Career Options

Exercise Science is the scientific study of exercise and sport. As a discipline, exercise science is heavily rooted in the physical and life sciences including chemistry, biology, and physics. The field of exercise science involves the study of physical activity and the impact it has on health, fitness, and athletics.

Exercise science graduates can choose from careers in university research and teaching facilities, sports medicine clinics, hospital and cardiac rehabilitation centers, public health organizations, corporate fitness centers, health and community fitness clubs, personal training, and athletic coaching.

Within the SVSU region, there are many businesses and organizations that offer clinical experiences for our students. These include health clubs, community and corporate fitness programs, and medical/clinical sites such as cardiac rehabilitation centers.

Students are provided with strong field-based instruction in areas of exercise testing, exercise prescription, programming techniques, nutrition, and organization & administration using current technologies with a variety of populations and environments.

The Exercise Science major is designed so that students can meet specific competencies set forth by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), which are the two most recognized institutions promoting health & fitness and athletic conditioning worldwide.

ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor

The ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor® (HFI) is a professional qualified to assess, design, and implement individual and group exercise and fitness programs for apparently healthy individuals and individuals with controlled disease. The HFI is skilled in evaluating health behaviors and risk factors, conducting fitness assessments, writing appropriate exercise prescriptions, and motivating individuals to modify negative health habits and maintain positive lifestyle behaviors for health promotion. The HFI certification provides professionals with recognition of their practical experience and demonstrated competence as a leader of health and fitness programs in the university, corporate, commercial or community settings in which their clients participate in health promotion and fitness-related activities.

NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. Recognizing that their area of expertise is separate and distinct, CSCSs consult with and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.
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Exercise Physiologist
Group Exercise Leader

Personal Trainer
Physician Assistant
Physical Therapist

Sport Psychologist
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Wellness Specialist


AACVPR Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional (CCRP)
ACE Group Fitness Instructor
ACE Health Coach
ACE Medical Exercise Specialist
ACE Personal Trainer
ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist
ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist
ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research Personal Trainer Certification
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)
NSCA Certified Special Population Specialist (CSPS)
NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
NSCA Tactical Strength & Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F)
YMCA Personal Training Instructor

Professional Organizations

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)                                    
American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)                      
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)                             
American Council on Exercise (ACE)                                             
American Medical Association (AMA)                                            

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)                           
American Society of Biomechanics                                                  
Association for Applied Sport Psychology                                
International Society of Biomechanics                                         
National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)                              
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)              
Shape America