B.S. in Health and Human Performance (Exercise Science)

Message from our Faculty:

Welcome to the Exercise Science program website!

It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the Exercise Science program at the University of Louisville. The Exercise Science program is one of three undergraduate programs housed within the Department of Health and Sport Sciences. Exercise Science is home to over 500 students who receive a comprehensive education exploring the beneficial effects of human movement and its positive impact on public health. We disseminate this knowledge to our undergraduate students through a flexible curriculum, engaging lectures, hands-on laboratory based courses and real-world experiences via our expansive internship program. HSS Students

We are committed to excellence in education and strive to provide our students with an engaging and well-rounded educational experience. We make every attempt to incorporate students' areas of expertise into the classroom. These include: clinical exercise physiology, cardiovascular physiology, neuromuscular physiology, pediatrics, community based interventions, diabetes, HIV, nutrition, aging, special needs populations, and strength and conditioning. Our students aspire to be professionals in health-related environments such as: physical and occupational therapy facilities; medical and rehabilitation clinics; public health agencies; corporate and personal wellness facilities; university athletics; research laboratories, and academia.

It is an exciting time for the Exercise Science program at the University of Louisville, highlighted by our relocation into a new facility with state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories. Thank you for taking a moment to explore the program’s website and we encourage you to contact us with any questions. We are happy to talk with you about our wonderful program.

Best wishes,
Exercise Science Faculty

Program Overview:

What is Exercise Science?

Exercise science has been traditionally viewed as an interdisciplinary field. Exercise science utilizes aspects of human biology to examine human movement and its ability to initiate structural and functional adaptations at the biochemical, physiological, and biomechanical level. Exercise science is often referred to as a diverse “stepping stone” degree. Upon graduation many exercise science students pursue professional healthcare degrees such as medicine, physician assistant, physical and occupational therapy, and graduate school. For those individuals interested in pursuing a career in fitness and sport, one can choose from coaching, corporate and individual fitness, exercise rehabilitation specialist or conditioning coach.

Man running on treadmill

About Exercise Science at University of Louisville?

The Exercise Science program offers a Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance with a track in Exercise Science. The degree offers an energetic and flexible curriculum that is centered on exploring the relationships between human movement, physical activity, exercise, performance and public health. Our curriculum is grounded in providing a core foundational knowledge base that focusses on the structures of the human body and how the human body functions. Central to our curriculum is to provide our students with a deep understanding how the human body responds to a single bout of exercise, Man with weight to continuous expose to structured exercise, injury and disease. We accomplish this through hands-on learning and ensure our students have multiple laboratory experiences and courses during their time at the University of Louisville.

A cornerstone of our curriculum is the program’s exercise science internship experience. The internship experience requires our students to apply what they have learned in the classroom and laboratory to real-world situations and provides our students with the opportunity to develop and enhance their profession skills prior to graduation. The internship program also provides our students seeking entry into professional healthcare programs the opportunity to secure all of their required volunteer hours while also receiving university credits toward their undergraduate degree.

The faculty of the Exercise Science program are committed to providing our students with a top-quality educational experience. Further, we work with our students to ensure that they become leaders and health-advocates dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals within their communities.


Coursework within the exercise science track provides the necessary knowledge and competencies to satisfy entrance into the certification process of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

NSCA Education Recognition Program

The Exercise Science program at the University of Louisville is a recognized undergraduate program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). The NSCA Education Recognition Program ensures educational programs have met, and continue to meet, the educational guidelines recommended by the NSCA. Recognized and distinguished schools demonstrate standardized, approved strength and conditioning or personal training curricula in an undergraduate setting that are designed to prepare students for the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®) and NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) certifications.

ERP logo

CAAHEP Accreditation

The Exercise Science Program is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

CAAHEP LogoCAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits over 2000 educational programs in twenty-eight (28) health science occupations.

CAAHEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CAAHEP is also member of the Association of Specialized & Professional Accreditors (ASPA).

For information on program accreditation click here.

The curriculum provides the necessary knowledge base and course work to satisfy entrance into the certification process for tests given by the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

CAAHEP Graduate Student Outcomes

CAAHEP Graduate Student Outcomes

Year of Graduation

National Certification Exam Results

4 Year Graduation Rate

Student Satisfaction
(Based upon Graduate Exit Survey Data

Graduate Placement
(Based upon Graduate Exit Survey Data)


Pass on 1st Attempt = 100%

Total Graduates: 112
Grad Rate = 107%




Pass on 1st Attempt = 100%

Total Graduates: 123
Grad Rate = 158%



Two-Year Average






For details about program curriculum, visit the Graduate Catalog.

Prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the University of Louisville.

This program is open to all eligible students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.

For admission in good standing, prospective students applying with fewer than 24 earned credit hours at the college level must submit all of the following:

  • Official high school transcripts with a cumulative GPA of 2.50
  • Official ACT composite score of 21 or above
  • Official transcripts with a cumulative GPA of 2.25 for all college credit earned


If I am interested in completing a minor in a discipline that is part of the College of Education and Human Development, how do I apply?

You may apply for the minor using the minor request form. This is a requirement if you (Health and Human Performance with emphasis in Exercise Science) want a minor in Sports Administration.

Opportunities for Graduates

Exercise physiologists work in health promotion, fitness development, colleges and universities, clinical rehabilitation, and sport and athletic programs. Hence, they are hired as:

  • sports and wellness program instructors and directors
  • strength coaches for college, university and professional sports programs
  • teachers at institutions of higher learning (i.e., if they have a PhD)
  • researchers in companies that make physiological equipment for testing and evaluation
  • managers and exercise leaders in corporate wellness programs
  • instructors in health and fitness clubs
  • supervisors of specialized health, fitness, wellness, or lifestyle programs in correctional services, police, fire, and emergency response organizations
  • fitness instructors in YMCAs, spa and resort centers
  • exercise specialists in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programs
  • fitness directors and managers in the military (such as the air force and army)
  • exercise technologists in cardiology suites
  • fitness instructors and supervisors at the state, regional, and national levels in sports and athletic programs including
  • sports consultants in areas of psychology and training, biomechanics, efficiency and metabolism, and nutrition
  • electrophysiology technologists in hospital settings

Research Job Opportunities

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Outlook, employment of exercise physiologists is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual wage for exercise physiologists was $50,280 in May 2020.

In addition to the financial aid opportunities offered by the University of Louisville's Financial Aid office, the College of Education & Human Development also has information about financial aid.

Other financial aid opportunities available include student employment opportunities.

Where can I find the academic calendar?

Visit UofL's academic calendar site.

For general education requirement questions and transfers, you should consult your advisor at the Education Advising Center, 502-852-5597.

What can I do with this degree? What are my career opportunities?

Students from our program work in a variety of fields. Some of these areas may require additional training and/or certification:

TeachingTeacher Education
Corporate WellnessCommunity Health
Public HealthPersonal Trainer or Fitness Specialist
Athletic TrainerStrength and Conditioning Coach
Exercise PhysiologistMedicine
NursingPhysician Assistant
Physical or Occupational TherapyDentistry
PharmacyMedical, Pharmaceutical, or Fitness Sales

Is the coursework difficult?

Questions about courses should be addressed to the course instructors and students who have completed the courses. Instructors can give you a reasonable estimate on workload.

What electives should I take?

Students may choose what electives they want to take. Some choose electives related to their degree while others choose to take electives in other disciplines. If you have a minor or second major, some of these hours can be used to fulfill those requirements. In order for a course to count as an elective, it must be at least a 100 level class and not a vocational course. Many students take additional internship credits as their electives. Remember, you must have at least 50 hours at or above the 300 level to graduate. This includes the core and exercise science courses, and the electives.

I want to apply to a graduate or professional program after graduation. Which courses should I take? How should I prepare?

Many of our graduates go on to graduate or professional programs in a variety of disciplines. The admissions prerequisites differ widely from program to program and from school to school. For this reason, we encourage you to contact the schools/colleges you want to apply to and request information about their requirements. Please also see ‘human anatomy & physiology’ substitution question under “Ex. Sci. Course Questions” below.

What should I do if I want a minor in another discipline?

First, contact an advisor about the program you are interested in applying to. Some require different steps in the admission process.

I am interested in the Exercise Physiology master's program at UofL.

Visit the master's degree web page to learn more about the program. If you have additional questions regarding the master's program, contact Dr. Adrienne Bratcher, the Graduate Program Coordinator, 502.852.4031.

Questions about Registration...

When do I register?

Visit your ULink site to see a registration schedule, OR visit the Registrar's registration information web page.

Can I take more than 18 credit hours in the fall/spring, or 15 credit hours in the summer?

You will need to file the request for additional hours form [PDF]. BOTH your faculty advisor and the HSS Department Chair will need to approve your request. Note that the request is course-specific--you will be approved only for the courses listed on the form. You may be blocked to register for courses that are not listed on the form.

