Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science

Degree Plan

Program Description:
University of the Southwest’s Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science prepares students for application into careers in health and wellness, human fitness, work site health promotion/corporate fitness, personal training, clinical exercise physiology, cardiac rehabilitation and other related fields. Preparation is also provided in fitness management, program management, sports skills development and enhancement, strength and conditioning and related topics. 

The degree program also provides an excellent academic background for graduate study or for application to health and human performance, strength and conditioning, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician’s assistant, medical school, sports medicine, public health and other health science professional programs.

What can I do with an exercise science degree?
Exercise science is the multidisciplinary study of human movement involving components of health sciences to explain structural and functional changes that occur on the physiological and biomechanical levels. It is essentially a degree field that opens up many career opportunities such as the following:

Athletic trainer and instructor: 
        • A field which is expected to grow in employment by 13% through 2028. 
        • Median annual wage for fitness trainers and instructors was $40,390 in 2019.
Recreational Therapist 
        • A recreational therapist assists in development of exercise and rehab programs for people                    with injuries, disabilities, and children. 
        • Median annual wage for recreational therapist was $48,220 in 2019. 
Exercise Physiologist 
        • A field which is expected to grow in employment by 10% through 2028. 
        • Median annual wage for exercise physiologists was $49,170 in 2019. The highest 10% earn                    more than $75k per year. 
Additional jobs one can earn with an exercise science degree include:

        • Activity Specialist
        • Aerobics Instructor
        • Athletic Therapist
        • Athletic Trainer
        • Camp Director
        • Fitness Coach
        • Fitness Consultant
        • Gym Manager
        • Health Educator
        • Personal Trainer
        • Physiologist
        • Physiotherapist
        • Recreation and Leisure Supervisor
        • Recreation and Sports Director
        • Spa Manager
        • Sports Medicine Physician
        • Sports Nutritionist
        • Strength and Conditioning Coach
        • University Professor
        • Wellness Coordinator

While many people use the terms “kinesiology” and “exercise science” interchangeably, the terms and degree programs have distinct differences. For example, whereas kinesiology is the broad study of how performance and physical activity impacts a person’s health, exercise science would be considered a subfield of kinesiology that focuses on how the body adapts to exercise and training.

Exercise science professionals are in demand, and data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that employment of exercise physiologists is projected to grow by more than 10% between 2018 and 2028, but it also shows that employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow by 19% in that same time period.