Exercise and Sports Science
Learn to promote a healthy, active lifestyle.
Exercise and Sports Science (ESS) is the study of immediate and long-term effects of physical activity on the body. This course of study explains the contribution of anatomy, biomechanics, motor learning, physiology and health behaviors to effective exercise and sports performance. As an exercise and sports science major, you will learn to help individuals and groups to lead healthier lives through exercise and physical activity.
At Meredith, ESS majors can choose from two concentrations:
Health and Wellness Concentration
Students wishing to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Meredith College in Exercise & Sports Science – Health & Wellness are well prepared for entry-level positions with community, medical and corporate fitness programs. Through their course of study and hands-on practice in our fitness center, human performance lab, employee wellness program or student fitness programs, our students gain first-hand knowledge of how to develop and implement life-changing exercise and sports performance programming.
Physical Education and Health Concentration
This is an exciting time to enter the field of physical education and health, as quality physical education and health teachers are in great demand. Individuals in this profession seek to tackle our nation's growing problem with inactivity and its associated risk factors, especially among school-age youth. After successful completion of all major requirements in ESS and the professional education program, including a semester-long internship, students will be qualified for licensure to teach at all levels (K-12) in North Carolina and many other states.
Currently, 100% of Meredith ESS graduates with health and physical education licensure have secured a job in teaching or obtained a graduate school assistantship their first year out of college.
At Meredith, students benefit from small classes and close mentoring relationships with professors. Students can explore their interest in exercise and sports science as they prepare for a teaching career. Guided by the conceptual framework in the Department of Education and the N.C. Professional Teacher Standards, the Health and Physical Education Concentration seeks to develop leaders that can effectively prepare K-12 students with 21st century skills.
ESS majors have the opportunity to gain a strong knowledge base of both the discipline of sports science and the latest instructional skills for success in teaching health and physical education. Varied field experiences beginning early in the program provide students with numerous hands-on opportunities to grow professionally. Students are also involved in a number of community volunteer experiences aimed at supporting physical activity and quality of life for all ages.
Meredith's exercise and sports science program offers numerous and varied hands-on learning opportunities, including study abroad and internships.
Students may choose to participate in general study abroad experiences, or a discipline-specific program such as the Adventure Ireland Program, where students were able to take part in activities such as surfing, Gaelic Football, team building, kayaking, and high and low ropes course challenges.
Recent examples of internships completed by Meredith students include:
Physical Education & Health
Early and extensive Field Experiences with K-12 students in Wake County public schools settings associated with all teaching methods courses
Public School Internships – Student teachers are placed in Wake County Schools
Health & Wellness
Community Internships – Students intern in a variety of settings offering them the opportunity to experience general fitness programming, cardiac rehab, athletic performance, physical therapy and community health education.
Exercise and Sports Science Majors
- Meredith Human Performance Lab – perform basic fitness testing to extensive metabolic evaluation.
- Employee Wellness Program – deliver fitness and educational programs to the employees of Meredith College
- Fitness Center Instructor – gain hands-on experience for exercise instruction, implementation and site supervision.
- Angels in Motion – an exciting student-led fitness program offered to all Meredith students.
Recent student undergraduate research topics include "Shape Up: Body Image and External Expectations," "Metabolic Demand of Skechers Resistance Runners," and "A comparative analysis of pre- vs. post-season fitness and performance in addition to player perception of fitness in DIII women’s collegiate volleyball and cross country teams."
An exercise and sports science degree prepares students for a wide array of potential careers as well as graduate study. Professional positions held and graduate programs attended by recent graduates of Meredith's ESS program include:
- Master’s Degree in Health Education, East Carolina University
- Teacher and head basketball coach, Heritage High School, Wake County
- Elementary physical education teacher, Wake Forest
- Middle school health and physical education teacher, Leesville Road Middle School, Wake County
- Health and physical education teacher, Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, Wake County
- Health and physical education teacher, Northern Vance High School, Granville County
- Health and physical education teacher, East Lee Middle School, Lee County
- Master’s Degree in Physical Education/Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology at the University of Georgia, Athens.
- Cannon Online Learning Designer, Athens, Ga.
- Master’s Degree in Exercise Science, UNC- Chapel Hill
- Master’s Degree in Exercise Science, UNC- Charlotte
- Program Manager, Merck’s Health Matters Fitness Center, West Point, Pa.
- Personal trainer, Raleigh, N.C.
Supervisor, Raleigh Parks and Recreation, Raleigh, N.C.
Monetary student awards are given each year to recognize achievement and aptitude within the areas of leadership, service and undergraduate research.
In addition to these discipline-specific scholarship opportunities, Meredith offers a range of merit and need-based financial assistance. Last year, Meredith coordinated $42.8 million in financial assistance.
Meredith’s student/faculty ratio of 11:1 and average class size of 17 ensure that students get to know their professors. In turn, our faculty know students by name and, just as important, are familiar with each student’s unique strengths and interests. This allows faculty to identify interesting research and internship opportunities for students, to write meaningful letters of recommendation, and to support students as they conduct in-depth undergraduate research. In fact, students and faculty frequently work together on such projects—more than 140 were conducted by student/faculty teams last year.
Exercise and sports science faculty include:
- Melinda Campbell, Ph.D. Professor, Teaching and Teacher Education
- Stephanie Little, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Teaching and Teacher Education
- Susan Drury-Rohner, M.S., Assistant Professor and coordinator of Meredith's Wellness Program
For more detailed information about the exercise and sports science major, please go to the program website.
For information about other majors at Meredith, return to the Admissions majors page.