The course I want to take is closed. What should I do?

First, get on the wait list. The course instructors honor the order of the wait list. So if you are not on the list, you may have less of a chance getting into the class. If it is the last class that you need to graduate, contact the course instructor. The course instructor decides who can/cannot get into the course (not your faculty advisor). Also, make sure to attend the first class!

What if I am blocked to register?

First, visit your ULink site to find out what is causing the block. If the block is due to not meeting prerequisites, then you need to take the prerequisites before taking the particular course. If the 'prerequisite' block occurs by mistake, contact your faculty advisor to clear you to register for the course. If the block is due to academic probation, you will need to meet with the academic probation advisor at the Education Advising Center. If the block is due to unreturned library books, unpaid parking tickets etc., then you need to take care of these issues to be able to register.

When is the last day to drop a course or change the grading options?

Visit the Registrar's Deadlines webpage for semester deadlines. Please note: After the deadline, the instructor will not approve dropping the course unless there is a TRUE unforeseen emergency situation.

Ex. Sci. Course Questions

When are the core and Exercise Science courses offered?

All core courses in HSS and the Exercise Science requirement courses are offered in the Fall and the Spring semesters. However, the Physical Education Activity courses offerings may vary by semester. HSS 202 (Human Anatomy and Physiology), HSS 387 (Biomechanics), HSS 394 (Foundations of Exercise Physiology), and HSS 492 (Internship) are typically offered in the Summer session. Please note--these courses may not always be offered due to budgetary constraints or low enrollment.

Which of the courses should I take first?

You can take the courses in any order you like as long as you meet the prerequisites, but you should finish early HSS 394 (Intro to Exercise Science), 320 (Growth and Motor Development), and 387 (Biomechanics). They are prerequisites for several of the core courses. Taking a course with the respective prerequisite course concurrently is not allowed, for example, HSS 386 and HSS 390. If it is necessary (transfer student), they may be taken concurrently with courses that require them as prerequisites, however, this will require the permission of the course instructor.

How do I complete an internship (HSS 492)?

You need 3 hours of internship credit to graduate but can take up to 6 per semester and 9 hours for the Exercise Science degree. People often use these additional hours of internship as an elective (300+ level). Please refer to the Internship General Information Sheet [PDF] and the bulletin board at the Exercise Physiology Lab (Crawford LL02) for more details.

Can I have any "D's" in the Exercise Science Requirements?

If you were officially admitted to the Ex.Sci. major prior to summer 2010, then you are allowed one "D". If you were admitted to the Ex.Sci. major after summer 2010, you are note allowed to have any "D's" in the Exercise Science requirement courses. The graduation requirements for your degree are listed at the top portion of your program sheet.

How do a apply for a minor at the College of Education and Human Development?

Apply for the minor at the advising website. This process is required if you (HHP with Ex. Sci. emphasis) want to to minor in SPAD or another track in HHP.

Preparing for Graduation...

What do I need to do to graduate this semester?

Plan on attending one of the Senior Workshops if it is available. All forms necessary to graduate will be available for completion at the workshop--including the degree check. Make sure you apply for your degree via ULink before the deadline.

What is a degree check? When should it be completed?

This section is VERY IMPORTANT for students who have 80 hours of credit, and were admitted to UofL as a freshman before summer 2010, or as a transfer student from another school before fall 2010.

If you are a newer student, refer to the "Degree Audit" below.

If you have 80 or more hours of credit, and have not done a degree check, it is highly recommended that you do. The degree check is an official report of what courses you need to graduate. You are only allowed one degree check and it should be completed two semesters prior to graduation. It will help you catch any issues with courses, etc., early enough to stay on track for graduation. A degree check may take up to eight weeks to complete.

What is the DEGREE AUDIT?

This section is Applies to students that were admitted as a freshman in summer 2010 or later, or as a transfer student from another school in fall 2010 or later.

"Degree Audit" shows how you are progressing toward completion of your degree, and it is available on ULink. On ULink, go to "Student Services" -> "My Academics" -> "View my advisement report" which is next to "Academic Requirements."

Where can I apply for my degree?

Go to: Commencement Information. You may also apply for your degree on ULink under "Student Services" -> "My Academics." When applying for your degree, be sure to indicate what your major(s) and minor(s) will be.

What is the criteria for graduating with honors?

Visit our "Graduate with Honors" website to learn more.