Exercise Science student and faculty

Exercise Science

Mode of Study:
On Campus
Degree Level:
Undergraduate, Major
Degree Types:
Bachelor of Science
Health Sciences & Human Performance

For a Career in the Health-Enhancing Field of Physical Activity

Exercise Science majors obtain the knowledge, skills, and methodologies necessary to conduct and evaluate health and fitness assessments, design and implement exercise programs accordingly, and monitor health and fitness progression over time. Graduates in the field also address the public health crisis of physical inactivity one client-patient at a time.

Students in Exercise science using bod pod

The Exercise Science program at Catawba equips you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to  enter the workforce professionally in positions with physical health and wellness companies and agencies, or for future graduate study in medical field careers, like physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, and physician assisting. In this major, you will learn by doing: participating in internships, giving back to the community through service learning, studying abroad, and conducting and presenting hands-on research.

Exercise Science instruction includes coursework in exercise testing and prescription, exercise physiology, and research methodology. Depending on your chosen concentration, you’ll also be provided between 160 and 240 hours of supervised experiential learning opportunities beginning as early as your sophomore year. Additionally, you’ll be encouraged to take coursework that could lead to six professional certifications from four top national certification agencies.

Program Highlights

  • Two Concentrations

    Decide how and where you will work to help improve the physical health and wellness of humans by selecting either the Human Performance or Sports Medicine concentration.

  • Get Involved

    Broaden your learning opportunities, network with likeminded peers, and live out your passion for health and well-being by joining Catawba College’s Sport & Health Sciences Society.

  • Professional Certifications

    Exercise Science majors are encouraged to take coursework that could lead to six professional certifications from four top national certification agencies: NASM, ACSM, ACE, and NSCA.

The Exercise Science Degree Program

The Exercise Science degree program at Catawba College addresses the public health crisis of physical inactivity. This program equips students with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for entry-level Exercise Science positions in public or private industries or for future graduate study in medical field careers like physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, and physician assistant.

Human Performance Concentration

Prepare for work as a practitioner or researcher immediately upon graduation. Students who complete this concentration can be employed in many settings, including college athletics, professional sports, Olympic and International sports, Special Olympics, Paralympics, college recreational sports and intramurals, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, geriatric facilities, gyms, fitness centers, and in corporate health and wellness programs. Completing six required courses in our Exercise Science program’s Human Performance concentration can lead to six national certifications for undergraduates.

Sports Medicine Concentration

A Sports Medicine concentration combines the strong science curriculum (chemistry, physics, biology, anatomy, and physiology) that is needed for success in the health professions with a curriculum founded in the behavioral sciences (health psychology and human development). This concentration provides a clear path to pursue graduate level degrees for health care careers. Students pursuing this concentration complete required academic coursework and recommended experiential learning opportunities that professional administrators consider for admission into graduate programs in athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assisting, chiropractic, cardiac rehabilitation, senior fitness, and populations with disabilities. Completing three required courses in our Exercise Science degree’s Sports Medicine concentration could lead to three national certifications for undergraduates, with the option to pursue three additional national certifications by electing to take courses offered in this program.

Catawba paved for me the perfect road to success. Starting from being able to build a personal connection with the professors, to having them in your corner every step of the way. This support system gave me the opportunity to learn at the highest level as well as building connections for the future. Catawba makes professionals in their given study and puts each student out into the world to succeed in their goals.

Kenneth "Tre" Allison '18 Exercise Science Major

Program Details

Study Abroad in Exercise Science

Study Abroad in Exercise Science

Catawba College’s Sport & Health Sciences Department travels abroad to Italy and the Netherlands every two years to study and observe the European ways of sports medicine, sports management, and exercise science. Student-led research presentations are conducted jointly by Catawba students and international students from both countries.

Exercise Science majors have also recently traveled to Peru and Dominican Republic on medical mission trips, gaining hands-on experience in intake and patient history, measuring vitals, physician shadowing, and pharmacy operation. Future medical mission trips to Latin and South American countries will continue to be coordinated by the Sport & Health Sciences Department.

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Net Price Calculator

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Jobs The employment outlook for Exercise Science majors from Catawba College is bright due to a public health demand for professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to evaluate health behaviors and risk factors, conduct fitness assessments, write appropriate exercise prescriptions, and motivate individuals to modify negative habits and maintain positive lifestyle behaviors. Our Exercise Science majors are at work in the following positions:

  • Exercise Specialist
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Fitness Director
  • Strength & Conditioning Coach
  • Sport Scientist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Industrial Health Specialist

Graduate Schools Grad schools enrolling Catawba College Exercise Science majors include: 

  • Palmer College of Chiropractic
  • Kent State University
  • University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Alabama - Birmingham
  • Shenandoah University
  • University of Arkansas
Contact Us

Department of Sport & Health Sciences

9am - 5pm
9am - 5pm
9am - 5pm
9am - 5pm
9am - 5pm
1st Floor
Ketner Hall