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Exercise Science


Volunteering at marathons, shadowing physical therapists, working on projects in the Human Performance Lab – Christin Newman is a phenomenally busy exercise science major. The payoff for all this activity is the in-depth experience she’s getting, which will help her excel in graduate school and as a professional.

Christin is an athlete. A varsity tennis player who dominates her opponents. She knows what her body goes through during a match or a workout. But for her, exercise science is about way more than that.

“It’s amazing what this program teaches you, from nutrition to physiology, to biomechanics and even chemistry. I knew when I came here that there would be a strong emphasis on science in this major. What I didn’t know was how much it is geared toward health professions. And that’s just where I want to be.

Christin appreciates the fact that classes are small in this program. That guarantees day-today interaction with her professors. “The most remarkable thing for me is how close you are with the faculty. They expect a lot out of you – it’s definitely challenging – but so worth it. They give you so much of their time, and they’re all very approachable and really supportive. To me, that’s very important.”

In addition, she appreciates the hands-on experience they all bring to their work. In a kinesiology course, she says, “We learned about plyometrics, and studied the effects this type of training has on bone. When we learned how a particular bone develops calcium deposits to adjust to the load it bears in a certain activity, we were looking at the actual study that this professor had conducted. That’s pretty amazing. In an exercise physiology class, the professor talked about VO2 Max studies that he has done. He worked with runners and showed us their fastest times in particular events and just what their VO2 Max readings were. So we see the real-world applications of the knowledge we’re absorbing. It’s definitely interesting, and a very effective way to learn.”

Christin plans to intern at a rehabilitation clinic that uses Pilates, and after that, she’ll do a final research project. “I like the blend of hands-on, applied work and academic rigor that you get in this program. I’m excited about it. And, I have to say, I’ve found this to be a really useful major.”

Program Information

Did you know that employment in the fitness field is expected to increase 29 percent between now and 2018? Our program provides a broad background in exercise science, including numerous opportunities for hands-on experience in the field. Most majors continue their studies in graduate or professional school. Typically, they pursue exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor behavior, sports psychology physical therapy or occupational therapy. But others& study and ultimately work in medicine, dentistry, massage therapy, nursing and medical equipment and pharmaceutical sales.


  • Faculty members possess broad range of expertise from biomechanics to exercise physiology, kinesiology, strength and conditioning, and exercise immunology.
  • 2,500-square-foot Human Performance Lab with state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Students regularly participate in independent studies and mentored research.


  • Volunteer field experiences abound in Charleston in this discipline.

Contact Information

Karen Hakim-Butt
Andrew Lewis
Department Co-chairs