Degree type(s): Bachelor's
Degree field(s): Healthcare
Location(s): Bismarck, ND

Exercise Science Bachelor’s Degree Program

Four year degree; Bachelor of Science (BS)

The Exercise Science bachelor’s degree program at the University of Mary prepares graduates for higher education opportunities, entry-level clinical roles in cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, adult fitness, and for personal training and leadership roles in the fitness industry. The curriculum emphasizes clinical competencies and a strong foundation in the sciences, and promotes community involvement.

The Exercise Science bachelor’s degree program is ideal preparation for a master’s degree program in clinical exercise physiology, kinesiology, respiratory care, occupational therapy, doctorate in physical therapy, or other allied health/health disciplines. 

The exercise science program is offered as a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Mary’s main campus in Bismarck, North Dakota. The exercise science degree can be completed in 2.6 years, 3 years, or 4 years. A curriculum map is available for each. Students may also elect to study in Rome for a semester.

Exercise Science Program Highlights

The exercise science program at the University of Mary promotes the values of a healthy and holistic lifestyle, empowering students to learn through experiences, interactions, and application of knowledge and skills:

  • Complete your exercise science degree in 2.6 years, 3 years, or 4 years.
  • Gain hands-on experience through:
      • Practicum and internship experiences in clinical, community, geriatric, strength and conditioning, and sport enhancement environments.
      • Staffing The Exercise Clinic on our main campus, a unique supervised exercise program for clinical populations
      • Service learning via our Personalized Exercise Program and other service learning opportunities.
  • Obtain research experience working in small groups together with accomplished faculty who bring professional experience to their classrooms.
  • Acquire clinical skills such as electrocardiography and maximal exercise testing as well as assessment of health risk and other fitness parameters.
  • Incorporate Christian, Catholic, Benedictine values into your career and life, gaining valuable lessons for professional and personal success.
  • Take part in a challenging but supportive program with a graduation rate in the upper 90th percentile.

Career Outlook for Exercise Science Majors

Our clinically focused exercise science program offers a broad career outlook with opportunities working at: hospitals in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation; community fitness environments for a variety of populations (children, adolescents, adults, older adults who are apparently healthy, at risk, or have known disease); sport and athlete enhancement programs; strength and conditioning for high school, college and professional athletes; and occupational health and wellness. Career opportunities are expected to grow by 19 percent from 2012 to 2022.*

The Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science also provides a strong science foundation and evidence-based curriculum that prepares graduates for higher levels of learning at the master’s and doctorate levels in areas such as clinical exercise physiology, kinesiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, chiropractic, physician assistant, and other health professions.

*U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

The exercise science internship allows students to gain concentrated experience in their focused area of interest.  The internship may be taken for 6 to 12 credits (240 to 480 hours).


Major in Exercise Science:

BIO 103, 207, 208; CHE 109 and 110, or 111 and 112; MAT 103, 180 or 204; ATH 238, 316, 317; PSY 201, 207, 406; PHY 203, 304; PED 159, 360; EXS 302, 305, 336, 400, 401, 402, 406, 420, 445, 452, 455, 465, 466, 467; HPS 206, NUR 319, ALU 499

Even as one of the most affordable private universities in the nation, the University of Mary does offer a variety of scholarships. In fact, 99% of main campus undergraduate students receive some form of scholarship! 

Some scholarships are available for specific academic programs, such as nursing, while other scholarships are available for certain student populations, such as military and veteran students

We strongly encourage you to contact your personal admissions representative to discover all of the options that might be available to you. In many cases, a program specific scholarship is just one component of a complete financial aid package. 

Our admissions professionals will work together with our Office of Financial Assistance to ensure that you get the best financial aid package possible to finance your education. 

Students may declare a major in exercise science during their freshman year. However, acceptance to the professional exercise science program requires an application process which typically occurs in the spring of the sophomore year. Students will be accepted during the spring semester to begin course work in the fall semester of the same calendar year. Learn more about the professional exercise science program application process.

Minimum criteria for selection includes completion of pre-requisite course work with a cumulative 2.5 grade point average and a 2.75 grade point average in the prerequisite courses.    

Pre-requisite courses include: ATH 238, BIO 103, BIO 207, BIO 207, CHE 109 (or 111), CHE 110 (or 112), HPS 206, MAT 103, PED 157, PSY 201, PSY 207

Acceptance at the University of Mary does not automatically qualify you to pursue a program in one of the academic programs of study. Application requirements are specific to each major or academic program.

Apply Now

We recommend consulting your advisor for details. Applications are reviewed by the faculty members of the program. You will be notified that you have been admitted, admitted provisionally, or denied admission to the program.

Program Advisors: Jason Kobes (Fieldwork Coordinator); Kayla Dressler (Exercise Clinic Coordinator); Dr. Moran Saghiv (Research Coordinator); Dr. Jill Nustad (Program Director/Department Chair)

For more information about the Exercise Science bachelor’s degree program, please contact the Department of Exercise Physiology:

If you are thinking about pursuing a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, you might also be interested in the following undergraduate programs offered at the University of Mary: