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 and 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 as Exercise Science. The academically rigorous curriculum prepares graduates with knowledge and experience for employment opportunities in a variety of settings. In the applied health area, careers in corporate and community/ hospital-based wellness programs, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and research centers investigating the benefits of exercise in chronic disease states are possibilities. Strength and conditioning specialists for sports teams are also career options.
Exercise Science is an excellent option for students interested in applying to graduate health-profession programs such as osteopathic medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant, and clinical exercise physiology. Additional required course work to meet entry requirements can be chosen as electives. In this regard, students should make their career intentions known early in their program of study. Opportunities for graduate study are available in academic units of medicine, biology, physiology, and exercise science. 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.
Graduating Exercise Science majors must possess a minimum overall grade point average of 2.75.
Prior to taking any EXSC course numbered above EXSC 229 , students must have completed all major and cognate courses with a minimum grade of “C.” Students must also possess a minimum grade point average of 2.50 within the major. Subsequently, in order to progress in EXSC courses, (1.) a minimum grade of “C” must be earned in each major and cognate course and (2.) a minimum grade point average of 2.50 is required within the major.
For more information about the Exercise Science and Sport department, visit its website.