Exercise Science Major B.S.

Exercise Science students conduct research in the Exercise Physiology Laboratory
Exercise Science Major B.S.

Course codes have changed for many Kinesiology courses. Download the new course codes here.

What is exercise science?

Exercise science is the study of how exercise training and physical activity can acutely and chronically affect our overall health. A degree in exercise science will prepare you for a career in health and fitness promotion and education programs in hospitals, sports medicine centers, wellness clinics, universities and rehabilitation facilities. This degree will also prepare you for advanced degree programs in the health professions, biology fields, medicine and other health-related fields. This area is expected to grow as health-care facilities place continued emphasis on exercise and preventative care as part of treatment programs and long-term rehabilitation from chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. 

Why study exercise science at UNH?

As a student in the exercise science program at UNH you will graduate well-prepared for a future in health- and fitness-related fields. Our facilities include the 3,500-square-foot Robert Kertzer Exercise Physiology Laboratory, which boasts metabolic, cardiopulmonary, biochemistry, vascular and environmental facilities. Students gain valuable hands-on experience while working with the university Employee Fitness Program, Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, and through a full-time, 400-hour internship in an off-campus setting such as a hospital, health and fitness club or research laboratory. In addition, the University Advising Center’s Pre-Professional Health Program helps those intending to apply to health-related professional schools including medical school, physician assistant programs, chiropractic or homeopathic medicine, or physical therapy.

Potential careers 

  • Chiropractor 
  • Clinical exercise physiologist 
  • Exercise science researcher 
  • Fitness instructor/personal trainer 
  • Health coach 
  • Nurse  
  • Occupational therapist 
  • Physician 
  • Physician assistant 
  • Physical therapist 
  • Respiratory therapist 
  • Strength and conditioning coach


Department of Kinesiology
New Hampshire Hall, 124 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2071

Curriculum & Requirements

This curriculum prepares students for careers in health and fitness promotion and education programs in hospitals, sports medicine centers, wellness clinics, universities, and rehabilitation facilities. Students are also prepared for advanced degree programs in the health professions, basic biology fields, medicine, or other health-related fields. Students must earn a grade of C (2.0) or better in every required course. Successful completion of early and prerequisite courses is required before advancing to sequenced and higher-level coursework. All required courses must be completed before enrolling in KIN 650A Internship in Exercise Science. Interested students should consult with the major coordinator, Dain LaRoche, Dain.LaRoche@unh.edu.

Suggested Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
KIN 520 Contemporary Perspectives in Exercise Science 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
BMS 507 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
PSYC 401 Introduction to Psychology 4
KIN 527 Scientific Foundations of Health and Fitness 4
KIN 585 Emergency Medical Responder 4
BMS 508 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
Discovery Course (INQ/HP) 4
Second Year
KIN 620 Physiology of Exercise 4
CHEM 403 General Chemistry I 4
NUTR 400 Nutrition in Health and Well Being 4
Discovery Course: Statistics (QR) 4
KIN 621 Exercise Laboratory Techniques 4
CHEM 404 General Chemistry II 4
Discovery Course (ETS) 4
Discovery Course (FPA) 4
Third Year
KIN 704 Electrocardiography 4
KIN 720 Science and Practice of Strength Training 4
KIN 724 Exercise Metabolism: Acute and Chronic Adaptations 4
Elective Course (e.g. BIOL 411) 4
KIN 722 Applied Biomechanics 4
Discovery Course (HUMA) 4
Elective Course (e.g. BIOL 412) 4
Discovery Course - WI (WC) 4
Fourth Year
KIN 736 Fitness and Graded Exercise Testing 4
KIN 794 Cardiopulmonary Pathologies 4
KIN 795 Practicum in Cardiac Rehabilitation 2
Elective Course (e.g. PHYS 401) 4
KIN 705 Topics in Applied Physiology 4
KIN 737 Exercise Prescription and Leadership in Healthy and Special Populations 4
Elective Course 4
Elective Course (e.g. PHYS 402) 4
KIN 650A Internship in Exercise Science 8
 Total Credits134

