Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology

at a glance

Major icon MAJOR Minor icon MINOR

As an Exercise Physiology major at AMU, you’ll get sound academic preparation in the human body’s acute and chronic responses to physical activity, as well its implications in the sciences of medicine and human performance. In this program, we give special focus to optimizing health and performance and preventing disease prevalence and/or progression.

Careers: Exercise Physiologist, Medical Fitness Professional, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Personal Fitness Trainer

Graduate studies in: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Athletic Training, Nutrition Science, Biomechanics, Cardiac Rehabilitation

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By enrolling in Exercise Physiology at AMU, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of the evaluation, interpretation and prescription process to address both individual and population health. You’ll transform classroom concepts into service projects for the benefit of the community making this major an ideal stepping-stone for medical careers or graduate studies.

light bulbFast Fact: AMU offers an expansive athletic department, allowing Exercise Physiology students to interact with a variety of sports trainers and specialists.

physical therapist skills you will gain

Skills you will gain with

An Exercise Physiology DEGREE

  1. Knowledge of Health and Wellness Protocols. As you move through the Exercise Physiology program, you will gain a keen understanding of the principles, theories and content of exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor behavior and nutrition.
  2. Application of Scientific Research. By the time you graduate, you will be able to demonstrate basic laboratory skills pertaining to assessments, laboratory methods and sound experimental and analytical practices, data acquisition and reporting in the exercise sciences.
  3. Create Physical Exercise Programs. With a solid grasp of the importance of physical activity and exercise on maintaining/improving health and quality of life, you will learn to plan, implement, evaluate and revise such interventions in clinical, health-related and training environments.
physical therapist skills you will gain


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A look into the

Exercise Physiology DEPARTMENT

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.



Stephen WirickEducation: B.S., Athletic Training, University of Akron; M.S., Exercise Physiology, University of Akron; Ph.D., Physical Activity Behavior / Health Promotion, Ohio State University
Office: Canizaro Library 313
Phone: (239) 304-7966
Email: stephen.wirick@avemaria.edu

Jamon Copeland, M.S.

Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Adjunct Instructor of Exercise Physiology

Jamon CopelandEducation: B.A., History, Franciscan University; M.S., Health and Human Performance, Texas A&M
Email: jamon.copeland@avemaria.edu

Alexander Heatherly, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology

Alexander HeatherlyEducation: Education: B.S., Health, Physical Education and Recreation, University of North Alabama; M.S., Health and Human Performance, University of North Alabama; Ph.D., Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University
Office: Canizaro Library 314
Email: alexander.heatherly@avemaria.edu
Phone: (239) 304-7983

  • 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 200 Nutrition
  • BIOL 201 Concepts in Biology I or BIOL 211 Biology I – Cellular and Molecular Biology*
  • BIOL 250 Health and Wellness
  • BIOL 304 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 309 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • CHEM 105 Chemistry for Health Sciences or CHEM 125 General Chemistry I*
  • EXER 220 Data Analysis in Health Science
  • EXER 270 Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • EXER 300 Exercise Physiology
  • EXER 350 Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries
  • EXER 490 Exercise Assessment
  • EXER 491 Exercise Prescription
  • MATH 150 Functions or MATH 151 Calculus*
  • PHYS 211 College Physics I or PHYS 221 University Physics: Mechanics*
  • PSYC 370 Sport Psychology
  • 3 electives in Exercise Physiology (6 credits)

Electives in Exercise Physiology (2 credits each)

  • EXER 250 Strength and Conditioning I
  • EXER 251 Strength and Conditioning II
  • EXER 380 Advanced Sports Nutrition
  • EXER 430 Cardiometabolic Disease Prevention
  • EXER 460 Exercise for Special Populations
  • EXER 499 Clinical Experience in Exercise Physiology

*Course selection based on graduate school prerequisites.

Click the button to view our typical 4-year plan.

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.

BIOL 201 Concepts of Biology I -OR- BIOL 211 Biology I Cellular and Molecular Biology
BIOL 304 Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 309 Anatomy & Physiology II
EXER 270 Kinesiology and Biomechanics
EXER 300 Exercise Physiology
PSYC 370 Sport Physiology

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