Exercise Physiology merges the scientific mind with the analysis of exercise. Students will master a physiological and anatomical knowledge base, gain proficiency in scientific writing, and competently execute many "hands-on" laboratory techniques using state-of-the-art equipment. Students will have the opportunity to explore the exercise testing laboratory, learning to understand how the human body is influenced by exercise.
Professional Work Experience
Students will gain valuable insight into their chosen career path while completing an internship at an Exercise Physiology-related site. These sites may include cardiopulmonary/cancer and/or diabetes rehabilitation centers and corporate wellness, community health and/or athlete training centers.
Program of Study
The exercise physiology exercise testing & research laboratory is housed in the south wing of the Ray Health Building at WSSU. The laboratory includes state of the art instrumentation for resting and exercise oxygen consumption, ECG monitoring, pulmonary assessment and neuromuscular evaluation using BIOPAC© systems. Exercise equipment includes one clinical/research treadmill, a Monark© cycle ergometer and a LODE© cycle ergometer. Musculoskeletal strength and neuromuscular reaction time can be measured using a Load Cell apparatus. In addition, the laboratory has a 42” plasma television used during exercise testing and monitoring.
The undergraduate teaching laboratory is housed adjacent to the exercise testing and research and body composition laboratory in the south wing of the Ray Health Building. It includes musculoskeletal fitness testing equipment and other apparatuses for submaximal fitness testing.
The Exercise Science body composition laboratory has state-of-the-art equipment. It consists of a Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorbiometry (DEXA) for bone density assessment and accurate body composition analysis, which may also include multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance and skinfolds.
- Sports and wellness program instructors and directors
- Strength coaches for college, university and professional sports programs
- Teachers at institutions of higher learning (i.e., if they have an M.S. or Ph.D.)
- Researchers in sports medicine and adult fitness programs
- Managers and exercise leaders in corporate wellness programs
- Instructors in health and fitness clubs
- Supervisors of specialized health, fitness, wellness, or lifestyle programs in correctional services, police, fire, and emergency response organizations
- Fitness instructors in YMCAs, spa and resort centers
- Exercise specialists in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programs
- Fitness directors and managers in the military (such as the air force and army)
- Exercise technologists in cardiology suites
- Fitness instructors and supervisors at the state, regional, and national levels in sports and athletic programs including: sports management, sports psychology, sports biomechanics and nutritional consultation
You will be assigned one of the three full-time Exercise Science faculty members as your advisor. You will meet with your advisor at least twice a semester and discuss your progression through the major as well as options for grad school or career choices. Contact Department Chair Dr. Jesse Pittsley (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he will put you in touch with your advisor and enroll you in the blackboard course shell “Exercise Science 1000” which will provide all the information needed to obtain a degree in Exercise Science at WSSU.
Exercise Science is an excellent entry degree into most Physical Therapy programs. Meeting with your academic advisor early will help you to decide which elective courses are needed to meet Physical Therapy requirements.
In the past, students have gone on to graduate programs in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Public Health, and Nutrition & Sports Medicine.
A minimum of 120 hours is needed to graduate with the Exercise Science degree. This includes a 200-hour 9-credit internship.
Students have an option of completing a 300-hour 9-credit internship is completed during the second semester of their senior year, after the majority of all coursework has been completed at a satisfactory level.
Yes, traditionally 1-3 Exercise Science courses are offered during the summer depending on the number of students in need of taking additional workloads.
Yes, however you should speak with your advisor prior to taking a course at another institution. In addition, your last 30 credits towards graduation MUST be completed at WSSU.
You will eventually make your own choice for placement, although there is competition for most sites in North Carolina. Students are encouraged to meet with their internship coordinator the semester prior to doing their internship. A checklist will be provided and your internship coordinator will help you find an internship that suits you best.
You must complete your internship in an exercise science related field. This would include a work site derived from the “careers” question above. Physical and/or Occupational Therapy will not satisfy the internship course; however, practicum hours may be completed in either of these fields.
Meeting with your academic advisor can save you time and money by taking the correct courses in the right order.
No, only courses in which you receive a “C” or better will count towards your 120 credits to obtain the Exercise Science degree. All courses in the major in which you obtain a “C” or lower must be retaken.
No, Exercise Science is a major program only. However, many students obtain a minor in Sports Medicine and some past students have minored in others. Speak with your advisor if obtaining a minor is of interest to you.
You may obtain several certifications without an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science; however, our program will prepare to you sit for advanced national certification exams that are highly respected within your field (i.e., CSCS and ACSM) and will dramatically increase your career opportunities.