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College of Applied Life Studies

112A Huff Hall
1206 S. Fourth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 333-2131
Fax: (217) 333-0404

The College of Applied Life Studies offers degree programs that prepare graduates for successful careers in health education, health administration and rehabilitation; teaching, coaching, and athletic training; recreation, sport, and tourism management; and speech-language pathology and audiology.

The programs in the College of Applied Life Studies are united by their common mission to enhance health and well-being. All programs combine a broad general education with theory-based professional preparation and possible internship experiences, offering excellent opportunities for employment.

As America's approach to health and wellness changes, health care is no longer limited to the traditional practice of doctors and nurses. As a result, the growth market lies in areas related to prevention, quality of life, health planning, and therapeutic intervention. As society struggles with these issues, the College and its graduates will continue to play an important role in shaping the future. A degree from the College of Applied Life Studies allows graduates to pursue a wide array of scientific and professional careers.

Students in the College of Applied Life Studies enjoy many advantages: high quality degree programs, small classes, an emphasis on student-faculty interaction, active research programs, the opportunity to participate in professional student organizations, the availability of internships, and the largest separate college library in our field.

Along with the relationships they establish with faculty, students work closely with an academic adviser. The College of Applied Life Studies requires students to meet with advisers to develop a relationship that will guide their studies and experiences while on campus. A solid network of student services available at the University of Illinois enhances the advising experience.

Departments and Curricula

The bachelor of science degree is offered in four academic areas: Community Health, Kinesiology, Leisure Studies, and Speech and Hearing Science.
  • Advising services are available to assist with career information and the development of appropriate courses of study.
  • Honors programs are available for outstanding students at the college and campus level.
  • Internship experiences are required with most departmental curricula. Quality placements are available throughout the United States and around the world in specific degree programs.
  • Study abroad programs are available around the world.
  • Students have access to the nation's third largest academic library, including an excellent college library, reference service, interlibrary loan system, and term-paper counseling system.

Community Health

Health care is among the most rapidly evolving industries in the United States today. People in all settings are concerned about maintaining access to effective health care and the costs of securing it. An aging population places greater demand upon health care providers. To address these issues, hospitals and clinics have reorganized, consolidated, and introduced educational components designed to teach patients how to manage their personal health concerns. At the same time, business and industry leaders have invested millions of dollars in new health programs for their employees. Federal and state governments are evaluating ways to make health care more effective and less costly.

Recognized as one of the leaders in the United States with its strong emphasis on research and excellence in scholarship, the Department of Community Health prepares students for careers in the rapidly changing world of health and rehabilitative services. It is an exciting time in health care with emerging behavioral and environmental health concerns that challenge the field for new theories, policies, and technological innovations. The department's programs place special emphasis on the community context in which health care is delivered. Students can become involved in a variety of research projects related to issues such as bioethics, cancer epidemiology, disability studies, cultural aspects of health and disability, information technologies in health education, and health policy.

The Department of Community Health offers students the opportunity to focus their studies in Health Planning and Administration, Health Education or Rehabilitation Studies. In addition to the core of community health courses, course work is completed in areas related to business, health behavior, marketing, and promotion. The degree is culminated with a fieldwork experience in setting appropriate to the area of concentration. Graduates are equally prepared for jobs in progressive careers such as health education, policy, planning, and administration or for graduate study in areas such as medicine, nursing, and physical therapy.


The Department of Kinesiology is committed to the study and research of human movement in all its dimensions. Undergraduate study focuses on exercise stress, movement efficiency, and fitness; the social, cultural, and psychological aspects of participation in physical activity and sport; coordination, control and skill of physical activity; physical growth, development, and body form throughout the life span; the effects of therapeutic techniques of kinesiology upon recovery from physical injury; and the instructional process of teaching/coaching of physical activity and sport.

