Exercise Science

Do you love wellness, fitness and sports? Are you interested in helping athletes improve their health and performance, designing fitness programs for adults, and motivating people to develop healthy habits? If you like learning about the human body, you enjoy science and you're good with people, then UB's exercise science program can give you the hands-on training and evidence-based knowledge that helps prepare you for whatever comes next—whether that's becoming a medical doctor or physical therapist, training people as a personal trainer or strength and conditioning coach, doing research that keeps soldiers and first responders safer, or combating childhood obesity.

What will I learn?

Anatomy. Physiology. Exercise assessment and prescription. Biomechanics. Nutrition. These are just a few of the topics you can explore as you study how the human body moves and responds to exercise. Through classes and labs, you’ll learn how to assess a person’s health and fitness, help people manage chronic conditions, and prescribe exercises to help athletes and others achieve their goals for health, wellness, fitness and performance. You’ll typically take foundational courses in exercise science the first two years, and then choose a concentration to specialize in based on your career interests.

What can I do outside of class?

Work with athletes from youth through elite levels. Develop connections with faculty. Work with individuals recovering from injuries. Gain experience promoting health and physical activity in community settings. These are just a few of the opportunities you’ll have here.

  • Clinical & practical experiences. Practicum and internships are part of the exercise science curriculum; through these practical experiences (which can lead to permanent jobs), students can apply classroom knowledge to real-world settings and get hands-on practice with sports teams, commercial fitness facilities, performance centers, hospitals and other organizations.
  • Research. Even as an undergrad, you can work with faculty on exciting research projects in a variety of areas ranging from exercise performance, nutrition and obesity to human performance in extreme environments. Check out our faculty's research interests on our department website.
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What can I do with an exercise science degree?

Enjoy a successful career in a variety of areas, including sports and athletic performance, health care, and community health and fitness. In fact, UB's exercise science grads have worked in hospitals, outpatient care facilities, schools, corporations, fitness facilities, community centers, performance centers and more. Some examples of job titles include:

  • Strength and conditioning coach.
  • Personal trainer.
  • Coach.
  • Exercise physiologist.
  • Cardiac rehab specialist.
  • Fitness program manager.
  • Health coach.
  • Athletic trainer.
  • Physical therapist.
  • Medical doctor.
  • Chiropractor.
  • Researcher.
  • Physician assistant.

While some of these career paths are entry level (and ideal for students who want to get a job right after graduation), other paths require additional education beyond a bachelor’s degree. That’s why many students choose to earn a graduate or professional degree in a related area, including exercise physiology, clinical exercise physiology, physical therapy, athletic training, medicine or public health. Many exercise science students get accepted to graduate programs because our program prepares students well for advanced study in a variety of areas.

Who will I learn from?

"It's nice to feel like your professors are in your corner, and they're rooting for you to do well."

As our students will tell you, the faculty members at UB are committed to helping you earn your degree. They pride themselves on making classes and labs engaging and encouraging you to apply what you’ve learned outside of the classroom. 

You'll also find that our faculty often use their own real-world experiences to teach you. Through the years, our faculty have worked with athletes from the New York Giants, well-known marathons (including Boston, Buffalo and Marine Corps), U.S. Rowing, countless high schools and universities, and other organizations. They have conducted research with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and at events like the Timex Training Camp, Lake Placid Ironman Triathlon, Ironman World Championships and the Hotter’N Hell Hundred cycling race. All faculty are active members in professional organizations, including the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, and American Public Health Association.