Exercise Science

Why Choose Exercise Science?

Exercise Science is a great way for people who like to help others, and are passionate about health and fitness. These professionals learn to create individualized and group exercise programs for apparently healthy populations and special-need populations.

Skills Acquired


Exercise Science programs include topics such as:

  • Human anatomy
  • Kinesiology
  • Therapeutic exercise and adapted physical education
  • Motor learning and performance
  • Patient assessment and management


The Exercise Department teaches the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certification curriculum within their professional, required courses.

Careers in Exercise Science

Projected Job Growth

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth of 19% from 2012 to 2022 for Exercise Physiologists and Athletic Trainers, and 13% for fitness trainers and instructors, faster than the average for all occupations.

Types of Jobs


Students who study in Exercise Science typically pursue careers as:

  • Athletic Trainers
  • Exercise Physiologists
  • Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors
  • Physical Therapists


Average State Pay

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, athletic trainers and exercise physiologists earned an annual median salary of $42,690 nationally ($20.52 per hour). Fitness trainers and instructors earn a median salary of $31,720 per year ($15.25).



Exercise physiologists develop fitness and exercise programs that help patients recover from chronic diseases and improve cardiovascular function, body composition, and flexibility.

Degrees & Certificates in Exercise Science

  • Associate of Science Degree in Exercise Science is a rigorous, science-based, 60-credit degree that includes several Exercise Science-specific courses and prepares students for transition similar to Exercise Science B.S. or B.A. programs. Transfer agreements have been established with Minnesota State University-Mankato and Concordia University.
  • The Exercise Specialist Certificate includes courses that provide comprehensive curriculum designed to prepare students to successfully participate in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Training Examination and enter the workforce as a personal trainer working with generally healthy populations.
  • These courses are currently taught at Normandale Community College, and included within the existing A.S. degree program.
  • The Exercise Specialist Certificate is recognized as a "career laddering" opportunity for our students to encourage further retention of degree completion while students gain additional credentials to professionally compete for careers within the fitness industry. 

You May Also Like


Students in Exercise Science may also pursue professions in:

  • Athletic Training
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Orthotic and Prosthetic Therapies
  • Pharmacology
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physical Therapy Assisting
  • Physiology
  • Podiatric Medicine