Explore careers in personal training, health promotion, and fitness and health management with a bachelor's degree in exercise science from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The growing major will prepare you for success in a variety of fields, including those related to worksite wellness, performance training, recreation, coaching, sport science and community health education.
Curriculum within the exercise science program is designed to provide you with a strong understanding of human anatomy and its relationship to human movement. Through real-world, experiential learning, you'll gain expertise in areas like exercise physiology, biomechanics and motor development. Unique coursework, presentations and projects will keep you up to date on the industry's latest techniques, recommendations and best practices.
Professional development is a key focus of the major. Prior to graduation, you will complete a capstone experience, which requires you to lead and participate in professional discussions, present a project and develop your portfolio. A six-credit, 400-hour exercise science internship will challenge you to integrate and apply what you've learned in the classroom to a real-world, professional setting. These career-preparation courses not only provide you with firsthand professional experience but also give you the expertise and confidence to pursue your goals.
Our 3+2 program option lets you earn both your bachelor’s degree in exercise science (pre-athletic training concentration) and master’s degree in athletic training in only five years. This accelerated format allows you to start your master's level coursework in your fourth year, saving you time and money and getting you into the field more quickly!
With expert faculty from a variety of backgrounds and countless opportunities to learn outside the classroom, an exercise science bachelor's degree from UWEC will prepare you well for your chosen career. Graduates go on to motivate, inspire and empower others to make healthy choices in every aspect of their lives.
Excellent career preparation. Coursework within the exercise science program prepares students for professional certification in the fields of health, fitness, disease management, or strength and conditioning. Students typically pursue certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, National Academy of Sports Medicine or American Council on Exercise.
Innovative facilities. Take your studies to the field — literally. The McPhee Physical Education Center is an outstanding facility with three regulation-sized hardwood courts, a competition-size swimming pool, a 30-foot climbing wall, a wresting room, an indoor 200-meter track, seven racquetball courts, a spacious weight-training and fitness center and group-exercise classrooms. Outdoor facilities include a 400-meter track, football field, tennis courts, and jogging and fitness trails.
Research opportunities. A new master collaborative research agreement between UW-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System provides unique research opportunities for exercise science majors. Previous students have gone on to submit their findings to scholarly journals, like the International Journal of Research in Exercise Physiology — a peer-reviewed journal founded for the purpose of publishing undergraduate student research and providing undergraduates with valuable experience in the peer-review and publication process.
Connection to local employers. Meeting potential employers and gaining a better understanding of the different types of careers available to you is a critical component of all kinesiology programs. To help you explore career paths, we host an annual Nursing and Health Care Professional Fair, an on-campus career fair specific for those looking to enter the healthcare field. This event is an excellent opportunity to make connections and submit your resume for current and future job openings.
Exercise science program details
- Program length: four years
- Offered: in person
- Campus: Eau Claire
- This major does not require a minor.
- Students majoring in this program will earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
- Kinesiology Club
- Student Athletic Trainers' Association
Typical job responsibilities for graduates with an exercise science degree include personal training at fitness centers; performance training for athletes and teams; promoting worksite wellness; conducting research related to kinesiology; and leading exercise programs at hospitals, gyms or nursing homes. The program is also excellent preparation for graduate school and is an ideal major for those wishing to pursue a master's degree in athletic training.
As an exercise science student, you'll find that UWEC's strong partnerships with local schools, fitness centers, healthcare providers and other health organizations connect you directly with internship and job opportunities, giving you an advantage over other applicants. Graduates are also prepared for a variety of professional and national certifications, which are required for some career paths.
Exercise science jobs
- Personal trainer
- Sports coach
- Recreational therapist
- Activity specialist
- Sports nutritionist
- Athletic director
- Strength and conditioning coordinator
- Wellness coach
- Exercise physiologist
Varied and comprehensive courses within the exercise science program will help you to learn the foundational concepts associated with physical activity, fitness and health — and how they all relate to exercise prescription and programming. Flexible electives allow you to expand your studies in areas that interest you, including nutrition, business, environmental public health and psychology. Opportunities to make valuable connections by working with the Community Fitness, Homeschool Physical Education, PRIDE (Physical activity and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities in the Eau Claire area) and Cancer Recovery and Fitness outreach programs also are available to you.
Those wishing to declare a pre-athletic training career path may find that majoring in exercise science is an excellent fit.
What classes do exercise science majors take?
Your classes may cover topics like:
- Anatomical kinesiology
- Biology of humans
- Exercise physiology
- Global environmental and public health
- Human nutrition
- Psychology of sport and physical activity
Learn more about the comprehensive exercise science major in the UWEC course catalog.
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