Thank you for your interest in Exercise Science (ES).
The ES curriculum is a science-based curriculum, designed to prepare and equip students for entry-level positions in any of four health-fitness settings: commercial, community, corporate, or clinical. Completion of the ES program also will act as a stepping stone to prepare the exceptional student for graduate education in exercise physiology/science, cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, medicine, biomechanics and other allied health disciplines.
The ES program includes the study of physical activity and the associated acute and chronic physiological responses and adaptations resulting from exercise, to health-fitness business management principles found in facilities worldwide. Majors are encouraged to select a minor in business or psychology. Several professional experience courses during the four-year program as well as a capstone experience involving a semester-long internship required at the end of the ES program afford students the opportunity to select an area of specialization in the field at a range of sites. Graduates consider the internship as one of the best parts of the program before graduation. Working with facilities over the country has allowed our students to see the availability of employment positions in this profession. Some interns are hired at their internship site after completing their requirements. Some interns have gone onto higher positions in the company where they are employed. ES graduates from NDSU (approximately 30 to 40 per year) have been employed in different settings across the country, especially in metropolitan areas.
Approximately 30% of ES graduates have continued on to graduate school or medical school, while around 20% have been hired on at their internship site. With an undergraduate degree and little experience, a starting salary averages up to $45,000 per year. The starting salary for health-fitness professionals is however, difficult to predict because of such factors as experience, geographic location, employment setting and market demand. Employment prospects will depend on licensure and certification. An advanced degree may afford greater opportunity for employment.
In July 2006, the ES curriculum received accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences in cooperation with the American College of Sports Medicine.
Again, welcome to our Exercise Science program. If I can be of any assistance in your selection of your career, please feel free to contact me.
Donna J. Terbizan, Ph.D, FACSM
Professor and Exercise Science Program Coordinator