When evaluating college degree options – especially those you’re unfamiliar with – why not go directly to the source? The comments and insights below are from an interview with Shannon Baisden, a professor and Exercise Science Program director at a Midwestern university specializing in chiropractic and health sciences education.
“Exercise science is a discipline that studies movement and its associated adaptations and functional responses in the human body,” Baisden says. “The goal of exercise science is to facilitate an understanding of the links between the body, fitness, exercise, movement, diet, and health. So, we’re able to help people with their lifestyle choices and find improvement in all these categories
“I grew up as an athlete, always playing sports, and identified right away that fitness and wellness would be a huge part of my life. So, it was just a natural transition for me to start taking courses in college.
At that time, I didn’t know that exercise science was a real major! Then, I went directly to graduate school, also studying in an exercise science program. Later, I ran a human performance lab in California where I was able to administer fitness assessments and really dive into the career options exercise science offered me.”
“At my University, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Exercise Science is a 124-credit hour program. We start with a solid base of GE’s – general education requirements. Students will take science courses similar to any other pre-med type of major.
We also have two pathways here. For those students who want to go directly into chiropractic, we have a pathway that will make that easier for them. We also have a pathway for those who wish to explore other wellness options or different, yet related, careers.”
“Our core coursework offers exercise physiology, kinesiology, sport and exercise psychology, and exercise nutrition. We also have courses that deal with metabolic disease and cardiovascular disease. We prepare our students to work with diverse populations. Young and older. Athletes and non-athletes.
Students love that they have access to an advanced fitness center, that we have a group exercise training center, three different laboratories, and top-of-the-line equipment. Students are able to assess metabolism and V02 max (the maximum amount of oxygen a body can utilize during activities) and do other assessments.
Our curriculum wraps up with a 15-week internship. Students can go into the real world, apply what they’ve learned, and gain more experience. This will ultimately lead them to a career decision and job placement in this exciting and highly important field.”
“The B.S. in exercise science is essential in the world we live in today. Many of the causes of death in our society are due to diseases and conditions related to our lifestyle choices.
So, our exercise science program prepares students to have all the tools to go out and help people be their best selves.
We find that students choosing exercise science want to help themselves in their knowledge of sports or fitness, know others who need help, or have dealt with family members or friends with diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease.”
“Not every exercise science program is the same. Some are four-year programs. Others are organized to allow degree completion in three years, like ours. This is advantageous when using the exercise science degree as a stepping-stone to a graduate/professional school.
Our program at Cleveland University-Kansas City is aligned with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The depth of our program provides excellent preparation for students interested in dual credentials in many healthcare-focused professions.
These include Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), Physical Therapist (PT), Physician Assistant (P.A.), Occupational Therapist (OT), and specialist roles, such as cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation. That’s just a starter list.”
Other students, when they earn the degree, find they are able to immediately go out and help people make changes in their lives.”
Program directors like Shannon describe the exercise science degree as a way to have a comprehensive knowledge of human potential and performance. Use the checklist below to see if an exercise science program might be right for you.
|Yes/No? (2 or more=Yes)||What's your interest level in an exercise science program?|
|___||I’d like to learn all I can about exercise biomechanics and designing fitness plans to help athletes minimize the risks of injury and improve their performance.|
|___||I’m curious to see how exercise can prevent and treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.|
|___||I think it’s vital to investigate optimal physical function for the increasing number of senior adults who want to stay active and live as independently as possible.|
|___||I’m interested in developing nutritional plans for populations facing ongoing deficiencies.|
|___||I’d like to explore physical preparation and performance standards for physically intense occupations.|
|___||I want to know how – and why – cells and systems of the human body respond to physiological stress.|
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas, within the Kansas City metro. Most students seeking a B.S. in Exercise Science at CUKC can complete their bachelor’s in about three years.
Our students receive hands-on instruction and gain practical experience through classes, campus lab experiences, and internships.
Features of our program include:
Request more information to learn about our B.S. in Exercise Science program. If you also need the latest information about paying for college, make sure you get this free eBook: Your Guide to Navigating College Financial Aid.