Major Requirements

BMS 507
BMS 508
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II
CHEM 403
CHEM 404
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
KIN 520Contemporary Perspectives in Exercise Science4
KIN 527Scientific Foundations of Health and Fitness4
KIN 585Emergency Medical Responder4
KIN 620Physiology of Exercise4
KIN 621Exercise Laboratory Techniques4
KIN 650AInternship in Exercise Science8
KIN 704Electrocardiography4
KIN 705Topics in Applied Physiology4
KIN 720Science and Practice of Strength Training4
KIN 722Applied Biomechanics4
KIN 724Exercise Metabolism: Acute and Chronic Adaptations4
KIN 736Fitness and Graded Exercise Testing4
KIN 737Exercise Prescription and Leadership in Healthy and Special Populations4
KIN 794Cardiopulmonary Pathologies4
KIN 795Practicum in Cardiac Rehabilitation2
NUTR 400Nutrition in Health and Well Being4
PSYC 401Introduction to Psychology4
Select one of the following:4
Statistics for Health and Human Service Professionals
Statistics in Psychology
Total Credits90

Students in exercise science complete the series of Capstone courses

KIN 736Fitness and Graded Exercise Testing 14
KIN 737Exercise Prescription and Leadership in Healthy and Special Populations 14
KIN 650AInternship in Exercise Science8
Total Credits16

Explore Program Details

Exercise Science Fundamentals

  1. Explain and understand principles of anatomy & physiology, chemistry, nutrition, and exercise physiology.  

  2. Demonstrate the use of these principles during acute and chronic exercise.

Clinical & Laboratory Skills

  1. Perform basic laboratory and clinical assessments important to the exercise physiologist.

  2.  Read and understand research and apply to laboratory concepts.

Physical Health, Wellness, & Sport Performance

  1. Understand the role diet, environment, and lifestyle factors play in disease risk and exercise performance.

  2. Develop strategies for improving a person’s fitness and quality of life through evidence-based physical activity approaches in both healthy and diseased populations.                      

Professional Development

  1. Knowledge of available professions with development of individual career path.

  2. Professionally communicate the principles of exercise science to the community, clinical, medical, and research-oriented groups.


Students Interested in Post-Graduate Professional Health Programs

In many cases, Exercise Science is an appropriate major for students who desire to attend a health-related professional school following completion of their bachelor’s degree (i.e., physician assistant, physical therapy, chiropractic, homeopathic, or medical school programs).  Students should work with their advisor and the Pre-Professional Health Program Advising Center to plot out a program of study that includes the taking of prerequisite courses for the post-graduate school(s) of interest to the student.  Despite this planning, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to meet all of the prerequisite courses prior to graduation and you may therefore need to take some courses over the summer or following graduation.

Students should also be aware that the internship is the culminating experience for all Exercise Science majors and can only be taken after all required degree course work has been successfully completed.   The internship provides students practical experience in their field of choice and allows them to obtain the clinical hours required for application to many professional programs.  This full-time, 400-hour internship will be completed during the summer or fall following the senior year and cannot be completed while enrolled in a degree program.  Therefore, students should plan to enter professional school in the fall or next summer after successful completion of the internship.

Download the preprofessional policy and procedures form

Internal Transfer Students

Exercise science is a competitive major and is limited to a maximum of 25 students per class year to assure availability of laboratory, practical, and clinical experiences and maintain student-to-faculty ratios.  Available space in the major is dependent on the number of admitted freshmen and transfers into and out of the program.  If sufficient space is available at the time of application, the following criteria will be used to determine acceptance: your overall GPA, science course GPA, grades in BMS 507, BMS 508, and KIN 620, grades in any other required classes, your letter of interest in the application, and interview.  To be eligible applicants must have a minimum UNH GPA of 2.75, a minimum science course GPA of 3.00, and a B- or better in BMS 507, BMS 508, and KIN 620.  To learn more about the exercise science major or application process please contact Dain LaRoche at (603) 862-4859 or dain.laroche@unh.edu.
Please note that BMS 507 & 508 are prerequisites for KIN 620 and must be completed first.  Applications can be submitted at any time once BMS 507, BMS 508, and KIN 620 courses are completed, but applications will only be evaluated twice per year immediately after the January 1 and July 1 submission deadlines for admittance the following semester.  Applications submitted after one of these deadlines will be evaluated during the next admission cycle.  Please see the application for internal transfer document below.

External Transfer Students

Students wishing to transfer to the UNH exercise science program from another university should visit the undergraduate admissions  website.

Other inquiries can be directed to Dain LaRoche at (603) 862-4859 or dain.laroche@unh.edu.

take the next step

student posing in doorway on campus


Thompson Hall


student at Career Event