About Us

Program Philosophy

The master's degree in Wellness Management creates opportunities for graduates to address industry trends and community needs. We equip students to apply academic, research and leadership skills to corporate, recreational, governmental, educational and medical environments.

We embrace the theme of the University of Central Oklahoma campus - transformative learning - by offering an applied approach to exercise science and health studies. The curriculum transforms students into critical thinkers and problem solvers.

The Wellness Management Program offers two options, Exercise Science and Health Studies. Exercise Science graduates emerge with a thorough understanding of how to apply the principles of kinesiology in the areas of exercise physiology, strength and conditioning and the prescription of physical fitness to manage a number of health conditions. Health Studies graduates gain a foundation for practicing community/employee health and wellness.

The Wellness Management degree is a highly employable degree because it is practical in nature and gives students the means to contribute to improving the health of citizens.

Program History

The master's degree in Wellness Management was created at the University of Central Oklahoma in 2001, and is the only graduate program of its kind in the state.

The degree provides upper-level study options for students with undergraduate degrees in areas such as kinesiology, health, exercise science, exercise physiology, strength and conditioning, community health, employee health, public health, and health, fitness and wellness management.

The program has been designed to provide practical knowledge and skills to address wellness issues within multiple populations. Students learn how to promote and manage positive lifestyles in corporate, recreational, governmental, education and medical settings.

Graduates have gone on to professional jobs in senior living centers, substance-abuse programs, the Oklahoma City Health Department, the UCO Wellness Center and Chesapeake Energy Fitness Center, to name just a few.

Program Breakdown

Health Studies

Health Studies majors gain skills in program planning and management, wellness intervention strategies, and in leadership centered on issues of health and wellness. Research skills include grant writing, assessing community needs, and program evaluation. The program emphasizes excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills.

Exercise Science

Exercise Science students study the effective management of corporate wellness facilities, cardiac rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, private fitness facility management, program establishment, fitness assessment and prescription for special populations, and personal- and group-program development and implementation. The program emphasizes excellent oral and written communications skills, and interpersonal skills. The UCO Wellness Center research laboratory plays a critical role in providing a hands-on approach to the program.


C. Diane Rudebock, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology & Health Studies

Dr. Diane Rudebock is coordinator of the graduate Wellness Management Program - Health option - and the undergraduate Community Health Program. She is a certified Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator and has conducted numerous workshops throughout Oklahoma and other states using the labyrinth as a tool for self reflection. Her research interests include using the labyrinth, a moving meditation, and its effects on health and well-being.

Melissa Powers, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology & Health Studies

Dr. Melissa Powers is the program coordinator for the Wellness Management Program - Exercise Science option. Her primary interest is promoting physical activity among older adults. She is currently conducting a study of the impact of resistance training on body composition, physical functioning and cognition among elder women.

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