Skip Navigation

Exercise Science

Bachelor of Science

The Exercise Science Major is designed for students who are interested in studying the body as it pertains to human movement and the physiological changes that occur in the body in response to exercise and physical activity. It is intended for students who would like to pursue a career in exercise science, sports medicine, pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, pre-athletic training, personal training, strength and conditioning, and cardiac rehabilitation. Exercise Science is a multidisciplinary evidence-based program, which is fast-growing and ever changing. Exercise scientists use their knowledge of the human body and exercise leadership skills to help people improve physical performance, fitness, health, and overall quality of life. The Exercise Science major has some flexibility where students must choose an option that best accomplishes their career objectives.

The Allied Health Option is intended for students who wish to pursue a career in health professions, cardiac rehabilitation, sports medicine, pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, pre-athletic training.

The Pre-Athletic Training Specialization is specific for the 5-year (3+1+1) Keene State College to Plymouth State University pathway and provides undergraduate students a path to an accelerated master’s degree in Athletic Training.

The Human Performance Option is intended for students who wish to pursue exercise science, personal training and fitness, and strength and conditioning.

Declaration of Major and Retention Criteria

Students are accepted to the College as an Exercise Science major.

Based on career goals, students will select the appropriate Option. Faculty in the Human Performance and Movement Science Department assist with program planning throughout the program of study.

Due to the accelerated nature of the 3+1+1 MS in Athletic Training with PSU, declaration in the BS in Exercise Science, Allied Health Option, Pre-Athletic Training Specialization is encouraged upon entry to the College, but must be made no later than the end of the second year at Keene State College.

Progression Criteria

After the completion of two semesters within the program, the ability to register for upper-level Exercise Science courses will depend on the successful completion of:

  • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5
  • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average in the Exercise Science major of 2.5
  • Completion of the Allied Requirement courses.

Integrative Studies Requirements

40 credits minimum

Major Requirements

*68 credits (Core + Option) + 20 Allied Courses *

Allied Requirements

20 credits

Select One:

  • MATH 120 Applied Algebra and Trigonometry (Human Performance Option)
  • MATH 141 Introductory Statistics (Allied Health Option)

Select One:

  • INCHEM 100 Introduction to Chemistry (Human Performance Option)
  • INCHEM 111 General Chemistry I (Allied Health Option)


  • BIO 230 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIO 332 Human Anatomy and Physiology II

Select One:

  • ISPH 285 Health in Society (Allied Health)
  • INHP 220 PA and Disease Prevention (Human Performance)

Competency Requirement for Exercise Science

All students majoring in Exercise Science are required to be certified in Standard First Aid and CPR/AED for courses marked with a ¹.

Exercise Science Core Requirements

32 credits

HPEX 250 Introduction to Exercise Science
HP 300 Applied Kinesiology
HP 301 Physiology of Exercise
HPEX 332 Exercise Testing and Programming¹
HPEX 335 Advanced Strength and Conditioning¹
HP 344 Sports Nutrition
HPEX 372 Practicum: Exercise Leadership¹
HPEX 492 Exercise Science Seminar

Enrollment in upper-level practicum coursework: HPEX 372, HPEX 472, and HPEX 492 requires the following:

  • Earned grade of C or better in required Exercise Science courses.
  • Maintain a cumulative and major GPA of 2.5.
  • Current certification in Adult CPR & First Aid.

Allied Health Option

16 credits

IIHP 352 Exercise Psychology
HP 340 Epidemiology of Physical Activity
HP 341 Pathology, Pharmacology, & Exercise
HP 460 Research Methods in Human Movement

Allied Health Option Students interested in health professions will be advised to take open elective courses that fulfill graduate school prerequisites.

Allied Health Option Pre-Athletic Training Specialization Requirements

In addition to completing the Integrative Studies Program Requirements, students enrolled in the 3+1+1 with Plymouth State University must complete the Exercise Science Allied Health Option as follows:

  • Allied Course Requirements (INCHEM 111, MATH 141, BIO 230, BIO 332, ISPH 285)
  • The first five courses in the Core requirements (HPEX 250, HP 300, HP 301, HPEX 332, HPEX 335)
  • HP 340 Epidemiology of Physical Activity
  • Pre-requisite courses (INPHYS 141, ISPSYC 101)

Pre-Athletic Training Specialization

Retention in Exercise Science Major Allied Health Option – Pre-Athletic Training Specialization

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.2
  • Earn a B or better in Exercise Science Allied, Major Core and Major Option coursework.
  • Earn a BC or better in the following elective courses that serve as pre-requisites: ISPSYC 101 General Psychology, INPHYS 141 College Physics I, other courses may be added per accreditation updates for professional programs. Students should meet with their academic advisor to ensure degree progression.

Students will need to complete a graduate school application to PSU during their third year. Qualified students will be given special consideration for early admission into the Master of Science degree program in Athletic Training for their 4th and 5th year of study at PSU at the end of the 3rd year of study if the student has earned:

  • 40 credits of Integrative Studies²
  • 90 credits toward a Bachelor of Science degree at Keene State College²
  • Minimum cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.2
  • Prerequisite courses with required grade minimums²
  • Students will earn a BS degree in Exercise Science Allied Health Option from KSC after successful completion of the fourth year at Plymouth State University and are eligible to walk at commencement at KSC.

² Coursework and requirements will overlap and does not equate to an increased academic load in three years.

Human Performance Option

16 credits

  • HP 210 Principles of Coaching
  • HPEX 371: Strength & Conditioning Practicum
  • HP 444 Athletic & Rec Administration
  • IIHP 310 Psycho-Social Aspects of Sport


HPEX 472: Externship: Pre-requisite course includes HPEX 372 Exercise Leadership Practicum. Because of the on campus and off campus experiences/placements, students must request through their advisor a desire to enroll in Externship to ensure HPEX faculty secure an externship opportunity. Students enrolling in HPEX 472 must work with the Externship instructor prior to the semester to find a placement that matches the strengths of the student with the placement site.


Students must select courses to reach a minimum total of 120 credits for the degree.

Students interested in Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy will be advised to take open elective courses that fulfill graduate school prerequisites.

Degree Requirements

120 credits
40 credits at upper-level