Exercise Science


Rigorous, yes. Rewarding, definitely. If you're passionate about wellness and helping others achieve their highest potential, a degree in Exercise Science is for you.

Our graduates work at Trinity Regional Health System, Army Wellness Center, Alliance Rehab, Illini Restorative Care, Rock Valley Physical Therapy, and many more.


Ambrose Advantages

  • Modern and Sophisticated Fitness Facilities
  • Create and Guide Fitness Programs
  • Solid Preparation for Advanced Degrees

student with breathing device

Interior Wellness Center

students in Kinesiology lab

Along with their diverse expertise, Kinesiology professors at SAU are devoted to helping their students succeed. With a balance of classroom and hands-on learning plus undergraduate research opportunities, students graduate fully-equipped for advanced studies in physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, and physician assistant studies.

Read Our Fact Sheet on Exercise Science (pdf)


More Information on the Exercise Science Program

What will I learn?

Exercise Science is a comprehensive program that includes courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and anatomy. Advanced courses cover exercise physiology, pharmacology, behavioral neuroscience and scientific research.

Upon completing the SAU Kinesiology program, students will be able to:

  • compete successfully in graduate programs
  • teach and lead competently in school, business, and community-based programs
  • seek and obtain appropriate certification
  • perform competitively in the work environment
  • exemplify the values and ethics of the allied professions
Where will I learn?

As an Exercise Science major, you'll take classes and apply what you learn in our new Wellness and Recreation Center. This newly-built, massive, 80,000 square-foot building holds exercise physiology and biomechanics laboratories, classrooms, research-quality equipment, and a group exercise room. The building was specifically designed and equipped to give you a top-quality education and personal fitness opportunities.

A regional leader in healthcare, wellness and fitness, the Quad Cities is a great community to prepare for, or even start your career. The SAU College of Health and Human Services has long-standing relationships with major hospitals and healthcare providers in the area, all who are eager to employ SAU graduates. Local organizations such as the YMCA and Rock Island Fitness & Activity Center offer a variety of internship opportunities in wellness and fitness.

Study Abroad

You've heard people say it before: "College will be the greatest time of your life!" With Study Abroad, you can add even more to your college years.

You can study in another country in a semester-long or short-term study abroad program (with a few offered during spring and winterim breaks). No matter the duration, these trips deepen your professional education while earning credit toward graduation.

There are also opportunities through an exchange program, an overseas internship, or volunteering. The limits for Study Abroad are only ones you set for yourself! SAU students have studied in Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, Korea, United Kingdom, Spain, Ecuador, Japan, Germany, Peru, Cyprus, Croatia, Belize, Canada, Chile, and more.

SAU students returning from their Study Abroad locations talk about their time away as life-changing – personally, emotionally, culturally, and academically.

Click here to search our Study Abroad programs, and for general information click here.

Peace Corps Prep

If service is included in your future plans, we are one of few universities in Iowa offering Peace Corps Prep, a program that can make you a stronger candidate for volunteer positions within the Peace Corps or other service programs. Most students can earn the certificate – awarded by the Peace Corps – without taking extra courses.

Click here to learn more or talk to your faculty advisor.

What are some potential career outcomes?

Possible careers outcomes for Exercise Science majors can include exercise physiologist, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist, and researcher.

This program also doubles as a pre-professional degree and satisfies prerequisites for SAU graduate programs in physical therapyoccupational therapyexercise physiology, and physician assistant studies.

With the constant need for people to lead healthy lives, you shouldn't have an issue launching your career.

American College of Sports Medicine: Career Center

National Strength and Conditioning Association: Job Board

What have alumni of this program done?

Holly Fettkether '13 works at UnityPoint Health at St. Luke's as a Cardiac Rehab Exercise Physiologist.

Dominique Guinnane '14 is a Speed and Strength Coach at The Riekes Center in Menlo Park, Calif.

Kevin Kelley '10 added a psychology and biology minor to his exercise science major, which complements his job as the PT and Clinic manager at Rock Valley Physical Therapy in Geneseo, Ill.

Zach Rockford '14 is the assistant director of athletic performance at Southern Illinois University. 

