coordinator, at


exercise science
Maria Fernandez-del-Valle, Ph.D.,
2012 Universidad Europea de Madrid
Brianne Guilford, Ph.D.,
2013, University of Kansas Medical Center 

Erik Kirk (Chair), Ph.D.,
2004, University of Kansas
Lindsay Ross-Stewart, Ph.D., 2009, University of North Dakota

Bryan Smith, Ph.D.,
2004, University of Missouri

Benjamin Webb, Ph.D., 2014, The Pennsylvania State University

Joshua Wooten Ph.D,
2008, Texas Women's University
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