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Exercise Science Program Details

 Exercise Science Program Handbook      Exercise Science Main Page

Athlete completing jump test


The Exercise Science program at South Dakota State University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES). CAAHEP is the largest accrediting agency in the health science field and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Currently, South Dakota State University has the only CAAHEP accredited Exercise Science program in the State of South Dakota.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 US Highway 19 N., Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763

Exercise Science Program Outcomes

Employment and Graduate School

Percentage of students who report employment or being in graduate school within one year of graduation:

  • 2018 Graduates: 94%
  • 2017 Graduates: 96%
  • 2016 Graduates: 100%


Percentage of students who are accepted to the program and complete the course requirements for graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science:

  • 2019 Graduates: 93%
  • 2018 Graduates: 100%
  • 2017 Graduates: 100%

National Credentialing Exam

All SDSU Exercise Science students have the opportunity to sit for the American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist Exam in the final semester of the program. In 2019, the nationwide first-time pass rate ranged from 65% to 68% across quarters 1-3. The SDSU Exercise Science student pass rate on their first attempt is consistently higher than the national average:

  • 2019 Graduates: 96%
  • 2018 Graduates: 77%
  • 2017 Graduates: 84%

Field Experience

All SDSU Exercise Science students complete a 350-hour culminating field experience during their last semester of the program. The percentage of SDSU Exercise Science students who successfully complete their field experience.

  • 2019 Graduates: 100%
  • 2018 Graduates: 96%
  • 2017 Graduates: 100%

Program Goals

The goal of the Exercise Science program is to provide quality academic instruction and learning experiences to:

  • Prepare students to procure entry-level employment in the health/fitness/wellness field, or continue formal education in schools offering advanced degrees in health-related graduate programs
  • Prepare students to obtain the ACSM Health Fitness Specialist certification
  • Produce qualified employees in the health and fitness profession
  • Provide academic satisfaction to student graduates
  • Provide an academic curriculum that engages students with hands-on experiences and individual support to foster student retention
Student completing Bodpod analysis on study participant

Academic Program Outcomes

  • Implement personal fitness assessments
  • Prescribe exercise and healthy lifestyle habits
  • Create comprehensive wellness programs for diverse population needs
  • Demonstrate effective communication/interpersonal skills

The Exercise Science curriculum at SDSU includes the performance domains and associated competencies documented in the Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Exercise Science. A breakdown of the Performance Domains and Associated Competencies assigned by course is reviewed and updated annually.