Exercise Physiology | Saint Francis University
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Exercise Physiology

Earn a bachelor of science degree or minor in Exercise Physiology. Our program focuses on a foundation of anatomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.

    • Unique concentrations for Exercise Physiology majors
    • Exercise Physiology accelerated programs
    • Exercise Physiology Curriculum
    • Ex Phys to Cancer Care
    • Concentrations such as Fitness Professionals, Physical Therapy, Cancer Care, Graduate Allied Health, and Pre-Med allow you to tailor your degree to your career aspirations. 

    • The 4+3-year Exercise Physiology-to-Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a popular track. 

    • We are one of only 10 CAAHEP-accredited Exercise Science Programs in Pennsylvania, and follow the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine.

    • The 3+2-year Exercise Physiology-to-Master of Science in Cancer Care program allows you to finish both degrees faster without having to reapply.

  • Flash Facts about Exercise Physiology4

    • Our curriculum follows the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine.  
    • Concentrations allow you to tailor your track to support your career aspirations. 
    • 4+3-year ExPhys-to-Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
    • Accelerated 3+2-year ExPhys-to-Master of Science in Cancer Care allows you to finish both degrees faster.
    • Graduate tracks available for ExPhys majors, such as SFU's unique Master of Science in Cancer Care. 
    • We're accredited! We are one of only 10 CAAHEP-accredited Exercise Science Programs in Pennsylvania.

    • Degrees & concentrations
    • Hands-on opportunities
    • On-Campus Centers
    • Careers and Salary
    • Accreditation
    Degrees & concentrations

    Exercise Physiology, B.S. Course Catalog Major Requirements

    The Saint Francis University Exercise Physiology Program is flexible and allows students to select exercise physiology and non-exercise physiology elective courses  to focus their studies based on post-baccalaureate career goals. Electives are available for those interested in the Fitness Wellness Industry, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Physical Therapy (EXPT), or Medicine.

    There are five possible concentrations:

    • Fitness Professionals Concentration: prepares students for immediate employment in the wellness, health promotion, and fitness industries, and includes courses in accounting and marketing. ( Download Plan of Study)
    • Graduate Allied Health Concentration: prepares students for graduate education in Exercise Physiology, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Sciences, and Occupational Therapy.  ( Download Plan of Study)
    • Pre-Medicine Concentration: prepares students for careers in Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, Podiatry or Veterinary sciences. Pre-medical students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research. ( Download Plan of Study |  Course Catalog Major Requirements )
    • EXPT Exercise Physiology Physical Therapy 4+3 Concentration
    • BS Exercise Physiology to MS Cancer Care 3+2 Concentration


      Hands-on opportunities

      Experiential (AKA "hands-on") learning is an important part of preparing you for a successful career in Exercise Physiology. Here are some of the opportunities you'll have at your fingertips:

      • On-campus, state-of-the-art facilities allow students to provide hands-on, supervised exercise interventions for clients. Explore our centers: DiSepio Institute for Rural Health & Wellness, Evergreen Exercise Clinic of the Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship (CRCS)Human Performance Lab
      • Robust internships are available in the following fields:
        • Athletic Training
        • Cardiac Rehabilitation
        • Community Health & Wellness
        • Fitness Facility Management
        • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
        • Research
        • Sports Performance Enhancement
        • Strength & Conditioning
      • Networking & Research: 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.
      • Study Abroad opportunities such as a semester in Ambialet, France. The program is based in the village overlooking the Tarn River, but includes extended stays in Paris and Barcelona. 
      • The Expo Club: Not only can you join a social club to talk about all things Exercise, but also to serve as a fund raising and outreach organization for the major.

