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Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science

bachelors in exercise science.

Start a movement.

Revolutionary things are happening in the world of health and fitness. It’s a $78 billion global industry, and it’s growing. Now, more than ever, people want to move beyond quick fixes and into the realm of true health. Fitness-educated individuals are needed in every corner of the industry to cut through the hype and cloudy science.

Exercise science is the study of movement and functional responses or adaptations associated with exercise. It answers questions like: How does the body respond to change? What are the components necessary to achieve optimum fitness? How do we go longer, grow stronger, move faster, and get better?

The innovated exercise science degree at William Woods University includes coursework in exercise physiology, kinesiology, fitness testing and prescription, and program design. You will also learn skills such as entrepreneurship, sports psychology, sports law and nutrition — supplementary skills that will not only make you stand out above other applicants, but will also enhance your career no matter what you do.

Choose from one of five concentrations to prepare you for a career in the health and fitness industry, in research or graduate school in various health science fields, for a career as a coach, teacher or activities coordinator, or understanding the business side of sports management.

Exercise Science Infographic


  • Sports Medicine / Pre-Athletic Training**
    Prepare for a career as a certified athletic trainer by utilizing manual evaluation and treatment skills combined with industry-leading certifications to treat a variety of athletic and non-athletic injuries.
  • Sports Management
    Be ready for a career in virtually every segment of the sport business — including the junior to professional level, media and communications operations, athletic departments, health clubs and more.
  • Human Performance
    Through coursework in exercise physiology, kinesiology, fitness testing and prescription, nutrition and more, you will be able to assess fitness status and design programs to improve areas of fitness for various populations. Prepare for certifications as a fitness instructor, personal trainer, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and more.
  • Physical Education
    Learn how to create movement-based learning opportunities for students in the areas of motor development, individual and large group activities that are designed to promote a lifelong priority of staying active.
  • Pre-Physical Therapy
    Prepare to enroll into a Doctor of Physical Therapy program by participating in internships, observing DPTs in action and completing appropriate coursework–including an anatomy class with 3-D anatomical models. 
  • Sports, Coaching and Leisure
    Learn the fundamentals behind coaching a team or individual, learn to lead groups on outdoor activities, and learn the theory behind what makes people perform at their best — preparing you to become a coach or other leader of activities.
**This program does not qualify individuals to sit for the Board of Certification examination. It does prepare individuals for admittance to our graduate level athletic training program which would meet the qualifications necessary to sit for the Board of Certification exam.


Special opportunities

  • Take advantage of the $1.3 million Center for Human Performance, which includes state-of-the-art equipment in exercise testing and rehabilitation
  • Train and work in our on-campus fitness facility, the Weider Fitness Center, named for honorary trustee and fitness entrepreneur Joe Weider
  • Study in the only institution in the state of Missouri recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Education Recognition Program (ERP)
  • Prepare thoroughly for the NCSA Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification Exam
  • Complete an internship in which you will apply what you have learned in the classroom to real-life experience under the direct supervision of professionals in the fitness industry
  • Participate in many on-campus fitness opportunities and promotions such as Freshman Peer Mentoring or the Health Hunt Wellness Program Advisory Team
  • Enjoy small class sizes and the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty who are dedicated to helping you map out your career goals and make them happen
  • Join various service learning projects throughout the year, including the opportunity to mentor incoming William Woods University students in fitness and nutrition
  • Create an online portfolio which showcases your certifications, coursework and professional goals

Our Exercise Sciences degree at work 

Pursue an exciting career as a/an:

  • Fitness instructor/coordinator
  • Strength and conditioning coach or specialist
  • Personal trainer
  • Wellness program director
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Athletic director
  • Event manager/director
  • Marketing manager
  • Business operations
  • Sports agent
  • Ticket sales
  • Community officer
  • External relations
  • Facilities manager
  • General manager
  • League commissioner
  • Sports information
  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Sports writer or fitness writer


William Woods Exercise Science alumni are currently working for:

  • Health clubs locally and across the nation
  • Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation and testing centers
  • Wellness centers and corporate fitness facilities
  • Professional sports teams (NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS)
  • Media and communications operations (ESPN, Fox Sports, Comcast)
  • College athletic departments
  • High school athletic departments
  • Sports marketing operations
  • Charitable and youth organizations (Little League, Shriners Challenge, YMCA)
  • Country clubs
  • Many graduates go onto graduate school to study a specialty area such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician’s Assistant, Chiropractic and Dietetics
  • And many others

Alumni Perspectives

The professors in my department were helpful in providing the resources and hands-on experience I needed to succeed. Without their assistance in the exercise science program, I would not have had the quantity and quality of job offers I was fortunate to have upon graduation. They truly cared about not only my education and experiences at William Woods, but what was best for me personally.

— Abbey Stock, Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science


The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science degree at William Woods University consists of 122 distinct credit hours for graduation — including 36 core major credits, and a 21-36 credit concentration in sports management, physical education, sports, coaching and leisure, human performance, or sports medicine/pre-athletic training.

EXS 100

Personal Health


EXS 103



EXS 104

First Aid and CPR


EXS 180

Introduction to Exercise Science


EXS 205

Introduction to Anatomy -N


EXS 220

Social Science in Sport


EXS 302

Introduction to Exercise Physiology


EXS 303

Prevention/Care Athletic Injuries


EXS 304

Prevention and Care Lab


EXS 314

Motor Learning and Development


EXS 321



EXS 350

Adapted Physical Education


EXS 401

Sports Psychology


EXS 422

Measurement and Assessment



Admissions Information

Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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