Health and Exercise Science Department

Studying exercise science prepares you for careers ranging from the clinical healthcare setting to human performance. The program teaches you about the scientific principles surrounding exercise science. Luther’s rigorous academic coursework, along with laboratory learning and hands-on techniques, will prepare you to meet the needs of your chosen profession.

Luther exercise science majors can earn certification in a variety of health and fitness-related careers. You’ll also gain the knowledge and preparation you need for graduate school or an entry-level profession.

As an exercise science major, you’ll choose between two tracks for your specific area of study. The two tracks, Allied Health Sciences and Strength and Conditioning, provide you with the flexibility to prepare for graduate school or enter directly into a professional career.

The Allied Health Sciences track is designed to prepare you to enter graduate studies in allied health programs including physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, and other fields.

The Strength and Conditioning track prepares you to serve as a professional in the field of human performance including athletic performance, personal training, fitness training, corporate wellness, research, and clinical exercise physiology.

As an exercise science major, you’ll gain knowledge of anatomy, physiology, psychology, biomechanics, nutrition, bioenergetics, motor control, and human development.

You’ll study the structure and function of the human body and locate anatomic landmarks. You’ll also learn about how the body moves, metabolic processes, nutrition, and various factors that affect motor control/development and human performance.

While studying exercise science, you’ll become knowledgeable of how to assess health status and conduct fitness testing. You’ll demonstrate an understanding of appropriate exercise techniques and its application to program design.

Exercise science majors also learn how to organize and administer health, physical activity, and fitness programs.

The exercise science major was created with the intention of preparing students to sit for a certification examination in the professional career topic of interest of their choice. Although the specific coursework within the major may not cover every requirement for some certifications, students may be able to complete preparation via independent study or directed reading opportunities.

Students will have the opportunity to prepare for certification exams with the following organizations:

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)
  • Tactical Strength and Conditioning Specialist – Facilitator (TSAC-F)

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT)
  • ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor (ACSM-GEI)
  • ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP)

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT)
  • NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM-PES)
  • NASM Group Personal Training Specialization (GPTS)

Luther exercise science graduates pursue a variety of careers in healthcare, human performance, and health education and promotion.

Some career fields include:

  • Athletic coach
  • Athletic trainer
  • Chiropractor
  • Nutritionist/dietician
  • Occupational therapist
  • Personal trainer
  • Physical therapist
  • Physician assistant
  • Strength and conditioning specialist

Luther’s Sports and Recreation Center provides ideal facilities for exercise science majors to study, get hands-on experience, and learn.

Applied Leadership Studies Minor

As an applied leadership studies minor, you’ll learn about theories, methodologies, and research data that help you understand leadership behavior and how to influence others. You’ll also discover how effective leadership can strengthen communities, improve vocational performance, and create opportunity through relational contribution. The minor includes experiential learning opportunities that support what you study in the classroom.

About Applied Leadership Studies

The applied leadership studies minor complements many areas of study. Luther students from a wide variety of degree programs are enrolled in the minor. Whether you’re a biology, environmental studies, music, management, theatre, computer science, or other major, an applied leadership studies minor is a valuable addition to your education.

Graduates with an applied leadership studies minor can apply their knowledge and skills to virtually any career path.

Some career paths include:

  • Manager and/or director of athletic services
  • Director of recreational services
  • Community directorships
  • Human service professionals
  • Healthcare services and administration
  • Public and private school administration and instruction
  • Health and wellness professionals
  • Corporate management

Some career fields include:

  • Corporate administrations
  • K-12 school systems
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Emotional health agencies
  • Recreational and occupational therapy departments
  • Social service agencies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Law firms
  • Sports programs
  • Small entrepreneurial businesses
  • Community and regional governing bodies
  • Multifaceted recreational service businesses

Health and Exercise Science Department Majors/Minors

Students with a major/minor from Luther’s Health and Exercise Science Department have gone on to graduate studies in a variety of subjects at a number of institutions in the Midwest and across the United States including:

  • Athletic Training or Sports Medicine: AT Still University (AZ), Western Michigan University, University of Northern Iowa, University of Pittsburgh, Ohio University, Pacific University
  • Chiropractic: Palmer College of Chiropractic, Northwestern Health Sciences University
  • Health Education: University of Kansas, University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse
  • Human Performance: Florida State University
  • Kinesiology: AT Still University (AZ), Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, Western Illinois University
  • Medical School: University of Iowa, Des Moines University, University of Massachusetts
  • Occupational Therapy: St Ambrose University, St Catherine University, University of Minnesota
  • Organizational Leadership: William Penn University
  • Perfusion Therapy: University of Iowa
  • Physical Therapy: University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin – Madison, University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine & Science (MN), Des Moines University, St Ambrose University, Creighton University, Washington University – St Louis, University of Missouri
  • Public Health: University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Des Moines University
  • Sports Management: William Penn University