The Exercise Science major is focused on the science of human body movement. Courses in this major cover anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, and motor development. Many graduates plan to pursue graduate or professional study in areas such as exercise and sport science, sports medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other health professions. You will learn the skills necessary to work in clinical rehabilitation, sport science, and nutrition fields.
Preparing for this Major
If you are still in high school, take as many math and science courses as you can. We also recommend shadowing a professional in your field of interest.
If you are currently attending another college or university, contact an academic advisor to make sure the classes you are taking will transfer.
What You Need to Do
When you start the program, talk to your academic advisor. They will review your degree requirements and help you choose a certificate, track, minor, or specialization. Your advisor will help you identify and choose the option that best aligns with your career goals.
All of our specializations would work for this major:
- Community Health and Wellness
- Disability Studies
- Health Fitness Instructor
- Medical Fitness and Rehabilitation
- Strength & Conditioning Coaching
Learn more about certificates, minors, specializations, and tracks.
Courses in This Major
As an Exercise Science major, you will take more than 30 hours of Kinesiology and Health Education classes, including core courses that give you the foundation you will need to do well in the cognate classes specific to this major. Some of the course options include:
- HED 311 Intro to Health Promotion & Behavioral Science
- KIN 310 Physiological Basis of Conditioning
- KIN 312M Management of Physical Activity & Sport Programs
- KIN 321M Motor Development & Performance
- KIN 326K Biomechanical Analysis of Movement
- KIN 335C Motor Learning
- KIN 336 Neuromuscular Control
- KIN 347 Historical & Ethical Issues in Physical Culture & Sports
- KIN 424K Applied Human Anatomy
- KIN 425K Physiology of Exercise
You also will be able to take elective courses that supplement your major. Be sure to talk to your academic advisor about the best options.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Experience the world and change it. Studying abroad goes beyond the classroom. You also can intern, conduct research, and gain hands-on experience internationally – all of which look great on your resume.
Exercise and Sports for Health, Fitness, and Performance - Tokyo
Join Professor Hirofumi Tanaka on this Maymester program where you will deepen your knowledge of sports science, exercise physiology, sport nutrition, and more. This program will focus specifically on athletes and the Olympic Games as Tokyo will be hosting the games that summer.
Exchange Program with Oxford Brookes University - Oxford
Earn course credit while studying in a dynamic and modern university in a historically significant location. You will take up to four rigorous and science-based classes from local faculty.
These are just two recommended programs. The university provides opportunities worldwide that will fit into your degree plan and are more affordable than you may think. Reach out to the Study Abroad Office and your academic advisor to learn more.
The Department of Kinesiology and Health Education is home to more than 20 well-funded research labs working to promote and understand physical activity, health, movement, behavior, and physical culture and sport. Many of these labs welcome undergraduate students, so take a few minutes to learn more about the ground-breaking research happening in our department and find out if you would be interested in working with our top-notch faculty and graduate students.
Potential Career Paths
You will be prepared for a career in university/college health, government agencies, exercise physiologist, cardiac rehab specialist, and healthcare centers. You also will be well prepared to pursue graduate and professional education in a variety of fields such as exercise physiology, biomechanics, and rehabilitation and movement science.
If you are interested in pursuing one of the many health professions such as medicine, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant after graduation, you must complete your Exercise Science degree requirements and the prerequisites for the health profession of your choice. Be sure to meet with your academic advisor to stay on track.
For more information on health professions, please visit the Health Professions Office.
How to Apply