Exercise Science Department

Exercise and physical activity have long been recognized as crucial for overall health and wellbeing, even as far back as Hippocrates and the Ancient Greeks. More recently, scientific and medical research shows that physically active lifestyles help to prevent, manage, and treat various health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, injuries, dementia, depression, anxiety, and many, many more. Physically active lifestyles also promote higher levels of physical fitness, cognitive functioning, independence in later life, and general quality of life. For all of these reasons, career opportunities in the allied health, health sciences, and personal fitness fields are projected to grow in the coming decades.

The Exercise Science Department at Shippensburg University has been training the next generation of exercise scientists since 2004. Our mission is to professionally prepare our students for real-world 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 graduate studies. These experiences also prepare students to obtain industry-leading certifications offered by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Our students are prepared to work in the health and human services industries in areas such as:

  • Personal Training
  • Community and Corporate Fitness
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Wellness Coaching
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation

Many of our alumni also enter graduate programs that prepare them for a career as an allied health professional or health care provider in areas such as:

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

The Exercise Science Department prepares 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, attend conferences, and develop professionally.

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science

Students in Exercise Science Major will explore the various sub-disciplines of Exercise Science in detail, including exercise physiology, biomechanics, exercise testing and prescription, motor behavior, exercise psychology, and research methodology. 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 and quality and life. The program will provide the student with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to work in a variety of fitness, health, exercise, or rehabilitation settings. 

Exercise Science Minor

A minor in Exercise Science 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 desiring to enter graduate programs in an allied health professional field.

Coaching Minor

A minor in Coaching 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 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.