Exercise Science—BS

Exercise Your Passion for the Health Sciences

If you are motivated to empower others through restoring physiological health or promoting overall wellness, a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Michigan Tech will provide you with a strong scientific basis for developing an eye toward disease and injury prevention. There is a critical need for health care providers trained to help people manage chronic conditions and address lifestyle-related epidemics, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The professionals on the front lines of advancing preventative care include physical therapists, chiropractors, physicians, and personal trainers.

As an exercise science major, you will attain exceptional preparation for any health or allied health career pathway. Our versatile degree supports a wide range of professional interests—from coaching people in achieving their individual fitness, nutritional, or athletic goals; to rehabilitating patients with injuries or physical conditions; to treating and preventing disease through traditional or alternative medicine; and many other career aspirations.

A Scientifically Grounded Program

When you delve into our rigorous program—oriented toward science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education—you will explore the disciplines that underpin human physiology, the mechanics of human movement, motor learning, and more. Develop a broad foundation in science through coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, and gain an in-depth understanding of exercise science, kinesiology, and integrative physiology.

Points of Pride

  • The numbers are in your favor if you would like to be a physician or physical therapist. To date, the rate of acceptance to medical school and physical therapy school for our graduates greatly exceeds the national average at over 90 percent for each field. Our graduates have also been admitted to other health professional programs, including chiropractic school and dental school.
  • Our program is consistent with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) standards. Graduates who complete an eligible internship are qualified to take the ACSM Health Fitness Specialist certification examination.
  • You can earn a coaching endorsement certificate or minor in coaching fundamentals while you complete your degree. These additional options provide a complementary education to your bachelor’s degree that prepares for involvement in youth, high school, or collegiate coaching.
  • All exercise science majors have the opportunity to participate in an internship, benefiting from one-on-one interaction with patients at local health and fitness centers or in cardiac and exercise rehabilitation programs. An internship is just one of the many options Michigan Tech provides for practical, hands-on experiences. You could also join an Enterprise or become a student researcher (see below).
  • Departmental faculty members are very active researchers, having received funding from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and the Michigan Space Grant Consortium. Undergraduate researchers are welcome in the lab: an average of 10–15 undergraduate students are involved as research assistants on faculty projects in a given year.
  • Our cutting-edge facilities include the Aging Cognition Action Lab, Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory, Exercise Science Teaching Laboratory, Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory,  Human Biomechanics Laboratory, Integrative Physiology Research Lab, Molecular Physiology, Motor Control Research Laboratory, Sleep Research Laboratory, and Tissue Interfaces Research Laboratory  —all of which feature state-of-the-art equipment. 
  • The Student Development Complex recreational facilities feature a swimming pool, an air-conditioned fitness center, racquetball and squash courts, a multipurpose room with a climbing wall, the Gates Tennis Center, a varsity gym, the John J. MacInnes Student Ice Arena, and much more.
  • In addition, our wildly beautiful outdoor facilities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offer plenty of year-round recreational opportunities to help you stay fit—from skiing and snowshoeing, to hiking and biking, to swimming and spelunking. The Tech Trails—Michigan Tech's own trail system and recreational forest—provides nearly 40 miles of well-maintained, varied terrain adjoining campus. Mont Ripley Ski Hill, also owned and operated by the University, boasts three terrain parks and runs at all levels of difficulty.

Career Pathways

An exercise science degree provides students with an entrance into a field with diverse career options. Approximately 70 percent of our exercise science graduates go on to a professional program in graduate education within the health sciences, and the remaining 30 percent seek employment in the health fitness industry and other areas.

Graduate Programs

You could choose to enroll in a graduate professional health program and pursue an advanced degree in one of the following areas:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Medicine
  • Chiropractic Medicine
  • Athletic Training
  • Sports Psychology
  • Nursing

BS Degree Employment Areas

Or you could go to work right out of college in one of these areas (additional certification may be required):

  • Personal Training
  • Respiratory or Cardiopulmonary Therapy
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Massage Therapy
  • Medical Technology
  • Fitness Coordination
  • Athletic Coaching

Program Learning Goals

Primary learning goals for students in Exercise Science include the following:

  • demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the sciences which comprise the field: motor behavior, biomechanics of human movement, exercise physiology, and exercise psychology.
  • demonstrate a fundamental knowledge in the scientific areas of biology, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics.
  • demonstrate a cultural awareness of differences and a sensitivity to varying cultural beliefs, learning styles, cultural backgrounds and diverse physical, emotional, and personal goals needs.
  • have well developed critical thinking and problem solving abilities.
  • have well developed oral and writing skills.
  • be familiar with the rules of scientific writing, plagiarism, citation, and literature review.
  • demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of current technologies and adapt their uses in a lab/classroom setting.
  • demonstrate the knowledge necessary to address and act on moral, ethical and legal questions.