• Exercise Science
    Camps benefit kids in the community as students learn
  • Exercise Science
    Don Morgan's research
    on child obesity is in the
    forefront
  • Exercise Science
    Learning what happens
    as people exercise
    is key
  • At MTSU, community partnerships give students hands-on experience
    At MTSU, community partnerships give students hands-on experience

Exercise Science

People who are curious about how physical activity, or lack thereof, affects the body can find answers through the field of exercise science — from helping an athlete achieve peak performance, to helping patients safely participate in physical activity. Exercise scientists conduct research to help prevent and treat disease through exercise and even help maximize the capacity of people who work in extreme heat or cold or at different altitudes.

Jeremy Bettie is one of 30 strength and conditioning specialist in the NBA

Strengthening the Nets

Jeremy Bettle, a 2009 graduate of the Ph.D. program in Human Performance with a specialization in Exercise Science, is one of only 30 strength and conditioning specialists in the National Basketball Association. He was named to the Brooklyn Nets staff in 2011 and traveled to the Summer 2012 London Olympic Games to work with Nets guard Deron Williams. Dr. Bettle credits his training at MTSU as “one of the key elements in achieving my current position. The exercise science program created a unique and highly productive learning environment, which exposes students to a very broad spectrum of topics within the field as well as allowing students to perform a great deal of independent study. There’s a lot of opportunity to gain practical experience to compliment your academic study.”

Underwater treadmill research

Treadmill exercise helps overcome paralysis

Research being conducted at the MTSU Exercise Science laboratory is helping people with paralysis to walk again! Individuals with spinal cord injuries who are training in an underwater treadmill are able to stand and support themselves and are taking steps toward a new beginning. “We have participants who have come to MTSU from other states because there is nothing similar,” says Dr. Sandy Stevens, an Assistant Professor who oversees the treadmill program. “If one thing has consistently changed throughout the course of treatment it is that hope has been restored. When the participants see their legs moving, they believe that anything is possible.”

A degree in Exercise Science helps prepare students for positions in corporations, hospitals, and public wellness and fitness centers, as well as laying the groundwork for graduate degrees in exercise science, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and cardiac rehabilitation. Examples of professions that graduates might seek include

  • Employee fitness director
  • Exercise physiologist/clinical exercise physiologist
  • Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation specialist
  • Oncology rehabilitation specialist
  • Diabetes educator
  • Bariatric specialist
  • Group exercise instructor
  • Personal trainer
  • Physical therapy technician
  • Researcher
  • Strength and conditioning specialist
  • Teacher/professor
  • Wellness coach

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • 4UMD
  • Davita Dialysis Center
  • East Tennessee State University Athletics
  • Gateway Medical Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic
  • Healthways
  • Maury Regional Medical Center Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • NBA Brooklyn Nets
  • Progress in Motion
  • Sacred Heart Hospital
  • Tennessee Orthopedic Alliance Physical Therapy
  • University of Louisville Strength and Conditioning
  • Verizon Wellness Center
  • Volkswagen and Nissan Corporate Fitness — Medifit
  • YMCA

Dr. Vaughn W. Barry 
Assistant Professor
vaughn.barry@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-5535
Office | Room 154C, Alumni Memorial Gym (AMG)
Mail | MTSU Box 96, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., University of South Carolina (2011)
M.S., Ball State University (2007)
B.S., Brigham Young University, UT (2005)
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Dr. Jennifer L. Caputo 
Co-Director of Exercise Science | Professor
jenn.caputo@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-5547
Office | Room 156, Alumni Memorial Gym (AMG)
Mail | MTSU Box 96, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Greensboro (2000)
M.S., University of North Carolina, Greensboro (1996)
B.S., Connecticut College (1994)
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Ryan Conners, MS, LATC 
Lecturer
ryan.conners@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-2023 
Office | Room 302, Alumni Memorial Gym (AMG)
Mail | MTSU Box 96, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
A.B.D., Middle Tennessee State University
M.S., Middle Tennessee State University (2010)
B.S., Canisius College, NY (2008)
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Dr. John M. Coons 
Assistant Professor
john.coons@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-494-7973
Office | Room 154B, Alumni Memorial Gym (AMG)
Mail | MTSU Box 96, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University (2008)
M.S., Middle Tennessee State University (2005)
M.E., Frostburg State University, MD (2000)
B.S., Southeast Missouri State University (1996)
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Dr. Richard S. Farley 
Co-Director of Exercise Science | Associate Professor
richard.farley@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-5298
Office | Room 155, Alumni Memorial Gym (AMG)
Mail | MTSU Box 96, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (1999)
M.S., Western Kentucky University (1990)
B.S., Western Kentucky University (1984)
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Dr. Don W. Morgan 
Director of the Center for Physical Activity and Health in Youth | Professor
don.morgan@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-5549
Office | Room 154, Alumni Memorial Gym (AMG)
Mail | MTSU Box 96, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., Arizona State University (1988)
M.S., University of Tennessee (1981)
B.M.E., Northwestern University, IL (1975)
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Sandra Stevens
Assistant Professor
sandra.stevens@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-494-7905
Office | Room 150, Alumni Memorial Gym (AMG)
Mail | MTSU Box 96, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University (2010)
M.S., Middle Tennessee State University (2005)
B.S., University of Kansas (1986)
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For those students with an interest in the performance of the human body, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Exercise Science is available. The Health and Human Performance Department also offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Exercise Science as well as a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Human Performance with a specialization in Exercise Science.

