College of Education & Human Services

Office of Dean
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
coehs@ship.edu
(717) 477-1373
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Department of Exercise Science

Henderson Gym 109
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
717-477-1721
exsci@ship.edu
Department Web Site

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Shippensburg, PA 17257
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Bachelor of Science in

Exercise Science


Exercise science is the study of physical activity and exercise and how the body responds in both the acute and chronic conditions. 

The field of exercise science has several sub-disciplines including exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor behavior, and the psychology of physical activity. Our admission standards are high, so students interested in the exercise science major should have a strong background in the sciences including biology, mathematics, chemistry and physics. Exercise scientists rely on scientific principles in these areas to advance their understanding of how the body responds to exercise and to advocate physical activity to prevent and treat diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Shippensburg University students enjoy small classes, with typically 20 students or less, which makes faculty members accessible in and out of class. Seasoned professors, not graduate students, teach lectures and labs. Faculty-directed student research is highly encouraged at Shippensburg University. Ship has the only on-site elementary school in the state, the Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School provides opportunities for exercise science students to conduct pediatric exercise testing and programming.

Students are required to complete a 6, 9, or 12-credit internship. Internship sites include hospitals, wellness centers, health care facilities, corporate fitness facilities, spas, resorts and fitness centers. Internships are also available with government agencies, nursing homes and community agencies. Ship graduates have many employment options open to them. Visit the Exercise Science program page for examples.

Get Involved

Exercise science students can participate in several professional organizations and clubs such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM), the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), the American Sport Education Program (ASEP), and the Exercise Science Club.

Degree Requirements

All BS Exercise Science students must complete a total of 120 credit hours:

  • General Education Courses: All undergraduate students are required to complete the university's general education program, which provides a balanced liberal arts foundation.
  • Science core courses: In addition to the general education curriculum, Exercise Science students are required to take 12 credit hours of basic science core courses.
  • Exercise science core courses: All core courses and electives can be found on the Exercise Science Major page.
  • Optional Biology Minor: For specifics contact the Department of Biology at biology@ship.edu.

All Exercise Science students MUST take one certification exam at the student’s expense. These include:

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT) exam
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health/Fitness Specialist (ACSM-HFS) exam
  • National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) exam
  • National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS) exam