Exercise and Sport Science


Exercise and Sport Science

Physical activity is essential to good health, disease prevention and increasing human performance, and our popular and nationally recognized programs will help you be a leader in improving quality of life through safe exercise and organized sport.

Whether you want to be a physical education teacher, personal trainer or administrator for a professional sports team, we provide the theory and practical application for you to excel in a number of fitness careers.

Overview of EXSS Major

The basic exercise and sport science curriculum meets university requirements for the bachelor’s degree and provides general education needed for professional preparation. In addition to the general education and professional courses listed in the core program, undergraduate major students complete an option selected from applied exercise and sport science, fitness and nutrition, physical education teacher education, and pre-therapy and allied health.

Applied Exercise and Sport Science

With the Applied Exercise and Sport Science option you can individualize your Exercise and Sport Science program of study to prepare for a variety of professional goals such as medical school, graduate and professional programs, adult fitness, sport business, athletics, youth programs, and leadership of non-school sports programs for people of all ages. It is designed to prepare you for very specific career goals not met by one of the other options.

Fitness and Nutrition

The Fitness and Nutrition option brings together a strong focus in exercise physiology and exercise programming with a foundation in nutrition, which will uniquely prepare you to promote health while working with the public in a fitness setting. You will be well prepared to provide leadership for organizing, directing, and managing physical fitness programs in business and industrial settings, health clubs, and hospital-based fitness/ wellness and cardiac rehabilitation programs. You also will be prepared for professional certifications in fitness and conditioning — such as those from ACSM and NSCA — as well as for graduate study in the field.

Physical Education Teacher Education

The Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) option is for students seeking careers in teaching physical education. If you want to teach physical education in an elementary or secondary school setting, the PETE option is for you. This program provides the academic major and prerequisites needed for application into the fifth-year, master’s-level teacher education program that leads to teaching licensure.

Pre-Therapy and Allied Health

The Pre-Therapy and Allied Health (PTAH) will prepare you for admission into professional preparation programs in the allied health fields, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, physician assistant studies and medical school. You will have the opportunity to experience classroom, clinical and/or community experiences related to the allied health professions.

Career Options

*May require post-baccalaureate/graduate/professional education to qualify or certify for employment.

  • Clinical exercise physiologist*
  • Club or corporate fitness instructor
  • Fitness entrepreneur
  • Fitness program director
  • Nurse*
  • Occupational therapist*
  • Personal trainer
  • Physical education teacher*
  • Physical therapist*
  • Physical therapy aide
  • Physician*
  • Physician assistant*
  • Research and education*
  • Special educator*
  • Specialized careers in exercise, fitness, health and athletic fields
  • Strength coach
  • Strength physiologist*
  • Wellness/prevention program coordinator