Other undergraduate majors offered by the Health and Human Performance Department that  lead to a B.S. include Athletic Training; Health Education with two concentrations: Community and Public Health and Health Education and Lifetime Wellness; Leisure, Sport, and Tourism Studies; and Physical Education. Both a B.S. and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree are available through the Communication Disorders concentration under the Speech and Theatre major.

Other undergraduate minors available through the Health and Human Performance Department are Health, Health and Physical Education, Health and Human Performance, Recreation, Athletic Coaching and Officiating, Driver and Traffic Safety Education, and Communication Disorders.

Graduate programs in the department leading to M.S. degrees are majors in Exercise Science; Health and Human Performance, which has two concentrations: Health and Physical Education; and Leisure and Sport Management, which also has two concentrations: Recreation and Leisure Services and Sport Industry.

An academic map is a suggested four-year schedule of courses based on degree requirements in the undergraduate catalog. This sample schedule serves as a general guideline to help build a full schedule each term. Milestones, courses, and special requirements necessary for timely progress to complete a major are designated to keep you on track to graduate in four years. Missing milestones could delay your program. 

This map based on the 2013-2014 undergraduate catalog is not a substitute for academic advisement - contact your advisor if you have any questions about scheduling or about your degree requirements. Also see the current undergraduate catalog (catalog.mtsu.edu) for a complete list of requirements and electives.Note: Requirements are continually under revision, and there is no guarantee they will not be changed or revoked; contact the department and/or program area for current information. 

You may choose to attend a summer term to reduce your load during fall or spring terms but still stay on track to graduate in four years (see below). NOTE: Learning Support courses will alter the sequences on this map.

Exercise Science Academic Map

Department of Health and Human Performance
Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro


Suggested Fall/Spring and Summer/Fall/Spring Four-Year Schedule

Refer to the scholarships website for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.

Click here for printer friendly academic map.

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  ENGL 1020 (Comm)3 
MATH (Math)3  Soc/Beh Sci3HLTH 1530/1531 rec.
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3
Nat Sci (Rubric 1)4  Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4 
PHED activity course1  Elective2 
SUBTOTAL14  SUBTOTAL15 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  ATHT 35803 
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
NFS 22203  BIOL 2010/20114Must earn C or higher
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  EXSC 30003 
Elective3  Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL16 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
BIOL 2020/20214Prereq: C or higher in BIOL 2010/2011 EXSC 40003Prereq: EXSC 3830/3831
EXSC 3830/38314Prereq: C or higher in BIOL 2010/2011 EXSC 42303Prereq: EXSC 3830/3831
EXSC 35003  EXSC 42403Prereq: EXSC 3830/3831
ATHC 40603  ATHT 3900/39013Prereq: BIOL 2010/2011
PHED activity course1  Elective3 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
EXSC 42603Prereq: EXSC 4240 EXSC 425012Also available summer term
EXSC 40103Prereq: EXSC 4000 Elective3 
NFS 32803Prereq: NFS 2220 
Elective3    
Elective3    
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  ENGL 1020 (Comm)3 
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  Soc/Beh Sci3HLTH 1530/1531 rec
Nat Sci (Rubric 1)4  Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4
Elective3  Elective2 
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL12 
FRESHMAN SUMMER
MATH (Math)3  Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  ATHT 35803 
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
NFS 22203  BIOL 2010/20114Must earn C or higher
Elective3  EXSC 30003 
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL13 
SOPHOMORE SUMMER
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
BIOL 2020/20214Prereq: C or higher in BIOL 2010/2011 EXSC 40003Prereq: EXSC 3830/3831
EXSC 3830/38314Prereq: C or higher in BIOL 2010/2011 EXSC 42303Prereq: EXSC 3830/3831
ATHC 40603  ATHT 3900/39013Prereq: BIOL 2010/2011
PHED activity course1  Elective3 
Elective3     
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL12 
JUNIOR SUMMER
EXSC 35003  EXSC 42403Prereq: EXSC 3830/3831
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
EXSC 42603 Prereq: EXSC 4240 EXSC 425012Also available summer term
EXSC 40103Prereq: EXSC 4000    
NFS 32803Prereq: NFS 2220   
Elective3    
PHED activity course1     
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL12 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120


