Exercise and Sport Science program

MUndergrad major TTeaching/Certification GGraduate program

Do you want a career in sports management, fitness, physical education, adapted physical education or school health education?

UWL's Exercise and Sport Science Department has a more than 100-year history of preparing professionals for these careers and related fields. The program has earned an international reputation and students gain hands-on experience working alongside leading researchers.

Each student in the program is assigned a faculty adviser to assist with academic and career decisions. Students can focus their major on one of three emphasis areas: physical, adapted or school health education teaching; sports management; or exercise science. The exercise science emphasis is specifically designed to prepare students for careers in fitness, health, and related fields, and they can choose a fitness track or pre-professional track.

Exercise and Sport Science jobs

UWL's Exercise and Sport Science Department prepares graduates for diverse careers worldwide related to exercise and sports. Whether your interest is in sports management, teaching, coaching, fitness, medicine, or therapeutic exercise, program faculty are committed to helping you achieve your maximum potential. 

  • Teach: 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. 
  • Work in the fitness industry: 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. Internship sites and employers nationwide seek UWL fitness-emphasis majors including U.S. Olympic Training Centers.
  • Find a career in sports management: Students who select the Sports Management emphasis become highly-trained managers who find success in a variety of careers within the sport enterprise. Most graduates are employed in the field, including positions in professional sports, athletic clubs, golf/tennis clubs, fitness centers, marketing directors, sport merchandising, university recreational sports and athletics programs, facility management, swim fitness instruction, and YM/YWCA leadership positions.


  • Activity specialist
  • Aquatics specialist
  • Coach
  • Exercise/fitness specialist
  • Health/fitness club program director
  • Industrial/corporate health promotion
  • Personal trainer
  • Physical education teacher (with teacher certification)
  • Sports director (youth or adult)
  • Strength and conditioning specialist
  • Ticket sales and service representative
  • Athletic communications and events coordinator

Further education

Students who select the Exercise Science pre-professional track are prepared to enter graduate programs where exercise is used as medicine or a form of therapy. These areas include physical therapy, athletic training, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, and related fields. Students are also prepared for employment in the health and fitness industries. 

The Exercise and Sport Science Department also offers four graduate programs in Athletic Training, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Human Performance and Physical Education Teaching

What distinguishes UWL's Exercise and Sport Science program?

Strong reputation

The UWL Exercise and Sport Science Department has been designated a Center of Excellence by the University of Wisconsin System. In addition to providing quality undergraduate preparation, the center provides expertise to faculty and practicing professionals in Wisconsin and throughout the nation through graduate and continuing education.

Internationally-respected faculty

Professors are well-known in the industry and have conducted hundreds of exercise-related studies in collaboration with the American Council on Exercise. UWL professors have consulted with Olympic coaches and frequently serve as sources on exercise and fitness topics in national news.

Students have close connection to faculty

Each student is assigned a faculty adviser to assist with academic and career decision. Also, students will learn from faculty instead of teaching assistants.

Hands-on experiences

The program's highly acclaimed “learn by doing” reputation is enhanced by providing students with hands-on educational experiences in their area of choice. Students have many opportunities to get involved in undergraduate research projects, internships, and other professional activities.

Top facility in the Midwest

UWL has one of the finest physical education, exercise science and sport facilities in the Midwest. Indoor facilities include gymnasiums, gymnastics area, dance studio, wrestling room, strength training centers, racquetball/wallyball courts, and swimming pools, a 200-meter track, 12 volleyball and badminton courts, six tennis courts, an indoor climbing wall, and high ropes elements, well-equipped athletic training room, and anatomy-physiology and human performance laboratories. Outdoor facilities include softball, baseball, soccer, general purpose fields, and the high ropes challenge course, Marsh Quest.

Sports Management program follows national guidelines

The Sport Management emphasis follows guidelines created by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), which was established by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM).

Physical, Adapted, and School Health Education Teaching major engages with children

Students are provided an abundance of opportunities to work with school-aged children with and without disabilities during coursework. Students also have the opportunity to work with K-12 students and teachers in area classrooms and gymnasiums. A concentration in coaching competitive athletics is also available.

Choose your focus area

Students can choose from one of three areas of emphasis within the program, preparing them to meet the challenges of a wide variety of careers. Whether interested in teaching, coaching, fitness, medicine, therapeutic exercise or management, the Exercise and Sport Science Department is committed to helping students achieve their maximum potential.

Areas of study

Exercise and Sport Science

Exercise Science Emphasis: Fitness Track

MUndergrad major

Exercise Science Emphasis: Pre-Professional Track

MUndergrad major

Physical, Adapted, and School Health Education (PASHE) Program

MUndergrad major TTeaching/Certification

Sport Management Emphasis

MUndergrad major

Physical Education Teaching

GGraduate program

Sample courses