The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology (B.S.E.P.) degree is based on the desired educational content and outcomes (knowledge, skills, and abilities) listed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

The B.S.E.P. degree prepares students to work in two broad career paths: 
--as an exercise physiologist who utilizes exercise training programs to help individuals improve cardiovascular function, body composition, strength, flexibility, and balance as well as help toward preventing or recovering from chronic diseases; and
--as a strength and conditioning professional to help athletes improve their performance or skill in a sport and to prevent and rehabilitate injuries. 

Many graduates in exercise physiology continue on to the MS or PhD in exercise physiology or advanced schooling in related fields such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine, physician assistant, and chiropractic. To help students obtain the prerequisite courses for application to graduate school, the B.S.E.D. degree allows for 23 hours of elective courses in the math and science area.

The program requires a 400-hour internship in an exercise physiology setting. Designed as a 12 credit hour senior level capstone experience, the internship allows students to apply knowledge learned in the classroom, attain work experience, and clarify work goals. Students are placed in hospitals, work sites, university fitness centers, athletic departments, and a variety of private, commercial, and public settings.

Selected Educational Outcomes

Students who graduate with a B.S.E.P. degree will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge in basic functional anatomy, biomechanics, electrocardiography, and physiological responses to exercise.
  2. Knowledge of nutrition and body composition as related to exercise performance and health maintenance.
  3. Knowledge of electrocardiography, submaximal and maximal exercise testing procedures, and techniques related to health and fitness assessments.
  4. Administrative and leadership skills for exercise programs in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings.
  5. Knowledge of assessment, evaluation, and education of various populations in clinical and non-clinical settings regarding physical activity and healthy lifestyles.
  6. Knowledge of training theory and methods for developing physical abilities as they relate to athletic performance.

Examples of Outcome Assessments

Students who graduate with a B.S.E.P. degree will be able to:

  1. Develop, through written, oral, and practical examinations, a scientifically based and medically safe fitness assessment and exercise prescription.
  2. Interpret successfully, through written, oral, and practical examinations, the results of health and fitness assessments and demonstrate proficiency in exercise and nutrition prescription for an individualized program for exercise performance and health maintenance.
  3. Demonstrate applied competency in electrocardiography interpretation, submaximal and maximal exercise testing, which includes gas analysis, body composition analysis techniques, risk stratification utilizing health and fitness assessments, and various other tests to determine aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
  4. Optimize adoption of and adherence to exercise and other healthy behaviors by applying effective behavioral strategies and motivational techniques.
  5. Describe the principles underlying the development of hypertrophy, strength, power, speed, agility, and anaerobic capacity for athletic performance through written, oral, and practical examinations.
  6. Successfully meet VSU guidelines for academic credit for participating in an internship program.
  7. Sit for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Physiologist Certification or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology should declare their major as Health Sciences with an Exercise Physiology concentration. Minimum requirements to be considered for admission to the program are:

  1. a declared Exercise Physiology concentration
  2. completion of all courses in Areas A-F of the Core Curriculum as it pertains to the Exercise Physiology curriculum
  3. a 2.50 cumulative, overall grade point average
  4. a grade of “C” or better in all Area A, D, and F courses, including lab sections. Students not earning a "C" or better in Anatomy 1 and Anatomy II after 2 attempts in either course (excluding a withdrawal pass) are not eligible for admission to Exercise Physiology.
  5. Program Progression and Retention

  6. Once admitted into the program, classes are taken in blocks, 1 through 4, in sequence. Students must maintain a "C" or better in all upper-level HSEP courses. Students who receive three "D," "F," or "WF" grades in upper-level HSEP courses will be dismissed from the program. To be eligible for any third block courses, students must have earned a "C" or better in all first and second block courses. An exception to the third block policy is having to repeat just one second block course. To be eligible for HSEP 4510 Practicum, students must have a returned graduation application from the Registrar and be currently enrolled in all remaining courses required for graduation excluding HSEP 4550 Internship. To be eligible for the fourth block internship (HSEP 4550), students must have a "C" or better in all third block courses and meet all other prerequisites for the course.

Major Requirements

A “C” or better in all B.S.E.P. coursework at the 3000 and 4000 level and a 2.0 cumulative overall grade point average.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology Degree

Core Curriculum60
Core Areas A-E (see VSU Core Curriculum)42
Exercise Physiology majors may follow D.1, D.2, or D.2.b.
Area F Requirements
BIOL 2251K
BIOL 2252K
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II
Electives--Select 10 hours from the from the following:10
Computer Technology for the Workplace
Introduction to Microcomputers and Applications
Course(s) in BIOL, CHEM, MATH, PHYS, or PSYC
Professional Program Requirements60
HSEP 3010Exercise Testing and Prescription I3
HSEP 3011Exercise Testing and Prescription II3
HSEP 3020Fitness and Performance Testing in Exercise Physiology4
HSEP 3050Prevention of Exercise Related Injuries and Conditions3
HSEP 3200Nutrition for Health and Human Performance3
HSEP 3420Exercise Physiology3
HSEP 3430Structural Kinesiology3
HSEP 3650Applied Exercise Musculoskeletal Interventions3
HSEP 4050Principles of Strength and Conditioning for Athletic Performance4
HSEP 4070Exercise Cardiopulmonary Physiology3
HSEP 4080Exercise Electrocardiography3
HSEP 4140Professional Practices in Exercise Physiology3
HSEP 4160Exercise Psychology3
HSEP 4210Clinical Exercise Physiology3
HSEP 4510Exercise Physiology Practicum4
HSEP 4550Exercise Physiology Internship12
Total hours required for the degree120