Majors and Minors Home
About the Major
The exercise science major provides a scientific core that leads to understanding of human anatomy and physiology and exercise’s impact on the body. The degree has two concentrations: health and fitness and the pre-professional track for those interested in graduate study and clinical/research programs.
Jobs in Exercise Science
- Exercise and fitness instructor
- Wellness center instructor
- Corporate wellness administrator
- Exercise/cardiac rehabilitation specialist
- Personal trainer or strength and conditioning coach
Exercise Science Student Turns Fitness Entrepreneur
Omar Mulla planned to attend graduate school and become a physical therapist after earning a degree in exercise science from South, but he wound up pursuing a fitness career and becoming an entrepreneur.
In Fairhope, Alabama, he founded OM Personal Training, which has expanded into corporate wellness. At first, Mulla says, half joking, his Indian parents were disappointed.
“To go a different route, one that wasn’t guaranteed, that was unusual,” he said. “My family thought I was delusional. My brother, he’s a doctor, and he would always ask when I was going back to school. Now I think they get it. My dad’s like, ‘I’m glad you did this.’”
At South, Mulla started out in marine biology. After taking a semester off, he turned to exercise science.
“If someone is making a decision to become healthier, they’re in a really vulnerable state, so you want to make them comfortable.”
At the same time, he became a certified personal trainer, working at the Student Recreation Center and leading trips with the Outdoor Adventures program.
“I was the water guy — we’d take students and faculty members to rivers all over Alabama. We also did hiking and mountain biking, and snowboarding and skiing trips to North Carolina. Some of the people we brought outdoors had never been in the woods, never been on a river, so that was cool to see.”
In both personal training and corporate wellness, Mulla tries to listen and learn about his clients. Instead of pitching a program, he’s asking questions and planning strategy.
“If someone is making a decision to become healthier, they’re in a really vulnerable state, so you want to make them comfortable,” he said. “There’s a lot of value to meeting people where they are. A needs-based approach works really well with businesses. You know, what do you need? What do you want?”
Did You Know?
- The curriculum incorporates team-based learning and hands-on laboratory experiences to give students leadership and exercise testing skills along with textbook knowledge.
- Seniors can conduct up to three internships in athletic training, strength and conditioning, physical therapy, cardiac rehabilitation and related fields.
- Students have access to state-of-the-art exercise testing equipment and accomplished exercise science researchers who teach their courses. Students not only learn about strength, body fat, muscle physiology, heart and lung function, and metabolism testing, but also practice those measurements in the classroom.
Curriculum and Degree Requirements