Skip to main content
Skip to main navigation

Exercise Science

  • Overview
  • Careers
  • New Freshmen
  • New Transfer
  • Illinois State Students

The Exercise Science major is broad-based and nationally recognized. Students gain practical experience in well-equipped exercise physiology, biomechanics and psychology of physical activity labs. The major prepares students for certification by organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine.

The Exercise Science major offers a pre-professional track option for students interested in pursuing a post-graduate career in various allied health professions.

Why Study Exercise Science?

Exercise Science is the science of movement. A student in Exercise Science studies a broad range of topics related to human movement, including:

  • how different exercises and fitness programs might affect the human body and its capacity to exercise
  • how understanding forces produced by and acting on the body during movement can be applied to sports performance, injury prevention, and rehabilitation
  • how to improve and sustain individuals' motivation for exercise
  • the impact of various psychological factors on youth sports, elite performance, burnout, team cohesion, and coaching and leadership behaviors
  • understanding the reasons why we move the way we do and how unconscious and conscious processes combine to guide movement skill acquisition

These topics combine to prepare Exercise Science students for an equally broad range of careers, including allied health professions such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician's assistant, nursing, and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation; a variety of professions within corporate, commercial and clinical fitness and wellness contexts; and a host of other post-graduate opportunities.

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • Shows a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the human body
  • Possesses knowledge of the body's adaptations to exercise and how to facilitate them
  • Understands the role of forces initiating and reacting to the body's movements in skilled and everyday movements
  • Understands antecedents of motivation for exercise, and how to work with them to improve motivation
  • Understands psychological underpinnings of movement within a variety of populations, such as youth, elite, and aged
  • Understands factors that determine the shape of movements (such as energy cost), and how these factors drive movement skill acquisition
  • Effectively leads, directs and supervises others
  • Effectively relates to and interacts with people of various backgrounds
  • Employs good observational skills
  • Shows a capacity to work one-on-one or with a group of people
  • Effectively assesses individual needs and make appropriate recommendations
  • Demonstrates good listening and interpersonal communication

Being Successful in the Field

  • Seek professional credential or certification. There is no single credential or certification necessary to pursue a career in Exercise Science, but pursuing a variety of different certifications offered by organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association can strengthen profession.

Related Fields

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Corporate Wellness Specialist
  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Exercise Instructor
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Exercise Specialist
  • Exercise Test Technologist
  • Facility Management
  • Fitness Director
  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physician's Assistant
  • Professor
  • Public Health Educator
  • Public Health Statistician
  • School Health Educator
  • Sports and Fitness Nutritionist
  • Sports Enhancement Instructor
  • Sports Fitness Instructor
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Sport Psychology Consultant
  • Strength and Conditioning Instructor
  • Researcher
  • Weight Loss Center Specialist
  • Wellness Program Director

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Megan Kayfish  110 Student Services Building  meturne@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-0735 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Betty Henson  McCormick Hall 151D  bahenso@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5008 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA

3.10

Middle 50% GPA

3.24 - 3.61

Required Courses

None

Recommended Courses

  • Fundamentals of physics (PHY 105) or College physics (PHY 108)
  • Human physiology and anatomy (BSC 181/182 or KNR 181/182)

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Mindy Kinney  McCormick Hall 250  mdkinn2@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5782  Last Names A-K 
Daphnye Walker  McCormick Hall 250  dlwalke@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5782  Last Names L-Z 

Middle 50% GPA

3.24 - 3.61

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Application Period

September 1 - September 30, February 1 - February 28

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on My.IllinoisState.edu.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Mindy Kinney  McCormick Hall 250  mdkinn2@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5782  Last Names A-K 
Daphnye Walker  McCormick Hall 250  dlwalke@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5782  Last Names L-Z 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016
©