Exercise Science

The study of physiological and functional adaptations to movement. The field is richly interdisciplinary, involving such disciplines as anatomy, chemistry, biology, physiology, biomechanics, exercise prescription, psychology, nutrition, and injury management. Rigorous and systematic study of these disciplines enables students to understand how and why people move and the factors which limit and enhance our capacity to move.

The exercise science major at St. Olaf is designed for students interested in the advanced and specialized study of the biophysical aspects of human movement. The major supports academic linkages across disciplines and provides excellent preparation in a wide variety of fields. It also prepares students for entry into graduate school in one of the disciplines related to exercise science (such as physical therapy and rehabilitation, biomechanics, occupational therapy, nutrition, exercise physiology, sports medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, and exercise prescription).

Intended Learning Outcomes for the Exercise Science Major

The major introduces students to the principles and methods of exercise science. The following learning outcomes will be met within the framework of the major. Students will demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and integration of the array of theories and practices specific to exercise science and its related fields (biology, chemistry, psychology, neuroscience, nutrition, and statistics) in preparation for graduate-level study and research.
  • Mastery of the basic laboratory skills pertaining to assessments, laboratory methods, sound experimental and analytical practices, data acquisition, and reporting in the exercise sciences.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills. The ability to craft a research proposal and professional poster as a result of synthesizing the relevant literature on a specific topic of their choosing.
  • The ability to translate classroom learning into real-world practice in all experiential learning opportunities.