Health Coach Certificate

The Health Coach Certificate complements your degree(s) in the the Departments of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Kinesiology and/or Psychology. Many organizations and agencies offer a health coach certificate, but our program provides you with a more comprehensive foundation in nutrition, exercise, and motivational coaching which helps you better compete for employment opportunities after graduation. You will also be able to choose to sit for the American Council on Exercise exam.

Health Coach Certificate requirements

  • Required coursework (23 credits), plus pre-requisites
  • A minimum of 12 credits are taken at Iowa State University.
  • A minimum of 9 credits are not used to meet any other department, college, or university requirements for the bachelor's degree except to satisfy the total credit requirement for graduation and to meet credit requirement in courses numbered 300 or above.
  • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 in courses taken at Iowa State University for a certificate.

Required courses

Food Science and Human Nutrition

View FSHN course catalog

  • FSHN 265: Nutrition for Active and Healthy Lifestyles (3 credits)
    • Pre-requisites: FSHN 264 (Pre-requisites FSHN 167, CHEM 163/163L, BIOL 211)
  • FSHN 364: Nutrition and Prevention of Chronic Disease (3 credits) OR FSHN 365 Obesity and Weight Management (3 credits)
    • Pre-requisites: BIOL 256/256L
  • FSHN 361: Nutrition and Health Assessment (2 credits)
    • Pre-requisites: FSHN 265


View KIN course catalog

  • KIN 458: Principles of Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription (4 credits)
    • Pre-requisites: KIN 258, KIN 358
  • KIN 467: Exercise and Health: Behavior Change (3 credits)
    • Pre-requisites: KIN 366 or equivalent


View PSYCH course catalog

  • PSYCH 422: Counseling Theories and Techniques (3 credits)
    • Pre-requisites: 3 courses in psychology
  • PSYCH 485: Health Psychology (3 credits)
    • Pre-requisites: Junior classification; 6 credits in psychology
  • Practicum experience from FSHN 495 OR KIN 494A and KIN 494B (2 credits)


To apply, complete this Application Form (PDF) and submit to the academic adviser in your major's department.

Food Science and Human Nutrition: Anne Oldham

Kinesiology: Marsha Wissink

Psychology: Ashley Phipps

Get involved

Learning communities

Meet students in your major, network with upperclassmen, and gain valuable skills outside the classroom by joining a learning community. Check out your options and choose which best fits your major.

FSHN learning community

Kinesiology learning community

Psychology learning community

Food Science and Human Nutrition contacts

Ruth Litchfield
Anne Oldham

Kinesiology contacts

Laura Ellingson
Marsha Wissink

Psychology contacts

Alison Phillips
Ashley Phipps