School of Health Sciences and Education

Exercise Physiology, Bachelor of Science

Introduction

Earn an Accredited Degree in Exercise Physiology 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 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 

choose from multiple degree programs and concentrations
hands-on learning opportunities, including internships
on-campus, state-of-the-art technology and facilities Human Performance Lab | Saint Francis University
The SFU LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Exercise Physiology the Saint Francis Way

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

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.
  • 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 of the local communities from children to older adults. We take the concept of "learn by doing" to a higher level.
  • Networking & Research Opportunities:  Participation 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.
  • On-campus, 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. 

 

CURRICULUM & COURSES

What You’ll Learn in the Undergraduate Exercise Physiology Program

Exercise Physiologists study the physiological responses to physical activity, and then apply this knowledge 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 Paths: 

    Degree Path Description Course Catalog  Plan of Study

     

    Exercise Physiology, B.S.

     

    flexible program to allow students to focus on post-baccalaureate goals

    Course

    Catalog

    Plan of Study

    Concentrations Description

    Course

    Catalog

    Plan

    of Study

    Fitness Professionals Concentration prepare for  employment in health and fitness industries Course Catalog Plan of Study
    Graduate Allied Health Concentration prepare for graduate education  Course Catalog Plan of Study
    Pre-Medicine Concentration prepare for medical school Course Catalog Plan of Study
    Minors      
    Diving   Course Catalog  
    Exercise Physiology   Course Catalog  
    Movement Science   Course Catalog  
  • Accelerated/Direct Entry Graduate Paths: 

    Degree Path

    Description

     

    Course Catalog

     

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

     

    3 years of pre-professional studies and  3 years of professional study in the DPT program

    Course

    Catalog

    Exercise Physiology, B.S., leading to Master of Science in Cancer Care 3+2

    this track allows the student to finish both degrees faster

    Course

    Catalog

  • As a Graduate of our Exercise Physiology, You Will Have an Inpact! You Will be Able to:

    • Assess a clients readiness for participation in a fitness or exercise program
    • Determine safe and effective exercise programs and assess results to develop exercise prescriptions
    • Optimize adoption 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 Facility Description
    DiSepio Institute for Rural Health & Wellness The 30,000 sqft 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 Name Description
    Body Composition (Bod Pod, InBody770)
    Devices 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 System Analyzes the exercise capacity, energy expenditure, and risk of developing chronic disease
    Anaerobic Testing Cycle Ergometer Tests sprinting ability, fatigue resistance and estimates muscle fiber type and distribution
    Biodex Isokinetic Dynamometer Evaluates strength in all  major muscle groups of the body
    NeuroCom Dynamic Posturography Assists 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 Capture Analyzes human movement and injury risk
    Kistler Force Plates Provides an in-depth analysis of force production during a variety of activities
    Muscle Sound Ultrasound Provides 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, assuring 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 verifies the quality of the educational experience you've received meets the standards of the profession.

  • Data Results

     

     

    Year of Graduation

    National Certification 

    Exam Results

    Graduate Placement Rate

    2022 Pass = 93%

    Employed within 1 year = 7%

    Continuing Education = 93%

    Total % Placement = 100%

    2021

    Pass = 100%

    Employed within 1 year = 14%

    Continuing Education = 86%

    Total % Placement = 100%

    2020

    Pass = 100%

    Employed within 1 year = 14%

    Continuing Education = 72%

    Total % Placement = 86%

    Three-Year Average

    Pass = 98%

    Employed within 1 year = 12%

    Continuing Education = 84%

    Total % Placement = 95%

Benefit from Our Experienced Exercise Physiology Faculty

The Exercise Physiology faculty are life-long scholars and teachers that 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
814.471.1132
kwisniewski@francis.edu

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: 

Professions 2016 Projected Employment 2026 Change Percent Growth Numeric Median Salary as of May 2020
Exercise Physiologist 15,100 17,100 13% 2,400 $50,280
Athletic Trainers 27,800 34,100 23% 7,000 $49,860
Physical Therapists 239,800 306,900 21% 49,100 $91,010

Orthotists and Prosthetists

(2018-28)

9,100 10,900 20% 1,800 $69,120

 

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% 2020-2030- faster than the average for all occupations. 
  • Physical Therapy is expected to grow by 21%, 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
FAQs

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?

      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.