Exercise Science Major

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Exercise science is the study of how the human body responds and adapts to exercise. In practice, exercise scientists are responsible for designing and implementing exercise programs for a wide breadth of populations. They work to improve the health and performance of individuals by conducting physiological assessments and using that information to design effective exercise programs. In addition, exercise science is a terrific undergraduate-level foundation for students looking to pursue graduate school in an allied health care field.

Exercise science students have the opportunity to match their area of interest with one of two concentrations within the major. Hence all students must select either: 1) The Exercise for Health Promotion Concentration, or 2) The Strength and Conditioning Concentration. All majors take the set amount of core courses before branching off into their concentration. 

Exercise for Health Promotion Concentration

Students who pursue this concentration enjoy working with the general population and/or have an interest in clinical exercise science, such as cardiac rehabilitation. This concentration is designed to prepare students to sit for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Exercise Physiologist Exam. 

Strength and Conditioning Concentration

Students who pursue this concentration enjoy working with athletes and have a strong interest in resistance training. This concentration is designed to prepare students to sit for the National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam. 

See the Exercise Science website for more information.

Admission to the Program

  • Students initially declare as an Exercise Science Intent.

  • Once the student has met all of the following criteria, they will be transitioned to the Exercise Science Major.

    • Minimum of 12 credits completed at SUNY Brockport
    • Overall institutional GPA ≥ 2.5
    • Completion of PES 335 with a “C+” or better (typically taken 1st semester sophomore year)

Program Requirements

Students in the Exercise Science major pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete its requirements.

In order to complete the Exercise Science degree students must:

  • Earn a C or better in all in major required and elective classes
  • Possess an in major Brockport GPA ≥ 2.75.

Students are encouraged to note the prerequisites for PEP 458.

  • PEP 458 - Internship in Exercise Science is taken once the student has completed all required PES/PEP courses with a grade of a C or better. In order to submit an application for the internship course, and complete the internship, the student must have an in major Brockport GPA ≥ 2.75.

General Education Requirements (37 credits)

Major Departmental Requirements (61-63 credits)

Prerequisites (3 credits)

Required Courses (46 credits)

  • BIO 321 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIO 322 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • PES 325 Kinesiological Bases for Exercise and Sport
  • PES 335 Physiological Basis for Exercise and Sport
  • PES 460 Ethics of Sports
  • PES 420 Biomechanics
  • PES 410 Physiology of Exercise II
  • PES 415 Nutrition for Exercise and Sport
  • PBH 488 Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology*
  • PEP 305 Strength and Conditioning for Exercise Science
  • PES 311 Athletic Training for Exercise Science
  • PES 416 Exercise Physiology Laboratory Techniques
  • PEP 455 Practicum for Exercise Programming
  • PEP 458 Internship in Exercise Science

Exercise for Health Promotion Concentration (17 credits) 

  • CHM 205 College Chemistry I* 
  • CHM 206 College Chemistry II 
  • PEP 361 Cardiac Rehabilitation 
  • PES 413 Motor Development 
  • PES 417 Exercise Testing and Prescription 

Strength and Conditioning Concentration (15 credits) 

  • MTH 122 Pre-Calculus* 
  • PHS 205 Introduction to Physics I* 
  • PES 343 Advanced Weight Training 
  • PEP 463 Scientific Basis of Strength and Power 
  • PEP 464 Applications of Strength and Conditioning 

Elective Courses (3 courses required; 9-12 credits)

  • PES 401 Physical Activity in Adulthood
  • PES 405 Obesity in Society*
  • PES 439 Motor Learning
  • PES 499 Independent Study
  • BIO 111 Principles of Biology* 
  • BIO 285 Biology of Aging*
  • BIO 467 Biochemistry I
  • BIO 468 Biochemistry II
  • CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM 306 Organic Chemistry II
  • MTH 201 Calculus I*
  • PHS 205 Introduction to Physics I* **
  • PHS 210 Introduction to Physics II*
  • CHM 205 College Chemistry I* ***
  • CHM 206 College Chemistry II *** 

Only one of the following courses may count as an elective:

  • PES 350 History of Sport, Play and Exercise
  • PES 430 Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • PES 441 Sport and Society
  • PES 445 Social Psychology of Sport
  • PES 446 Sports Spectating in the United States
  • PES 451 The Modern Olympic Games

*denotes courses that meet both major and general education requirements

** denotes courses that cannot be used as an elective in the Strength and Conditioning Concentration 

*** denotes courses that cannot be used as an elective in the Exercise for Health Promotion Concentration

Electives (17-19 credits)

Total Credits (120 credits)

Additional Degree Requirements

Completion of all college-wide degree requirements 

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. The student will be able to describe the core principles of exercise physiology and related exercise science for the general population.
  2. The student will be able to independently evaluate the five components of fitness of a client and then design an appropriate, safe, and effective training program to meet the client's needs.
  3. The student will identify the principles of clinical exercise physiology, as well as describe the pathophysiology of disease and their associated risk factors.
  4. The student will describe the principles of nutrition and physical activity behavior change in order to promote healthful living.
  5. The student will identify and explain the issues of safety, injury prevention, emergency procedures and program administration related to exercise program development and implementation.
  6. The student will apply the principles of exercise science in a practical learning environment.
  7. The student will describe the ethical demands/challenges of the exercise science related professions and the human/social context in which graduates will work.
  8. As a result of preparation by our curriculum, students will be prepared for, and participate in, a national credentialing exam (i.e. ACSM HFS, NSCA CSCS, etc.).
  9. Our undergraduates will complete their B.S. degree in Exercise Science and will be employed and/or accepted to graduate school within a year of graduation.