For successfully meeting established criteria, the National Strength and Conditioning Association officially recognizes Pennsylvania College of Technology's Exercise Science  major.

(Effective Fall 2015)

The exercise science and human movement curriculum is an educationally recognized program by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).  It is also only one of two Associate's Degrees in Pennsylvania recognized by the NSCA.  The curriculum provides an excellent combination of exercise science and human movement theory, practical knowledge, and hands-on experience.  Students use a wide variety of exercise science and human movement principles to better serve their prospective clients and support current practices in the industry.  Hands-on learning experience, coupled with assigned clients and 215 hours of fieldwork in a fitness facility, distinguish this major from all others.

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities include, but are not limited to, wellness centers, fitness centers, health care agencies, physical therapy technicians, rehabilitation centers and agencies, personal fitness trainers, health/fitness instructors, fitness facility owners/business managers. 

Recommended High School Subjects

College preparatory course work is recommended, but not required.  An academic program including two years of science with lab (with one of the sciences being Biology), Algebra I or Applied Math II, four years of English, three units of Social Studies and one unit of Oral Communications is recommended. 

Remediation Strategies

All entering students will be tested for English, math, and reading deficiencies. Students are expected to remediate any deficiencies as explained in this catalog (see ).

Transfer Procedures

Graduates from this major can transfer into Penn College's Applied Management B.S. major. A.A.S. graduates with certification can request evaluation for entry into the B.S. in Applied Health Studies (BAH). Students desiring to transfer into a bachelor-degree major need to work closely with an adviser to maximize transferable credits. This major will subscribe to the transfer standards of the College.

International health credentials/licensure, sciences courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major. Please see additional information for international students applying to Health Sciences majors.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:

  • discuss the physiological basis of the major components of physical fitness: cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, flexibility, power, functional movement and muscle imbalances.
  • define the psychological principles which are critical to health/wellness behavior change: behavior modification, reinforcement, goal setting, social support and peer pressure.
  • describe and apply the personal communication skills necessary to develop rapport in order to motivate clients to begin, enhance, adhere or return to an exercise program.
  • describe, discuss, contrast, compare and evaluate the roles of modern healthcare and physical fitness.
  • describe and demonstrate assessment techniques and methods for cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, flexibility, power, functional fitness and power.
  • obtain CPR and First Aid certification.
  • identify and apply the skills needed for problem solving and critical thinking.
  • distinguish between various exercise training modalities and their outcome.
  • describe, demonstrate and apply knowledge of the components and functions of the human anatomy related to exercise training.
  • design exercise-training programs based upon evaluation, development, accepted training principles and maintenance of healthy levels of fitness.
  • identify, evaluate, operate, and be able to instruct with various types of exercise training equipment.
  • actively experience the various modalities of exercise training.
  • assess dietary habits and prescribe developmental and maintenance interventions.
  • access and assess information technology and data appropriately.


First Semester Credits
FYE101 First Year Experience 1  
BIO103 Human Anatomy and Physiology Survey 4  
ENL111 English Composition I 3  
EXS170 Specialist Resistance Training 2  
EXS210 Fitness & Wellness: Behavior Self-Management 3  
EXS125 Principles of Movement 3  
EXS175 Group Fitness Leader Training 2  
Second Semester Credits
MTH Mathematics Elective 3  
EXS225 Fundamentals of Human Performance 3  
SPN180 Fitness Nutrition 3  
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3  
EXS214 Fitness Testing and Interpretation 3  
EXS217 Cardiovascular Programming 3  
Third Semester Credits
EXS220 Organization and Leadership of Fitness Programs 3  
FIT204 First Aid, Responding to Emergencies 2  
PSY111 General Psychology 3  
EXS150 Group Exercise Program Survey 1  
EXS232 Fitness Management Theory & Application 3  
EXS235 Fundamentals of Musculoskeletal Movement & Exercise 2  
SPC102 Fundamentals of Small Group Communication 3  
Fourth Semester Credits
EXS226 Introduction to Personal Training 3  
EXS250 Professional Fieldwork 3  
SPN228 Nutrition for the Athlete and Bodybuilder 3  
EXS234 Exercise Prescription for Special Populations 3  
EXS212 Introduction to Chiropractic Exercise Rehabilitation 3  

BIO 103 and Math Elective - Students desiring entry into other associate degree programs (especially Health Sciences related programs) or any bachelor degree program need to consult with their adviser regarding best options in these areas.