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Exercise Science


Do you have a burning desire to turn fitness into a career? Can you see yourself helping others regain their strength after an accident or illness, or improve their overall health and wellness? Perhaps there’s a career for you as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, personal or athletic trainer, strength and conditioning coach or exercise physiologist. You can get on track for a rewarding future with an Exercise Science degree from PennWest Edinboro.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for physical therapists, exercise physiologists, fitness trainers and instructors will grow faster than most occupations between now and 2026 as businesses, insurance companies and other organizations recognize the benefits of health and wellness and offer incentives for joining gyms and other health clubs.

Why Edinboro Stands Out.

At Edinboro, you'll thrive in small classes where each professor knows you by name. They will serve as your mentors as you develop the knowledge and skills to plan and implement exercise and health and wellness programs for a variety of populations, including healthy adults and youths, athletes and people with physical limitations.

You'll not only learn theory, but practical applications as well in our health and fitness computer laboratory and state-of-the-art exercise science laboratory.

Worksite field experience plus a full semester internship will give you hands-on experience. By following our curriculum, you'll graduate more than ready to enter the workforce or enhance your career by pursuing a graduate or professional degree.

State-of-the-Art Human Performance Laboratory.

HPE Performance Lab
Exercise Science students have access to Edinboro's state-of-the-art Human Performance Laboratory in the Crawford Center. It's equipped with cardio-respiratory testing, computerized motion analysis, hydrostatic body composition analysis and more to give you a better understanding of how exercise impacts health.

How Edinboro Supports You.

At Edinboro, a capstone experience gives you an edge.

You'll spend 600 hours — a full semester — getting hands-on experience in a setting that is aligned to your career goals. During this time, you'll earn 12 credits and learn more about your chosen field. Placements may be anywhere in the country and include:

  • Fitness centers and gyms
  • Hospital settings
  • Physical therapy practices
  • YMCAs

Your Future

As a graduate, you may go directly into the workforce as an exercise physiologist or fitness trainer. Or you may join other alumni who go on to earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy or a master’s degree in Exercise Science or other related fields. Here’s what a few recent graduates are doing:

  • Cory Beaumont (BS ’16) - Doctoral student, Kinesiology focus on Exercise Physiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
  • Stephanie Smigiera (BS ‘13) - DPT from Slippery Rock University, now a physical therapist at Excelsior Orthopaedics, Buffalo, NY
  • Zack Zenko (BS ’11) – Assistant Professor, University of California, Bakersfield, CA
  • Jared King (BS ’10) - Physical therapist at King Physical Therapy & Fitness, Scottdale, PA

Questions About This Program?

Ruth Stauffer, PhD
Department Chair
103 Crawford Center
Email: rstauffer@pennwest.edu
Phone: 814-732-1345

Curriculum Sheet Course Sequence


Start Today.

Take charge of your experience. Ask questions, meet our students and professors, and see the campus yourself.

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Similar Programs

If you're interested in Exercise Science, you may also be drawn to these other Edinboro programs:
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Bachelor of Science (BS)