Exercise Science Department

Welcome to the Exercise Science Department! We train students to understand how and why exercise is used for the prevention, management, and treatment of numerous health problems along with how to improve physical fitness to maximize performance. For these reasons, Exercise Science is a top major for acceptance into several master's and doctoral graduate programs, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, and athletic training. Exercise Science is also the ideal choice for anyone interested in careers in fitness and performance enhancement, including strength and conditioning and personal training.

There are lots of reasons to be an Exercise Science student at Shippensburg University: post-college success, small classes, involved students, passionate and engaged faculty, hands-on learning, opportunities for internships, research, leadership experiences, and professional development, and the list goes on! If you want more information about Exercise Science, or to visit campus and tour our labs, or to speak with faculty about our programs and what we can offer, email us at exsci@ship.edu and we will be happy to show you why an Exercise Science degree from Ship is an excellent choice!

About Exercise Science

The Exercise Science Department at Shippensburg University has been training this next generation of exercise scientists since 2004. Our mission is to prepare students for real-world and professional situations, which means that we do not sit in a classroom all day. Our students learn by doing, which distinguishes Exercise Science from other majors. This hands-on approach positions our graduates to be successful immediately upon earning their degree or after furthering their studies in graduate school. These experiences also prepare students to obtain industry-leading certifications offered by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

We prepare students for this work by facilitating their personal and professional development by connecting theory and research to practical, hands-on experiences, in classroom, laboratory, and internship settings. We are a student-oriented department, which means our students learn how to use laboratory equipment, run research studies, work with others, engage with the community, attend conferences, and develop knowledge and skills. Because of the broad range of benefits of exercise and physical activity on physical, mental, and emotional health, career opportunities in the allied health, health sciences, rehabilitation, and personal fitness fields will grow in the coming decades. We position our students to take advantage of these numerous opportunities once they graduate.

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science

The Exercise Science Major explores the various sub-disciplines of Exercise Science in detail, including exercise physiology, exercise programming, motor behavior, exercise psychology, nutrition, research methodology, and more. Exercise Scientists rely on scientific knowledge in these areas to advance the understanding of how the body responds to physical activity – physically, physiologically, and psychologically – to improve wellness, performance, and quality and life. To better prepare students for their lives after graduation, we offer two different concentrations.

Concentration #1: Allied Health Pre-Professional

The Allied Health Pre-Professional Concentration is ideal for those students interested in careers that will take them into rehabilitative or medical settings. This concentration will give students a deep and thorough understanding of exercise physiology, biomechanics, and how to work with clinical populations, such as patients with cardiovascular issues, obesity, or injuries. The Allied Health Pre-Professional concentration will set you up for success in graduate school in areas including:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Athletic Training
  • Nursing
  • Physician Assistant
  • Chiropractic Medicine

Concentration #2: Human Performance and Fitness

The Human Performance and Fitness Concentration is ideal for students interested in careers in the fitness, health, and human services industries. This concentration will provide students with the tools to be successful entering the workforce and working with various populations immediately after graduation. The Human Performance and Fitness concentration sets students up for success in many career paths including:

  • Personal Training
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Group Exercise Instruction
  • Community and Corporate Fitness
  • Wellness Coaching

Exercise Science Minor

The Exercise Science Minor provides students with a broad overview of the sub-disciplines in the field. This is ideal for students who are interested in broadening their experience and knowledge base of principles related to human movement and physical activity. The minor also complements students in other majors desiring to enter graduate programs in an allied health professional field.

Coaching Minor

The Coaching Minor prepares students on the mechanical, physiological, and psychological aspects of effective and ethical coaching. This is ideal for students who are interested in working in organized sport environments at all levels of competition and with athletes of all ages.

Power, Agility, and Group Exercise (PAGE) Certificate

The PAGE Certificate allows students to specialize in areas relevant for enhancing personal fitness: power training, agility training, and running group exercise classes. This is ideal for students who plan to become personal trainers or strength and conditioning coaches, or for current professionals looking to expand their knowledge and skillset.

Peace Corps Prep Program

The Peace Corps Prep Program prepares students for service in the Peace Corps and international careers. The Exercise Science Department is proud to include our courses in both the Health option and Human / Community Development option. Please refer to their website if you are interested in learning more about this unique opportunity at Ship.

  • Students will participate in an applied capstone internship experience. 
  • Students will apply cognitive information in a variety of laboratory experiences.
  • Students will conduct, interpret, and summarize scientific data related to exercise science.
  • Students will be prepared to review and critically evaluate current research topics and trends in exercise science.
  • Students will provide activity and/or exercise programming based on the pre-screening and fitness testing outcomes.
  • Students will pre-screen, stratify, and assess selected populations for activity and/or exercise readiness.
  • Students will participate in professional growth and community support through conference attendance and volunteer activities.