Exercise Science


The Exercise Science (B.A.) degree offers a solid foundation in factual and conceptual study of human movement. The program provides students with sound academic preparation in the science of human movement through physics and biological courses. Students acquire knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the theoretical and practical components of exercise science theory and practice. The curriculum is designed to promote critical thinking skills, effective writing, clear articulation and presentation, and analytical skills through the subject matter. Students learn to appreciate the application of scientific research to real world problems and/or service for the benefit of the community, with consideration of the moral and ethical issues involved.

Exercise Science provides opportunities for students interested in exercise, training, physical therapy, and related fields.  Exercise science includes kinesiology and physiology. Kinesiology studies human movement through the application of the latest evidenced-based research to improve bodily function, exercise, health, and wellness.  Exercise physiology is a sub-discipline of kinesiology that addresses 1) the short-term biological responses to the stress of physical activity and 2) how the body adapts to repeated bouts of physical activity over time.  Exercise physiology and kinesiology are multifaceted fields that study movement and physical activity and how the person responds to stress.  Knowledge is gained through scholarly study and research of physical activity.

This program guides students toward possible positions in settings such as fitness/wellness centers, personal training, coaching, rehabilitation sciences, health, and wellness education. The degree also serves as preparation for post-baccalaureate study in areas such as human growth, aging, athletic training, biomechanics, chiropractic, exercise physiology, sports management, and sports psychology.

Explore the Exercise Science Program

The study of science is born from the conviction of the fundamental intelligibility of the world. Science at Ave Maria University testifies to the Catholic Church’s confidence in human reason’s ability to know the truth about God’s creation even apart from the illuminating power of grace. The natural sciences are not simply technological disciplines, but are truly liberal arts education in which we seek to know truth for its own sake. By enabling us to enter the simultaneous complexity and simplicity of physical reality, science instills within the students a deep sense of wonder at the natural universe.

  • AMU is home to a Tri-Beta National Biological Honors Society chapter, which exceptional Biology majors students have the opportunity to join.
  • Ave Maria has a large athletic department, which provides opportunities for students to interact with a variety of sports trainers and specialists.
  • Ave Maria University Department of Biology faculty teach all lab sections, allowing students more personal attention and expert guidance. Most labs are smaller than 24 students.
  • The Department of Biology also offers degrees in Biology (B.S. or B.A.), Environmental Science (B.A.), Health Science (B.A.), and Health Science Administration (B.A.), and minors in Biology, Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Health Science, and Exercise Science.

In addition to the core curriculum, exercise science majors take the following courses
BIOL 100 Medical Terminology
BIOL 201 Concepts of Biology I with Lab -OR- BIOL 211 Biology I with Lab
BIOL 200 Nutrition
BIOL 250 Health and Wellness
BIOL 304 Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab
BIOL 309 Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab
EXER 270 Kinesiology and Biomechanics
EXER 280 Strength and Conditioning with Lab
EXER 300 Exercise Physiology
EXER 350 Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries
EXER 490 Exercise Testing Clinical I
EXER 491 Exercise Testing Clinical II
CHEM 211 General Chemistry I with Lab
PHYS 211 College Physics I with Lab
PSYC 370 Sports Psychology

The Exercise Science degree is ideal for those who wish to have careers in post-baccalaureate study in areas such as human growth, aging, athletic training, biomechanics, chiropractic, exercise physiology, sports management, and sports psychology, as well as careers in fitness/wellness centers, personal training, coaching, rehabilitation sciences, health, and wellness education.

Thomas Smith, Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Biology and Associate Professor

Education: B.S., Plymouth State University, Plymoth, New Hampshire; M.S., Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky; Ph.D., University of Louisville, Kentucky.
Office: Henkels 3048
Phone: (239) 280-2536
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Nicholas Curtis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Education: B.S., Marine Science/Biology, University of Miami; Ph.D., Biology, University of South Florida
Office: Henkels 3067
Email: nicholas.curtis@avemaria.edu
Phone: (239) 304-7132
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Ladislav Sallai, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Education: M.A., Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia; Ph.D., University of North Dakota.
Office: Henkels 3028
Email: ladislav.sallai@avemaria.edu
Phone: (239) 280-2418
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Brett Feger, M.S.

Instructor of Biology

Education: B.A., Biology, Knox College; M.S. Zoology, Western Illinois University
Office: Henkels 2066
Email: brett.feger@avemaria.edu
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Jacob Blanchard

Instructor of Biology
Education: B.A., Biology, Ave Maria University; Ph.D. (Candidate), Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University
Office: Henkels 3032
Phone: (239) 304-7130
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Jason Adames, D.P.T.

Instructor of Biology
Education: B.A., Theology, Franciscan University; D.P.T., Physical Therapy, Wheeling Jesuit University
Office: Canizaro Library 234
Phone: (239) 280-1590
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Cynthia Chandler

Adjunct Professor of Biology

Rafael Loureiro, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor of Biology & Lab Coordinator

Email: rafael.loureiro@avemaria.edu