Kinesiology Faculty and Staff

Sandy Lund, PhD, Assoc. Professor and Chair
Sarah Eikleberry, PhD, Assoc. Professor and Assistant Chair
Rhiannon Seneli, PhD, Assoc. Professor, MSEP Director

Kyle Bohnert, PhD, Asst. Professor
Michael Dahlinghaus, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Chengming Hu, PhD, Asst. Professor
David Lantis, PhD, Asst. Professor
Chris Schwartz, PhD, Asst. Professor
Tyler Spencer, PhD, Asst. Professor
Erica Thomas, DHEd, Asst. Professor
Nick Voth, Lab Coordinator; MSEP Advisor and Recruiter
Jason Vorwerk, MS, Clinical Asst. Professor
Suzanne Wiese, Administrative Assistant

Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science (67-68 credit hours)

Required:
+BIOL 199 General Biology I: Foundations of Living Systems (4 credits)
BIOL 200 General Biology II: Functioning of Living Systems (4 credits)
BIOL 230 Human Anatomy & Physiology (4 credits)
BIOL 232 Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology (4 credits)
+CHEM 105 General Chemistry I (4 credits)
CHEM 106 General Chemistry II (4 credits)
+PHYS 203 College Physics I (4 credits) -or- CHEM 207 (3 credits) -or- +PHYS 251 (4 credits)
PHYS 204 College Physics II (4 credits) -or- CHEM 208 (3 credits) -or- PHYS 253 (4 credits) -or- CHEM 319 & 320 (4 credits)
+STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning for the Sciences (3 credits)
KIN 101 Foundations of Kinesiology (2 credits)
KIN 216 Exercise and Sport Psychology (3 credits)
KIN 282 Health, Illness, and Well-Being Across the Lifespan (3 credits)
WI-KIN 240 Nutrition Concepts (3 credits)
KIN 361 Functional and Structural Kinesiology (3 credits)
WI-KIN 390 Exercise Physiology (4 credits)
KIN 440 Senior Research I (2 credits)

Choose one of the following two Programming Courses:
KIN 350 Scientific Principles of Strength and Conditioning (3 credits)
KIN 392 Exercise Testing and Prescription (3 credits)

Choose six credit hours from the following Advanced Topics:
KIN 409 Exercise Pharmacology (3 credits)
KIN 410 Biomechanics (3 credits)*
KIN 412 Sports Nutrition (3 credits)
KIN 441 Senior Research II (3 credits)
KIN 460 Special Topics

*Choose one - Neuropsychology requirement*:
PSYC 255 Brain and Behavior (3 credits)
PSYC 324 Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
PSYC 350 Health Psychology (3 credits)
PSYC 360 Behavioral Pharmacology (3 credits)
PSYC 402 Psychology of Sensation and Perception (3 credits)
PYSC 403 Behavioral Neuroscience (3 credits)

+ = satisfies a general education requirement
WI = writing intensive

Grade of C or better required for BIOL 230, BIOL 232, and all KIN courses for this major.

*Substitutions
Students who enter the SAU 3 + 2-1/2 DPT program after their junior year may make the following substitutions in the 1st year of the DPT Program (4th year undergraduate):

  • DPT 540 Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology may replace the Neuropsychology requirement
  • DPT 530 Kinesiology/Biomechanics may replace KIN 410 Biomechanics
  • DPT 650 Issues in Research I may replace KIN 441 Senior Research II
Plan to Graduate in 4 years

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science.

This plan assumes the student has met the foreign language requirement. Current students should use MySAU Portal and consult with an advisor to determine graduation requirements.

You do not need to take the College Reading or pre-College Math class(es).

See below for the Exercise Science degree in Three Years (DPT Track).

First Year

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
+ENGL 101 English Composition 3 +BIOL 200 Gen. Biology II OR CHEM 106 Gen. Chem II 4
+BIOL 199 Gen. Biology OR CHEM 105 Gen. Chemistry 4 +PSYC 105 Intro to Psychology 3
+MATH 171 Elementary Functions 3 +COMM 129, 132, 203, 228, or 329 3
+Creative Arts elective 2-3 +PHIL 101, 201, 207, 208, 210, 217 3
KIN 101 Foundations of Kinesiology 2 +IL 101 Information Literacy 1
+KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1
TOTAL 14-15 credits TOTAL 15 credits

