Exercise Science

Encourage Healthy Living

Exercising and maintaining a healthy body takes motivation and hard work. Use your passion for gym time with a exercise science degree from DWU. Our new facilities are equipped with the latest equipment, providing great opportunities to learn right on campus. 

What jobs can you do with a
exercise science degree? 

Prepare for a career you can live every day as a:

Personal trainer
Health club manager
Wellness coach
PT technician 

This degree is also a great option for Pre-Physical Therapy and Pre-Occupational Therapy.

What's the Difference at DWU? 

  • Learn about the functions of the human body and how to help increase performance.  
  • Pair your major with a business degree to prepare for a career in gym management or strike out on your own as a personal trainer.  
  • Graduate with limitless opportunities in the health and wellness field. Businesses, insurance companies and corporations need individuals with your skills to promote healthy living.  
  • Explore the many opportunities our pre-health majors like Pre-med and Pre-health and Pre-physical therapy can offer you.

Exercise Science Courses

Combine class time with hands-on learning and you’ll be ready for a career in health and fitness programs, exercise and more.

ATN 320 Human Nutrition

3 Hours
This course is a comprehensive investigation concerning the basics of nutrition, common eating disorders, methods of weight control and special needs of athletes, including an examination of the common techniques of body composition analysis.

BIO 220 Anatomy and Physiology I

4 Hours
This course is an in-depth study of the structure and function of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems at all levels of organization. Topics include cell biology, histology, developmental anatomy and pathological conditions relevant to students majoring in the health sciences. Three lectures and one laboratory. Prerequisites: CHM 174/174L or CHM 231/231L. Prerequisite or corequisite BIO 220L.

BIO 330 Anatomy and Physiology II

4 Hours
This course is an in-depth study of the structure and function of the endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems at all levels of organization. Other topics include fluid and electrolyte balance, acid-base balance, and pathological conditions relevant to students majoring in the health sciences. Three lectures and one laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 220/220L. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO 330L

CHM 164 University Chemistry

3 Hours
A one-semester course covering the core concepts of general chemistry, maintaining the depth and relevance of a two semester sequence. Topics covered include: bonding, equilibrium, stoichiometry, chemical kinetics, and oxidation-reduction. Prerquisite: MTH 120 or equivalent is recommended.

CHM 166 University Chemistry Lab

1 Hours
An introduction to experimental chemical methods of synthesis and characterization by quantitative and qualitative procedures. Experiments will relate to topics covered in CHM 164. Prerequisite or co-requisite: CHM 164.

CHM 174 Organic and Biochemistry

4 Hours
This course is a study of the fundamentals of organic chemistry (nomenclature, functional groups, reactions) with an emphasis on compounds of biological interest (amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, enzymes, nucleic acids and the metabolic cycles). Three lectures, one two-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: CHM 164. Corequisite: CHM174L

HLT 310 Advanced Emergency Skills for Professionals

2 Hours
This course is designed to teach the student advanced emergencies skills such as airway management, one- and two-person CPR, AED, oxygen administration and basic first aid skills. Credit is granted only upon successful completion of the course, or by verified certification from an approved agency, and successful completion of a challenge test of skills evaluated by a faculty member certified by an approved agency to provide training. The course is set as a lecture/lab combination.

MTH 200 Statistical Methods I

3 Hours
This course is an introduction to descriptive statistics, including graphs, sampling distributions, measures of central tendency, probability theory, hypothesis testing through nonparametric tests, confidence intervals, correlation and regression. Statistical applications, hypothesis testing and the use of statistical software for graphing are emphasized. Prerequisite: MTH 125 or consent of instructor.

PSY 443 Abnormal Psychology

3 Hours
This course is a study of the dynamics of abnormal personality development and behavior, including a comprehensive study of the origin, symptoms and treatment of psychological disorders. Students will be exposed to the diverse aspects of clinical psychology. Prerequisite: Six credit hours of psychology courses.

SPX 140 Introduction to Sport, Exercise and Wellness

2 Hours
This is an introductory course for Sport, Exercise and Wellness majors. The course introduces students to the concepts, theories and principles related to all aspects of sport, exercise, health and wellness. This course is intended for those who desire to obtain a career pathway in strength and conditioning, personal training and/or related fields.

