What Can You do With an Exercise Science Degree

What Can You do With an Exercise Science Degree

There are a lot of different decisions that you need to make in regard to college. One of the biggest decisions, other than picking a university is picking a major. Exercise science is one degree you may consider. What can you do with an exercise science degree?

Exercise science degree programs are offered as a four-year bachelor’s degree, a two-year master’s degree, and a doctoral 3 to 5-year degree. You’re only required the bachelor’s degree to do the basic careers, and as the careers advance, you are required to go to more schooling.

Exercise science can also be known as exercise physiology.

Exercise physiology is basically the study of exercise science and physical exercise.

What would you be doing with this type of major is trying to become a health professional? You would be involved with the study of chronic adaptations and acute responses in regard to exercise of human beings.

You will also focus on studying the bodily movements that associate with human fitness, wellness, longevity of exercise, and how to maintain a healthy body while exercising.

Different colleges are going to give this type of major different names. Some may not have an exercise science degree but they might have a sports management degree where are you are still taking many exercise science classes. Some schools may only offer exercise physiology as a major as opposed to exercise science.

No matter which major or university program the outcome is the same a degree in exercise science.

Here’s a little bit more information about the overall major of exercise science. 

Is Exercise Science a Good Degree?

This is the sort of question that is going to depend on each individual person. If you have a strong interest in exercise science and helping other people with exercise, then it might be for you.  

It also depends on what type of school work you are interested in doing during the college years. An exercise science degree is going to require a lot of different science classes. If you are not interested in taking a lot of science classes, then it may not be a good degree for you.

An exercise science degree allows you to have the opportunity to move into a variety of different careers. You may have the opportunity to expand your horizons and transition through many different career paths if you want to do so. Honestly, any science degree at a university is going to be a good degree for you.

Having an exercise science degree can also help lead you to professional, graduate, or medical school.

Why do People Major in Exercise Science?

A popular reason for majoring in exercise science is a love for sports. Many people who are strong athletes in high school but decided not to play in college are interested in having a career related exercise science. It is kind of a way for them to keep athletics in their life and be able to have a passion for it and study it even though they are not playing.

Obviously, you have to have the determination and the grades to be able to do so, but it is a great thing to major in if you are still interested in keeping athletics in your life. Many previous athletes that are now exercise science majors get jobs working for different sports teams.

You definitely do not have to have any sort of past sports experience to do this major, it just seems to be the popular reason why. You can come from any sort of background and any sort of passion to do this major.

However, if you are a high school athlete and you aren’t sure which route to go, this could be something that really interests you then you should look into it further.

What Classes are Required for Exercise Science?

You are going to have a lot of prerequisite science and anatomy classes that are going to be needed in order to take your actual exercise science classes. Because of the nature of exercise science, you are also going to be required to take many nutrition classes.

Classes include:

  • Basic math
  • Chemistry
  • Kinesiology
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • College algebra
  • Exercise
  • Performance
  • Nutrition

Once you get more into the actual major classes for exercise science, you’re going to take classes like:

  • Movement Science and skill analysis
  • Principles of nutrition
  • Prevention care of athletic injuries
  • Motor behavior
  • Psychology of physical activity

You may also take some classes on how to wrap injuries and deal with emergency athletic injuries. Major classes for exercise science are going to differ from each university.

However, these are going to be the basic classes that you were going to take at most colleges and universities. It is important to understand that you were going to be dedicating yourself to this type of education for at least 2 to 4 years. If these types of classes have no interest to you, then this may not be the major for you.

What Jobs Can I Do with an Exercise Science Degree? 

Obviously, the main concern when picking out your major is what careers you can actually get with this major. It is kind of a good idea to look into all of the different career paths that you can take with a specific major to see if this is really the major for you.

When comparing majors, the best thing that you can do is pick your ultimate dream job. Then from there, you can see what major and what educational path you are going to have to take in order to get there.

Here are some of the career paths you can take as an exercise science major without any further schooling. Many people who major in exercise science do decide to go on to more advanced schooling and then more advanced careers. However, there are still many opportunities for you to get a job and a successful career after having just an exercise science degree in your undergraduate education.

Athletic Director

An athletic director, who is commonly referred to as an AD, is going to be an administrator at clubs, institutions, colleges, as well as larger high schools and middle schools. They oversee the work of all the coaches and sports programs.

You can probably remember the athletic director at your high school. They are normally are one of the people within high schools who make the most money.

Obviously, school districts differ in the amount they pay their teachers and other educators, however, athletic directors can make anywhere from around $70,000-$100,000 a year. This amount can also change depending on how big the institution that you were working at is. Obviously the larger the institution, the larger the salary.

Athletic Therapist

Athletic therapists deal with reconditioning injuries of any sort of athlete. They are in charge of the safety and health of all athletes. They work to help athletes who are injured return to their athletic activity as soon as possible.

They also are in charge of doing whatever they can to prevent any sort of sports-related injuries for the team that they work for. This is probably one of the most common jobs of exercise science majors if they do not go onto higher education.

The average salary of an athletic therapist is normally around $50,000-$60,000 a year.

Aerobics Instructor

Aerobics instructors are people who choreograph exercise moves and lead classes in aerobic exercise. It is supposed to be a sort of fitness class to help you lose weight, stay fit, and have fun.

The instructors are also in charge of providing the music that goes along with the movement and coming up with a specific choreography that they teach. They may also be required to help around with other things that whatever fitness center they work at.

Instructors are also required to get your certification in aerobic teaching at whichever fitness center you were teaching at. The salary for aerobics instructors can really depend on the location and the gym or company that you work for however, the average salary normally ranges from around $25,000-$35,000 a year.

The salary can also depend on seniority within being an instructor in the company that you were working for.

Activity Specialist

An activity specialist is going to be someone who promotes, organizes, and creates activities. This could be but not limited to arts, crafts, and music to sports and camping to working with group interests as well as individual participants.

You can be an activity specialist at many different places including elementary, middle, and high schools as well as any sort of camp. This could range anywhere from a boy Scout to Girl Scout camp as well as a camp that is just for children to go hiking and have activities.

The activity specialist falls under the broader section of recreation workers. A salary for an activity specialist normally ranges somewhere around $35,000 per year.

Top Colleges for an Exercise Science Degree

Here are some of the top colleges:

  • Michigan State University
  • University of Iowa
  • Appalachian State University
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Columbia University
  • University of Virginia


Overall, there are many great things that you can do with an exercise science degree. Just make sure that it is something that you are interested in, passionate about, and are dedicated to you spending a lot of time learning about.

Make sure to do your research on this major in also on the universities that you’re interested in to make sure that they even offer this major.

You may also be interested in how to become an occupational therapist.

Recent Posts