Sophomore Year

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning 3 BIOL 232 Human A&P II 4
BIOL 230 Human A&P I 4 +CHEM 106 Gen. Chem. II OR BIOL 200 Gen. Biology II 4
+CHEM 105 Gen. Chemistry OR BIOL 199 Gen. Biology 4 KIN 282 Health, Illness, and Well-Being Across the Lifespan 3
+THEO 101, 102, 103, 107, 110, 120, 130, 132, 160 3 KIN 216 Exercise and Sport Psychology 3
+KIN Physical Activity 1 Elective 3
TOTAL 15 credits TOTAL 17 credits

Junior Year

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
PHYS 203 College Physics I -or- CHEM 207 Organic Chem. -or- PHYS 251 Gen. Physics I: Mechanics 4 PHYS 204/CHEM 208 OR PHYS 253/CHEM 319&320 4
PSYC 255, 324, 350, 360, 402, or 403 3-4 KIN 350 Sci Prin Strength and Cond. -or- KIN 392 Exercise Testing/Prescription 3
KIN 361 Functional and Structural Kinesiology  3 +Humanities Elective 3
WI-KIN 390 (must take at SAU) Exercise Physiology 4 WI-KIN 240 Nutrition Concepts 3
Elective 3
TOTAL 14-15 credits TOTAL 16 credits

Senior Year

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
KIN 440 Senior Research I 2 KIN 409 Exercise Pharmacology, 410 Biomechanics, 412 Sports Nutrition, 441 Senior Research II, or 460 Special Topics 3
KIN 409 Exercise Pharmacology, 410 Biomechanics, 412 Sports Nutrition, or 460 Special Topics 3 +PHIL/THEO/Catholic Studies Elective 300-level 3
+PHIL/THEO/Catholic Studies Elective 3 Electives 9
+Humanities Elective 3
Elective 3
TOTAL 14 TOTAL 15

WI=writing intensive
+=satisfies a general education requirement

Plan to Graduate in 4 years (MPAS Track)

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and a plan to continue at St. Ambrose University in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program.

This plan assumes the student has met the foreign language requirement. Current students should use MySAU Portal and consult with an advisor to determine graduation requirements.

You do not need to take the College Reading or pre-College Math class(es).

Year One

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
+ENGL 101 English Composition 3 +BIOL 200 Gen. Biology II OR CHEM 106 Gen. Chem II 4
+BIOL 199 Gen. Biology OR CHEM 105 Gen. Chemistry 4 +PSYC 105 Intro to Psychology 3
+MATH 171 Elementary Functions 3 +COMM 129 Public Speaking 3
+Creative Arts elective 2-3 +PHIL 101, 201, 207, 208, 210, 217 3
KIN 101 Foundations of Kinesiology 2 +IL 101 Information Literacy 1
HS 250 Medical Terminology 1
TOTAL 14-15 credits TOTAL 15 credits

Year Two

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning 3 BIOL 232 Human A&P II 4
BIOL 230 Human Anatomy & Physiology I 4 +CHEM 106 Gen. Chem. II -or- BIOL 200 Gen. Biology II 4
+CHEM 105 Gen. Chemistry -or- BIOL 199 Gen. Biology 4 KIN 282 Health, Illness, and Well-Being Across the Lifespan 3
+THEO 101, 102, 103, 107, 110, 120, 130, 132, 160 3 KIN 216 Exercise and Sport Psychology 3
+KIN Physical Activity 1 Elective 3
TOTAL 15 credits TOTAL 17 credits

Year Three

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
CHEM 207 Organic Chemistry I 4 CHEM 208 Organic Chemistry II 4
PSYC 324 Abnormal Psychology 3 KIN 350 Sci Prin Strength and Cond. -or- KIN 392 Exercise Testing/Prescription 3
KIN 361 Functional and Structural Kinesiology  3 +Humanities Elective (ENGL) 3
#WI-KIN 390 (must take at SAU) Exercise Physiology 4 #WI-KIN 240 Nutrition Concepts 3
PSYCH 212 Lifespan Psychology 3
TOTAL 14 credits TOTAL 16 credits

