Degree Courses in Exercise Science

Perhaps you are interested in a sport and exercise science degree, but are not sure what type of degree you will need and what courses you will have to take. Hopefully we will cover all of your questions in this article.

Many college programs offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport and Exercise. These programs prepare students for positions with community sports organizations, university athletic programs, public and private fitness and recreation programs, hospitals, and multipurpose facilities. Graduates may also find employment in the sales and marketing department of a medical or exercise equipment manufacturer as well as a variety of other positions.

Specializations for a Sports Science Degree

There are various areas of specialization that students select from, these might include: fitness training, coaching, physical activity and movement for children, recreation, or physical human performance. Students must complete a certification, or certifications, within their specialization while they are in the program. This is a standard requirement in most programs. Students should be interested in pursuing careers in sport science, medicine, health promotion, wellness, sports medicine, and allied health; this includes physical and occupational therapy as well as cardiac rehabilitation.

The sport and exercise degree is a science based undergraduate curriculum that covers how the contribution of chemistry, anatomy, nutrition, biomechanics, physiology, psychology and motor learning effect exercise and sport performance. These programs should prepare students for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certification Exam, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health/Fitness Instructor Exam, and the Exercise Specialist Exam.

High school students interested in pursuing a sport and exercise science degree should take courses in physics, chemistry, and four years of mathematics including calculus, probability or statistics.

Courses Included in a Sports Science Degree

Curriculums for a sport and exercise science degree will include many of the following courses: math, chemistry, biology, nutrition, language, physics, sport and exercise science courses, social sciences, English, history, and ethics. You will be expected to take a number of courses in math and science, including sport exercise science courses. Below is an example of the last two years of study in a sport and exercise science program:

  • Nutrition for Sport & Exercise
  • Health & Wellness
  • Sport & Exercise Psychology
  • Testing & Technology
  • Emergency Response
  • Care & Prevention of Injuries
  • Biomechanics
  • Sport & Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise for Rehabilitation
  • Principles of Training
  • Internship

Students will learn how to use scientific research processes effectively, formulating hypotheses, knowing relevant questions they should ask, collecting data and presenting results. They will learn how to use the data to construct reports and communicate with patients/clients in regards to their health and fitness, as well as working up a strategic plan to improve it.

Many programs offer both traditional on campus programs as well as distance learning, or online courses. These distance learning courses provide the same high quality learning as traditional classes, but with the flexibility of being able to complete class work online. Many of these online programs require admittance to the program and may require some traditional courses and/or transfer credits from previous coursework.

Students may also pursue a master's degree in Sport & Exercise Science, as well as a PhD in Exercise Physiology. Additional options for students interested in sports include attending a sports medicine school or taking courses in sports nutrition if sports science is not the best option for them.