Exercise Science Program Information

Program Goals

The Exercise Science major is designed to prepare the students for entry-level positions in any of the four health-fitness settings: commercial, community, corporate or clinical. It is our goal to prepare competent entry-level Exercise Science professionals in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills, and affective (behavior) learning domains. Our program aims to:

  • Provide quality instruction and a variety of hands-on experience in the areas of cardiovascular conditioning, resistance training, exercise testing and prescription, body composition assessment, and other basic laboratory screening techniques to become a competent and reliable professional in exercise science. 
  • Have students apply knowledge learned in the specific areas of exercise science while completing their field experiences and internships in various facilities, such as clinical, corporate, commercial, and community.
  • Provide the information necessary for students to receive passing rates at or above the level of the national average, when assessed on the ACSM Personal Trainer, ACSM Group Exercise Instructor, ACSM Exercise Physiologist, and/or the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification exams.

Academic Program Learning Outcomes

Students in the exercise science program at NDSU engage in both didactic and experiential learning. Students will gain knowledge in several areas, including anatomy, kinesiology, biomechanics, behavior modification, physiology of exercise, cardiovascular and resistance training, and exercise testing and assessment. There are also several opportunities for hands-on learning in laboratory classes and in external facilities, including field experience and internship. Students have worked in various sites for field experiences and internships, including strength and conditioning, cardiac rehabilitation, worksite wellness, fitness management, community physical activity promotion, and biomechanics. Graduates are prepared for various industry certifications and receive a strong educational foundation that will allow them to continue their professional studies in areas such as exercise physiology/science, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other allied health fields.

Students graduating with an exercise science bachelor’s degree should be able to:

  • Properly determine and implement appropriate screening and assessment protocols for cardiovascular, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition analysis.
  • Determine and implement safe and effective exercise programs for all components of health-related fitness for various populations including, but not limited to, those with cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, orthopedic, and musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Optimize exercise adoption and adherence through a variety of a professional skills including effective communication and motivational strategies.
  • Complete comprehensive risk management, injury prevention, and emergency planning for health and fitness settings.
  • Be familiar with various management skills essential for success in all health and fitness settings, including marketing, leadership, organization, and collaborating with other allied health professionals.

Exercise Science Program Outcomes

Our graduates have great success during their time at NDSU and in the next stage of their professional careers. Below you can see various program outcomes for our recent graduates.

Employment & Graduate School

Culminating Experience

Percentage of students who report employment or being in graduate school within one year of graduation:

Percentage of students who successfully completed their culminating internship experience:

  • 2023-24 Graduates: 100%
  • 2023-24 Graduates: 100%
  • 2022-23 Graduates: 96.3%
  • 2022-23 Graduates: 100%
  • 2021-22 Graduates: 94.6%
  • 2021-22 Graduates: 100%
  • 2020-21 Graduates: 93.8%
  • 2020-21 Graduates: 100%
  • 2019-20 Graduates: 91.4%
  • 2019-20 Graduates: 100%
  • 2018-19 Graduates: 95.3%
  • 2018-19 Graduates: 100%

Pre-Professional and Professional Tracks

Admission to the pre-professional emphasis in exercise science occurs when the student applies to NDSU and declares an exercise science 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: 
  • HNES 170
  • BIOL 220 and 220 Lab
  • CHEM 121 and 121 Lab
  • MATH 103/104 or higher
  1. Minimum grade point average(GPA) of 3.0. 
  2. Completion of the online application to professional track below.

Click here for the Professional Status Application – Due: December 1st

Exercise Science Fact Sheet

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