The Sports Medicine and Exercise Science program is a highly rigorous interdisciplinary major which integrates basic and applied sciences to prepare students for wide range of careers in health and fitness. A Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science is an accredited degree that begins preparing students for fulfilling careers in vocations such as physical and occupational therapy, athletic training, exercise physiology, strength and conditioning, and medicine.
Students that pursue this 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 interested in the "sports" aspect, but not necessarily the sciences, often find a better fit in Sports Administration, Business, Communication (Sports Broadcasting emphasis), or Public Administration. Please speak with your admission counselor or a faculty advisor with any questions.
What will I study?
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Kinesiology (the study of human movement)
Injury Care and Prevention
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 or 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 and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Why choose Sports Medicine/Exercise Science at Belhaven University?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Small classes and labs allow for plenty of faculty-student interaction, and faculty member are always willing to meet with students one-on-one for tutorial or advising sessions.
What Kind of opportunities do students have in Sports Medicine/Exercise Science?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
Graduate assistant coaches
Cardiac rehab technologists
The Biology Department also advises students for a number of programs in the health-related professions: Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Pharmacy. These programs and the pre-requisite requirements are listed in the current catalogue on the Pre-Professional Programs page.