Graduation information may be accessed here.
 

Notes: 1. 120 semester hours with at least a 2.00 grade point average; 12 of the last 18 hours must be taken at MTSU–not transferred
2. 42 upper-division hours (3000-4000 level courses) with at least a 2.00 grade point average
3. 30 upper-division hours must be taken at MTSU–not transferred
4. 60 senior college hours (taken at a four-year college)
5. Learning support courses do not count toward the 120-hour requirement or cumulative degree GPA.
6. Courses used to fulfi ll high school deficiencies can only be counted as elective or general education credit.

Exercise Science

EXSC 3000 - Introduction to Exercise Science
3 credit hours
An overview of the exercise science profession including the history of exercise science, careers, and certifications in the field; understanding the role of the fitness professional in the health and fitness industry. Content based on guidelines published by the American College of Sports Medicine.

EXSC 3500 - Exercise Techniques and Leadership
3 credit hours
Practical experience in adult exercise leadership in individual and group settings. Precautions for safe and effective exercise leadership, instruction, and adult fitness programming based on the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine included.

EXSC 3830 - Physiology of Exercise
4 credit hours
Prerequisites: C or better in BIOL 2010/BIOL 2011; EXSC 3831 must be taken concurrently. Examines acute response and chronic adaptations of the body to physical activity, exercise, and sports participation, and their impact on homeostasis. Three hours lecture and one two-hour laboratory.

EXSC 3831 - Physiology of Exercise Lab
0 credit hours
 Corequisite: EXSC 3830. Laboratory to accompany EXSC 3830.

EXSC 4000 - Research Seminar in Exercise Science
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 3830/EXSC 3831. Development of research ideas, application of computers in searching research databases, methods of research and data collection, data analysis, and preparation and presentation of a research proposal.

EXSC 4010 - Applied Research in Exercise Science
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 4000. Completion of a research study in exercise science including preparation of Institutional Review Board documents, collection and analysis of research data, preparation of research report, and presentation of research findings.

EXSC 4230 - Exercise Prescription and Program Planning
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: EXSC 3830/EXSC 3831. Focuses on the principles of exercise prescription and program planning in healthy populations. Content based on guidelines published by the American College of Sports Medicine. Guidelines from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association addressed.

EXSC 4240 - Principles of Exercise Assessment for Healthy Populatio
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 4830. Provides students with practical and theoretical experiences in health/fitness assessment techniques; primarily for healthy populations. Upon completion, pursuit of ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor Certification recommended.

EXSC 4250 - Internship
12 credit hours
Prerequisite: Approval by area faculty required. On-site practical experience in an exercise science/health promotion program.

EXSC 4260 - Exercise Assessment and Prescription for Special Popula
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 4240. Practical and theoretical experiences in exercise prescription and health/fitness assessment techniques for special populations. Precautions for safe and effective participation in exercise programs identified.

EXSC 4810 - Measurement and Evaluation
3 credit hours
Concepts and procedures used for applied measurement and evaluation in health and human performance settings. Basic statistics, reliability and validity, measurement instruments in field and laboratory settings, and the administration of a variety of tests within discipline.

EXSC 4920 - Independent Study
1 to 3 credit hours
(Same as ATHT 4920/HLTH 4920/PHED 4920/LSTS 4920.) Independent study topics based on a study plan prepared in cooperation with a faculty supervisor. Culminates in a formal paper and/or comprehensive examination. Application forms must be completed and approved prior to enrollment. A maximum of three credit hours may be applied toward degree.

EXSC 4965 - Aquatic Exercise and Therapeutic Rehabilitation
3 credit hours
(Same as ATHT 4965/LSTS 4965.) Examines the various uses of the aquatic environment to develop, maintain, and improve physical performance with practical development of skills and techniques and aquatic exercise programming. Combines both didactic and laboratory activities in an experiential learning environment.