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female personal trainer observes as male adult uses exercise equipment

Exercise Science Major

Earn a degree in exercise science

Receiving a bachelor's degree (B.S.) in exercise science at SBU will prepare you to pursue any allied health career as you learn how to deal with people who need injury rehabilitation. A combination of coursework in sciences and human development will equip you with the skills needed for a variety of professions.

The exercise science major is designed for students interested in a career in personal training, biomechanics, or those students who intend to pursue post-graduate schooling/certification in physical therapy, athletic training, or exercise physiology.

Choose from two majors:

  • Exercise Science - Rehabilitative Sciences — For students who intend to pursue post-graduate schooling/certification in physical therapy, athletic training, or exercise physiology. This concentration is great preparation for career success and advanced education in a variety of fields such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician's assistant, personal training, and more. Your faculty advisor will work with you to ensure your course plan includes all prerequisites needed for any graduate degree program you wish to pursue.
  • Exercise Science — For a career in personal training or coaching. Courses will prepare you to take the American College of Sports Medicine Personal Training certification exam if you wish to become a certified personal trainer.

Hands-on practicum experiences, small class sizes and dedicated faculty will prepare you to either pursue graduate school or enter the workforce immediately after graduation.

The Exercise Science degree is offered through SBU's College of Natural and Applied Sciences.


Major Map (PDF)

Degree Plan


(Percentage of May 2020 exercise science graduates placed in employment or graduate school within three months of graduation)

SBU students participating in bed races

The SBU Advantage

  • You will gain beneficial real-world experience through a required practicum completed during the B.S. in Exercise Science program and a required internship completed at the end of the program.
  • Faculty will work with you one-on-one to help find the practicums and internships that best fit your interests and desires.
  • Most allied health career paths require additional graduate or professional school programs, but the exercise science faculty will work with you individually to help set you up for success at the next level.

Faith Integration

The integration of Christian faith and academic discipline distinguishes SBU's exercise science degree program. While receiving an academically rigorous exercise science education, you also will be intentionally challenged to consider how your faith will influence your interaction with patients and clients. Faculty are committed to producing graduates who will be servant leaders in their chosen professions in line with SBU's mission to "prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society."

Within the Rehabilitative Sciences concentration, you will learn skills for allied healthcare professions from the perspective of a Christian worldview. For example, you will be challenged to consider how an injury affects the whole person — body, mind and soul — and then learn how to work with the injured person and the emotions they are experiencing due to the injury.


Exercise science majors have pursued a variety of kinesiology and allied health careers including:

  • Cardiac Rehab Nurse
  • Nutritionist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physician's Assistant
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach

Graduate Schools

Many B.S. in Exercise Science graduates go on to pursue further education in subjects such as:


Articulation agreement for Master of Athletic Training

Southwest Baptist University has established an articulation agreement with Culver-Stockton College beginning fall 2019. Students graduating from SBU's Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science program will receive priority consideration for Culver-Stockton College's Master of Athletic Training (MAT) degree program.

This strategic partnership will provide an avenue for a quality educational experience for SBU students wishing to pursue athletic training certification. The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) requires a graduate degree for athletic training certification, effective in 2022.

Exercise Science (Personal Training) Four-Year Plan


Fall Semester

BIO 1004 Principles of Biology 4
PSY 1013 General Psychology 3
KIN 1163 Fitness and Wellness for Professionals 3
ENG 1113 English Composition I 3
UNI 1111 University Seminar 1
Total hours 14


BIB 1013 Old Testament History 3

Spring Semester

ESC 1013 Introduction to Exercise Science 3
ENG 2213 English Composition II 3
COM 1103 Fundamentals of Speech Communication 3
UNI 1121 Introduction to Critical Thinking 1
MAT 1243 Algebraic Reasoning and Modeling 3
HSC 1013 Medical Terminology 3
Total hours 16


Fall Semester

BIO 2204 Human Anatomy & Physiology I 4
KIN 2023 Perceptual Motor Development 3
KIN 3083 Care and Prevention 3
CIS 1103 Computer and Information Management 3
FAR 10_3 Intro. to Art, Fine Arts, Music or Theatre 3
Total hours 16

Spring Semester

BIO 3304 Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4
ECO 2003 LIFE Economics 3
KIN 3073 Physiology of Exercise 3
POL 1113 American Government and Politics 3
SPF 2012 Introduction to Spiritual Formation 2
Total hours 15


Fall Semester

HIS 2213/2223 U.S. History I or II 3
KIN 4003 Kinesiology 3
PSY 3063 Human Growth & Development 3
ESC 3133 Pharmacology 3
PSY 3033 Abnormal Psychology 3
Total hours 15

Spring Semester

KIN 2243 Nutrition 3
PSY 3243 Elementary Statistics 3
KIN 3093 Responding to Emergencies 3
KIN 4001 Exercise Science Capstone 1
COM 2013 Business Communications 3
  Cultural Studies General Education Requirement 3
Total hours 15


Fall Semester

ESC 4053 Biomechanical Analysis 3
KIN 4023 Sports Nutrition 3
KIN 4773 Principles of Strength and Conditioning 3
ESC 4833 Evidenced Based Practice 3
PSY 4373 Being Human & Addicted 3
Total hours 17

Spring Semester

PSY ___3 Upper-level psychology 3
ESC 4043 Exercise Science Practicum 3
ESC 4223 Functional Movement 3
ESC 4013 Tactical Strength and Conditioning 3
BIB 1023 New Testament History 3
Total hours 15


ESC 4986 Exercise Science Internship 6

This is a proposed guideline. Please check the catalog and see your advisor for your final degree requirements.
Southwest Baptist University reserves the right to make changes to degree plans without advanced notice or obligation.
The student is responsible for understanding and completing all general education, degree, departmental and graduation requirements.

Download in PDF format:
Exercise Science (Personal Training) Plan (PDF)

Exercise Science (Rehabilitative Sciences-PT) Plan (PDF)

Exercise Science (Rehabilitative Sciences-OT/AT) Plan (PDF)