Exercise Science 

Exercise science is an interdisciplinary field that spans the physiological, psychological, nutritional, motor, and functional adaptations and responses to exercise, physical activity, and sport.

Mount Mercy’s exercise science major blends classroom learning, hands-on work, and real-life experience to prepare students in understanding terminology, concepts, and theories necessary to effectively work in their profession.

Students learn to pinpoint, synthesize, and critique scientific literature and identify appropriate evidence-based practices in exercise science and are prepared to demonstrate knowledge and skills required to assess and improve human health and performance of individuals from diverse populations.

With MMU’s exercise science program, students have the flexibility to pursue multiple career paths. Students interested in a pre-professional path (athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and sports medicine) typically take coursework in chemistry, physics, and other disciplines to meet the prerequisites for these professional programs. Students interested in an applied path (coaching, personal training, strength and conditioning, and health promotion) typically take elective courses that support their interests and goals.

Fast Facts

  • Mount Mercy’s new Robert W. Plaster Athletic Complex provides an innovative space and for students to practice what they study.
  • Students choose electives that support their interests and desired career path.
  • Experience is key. In their final year of study, students complete an internship to increase practical understanding of course knowledge and help gain insight into their future career.
  • Students will examine social, economic, and cultural inequalities in the exercise, physical activity, health, and sport contexts and engage in discussions about how to make these spaces more inclusive for all people.

What can I do with a degree in exercise science?

Our exercise science program prepares students interested in pursuing careers or graduate/professional degrees in:

  • athletic training
  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • sports medicine
  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • dietetics
  • personal training
  • health promotion
  • strength & conditioning
  • coaching
  • sport & performance psychology

Internships & Experience

Internships and field experiences provide students an opportunity to observe how exercise science principles are utilized in real-life cases.

Students gain experience with two separate one-credit field experiences taken during the sophomore and junior years and a six-credit internship during their senior year

John Wagner '06

“The new exercise science program at Mount Mercy is designed in such a way to allow students the flexibility to prepare for a variety of tracks while not having to decide immediately on their post-graduation plans. As most of us change or modify our career plans as we learn and grow, having an interdisciplinary program with real-life field experience built in is the best way to maximize time, effort, and expense. Having a curriculum specifically geared toward pre-professional and entry-level healthcare positions will better prepare our next generation of therapists, trainers, and exercise professionals.”

—John Wagner '06 | BS Biology
Director of Operations
UnityPoint Health / Jones Regional Medical Center

You should schedule a tour or apply today.