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The undergraduate Exercise and Sports Studies (ESS) program prepares students with the necessary academic knowledge and skills to excel in careers in the health and fitness industry, the allied health professions, and the multifaceted sports industry.

Through a comprehensive and diverse portfolio of courses that encompass the liberal arts, specialized content-specific coursework, and applied internship experiences, the ESS program prepares each student to excel in careers that are meaningful and stimulating. 

Above and beyond professional career preparation, the ESS program is also designed to prepare students for graduate level study in academics areas encompassing the Exercise Sciences and Allied Health Professions. The ESS program is tailored to prepare students for various credentialing exams, specifically those offered through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and American College of Sports Medicine. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes for the four-year B.S. degree in ESS are as follows:

  • Understand ESS career options and opportunities for advanced study upon graduation.
  • Understand credentialing and certification requirements available to ESS students.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of human anatomy and physiology within the physically active population. 
  • Understand basic principles of human biomechanics and its relationship to exercise selection, execution, injury prevention, and athletic performance. 
  • Understand the dynamics of human bioenergetics and metabolism. 
  • Understand both acute responses and chronic adaptations to exercise stress, and the implications for health and athletic performance. 
  • Explain how nutritional factors affect health, fitness, and athletic performance.
  • Understand the role that physical activity has on chronic, lifestyle disease prevention, mortality, and morbidity. 
  • Explain the effects, risks, and alternatives to performance-enhancing drugs and ergogenic aids.
  • Identify contraindications and risks to exercise among the physically active, as well as methods for screening and identification. 
  • Describe, execute and evaluate safe and effective resistance, cardiovascular, and plyometric exercises.
  • Describe, execute, and evaluate safe and effective methods to increase flexibility, speed, agility, strength and cardiovascular endurance. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of commonly used and administered exercise tests and methods of exercise prescription. 
  • Design training programs that maximize performance and health by using various methods of exercise prescription and program design. 
  • Design training programs that maximize health and performance based on one’s level of training, health status, and goals.
  • Establish policies and procedures associated with the day-to-day operation of health, fitness, sport, or athletic facilities.
  • Understand the components of safe and effective exercise and/or athletic facilities.
  • Demonstrate various physical fitness and athletic performance testing protocols pertaining to exercise and athletic performance.
  • Understand the basic legal principles of sport and physical activity and develop risk management strategies aimed at increasing safety and minimizing liability.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of key content areas within exercise and sport psychology and apply this knowledge appropriately in to exercise, sport, or fitness settings.