Jul 21, 2024  
2021-2022 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2027 
2021-2022 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2027 [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 ¹
  • 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
  • Minimum 120 credits of undergraduate coursework ²
  • 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 ³
  • Students may not earn both a BS in Health Science and a BS in Exercise Science degree.



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 (HES) Department Office during their graduating semester. Applications are available on the HES website. 

  1. Major GPA of 3.5 or higher
  2. Overall GPA of 3.5 or higher
  3. Complete an HES-related research project* and disseminate the results of the research at Truman’s Student Research Conference, in a professional setting, or via a paper (that has been submitted or accepted for publication while an Exercise Science major.)
  4. Obtain a passing score on the ACSM’s EP-C.
  5. Receive concurrence from Exercise Science faculty.

The individual was a major contributor to the research project who participated in multiple phases of the project (design, data collection, data analysis, and preparation of the manuscript, poster or presentation). An HES faculty member is responsible for verifying the student was a major contributor to the research project.


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.

Truman ES/AT 3+2: Truman undergraduate students who wish to pursue the Truman Master of Athletic Training (MAT) program may select the 3+2 MAT Admission option.  This program route offers a pathway to completion of both the Bachelor of Science and MAT degrees in five years. The pathway benefits students by combining the benefits of a strong exercise science background and broad-based liberal arts experience with the professional focus of the athletic training credential.  The exercise science degree provides depth and focus on human movement and the response to exercise and stress on the human body.  The athletic training degree provides depth and focus on the essential skills of the profession including evaluation, rehabilitation, modalities, and diagnosis of injuries of the physically active. Each 3+2 student has an advisor who serves as a liaison between the two programs ensuring courses are completed and the student meet the requirements for timely graduation from Truman. Students who pursue the 3+2 option must take the Exercise Science senior test and register for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam prior to the end of the fifth year.

Degrees Awarded: Students enrolled in the Truman ES/AT 3+2 option will complete 159 credit hours in five years to earn both the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and the Professional Master of Athletic Training degree. This enrollment option is designed for the traditional residential college student interested in a liberal arts experience combined with the professional education in athletic training.

  • The BS in Exercise Science (Truman ES/AT 3+2 concentration) will be granted in May of the 4th year of study; whereas students will have completed all of the general education and Exercise Science major requirements by the end of the 3rd year of study (97 credit hours). The remaining credit hours required to earn the BS degree (120 credits) will be earned through graduate level courses in athletic training taken in the summer between the 3rd and 4th year of study.
  • The Master of Athletic Training degree is awarded at the end of the 5th year of study and the completion of additional graduate credits in athletic training to complete the 62 credit hour program requirement.


Dialogues Requirements: 42-61 Credits

Missouri Statute (1-4 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

*Students take additional credits to fulfill concentration requirements (15 credits) as approved by academic advisor.

Pre-Medical Sciences*

Applied/Pre-Athletic Training*

Sport/Recreation Management*

Additional Note for Physical Education/Health:

The following courses are required by the state of Missouri for health teacher certification. For Truman to make the endorsement for Health K-12, students must take the four health classes and 9 hours of electives (which are approved by DESE - overlaps with the ES curriculum) AND the content test. If students do not complete the courses, they can still take the content test and apply for add-on certification after the initial Physical Education K-12 certification is issued.

Additional Note for Truman ES/AT 3+2:

The remaining Exercise Science concentration courses and general electives will be Athletic Training courses in the fourth year. Students in the Truman ES/AT 3+2 concentration must successfully complete the Exercise Science senior test during the spring semester of the fourth year before conferral of the Exercise Science degree. Truman ES/AT 3+2 concentration students must be fully admitted as an MAT student after three years of undergraduate coursework. Students who change their mind after 1 year in the Master of Athletic Training Program will still qualify for an Exercise Science degree but must take the Exercise Science senior test. A sample academic plan for Exercise Science (BS) and Athletic Training (MAT) 3+2 is available on the Truman Athletic Training website at the following link: http://www.truman.edu/mat.

  • Students must have a 3.0 GPA overall by the end of their Junior year.¹
  • Students must complete a minimum of 97 undergraduate credits.²
  • Students must complete the MAT prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better.³

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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