Student works on exercise machine.

The undergraduate exercise science program prepares you for entry-level positions in the exercise and fitness field, or for postgraduate study in exercise science or other health-related disciplines. Our program may also prepare you for appropriate professional organization certifications. ERP logo

Once you complete introductory courses for this major, you may choose one of five concentrations:

  • Basic and Applied Science
  • Health and Fitness
  • Pre-Athletic Training
  • Pre-Physical Therapy
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy

What It’s Like to Major in Exercise Science at Ball State

Ball State’s exercise science courses are taught by nationally and internationally renowned faculty, many of whom are active and serve in leadership roles in foremost professional exercise science organizations.

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Our program’s 100 hours of observation allows for in-depth career exploration. You’ll have opportunities to gain practical experience both on and off campus.

Laboratory space and available equipment are extensive. Exercise Science students are given the opportunity to gain experience with sophisticated technology in various laboratories within the School of Kinesiology.

Earn 15-18 credit hours in courses that utilize the lecture/lab format to facilitate hands-on learning.

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The Exercise Science program has existing relationships with numerous health and fitness organizations, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, collegiate and professional athletic teams, and sport performance businesses.

Professional networking opportunities are encouraged through practica, internships, and activities of the student-run Exercise Science Club.

The exercise science program’s 12-credit internship allows you to focus exclusively on your internship while enrolled as a full-time student away from campus. You’ll gain real-world, hands-on experience during your internship that will prepare you for your first entry-level position after graduation.

General Requirements

Students are admitted to the exercise science major after successfully completing the pre-exercise science major.

The curriculum includes core courses in exercise science and physical education as well as classes in supporting academic areas such as chemistry, biology, health science, and physiology. In addition, the program can prepare you for further study in areas such as medicine, physical therapy, physician assistance, and graduate programs in the exercise sciences.

The degree is designed to be completed in four years as a full time student. Completion time will vary for part time students. We encourage you to speak with your advisor about your workload and goals for completing your degree.

Credits

Total: 120

Required Observation Hours: 100 hours

Concentrations

After completing your pre-exercise courses and being admitted into the major, you will be able to choose from one of our various concentrations.

Basic & Applied Science

This concentration is appropriate for students interested in applying to a clinical exercise physiology, biomechanics, medical school, physician's assistant, or chiropractic graduate program upon completion of their bachelor degree. 

Credits: 27-29

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • Research Methods in Exercise Science
  • Biomechanics of Human Movement
  • General Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Human Physiology

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

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Students seeking positions in fitness, health & wellness, or sport performance industries will benefit from this concentration. Upon completion of their bachelor degree, students could pursue graduate programs in sport performance, exercise physiology, or exercise & sport psychology.

Credits: 21

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • Strength and Conditioning Principles
  • Group Fitness
  • Fitness Management
  • Physical Activity Throughout the Lifespan
  • Applied Skills in Exercise Science

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

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This concentration prepares students to pursue a Master's of Athletic Training program upon completion of their bachelor's degree.

Credits: 27-29

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • Fundamentals of Human Physiology
  • Emergency Medical Responder
  • Prevention and Care of Injury
  • Principles of Human Nutrition

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

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This concentration is designed to cover many, but not all, prerequisites for all PT schools. Physical therapists are licensed medical professionals who provide care in a variety of settings. All physical therapists must hold a degree from an accredited graduate program and have passed the national licensure exam. A student can fulfill the graduate school prerequisites while completing the pre-physical therapy concentration in exercise science.

Credits: 29-30

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • General Physics
  • Human Physiology
  • Statistics
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Terminology for Health Care Professionals and Consumers

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

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This concentration is designed to cover many, but not all, prerequisites for all OT schools.

Credits: 23-24

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • Psychopathology
  • Human Physiology
  • Statistics
  • General Physics
  • Principles of Sociology

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Degree in Exercise Science?

A degree in exercise science prepares students for success in a breadth of relevant career areas, including:

Fitness Center / Workplace Wellness Opportunities

  • Personal trainer, group fitness trainer
  • Health Coach, Corporate Wellness / Workplace Wellness
  • Fitness Nutrition (within scope of practice)
  • Weight Management / Behavior Change Specialist
  • Youth Fitness
  • Senior Fitness

Medical / Health Care Opportunities

  • Doctor, Nurse
  • Physician Assistant
  • Physical Therapy – Occupational Therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Pain Free Management Specialist
  • Medical Exercise Specialist (Work with healthcare team, lead clients with multiple health issues)
  • Orthopedic Exercise (Boost function following orthopedic rehab)
  • Therapeutic Exercise (Use exercise address metabolic disease & musculoskeletal disorders) 

Professional Career Opportunities

  • Sport Performance / Sport Conditioning (Professional, collegiate, and high school level)
  • Tactical Strength & Conditioning (Fire, police, military, emergency rescue)

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, our department awards scholarships to our own students. Find a scholarship.

Apply to Ball State

Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis. Applying is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

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Want to Learn More?

The best way to get a true feel for Ball State is to spend some time here, so we encourage you and your family to schedule a campus visit. Take a tour, attend an information session, meet with a professor in our area, and ask plenty of questions. Or, if you’d rather speak to someone directly by phone or email, please feel free to contact us.