Exercise Science

About Exercise Science

The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science was approved by the State of South Carolina in the spring of 2008. The Exercise Science (EXSC) Program provides students with sound academic preparation in the science of human movement for entry into the workplace or for graduate study in exercise science or other allied health programs such as physical and occupational therapy.

Students are admitted into the program as freshmen and must maintain a 2.5 overall GPA in order to take upper division courses in the major, register for internship, and for graduation.

    Students regularly report they chose Winthrop to be “more than a number” with smaller class sizes. We provide a more personalized student experience with exposure and involvement in many professional development activities such as local and regional conferences, national certification credentials, and mentored undergraduate research with department faculty as well as in the Winthrop McNair Scholars program and the Honors program. Incoming exercise science students may opt for a 3+2 program to obtain a Masters degree in Athletic Training.

    The Department of Physical Education, Sport and Human Performance in the Richard W. Riley College of Education, Sport, and Human Sciences houses the Exercise Science degree program. The degree requires 120 semester hours of coursework which includes a full-semester internship as the capstone experience and completion of a national certification credentialing examination.

    The required coursework includes biology and chemistry courses for science majors, two semesters of anatomy and physiology, food & nutrition, group exercise leadership, exercise testing and prescription, anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, exercise and health promotion, psychology of sport and physical activity, and physical activity for special and aging populations.

      The Exercise Science program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of the Exercise Sciences (CoAES). We are the first and only CAAHEP accredited EXSC program within South Carolina. This accreditation means we underwent a rigorous external review of our curriculum, facilities, internships, and student job and graduate school placements.

      Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
      25400 US Hwy 19 North, Suite 158
      Clearwater, FL 33763

      CAAHEP Student Outcomes Data 2022-2023 (PDF - 493 KB)

      The Exercise Science program is an Education Recognition Program (ERP) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

      To qualify for internships, students must have senior status (87 credit hours completed), a 2.5 overall GPA, and a C- or higher in BIOL 213/214 Anatomy & Physiology I and II (or equivalent).

      Students complete 12 credits of internship courses:

      • EXSC 492 Certification Seminar in Exercise Science: Exercise Physiologist OR EXSC 493 Certification Seminar in Exercise Science: Strength and Conditioning (2 credits)
      • EXSC 494 Portfolio in Exercise Science (1 credit)
      • EXSC 496 Internship in Exercise Science (9 credits/420 contact hours)

      Students complete their internship at approved sites that match their career interests in the Rock Hill, SC or Charlotte, NC area, within South Carolina, or nationwide. Locations include hospitals, physical and occupational therapy outpatient clinics, strength and conditioning facilities, YMCAs, commercial fitness centers, senior living complexes, assisted living, medical clinics, corporate and community health, and many others.


    The Exercise Science program offices are located in the Lois Rhame West Center which was opened in 2007. In 2019, new expanded exercise science laboratory space was opened in the historic Lowenstein Building at Knowledge Park complex, a mix-land use development adjacent to campus.

    Our alumni are doing great things locally, throughout South Carolina, and nationwide. We have excellent placement into graduate programs and into career paths. Approximately 15-20% of our graduating class is directly admitted into allied health graduate programs in physical or occupational therapy. Others choose graduate programs in exercise science, athletic training, public health, nutrition, accelerated nursing, or healthcare management. Other career paths where students can work with a B.S. degree include:

    • Strength and conditioning in high schools, colleges, and professional
    • Exercise physiologists in hospitals, community, and commercial settings
    • Senior living activities
    • Research
    • Medical sales
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Military health