University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Exercise Science

While interest in fitness and health has continued to grow, professionals in exercise science serve to optimize exercise, physical activity, and lifestyle management for all people. A goal of exercise science remains to help all individuals achieve an optimal level of health and well-being. Offered for undergraduates through the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education, this program prepares students for entry level positions in closely supervised health-fitness programs within business and industry, or in clinical exercise settings that provide health-fitness services to members of special populations. The Exercise Science specialization also provides a foundation for advanced study in the discipline of human performance, development of research skills, and a basis for future study in an advanced Exercise Science/Pre Allied Health program.

In 2003, the American College of Sports Medicine endorsed the curriculum for the University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Exercise Science Program. This curriculum covers the knowledge, skills, and abilities expected of an ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor.

The HPA faculty has initiated an exercise science option in response to the growing need to prepare movement and exercise specialists for continually changing and expanding professional roles. The unique feature of this option is the capability for in-depth study in exercise and related natural sciences. Additionally, this new specialization offers clinical and professional development experiences involving a pediatric, adult, and senior clientele.

Quick Facts

  • Provides exposure to both implementing and maximizing exercise potential as it pertains to clinical, mainstream, and athletic populations.
  • Prepares students to pursue study in graduate programs in exercise and health-related sciences.
  • Offers internships for students in their specific areas of interest.
  • Prepares students to take professional certification examinations in health-fitness and strength and conditioning.
  • Works with students' interests, and provides guidance on professional and career-related planning.

Career Opportunities

The Exercise Science program is designed to prepare students for the following careers*:
  • Industry and Corporate Settings
    • Worksite wellness programming
    • Fitness and Wellness Director
    • Counseling and Educator
  • Athletic Settings
    • Strength and Conditioning specialist
    • Coaching
    • Performance Enhancement (Conditioning and Personal Training)
  • Community, Recreation, or Government Settings
    • Adult Fitness
    • Pediatric/Geriatric Health and Fitness
  • Medical Institutions
    • Movement oriented therapy
    • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Research assistant
* A more advanced graduate degree may also be required.

Degree and Certification Options

Contact Information

Admissions Inquiries and General Information

School of Education
Admissions and Enrollment Services
5500 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
PHONE: 412-648-2230
FAX: 412-648-1899
Apply Online

Department Contact

Elizabeth Nagle
University of Pittsburgh
School of Education
107 Trees Hall
PHONE: 412-648-8268