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School of Education, Health and Human Behavior
School of Education

Degrees Available at SIUE

  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science


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.

Exercise Science is CoAES/CAAHEP Accredited

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 hereWe 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

You Might Enjoy Exercise Science if You...

  • are interested in working in a clinical health setting such as medicine, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.
  • are interested in working in a health or fitness setting such as corporate fitness, personal training, or health and wellness promotion.
  • are interested in working in a sports training or performance setting such as strength and conditioning, or athletic training.
  • like working “hands on” with people.

Exercise Science at SIUE

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. 

Exercise Science Can Help You Prepare for Careers in Physical and Occupational Therapy, Medicine and Other Allied Health Careers

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 Outlook

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.

  • Approximately 70% of our graduates enter other health related professional programs in Physical Therapy,  Occupational Therapy, Medicine, Chiropractic, Physician Assistant OR enter graduate school. 
  • We also have 30% of our graduates enter the exercise science field directly in areas such as: cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, corporate fitness, sports medicine, community health and wellness, and personal training.

Graduate and Professional School Preparation

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.

Certification Preparation

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science are eligible to sit for two important industry certifications:

Health/Fitness Specialist (HFS)

American College of Sports Medicine’s

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)

National Strength and Conditioning Association

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.

Sample Curriculum >>

exercise science
Maria Fernandez-del-Valle, Ph.D.,
2012 Universidad Europea de Madrid
Brianne Guilford, Ph.D.,
2013, University of Kansas Medical Center 

Erik Kirk (Chair), Ph.D.,
2004, University of Kansas
Lindsay Ross-Stewart, Ph.D., 2009, University of North Dakota

Bryan Smith, Ph.D.,
2004, University of Missouri

Benjamin Webb, Ph.D., 2014, The Pennsylvania State University

Joshua Wooten Ph.D,
2008, Texas Women's University
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