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Bachelor of Science (B.S) Degree in Exercise Science

The exercise science program is one of several in the Human Movement Sciences (HMS) Department. The exercise science program of study is designed to prepare individuals for careers in preventive and rehabilitative exercise and wellness programs in settings such as hospitals, government agencies, and fitness and corporate wellness centers. Some students pursue graduate or professional degrees in such allied health areas as physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine, exercise science, physiology, and biomedical sciences.

A solid foundation in the natural sciences is a prerequisite for much of the course work in the exercise science curriculum. Academic preparation focuses on the scientific aspects of exercise related to apparently healthy and high risk populations as well as those with cardiovascular, pulmonary and/or metabolic disease. The exercise science curriculum follows the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). Students are strongly encouraged to earn ACSM certification. Many students have successfully completed the ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor certification examination after completing the curriculum.

Declaration of the Exercise Science Major

Prior to declaring a major in exercise science, the student must complete 15 semester hours of course work (ENGL 110C, EXSC 225, BIOL 115-116, and CHEM 121/122-123/124 or PHYS 111/112) with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 and have a personal interview with the EXSC undergraduate program coordinator. Note: All freshman students desiring to declare an Exercise Science major must meet with Ms. Mirta Williams (mswillia@odu.edu) for advising.

Tracks within the Major

The Scientific Foundations Track is designed for students desiring further education in such allied health areas as physical therapy, physician assistant training, medicine and biomedical sciences; the coursework is more rigorous as admission standards to postgraduate studies in these fields is highly competitive. The Preventive/Rehabilitative Track prepares students for careers in cardiac rehabilitation, personal training and corporate wellness and includes a semester-long internship.

               Scientific Foundations Track

               Preventive/Rehabilitative Track

Clinical Internship

The exercise science curriculum includes a clinical internship which provides professional experiences to support the academic course of study. Requirements include the completion of 400 documented hours in an approved setting and completion of pre-determined goals and objectives. In the past, students have completed internships in such prestigious settings as the US Olympic Training Center. Additional internship sites include clinical settings such as cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, preventive settings such as fitness and corporate wellness centers; and research settings such as human performance laboratories. The internship is a requirement for students in the Preventive/Rehabilitative track. Students in the Scientific Foundations Track can complete an internship or practicum as an elective.

Program Completion

Requirements for program completion include the following: a GPA of 2.00 in all course work at Old Dominion University (120 hours); a GPA of 2.00 in the exercise science curriculum; passing the university exit writing examination prior to the internship; and completion of all course competencies, the internship, the departmental exit interview; and the departmental and senior assessment examinations.

Minor in Exercise Science

Students may earn a minor in exercise science by completing the following courses totaling 21 credit hours:

*Please note that BIO 250 and MATH 102M or MATH 162M are prerequisites for all Exercise Science courses except EXSC 225 (Introduction to Exercise Science).

BIOL 250 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
EXSC 225 Introduction to Exercise Science
EXSC 322 Anatomical Kinesiology/Human Anatomy
PE 409 Physiology of Exercise
EXSC 415 Exercise Testing for Normal and Special Populations
and one (1) other EXSC 300/400 level course


Dr. Laura Hill
Undergraduate Program Coordinator-Exercise Science
2009 Student Recreation Center
Human Movement Sciences Department
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-4624 (office); 683-4270 (fax)
E-mail: Lhill@odu.edu