Exercise Science

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The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science prepares students for careers in therapeutic sport- and fitness-related settings, as well as a MSE and a PhD. It also provides a strong scientific core necessary for careers in cardiac rehabilitation and strength and conditioning. Additionally, the requirements of the program meet the prerequisites of the University of Kansas Medical Center physical therapy program.

Visit the KU Career Services Alliance, which provides career resources, support and programming to Edwards Campus students. And sign up for KU Career Connections to post your resume, apply for jobs and internships and more.

Sample of Related Skills

  • Analyze how the body’s cells and organ systems respond to acute and chronic physiological stress
  • Prescribe exercise as a way to elicit positive functional adaptations
  • Develop preventive strategies to combat disease epidemics
  • Prevent and treat diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer
  • Preserve functional capacity in aging adults to improve the quality of life and active lifespan
  • Utilize exercise programming and sound nutrition to maximize strength and conditioning required for optimal human performance

Popular Career Paths

Sports Medicine: Involves the prevention, identification, management and rehabilitation of injuries related to sport, exercise or recreational activity

Recreation and Fitness: Can include the development and implementation of sports and fitness programs, fitness and exercise instruction and/or consultation, performance enhancement, and strength and conditioning coaching

Rehabilitation/Therapy: Involves the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of a physically impairing injury, disability or disease

Corporate Wellness: Involves the promotion, maintenance, and improvement of employee health and fitness through individual and group consultation, recreational activities and wellness programming

Explore More Career Paths

  • Explorehealthcareers.org - career resources and information for careers in sports medicine, physical therapy, exercise physiology, kinesiology, athletic training, etc.
  • Exercise Science Guide - information to explore careers in fitness, sports medicine, and healthcare
  • Careers in Sports - information to explore careers in sports

Jobs to Consider

Activities Director


Director of Recreation

Exercise/Fitness Instructor

Exercise Physiologist

Employee Fitness Director

Health Club/Training Center Manager

Health Educator

Injury Prevention Specialist

Personal Trainer

Physical Therapist

Professional Team Trainer

Rehabilitation Specialist


Sports Medicine Specialist

Sports and Fitness Nutritionist

Sports and Fitness Program Coordinator

Strength/Conditioning Coach

Training Director

Wellness Program Coordinator


Places to Seek Employment

Colleges and Universities

Community Center

Competitive Youth Training Centers

Corporate Health Centers

Health and Fitness Clubs


Military Training Centers

Olympic Training Centers

Professional and Amateur Sports Teams

Professional Fitness/Sports Organizations

Public Health Agencies

Recreation Centers

Rehabilitation Clinics

Retirement Centers/Nursing Homes

Sports Clinics

Sports Facilities

Sports Medicine Centers


View specific employers by state.

Employment Strategies

  1. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internshipspart-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering.
  2. Register for HireJayhawks.com and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  3. Consider obtaining the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) certification.
  4. Become involved in health and fitness programming on campus through resources like the KU Student Health Services,  KU Recreation Services, or KU Athletics.
  5. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest, such as: KU Intramurals, KU Sports Clubs, Pre-Physical Therapy Club, Hawks for Health, Recreation Services Student Staff Ambassadors, Peer Health Educators, and Student Health Advisory Board.
  6. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).
  7. Obtain relevant certifications, such as First Aid and CPR.
  8. Consider joining exercise science-related professional associations and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field of interest.
  9. Develop strong interpersonal skills and demonstrate patience and a positive attitude.
  10. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
  11. Consider earning a graduate degree in physical therapy if you are interested in becoming a physical therapist.  To be competitive for physical therapy programs, maintain a high GPA throughout your undergraduate program, volunteer for a physical therapist or in a hospital or clinic setting, and obtain strong letters of recommendation from practicing physical therapist(s), faculty members or advisers and current or past supervisors.

Job and Internship Resources

The quick link for this page is career.ku.edu/exercisescience.

Go back to Careers & KU Majors homepage.

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