Jun 15, 2024  
2008-2009 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2014 
2008-2009 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2014 [Archived Catalog]

Exercise Science (BS)

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Affiliation: School of Health Sciences and Education
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Science
Minor Offered: None 


The mission of the Health and Exercise Sciences Department is to attract students of strong academic ability and character, and to empower them with knowledge, skills, and the ability to facilitate improvement in the human condition and greater society. Consistent with Truman’s mission, the Health and Exercise Sciences Program is committed to providing its students with exemplary undergraduate education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. Further, Health and Exercise Sciences students will grow to embrace a commitment to life-long learning and will become effective ambassadors of health, human movement, and personal well-being. 


The Health and Exercise Sciences faculty and staff are dedicated to providing students with a first-class education facilitated through a stimulating and supportive environment. This student-centered philosophy creates a community of learners in which faculty and students work collaboratively to pursue knowledge and its application. Problem-based learning, practical experience and scholarly research promote a learning environment that greatly enhances student development.

Students who have questions about majoring in Health Science, Exercise Science, or Athletic Training should contact the Health and Exercise Sciences Department at (660) 785-4456 or by e-mail (hes@truman.edu). 


The Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science is grounded in a strong Liberal Arts and Sciences foundation. Courses within the discipline are rooted in the basic sciences of physics, biology, chemistry, and psychology. Exercise Science majors engage in the study of human movement including motor skill development and acquisition, movement production and efficiency, energy systems and metabolism, anatomical structures (cadaver anatomy lab), and psycho-sociological influences. Students also engage in the advanced study of a selected concentration area (pattern) in the human movement or allied health professions. The major requires a four-credit, 200-hour summer internship in which students gain important practical experience directly related to their career interests. ES 450, ES 456, and ES 451-455 constitute the capstone experience in the major.

Assessment is a core institutional value and is a substantive component of the Exercise Science Program. Faculty members evaluate teaching effectiveness through pre/post assessment and student evaluations. Many faculty employ additional modes of assessment to garner information regarding specific aspects of their courses or teaching style. The American College of Sports Medicine Health Fitness Instructor Exam (HFI) serves as the senior test for all Exercise Science majors. Specific pattern courses are designed to prepare students for certifying exams for the Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) and Exercise Specialist (ACSM). The pre-medicine pattern also prepares students for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

A significant feature of the Exercise Science Program is the use of scholarly research to facilitate learning. Students are provided numerous in-class opportunities to conduct research on a variety of self-selected topics. The Program’s Four Powerful Pedagogies, Human Performance Laboratory, and Biomechanics/Motor Learning and Control Laboratory represent important resources for the facilitation of student research. Interested students are also provided substantial opportunity to conduct independent research under the guidance of faculty mentors. These projects are often presented at the local, state, and national levels and provide students with excellent opportunities for professional and personal growth. 

Outcome Statements of the Exercise Science Major

The primary objective of the Exercise Science Program is to assist students in preparing themselves for success in graduate study or to be competent practitioners in the allied health or other human movement related professions.

Graduates of the Exercise Science program should: 

  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.  

Graduation Requirements

An overall cumulative 2.0 GPA
A 2.0 GPA in all courses completed at Truman
A 2.5 GPA in select major, required support and BS requirements (see major GPA calculation)
40 hours of 300-400-500-level courses
63 hours of liberal arts and sciences coursework
Minimum 124 total hours of undergraduate coursework
Assessment, residency, and all other requirements as outlined in the General Catalog
Grade of “D” or higher must be achieved in all required support, BS requirements, major and pattern requirements 



To recognize outstanding students in the major.


Any Exercise Science major who attains the following will receive Departmental Honors. Students must apply through the Health and Exercise Sciences Department Office during the graduating semester. Applications will be mailed out 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 will qualify)*
  4. Obtain a passing score on the CHES, BOC, or ACSM’s HFI.
  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 (assisted in data collection, assisted in data reduction and analysis, and assisted in preparation of the manuscript, poster or oral presentation). A major contributor is one who participates substantively in all parts of the project, not a person who simply assisted with data collection. The faculty mentor is responsible for verifying level of participation. 


To provide the opportunity for students to explore and develop more specialized interests, the Exercise Science curriculum allows the selection of one career pattern ranging from 20-36 hours. Courses comprising the program patterns are based upon the recommendations of faculty members whose expertise is identified with these specialties and upon consultation with admission personnel from leading graduate programs in the nation. Individualized patterns may also be designed to meet personal goals. A list of specific courses for each pattern may be obtained from the Health and Exercise Sciences program office or online at http://hes.truman.edu.

