Sports Medicine and Exercise Science


Bachelor of Science


Sports Medicine and Exercise Science


Sports Medicine and Exercise Science


Dr. Benjamin Carr, Chair

The Sports Medicine and Exercise Science program is an intensive interdisciplinary major which integrates basic and applied sciences to prepare students for a wide range of careers in health and fitness. A Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science prepares students for fulfilling careers in vocations such as physical and occupational therapy, athletic training, exercise physiology, strength and conditioning, and medicine.

Students that pursue a sports medicine and exercise science major should have strong skills in math and the sciences, an interest in the inner workings of the human body, excellent interpersonal skills, and a desire to help others in a hands-on capacity.  Students who are more interested in the business/managerial aspects of the athletic world (such as Sports Marketing or Sports Economics) often find a better fit in Belhaven’s Sports Administration major.  Not sure?  Please speak with your admission counselor or a faculty advisor.

Why choose a major in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science at Belhaven University?

This field of study is broad and will allow you to choose from a number of exciting career possibilities. When you choose to earn a sports medicine and exercise science degree at Belhaven, you will get the personalized instruction and one-on-one interactions with professors that many colleges can’t give you.

Our enhanced facilities, as well as computers and technology set us apart from other programs and we give you the opportunity to use modern scientific instrumentation and methods. You will not only expand your knowledge in the classroom, but you will also gain hands-on experience during your on-site clinical observation hours.  Our coursework prepares you for graduate school and gives you a competitive edge.

What will I study?

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Kinesiology (the study of human movement)
  • Injury Care and Prevention
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Strength Training and Conditioning
  • Exercise Testing and Prescription
  • Biomechanics (the application of physics to human movement)
  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition

What can I do with a degree in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science?

  • Most vocations in the Sports Medicine and Exercise Science field require post-baccalaureate education (i.e., graduate school). One of the principle goals of the Sports Medicine and Exercise Science program is to prepare students for entry into a number of different graduate programs. These programs include, but are not limited to,
    • Physical Therapy (DPT)
    • Occupational Therapy (MS)
    • Athletic Training  (MS)
    • Exercise Physiology (MS, PhD)
    • Medicine (MD, DO)
  • Students who wish to seek employment immediately after completion of a Sports Medicine and Exercise Science bachelor’s degree often work within the wellness and fitness industry, in positions such as personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, fitness directors, group exercise instructors, health and wellness coaches, and fitness sales.
  • The Sports Medicine and Exercise Science bachelor’s degree also prepares students to sit for high-level certification exams as presented by the various governing bodies in the field, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Why choose a Sports Medicine and Exercise Science degree program at Belhaven University?

  • Foundation - We provide students with a solid scientific foundation that is broad enough to allow them pursue a number of different avenues (from exercise physiology, to athletic training, to physical therapy, to medicine), but yet focused enough to help them thoroughly understand how the human body adapts and responds to physical activity and rehabilitation.
  • Preparation – The rigorous nature of our major will ensure that students are either prepared for the rigors of graduate school course work, or that they possess the required knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to seek gainful employment after graduation.
  • Acceptance – The graduate programs in this field are very competitive, and we do an excellent job of getting students accepted into one of the top programs of their choosing.
  • Christian Environment – Not only do we produce high-quality, competitive graduates, but we do so in a Christian environment with faculty members who genuinely care about the well-being of every individual student.
  • Caring Faculty – Small classes and labs allow for plenty of faculty-student interaction, and faculty members are always willing to meet with students one-on-one for tutorial or advising sessions.

What kind of opportunities will I have in my major that will contribute to my career?

  • Clinicals – Throughout the junior and senior years, students will accumulate approximately 200 clinical observation hours in a number of different venues, including such locations as physical and occupational therapy clinics (inpatient and outpatient), athletic training rooms, strength and conditioning facilities, and various medical clinics. These hours not only enhance student interest and understanding of a particular field, but they also make students very competitive for entry into graduate programs (most graduate programs require a number of observational hours).
  • Research – During the senior year, students will be involved in at least 2 research projects in which they have the opportunity to develop hypotheses, collect data, and develop discussions based on their findings. These projects help prepare students for graduate-level research, while making them more competitive for entry into graduate school.
  • SPEX – All majors will be members of the Sports Medicine and Exercise Science (SPEX) Club, which is a departmental club that typically meets bi-monthly. During SPEX Club meetings, professionals from the field are invited to speak to the students, providing insights into things such as admissions and job requirements, job duties, and employment opportunities. This provides a forum for networking and information dissemination.
  • Sigma Mu Epsilon Sigma – Students who meet high academic standards, exhibit quality character, and are actively involved within the major will be inducted into the Sports Medicine and Exercise Science academic fraternity, Sigma Mu Epsilon Sigma. This fraternity, which is the first Christian-based honors club of its kind, will celebrate the achievement of its members while providing further opportunities for community outreach and service projects.
  • Professional Development and Mentorship – During the senior year, students will take Professional Development in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science. In this course, they will develop proper resumes, learn and practice interview skills, and come to understand appropriate professional behaviors that will make them more marketable. They will also have the opportunity to serve as mentors to freshmen majors. This allows the seniors to sharpen their leadership skills, while providing an avenue for freshmen to get further acquainted with the major.

What are Belhaven University Sports Medicine and Exercise Science graduates doing now?

  • Physical/Occupational Therapy school
  • Medical school (MD and DO)
  • Athletic training graduate school
  • Exercise Physiology/Kinesiology graduate school
  • Licensed physical therapists
  • Certified athletic trainers
  • Certified strength and conditioning specialists
  • Fitness directors
  • Personal trainers
  • Graduate assistant coaches
  • Cardiac rehabilitation specialists

Download program brochure (PDF)