Exercise Science

Why Study 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. Exercise scientists rely on scientific principles 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.

Why Study Exercise Science at Ship

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.

Career Opportunities and Salary Estimates

Ship graduates have many employment options open to them, including:

  • Government agencies as wellness coordinators and program managers
  • Medical settings as program coordinators and health/fitness specialists
  • Corporate fitness centers as health promotion program directors
  • Fitness clubs as exercise programming directors

Students may also find employment in hospitals and health centers doing cardiac rehabilitation exercise testing and programming or in other rehabilitation settings after graduate study, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy.

The average salary range for Exercise Science jobs in PA is $60,000.

Major and Minor Requirements

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.

All Exercise Science majors 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.

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

You are also 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.

The 18-credit Exercise Science Minor provides students with content from a breadth of disciplines in the exercise science field. The minor is ideal for students who are interested in broadening their experience and knowledge base in the study and analysis of principles related to human movement.

Student Groups

You 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.

Exercise Science
Henderson Gym 109, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1721
Department Website