College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2021-2022

Department of Biological Sciences

Exercise Science, Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science consists of core studies in areas such as chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, and general biology, as well as more advanced courses specific to the study of physiology and movement during exercise. Students will develop an understanding of human physiology, human movement, and the biological and chemical responses of the body to acute and chronic (training) exercise in the core Exercise Science classes; Introduction to Exercise Science, Exercise Physiology and its lab, Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology, Exercise Testing and Prescription and its lab, and in their senior capstone.  With the help of advisors, students choose approved Exercise Science electives, which cover a wide range of disciplinary areas and are selected based on the individual student’s career or graduate school goals.  These include courses in psychology, microbiology, genetics, pathology, cell and molecular biology, amongst many others.
Research opportunities are available for students in individual faculty’s research labs, as well as in NAU’s research centers and institutes, such as the Center for Bioengineering Innovation (CBI).  Exercise Science students also have the option of completing an internship in sports performance or cardiac rehabilitation if they are considering a career in clinical exercise physiology.
Students graduating with an Exercise Science degree will be well prepared for careers in clinical exercise physiology, for admission into graduate programs in exercise science and for admission into professional programs such as physical therapy, physician’s assistant, occupational therapy, athletic training, and medicine.

Student Learning Outcomes 
  • Students will be able to communicate scientific information effectively with specialized knowledge of issues in health related fields related to exercise science.
  •  As preparation for careers in exercise and the health sciences, students will be able to collect, analyze and interpret scientific data with application to problems including human disease and acute and chronic responses to exercise.
  • Students will develop proficiency in the quantitative skills necessary to analyze biological problems (e.g., arithmetic, algebra, dimensional analysis, and statistical analysis), with an emphasis of quantitative techniques applicable to exercise science.
  • Students will be able to apply the scientific method as a demonstration that they understand the basic paradigm of scientific inquiry as it relates to exercise science.
  • Students will be able to access and interrogate the primary scientific literature.
  • Students will be able to synthesize material from across a human biological sub-discipline and apply this to advanced-level course material (i.e., a Capstone experience) specifically, students will draw from their learning experiences in the fields of anatomy & physiology, nutrition, exercise testing, etc as related to the topic of their capstone course.
  • Students will develop an understanding and ability to describe the role of science as applied to human movement, exercise and work, and human-environment interactions.
  • Students will develop an appreciation for the interdisciplinary role of science as applied to human health challenges, with a focus on the health and wellness benefits of exercise.
  • Students will understand the acute and chronic metabolic, cardiorespiratory and neuromuscular responses to exercise.

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