SPX 211 Care & Prevention Athletic Injuries

2 Hours
This course is designed to improve the professional competency of people who work with athletic teams. Appropriate instructional methods and effective healthcare for athletes based upon sound physiological and psychological principles are the foundations of the course. Students will practice the skills of injury recognition, evaluation and taping, and will discuss the principles of therapeutic modalities.

SPX 240 Methods of Weight & Conditioning

3 Hours
This course studies the various methods and techniques used in free-weight training and conditioning. The focus of study will be targeted toward sport-specific exercises, progression of exercise, methods of determining strength, lifting and spotting techniques, and plyometric exercise.

SPX 305 Evaluation and Prescription of Health and Fitness Programs

3 Hours
This course is designed to provide the student with basic knowledge in health and fitness assessment. Areas of study include population characteristics, common fitness evaluation tools, test design, criteria for test termination and documentation of results Prerequisite: SPX 240 required, ATN 320 recommended.

SPX 315 Kinesiology

3 Hours
This course examines the kinesiological, anatomical and mechanical concepts requisite to critical assessment, description and qualitative analysis of human exercises, sport and locomotive activities. Prerequisite: BIO 220/BIO 220L.

SPX 320 Exercise and Special Populations

3 Hours
This advanced course will explore and identify the characteristics and values of demographic data and discuss the rationale for providing fitness activity services. It will specifically discuss the indications, contraindications and precautions associated with exercise evaluations and prescription in nontraditional populations in persons with pregnancy, metabolic syndromes, geriatrics, immunocompromised, cancer and other related conditions. Prerequisite: SPX 305.

SPX 340 Practicum in SPX I

2 Hours
This course provides the exercise specialist with a balance of theory and application to increase the awareness of the employment demands and necessary education of exercise specialists. The student will explore different settings in the fitness profession each semester.

SPX 342 Practicum in SPX II

2 Hours
This course provides the exercise specialist with a balance of theory and application to increase the awareness of the employment demands and necessary education of exercise specialists. The student will explore different settings in the fitness profession each semester.

SPX 362 Psychological Dynamics Sport

3 Hours
This course investigates the psychological constructs and concepts that relate to and help explain the phenomena of sport performance. The course principally devotes attention to theories of goal setting, attribution, stress and stress management, cognitive coping strategies, psychological rehabilitation of the injured athlete and self-confidence. Recent research evidence is presented in all topical areas.

SPX 410 Physiology of Exercise

3 Hours
This course investigates the physiological adjustments of the human organism to exercise, including neuromuscular, metabolic and cardiorespiratory changes that occur with acute and chronic exercise, and the influence of such variables as nutrition, drugs, environment, gender, age, training and body weight. Prerequisite: BIO 122/122L.

SPX 450 Internship

6 Hours

SPX 470 Capstone in SPX

2 Hours
Students will reflect on experiences within their Sport Exercise and Wellness major, including coursework and internships. The course will help prepare the student for possible career choices and graduate school paths of study within their field. Additionally, students will prepare to take the National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) Examination.

SPX 472 Public Health and Epidemiology

3 Hours
In this course, students will learn and apply concepts of epidemiology and healthcare informatics to multiple domains of public health. The course will require the student to practice using epidemiology and healthcare informatics to better understand, characterize and promote health at a population level.

Get to Know Your Professors

Learn how to help others live healthier lives! You’ll gain valuable lessons from faculty members who are working professionals and will provide real-life experiences to enhance your learning.

Dan Wagner, EdD

Director of Athletic Training | Athletic Training Preceptor | Professor in the Athletic Training Program

Matt McManus, M.Ed.

Associate Athletic Trainer | Instructor

Matthew Zens, DPT

Associate Professor of Athletic Training

Randi Christensen, M.A.

Associate Professor | Director of Athletic Training Services

Related Majors & Minors


Pursuing a degree in medicine or another health profession after Dakota Wesleyan?

    Business Administration

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      Pre-Physical Therapy

      Help sick or injured people improve their mobility and manage pain.

        Sports Management

        Become a valuable player in any sports organization and embrace your love of athletics.


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