The curriculum combines a comprehensive liberal arts and sciences education with in-depth study in a particular area of interest. The program of study provides knowledge and understanding essential for human movement and sport careers in either public or private agencies. The hours required for graduation include prescribed courses for all students as well as requirements determined by the various areas of emphasis selected by the student. Teaching and research emphasize hands-on learning through the use of technology and modern laboratory equipment. Graduates find employment in a variety of fields including teaching, corporate fitness, coaching, and athletic training. Many students continue their education and become physical therapists, physicians, exercise physiologists, and sport psychologists.

Leisure Studies

Leisure Studies encompasses a wide range of disciplines-business administration, marketing, management, physiology, psychology, sociology, human development, urban planning, and public policy analysis-as they relate to the impact of leisure services upon individual satisfaction and quality of life. In this dynamic field, researchers and practitioners alike seek answers to such questions as: What measurable values of leisure and recreational activities impact development throughout a person's life? How does the changing work force affect our leisure? What impact does the leisure industry have on the global economy? How can a service industry best market itself?

The leisure industry is one of the top three industries in almost every state and generates more than $900 billion nationwide. As one of the first leisure studies programs in the United States, the program at the University of Illinois continues to rank nationally among the top three in the field. The faculty is world-renowned for their research and scholastic endeavors in the areas of tourism, sports, and recreation management. The Department of Leisure Studies has established and maintained the central position in the study of leisure, recreation, tourism and play over the past five decades.

The curriculum in leisure studies prepares students to design, manage, and deliver leisure services to a variety of populations in diverse settings and provides a firm foundation from which students may pursue graduate studies. A broad general education is emphasized and complemented with a core of professional courses. Beyond a strong core integrating leisure theory, management, and research, the program allows students to focus their studies on a major market segment within the leisure and recreation field. Graduates pursue careers in variety of settings, including event management, amateur and professional sports industries, park districts, resorts, and health clubs.

Speech and Hearing Science

Research has shown that communication is a key element in resolving the major problems of our society; improving communication for all people is an overall goal of study in speech and hearing science. In the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, students learn about human interpersonal communication. Through studies in speech-language pathology and audiology, they focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hearing, speech, and language disorders in people of all ages.

This major also equips students with strong oral and written communication skills and necessary tools to enter today's job market. Graduates hold positions in school systems, hospitals, medical practices, and clinics. They also work in government agencies, research laboratories, and various businesses. A baccalaureate degree in speech and hearing science also prepares students to enter a graduate program in speech-language pathology or audiology or other areas including psychology, special education, business, medicine, and dentistry.

Requirements for Admission

College Preparatory Subjects Semesters of Course Work Required Semesters of Course Work Recommended
English 8 8
Mathematics 6 6
One foreign language* 4 8
Laboratory science (not general science) 4  
Social studies 4 4
Flexible academic units: Two courses from any of the five subject categories. Approved art, music, or vocational education courses may be included. 4  
Total 30  

* At least 6 semesters of the same foreign language should be taken to meet the graduation requirement.

Once high school course work requirements are fulfilled, qualifications for admission are primarily determined by a combination of class rank at the end of the junior year with the highest ACT or SAT test score on file at the time of the admission decision. These two factors are used to predict an applicant's likelihood of academic success and one may help to offset the other. For example, an applicant may compensate for a low test score with a high class rank.

Transfer applicants must have attained junior standing (60 semester hours of transferable credit) by the desired date of entry. Lower-division transfer students (less than 60 semester hours) must petition for admission. Admission is competitive, based upon cumulative grade point average. The minimum transfer GPA requirement for the college is 2.5 (A = 4.0).

Special Programs

Honors at Graduation

Graduation from the College of Applied Life Studies with any honors designation requires that a student must have attained at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign a specific minimum cumulative grade point average based on a minimum of 55 semester hours in residence.
  • Bronze Tablet (see Graduation with Honors section)
  • Dean's List (see Graduation with Honors section)
  • Highest Honors: 3.75 to 4.0
  • High Honors: 3.5 to 3.74
  • Honors: 3.25 to 3.49

Edmund James Scholars

The James Scholar Program is a University-wide honors program established to encourage undergraduate research and independent study and to foster scholarly endeavors. For further information see the Edmund J. James Undergraduate Honors Programs.