Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I apply to the Exercise Science Program?
    Detailed application instructions and materials are available online (see Application materials include: application, resume, results of fitness test, job shadows and reports, and unofficial transcripts.  Application deadlines are October 1 and February 1.  ALL materials must be received by the ESS-Exercise Science Program Director prior to the deadline to be considered for admission. 

  2. When should I apply to the Exercise Science Program?
    Most students apply during their sophomore year. This gives students enough time to meet the application requirements and is early enough in a student's academic career to allow them to change their major if their application is not successful.

  3. What is included in the fitness test, how do I pass the test, and who do I contact to perform the fitness test?
    The fitness test includes the following health-related fitness components: cardiorespiratory efficiency (maximum treadmill running test); muscular fitness (push-up test); flexibility (sit -and-reach test); and body composition (underwater weighting test). Testing takes place in the Human Performance Laboratory (room 225 Mitchell Hall).  Contact Chris Dodge at 785-8685 or for an appointment. Fitness tests may be completed any time before a student applies for admission.

  4. Where should I do the two job shadows that are required for admission to the ESS-Exercise Science Program?
    Job shadows provide you with a real-world observation of a variety of fitness and/or clinical exercise-related careers. Each student is free to select his or her shadow sites based on interest and career goals. Because there are so many options, students are encouraged to to consider fitness versus performance, young versus old, healthy versus clinical populations, and public versus private facilities. Each job shadow must be approved by your academic advisor before you complete the shadow.

  5. Which minors are most often pursued by ESS-Exercise Science students?
    ESS-Exercise Science students can select any minor offered by any department on campus.  Some of the more common minors among ESS-Exercise Science students include: Nutrition; Recreation Management; Psychology; Business; Foreign Languages; and Recreation Inclusion. Additionally, many students pursue a certification in gerontology (see

  6. Which concentration is most often pursued by ESS-Exercise Science students?
    The most popular concentration is Coaching Competitive Athletics.

  7. Are there any exercise science-related clubs or organizations on campus that I can join?
    The clubs most often selected by ESS-Exercise Science students include: The Student Physical Therapy Club; the Sport Management Club, and the Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and Body Building Club. Each offers students excellent experiences and leadership opportunities as well as an environment for great social networking. The Campus Activities Board lists additional organizations, clubs, and activities that may also be of interest.
  8. What certifications will an ESS-Exercise Science degree prepare me to earn?
    The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) offers a Health Fitness Specialist (HFS) certification. Additionally, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) offers a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (SCSC) certification. Both of these certifications are highly valuable to ESS-Exercise Science graduates and require a bachelor’s degree.

  9. What does it mean to be recognized by the American College of Sports Medicine and by the National Strength and Conditioning Association?
    The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) are the leading bodies for granting academic program approval for exercise science-related degrees. Students who graduate from programs recognized by these professional organizations have significant advantages in post-graduate certification, employment, and admission to many graduate programs.

  10. What type of jobs may be available to me with a degree in ESS-Exercise Science?
    Potential jobs for ESS-Exercise Science majors include: Wellness Director; personal trainer; group fitness instructor; exercise physiologist; corporate fitness; strength and conditioning coach; and many others. Students with this degree are also well prepared for admission to graduate school in a variety of areas. Students planning to enter the fitness industry after graduation are encouraged to seek significant work/volunteer experiences related to their interests outside of the classroom. Employers usually place a high value on a combination of educational and work/volunteer experiences when making hiring decisions.