Exercise Science

The Exercise Science Major

As an Exercise Science major, you’ll be prepared to enter a multitude of health-related careers and also pursue certifications offered by major sports medicine organizations.

What is Exercise Science?

Exercise Science is a discipline that describes and assesses the acute and chronic effects of physical activity and exercise on the human body. In this program, students will acquire the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills to evaluate, prescribe, and instruct both individual and group exercise for those who are apparently healthy and those with controlled diseases.

The Exercise Science program at NCWU is only one of three programs in the state of NC and one of only 73 in the nation to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In the most recent program outcome measure for the 2021-2022 academic year, the retention rate in the EXS Program was 94% and the graduate satisfaction rate, for the fourth year in a row was 100%. With the help of the Health and Movement Science Club, NCWU is recognized as an Exercise is Medicine (EIM) campus.

exercise science student testing athlete

The Exercise Program is accredited by:

Exercise is Medicine logo
CoAES logo

About the Program

The Exercise Science program is designed to prepare students for future employment in the fitness, health, & human performance industries.  Specifically, the goals of the program are 1) to prepare students to pursue various health-related careers in university, corporate, commercial, hospital, and community settings, 2) to prepare students to enter the fitness industry. This may include testing and prescribing exercise for specific age groups such as elderly, children and adolescents as well as apparently healthy and those with a controlled disease, 3) to prepare students to pursue National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)  accredited certifications such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM EP-C) and other certifications offered by leading organizations such as (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF), and 4) to prepare students who are interested in post-graduate study in Exercise Sciences and serve as an option for students interested in completing the prerequisites for admission into a variety of professional programs such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, etc.

Students will develop a sound science background and communication and writing skills necessary to apply their knowledge to develop appropriate exercise prescription and practical hands-on situations.

Major Requirements:

  • Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Anatomy and Physiology II
  • General Chemistry I with Lab
  • Nutrition
  • College Algebra
  • Introduction to Exercise Science
  • Foundations in Wellness and PT
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Health Promotion and Behavior Change
  • Nutrition and Human Performance
  • Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Techniques in Evaluating Fitness
  • Research and Statistics in EXS
  • Principles of Athletic Training
  • Junior Seminar in Exercise Science
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Advanced Techniques in Eval. Fitness
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology I
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology II
  • Practicum
  • Internship

Minor Requirements:
No minor available.

Career Options:

  • Group Exercise Instructor
  • Biomechanist
  • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Corporate Fitness/Wellness Director
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach

An Exercise Science degree may be used as a stepping stone for graduate education in the pursuit of the following occupations:

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Medical Doctor
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physician Assistant
exercise science student in lab

You will learn from world-renowned and accomplished faculty that mentor students through the latest research and practical applications in exercise science.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Complete your Exercise Science degree at NCWC and pursue a graduate degree in athletic training, physical therapy and/or occupational therapy. Get the information you need to know including requirements and prerequisites before applying to any graduate program.

Applied Learning With Our Community Partners

A major focus of NCWU’s EXS program is to connect students to practical, hands-on experiences in exercise science, by working directly with community partners. In this manner, students have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained in their EXS courses to “real world” exercise science practice.

NCWU Exercise Science students gain practical hands-on experience, working with the following community partners, as part of their curriculum at NCWU.

  • Harrison Family YMCA
  • Boys and Girls Club of the Tar River Region
  • Manual Physical Therapy
  • Cora Physical Therapy
  • City of Rocky Mount
  • Nash County Schools, Occupational Therapy
  • Vidant Health Occupational Therapy
  • Nash UNC Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Ripe for Revival
  • Rocky Mount Senior Center
  • Nash-Rocky Mount Schools Athletic Department
  • Brekenridge Retirement Center
  • Rocky Mount Academy
  • Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation, Athletics Division
  • NCWU Health Center
  • NCWU Athletic Training
  • Wesleyan Wellness, NCWU
  • NCWU Tennis

North Carolina Wesleyan University is one of only 156 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise is Medicine® initiative for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. Campus-wide initiatives focused on physical activity and health at the College helped Wesleyan earn silver-level designation from the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) program.

Exercise Science External Resources

Slippery Rock University Articulation Agreement

The NC Wesleyan Exercise Science Program has partnered with Slippery Rock University to offer options that will allow our students the opportunity to transition seamlessly into the Master of Science in Athletic Training program at SRU. This athletic training program provides rigorous academic curricula and a superior hands-on, patient-centered clinical experience. Read entire article – Master of Science in Athletic Training at SRU-An Articulation Agreement.

Master of Science in Athletic Training Articulation Agreement with SRU