Students in the Exercise Science program have numerous experiential learning opportunities throughout their course of study.
Laboratory experiences occur in conjunction with lecture classes in the areas of biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology I, anatomy and physiology II, exercise physiology, and exercise testing. In these courses, students apply the components of lecture and reinforce concepts to improve understanding though hands on laboratory experience. Students are exposed to a variety of equipment in the laboratory setting.
Students gain valuable hands-on practice in numerous classes. In Biomechanics, students conduct biomechanical analyses on activities of daily living and sporting activities. In Exercise Principles for Optimal Performance, students experience, plan, and implement strength and conditioning training programs in small group settings. Students design and run small-scale research projects in Research Methods and Data Interpretation.
In service learning projects, students apply material learned in service to their community. Service learning occurs in Physical Activity for Specific Populations with a variety of populations, from children to the elderly. In Exercise Prescription and Implementation, upper level students are paired with a faculty or staff member in a semester-long training experience that improves students’ communication, assessment, programming, and training skills in addition to providing a valuable free training program for university employees.
In addition to the required coursework in Research Methods and Data Interpretation, students can engage in undergraduate research in a variety of ways, from participating in a research study to conducting their own research in conjunction with faculty members in Independent Research and Research Internship courses. Faculty and students collaborate to produce a numerous publications and presentations.
Internships and Practica
Students in the Exercise Science program are required to complete at least 300 hours of internship and practicum coursework, equivalent to 6 credits. Of those credits, at least 3 must come from Internship or Research Internship. The other 3 credit hours may also come from Independent Research or Practicum. In these experiences, students are at internship/practicum sites, gaining valuable real-world information and applying knowledge, skills, and abilities learned through the curriculum.
Internship and practicum sites vary based on student interest. Below are just a few examples of internship sites for Exercise Science students.
- Strength and Conditioning
Students have interned at numerous universities from NCAA Divisions I through III, in addition to professional sport internships, high school strength and conditioning, and private sector performance enhancement.
- Personal Training and Group Fitness
Internship opportunities exist in personal training and group fitness at a variety of personal training and group fitness sites throughout the St. Louis metro region and beyond. Students have interned at a variety of sites, ranging from boutique gyms to nationally known chains and have worked with a variety of populations.
- Senior Fitness
Sites are available in senior living facilities throughout the region. Students facilitate group exercise, personal training sessions, and wellness education for residents.
- Military and Occupational Athlete Training
Students have worked with current military personnel, veterans, and other occupational athletes such as police and firefighters to use exercise programming to improve their performance and provide social and psychological benefits.
- Physical Therapy and Chiropractic
Students intern in clinic settings to gain understanding of clinical practices before graduate school.
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
Interns work with patients who have experienced a cardiac event and are working under supervised exercise protocols.
- Corporate Wellness
Internships are available at a range of corporations that provide wellness facilities on their work campuses for their employees. Interns may offer group fitness courses, personal training, wellness education programming, and other services to employees.
- Adapted Fitness
Interns work with individuals and small groups with physical, visual, and/or hearing disabilities to use fitness and sport to provide physical and social benefits.
- Facility Management
Fitness facility management, including both large and small companies, can be a component or the entirety of an internship experience.
Internship experiences are available for students interested in working with nutritional counseling.
Students have interned with a variety of different teams at many different levels, depending on preference and desired career outcomes.
- Community Wellness
Community wellness sites provide students experiences working with fitness management, personal and small group training, community health education, and wellness programming.