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Exercise Science, Human Performance and Fitness Concentration, BS

Want to help people get and stay fit? Interested in helping athletes reach their potential? Passionate about promoting a healthy lifestyle? Then the Exercise Science, Human Performance and Fitness Concentration, BS is the ideal choice for you. Our program will prepare you to work in the health, fitness, and athletic industries in a variety of capacities.

What Will I Learn?

All Exercise Science Majors complete core coursework in exercise physiology, exercise testing and programming, motor behavior, psychology, injury prevention, nutrition, and research methods, which provides a strong foundation for understanding how the body responds and adapts to physical activity and exercise. Students in the Human Performance & Fitness Concentration build upon this foundation by taking specialized coursework in power training, group exercise instruction, sport nutrition, and advanced exercise programming. This specialized coursework will prepare you to work with people on their health, fitness, and performance goals in a variety of settings, ranging from individualized personal training to group exercise instruction to clinical and athletic populations. Our coursework also provides students with the background knowledge to become certified through national organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength & Conditioning Association.

All students must complete an internship at a career-relevant site of their choosing, such as at a gym, sport training facility, school, or community health center. Internships are critical for helping students narrow their career options, gain relevant hands-on experience, and develop their professional network. Our students overwhelmingly value their internship experience, and their site supervisors love how excited and knowledgeable our students are. And for students in the Human Performance & Fitness Concentration, it is a valuable opportunity to gain real-world experience working with clients, making you an even stronger job candidate.

Katie Booth in a field of other cross country runners

Meet Katie Booth '20

“I was always hands-on in the lab. I learned most of what I know by applying it to our labs. Our classes were never just lectures.”

How Katie Found Success at Ship

What are the requirements for this degree?

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

  • University Admission Standards

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 2.00 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 150, BIO 161, BIO 162, CHM 103, CHM 105, CHM 121, PHY 110, or PHY 121
  • 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 2.00 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)


If you have an interest in Exercise Science, but aren’t sure if the Human Performance & Fitness Concentration is right for you, check out our Allied Health Pre-Professional Concentration, which emphasizes learning about and working with people in clinical and rehabilitative settings.

Our students often pursue minors in other areas, too, with popular choices being:

What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?

Careers in the fitness and athletic industries are in demand: the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in these areas ranging from 13% to 39% through 2030. In other words, when you finish your education, jobs will be waiting for you to fill. Students who complete this concentration are prepared to enter the workforce immediately (for fitness- and athletic-oriented careers) in the following areas:

  • Personal Training
  • Group Exercise Instruction
  • Strength & Conditioning
  • Sport Coaching
  • Corporate Fitness/Wellness
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation

What Career Outcomes Do Alumni Have With This Degree?

A list of of the top job titles for Exercise Science alumni
The estimated salary for Exercise Science alumni

What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have?

The average Exercise Science class has 20 students in it, which means lots of one-on-one interactions with your professors. This allows you to build close relationships with your classmates and faculty that blossom into strong networks as you move forward in your academic and professional life. Our faculty are experts who are dedicated to helping their students succeed both in and out of the classroom.

You’ll spend a lot of time in your courses learning what to do, not just what to know. That’s because we integrate hands-on learning experiences into our entire curriculum. Many class periods will be spent in the Metabolic Analysis Lab, Movement Science Lab, or gym. We have top-notch equipment for testing strength, gait, metabolic functioning, cardiorespiratory endurance, and much more. Knowing how to use this equipment will give you an edge when you apply for graduate school and jobs compared to other programs that are not as applied or practical.

You have many opportunities outside of the classroom, too. All students design and conduct a research study in small groups, and you can even present your findings at regional conferences. We also have two student-run organizations, the Exercise Science Club and Exercise Science Honor Society, that participate in volunteer projects, professional development experiences, and social activities. Our students are highly engaged and connected with each other and the Department, which fosters a positive, constructive learning environment.

Contact the Exercise Science Department

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