We blend academic preparation, practical application and personal attention.

All of our students receive a strong foundation in the biological sciences including human anatomy, human physiology, exercise physiology and kinesiology. On the practical side, you'll have a variety of internship opportunities at recognized clinics, corporations and fitness centers throughout the Midwest. In your senior year, you'll collect and analyze data as part of a senior research project that you'll present and potentially even publish.


"Exercise Science is a springboard into all the allied health fields. We've had students go into physical and occupational therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, athletic training, nursing, and medical school." - Professor Kevin Darr

Career Options

The Exercise Science / Physical Education department has graduates in all of the following careers:

  • athletic trainer
  • occupational/physical therapist
  • exercise physiologist
  • nursing
  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • corporate fitness
  • chiropractic physician
  • teaching
  • coaching
  • personal training
  • sports nutritionist
  • sports information director
  • sports psychologist
  • sport facility director
  • health/fitness program directors
  • physician
  • physician assistant

Mission Statement

The departmental mission for all of our undergraduate students is to develop creativity and critical thinking skills required of responsible professionals in order to develop and improve the health and wellness of those in the local and global communities. By incorporating academic disciplines from across campus and hands-on experiences both in and out of the classroom, the department prepares students with a blend of academic diversity and practical application.

The Department of Exercise Science and Athletic Training (ESAT) offers undergraduate majors in exercise science and physical education, as well as a graduate degree track in athletic training via the exercise science major. Within the exercise science major there are three tracks: exercise science, pre-professional (intended for graduate school preparation), and the exercise science/pre-athletic training which leads to the graduate program in athletic training.

Exercise Science Major:

The Exercise Science major is designed for students pursuing future careers in healthcare, wellness, strength & conditioning, and fitness. All students earning this degree are required to complete a minor. While it should be understood that recipients of this degree may need further educational preparation for graduate school, a minor will assist with marketability and job placement. Additionally, students should consider earning outside certifications (ACE, ACSM, CSCS, etc.), which will increase their job opportunities upon graduation.

Exercise Science/Pre-Professional Major:

The Exercise Science/Pre-Professional major is designed for students pursuing future careers in the research and/or clinical fields. With the proper pre-requisite courses, students may apply to physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant or medical school. Additionally, students will also be prepared for advanced degrees (Master or Doctorate) in fields such as exercise physiology, sports psychology, pedagogy, or biomechanics. The Pre-Professional major is designed to ensure that the student has most, if not all, of the required courses to enter a graduate program upon completion of the BS degree. As each graduate program requires slightly different entry requirements, students are strongly encouraged to work with their advisor to ensure that all requirements are completed upon graduation. Students should identify potential graduate schools by the end of their sophomore year to ensure adequate time to complete required courses.

Physical Education Major:

The Physical Education major offers two options. The non- teaching major prepares highly effective and reflective young professionals with instructional techniques and skills to work with all age groups. Students graduating from this program are prepared to seek careers in youth activity programs, recreation, corporate fitness and sport-related commercial fields.

Adrian College’s Physical Education (K-12 teacher certification) major prepares highly effective and reflective young professionals with extensive professional field experience and instructional techniques to work with diverse multiage students in K-12 classrooms. Students will develop the knowledge, skills, and personal social skills to be effective, reflective movement educators pursuing healthy active lifestyle education throughout a lifetime.

Accelerated combined B.S./M.S. degree program in Exercise Science and Athletic Training

The combined B.S. in Exercise Science / Pre-Athletic Training & M.S. in Athletic Training degree programs combine requirements from the Exercise Science major and Athletic Training major for the completion of two degrees in five years. Athletic trainers are board certified allied health care professionals who specialize in preventing, recognizing, managing and rehabilitating injuries that result from physical activity. Students who want to become athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum and pass a comprehensive National Exam administered by the Board of Certification. Years one and two of the Athletic Training Program comprise the Candidacy Phase, and then students apply to be retained in the Professional Phase of the degree. By the end of the fifth year of study, students will have earned a B.S. in Exercise Science / Pre-Athletic Training, an M.S. in Athletic Training, and be eligible to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam.

Potential Careers:

Students graduating from the ESAT department have pursued careers in: teaching (a) (K-12), coaching, personal training, health promotion, and sports administration, (b) graduate study in areas including, adapted physical education, biomechanics, coaching, exercise physiology, growth and motor development, sport psychology, sport sociology, and sport administration; and (c) professional study in medically-related fields such as medicine (allopathic or osteopathic), physician assistant, physical therapy, athletic training, and occupational-therapy.

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The typical Adrian College student is anything but typical. They possess drive, ambition, initiative, spirit and a bit of moxie.

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