Exercise Science

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Exercise Science Overview

The exercise science major prepares you for professional practice in a variety of fields, including exercise physiology, exercise and fitness training, hospital-based and corporate wellness programming, and sports medicine, as well as for graduate study in physical therapy, medicine, and other health science programs.
Degrees Offered
  • BS
Program School

We hold our students to very high standards in the exercise science program. Partly because we are preparing them for demanding roles as physicians, therapists, athletic trainers, and exercise scientists, but also because these graduates will contribute to the future health of people, regardless of which career path they choose.

— EDWARD RYAN, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise science

Explore the Exercise Science Degree:

  • Intimate and engaging classroom and laboratory settings allow you to build relationships among professors and fellow students who share your dedication.
  • In the new human physiology lab, you’ll conduct exercise and performance testing using cutting-edge equipment, analyze your findings, and prescribe exercises accordingly.
  • Under faculty supervision, start working with real subjects as early as your first year.
  • Students have opportunities to conduct research with peers, graduate students, and faculty, and have published and presented at local, regional and national conferences.
  • Students interested in applying to Chatham’s Doctor of Physical Therapy, Athletic Training or Physician Assistant programs complete all pre-requisite classes while working towards their exercise science degree and have access to an advisor from the respective program.

Principles of Strength and Conditioning

Students learn to integrate anatomical and physiological function into a comprehensive strength and conditioning model. Topics include testing, evaluation, exercise techniques, program design, and aerobic endurance training. Students are introduced to facility organization, risk management, and developing a policies and procedure manual.

Exercise and Nutrition

This course introduces the student to the science of human nutrition and the relationship between health, exercise, and food intake. Basic topics of digestion, absorption, metabolism, interaction, and functions of nutrients will be covered. Special topics include optimal nutrition for exercise and sport, energy use during exercise, evaluation of body composition (body fat, muscle mass), development of obesity, weight management, and nutritional factors in planning a successful muscular strength and endurance program.

Kinesiology and Movement Science

This course will cover the movement of muscles as well as their function and interaction with other muscles. It will also examine theories, principles, and practical applications in motor control and learning. Attention is given to the physiological and psychological foundations of motor control and learning.

View Full Curriculum

Our Faculty

If one word could best sum up Chatham's faculty, it would be engaged. Professors bring experiences to relate the course lessons to real-world situations.

Full Faculty
Photo of Jason Edsall
Director, Athletic Training and Exercise Science
Photo of Tim Braun
Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Clinical Education
Adjunct Faculty | Founder & CEO, The Flourish Group
Logo: Chatham C
Program Assistant for Athletic Training and Exercise Science
Photo of the Chatham University men's baseball team, with a student up at bat and others behind in the dugout

Sports at Chatham 

Chatham offers 19 NCAA Division III sports, with most teams participating in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC).
Women: basketball, cross country, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, squash, swimming & diving, track & field, volleyball.  
Men: baseball, basketball, cross country, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, squash, swimming & diving, track & field.

Photo of Pittsburgh's yellow bridges and rolling hills framing rivers at sunset.

Internship Opportunities

Students have interned at locations including the Pittsburgh Penguins, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Children’s Institute, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Pittsburgh Fit, St. Clair Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation, UPMC Shadyside HELP, Positive Steps Therapy, UPMC Shadyside Cardiac Rehabilitation, Silverio-Hoffman Fitness, OSPTA Physical and Hand Therapy, Chatham University Athletics, and Chatham University Athletic Training.

Photo of a fitness instructor leading a group of people in jumping in industrial space.

Alumni Employment

Recent graduates from the exercise science program have gained employment ranging from corporate wellness to facility coordinator positions and personal trainers/strength and conditioning coaches in a variety of settings. Other graduates have continued into advanced health science degree programs including athletic training, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, and medical school.

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Chatham University, Andres Carrillo, poses with arms crossed in front of grey background.

Campus Community Profile: Andres Carrillo

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Andres Carrillo, says, "I have always been interested in movement. But it was my high school kinesiology teacher who made me realize that I could turn my interest into a career. She inspired me to pursue a bachelor of kinesiology. That initial educational experience is what made me realize how rich life can be when you construct your career in such a way that allows you to fully pursue your passion."