Exercise Science

Bachelor of Science

Exercise Science is an interdisciplinary program that prepares you for allied health, human movement, and physical education careers.

With an emphasis on experiential learning and multiple research opportunities, you’ll develop the strong inquiry skills necessary to excel.

The Curriculum
A strong research focus right from the start

Hands-on research is a core part of the exercise science program. Through your courses, you’ll:

  • Be introduced to research methods and literature
  • Participate as subjects in other students’ projects
  • Complete group projects that answer specific questions in advanced classes
  • Conduct a semester or year-long research project in the Senior Capstone on a topic of your choosing
State of the art equipment supports your research

The new Swenson Science Center emphasizes science on display, with labs surrounded by windows so you can witness experiments right when you enter the building. The Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology Ergometer Teaching Labs give you access to the tools and equipment you’ll need to conduct meaningful research, including:

  • 3-dimensional force plates
  • Biodex Isokinetic Unit
  • 8-camera optical motion capture and analysis system
  • Telemetered electromyography system
  • Metabolic measurement systems
  • 12-channel ECG
  • Ergometers for the measurement of work and power
  • Bod Pod body composition analyzer

The department also has two research laboratories in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center that house more cutting edge technologies, including Ultrasound and Air Displacement Plethysmography (Bod Pod).

Many research and internship opportunities

The program also provides research opportunities through various summer research programs including the Swenson Summer Research Fellowship program, ALLIES in STEM and the Aperture program. You can also participate in directed research with a faculty member or independent study research in an area of interest to you.

We also encourage and support internship opportunities at sites that include Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy clinics, Los Robles Hospital, University Village Retirement Community, Sports Academy and SportsWestKids training center.

Develop professionally as you learn

There is a strong focus on professional development and engagement. Our students frequently attend national and regional meetings to network and/or present their research to the greater science community. Cal Lutheran even has one of the largest presence at the American College of Sports Medicine Southwest Chapter Conference annually held in October.

Emphasis Areas


Offered as a major (BS).

Recommended Minors

Want to add even more value to your degree? Consider one of these minors to gain a unique combination of skills and perspectives.

The Experience

My work enables me to remain a student, which helps me connect with my students. I think it brings authenticity to what I’m trying to do in the classroom – how can I ask them to work hard and to be enthused about learning if I don’t model that myself?

Michele LeBlanc

Dr. Hawkins’ classes made me passionate about the study of exercise and movement. I was able to apply what I was learning in my 'Exercise Physiology' and 'Advanced Exercise Physiology' classes to my own life as an athlete and at the clinics and hospitals I interned at.

Peter Mu-Ping Lee '19

Your Future

Many exercise science careers require additional education, certification, or licensure beyond an undergraduate degree.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared to enter additional educational programs in medicine, physical therapy, athletic training/sports medicine, exercise physiology, biomechanics, fitness management, nutrition, teaching physical education, and other health- and movement-related fields.

Our alumni study at:
  • Asuza Pacific University
  • Baylor University
  • Chapman University
  • Duke University School of Medicine
  • George Washington University
  • Loma Linda University
  • Regis University
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Southern California (USC)
  • University of Washington
  • Western Kentucky University
  • Western University of Health Sciences
  • Yale University
Our alumni work for:
  • Camarillo Family YMCA
  • Elite Fitness Plus
  • Fire Department
  • Hand Rehabilitation Specialists
  • Los Robles Regional Medical Center
  • Southern California Orthopedic Institute
  • Recooperation Physical Therapy
  • San Ramon Regional Medical Center
  • Custom Physical Therapy
  • Paraxel Biopharmaceutical and Medical Device Company
  • Teach for America
Career paths:
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Firefighter
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physician’s Assistant
  • Physician
  • Physical Educator
  • Prosthetics
  • Registered Nurse
  • Sports Physical Therapist

of Cal Lutheran graduates find a job or enroll in graduate school within nine months

More Career Outcomes

I believe this program sets students up for success by not limiting the number of opportunities or declaring a set path after graduation. This program offers courses that can be applied to many different fields. After graduation, I was selected to join the Corp Teach for America where I taught science in Chicago for a few years. During my time teaching children, I was exposed to the overwhelming rate of type II diabetes and obesity in children, which sparked my interest and decided to further my education in learning how to prevent and treat metabolic diseases through nutrition and biomedicine.

Alexandria Ruggles '15
Exercise Science Major
M.S. in Nutrition and Biomedicine Student, Technische Universität München

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