Exercise Science is a hands-on field and the career paths that students take require they be able to use and apply what they have learned. As such, the Exercise Science Department requires students in the major to complete an internship once all of their exercise science coursework is completed. These experiences are a chance for students to apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities they acquired while in college. By completing an internship, our students gain valuable real-world experiences that allow them to develop relevant competencies that support their career goals.
Students are responsible for selecting their own internship site, but they can complete an internship in any area and at any location so long as it fits with their career goals. In the past 5 years, our students have completed internships at over 120 different sites across the country, mostly at locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland. This gives students the flexibility to intern at a site that will be best for them, ensuring the experience is relevant and advances their career.
Current students seeking information about eligibility, prerequisites, and grading should view the Internship Requirements page.
Any forms that need to be completed can be found on the Department Forms page. All forms should be submitted to the mailbox "Internship Items" found in the department office.
In order to complete an internship, students must be:
- An Exercise Science Major with an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher
- In their final year of coursework with all major courses completed
Students must attend the Department's internship meeting the 4th week of the semester prior to the planned internship. Refer to flyers posted on the Exercise Science Major's bulletin board and to emails from the Department.
The following information will be handed out at the meeting (or picked up in advance at the Department office):
- Internship Check Sheet: All information on this form must be completed by the end of the semester prior to your planned internship
- Internship Application: This should be completed before the midterm advising period
- Internship Placement Information: Once you have chosen an internship site, all information on this form must be completed before the end of the semester. The site must be approved by the Faculty Coordinator and the Department Chair
Internship approval by the Department of Exercise Science and the completion of all components of the Internship Check Sheet must occur before the start of the internship.
Internship Hours Requirement
The student must complete three clock hours per week for each declared credit. This continues for 12 weeks starting with the beginning of the third week of the semester.
- 12 credit hours = 36 hours/week for a total of 432 hours/semester
- 9 credit hours = 27 hours/week for a total of 324 hours/semester
- 6 credit hours = 18 hours/week for a total of 216 hours/semester
The Internship site determines the weekly scheduling of the hours, but the total number of hours must comply with the above numbers.
Grading and Evaluation
The final grade will be in a pass/fail format. The final grade will be determined by your academic advisor.
Evaluation (determined by advisor)
- Research Paper or Case Study
- Presentation to the Department of Exercise Science or a Reflective Essay
- Supervisor's Evaluation of the Intern
- Faculty Site Visit and/or Contact
All students must evaluate their internship experience via an exit interview. This is not for a grade but it is a required component for the completion of the internship and must be completed before the submission of final grades.
Clearance and Certification
All exercise science majors will need to have the following clearances and certifications on file prior to starting an internship.
- Act 34 Request for Criminal Record Check: May apply online - Criminal History Request Form (SP4-164)
- Act 151 Child Abuse History: Form available online - PA Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY 113)
- TB Test: Offered on-campus by Etter Health Center
- Adult CPR/AED certification: Must have a hands-on component in the certification course (Fulfilled by ESC 340)
- First Aid certification: Must have a hands-on component in the certification course (Fulfilled by ESC 340)
- FBI Fingerprinting Clearance (Optional - some sites require this, others do not)
In addition to the above clearances and certifications, you will need to obtain liability insurance at your own cost. Your options include: