The Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science prepares students for health-related professions, graduate studies, doctoral research, and professional training. Students complete 90 credit hours of course requirements in addition to the College core curriculum. All students must complete an internship and may choose to add a concentration in pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, athletic training, personal training, strength and conditioning, or physiological sciences.
Students should refer to the College Bulletin or the major status sheet for complete information regarding major requirements.
The pre-physical therapy concentration prepares students to apply to a doctoral physical therapy program and satisfies course requirements for admission at most American physical therapy schools. This unique educational experience allows students to gain the basic science prerequisite knowledge and the applied science needed in the physical therapy profession. In addition to taking classes in biology, chemistry, physics, and applied health science, students also engage in original research with professors, attend regional and national scientific meetings, and obtain placement in a variety of practical/internship experiences.
The concentration also includes a one-credit hour Introduction to Physical Therapy course that integrates studies in biology and anatomy for application in future careers in physical or occupational therapy. Students learn how to take basic medical histories, perform a general physical examination, and develop differential diagnoses for various musculoskeletal processes. In addition, students investigate therapy modalities applicable to a variety of therapy needs.
Students should refer to the College Bulletin or the major status sheet for complete information regarding minors.
Most students choosing the pre-occupational therapy concentration go on to pursue graduate training to become licensed occupational therapists as the concentration allows students to take courses required for admission to many occupational therapy schools. Course topics covered in this concentration include human anatomy and physiology, developmental and abnormal psychology, sociology, medical terminology, and biology. The concentration also includes a one-credit hour Introduction to Physical and Occupational Therapy course that integrates studies in biology and anatomy for application in future careers in physical or occupational therapy. Students who complete the program are prepared for acceptance into a master’s program in occupational therapy.
Athletic training is a major specialty in the field of sports medicine where active daily involvement with athletes, physicians, and coaches affects the healthcare and well-being of the competitive and recreational athlete. The concentration in pre-athletic training provides students with an overview of the athletic training profession. Students are introduced to concepts such as orthopedic evaluation, rehabilitation techniques, and taping and bracing principles, which prepare them for entry-level master in athletic training programs. Course topics include medical terminology, special topics in exercise science, prevention and care of injuries, and corrective exercise strategies.
Personal training is a rapidly growing industry at both the state and national levels. The multidisciplinary concentration in personal training allows students to learn about the profession and to develop commonly utilized personal training skills. The concentration provides a strong foundation for students who wish to obtain various personal training certifications.
The courses in the concentration cover anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics as well as, nutrition, fitness assessment, wellness promotion and programming, and facility management. The concentration also includes a three credit hour practicum course that introduces students to the profession of personal training and develops skills in exercise technique, including teaching approaches involving free-weight and machine exercises, cardiovascular activities, flexibility, and plyometrics. In addition, students design and implement a program for an assigned client, whom they train throughout the second half of the semester.
The strength and conditioning concentration provides students with a theoretical understanding of the biomechanical, neuromuscular, physiological, and psychological responses and adaptations to exercise. Graduates from the strength and conditioning concentration obtain the knowledge necessary to pass the nationally recognized strength and conditioning certification exam (National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification), possess the skills to be successful working with recreational to professional athletes in a commercial setting or with collegiate or professional teams, and are prepared to complete a graduate program in the field. The concentration includes course topics related to personal training, nutrition, corrective exercise strategies, and a three credit hour Principles of Strength and Conditioning practicum course.
The physiological sciences concentration focuses on the physiological effects of exercise and nutrition on disease and on the promotion of physical activity. The concentration also emphasizes the effects of exercise training on physiological processes, health, and physical wellbeing. Course topics covered include special topics in exercise science, prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, exercise neurobiology, and life cycle nutrition.
A minor in exercise science is designed to impart fundamental knowledge, skills, and abilities in the theories and practice of exercise science. Students complete 23 credit hours of course requirements and receive specialized instruction in anatomy and physiology and in the acute and chronic effects of exercise on human systems. The minor provides learning experiences that lead to a basic understanding of nutrition, anatomy and physiology, exercise techniques, exercise testing, and exercise prescription.
The exercise science minor complements the academic preparation of students majoring in biology, chemistry, education, and even business who have entrepreneurial aspirations in commercial or community-based health, fitness, or athletics. It is also for students who are pursuing health-related professions which require graduate studies, doctoral research, and/or professional training.
Students should refer to the College Bulletin or the minor course requirements for complete information regarding minors.
A minor in nutrition provides students with foundational courses intended to increase knowledge of nutrition issues. The minor complements degrees related to exercise science, biology, chemistry, psychology, education, and medical or allied health fields. Students can also use the minor to better understand their own nutritional needs and improve health.
Students complete 15 credit hours in macronutrient and micronutrient basic chemistry, roles in the body, food sources, and recommended intakes. Other topics include nutritional requirements and challenges during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adulthood, and older adulthood; scientific basis for the role of nutrition in human performance; scientific overview of popular dietary supplements; the relationship between nutritional and specific chronic disease; and the relationship between current public health issues and nutritional habits.