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Exercise Science

Health and Human Performance (HHP) majors at Dordt who pursue an emphasis in exercise science focus on areas such as physical therapy, consumer health, and nutrition. Exercise science courses teach students how uniquely and wonderfully made our bodies are, and how each body is built to glorify our Creator.

If you want to pursue a career in physical therapy, health psychology, or nutrition, consider an exercise science emphasis as part of your HHP major.

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Program Overview

While studying exercise science at Dordt University, you’ll be thoroughly prepared for a variety of exercise and health sciences outcomes, including top-ranked graduate schools. Your exercise science education will help you develop your skills through classroom and lab-based learning, field experiences, internships, and a vast array of hands-on opportunities.

You’ll also have an opportunity to be part of Dordt’s Pre-Physical Therapy club and Pre-Professional Health Sciences Club. You can even pursue certification as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

What You'll Learn

With an exercise science emphasis from Dordt, you’ll learn the historical context of health and human performance and how to live obediently in a rapidly changing world. You’ll develop a scripturally based perspective on health activities. And you’ll recognize how God wants us to live and care for our bodies. Coursework will include core Health and Human Performance classes as well as classes such as Nutrition, Substance Abuse and Consumer Health, Health Psychology, and more.

What You Can Do With An Exercise Science Emphasis

With an exercise science emphasis, you’ll leave Dordt with the skills to pursue various opportunities in the Human Health and Performance field. You could be an exercise physiologist, an athletic trainer, a fitness trainer, or a physical therapist assistant or aide.

Physical Therapy Aide

Physical Therapy Aides are responsible for performing a variety of facilitative tasks to assist their Therapists.

Recreational Therapist

A Recreational Therapist uses different activities and interventions to help reduce their client’s stress and anxiety while building their confidence and ability.

Personal Trainer

A Personal Trainer is responsible for creating customized workout plans for their clients based on their individual goals and needs.

Students who choose the exercise science emphasis will need to complete various HHP courses, in addition to completing the general requirements for the health and human performances degree.

  • Substance Abuse and Consumer Health: The first half of the course is devoted to introducing the student to the use, misuse, and abuse of drugs. Emphasis is placed on the psychological and physiological effects of drugs. The second half of the course will provide the student with basic health-related information that will aid the student in making sound decisions regarding personal health.
  • Nutrition: This course will focus on the basic science of foods and their components including relationships to health and disease. The implications of personal decision making and behavior change, as well as social, economic, and cultural influences, will be discussed. Does not count toward the biology major.
  • Psychosocial Dimensions of Physical Activity: This course adds to students’ understanding of physical activity by exploring the psychological and sociological aspects of human physical activity. Also, students will demonstrate a Reformed Christian understanding of human movement in discussion of a variety of issues related to health and human performance.
  • Health Psychology: Survey course examines the contributions of psychology to the understanding, prevention, and treatment of a variety of health concerns. Topics include stress, pain management, cancer, eating disorders, exercise, and health promotion.
  • Field Experience in Physical Therapy: Designed to give students enrolled in the pre-physical therapy program a field experience in physical therapy. The student will work with a registered physical therapist for three hours each week of the semester. This course is open to junior and senior students enrolled in the pre-physical therapy program.
  • Field Experience in Sports Management: Designed to give students the opportunity to do a practicum in a sports management setting. The student will work under the supervision of a professional sports management leader for three hours each week of the semester.
  • Health, Physical Education, Sports Management Internships: Intended to provide the HHP major the opportunity to apply knowledge principles and skills gained from the classroom into a workplace environment.
  • Individual Studies
  • General Chemistry: A first course in the fundamental principles of chemistry for students in all science disciplines. Topics include measurement, the mole and reaction stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure and bonding, intermolecular forces, gases, types of reactions, and energy in chemical reactions. An introduction to laboratory safety and chemical hygiene is included in the laboratory. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week.
  • Organic and Biological Chemistry: Organic molecules and their functional groups and biomolecules and their function in living cells will be studied. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. The laboratory will include experiments in organic and biological chemistry.

See the course catalog for more information.

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