B.S. in Exercise Science – Career Prospects

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What is Exercise Science?

Exercise Science, also referred to as kinesiology, is an “umbrella” term to describe the various aspects of physical activity, exercise, and sport performance. These aspects include, but not limited to, the body’s response to movement and the subsequent physiological, psychological, biomechanical and functional adaptations.

The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at the University of Central Arkansas focuses on exercise physiology, clinical exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor behavior, and fitness leadership. Additionally, the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science requires a minor from Family and Consumer Sciences in which at least half of the course work is related to nutrition.


What discipline am I interested in?

Adapting from ACSM’s Introduction to Exercise Science (Potteiger, 2014), the disciplines and examples of the areas of study are provided below.

  • Exercise Physiology: examines the physiologic response to physical activity, exercise, sport, and athletic competition.
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology: uses movement in the prevention and rehabilitation of acute and chronic diseases.
  • Motor Behavior: controls the body movement in healthy and diseased conditions and improves sport and athletic performance.
  • Clinical and Sport Biomechanics: examines the mechanical aspects of movement in disease, injury, sport, and athletic performance.
  • Fitness Leadership: incorporates the holistic approach using physical activity, exercise, nutrition, and behavioral aspects with business and management.

Typically, these disciplines cluster themselves into three main areas in which students whom attended and graduated from the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at the University of Central Arkansas find themselves interested and employed in. These three main areas include: 1) clinical exercise (e.g. cardiac rehabilitation), 2) strength and conditioning (high school, college and professional team athletics, and military), and 3) fitness leadership (group instruction, corporate wellness, and facility management).


Career Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national demand for fitness trainers and instructors (8% with median salary of $38,160 per year or $18.34 per hour) and exercise physiologists (11% with a median salary of $47,340 per year or $22.76 per hour) is expected to grow by between 2014 and 2024. Given the broad field of exercise science, not all careers are clearly identified. For instance, graduates may work as fitness specialists in clinical settings, such as cardiac rehabilitation. While not a true indication of the need for fitness specialists and technicians in these environments, each of these fields are projected to grow by 34% between 2014 and 2024. Demand and salaries vary by state and region.

Where are our recent graduates?

Graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Central Arkansas have gone on to:


  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Coaching
  • Corporate Wellness
  • Fitness and Recreation Centers
  • Human Performance
  • Sports Performance
  • Strength and Conditioning

Graduate Programs:

  • Athletic Training
  • Chiropractic
  • Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology/Kinesiology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Sport Management/Administration