Exercise Science Major

As an exercise science professional, you'll design and implement effective health programs for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. Start your journey toward a meaningful career with us.

Description of the Profession

Graduates in Exercise Science at Youngstown State University are prepared for certification through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as a Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP) and/or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). As such, graduates will be able to design safe and effective exercise prescriptions and conduct individual exercise programs, fitness testing, and health education for low- to moderate-risk individuals, individuals with controlled diseases (cardiovascular, pulmonary, cancer, and diabetes, etc.), and individuals in special populations (e.g. pregnancy, hypertension, and osteoporosis, etc.). They are skilled in evaluating health behaviors and risk factors, conducting fitness assessments, writing appropriate exercise prescriptions, and motivating individuals to modify negative health habits and maintain positive lifestyle behaviors for health promotion.

What You'll Study

There are many courses to choose from, however, the very foundation of the coursework will take you along a journey in discovering the acute and chronic physiological effects of physical activity on the human body. Students in Exercise Science will also learn how to teach movement to others, how to perform a comprehensive health fitness evaluation, how to conduct graded exercise testing as well as electrocardiogram interpretation and appropriate heart rate and blood pressure response to exercise. Additionally, students learn exercise prescription for a wide variety of populations.

In addition to the coursework, students will gain extensive hands-on experience conducting comprehensive health fitness evaluations and designing safe and effective exercise prescriptions, enabling you to:

  • Perform comprehensive health and fitness evaluations for both healthy and clinical populations,
  • Teach fitness skills as well as leading group exercise,
  • Develop individually tailored exercise prescriptions, and
  • Display professional knowledge and kills during your required internship.


  • Exercise Science Major

    This program can be completed in as few as eight semesters. After successfully completing degree coursework, students perform a full-time, 400-hour internship at an approved facility, compatible with career and employment goals.

    Course Listing

  • Exercise Science Grad Track

    Exercise Science is a growing field with job opportunities upon graduation in areas such as cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, worksite or corporate wellness, strength and conditioning from youth sports to elite athlete levels, campus and park recreation as well as personal training. 

    Many students who select Exercise Science as their major do so because they are interested in working in the health care field but do not know specifically what they want to be when they graduate from a 4 year program.  Exercise Science is a great major that allows flexibility in a post-graduate career because the undergraduate work focuses so much on the human body.  Because of this, many of our students in Exercise Science find themselves able to apply to a wide variety of graduate study programs such as Athletic Training, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Chiropractic School, Physician Assistant Programs, and Medical School. 

    These graduate programs typically require advanced sciences as prerequisites.  For that reason, we offer a second track for Exercise Science majors who know graduate school is for them.  This track heavily emphasizes the sciences, requiring 4 Biology, 2 Chemistry and 2 Physics courses.  While science prerequisites will vary from graduate program to graduate program and even from state to state, the courses in this track have successfully prepared many of our previous students for entry to graduate school.  We strongly suggest, however, that the student aligns their courses with the prerequisites of graduate program of their choice.  Such prerequisites can typically be found on the graduate program website or by calling the graduate program director of the respective program.