Sport and Exercise Physiology

(formerly called Sport and Exercise Science)

Do you love sports and physical activity? Enjoy helping people? Like learning about science?

Our undergraduate degree in Sport & Exercise Physiology is significantly flexible — you can tailor the program to be exactly what you need for your specific career path. Graduates are prepared to work in a number of settings including exercise testing and prescription, cardiac rehabilitation, or strength and conditioning. This major is also an excellent avenue to a career in sports coaching.

Many graduates also move on to graduate education in professional programs such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or athletic training. Your academic advisor will guide you through the myriad of possibilities. 

Did you know? 

Our Sport & Exercise degree can be a preferred path to a doctorate in Physical Therapy. 

Still unsure? 

Learn more about this exciting major. 

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Qualified DeSales graduates of this major are guaranteed interviews for our highly selective DPT program. 


Home of the
2016 ASEP Conference
April 16, 2016

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As a sport & exercise science physiology major you will:

  • be prepared for certification in several professional programs including certification administered by the American College of Sports Medicine

  • gain hands-on experience in a supervised setting through a variety of opportunities

  • learn how classroom principles are applied in work with real clients as you spend time with both clinical and healthy athlete populations in our robust internship program

  • have the chance to broaden your career opportunities by taking elective courses in business, marketing, and management


Human Performance Laboratory

Located in the Priscilla Payne Hurd Science Center on DeSales' campus, the human performance lab provides hands-on, state-of-the-art technology for our students. In laboratory and practicum experience, you'll become proficient in the use of current testing methods like:

  • graded stress tests using the Marquette CASE-15 stress EKG systems

  • assess and interpret measures of aerobic and anerobic capacity using the Medgraphics CPX/D and Sensormedics 2900 metabolic measurement systems

  • assess joint and muscle function on the Kin-Com 125E dynamic muscle testing system

  • treadmill, bicycle, cycloid and exercise modalities both in testing and in training programs

  • assess body composition in several ways including skinfold, bio-impedance analysis, and by underwater weighing -- the widely recognized "Gold Standard" for assessment of body composition.

The laboratory also boasts instruments for measuring lactic acid, glucose, electrolytes, and gas concentrations in tiny samples of blood.  And, we have a Computrainer system used by the U.S. cycling team for controlled testing and training.  It allows competitive cyclists to bring their own bikes into the lab for computer-controlled exercise testing.  

What can I do with this major?

With so many options, most graduates will use the degree in one of three categories. 

  • Pre-professional studies: Many students choose to go on to graduate study in physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, medical school or athletic training.

  • Health, fitness, and exercise professions: This category includes jobs such as cardiac rehabilitation, clinical exercise physiology, nutritionists, or professional scientists in exercise physiology for one of the other areas within exercise science.

  • Sports performance and strength and conditioning: Professionals in this field work primarily with athletes. It includes sport coaching, strength and conditioning coaching, and performance research.