Combining excellent instruction with hands-on field experience

The Department of Exercise Science at Elon University critically examines the ways in which movement, exercise, and physical activity are inherent to and improve the human condition. Our mission is to develop well-rounded and informed students through theoretical and empirical knowledge. Our diverse and world-class teacher-scholar-mentors do this through:

  • Outstanding teaching
  • Engaged experiences in classroom and laboratory
  • Mentoring undergraduate research experiences
  • Create global citizens through study abroad experiences
  • Experiential learning in professional settings through internships

Graduates of our program have the foundational knowledge and skills for advanced study and professional advancement.  These skills include, but are not limited to, written and verbal communication; critical thinking and problem solving; active discovery and reflection; and application of theory to practice.

Science-based curriculum

Elon’s exercise science curriculum begins with fostering a solid understanding of anatomy, chemistry, and physiology. Students then apply theories learned to courses in biomechanics, bioenergetics, exercise/sport psychology, neuromotor control, and physiology of exercise, expanding their knowledge base by exploring how the body moves and responses to exercise across various populations. Students learn how to ask and explore hypothesis-driven questions and interact with professionals in the field. The combination of foundational knowledge, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills along with hands-on experiences in and out of the classroom are skills that are essential to professional success.

The Elon Exercise Science program provided me with so many incredible opportunities that I would not have otherwise gotten. I was able to work one-on-one with a faculty mentor to complete my own original, in-depth research project from start to finish. My research findings allowed me to write multiple scholarly papers and present my research at professional conferences!

Kathleen Hupfeld ’16
Doctoral cognitive neuroscience student, Michigan University (mentor leaving for UoF)
Doctoral Appliied Kinesiology and Physiology, University of Florida
NSF Graduate Fellow

Expert, accessible faculty

At Elon, students learn from dedicated faculty who have years of expertise in their fields and in academia. Small classes offer students unique access to professors and one-on-one instruction. All faculty maintain professional contacts in their fields, so they are able to help students identify appropriate graduate and professional schools, internships, and career opportunities.

Learn more about our faculty’s expertise and research. Contact our faculty.

At Elon, studying Exercise Science does not only mean that you get to learn about science in an interdisciplinary and personally applicable way; it also means that you have the opportunity to be a part of a tight-knit community of ESS students and professors. I didn’t come to Elon knowing that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but with the guidance of the ESS faculty, I pursued opportunities that helped to shape my career path. The mentorship and support that I received from the ESS faculty propelled me to where I am today.

Molly Burgoyne ’15, Medical Student, University of Maryland

Excellent facilities and equipment

Exercise science majors work in Elon’s Koury Athletic Center, which houses a full complement of health, training, exercise and sports facilities. The Exercise Science Laboratory features instrumentation to assess body composition, aerobic fitness, muscle strength and endurance, balance, gait, and sports performance. The lab also includes new electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) equipment.

Learning outside the classroom

One of the hallmarks of an Elon education is hands-on learning, and nowhere is that more evident than in the exercise science program. Putting the discipline’s skills, approaches, and theories to test in real-world situations is essential to a full understanding of the subject. This can be achieved through practicum, internship and undergraduate research experiences.

Exercise science majors are required to complete a practicum experience and are strongly encouraged to complete an internship or research experience. All these experiences give students invaluable opportunities to sharpen their skills, observe how the industry works, gain experience working with people, build confidence and make valuable industry contacts.

Many students pursue undergraduate research opportunities and present their findings at regional and national conferences.

Opportunities After Graduation

Alumni of Elon’s Department of Exercise Science pursue diverse careers, including research, corporate health and wellness, personal fitness training, and strength and conditioning. Many graduates choose to attend graduate school in medicine, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, and many other fields. Exercise Science graduates have been accepted to prestigious institutions, see the interactive map below:

Graduates of our program have entered into (click to see more):

Academic graduate programs (MS, Ph.D.)

Exercise Science
Neuroscience
Sport Psychology
Physiology
Biomechanics
Motor Neuroscience/Cognitive Neuroscience
Bioengineering
Nutrition
Public Health
Strength and Conditioning

Medicine (MD, DO, MD/PhD, DDS, BSN, NP, PA)

Physician
Nursing / Nurse Practitioner
Physician Assistant
Dentist

Rehabilitative Sciences (DPT/OT/SLP/ATC)

Physical Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Speech Pathology
Athletic Training

Industries in Health and Wellness:

Personal Trainer
Wellness Coordinator
Corporate Health
Coach
Fitness Coordinator
Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
Recreation Facilities
Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sales

I learned that I am capable of far more than I ever imagined and that there is more to exercise science than going to physical therapy school or becoming a personal trainer. My friends are going on to do some amazing things and I am pursuing a career path I didn’t even know existed.

Lauren Shaver ’16, MS Exercise Science Student, Wake Forest University