Year Four

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
KIN 440 Senior Research I 2 KIN 400 elective (KIN 409 Exercise Pharmacology recommended) 3
CHEM 319 Biochemistry 3-4 +PHIL 310 Biomedical Ethics 3
+PHIL/THEO/Catholic Studies Elective 3 KIN 400 elective (if KIN 608 not taken) 3
+Humanities Elective 3 BIOL 251 Microbiology 4
Elective 3 Elective 3
TOTAL 14-15 TOTAL 16

WI=writing intensive
+=satisfies a general education requirement
#One of these two courses must be taken at SAU

Plan to Graduate in 3 Years (DPT Track)
  • DPT pre-requisites are bolded; a grade of "C" or above is required in all prerequisites. "C-" does not meet this requirement.
  • Order of courses taken can be varied. Choice of general education electives can be varied in consultation with undergraduate advisor. The prerequisite of the Physical Therapy program is an upper level Psychology/Sociology course, this can serve a dual purpose if it also is one that meets the general education requirements.
  • Students entering the SAU 3 + 2 ½ DPT program after their junior year may make the following substitutions in the first year if the DPT program (4th year undergraduate): DPT 540 is an acceptable substitute for PSYC 403. DPT 530 Kinesiology/Biomechanics will substitute for KIN 410. DPT 650 will serve to replace KIN 441.
  • Have taken three years of foreign language in high school or two semesters in college.
  • Extended Exploration of Arts & Sciences includes two additional courses in philosophy, theology or Catholic studies (one at 300 level) AND Option 3, Breadth of Study in the Arts and Sciences to include one additional course each of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Year One

FallCreditSpringCredit
+BIOL 199 or CHEM 105 4 +BIOL 200 or CHEM 106 4
KIN 101 Foundations of Kinesiology 2 +PSYC 105 Intro to Psychology 3
+MATH 171 Elementary Functions 3 +PHIL 101, 201, 207, 208, 210, 217 3
+Creative Arts Elective 2-3 +COMM 129, 132, 203, 228,  329 3
+ENGL 101 Written Communication 3 +IL 101 Information Literacy 1
+KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1 +Humanities Elective 3
Total Credits 15-16 Total Credits 17

Year Two

FallCreditsSpringCredits
STAT 213 Applied Reasoning 3 BIOL 232 Human Anatomy & Physics II 4
BIOL 230 Human Anatomy & Physics I 4 +CHEM 106 or BIOL 200 4
+CHEM 105 or BIOL 199 4 KIN 282 Health, Illness, and Well-Being Across the Lifespan 3
THEO 101, 102, 103, 107, 110, 120, 130, 132, or 160 3 KIN 216 Exercise & Sport Psychology 3
+Humanities elective 3 #WI-KIN 240 Nutrition Concepts 3
Total Credits 17 Total Credits 17

Year Three

FallCreditSpringCredit
PHYS 203 College Physics I 4 PHYS 204 College Physics II 4
Elective 3 KIN 350 or KIN 392 3
KIN 361 Functional & Structural Kines. 3 +PHIL/THEO/Catholic Studies Elective 300-level 3
#WI-KIN 390+L Exercise Physiology 4 Elective 3
+PHIL/THEO/Catholic Studies Elective 3 KIN 440 Senior Research I 2
Total Credits 17 Total Credits 15


#One of these two must be taken at SAU to satisfy writing intensive
+Meets General Education requirement
**Must have C grade or better

Scholarships and Grants

First-Year

St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based upon your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2022-2023

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Please note, while St. Ambrose University has a test-optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for both admission to specific programs and/or eligibility for top academic scholarships. Scholarships and grants are renewable for four years of undergraduate study. 

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies - up to four years - as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, achieve certain GPA requirements (see below), and remain a full-time student. 

Download helpful PDFs of this information here: First-Year Iowa Resident or First-Year Out of State Resident


IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Iowa Resident On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $15,000-$21,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Iowa Resident On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Iowa Resident Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000-$16,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Iowa Resident Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Out of State On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $17,000-$23,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Out of State On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Athletic Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Out of State Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $14,000-$17,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Out of State Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1.


Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant. FAFSA deadline is July 1.
Award: $6,800

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a Expected Family Contribution (EFC) threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,345 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
To qualify, you must file a FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 15 and you must qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter. Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $1,850

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


Apply Visit Info

Contact


Sandra Lund

Kinesiology Department
Hayes Hall 229
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6042
LundSandraT@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.