Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science

Our nationally accredited undergraduate program providing hands-on training in exercise science for diverse careers in health, fitness, and clinical settings.

Become prepared for:

  • Employment in health, exercise, fitness, and wellness settings with the general population, athletes, and clinical populations
  • Graduate study in physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, and other health-related programs
  • Advanced study in exercise physiology, public health, exercise science, and related fields


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Program Facts

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science


120 credits minimum

Term of Enrollment


Application Deadline

March 1



Program Duration

Students begin program after earning a minimum of 60 credits, which typically occurs by junior year

Program Overview

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).

National Accreditation

CAAHEP logoOur BS in Exercise Science degree is fully accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This national accreditation — considered the gold standard in the industry — is based on a rigorous review of our curriculum, faculty, facilities, and more.

Learn Why Accreditation Matters

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

Undergraduate Pathways to Careers

Our students have many opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed professionally across a wide variety of pathways.



  • HHD 1033 Human Physiology (3 credits)
  • HHD 1011-1012 Applied Human Anatomy + Lab (4 credits)
  • HHD1042  Physiology of Exercise (3 credits)
  • HHD 1485 Nutrition and Health (3 credits)
  • HHD 1044 Biomechanics (3 credits)
  • HHD 1487 Obesity and Chronic Disease (3 credits)
  • HHD 1030 Applied Physiology Lab (1 credit)
  • HHD 1232 Principles of Strength and Conditioning Lab (1 credit)


  • HHD 1486 Behavior Change Strategies (3 credits)


  • HHD 1031 Research in Sport Science (3 credits)
  • HHD1045 Directed Research Practicum* (2 credits)
    • only required for research focus


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


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


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

  • HHD 1172  Group Fitness Instructor (2 credits)
  • HHD 1174 Yoga & Pilates Instructor (2 credits)
  • HHD 1175 Cardio Conditioning Instructor (2 credits)
  • PEDC 0243 CPR/FA Instructor (2 credits)
  • HHD 0497 Water Safety Instructor (2 credits)
  • PEDC 0242 Lifeguard Instructor (2 credits)

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

  • BIOSC 0160 Biology 2/Bio 2 Lab (4 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

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
  • Social Science, Historical Analysis & Global Awareness and Cultural Understanding (9 credits)
    Take courses from three different departments

    • 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


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

  • 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.

Career Pathways

Our graduates are prepared for jobs and graduate school focused on:

  • 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.