(20-24 Hours): The Biomechanics pattern is designed to prepare students for graduate school or an entry-level position in a biomechanics-related lab or personal training setting. Students in this pattern are interested in understanding anatomical and mechanical characteristics of human movement. Those completing this pattern will be prepared for analyzing the techniques of movement and have knowledge of how those processes relate to the movement product. Students within this pattern develop extensive knowledge of the muscular, kinematic, and kinetic nature of human movement, and use this information to analyze motion for the characteristics reflecting effective motion as well as those characteristics relating to injury risk. The pattern relies on a research-based approach to investigating biomechanical characteristics using commonly available tools including video-based motion analysis, electromyography, and force transduction. (Students must complete MATH 198 Analytic Geometry & Calculus I to fulfill the Mathematical Mode of Inquiry/Required Support. PHYS 195 Physics with Calculus I must be taken to fulfill the Physical Science Mode of Inquiry.)

Exercise Physiology (23-25 Hours): The Exercise Physiology pattern is designed to prepare students for graduate school or an entry-level position in clinical exercise physiology. The pattern develops extensive knowledge of the body under the adaptive stress of exercise including the study of body composition, energy metabolism, cardiovascular function, muscular strength and development, neuromuscular integration, and thermal regulation. An emphasis is placed on development of a research-based approach to investigating physiological phenomena. Students who wish to enter clinical exercise physiology (cardiac rehabilitation) have the option to specialize their exercise physiology studies with advanced studies in biomechanics, cardiac pathophysiology, pharmacology, and behavior modification. (Students must complete CHEM 120 Chemical Principles I to fulfill the Physical Science Mode of Inquiry requirement.)

Physical Education/Health/Coaching (34-35 Hours): Students who select this pattern are interested in teaching Physical Education, Health Education, and/or coaching within the public or private school system, grades K-12. By completing this pattern, students will fulfill all course requirements necessary to be eligible to apply for the Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.) Program in Exercise Science leading to certification to teach Physical Education and Health Education in the public/private school system. Required coursework includes substance abuse prevention, human sexuality, mental and community health, school health programs, outdoor activities, gymnastics, physical activities/creative movement for children, adapted physical education, principles of coaching, and three foundational education courses. This pattern requires the student to complete specific coursework to fulfill LSP and certification requirements. (Because of the background required, it is strongly recommended that SOAN 190 Sociological Inquiry, as well as POL 161 American National Government to meet the Missouri Statute requirement, are taken. Completion of ES 179 Outdoor Activities and ES 186 Outdoor Venture Activities to fulfill Exercise Science activity requirements in the major must also occur.) Please see the TEACHING CERTIFICATION section for more information on the M.A.E. Program.

Pre-Medicine (32-35 Hours): The Pre-Medicine pattern is designed to prepare a student to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which is required for admission to medical school. The required courses in biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor learning and exercise and sport psychology or sport sociology provide a solid foundation for the sports medicine/team physician. To be a viable candidate for admission to a graduate program in medicine, a student should maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher. (Students following this pattern are not required to complete the ES 232/ES 435 Exercise Science major requirement. MATH 198 Analytic Geometry & Calculus I must be taken to fulfill the Mathematical Mode of Inquiry/Required Support. CHEM 120 Chemical Principles I must be taken to fulfill the Physical Science Mode of Inquiry requirement. ES 505 Advanced Biomechanical Analyses is strongly recommended for students interested in Orthopedics, but not required.)

Pre-Physical Therapy (31-32 Hours): This pattern prepares the student for admission into a graduate-level program in physical therapy. Physical therapy is a health profession that applies scientific principles to correct and prevent problems in human movement. Physical therapists work to restore function and movement through direct treatment, education, consultation, and management of rehabilitation resources. They examine, diagnose, and treat immediate problems, then teach clients how to take care of themselves by demonstrating exercises and how to use their bodies properly to gain strength and mobility and prevent recurring injury. Coursework includes human anatomy, therapeutic modalities, physical rehabilitation and evaluation, as well as physics and psychology. To be a viable candidate for admission to a graduate program in physical therapy, a student should maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher. Students following this pattern are specifically prepared for coursework necessary to fulfill the prerequisites of articulation/cooperative education agreements currently in place with several top Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) programs. More information can be obtained online at http://hes.truman.edu/articulation.asp. (Students must complete CHEM 120 Chemical Principles I to fulfill the Physical Science Mode of Inquiry requirement. MATH 198 Analytic Geometry & Calculus I is strongly recommended to fulfill the Mathematical Mode of Inquiry/Required Support).

