Skip to main content
Jump to Footer

Exercise Science, Pre-Athletic Training Concentration, BS

Athletic Trainers work with athletes on injury prevention, management, and recovery. They are often the first professionals onto the field when an athlete is injured, providing immediate care. If you know this is the career for you, then the Exercise Science, Pre-Athletic Training Concentration, BS is the program for you. This is an accelerated 3+2 program, which means you will complete your first three years at Shippensburg University and then go to either Jefferson University or Lock Haven University to complete your final two years. When all is said and done, you will have both a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a Master's Degree in Athletic Training in only 5 years instead of the usual 6, getting you to your career faster.

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 Pre-Athletic Training Concentration build upon this foundation by taking advanced coursework in biomechanics and medical terminology, plus prerequisite courses for graduate school, all of which will help you when working with athletes on injury prevention and recovery. Successfully completing your coursework will grant you guaranteed admission into either Jefferson University’s or Lock Haven University’s athletic training graduate program.

We also require that all students complete an internship at a career-relevant site of your choosing, such as at a school, outpatient clinic, or hospital. 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 Pre-Athletic Training Concentration, it is a valuable opportunity to gain observation hours, which are required for entry into graduate programs.

Kami Holt

Meet Kami Holt '20

"Everything you learn can be applied to daily life and a career. You will learn so much that will prepare you for the next chapter of your life."

How Kami Found Success at Ship

What are the requirements for this degree?

High school students interested in entering the PAT 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)


If you have an interest in Exercise Science, but aren’t sure if the Pre-Athletic Training Concentration is right for you, check out our Human Performance & Fitness Concentration, which emphasizes fitness training and skill development with athletic and general populations, or 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?

The goal for students in this concentration is to become a certified Athletic Trainer. For other careers in the rehabilitative and allied health fields, like physical therapy, orthotics and prosthetics, or chiropractic medicine, please look at our Allied Health Pre-Professional Concentration. For other careers in the fitness and sport performance fields, like strength and conditioning, personal training, or sport coaching, please look at our Human Performance & Fitness Concentration.

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