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Exercise Science

Liz Dexter-Wilson

Exercise Science Program Coordinator

Office: RWEC 246

Phone: (503) 838-9290


The Exercise Science Degree prepares students to work with individuals and groups to assess fitness and recommend exercises for overall health, injury prevention, rehabilitation, and sports performance.

Consider this degree if you…

Want to learn the science of human performance


Enjoy working with and helping people

Have a passion for exercise & fitness


Years 1 & 2

The core curriculum in exercise science will familiarize you with principles of motor learning, functions of the human musculoskeletal system, and the field of exercise science and its professional applications.

Years 3

In upper division classes, you’ll explore physiological and psychological responses to physical activity, changes in motor behavior across the lifespan, and how to adapt exercise for different age groups and abilities.

Year 4

Your coursework will culminate in an exercise science internship so you can bridge the gap between theory and practice. If you’re in the pre-education track, you’ll take advanced courses in best teaching practices for physical education.

Where this degree can take you

Applied Track

The exercise science applied track will prepare you for entry-level positions in health care support areas such as hospital cardiac rehabilitation and physical therapy assistance, in corporate fitness centers, in athletic and health focused fitness clubs, and with organizations that provide fitness and activity programming such as YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs.

This track will also prepare you to apply to graduate school in occupational and physical therapy, dentistry, medicine, chiropracty, and related human movement sciences.

Pre-Education Track

The exercise science pre-education track will prepare you to pursue careers in school physical education in middle and high schools.

This track does not include K-12 teacher licensing. Students who complete this track usually go into a Master of Arts in Teaching program.

If you want to be licensed to teach with a bachelor’s degree, you should pursue a B.S. in Education with the physical education specific concentration. See the undergraudate teacher licensure program for more information.