The Exercise Science program combines coursework in both the basic sciences and exercise sciences along with real-world internship experiences to provide students with the preparation needed to excel in a variety of professional health and fitness settings. SIUE’s Exercise Science BS degree provides exceptional preparation for graduate and professional training in a wide range of fitness and medical fields. The program is based upon the knowledge, skills, and abilities outlined by the American College of Sports Medicine [ACSM] and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) professional certifications.
All necessary accreditation standards mandated by the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES) were met by the Exercise Science program in the fall of 2013. The exercise science program was subsequently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in the summer of 2014 and is one of only 5% of programs nationally to have earned this accreditation and acclaim. A list of program outcomes can be found here. We are the only accredited program in the state of Illinois.
The American College of Sports Medicine endorses the Exercise Science program as matching the goals of the Health/Fitness Instructor level of certification. Click to view a summary of the 2016 Annual Accreditation Report.
Few academic programs offer such diverse opportunities for employment and professional development upon graduation as Exercise Science. The Exercise Science curriculum prepares graduates with the knowledge and practical experience necessary for employment as strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers, corporate, community and commercial fitness leaders. Typically, students will take 4 academic years to compete all general education and major requirements. For the highly motivated we offer the Accelerated Exercise Science Program in which all general education and major requirements can be completed in 3 years.
The Exercise Science major is also an attractive curricular option for those intending to apply to professional programs in medicine and other allied health programs such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, physicians assistant, medicine (pre-med), exercise physiology, chiropractic, cardiac rehabilitation, dentistry, pharmacy and accelerated nursing. Students interested in applying for admission to a professional school in one of the allied health professions will find the science-based courses (e.g., Human Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, Human Physiology, Biomechanics, Nutrition, etc.) in the Exercise Science major to be of special interest because of their emphasis on the human body.
Career opportunities for individuals graduating with a degree in exercise science are numerous. The demand for Exercise Science is outstanding and is expected to remain very strong due to the increasing emphasis on prevention of illness uisng exercise as a means of promoting good health as well as treatment of disease or injury through physical therapy, occupational therapy or medicine.
The exercise science major provides an excellent academic foundation for students choosing to pursue graduate and professional degrees in a wide array of health careers, such as; exercise physiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine, and athletic training.
Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science are eligible to sit for two important industry certifications:
Health/Fitness Specialist (HFS)
The Health/Fitness Specialists (HFS) certification is for exercise testing and prescription for the general population, and the general population with low-level disease, e.g. obesity, stable heart disease.
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) is for professionals who design and implement strength training and conditioning programs for athletes in a team setting.