Exercise Science / Sports Medicine

Requirements in this field vary depending on concentration or specialization of the chosen career. Most jobs will expect the person they hire to already be certified according to what they want to do. In most cases at least a bachelor’s degree is required, although educational opportunities in this field continue and include doctoral degrees as well. One thing to understand is that many places require certifications along with degrees that may not be offered on Berea College Campus. There are certifications that may be required by work places, and can be found at places such as: American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NSCA).  Students will have the opportunity to follow this field educationally up to a doctoral level of study.

The range of earnings possible for people with this major is great. The field is so diverse that a fitness trainer or aerobic instructor may make up to $25,910 a year. The annual earnings depend on profession: those employed in general medical and surgical hospitals can make $29,640, local government officials can make $27,720, fitness and recreational sports center instructors can make $27,200, and civic and social organization employees may make $22,630 on average.  The earnings vary depending on field of concentration.  The decision is up to you!


  • Do you want to study everything about the human body, from bones to muscles to skin and tissue?
  • Do you enjoy researching questions about nutrition and exercise?
  • Do you want to learn how to condition the body?
  • Do you want to understand injury and illness prevention?

Exercise Science focuses on anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, biophysics of human movement, and applications to exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation. Students considering working in this field may be interested in instruction in: biomechanics, motor behavior, motor development and coordination, motor neurophysiology, performance research, rehabilitative therapies, the development of diagnostic and rehabilitative methods and procedures in applied exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation. People considering going into this field must understand that it is diverse and has many options. Some questions to ask yourself about the programs you are considering are: Will you be able to choose a concentration? Will the department help you find an internship? Exercise science majors study the science of the human movement but they may also learn how to help people live healthier lives through exercise, rehabilitation, and nutrition.  Job opportunities in this field include, but are not limited to: athletic trainers, chiropractors, coaches and scouts, dietitians and nutritionists, massage therapists, physical therapists, and recreation and fitness workers. In most cases a bachelors degree is required, and possibly other certifications.

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Info obtained from: U.S. Department of Labor
This information was collected by Iris Bahr-Winslow, Jennifer Breneman, Allen Brooks, Emily Schneider, Candy Walls, and Ebony Williams.