Feature Story

NEW Exercise Science degree prepares students for action

By Mount Mary University

Posted on May 11, 2022

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Students in Mount Mary’s new exercise science program will not have to wait until graduation to work as health and wellness professionals.

The program, which opens in Fall 2022, will prepare students to become nationally certified group fitness instructors, personal trainers and/or exercise physiologists by the end of their second year.

“With three certifications built into the curriculum, students can earn income and gain real-world experience,” said Cindy Kidd, an exercise scientist and faculty member with the program.

Students will get to work hands-on using state-of-the-art equipment in the soon-to-be renovated Caroline Hall Gym and Fitness Center. Additionally, the university is establishing a biometrics laboratory in Notre Dame Hall, which will serve not only the exercise science program but other science and health care programs on campus.

The program emphasizes wellness for diverse populations allowing students to be well rounded in a range of different disciplines. Given the broad spectrum of disciplines, the field of exercise science has a great future job outlook.

“Careers in exercise science have great income potential and are in demand in clinics, hospitals, fitness clubs and wellness centers,” said School of Natural and Health Sciences Dean Cheryl Bailey. “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 23 percent job growth through 2026.”

The degree also provides a strong foundation for Mount Mary graduate programs such as a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, or an advanced degree in occupational therapy. Other advanced learning options include medical school, or degrees in physical therapy and physician’s assistant.

“Students have the advantage of learning in a supportive, all-women’s environment where they will develop leadership and professional skills,” Kidd said. “This program prepares them to work in a field that truly makes a difference in the lives of others.”