Exercise science is a multidisciplinary study providing a thorough understanding of the human body during physical activity. Our rigorous, well-rounded curriculum will prepare you for an exciting and rewarding career improving health, fitness and athletic performance through exercise, rehabilitation and nutrition.
Lifestyle diseases such as obesity, heart disease, stroke and diabetes have been steadily attracting attention in recent years, resulting in a high demand for professionals in exercise science. Our exercise science program here at BJU will prepare you for this booming industry and work at improving patients’ health, fitness and athletic performance through exercise, rehabilitation and nutrition.
- Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
- Corporate wellness
- Community health and wellness
- Personal training
- Group fitness program
- Strength and conditioning (high school, college, professional team sport)
- Olympic training center and private sports performance institute
- Health education
- Sports coaching
We prepare you for jobs in a variety of settings, such as:
BJU offers students a variety of ways to network with employers and organizations. A multitude of job opportunities are posted each year on Career Central, our online job board. In addition, more than 60 businesses and 150 Christian schools/mission boards/Christian organizations come on campus to recruit students through on-campus interviews and job/ministry fairs.
Career Services also helps students by holding seminars on resume preparation and interview techniques.
Fitness and wellness, exercise physiology, healthcare, community health, and athletic training are projected among the fastest growing fields over the next ten years.
(U.S. Dept. of Labor)
Joana Stayer, ’16
As an incoming freshman in the BJU Exercise Science program, I had very little experience in the health and exercise field. The program equipped me to help people live better lives and gave me the tools that I needed to pursue a job in Wellness. I most appreciated the challenging anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics courses. Those classes, paired with three semesters of practicum and internship experiences helped me establish foundational knowledge and valuable clinical skills. Thanks to my wonderful teachers and internship director, I felt confident as I started my career as an Exercise Physiologist just a few months after graduation.
Our exercise science program combines coursework in both basic sciences and exercise sciences within a biblical worldview. We aim to equip you with evidence-based knowledge in the classroom and expand upon this knowledge through a combination of laboratory, practicum, independent study and internship experiences.
We’ll provide you with the preparation needed to excel in a variety of professional fitness and wellness settings. You’ll learn to assess client’s health risk factors, blood pressure, aerobic fitness level, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition.
You’ll become proficient in prescribing personalized, safe and effective exercise programs for apparently healthy individual and the athletic population of all ages and levels.
Additionally, you will learn to design tailored programs for individuals with injuries, disabilities, and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, metabolic or pulmonary disease.
Our program also provides you exceptional preparation for graduate schools in the exercise science, sports medicine or allied health fields. The curriculum combines core exercise science courses with key prerequisite courses required for graduate programs if you intend to pursue for further academic study including but not limited to exercise physiology, biomechanics, physical activity in public health, sports nutrition, sports psychology, and chiropractic medicine.
If you intend to enter physical therapy, occupational therapy or athletic training graduate program, the unique combination of courses and laboratories experience with a primary emphasis on functional anatomy, physical assessment and exercise prescription provides a strong preparation for admission into graduate schools.
You’ll have the option to specialize in one of the program concentrations: Fitness and Wellness or Applied Physiology.
Fitness and Wellness
A focus on fitness and wellness qualifies you for entry-level positions in a variety of health and fitness settings such as fitness facilities, hospital wellness centers, corporate fitness, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning programs. This concentration also prepares you for professional certifications in the fitness industry and advanced study in the field of strength and conditioning, and athletic training.
This concentration provides an excellent academic foundation by blending core exercise science courses with key prerequisite courses required for graduate programs in physical therapy, chiropractic medicine, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, sports nutrition, sports psychology, biomechanics, or other healthcare programs.
In the exercise science field, it’s essential for professionals to be able to communicate well with others. Through courses such as music, art, speech and literature, you’ll learn more about people from different backgrounds and with different values and how you can connect with them professionally, effectively and graciously.
And with courses in English, Bible and history, you’ll learn skills in critical thinking through analyzing, evaluating and synthesizing information and ideas. What’s more, you’ll grow in your knowledge of God’s Word and be better prepared to make a defense for the hope that is in you, with gentleness and respect.
You will typically find that courses in business, coaching, nutrition, psychology, and public health are most helpful in preparing you for a job in the health and fitness industry or for post-graduate study. If you are unsure of what electives would be best for you, our exercise science faculty are happy to discuss with you the courses that would be best suited for your degree.
Stephen Chen holds degrees in biology and a PhD in exercise physiology. As a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, he is passionate about student wellness and exercise performance in athletes. He also oversees the exercise physiology laboratory in addition to his teaching.
- Exercise Science Internship
- Bible Elective (300/400-level) (2 credits)
- Nutrition or Psychology Elective (3 credits)
- ESS Elective (400-level) (3 credits)
- BJU Core
Each student will:
- Solve problems related to responses and adaptations to physical activity and exercise by applying an advanced understanding of functional anatomy and physiology.
- Apply basic clinical and laboratory skills pertaining to health status assessment and fitness testing for a healthy client and for someone with lifestyle related disease.
- Design and implement effective and safe exercise programs to reduce disease risk and to improve cardiovascular endurance, musculoskeletal fitness, and body composition in both healthy and diseased populations.
- Apply the skills and abilities to critically evaluate, interpret and integrate information from the scientific literature related to exercise and health.
- Articulate a view of physical activity and wellness that reflects a biblical worldview.
- Interpret and critique experimental data and study designs, generate testable hypotheses and design valid experiments to test hypotheses in the laboratory or in the field.