Exercise Science

Emphasis of the Program

Exercise Science LogoThe emphasis of the Exercise Science concentration is designed to give students a scientific understanding of the body's response to exercise and the ability to analyze the efficiency of human movement. Graduates in Exercise Science will have the knowledge to prescribe exercise to a wide variety of populations and instruct the proper mechanics and techniques of movement. Students explore exercise and motor behavior form an interdisciplinary perspective both from within the Exercise Science program, the Wellness and Human Performance Center and across campus with courses in Anatomical Kinesiology, Biomechanics of Human Motion, Exercise Physiology, Nutrition, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Sport Psychology, and Motor Learning. Practical application of the curriculum is enhanced through the Lab assignments, field work, and internship experiences.


Majors in the Exercise Science program are encouraged to gain additional experience through work-study jobs in aquatics, athletic events, intramurals, the weight room, and the SMSU Fitness Center and the Wellness and Human Performance Center. Our Exercise Science Club hosts conferences, and regional/national speakers. Students may also participate in state and national conventions, student research projects, and faculty-student mentorship.

SMSU, The Schwan Food Company Team Up In Wellness Project

SMSU Today Article

Billy Mills Event
(Click to view video)

SMSU Today Article

This event was sponsored by the Exercise Science program, Oyate Club;
Access, Opportunity and Success (AOS), Office of Cultural Diversity, and Hmong Student Organization (HSO) at SMSU.

After Graduation


After Graduation...Exercise Science Students Do Great Things!

Graduates in Exercise Science will have a wide variety of opportunities in exercise prescription including cardiac rehab, personal training, exercise specialist, fitness coordinator, and strength and conditioning coach. The curriculum also provides excellent preparation for many fields requiring advanced degrees in professional and graduate schools. Recent graduates have pursued careers in physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, physician assistant, and other health-related professions. Graduates also seek advanced degrees in the field of kinesiology.


Facilities and Technology

Wellness & Human Performance Center LogoExercise Science students will develop skills in analyzing, assessing, and enhancing the aspects of human performance. In the biomechanics’ lab, students learn about movement by using motion analysis software to record and store video sequences of human movement. The computer then allows students to view the movement and analyze body positions frame-by-frame in addition to calculating specific joint angles and time-space relationships within the sequence. This technology greatly enhances the students’ understanding of the laws of physics applied to the human body and the teaching implication to improve peak performance. In the exercise physiology labs students will gain valuable insight to the body’s response to exercise using treadmills, bicycle ergometers, and metabolic gas exchange technology. The Human Performance Lab focuses on cardiorespiratory assessments such as maxVO2 resting metabolic rate, and blood lactate response to intense exercise. These experiences will provide students with the knowledge to design effective training programs in strength, explosive power, cardiovascular endurance, and anaerobic capacity.

Facilities available to students include: the Wellness and Human Performance Center, computer labs, a dance studio, indoor tennis courts, weight room, fitness center, wrestling room, 25 yard pool, diving well, racquetball courts, volleyball and basketball courts, indoor running track, field house, multi-event center, and a human performance lab. Outdoor fields include football, softball, soccer, intramurals, and a nature trail for running, walking, cross-country skiing.

Contact Information

LearningScience Department, Exercise Science Program
SM 178
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State Street * Marshall, MN 56258
Ph: (507) 537-6178 * Fax: (507) 537-6151


Last Modified: 3/22/17 4:24 PM