Pre-Physician Assistant (25-28 Hours): The Pre-Physician Assistant pattern is designed to prepare students for entry into an advanced degree program that would lead to certification as a Physician’s Assistant. Physician Assistant (PA) programs prepare the student to operate as a mid-level practitioner in family practice, preventative medicine, or orthopedic settings (sports medicine) under the supervision of a physician. In addition to coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology, the student must plan to gain experience in a medical-related setting throughout the college experience. Physician Assistant graduate programs often require 2000+ hours of experience in health settings prior to admission. It is strongly advised that the student start to develop a related work dossier upon entry to the University to be able to complete the required hours for admission into graduate schools. To be a viable candidate for admission to a physician’s assistance graduate program, a student should maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. (Students must complete CHEM 120 Chemical Principles I to fulfill the Physical Science Mode of Inquiry requirement.)

Psycho-Social Aspect of Sport (28 Hours): The psychosocial aspect of sport pattern is designed to prepare students for entry into graduate training in sport and exercise psychology, sport sociology, or counseling. This pattern employs an interdisciplinary approach requiring courses from exercise science, psychology, and sociology based upon the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology’s (AAASP) certification model. Students will explore, through coursework, the basic content of areas of social and psychological theory and specific content areas of applied sport psychology. This coursework will lead to a minor in psychology. This pattern prepares students to enter into graduate programs that emphasize teaching and conducting scholarly research in psychology/sociology of sport or counseling. (Students must complete both ES 502 Social Problems in Sport and ES 503 Exercise and Sport Psychology to fulfill specific Exercise Science major and pattern requirements. SOAN 190 Sociological Inquiry must be taken to fulfill the Intercultural Perspective/Required Support.)

Sport and Recreation Management (25 Hours): This pattern is designed to prepare Exercise Science majors for leadership positions in the fields of sport and recreation. Individuals with careers in sport management maintain a variety of positions that help direct competitive sport organizations such as high school, intercollegiate or professional athletic programs. Recreation is a broad field that encompasses diverse organizations (YMCA/YWCA, Parks & Recreation departments) and highly specialized settings (i.e., golf/ski resorts). Careers in recreation focus on the leadership of broad-based programs that seek to maximize participation. The curriculum, with a foundation in the sciences supplemented by business and specialized courses, will foster an interdisciplinary perspective on Exercise Science and enable students to pursue graduate degrees in sport and recreation management. Students must be accepted into the Business Administration minor before enrolling in any BSAD or ACCT course. A minor in Business Administration will be awarded to students who complete this pattern and satisfy all other requirements for the minor. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 to remain in the pattern. (Students must complete ES 502 Social Problems in Sport to fulfill Exercise Science major requirements. ES 179 Outdoor Activities, ES 186 Outdoor Venture Activities, ES 200 Techniques of Aerobic Dance, and ES 236 Creative Movement for Children are strongly recommended to fulfill specific activity requirements of the major.)

Individualized: The individualized pattern is designed to support the development of a specialized area of study not reflected in the existing patterns. This pattern must be relevant to the career goals of the student and must be one that would logically follow from the courses included with the major. This pattern is not a “catch-all” for courses taken that do not fit the published degree requirements. Individualized patterns must be submitted to the Department Chair by the academic advisor for approval. The individualized pattern should be agreed upon early to facilitate course sequence planning and must be equal to or greater than 20 credit hours. 


Liberal Studies Program Requirements: 34-58 Credit Hours

Missouri Statute Requirement: 1-3 Credit Hours

Bachelor of Science Requirements: 8 Credit Hours

Major Requirements:

The Exercise Science Major consists of two (2) parts: Required Support and Major Requirements. Each student must complete both parts.

Part I: Required Support: 23-25.5 Credit Hours

Select one from the following: 0.5-1.0 Credit Hours

  • Varsity Sport Participation

Choose one of the following:

Patterns approved by advisor: 20-36 Credit Hours

Capstone Experience:

Electives to total minimum of: 124 Credit Hours

Teaching Certification for Exercise Science Majors:

At Truman State University, the professional degree is the Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.), built upon a strong Liberal Arts and Sciences undergraduate degree. Students who wish to become teachers should consult with their academic advisors as early as possible. The professional preparation component of the Master’s degree program is administered in the Department of Education. Undergraduate preparatory procedures are available online on the Department of Education website (http://education.truman.edu). Students who successfully complete the Physical Education/Health/Coaching pattern within the Exercise Science major, including three Education courses (ED 389, ED 393, and ED 593), as well as SOAN 190, ES 179, and ES 186, will partially fulfill the undergraduate requirements for admission into the graduate M.A.E. program in Exercise Science. For additional information, please see the M.A.E. Admission requirements in the Education (MAE) section of this Catalog or contact the Department of Education at (660) 785-4386.

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