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Exercise Physiology Major (B.S.P.Ex.)

Program Overview

The exercise physiology program at Ohio University prepares students for the application of exercise physiology in health/fitness, clinical diagnostics, rehabilitation, and performance settings. This program also prepares students to advance to higher degrees in exercise physiology and other health-related disciplines. Students often pursue certification through the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association to enhance employment opportunities.

This degree includes a solid background in basic sciences to allow the student to develop an understanding of how the body responds and adapts to exercise stimuli. Students also develop the applied skills to evaluate physical fitness and to design and administer appropriate exercise prescriptions.

Exercise Physiology Pre-Physical Therapy Concentration

The Exercise Physiology Pre-Physical Therapy concentration (BS8171) provides students a solid background in the life sciences as well as applied exercise sciences. This concentration requires three additional courses for a total of nine additional credit hours to the exercise physiology degree and is manageable with students enrolled in 13-18 credit hours over eight semester. Students interested in this concentration must meet all of the requirements for the exercise physiology major (BS8122) and the following courses: HLTH 2300, PSY 2710, and either PSY 2410 or PSY 3420. The concentration is designed to meet the prerequisites of the physical therapy program at Ohio University and most other institutions (note: there are no uniform requirements for physical therapy schools). Students interested in applying to a particular physical therapy graduate program should consult that school's catalog or website for exact prerequisites and work with your academic advisor.

Exercise Physiology Pre-Athletic Training Concentration

The Pre-Athletic Training Concentration (BS8178) provides students with an appropriate path in preparation for athletic training post-graduate school. This concentration will add distinction to the students who graduate with an exercise physiology undergraduate degree and provides the additional courses needed to apply to athletic training graduate programs. The concentration requires four additional courses including HLTH 2300, AT 1001, AT 2920, and AT 3001 for a total of 10 additional credit hours to the exercise physiology degree. Completion of the concentration is manageable with students enrolled in 13-17 credit hours over eight semesters. Students interested in applying to a particular athletic training graduate program should consult that school's catalog or website for exact prerequisites and work with an academic advisor.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program:

  • Students will be able to describe the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal responses and adaptations to exercise/physical activity. 
  • Students will be able to interpret and analyze results of exercise tests for diverse populations.
  • Students will be able to evaluate exercise for safety and effectiveness in a wide variety of populations.
  • Students will be able to create evidence-based exercise programs for diverse populations.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy

No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

A degree in exercise physiology will prepare students for three different professional directions: pre-professional program preparation, exercise physiology research and exercise physiology applications.

Pre-professional Preparation

Many exercise physiology students use their degree in exercise physiology as a preparation for application to a graduate-level professional program, such as: physician assistant, chiropractic school, occupational therapy, or medical school. The basic science background of this program helps to prepare students for application to these professional programs. Completion of the Pre-Physical Therapy concentration prepares students for the requirements needed to apply to Athletic Training graduate programs.

Exercise Physiology Research

Some students are interested in pursuing a career in a research environment, such as academia. The research direction of exercise physiology requires an even greater emphasis on the basic sciences with more classes in biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology. This can be accomplished by supplementing their degree with these courses. 

Exercise Physiology Applications

Many exercise physiology students desire to use their knowledge to work with individuals or groups to promote physical fitness, health, and/or performance. These individuals or groups include: health/fitness, clinical/rehabilitation, and athletic performance. The program prepares students to work in all three of these areas.

Academic Catalog

The academic catalog provides additional information about curriculum and courses for this major.
Academic Catalog

Program Details

Bachelor of Science in Physiology of Exercise


Administrative Contact

Sharon Perry, contact person