School of Health Sciences and Education

Exercise Physiology, Bachelor of Science


Earn an Accredited Exercise Physiology Degree from Saint Francis University

Join one of just eleven CAAHEP-accredited Exercise Science programs in Pennsylvania to achieve your goals of helping people maintain health, fitness, and performance through physical activity.


Our unique, flexible Exercise Science program allows you to choose the degree path that best fits your goals—whether you’re interested in health and wellness, fitness, physical therapy, cancer care, or medicine. Hands-on learning experiences, cutting-edge technology in our state-of-the-art facilities, built-in internship opportunities, multiple concentrations, and accelerated programs will prepare you for your chosen career.


on-campus program 

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Multiple degree programs and concentrations
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Hands-on learning opportunities, including internships
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On-campus, state-of-the-art technology and facilities Human Performance Lab | Saint Francis University
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Exercise Physiology the Saint Francis Way

Our flexible Exercise Physiology program allows you to tailor your education to align with your career goals.  We are dedicated to providing practical, hands-on experiences for our students. 

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Our Exercise Physiology program offers:


  • Accelerated, direct entry pathways to our Doctor of Physical Therapy or a Master of Science in Exercise Oncology.
  • Learning opportunities both on campus in the classroom and off-campus in the community plus opportunities for internships and clinical experiences.
  • Can choose concentrations and minors that take a multidisciplinary approach to prepare you for a wide variety of career opportunities.

The Exercise Physiology Student Experience 

If you are passionate about working with people and improving their quality of life through a better understanding and application of human movement the Exercise Physiology program at Saint Francis University has many opportunities for you. 

Here are some of the experiences that our students enjoy:


  • Hands-on learning in the community built into the curriculum: As part of your courses, you will work with members local communities -from children to older adults. We take the concept of "learn by doing" to a higher level.
  • Networking & Research Opportunities:  You will have the opportunity to participate in professional activities including attending and presenting your research at professional conferences such as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine
  • The EXPO Club:  Not only can you join a student-run social club to talk about all things exercise, but also to serve as a fundraising and outreach organization for students in the major.
  • State-of-the-art facilities: Students can provide hands-on, supervised exercise interventions to clients through our on-campus Human Performance Lab and Fitness Center in the DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness. 



What You’ll Learn in the Undergraduate Exercise Physiology Program

To learn what it takes to become an exercise physiologist, you'll study the physiological responses to physical activity, and then apply this knowledge as they work to improve or maintain a patient’s health, fitness, and performance.  Our program takes a multidisciplinary approach to focus your studies based on your specific career goals. Our focus on hands-on, practical education will also prepare you for the workforce with internship and clinical opportunities.

  • Undergraduate Path
  • Accelerated/Graduate Path
  • Learning Objectives
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities
  • Undergraduate Exercise Physiology Degree Paths: 

    Degree PathDescriptionCourse Catalog Plan of Study


    Exercise Physiology, B.S.


    flexible program  allows students to focus on post-baccalaureate goals


    Catalog - 23/24





    of Study

    Pre-Medicine Concentrationprepare for medical schoolCourse Catalog - 23/24Plan of Study
    Diving Course Catalog -23/24 
    Exercise Physiology Course Catalog - 23/24 
    Movement Science Course Catalog - 23/24 
  • Accelerated/Direct Entry Graduate Paths: 

    Degree Path


    Course CatalogPlan of Study


    3+3-year Exercise Physiology leading to Doctor of Physical Therapy


    3 years of pre-professional studies and  3 years of professional study in the DPT programCourse Catalog - 23/24

    Plan of Study through 2023


    Plan of Study starting 2024

    4+3-year Exercise Physiology leading to Doctor of Physical Therapy4 years of pre-professional studies and  3 years of professional study in the DPT programCourse Catalog  - 23/24Plan of Study
  • As a Graduate of Our Exercise Physiology Program, You Will Have an Impact! You Will be Able to:

    • Assess a clients readiness for participation in a fitness or exercise program
    • Determine safe and effective exercise programs for clients and assess their results to develop exercise prescriptions
    • Optimize adoption of, and adherence to,  exercise and other healthy behaviors through communication, motivation, and behavioral strategies
    • Develop and disseminate risk management guidelines for a health/fitness facility to reduce member, employee, and business risk
  • Saint Francis Offers State-of-the-Art Facilities Along with Equipment & Technology:

    Name of FacilityDescription
    DiSepio Institute for Rural Health & WellnessThe 30,000-square-foot facility promotes health and rehab services to members of the SFU community and members of our surrounding communities
    Evergreen Exercise Clinic of the Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship (CRCS)Comprehensive interdisciplinary center that provides outpatient services to all cancer patients and survivors in need
    Human Performance Lab

    Outfitted with equipment & technology not found at any other location in the region


    Equipment & Technology NameDescription
    Body Composition (Bod Pod, InBody770)
    A device used to determine what your body weight is made of (i.e., fat mass, lean body mass, muscle mass) and estimate resting energy expenditure.
    Cardiovascular-Metabolic SystemAnalyzes the exercise capacity, energy expenditure, and risk of developing chronic disease
    Anaerobic Testing Cycle ErgometerTests sprinting ability, fatigue resistance and estimates muscle fiber type and distribution
    Biodex Isokinetic DynamometerEvaluates strength in all  major muscle groups of the body
    NeuroCom Dynamic PosturographyAssists in the determination of risk for falling and balance impairments
    DARI Motion Capture

