Exercise Science and Sport
Paul T. Cutrufello, Ph.D., LAT, ATC, CSCS, Chair and Program Director of Exercise Science
Debra L. Fetherman, Ph.D., MCHES, ACSM EP-C, Program Director of Community Health Education
Bryon C. Applequist, Ph.D.
Joan A. Cebrick Grossman, Ph.D., RD
Michael J. Landram, Ph.D.
Andrew C. Vanezia, Ph.D.
The Department of Exercise Science and Sport consists of five areas: a major in Exercise Science, a major in Community Health Education , a Coaching Minor , a concentration in Nutrition Studies and Physical Education classes.
Exercise Science is the study of human movement as related to exercise and physical activity from an applied, primarily life science perspective. It is dedicated to promoting and integrating scientific research and education on the effects and benefits of exercise, and to the delivery of physical-activity programs that prevent disease, facilitate rehabilitation, promote health, and enhance human performance. Exercise Science is part of the field of Sports Medicine, which also includes clinical areas of study. The scientific aspects of Sports Medicine include exercise physiology, nutrition, biochemistry of exercise, and biomechanics. Testing of lactic acid metabolism, analysis of muscle fatigue, research on muscle hypertrophy and bone density, measurement of body composition, and benefits of exercise in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and weight control are a few of the many contributions made by exercise scientists to Sports Medicine.
Few academic program majors offer such diverse opportunities after graduation in Exercise Science. The academically rigorous curriculum prepares graduates with knowledge and experience for employment opportunities in a variety of settings. Careers in applied health areas, include corporate, community and hospital-based wellness programs, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and research centers investigating the benefits of exercise in chronic disease states. Becoming a strength and conditioning specialist for a sports team is also a career option.
There are four tracks to choose from in the Exercise Science program: Pre-professional Track, Pre-health Track, Applied Kinesiology Track, and the 3-year Pre-professional Track. The Pre-professional Track provides the opportunity to complete the prerequisites for students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in Physical Therapy, Physician’s Assistant, or other allied health professions. The 3-year Pre-professional Track includes the same courses but includes summer and intersession courses allowing the student to complete their coursework in three years rather than four. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the specific prerequisites required by their graduate school(s) of interest as prerequisites may differ between universities offering the same program. The Pre-Health Track is designed to offer the prerequisites for students interested in matriculating into medical, dental, podiatry or optometry school and the Applied Kinesiology Track is designed for students interested in a focus on strength and conditioning. Any of these tracks is appropriate for someone interested in a graduate program in an exercise science related discipline.
Students should make their career intentions known early in their program of study so that they may be guided to the most appropriate track and utilize their electives in order to achieve their career goals. In addition to the advising provided by PCPS Academic Advising and the Department of Exercise Science and Sport, students interested in attending medical school should participate actively in the Health Professions Organization and seek advising from Dr. Mary Engel, Director of Medical School Placement (570-941-7901). Students interested in completing the prerequisites for a Physician’s Assistant program should seek advising from Father Timothy Cadigan, Ph.D. (570-941-4348). Although not required, completion of the program provides students with the ability to take different certification exams offered by several professional organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
All Exercise Science students must submit proof of First-Aid and CPR certification prior to completion of the Exercise Science program. Copies of the certifications must be submitted to the Department of Exercise Science and Sport office (ELH 710) no later than the midpoint of the student’s second to final semester prior to graduation. Minimum requirements include Adult, Child, and Infant CPR with AED and Basic First-Aid. However, many graduate programs require advanced First-Aid and/or CPR certification, therefore, students applying to graduate programs are strongly advised to consult with those programs in order to identify the certifications suitable to meet their goals. For instance, some graduate programs may only accept certifications if granted by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.
Recommended certifications include the following: CPR certification - American Heart Association-Health Care Provider, American Red Cross-Professional Rescuer, or Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers from the American Red Cross; First-Aid Certification - American Heart Association or American Red Cross.
Graduating Exercise Science majors must possess a minimum overall grade point average of 2.75 and a grade point average of 2.75 or higher within the major. All major courses (EXSC) and cognate courses must be completed with a minimum grade of “C.” Students may progress and take any course within the EXSC major provided the pre-requisite course(s) for that course have been completed with a minimum grade of “C.”
Physical Education courses are designed to improve the physical fitness levels of each student, introduce new activities, or improve and increase students’ recreational skills. Physical education credits may be taken as an elective credits. Grading is (S) Satisfactory or (U) Unsatisfactory.
Major courses for Exercise Science are listed under the prefixes NUTR, EXSC, PHED, and PSYC. For more information on these and all courses offered, visit our Course Descriptions page.
For more information about the Exercise Science & Sport department, visit its website.