      And more! Explore all student opportunities

        On-Campus Centers

        On-campus, state-of-the-art facilities allow students to provide hands-on, supervised exercise interventions to clients. Explore our centers:

        • DiSepio Institute for Rural Health & Wellness: The  30,000 square foot facility promotes health promotion and rehabilitation services to the members of the Saint Francis University community as well as to the members of our surrounding communities.
        • Evergreen Exercise Clinic of the Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship (CRCS): A comprehensive interdisciplinary center developed to provide outpatient services to all cancer patients and survivors in need. 
        • Human Performance Lab: We offer access to equipment & technology not found at any other location in this region, including: 
          • A BOD POD, an egg-shaped module used by hospitals and research centers world-wide to measure total body fat and lean body mass, and estimate resting energy expenditure.
          • A Cardiovascular-Metabolic system that can analyze the exercise capacity, energy expenditure, and risk of developing chronic disease for any individual.
          • An Anaerobic Testing Cycle Ergometer that is capable of testing your sprinting ability, your fatigue resistance, and estimates your muscle fiber type distribution.
          • A Biodex Isokinetic Dynamometer that evaluates specific deficiencies in strength in all the major muscle groups of the body, comparing one side to the other through varying speeds of resistance.
          • A Motion Analysis system that provides a detailed evaluation of human movement by showing how each joint moves, the timing and coordination of your muscles, and the forces that affect movement.
          • A NeuroCom Dynamic Posturography unit that analyzes the reasons for a balance problem and provides useful information in diagnosing the reasons for lack of balance or a tendency to fall.  This equipment is commonly used for assessing concussions and return-to-play status in athletes or fall risk.
        Careers and Salary

        Career paths in Exercise Physiology are broad ranging from B.S. to Ph.D. level Exercise Physiologists. BS level often are employed in the fitness industry while MS and PhD levels are in Clinical or Research/Teaching positions. 

        Exercise Physiology graduates have had successful careers as:

        • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialists
        • Athletic Trainers 
        • Strength and Conditioning Coaches 
        • Fitness Program Directors
        • Physical Therapists
        • Personal Trainers
        • Clinical Exercise Physiologists

        Growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

        • Growth in Exercise Physiology is expected to increase at a rate of 13% 2016-2026. 
        • Physical Therapy is expected to grow by 28%, much faster than average, over the 10 year period 2016-2026.
        • Athletic Training is expected to grow 23% for the same time period.


        • The median annual wages for exercise physiologists was $49,270 in 2016.
        • The highest 10 percent of employees earn more than $75,000 per year.

        Exercise Physiology Career Outcomes

        Employment by industry source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program accessed August 26, 2019.


        Exercise Physiology Accreditation Logo

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

        What is CAAHEP Accreditation?

        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, assuring that educational programs are preparing competent entry-level health care 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 verifies the quality of the educational experience you've received meets the standards of the profession.

        Why should you care?

        Accreditation in the health-related disciplines also serves a very important role for the public. Along with certification and licensure, accreditation helps to assure that health care personnel are well-prepared and qualified. Accreditation also increases and enhances employment opportunities. 


         Year of Graduation National Certification Exam Results Graduate Placement Rate
         2021Pass = 100%Employed within 1 year = N/A
        Continuing Education = N/A
        Total % Placement = 93%

        Three-year average
        Pass = 100%
        Employed within 1 year = 16%
        Continuing Education = 79.5%
        Total % Placement = 92.2%
         2020Pass = 100%Employed within 1 year = 14%
        Continuing Education = 72%
        Total % Placement = 86%

        Three-year average
        Pass = 100%
        Employed within 1 year = 16%
        Continuing Education = 79.5%
        Total % Placement = 90.67%
         2019Pass = 100%Graduate Placement Rate
        Employed within 1 year = 12.5%
        Continuing Education = 87.5%
        Total % Placement = 100%

        Three-year average
        Pass = 98%
        Employed within 1 year = 17%
        Continuing Education = 81%
        Total % Placement = 93%
         2018Pass = 100% Employed within 1 year = 21%

        Continuing Education = 79%
        Total  % Placement = 86%

        Three-Year Average
         Pass = 100%

        Employed within 1 year = 17%
        Continuing Education = 75%
        Total % Placement = 88%



        • Exercise Physiology Alumni Frank Failace

          Alumni Spotlight

          Frank Failace '16, MS, CSCS, SCCC

          A former trainer for the New York Jets, Frank is currently the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at East Carolina University.

          “I use what I learned at SFU regularly as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. The Exercise Physiology Program at SFU prepares you for life.”