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Exercise Science (B.S.)

  • Location IconBrookings Main Campus

Improving health and performance through the science of exercise.

The Exercise Science program aspires to prepare health and fitness professionals with a strong understanding of the scientific concepts behind the application that is practiced in a variety of health and fitness careers. The Exercise Science graduate will have the ability to raise awareness about health and physical activity, change behavior, and create environments that support good health practices, including, but not limited to exercise and physical activity. The Exercise Science professional assists people to develop self-responsibility for their own health and wellness, and implement health assessments and wellness programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. Exercise Science professionals work and study in commercial, clinical, and workplace settings to increase health, fitness, and quality of life for the general population. They are also able to apply their knowledge of acute and chronic exercise physiology to promote better health, reduce chronic disease, or to enhance the performance of athletes.

Is it for you?

This program will be a good fit if you:

  • Enjoy fitness and exercise
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle
  • Want to help people and work well with others
  • Are strong in sciences
  • Have good communication skills

Career Opportunities

  • Personal trainer/group exercise instructor/Gym Manager or Owner
  • Health educator/health coach
  • Worksite wellness coordinator
  • Clinical exercise physiologist (cardiac rehabilitation) (with additional education)
  • Strength and conditioning coach (with additional education)
  • Physical therapist/occupational therapist (with additional education)

Recent Employers

  • Sanford Health (Sanford Health Plan, Profile by Sanford, fit, Sanford Power, Sanford Wellness Center)
  • Avera Health (Corporate Health, Avera Sports Institute, Avera McKennan Fitness Center)
  • Orthopedic Institute D1 Sports Training
  • Health Management Partners of South Dakota
  • FitSTEPS for Life®

Internship Opportunities

  • Sanford Health (Cardiac Rehabilitation, Strength and Conditioning, Wellness Center, etc.)
  • Avera Health (Corporate Health, Strength and Conditioning, Fitness Center, etc.)
  • D1 Sports Training
  • SDSU Strength and Conditioning or SDSU Wellness Center
  • Student’s Choice – students can request placement at any facility in which their role aligns with the knowledge, skills and abilities taught within the curriculum

Suggested Accelerated Programs

Clubs and Organizations

  • Exercise Science Club
  • Pre-Physical and Pre-Occupational Therapy Club
  • HEROH (Helping Everyone Reach Optimal Health)

Undecided or still deciding on a major and future career?

If you are uncertain about your major and have questions about career planning, you are not alone. Choosing a major or career can be a very difficult decision. The Exploratory Studies program may be a good fit if you are unsure of your major and career focus. Entering the university in the Exploratory Studies program will help you gain confidence and valuable insights on majors and minors available at SDSU and future career choices. 

In addition, FOCUS 2 Career, a self-guided assessment, education and career planning program, will help you reflect on your values, interests, personality traits, and skills to provide valuable insight as you explore major and career choices. SDSU students may access FOCUS 2 Career by using the code: jacks. After completing FOCUS 2 Career, you may find it helpful to discuss your results with a career coach in the Office of Career Development.