Exercise Science

When you major in Exercise Science at SPU, you build a strong foundation to serve in a variety of fields in which you can promote healthy lifestyles for people of all ages. Whether you plan to become a strength and conditioning trainer, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, or any other type of health care or fitness professional, an Exercise Science degree from Seattle Pacific gives you the skills and knowledge base you need.

Ultrasound machine visualizing muscle and tendon movement

As an SPU Exercise Science major, you examine the health and fitness benefits of physical activity and exercise using a science-based approach. This approach combines:

  • Classroom learning, including chemistry
  • Laboratory work
  • An internship in a Seattle-area professional setting

Whether you plan to enter the workforce after graduation or attend graduate school for an advanced degree or certification, an Exercise Science degree provides you with a solid foundation.


In this major, you will take courses such as “Motor Learning and Development,” “Biomechanics,” “Exercise Physiology,” and “Sports and Exercise Nutrition.” You will benefit from outstanding faculty members who not only have years of experience working within academic settings, but also have significant experience in the exercise industry — working with recreational and elite populations, as well as coaching and training athletes. In this program, you will:

  • Move through a sequential, comprehensive curriculum that prepares you to enter a variety of movement-related careers, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and sports medicine.
  • Learn from practical hands-on experiences throughout the program in areas such as research, physical-fitness testing, and exercise prescription and leadership.
  • Access state-of-the-art equipment in the HHP Lab, which includes assessment of maximal oxygen uptake, in-vivo muscle mechanics, motor skills, isokinetic dynamometry, and functional movement screening that will be used with future clients, patients, and students.
  • Participate in a required internship, to gain valuable real-world experience in a local organization such as a fitness center, rehabilitation center, local sports organization, or research-based laboratory.
  • Fulfill the requirements of your senior colloquium and capstone by completing an original research project and paper and presenting it during the annual Health and Human Performance Colloquium.
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Career opportunities

After graduation, you will be equipped to enter a variety of careers or earn a professional certification.

Possible health and wellness roles

  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Biomechanist
  • Health and fitness educator

Other possible roles

  • Personal trainer
  • Athletic coach
  • Wellness director
  • Strength and conditioning specialist

Major courses and degree requirements

As an Exercise Science major, you will be required to take a minimum of 80 credits, including at least 35 upper-division credits.

Review the Exercise Science major courses and requirements.

a 360 degree look at Seattle Pacific University's campus

Explore Royal Brougham Pavilion and nearby Wallace Field without leaving home through SPU’s new 360 Virtual Tour! You can also check out other campus buildings — and soar over some of our favorite Northwest highlights.

HHP Program Infomation

Do you have questions about what Health and Human Performance can offer? Watch this video from our current students about our programs.


Colloquium: You’re the Expert!

When you major in Exercise Science or Health and Fitness Education, you’ll share your research at the Colloquium during your senior year.

Monitoring equipment in the HHP lab

The HHP Lab

Gain hands-on experience by exploring how the human body responds to physical activity and exercise.

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”
427–347 BC