Our students develop a strong foundation in anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, neuroscience, exercise prescription, and exercise nutrition through rigorous coursework. The science-based curriculum prepares graduates to work with individuals across the lifespan to promote healthy lifestyle changes through basic interventions and referrals. Graduates are well prepared and encouraged to take a national certification exam, such as the ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C) or the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with faculty on ongoing research projects. The BS in Exercise Science prepares students for advanced study in graduate programs in exercise physiology, nutrition and other health-related professions.
The hands-on lab work, coupled with a one-semester internship experience, prepares graduates for entry-level positions focusing on health/fitness, cardiac rehabilitation, injury and disease prevention, community health and wellness, or performance enhancement. The ES program is also excellent preparation for other health professions’ programs, such as medicine, public health, chiropractic, physical therapy or physician's assistant.
The Exercise Science program prepares graduates for entry-level positions in the areas of fitness, health and wellness, prevention of injury and rehabilitation through exercise and physical activity. Students apply the scientific principles of exercise conditioning to design exercise programs to enhance the well-being of individuals.
Skills gained in this program include managing, organizing and meeting deadlines, analyzing, critical thinking, teaching, interpreting, communicating, persuading/influencing, coordinating, planning, problem solving, and guiding people towards wellness.
Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the basic principles and vocabulary of exercise science and nutrition
- Work with individuals across the lifespan in achieving health/fitness goals, preventing injuries and disease, and enhancing performance
- Design and prescribe exercise programs to restore health and maintain optimal well-being
- Pass a national certification exam (ACSM, NSCA)
- Demonstrate problem solving, professionalism, critical thinking and communication
- Continue their education in exercise physiology, nutrition or other health professions programs or find entry-level employment in an exercise science-related discipline
Students will take a series of courses related to human anatomy and physiology; exercise assessment, prescription and programming; exercise physiology and nutrition. Class size varies in undergraduate courses with lab and recitation sections kept to a maximum of 26 students per section. Labs allow students to practice skills such as ECG interpretation, vital sign monitoring, health risk appraisal, fitness assessment, exercise testing and prescription, and exercise instruction. Students are encouraged to work with faculty on independent study projects. Students also complete an internship to gain hands-on experience in exercise science.
Students will complete lab-based coursework in the Exercise Physiology lab designed to enhance the teaching and training of the clinical and applied aspects of exercise physiology. The lab is located in Diefendorf Annex and serves to prepare students for national certifications in exercise assessment, prescription and programming of healthy and clinical populations. Students have opportunities to work with faculty in department laboratories including the Emergency Responder Human Performance lab, Center for Research and Education in Special Environments (CRESE), the Nutrition and Health Research lab, and the Center for Health Research. CRESE is one of the only research centers in the world that allows scientists to study extreme environments. The full CRESE team includes scientists from three schools: Public Health and Health Professions, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
The department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences includes 12 tenured/tenure track faculty members, 5 clinical faculty members, and 7 affiliated faculty members. Faculty research interests include: environmental physiology; emergency responder health and safety; temperature regulation; obesity; food motivation; phytosterols; and caffeine use. Over 130 classes a year are taught by ENS faculty with the support of seven teaching assistants. Undergraduate courses are primarily taught by full-time faculty members with specializations in nutrition and exercise physiology.
Please visit the Exercise Science department website for additional information about our faculty.
There is a robust job market for professionals with an exercise science background, particularly driven by increases in the aging population and the prevalence of obesity and lifestyle-related diseases. Professionals in the field are divided into those working with apparently healthy clients or athletes (non-clinical) and patients with chronic diseases or other medical concerns (clinical).
Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions that focus on health/fitness, rehabilitation, prevention and management of injury and disease, performance enhancement, strength and conditioning, and community health and wellness.
Alumni of Exercise Science have found employment in the following fields:
- Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation (hospitals, clinics)
- Corporate fitness and worksite wellness
- Health and wellness coaching
- Health promotion
- Private/commercial fitness
- Community fitness/wellness (i.e. YMCAs)
- Personal fitness training
- Physical therapy*
- Sports performance
- Strength and conditioning (collegiate and professional level)
*Graduates from the Exercise Science program are not eligible for employment in some of the above areas without further schooling
Work settings include:
- Corporate and commercial health and fitness centers
- Community fitness/wellness centers
- Sports training centers and professional sports teams
- Private training/fitness studios
- Educational institutions
- Hospitals and healthcare facilities
- Health-related non-profit organizations
Approximately 20% of graduates obtain entry-level positions in an exercise science-related field, and about 80% of graduates go on to graduate school.
Although a master’s degree is not needed for employment in this field, management and leadership positions usually require a degree beyond the bachelor’s.
Graduates of the program have pursued graduate education in exercise physiology, exercise science, nutrition, biomechanics, management, special education, business administration, medicine, physical therapy, public health, chiropractic, podiatry, dentistry and physician assistant programs.
Employers are seeking candidates with experience and those who have developed their skills from that experience. Internships, practicum, part-time or summer employment and/or further education can enhance a graduate’s employability in their chosen career area.
The Office for Academic and Student Affairs (OASA) is the centralized advisement unit in the School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP). The office provides advisement services to undergraduate students in the prerequisite phase of the program. The overarching mission of the Office for Academic and Student Affairs is to provide academic advising and retention efforts that strengthen and enhance the diversity of the student body.
To contact OASA, call 716-829-5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is located in 104 Kimball Tower.
Students in the professional sequence may apply for a summer scholarship to help offset the cost of Gross Anatomy, a course taken between the third and fourth year of the program. Summer scholarships are based on financial need and academic performance. Students may also apply for the Outstanding Senior Award, a financial award based on leadership, service, and scholarship. Honoring the first dean of the School of Health Related Professions, the J. Warren Perry Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate or graduate students in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences or the Department of Rehabilitation Science. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of academic achievement and professional potential.