Jul 21, 2024  
2016-2017 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2022 
2016-2017 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2022 [Archived Catalog]

Exercise Science (BS)

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Affiliation: School of Health Sciences & Education


The mission of the Health and Exercise Sciences Department is to prepare students of strong academic ability and character to become agents of change for the health and well-being of all people. 


The health and exercise sciences faculty and staff are dedicated to providing students with a world-class education in a stimulating and supportive environment. This student-centered philosophy is expressed through an emphasis on problem-based learning, practical experience, and scholarly research that promotes a rich learning environment, greatly enhancing student development.


The exercise science discipline combines both applied and research perspectives in the integrated study of human movement. Students utilize this background in human movement as preparation for careers in health (e.g., medicine, physical therapy) and applied professions (e.g., sport management, strength and conditioning). Knowledge, skills, and abilities are developed through engaging curricular and co-curricular experiences. Three state-of-the-art laboratories (human cadaver, human performance, biomechanics/movement neuroscience) support the curriculum and provide students unique opportunities for scholarly research and individualized study. Cooperative partnerships with local agencies provide students additional avenues for skill development/job experience, and articulation agreements with select graduate programs provide some students special advantages in the graduate admissions process.

The Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science degree is grounded upon a strong liberal arts and sciences foundation, with exercise science course content rooted in the basic sciences of biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology. The curriculum framework is aligned with a rigorous set of internal and external outcomes. Internal outcomes emphasize Truman’s liberal arts and sciences mission while external outcomes reflect the job task analysis of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C) certification. The curriculum also features a required internship or practicum, a senior capstone, and concentrations that provide students opportunities for advanced study in a variety of human movement or allied health professions.

Assessment is a core value of the institution and is a substantive component of the Exercise Science degree program. The EP-C certification examination serves as the required senior exit exam and aggregate scores are used to evaluate the efficacy of the curriculum and of individual courses within the required program. 


For students wishing to transfer to the Exercise Science major, Department Chair approval must be obtained prior to admission.


  1. Develop the ability to assimilate, synthesize, and apply information from multiple sources and disciplines.
  2. Appreciate the need to maintain current knowledge in the field and develop the skills necessary to maintain that knowledge.
  3. Become critical thinkers, consumers, and practitioners of research and statistical analysis.
  4. Analyze and assess human movement and health-related fitness in a variety of developmentally appropriate levels and contexts.
  5. Understand and apply the mechanisms underlying behavior change.
  6. Acquire skills to plan, implement and evaluate effective exercise- or health-related intervention programs.
  7. Acquire specific skills in preparation for professional certification, as detailed by leading professional organizations’ certification requirements.  


The knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health Fitness Specialist serve as the external outcomes for the Exercise Science major. To obtain a copy of these outcomes, contact the Health and Exercise Science Department Office at 660-785-4456. 


  • An overall cumulative 2.0 GPA
  • A 2.0 GPA in all courses completed at Truman
  • A 2.5 GPA in select major and BS requirements (see major GPA calculation)
  • 40 credits of 300-400-500-level courses
  • 63 credits of liberal arts and sciences coursework
  • Minimum 120 credits of undergraduate coursework
  • Assessment, residency, and all other requirements as outlined in this catalog
  • Grade of “D” or higher must be achieved in all required support, BS requirements, major and concentration requirements 



To recognize outstanding students in the major.


Any Exercise Science major who attains the following receives Departmental Honors. Students must apply through the Health and Exercise Sciences Department Office during the graduating semester. Applications are mailed each semester to degree candidates who qualify for the overall GPA requirement.

  1. Major GPA of 3.5 or higher
  2. Overall GPA of 3.5 or higher
  3. Complete a research project and present at Truman’s Student Research Conference, a professional conference, or publish a paper (a paper that has been submitted or accepted for publication qualifies)*
  4. Obtain a passing score on the ACSM’s EP-C.
  5. Receive concurrence from majority of health science, exercise science or athletic training faculty.

