Exercise scientists study the relationship between exercise participation and human
health, and research focuses on understanding why regular physical activity prevents
disease and promotes health.
The mission of the Department of Exercise Science (EXSC) is to expand and disseminate
the body of knowledge concerning the relationship between physical activity and human
Career opportunities exist in academic institutions, hospitals, medical clinics, research
laboratories, physical therapy facilities, rehabilitation facilities, perceptual-motor
development clinics, health and fitness centers, and public health agencies. Jobs
in the field include clinical exercise physiologist, motor rehabilitation specialist,
health fitness instructor, professor of exercise science, research scientist, physical
therapist and cardiac rehabilitation program director.
The department’s Ph.D. program, which is ranked #1 in the United States by the National Academy of Kinesiology, prepares graduates for
entry into positions in universities, colleges, research institutes and research oriented clinical
settings. Areas of specialization are applied physiology, health aspects of physical
activity, and motor behavior/rehabilitation. Specific research emphases correspond
to those listed for the departmental faculty. The M.S. program allows students to
emphasize expansion of research competence (for those who plan on pursuing a Ph.D.
degree or further graduate study) or to focus on professional and clinical aspects of
the field with concentrations in cardiac rehabilitation corporate wellness, and motor
The goal of the department’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program is to produce graduates
who possess the skills necessary to be reflective practitioners and who can conduct
clinical research and scholarly activity necessary for the advancement of physical
therapy as an evidence-based profession.