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Exercise & Sport Science

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Get moving with a degree in Exercise Sports Science to prepare for student education and professional careers.

 

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Undergraduate program

Exercise & Sport Science

Exercise and sport science is the study of human movement as it relates to exercise and sport. Study ranges from how the body works at the cellular level to the broad, overarching activities and sports that can become a prescription to promote health and improve performance.

Areas of study

Exercise Science Emphasis: Fitness Track

Students who select the exercise science fitness track are prepared for employment in the fitness industry including positions in fitness testing/assessment, program design, and instruction in a wide variety of fitness-related areas. Students are also prepared to enter a variety of graduate programs including fitness, health, human performance, and related areas.

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Exercise Science Emphasis: Fitness Track

Exercise Science Emphasis: Pre-Professional Track

The pre-professional track is specifically designed for students interested in going on to graduate school for a career that uses the clinical application of exercise or activity (uses exercise as medicine) such as athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, cardiac & pulmonary rehabilitation and more.

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Exercise Science Emphasis: Pre-Professional Track

Physical, Adapted, & School Health Education (PASHE)

Graduates of the physical, adapted, and school health education teaching program are prepared and licensed to teach K-12 physical education, adapted physical education, and school health education in Wisconsin, nationally, and internationally. Supply exceeds the demand for physical education, adapted, and school health teachers, and graduates of the UWL program are highly sought after.

Undergrad major Teacher license View a sample plan for Physical, Adapted, & School Health Education (PASHE)

Sport Management Emphasis

Sport management is the business side of sport and recreation. The major prepares students for a variety of sport-related careers within professional sports, intercollegiate athletics, community/recreational sports, corporate sports organizations, non-profit organizations, and the fitness industry.

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Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science: Pre-Professional Track & Master of Science in Athletic Training Dual Degree Program

This dual degree program enables a student to receive both a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science pre-professional major and a Master of Science in athletic training. Students apply for admission to the ESS: exercise science pre-professional major first, and then later, to the athletic training graduate program. Students typically complete the undergraduate requirements in three years followed by 23 months in the athletic training graduate program.

Undergrad major Graduate program

Graduate programs

Featured courses

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise Science I
    ESS 205 | 3 credits
    This course is designed to cover the structure and function of the cellular, histological, muscular, nervous, skeletal systems, as well as the brain and spinal cord. Emphasis will be placed on the musculoskeletal system during the laboratory component. Lect. 2, Lab 2. Prerequisite: BIO 100 or BIO 105 or MIC 100. (Not open for credit to students who have credit in BIO 312.) Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
    ESS 281 | 2 credits
    This course gives students who are interested in inter-scholastic athletics part of the necessary background to become a qualified coach or director. This course includes common injuries occurring as a result of participating in athletics and physical education activities; procedures and techniques in the prevention and care of injuries; and the understanding of the coaches' and teachers' roles in the care of injuries. Prerequisite: ESS 201; and ESS 205 or BIO 312. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Psychology of Coaching Competitive Athletics
    ESS 349 | 2 credits
    Aids the prospective coach to better understand the application of psychological concepts to the coaching of sports. Emphasis will be on the methods of improving the performance of athletes through a better understanding of the factors affecting teaching and learning in athletics. Prerequisite: junior standing. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Teaching Fundamental Movement Skills in Physical Education
    ESS 212 | 3 credits
    This is a content course focused on the development of fundamental movement skills and knowledge for students in grades K-5 that are aligned to Society of Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) National Standards and Grade Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education. Teacher candidates will develop common and specialized content knowledge related to the development of fundamental movement skills, movement concepts, and gymnastics. In addition, teacher candidates will recognize and understand academic language and theory related to teaching and learning fundamental movements, educational games, and dance. Students will have opportunities to plan, observe, and teach peers and K-12 learners. Lect. 2, Lab 2. Prerequisite: ESS 118 or concurrent enrollment. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise Science II
    ESS 206 | 3 credits
    This course is designed to cover the maintenance of homeostasis through study of the structure and function of the autonomic nervous system, cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, digestive, endocrine, and renal systems. Metabolism will also be discussed. It will also cover metabolism and fluid/electrolyte balance. Prerequisite: ESS 205. (Not open for credit for students who have had BIO 313.) Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Human Motor Behavior
    ESS 207 | 3 credits
    This course is an investigation into the nature of human motor development, motor control, and motor learning. Topics will be approached from a constraints perspective, focusing on the interaction among the individual, the environment, and the task. Lect. 2, Lab 2. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Physiology of Exercise
    ESS 302 | 3 credits
    Applied physiology: a study of how normal physiological function (homeostasis) is altered, and subsequently restored, in response to various forms of stress (exercise and training). Lect. 2, Lab 2. Prerequisite: grade of "C" or better in ESS 206 or BIO 313. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Biomechanics
    ESS 303 | 3 credits
    Biomechanics emphasizes the investigation and application of mechanical principles to the study of human motion and the motion of sport objects. Students will learn systematic approaches for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the human body as it engages in motor activities. Lect. 2, Lab 2. Prerequisite: grade of "C" or better in ESS 205 or BIO 312. Recommended: MTH 150, MTH 151, or MTH 207. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Psychology of Coaching Competitive Athletics
    ESS 349 | 2 credits
    Aids the prospective coach to better understand the application of psychological concepts to the coaching of sports. Emphasis will be on the methods of improving the performance of athletes through a better understanding of the factors affecting teaching and learning in athletics. Prerequisite: junior standing. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Nutrition and Sport
    ESS 323 | 3 credits
    Basic principles of human nutrition and nutritional needs for athletes and/or active populations. Issues discussed include ergogenic aids, carbohydrate loading/manipulation, eating disorders, and protein supplementation. Practical application will include dietary analysis and composition for people in various activities and conditions. Prerequisite: ESS 302 or NUT 200. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Methods of Exercise Leadership
    ESS 355 | 3 credits
    This course will cover the methodology of developing, teaching and leading sound exercise workouts for all levels of physiological fitness and for individual needs. Lect. 2, Lab 2. Prerequisite: ESS 302, ESS 303; admission to exercise sports science - fitness emphasis. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Media and Public Relations in Sport Management
    ESS 373 | 3 credits
    This course is designed to acquaint students with media and public relations practices that are incorporated in sport management. Included in the class are the responsibilities and issues that sport managers face on a daily basis such as PR management, crisis management, interviews and media conferences, legal and ethical dilemmas, and the production of sport media relations tools. The course emphasizes practical application of sport media and PR. Prerequisite: admission to exercise sports science plan - sport management emphasis. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Financial Aspects of Sport
    ESS 432 | 3 credits
    This course is designed to study financial management principles including budget development, fundraising, and economic impact for use in the administration of sport and athletic programs. In addition, emphasis will be placed on sources of revenue and expense for sport organizations and their use in sport management. The student will understand why budget and finance in sport is a critical component of all sports related industries. Prerequisite: admission to exercise sports science - sport management emphasis; junior standing. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Teaching and Leadership in Adapted Physical Education
    ESS 439 | 3 credits
    This course provides students with practical teaching and supervision opportunities to enhance their skills in planning, implementing, and evaluating adapted physical education programs for children and youth with disabilities. Special education service delivery process is reviewed and implemented. Emphasis is also placed on effective staff collaboration and consultation as well as teacher and program supervision. In addition, all students are required to participate in the UW-La Crosse Motor Development Program conducted on Thursday evenings. Lect. 2, Lab 2. Prerequisite: ESS 436; admission to physical, adapted, and school health education. Offered Fall, Spring.