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Allied Health Pre-Professional Concentration

Exercise Science is the scientific study of human movement and the changes caused by physical activity in the body with the goal of understanding how to maintain or improve health and fitness. A Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science prepares students for further study or employment by integrating applied, hands-on learning experiences with a firm understanding of basic facts, theory, and research about exercise, fitness, and health.

The Allied Health Pre-Professional Concentration is perfect for students who want to help others recover from injuries (and prevent them from occurring), use exercise in the treatment of various medical conditions, and pursue a healthy lifestyle. But if you are more interested in helping athletes and the general population achieve their fitness and skill-based goals, check out the Human Performance & Fitness Concentration. If you know you want to help prevent and manage athletic injuries, check out the accelerated Pre-Athletic Training Concentration. Ready to declare? View our admission requirements.

Career Opportunities

Careers in the rehabilitative and allied health professions are in demand, and will be for the foreseeable future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting an 11% to 31% increase in demand in these occupations through 2030. What that means is simple: when you finish your education, jobs will be there. Much of this growth is driven by advances in medicine that allow people to live longer plus an increased emphasis on quality-of-life.

The Allied Health Pre-Professional Concentrations largely prepares students for advanced training in the rehabilitative and allied health fields. Some careers require one year of additional professional training, while others require a two year master's degree or three year doctoral degree. Common careers that students in this concentration go into are:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Athletic Training
  • Chiropractic Medicine
  • Orthotics & Prosthetics
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Nursing
  • Physician Assistant
  • Nutrition & Dietetics
  • Other Allied Health Professions

Our students have success being admitted into graduate programs, with one survey of alumni finding that 89% of students who applied to a graduate program were accepted. Faculty provide one-on-one advising to our students to ensure that they are on the path that is right for them, so it is not surprising that our students are top candidates for graduate study.

Allied Health Pre-Professional Coursework

Exercise Science Core Coursework

All Exercise Science Majors must take the following courses:

  • ESC 150: Introduction to Exercise Science
  • ESC 244: Movement Science & Skill Analysis
  • ESC 260: Principles of Nutrition
  • ESC 336: Motor Behavior
  • ESC 340: Prevention & Care of Athletic Injuries
  • ESC 352: Psychology of Physical Activity
  • ESC 375: Exercise Testing & Programming
  • ESC 453: Research Design & Statistics

Because Exercise Science is built upon the basic sciences, students must also complete a Core Science requirement, which includes two courses from Biology, one from Chemistry, and one from Physics:

  • BIO 237: Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BIO 238: Human Anatomy & Physiology II
  • CHM 103: A Cultural Approach to Chemistry or CHM 105: An Observational Approach to Chemistry or CHM 121+125: Chemical Bonding with Stoichiometry and Reactions Lab
  • PHY 110: Physics for Society or PHY 121+123: Introductory Physics with Physics I Lab

Allied Health Pre-Professional Coursework

Because this concentration prepares students for careers and graduate study in the rehabilitative and allied health fields, coursework emphasizes a detailed exploration of physiology, human movement, and clinical populations. All students completing this concentration take the following courses:

  • ESC 278: Medical Terminology
  • ESC 321: Exercise Physiology I
  • ESC 333: Biomechanics
  • ESC 420: Clinical Exercise Physiology
  • ESC 421: Exercise Physiology II
  • ESC 395: Internship

Students must also complete at least one elective course. Elective options include:

  • ESC 207: Stress Management
  • ESC 325: Sport Psychology
  • ESC 360: Sports Medicine
  • ESC 452: Psychology of Injury & Rehabilitation
  • Courses from the Human Performance and Fitness Concentration or additional internship credits

Admission Requirements

High school students interested in entering the AHPP Concentration upon acceptance into Shippensburg University must meet both of the following criteria:

  • Overall high school GPA of 3.40 or better
  • Top 50% of graduating class

Current Shippensburg University students interested in transferring from another major (including Exploratory Studies) must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Completion of at least 15 credits with a GPA of 2.50 or above
  • Completion of ESC 150: Introduction to Exercise Science, with a grade of C or higher
  • Completion of one of the following courses with a grade of C or higher: BIO 237 (recommended), BIO 161, or BIO 162
  • Meeting with Department Chair

Current non-Ship college students interested in transferring from another university must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Completion of at least 15 credits with a GPA of 2.50 or above
  • Completion of one of the following courses with a grade of C or higher: Human Anatomy & Physiology I w/Lab (recommended), Biology I or II, Chemistry I or II, or Physics I or II
  • Meeting with Department Chair (completed after acceptance, before course registration)

Note for Transfer Students

It is strongly recommended that transfer students complete (or are scheduled to complete) BIO 237: Human Anatomy & Physiology I w/Lab and BIO 238: Human Anatomy & Physiology II w/Lab (or their equivalents at other institutions) with a grade of C or higher before transferring to Exercise Science. Both courses are necessary to progress through the major, and not having these courses already completed may delay your progress and/or your graduation semester. Please contact the Exercise Science Department with questions or to schedule a meeting with the Department Chair to discuss your options.


Our program requires that all students complete a supervised internship. Because we want students to have an exciting and informative experience, students are free to choose where they complete their internship (e.g., outpatient clinic, hospital, school, doctor's office). For students in the Allied Health Pre-Professional Concentration, internships are typically completed during their second or third year of study and are oriented towards gaining knowledge and experience for their future career. This ensures students are familiar with the day-to-day of their chosen occupation and that they have enough observation hours for applying to graduate programs.

Please view the Internships page for more detailed information and highlights.

Certification Exams

Passing a certification exam demonstrates that students have obtained the theoretical and practical competencies to work in the Exercise Science field. As such, certification increases the likelihood that clients will want to work with you and make you a top choice for hire. Our program prepares students and has resources available for them to take exams from two industry-leading organizations, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Please view the Certification Exams page for more information.

Minor Programs

Students have the opportunity to minor in other programs. While there are many minors available, we recommend the following complementary programs:

Contact the Exercise Science Department Henderson Gym 109 1871 Old Main Drive Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1721 Fax: (717) 477-4083