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Exercise Science Transfer Pathway (AS) - 60 credits

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.

Degrees & Certificates in Exercise Science

  • Click on the REQUIREMENTS Tab above to find out the required courses to complete an Exercise Science Assoicate of Science degree.
  • 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. 
  • Be sure and check out receiving a Bachelors in Science in Exercise Science here at Normandale through Southwest Minnesota State University.
  • Normandale has estabalished a transfer agreement with Concordia-St. Paul University's Exercise Science Program.
  • 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.


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.

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

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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

The Exercise Science Transfer Pathway (AS) offers students a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an Associate of Science degree with course credits that directly transfer to designated Exercise Science bachelor's degree programs at Minnesota State universities. The curriculum has been specifically designed so that students completing this pathway degree and transferring to one of the seven Minnesota State universities enter the university with junior-year status. All courses in the Transfer Pathway associate degree will directly transfer and apply to the designated bachelor's degree programs in a related field. 

Students obtaining the Exercise Science degree will have a strong working knowledge of exercise and sport physiology, applied kinesiology and positive behavior change. This degree incorporates active classroom learning. These skills are emphasized to prepare students for future performance and therapeutic applications.

*Universities within the Minnesota State system include Bemidji State University; Metropolitan State University; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Minnesota State University Moorhead; Southwest Minnesota State University; St. Cloud State University; and Winona State University. 

Core Courses - 17 credits

Code Title Credits
EXSC 1129 Fitness for Life I 2
EXSC 1200 Beginning Weight Training 1
EXSC 2300 Introduction to Exercise Science 3
EXSC 2305 Exercise Physiology 3
EXSC 2310 Foundations of Personal Training 3
EXSC 2315 Exercise Prescription 3
EXSC 2330 Applications of Personal Training 2

Additional Required Courses - 43 Credits

Code Title Credits
ENGC 1101 Freshman Composition 4
COMM 1100 Introduction to Human Communication 3
or COMM 1101 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
or COMM 1111 Interpersonal Communication 3
or COMM 1121 Small Group Communication 3
BIOL 1501 Principles of Biology I 5
BIOL 2041 Human Anatomy 4
BIOL 2042 Human Physiology 4
CHEM 1050 Foundations of Organic and Biochemistry 3
HLTH 1107 Principles of Nutrition 3
MATH 1080 Introduction to Statistics 4
or MATH 1090 STATWAY Statistics 2 4
PSYC 1110 Introduction to Psychology 4

  • Complete one course (at least 3 credits) from MnTC Goal 5 (non-PSYC course) (3-4 credits)
  • Complete two courses (at least 6 credits) from two different MnTC Goal areas: 7, 8, 9 or 10 (at least 6 credits) 

Other Degree Requirements

  • Earn a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 for college-level coursework (courses numbered 1000 and above) completed at Normandale.
  • Earn a minimum of 20 college-level credits at Normandale.  
  • Elective credits - additional course(s) numbered 1000 and above, if needed to complete the 60 credit requirement.

Coursework in this degree program satisfies a portion of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC). Please see MnTC Degree Audit Report.