*Present means the individual was a major contributor to the research project including development of the question, collection and analysis of data, and manuscript/presentation preparation. The faculty mentor is responsible for verifying level of participation. 


To provide students the opportunity to pursue specific academic interests, the exercise science curriculum requires the selection of one, 15-16 credit concentration.

Pre-medical Sciences: The Pre-medical Sciences concentration is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate study in medicine, physician assistant, physical therapy, and related allied health occupations. Required courses include at least 6 hours of biology, chemistry, physics, or psychology courses and either ES 250 Practicum in Exercise Science or ES 370 Internship. Courses are determined by the student in consultation with an HES academic advisor who has expertise in the student’s area of professional interest. 

Applied/Pre-Athletic Training: The Applied concentration is appropriate for students with interests in athletic training, biomechanics, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation (clinical exercise physiology), strength and conditioning, and related fields. Either ES 250 Practicum in Exercise Science or ES 370 Internship is required in the concentration with the remaining credits determined by the student in consultation with an HES academic advisor with expertise in the student’s area of professional interest.

Sport/Recreation Management: The Sport/Recreation Management concentration is designed to prepare students for positions of leadership in athletics, parks and recreation, YMCA, aquatics, fitness/wellness, intramurals, outdoor recreation and other related settings. Required courses include ES 370-Internship and ES 506-Advanced Sport Management. The remaining courses are determined by the student in consultation with an HES academic advisor with expertise in sport/recreation management.

Physical Education/Health: The Physical Education/Health concentration is designed for students who are interested in teaching physical education and health in a K-12 public school system. Students who complete this concentration complete Exercise Science courses necessary to apply to the Master of Arts in Education (MAE) which leads to teacher certification for physical education and health, and eligibility to coach athletics. Students who complete this concentration develop skills necessary to effectively manage instruction and motivate student achievement in a wide variety of lifetime activities, including fitness, outdoor pursuits, rhythmic activities and sports. Coursework includes teaching strategies for elementary and secondary physical education, and a variety of optional health education classes. Please see the Teaching Certification section below for more information on the MAE program.



Liberal Studies Program Requirements: 31-57 Credits

Missouri Statute Requirement: 1-3 Credits

Bachelor of Science Requirement: 8 Credits


The Exercise Science major consists of four (4) parts: Required Support, Core Requirements, Core Electives, and Concentrations. Each student must complete all parts.

Part I: Required Support: 7 Credits

Part IV: Concentrations: 15-16 Credits

Pre-Medical Sciences*

Applied/Pre-Athletic Training*

Sport/Recreation Management*


The following courses are required by the state of Missouri for health teacher certification. If you plan to complete the MAE to become a physical education teacher, it is strongly recommended that you use elective credits to complete the following courses for an additional health teacher certification.

*Additional credits to fulfill concentration requirements (15 credits) as approved by academic advisor.

Electives to total minimum of 120 Credits

Teaching Certification for Exercise Science Majors:

At Truman State University, the professional degree is the Master of Arts in Education (MAE), administered through the Department of Education. After completion of the liberal arts and science undergraduate degree, students have a strong foundation in exercise science on which to base their professional preparation. Because of additional requirements for eligibility to the MAE, students should consult with their academic advisor in exercise science during the first semester. Undergraduate preparation procedures for the MAE are available online on the Department of Education website (http://education.truman.edu). Students who successfully complete three foundational education courses, the Physical Education/Health concentration within the Exercise Science major, and recommended core electives partially fulfill requirements for admission to the MAE. Upon successful completion of the MAE, graduates are eligible for state certification to teach physical education and health in K-12 public and private school systems. For additional information, please see the MAE admission requirements in the Education (MAE) program description under Academic Programs in this catalog or contact the Department of Education at (660) 785-4386.

Exercise Science MAE Requirements:

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