Exercise Physiology


The Exercise Physiology (B.S.) degree offers a solid foundation in the factual and conceptual study of human movement. The program provides students with sound academic preparation in the science of human movement through physics and biology 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 Physiology 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 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 201 Concepts of Biology I  -OR- BIOL 211 Biology I Cellular and Molecular Biology
BIOL 200 Nutrition
BIOL 250 Health and Wellness
BIOL 304 Anatomy and Physiology I
BIOL 309 Anatomy and Physiology II
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 Testing Clinical I
EXER 491 Exercise Testing Clinical II
CHEM 105 Chemistry for Health Science
PHYS 211 College Physics I -OR- PHYS 221 University Physics: Mechanics*
PSYC 370 Sports Psychology
3 electives in Exercise Science (6 credits)

Electives in Exercise Science (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 Science

*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, Ph.D. (candidate)

Instructor of Biology 
Education: B.A., Biology, Ave Maria University; Ph.D. (candidate), Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University
Office: Henkels 3034
Phone: (239) 304-7130

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, Associate Professor of Biology
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.

Instructor of Biology
Education: B.A., Biology, Knox College; M.S., Zoology, Western Illinois University
Office: Henkels 1035
Phone: (239) 280-1637

Craig Flanagan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology
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
Office: Canizaro Library 313
Phone: (239) 304-7367

Ernesto Quintero, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Marine Biology, California State University; Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Maryland
Office: Henkels 3050
Phone: (239) 280-1666

Ladislav Sallai, Ph.D.

Assistant 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

Thomas Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Environmental Biology & Chemistry, Plymouth State University; M.S., Recreation, Western Kentucky University; M.S. Biology, Western Kentucky University, Ph.D., Environmental Biology, University of Louisville
Office: Henkels 3048
Phone: (239) 280-2536