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What is Exercise Science?

Aspiring coaches, athletic or personal trainers, physical education teachers, or recreation directors should consider earning a bachelor’s or master’s in exercise science. This degree prepares students for a broad range of occupations that promote health and physical fitness. Those who hold a degree in exercise science can expect to work in gyms, rehabilitation centers, physical therapy facilities, and sports and athletic complexes. Students who are thinking of majoring in exercise science should remember that even though a postsecondary degree is not always required for health and fitness-related occupations, having a bachelor’s degree undoubtedly helps graduates land better, higher-paying jobs.

Exercise science programs focus on coursework in kinesiology (the scientific study of human movement), nutrition, biological sciences, and physiology. Through these classes, students learn to create fitness programs and activity plans for children and adults. When compared to other undergraduate majors, exercise science is arguably the most well-rounded choice when it comes to offering an understanding of the human body.

People with exercise science degrees are qualified for many other positions. Obtaining this degree prepares students for many entry-level and mid-level jobs across the fitness, health, and wellness industries, including directorial and managerial positions. To name a few:

  • Exercise physiologist in a cardiac rehabilitation facility
  • Clinical exercise specialist
  • Athletic coach
  • Wellness coach
  • Community wellness director


It is widely known that the keys to a consistently positive outlook are regular exercise and maintenance of physical fitness. Careers in exercise science promote a healthy lifestyle; many people in this field find their jobs to be extremely satisfying. Given the current obesity epidemic in the United States, there is a need for individuals trained in helping people lead healthier lifestyles. Whether help is given via exercise plans, rehabilitation programs, or sports programs, this is a rewarding career path that many enjoy.

Another benefit of this program is that it is structured to function as a “stepping stone” degree. This means that in addition to helping students get jobs right after graduation, it can also serve students who know they will pursue graduate study. Graduate work after earning a bachelor’s degree in exercise science might include the study of aging, biomechanics, chiropractics, human growth, sports psychology, and other subjects. Those who want to become chiropractors, physical therapists, or occupational therapists may consider starting with this degree, then taking advanced graduate coursework to achieve their career goals.

At Concordia University, St. Paul, an online bachelor’s or master’s in exercise science is a convenient program for those who want to work in exercise science or associated fields.