Exercise Science

Large corporations, hospitals, colleges, small businesses, and resorts and hotels are purchasing more health promotion services than ever before. The Exercise Science major at North Dakota State University meets the demand for this new career. The exercise science major is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine. This curriculum covers the knowledge, skills and abilities expected of an ACSM Health/Fitness Specialist.

Exercise Science Major

The Exercise Science (ES) major is designed to prepare the students for entry-level positions in any of the four health-fitness settings: commercial, community, corporate or clinical. Completion of the major in ES may act as a stepping stone to prepare the exceptional student for graduate education in exercise physiology/science, cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, sports nutrition, sports medicine, bio-mechanics and other allied health disciplines. 

The ES major 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 strongly encouraged to select a minor in business or any other area depending on their interests. Several field 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 major afford students the opportunity to select an area of specialization in the field at sites available throughout the country.  To watch a video of one of the internship experiences from spring 2018, please click here.

Our graduates have great success in the next stage of their professional careers. The table below shows the percentage of each graduating cohort that were employed within 1 year of graduation or were accepted into continued graduate education.


% of students employed or in graduate school post-graduation











Pre-Professional and Professional Tracks

Admission to the pre-professional emphasis in ES occurs when the student applies to NDSU and declares an ES major. The pre-professional emphasis encompasses the freshman year; transfer students are placed in the pre-professional emphasis upon acceptance. Entrance into the professional emphasis occurs through application at the end of the Fall of sophomore year or as transfer students complete the requirements below. As of Fall 2011, the following requirements must be met before beginning the professional course of study: 

  1. Successful completion of professional preparation courses with a grade of B or better: 
    • BIOL 220/220 L 
    • HNES 170
    • MATH 103/104 or higher
    • CHEM 121/121L
  2. Minimum grade point average(GPA) of 3.0. 
  3. Completion of application to professional emphasis 

 Click here for the Professional Status Application which is due December 1st.

Exercise Science Fact Sheet 


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