Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science

Real-world experience, grounded in science

Mission of Exercise Science

The mission of the Exercise Science Program at WIU is to develop competent and contributing professionals by:

  • providing a science-based curriculum addressing the physical and psychological aspects of human movement.
  • promoting a physically active lifestyle across the lifespan within a diverse society.
  • providing practical experiences and service learning opportunities in a variety of environments.
  • preparing leaders in such professional fields as strength and conditioning, wellness, fitness, allied health, sport and movement analysis, and activity programming.
  • preparing students for success in graduate study and professional programs.

National Strength and Conditioning Association Recognition

"For successfully meeting established criteria, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) officially recognizes Western Illinois University's Educational Program in Strength and Conditioning." WIU's Exercise Science & Fitness major meets the guidelines and criteria set by the only accredited national governing body for fitness and strength certifications, the NSCA.

First in the Nation accreditation from the International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association

The International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association (IUSCA) Degree Accreditation program is designed to recognize and endorse exceptional academic programs in sports performance and exercise science. The rigorous accreditation process ensures that the institutions we endorse consistently demonstrate excellence in curriculum, faculty, and resources, preparing their graduates for successful careers in the industry. From the field, to therapy, back to the field, the IUSCA Accreditation will help out students be best prepared for the next steps into their careers.


Students majoring in Exercise Science are prepared for a wide variety of kinesiology-related fields. Graduates of the program work in cardiac rehabilitation, health/fitness facility management, personal training, strength and conditioning, and employee wellness to name a few. In addition, the Exercise Science degree can provide students with the necessary prerequisites and field experience that will make them strong candidates for future study in athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant programs.

Degree Program Block Diagram

General Education
43 credit hours

Kinesiology Core
15 credit hours

Directed Electives
15 credit hours

Exercise Science
34 credit hours

Open Electives
15 credit hours