• 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.

Ryan Gearhart

Alumnus joins University of Georgia strength and conditioning staff

Ryan Gearheart, a 2009 MTSU graduate in Exercise Science, became a University of Georgia assistant strength and conditioning director in 2013. He primarily works with the baseball program, along with softball and diving athletes, following two years with Kent State University athletics. Ryan started out as a nursing student before taking a strength and conditioning class. “I immediately fell in love with the field,” Gearhart says. “It really inspired me to hit college a little bit harder than I had been just because I was interested. Networking with kids in the field really helped me get my foot in the door as an intern at Ohio State University, and the classes definitely prepared me.” Gearhart was chosen from 120 candidates for one of three Ohio State University internships; he then earned a master’s in Sport Management as an Eastern Michigan graduate assistant. He worked at D1 Sports Training in Franklin previously.

Ashley Henley

Research coursework benefits grad in physical therapy school

Ashley Henley, working on her physical therapy doctorate, says research classes required for her 2013 Exercise Science B.S. at MTSU especially are paying off. She will spend all three years at Belmont's PT school working on a research project. Henley is currently looking at what Nashville Ballet Company dancers were specifically doing or performing when an injury occurred. "MTSU's two semesters of research is something that a lot of my current classmates had not experienced prior to entering the program, making it more difficult for them to figure out how to actually create a research design," she says. "I was surprised to learn I was one of the few students in my class to have submitted an actual research project to a publishing company." Another MTSU class taught her to create an exercise plan or intervention for a patient, and Exercise Physiology helped her answer patients' "Why?" questions.

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


Click here for more helpful career links.

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

Hide

Dr. Jennifer L. Caputo
Co-Director of Exercise Science | Professor
jenn.caputo@mtsu.edu

Hide

Mr. Ryan Conners
Lecturer
ryan.conners@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. John M. Coons
Assistant Professor
john.coons@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Richard S. Farley
Co-Director of Exercise Science | Associate Profes
richard.farley@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Don W. Morgan
Professor
don.morgan@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Sandra Stevens
Assistant Professor
sandra.stevens@mtsu.edu

Hide

Undergraduate

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.

The degree prepares students for positions in corporate, hospital, and public wellness and fitness centers, as well as graduate degrees in exercise science, medical professions (e.g., physical or occupational therapy), and cardiac rehabilitation. The 120-hour degree requires completion of 17 credit hours of electives, 50 credit hours in the major, and a 12-credit hour internship.

Applications to the Undergraduate Exercise Science program may be submitted online or via this form.

Graduate

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.

The masters degree in Exercise Science offers both thesis and non-thesis options. The degree prepares candidates to gain certification through the American College of Sports Medicine and to enter a terminal degree program in Exercise Science. Candidates are prepared for career opportunities in clinical exercise physiology, and corporate, community, and private fitness sectors. The non-thesis option requires completion of 36 semester hours including a 6-credit internship. The thesis option includes 30 hours of coursework. The prerequisite to both options includes a course in human anatomy and physiology.

The doctoral degree in Human Performance with a specialization in Exercise Science prepares students to conduct research and teach courses in the field. In addition to the doctoral dissertation and preliminary exams, the degree consists of two courses in education, five courses in statistics and research methods, and eight courses in the exercise science specialization. Additional information can be obtained under the graduate program link off of the departmental web page.

Application information regarding the Graduate programs can be found online at the College of Graduate Studies website.

Other programs offered by HHP

Other undergraduate majors offered by the Health and Human Performance Department that  lead to a B.S. include Athletic TrainingHealth 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.

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.

The goals of the Exercise Science program faculty are to

  • Provide quality teaching by integrating practical applications of sport and exercise science in the classroom
  • Conduct basic and applied research at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels
  • Forge partnerships in university and community settings through internships, research projects, and educational service activities

 

Additional Information