Exercise Physiology

The Exercise Physiology (B.S.) degree provides students with a sound academic preparation in the acute and chronic responses to physical activity, in which implications for the practice of medicine and human performance are elucidated. The approach of the curriculum is to provide extensive consideration to nutrition science and health policy, each of which act as modifiers of behavioral adaptation, adherence, and promotion. Students gain a thorough understanding of the evaluation, interpretation, and prescription process to address both individual and population health. A primary focus is placed on three primary targets of prescription: optimizing health, optimizing performance, and preventing disease prevalence and/or progression. Students learn to appreciate the application of scientific research and transform classroom concepts into service projects for the benefit of the community, with consideration of the moral and ethical issues involved.

Each course in the Exercise Physiology curriculum provides a window into a specific field of study, allowing students to explore a wide variety of career possibilities. The Exercise Physiology major has become an ideal stepping-stone towards graduate programs in exercise physiology, biomechanics, public health, dietetics, strength and conditioning, and athletic training as well as doctoral degrees in medicine, physical therapy, and chiropractic. The expansion of scientific knowledge in exercise physiology and nutrition science has incentivized providers, employers, and insurers to incorporate wellness strategies to reduce the incidence and financial impact of chronic disease and maximize productivity. The fitness and human performance industries continue to grow into highly specialized niches, opening further job opportunities for graduates.

Explore the Exercise Physiology 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 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.

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.

Jacob Blanchard, M.A.

Instructor of Biology 
Education: B.A., Biology, Ave Maria University; M.A., Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University
Office: Henkels 3052
Phone: (239) 304-7130

Jamon Copeland, M.S.

Adjunct Instructor of Exercise Physiology
Education: B.A., History, Franciscan University; M.S., Health and Human Performance, Texas A&M

Daniel Credeur, Ph.D.

Adjunct Instructor of Exercise Physiology
Education: B.S., Kinesiology, Louisiana State University; Ph.D., Kinesiology, Louisiana State University
Email: daniel.credeur@avemaria.edu

Stephen Cronin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Molecular & Cellular Biology, Texas A&M University; Ph.D., Biology, University of California, San Diego.
Office: Henkels 3051
Phone: (239) 280-1617

Nicholas Curtis, Ph.D.

Chair of the Biology Department, Dr. Paula Ines Castagnet Chair of Biological Sciences
Education: B.S., Marine Science & Biology, University of Miami; Ph.D., Cell & Molecular Biology, University of South Florida
Office: Henkels 2053
Phone: (239) 304-7132

Brett Feger, M.S., M.A.

Instructor of Biology
Education: B.A., Biology, Knox College; M.S., Zoology, Western Illinois University; M.A., Theology, Ave Maria University
Office: Henkels 2021
Phone: (239) 304-7366

Craig Flanagan, Ph.D.

Adjunct Instructor of Exercise Physiology
Education: B.S., Exercise Physiology, University of Miami; M.S., Clinical Exercise Physiology, University of Miami; D.C., Chiropractic, Life University; Ph.D., Exercise Physiology, University of Miami

Brian Glassey, M.S.

Adjunct Instructor of Exercise Physiology
Education: B.A., Sports Management, Adams State University; M.S., Applied Sports Psychology, Adams State University

Alexander Heatherly, Ph.D. (candidate)

Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology
Education: B.S., Health, Physical Education and Recreation, University of North Alabama; M.S., Health and Human Performance, University of North Alabama; Ph.D. (candidate), Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University
Office: Canizaro Library 314
Phone: (239) 304-7983

Ernesto Quintero, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Marine Biology, California State University; Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Maryland
Office: Henkels 2048
Phone: (239) 280-1666

Ladislav Sallai, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Education: M.S., Pharmacy, Comenius University; Ph.D., Chemistry, University of North Dakota
Office: Henkels 3028
Phone: (239) 280-2418

William Serson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Biology Millersville University; Ph.D., Plant Physiology, University of Kentucky
Office: Henkels 2045
Phone: (239) 280-2433