    A new markerless motion analysis system that can assess athletic readiness to help prevent injuries. Overview

    Vicon Motion CaptureAnalyzes human movement and injury risk
    Kistler Force PlatesProvides an in-depth analysis of force production during a variety of activities
    Muscle Sound UltrasoundProvides a detailed look at the size and quality of your muscles


  • Accreditation
  • Data Results
  • Accreditation

    The Exercise Physiology Program at Saint Francis University has been continuously accredited since January 16, 2014,  by the  Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP)

    Exercise Physiology Accreditation Logo

    CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. CAAHEP reviews individual education programs to make sure they meet the standards of the profession. The CAAHEP standards by which these programs are measured have been developed primarily by the professionals involved in each discipline, are approved by each profession, and are intended to reflect required knowledge and skills that a person needs to be able to successfully function within that profession. CAAHEP standards focus on quality outcomes, ensuring that educational programs are preparing competent entry-level healthcare professionals. That means that CAAHEP-accredited programs provide the educational foundation necessary to begin a successful career in many allied health professions. Earning a degree from an accredited program affirms that the quality of the educational experience you've received meets the standards of the profession.

  • Exam Pass and Placement Rates



    National Certification Exam Performance


    Year of

    SFU First-time
    Pass Rates

    National First-time
    Pass Rates

    Graduate Placement


    2023ACSM EPC = 100% Employed within 1 year = 5%
     NSCA CSCS = 11% Continuing Education = 89%
     Total = 68% of students Total % Placement = 94%
    2022ACSM EPC = 100%ACSM EPC = 66%Employed within 1 year = 7%
     NSCA CSCS = 75%NSCA CSCS = 38%Continuing Education = 93%
     Total = 92% of student Total % Placement = 100%
    2021ACSM EPC = 100%ACSM EPC = 70%Employed within 1 year = 14%
     NSCA CSCS = 100%NSCA CSCS = 57%Continuing Education = 86%
     Total = 100% of students Total % Placement = 100%



    ACSM EPC = 100%ACSM EPC = 71%Employed within 1 year = 9%
     NSCA CSCS = 62%NSCA CSCS = 53%Continuing Education = 89%
     Total = 87% of students Total % Placement = 98%
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Benefit from Our Experienced Exercise Physiology Faculty

The SFU Exercise Physiology faculty are life-long scholars and teachers who are dedicated to building a strong foundation in the classroom and blending it with practical hands-on skills.

Kristofer S. Wisniewski, Ph.D., RCEP, CET, EIM, CSCS

Associate Professor and Chairperson

Department of Exercise Physiology

Director, Evergreen Exercise Clinic

Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship

Assistant Director, Human Performance Laboratory

DiSepio Institute for Rural Health & Wellness

Co-Chair, Institutional Review Board

Career Outlook in Exercise Physiology

Career paths in Exercise Physiology are varied, ranging from athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, and fitness program directors to physical therapists, clinical exercise physiologists, and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialists, among others. Those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology are often employed in the fitness industry, while master’s and doctoral students typically find clinical, research, or teaching positions. Whichever degree you choose, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job growth is above average for these industries. With our program’s variety of options, you can choose the path that is right for you!


 Salary Potential: 

Profession2016 Projected Employment2026 ChangePercent GrowthNumericMedian Salary as of May 2020
Exercise Physiologist15,10017,10013%2,400$50,280
Athletic Trainers27,80034,10023%7,000$49,860
Physical Therapists239,800306,90021%49,100$91,010

Orthotists and Prosthetists



What can I do with an exercise science degree?

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics-occupational outlook


Growth Industry:

  • Growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: 
    • Growth in Exercise Physiology is expected to increase at a rate of 13% from 2020-2030- faster than the average for all occupations. 
    • Physical Therapy is expected to grow by 21%, which is much faster than average, over the 10-year period.
    • Athletic Training is expected to grow 23% for the same time period.

SFU Grads have had successful careers in: 

  • Clinical Exercise Physiology / Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation 
  • Athletic Training
  • Strength and Conditioning Coaching
  • Health and Fitness Programming
  • Physical Therapy
  • Personal Training
  • Exercise Oncology

Frequently Asked Questions About Exercise Physiology and Saint Francis University

  • What can I do with a degree in Exercise Physiology?

    With a degree in Exercise Physiology, you can become that someone who changes the face of:

    • Clinical Exercise Physiology/Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
    • Athletic Training
    • Strength and Conditioning  
    • Health and Fitness Programming
    • Physical Therapy
    • Personal Training
    • Exercise Oncology
  • Are there internship opportunities?

    Yes!  Robust internships are available in the following areas:

    • Athletic Training
    • Cardiac Rehabilitation
    • Exercise Oncology
    • Community Health & Wellness
    • Fitness Facility Management
    • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
    • Research
    • Sports Performance Enhancement
    • Strength and Conditioning
  • Why does Accreditation matter?

    Accreditation ensures that a program meets specific standards and guidelines to assure that healthcare personnel are well-prepared and qualified.