Why Exercise Science at Shippensburg University?

Choosing which university to attend and which major to study are big, life-changing decisions. A great deal of thought and research should inform your choices. And to help you make your choices, we compiled a list of all the reasons why the Exercise Science Department at Shippensburg University has been successful at training the next generation of health and fitness professionals. Many of these points set us apart from other universities, meaning you will have opportunities at Ship that you cannot find anywhere else!

Post-College Success

  • Practical, hands-on learning through labs and other activities prepare students for real-world situations
  • 89% of our students who apply to graduate school are accepted, including in areas such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, and more*
  • Students have success at finding employment in the field after graduation
  • Program gears students for work in the fitness industry or for further study to work in clinical and rehabilitation settings
  • 69% of students seek further education from graduate school or other advanced training
  • Students are prepared to take industry-leading certification exams offered by the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • 90% of our alumni who are currently in or have completed graduate school agreed that Shippensburg University prepared them for advanced studies
  • Exercise Science is the number one major accepted into doctoral programs for Physical Therapists and one of the top majors accepted into master's programs for Physician Assistants
  • Our program is well-known and respected in the region


  • Small classes of about 20 students mean more one-on-one interactions with professors and instructors
  • The Metabolic Analysis Lab and Movement Science Lab are stocked with equipment and instruments for testing many parameters, including gait, glucose, power, strength, and cardiorespiratory endurance
  • Course content covers a variety of areas in the discipline, including physiology, biomechanics, motor learning, psychology, and fitness assessment
  • Students gain experience conducting fitness assessments and developing exercise protocols for different populations
  • Offer a minor in Coaching along with a certificate for power and agility training and group exercise


  • Students know who their faculty are and form strong working relationships with them
  • All major courses are taught by passionate, engaged, and experienced faculty
  • Faculty have published over 25 peer-reviewed articles and given over 60 presentations in the last five years
  • The Exercise Science Department faculty and staff create a positive environment to learn and work in


  • All students conduct and present research in class, with opportunities to present their work on campus and at regional conferences
  • Over 25 students attend two regional conferences each year: the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine and the Northeast Atlantic Sport Psychology Conference
  • Over $14,000 to fund student research and conference travel has been received in the last five years


  • Students must complete an internship in any career-relevant area to gain real-world experience
  • Students have completed internships at over 120 sites in the last five years
  • 97% of internship site supervisors want to host our students again**
  • 95% of internship site supervisors agreed that our students were professional, reliable, and dependable**
  • Students in the Coaching minor have completed field experiences at over 50 sites in the last five years

Advising & Mentorship

  • The Peer Undergraduate Mentoring Program connects incoming students with junior and senior Exercise Science students
  • Students receive strong mentorship and advising from faculty, with all students meeting their advisor at least once per semester
  • Student-athletes have nominated all 6 faculty members for Academic Mentorship Awards


  • Students gave over 100 presentations at local and regional conferences in the last five years
  • Several students have published in the Keystone Journal of Undergraduate Research
  • Nine student papers have been accepted into Write the Ship in the last five years

Professional Development & Service Learning

  • The student-run Exercise Science Club offers over a dozen opportunities for community service, social networking, and professional development each year
  • High-achieving students may join a student-run Honors Society, which also provides opportunities for community service, social networking, and professional development
  • First-year experience course helps students transition into college and sets them up for success in the program
  • Students become CPR and First Aid certified through the National Safety Council

In short, the Exercise Science Department offers students a well-rounded education with plenty of opportunities for learning, professional development, applied experiences, and scholarship. If you are interested in joining us, or have any questions, do not hesitate to email us at exsci@ship.edu or to give us a call at 717.477.1721.



*based on surveys of over 120 alumni in 2017

**based on surveys of over 60 internship site supervisors from 2016 and 2017