Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science

A student studying exercise science helps a person stretch

The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science is focused on training students to prepare for health-fitness and clinical careers related to exercise science.  

Specifically, this degree program prepares students for

  • Careers in health, fitness, or performance benefits of exercise and physical activity
  • Health-related careers related to exercise (cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, etc.
  • Preparation for admission to physical therapist, occupational therapist, physician assistant, or other health-related career programs
  • Preparation for admission to graduate training in exercise science, exercise physiology, public health, or a related field. 

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: Students are admitted as a junior, and the program is completed during their junior and senior years (approximately two academic years) for a full-time student. 
  • Time Commitment: Full-time or Part-time 
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall 
  • Application Deadline: March 1
  • Course Requirements: Minimum of 120 credits 


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Program Details

The Bachelor of Science (BS) program in Exercise Science offers students rigorous training in the application of exercise science for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and conditions, human performance, and health and well-being. This also prepares students for graduate training or additional training in areas of allied health (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, or other allied health opportunities). 

Curriculum Overview

Exercise Science Courses (54 - 57 credits)

BIOPHYSICAL FOUNDATIONS (19 CREDITS)

  • HPA 1033 Human Physiology (3 credits)
  • HPA 1011-1012 Applied Human Anatomy + Lab (4 credits)
  • HPA 1042  Physiology of Exercise (3 credits)
  • HPA 1485 Nutrition and Health (3 credits)
  • HPA 1044 Biomechanics (3 credits)
  • HPA 1487 Obesity and Chronic Disease (3 credits)

BEHAVIORAL & SOCIOCULTURAL FOUNDATIONS (3 CREDITS)

  • HPA 1486 Behavior Change Strategies (3 credits)

RESEARCH METHODS & PRACTICUM (3-5 CREDITS)

  • HPA 1031 Research in Sport Science (3 credits)
  • HPA 1045 Directed Research Practicum* (2 credits)
    • only required for research focus

HEALTH & WELLNESS FOUNDATIONS (7 CREDITS)

  • HPA 0474 Lifetime Activities 1 (1 credit)
  • HPA 0475 Lifetime Activities 2 (1 credit)
  • HPA 1489 Considerations for Health & Fitness Programming (3 credits)
  • HPA 0196 First Aid and CPR (2 credits)

EXERCISE SCIENCE FOUNDATIONS (22-23 CREDITS)

  • HPA 1233 Principles of Strength & Conditioning (2 credits)
  • HPA 1224 Fitness Assessment & Exercise RX (3 credits)
  • HPA 1226 Exercise RX for Special Populations (3 credits)
  • HPA 1035 Exercise Science Seminar 2 (1 credit)
  • HPA 1996 Clinical Internship (12 credits)
  • HPA 1169 Health & Fitness Practicum 1 (1 credit) 
  • Health & Fitness Practicum 2* (1 credit)
    • only required for applied focus

INSTRUCTOR COURSES (2 CREDITS)* 
ONLY REQUIRED FOR APPLIED FOCUS STUDENTS

Must take a total of 2 credits from the following courses:

  • HPA 1172  Group Fitness Instructor (1 credit)
  • HPA 1174 Yoga & Pilates Instructor (1 credit)
  • HPA 1175 Cardio Conditioning Instructor (1 credit)
  • PEDC 0243 CPR/FA Instructor (2 credits)
  • HPA 0497 Water Safety Instructor (2 credits)
  • PEDC 0242 Lifeguard Instructor (2 credits)
Natural Sciences Courses (14 - 16 credits)

Must take 14-16 credits of natural science courses from the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences:

  • BIOSC 0160 Biology 2/Bio 2 Lab (3 credits)
     
  • BIOSC 0067/0068 (1 credit)
     
  • CHEM 0120 Chemistry 2 + Lab (4 credits)
     
  • Additional Science Electives (6-9 credits)
    • Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Neurology, and Nutrition 
General Education Requirements (50 - 52 credits)

Must take 50 - 52 credits from the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences in the following areas:

  • Communication Skills (9 credits)
    • General Writing, Public Speaking, and Composition Elective
       
  • Quantitative Reasoning (6-7 credits)
    • Algebra and Statistics
       
  • Humanities (9 credits)
    • Literature, Music or Art, and Philosophy/Philosophy of Science
       
  • History, Social Science, and Global Awareness and Cultural Understanding (9 credits)
    • Historical Analysis (3 credits)
    • Social Sciences (3 credits)
    • Global Awareness and Cultural Understanding (3 credits)
      • Examples include classes that cover issues related to health, gender, ethnicity, technology, labor, law, economy, Study of a particular region outside of the U.S., or exploring cultures, traditions and societies that differ from those the prevail in North America and Europe
         
  • Introductory Sciences (17-18 credits)
    • Biology 1 and Lab, Chemistry 1 and Lab, Physics 1, Psychology, and an Elective from a second course in the subjects above

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Prerequisites

You must meet several prerequisites to transfer into the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science program. These include:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Current Official Transcript with a minimum of 60 general education credits earned
  • Meeting all other University of Pittsburgh and School of Education admission requirements. 
  • It is also preferred that applicants demonstrate completion of three of the following courses with a grade of at least a “C” grade at the time of application: biology, chemistry, physics, psychology. 

Undergraduate Pathways Video

Watch our video about the undergraduate pathways in the Department of Health and Human Development. The video details the many opportunities available to students in our BS in Exercise Science program.

Degree Requirements 

  • Completion of all University of Pittsburgh general electives courses 
  • Completion of approximately 60 credits specific to the Exercise Science degree program 
  • Completion of Health-Fitness Practicum experiences 
  • Completion of a clinical internship 

Career Readiness

Career Pathways

  • Health, fitness, or performance benefits of exercise and physical activity 
  • Health-related career related to exercise (cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, etc.) 
  • Preparation for admission to physical therapist, occupational therapist, physician assistant, or other health-related career programs. 
  • Preparation for admission to graduate training in exercise science, exercise physiology, public health, or a related field.