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​Health and Exercise Science

Explore the fields of academic, clinical, and corporate health and fitness.

Coursework, combined with field experience and participation in nationally recognized faculty research of exercise physiology and applied physiology, provides students with a strong foundation to succeed in a variety of settings.

The health and exercise science curriculum prepares you for a number of professional certifications, such as those offered by the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Graduates remain among the top candidates for careers in sports medicine, exercise physiology, sports psychology, medicine, athletic administration, and physical therapy.

You may also apply for the 3 + 3 Doctor of Physical Therapy Program with SUNY Upstate Medical University – an innovative program leading directly to a doctorate in physical therapy.

About Falk

Social justice principles are at the foundation of programs in exercise science, food studies, human development and family science, marriage and family therapy, public health, nutrition, social work, sport analytics and sport management. Academics, service learning projects, internships, research opportunities, immersion travel and clubs connected to our majors prepare students for careers to make a difference in the communities where they will live and work.


Core coursework emphasizes anatomy and physiology, human behavior, and personal health. Sample courses include:

  • Sport Psychology
  • Nutrition in Health
  • Analysis of Human Motion
  • Physiology of Exercise
  • Scientific Principles of Conditioning
  • Prevention & Care Athletic Injury

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

The health and exercise science major is supported by many real-world learning opportunities.

  • Intern on-campus or off in a physical therapy or athletic training office.
  • Build skills through practicum experience in a community organization such as Head Start or SUNY Upstate Medical University.
  • Job shadow chiropractors, athletic trainers, conditioning coaches, athletic administrators, and sport psychologists.
  • Become a member of the Wellness, Health, Exercise and Education in Life club on-campus.

Study Abroad

Ranked among the top 25 international education providers in the U.S., the Syracuse Abroad  program has more than 100 programs in 60 countries, with nearly half of all students going abroad during their four years. 

Health and exercise science majors commonly go abroad to Syracuse centers in London and Madrid, and to partner programs University College Dublin, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Queensland.

Summer programs of interest may include South Africa Immersion: A Global Health Education Experience ; Mount Everest Base Camp Trek: The Human Response to High Altitude, Drug Policy and Harm Reduction in Global Perspective (Vancouver).

To make study abroad more affordable, apply for a Himan Brown Fellows scholarship, a scholarship exclusively for School of Education students.  Explore study abroad opportunities for students in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.

Life After Syracuse University

A degree in health and exercise science can set the foundation for a career as a/an:

  • Physical therapist*
  • Physician*
  • Conditioning coach
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Corporate fitness facility director
  • Personal trainer
  • Athletic director

Or pursue graduate-level education in the areas of education or public administration. Recent graduates of the program have attended some of the top graduate schools in the U.S.

Note: A degree in health and exercise science does not guarantee admission into a graduate professional licensure program*