WOU: Exercise Science

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Exercise Science

Promoting healthy lifestyles and communities.

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Exercise Science is the study of changes that occur within the human body in response to exercise and physical activity. Students of Exercise Science complete foundational coursework in general biology and human anatomy and physiology. Key areas of study within the major include Biomechanics, Motor Behavior, Nutrition, Physiology of Exercise, and Social and Psychological aspects of exercise and physical activity. Through both theoretical and applied coursework, our students learn how the human body adapts to various forms of movement and exercise, and become skilled in assessment of fitness and prescription of exercise appropriate to a wide range of populations, for purposes ranging from general health promotion and injury prevention, to rehabilitation and sports performance.

Career Opportunities in Exercise Science

The Exercise Science major can lead to a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers:

  • Graduates of the Western Oregon University Exercise Science program have found employment in health care support areas such as hospital cardiac rehabilitation and physical therapy assistance, in corporate fitness centers, in athletic and health focused fitness clubs, and with organizations that provide fitness and activity programming such as YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs. Majors pursuing both health and athletic related fitness careers are well prepared to sit for certification exams offered by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
  • Students that have pursued the pre-education track within the major have gone on to complete teaching certification and are serving as physical educators in public an private schools throughout the state and nation.
  • Many students utilize the applied exercise science track of the major for the additional science preparation necessary for entry into graduate licensing programs for health care careers such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, and nutrition/dietetics. The major also provides an excellent foundation for entry into graduate programs in the exercise sciences, leading to advanced degrees and careers in college and university instruction and research.


Division of Health and Exercise Science
College of Education
Western Oregon University
Monmouth, OR 97361

Fax: 503-838-8370

Phone: 503-838-8908

Diana McAlpine
Administrative Program Assistant


Peggy Pedersen, Ph.D.
Division Chair

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