Exercise Science Program Major - Defiance College - Defiance, Ohio

Exercise Science

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Exercise ScienceThe Defiance College exercise science program focuses on developing skills and abilities to cultivate health enhancement programs for athletic, general, and/or special populations. An exercise science major can also provide the educational base and practical experiences leading to graduate study in health management, exercise science, exercise physiology, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, coaching, strength and conditioning, or fitness management.

Students within the exercise science program choose from two concentrations. They then refine skills through first-hand experience within school, the community, and corporate based settings.

Each student is required to complete both a field experience and an internship within their chosen area of specialization. Previous students have completed experiential learning with major universities, professional sport organizations, local high school athletic departments, hospital-based allied health programs, and community-based fitness/wellness programs.




This track is designed for students that want to train and/or coach athletic populations. It is focused upon the National Strength and Conditioning Association's content that is associated with the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) exam.


This track is designed for students that want to work with general populations to reduce health risks through fitness and other wellness programs. It is a good fit for students who may want to become certified personal trainers (CPT) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.


Benefits of the Program

DC exercise science students benefit from hands on projects within numerous courses. They also gain an understanding of fitness/wellness assessment within a human performance laboratory and have opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research-based projects and/or presentations.

Related Programs

Complementary minors might include business or sport management for students that would like to specialize in the business-related aspects of sport, exercise, and fitness professions. Sport and exercise psychology is another suggestion, or another area of the student's interest.

After College — What’s Next?

Exercise Science

Graduates with an exercise science major have employment opportunities in a diverse array of settings. Within the program, students are encouraged to develop a primary and secondary career path and pursue experiential learning that will make them more marketable upon graduation. Additionally, an exercise science degree can serve as a solid foundation for a variety of graduate programs in allied health, exercise physiology, wellness programming, personal training, strength and conditioning, coaching, or sport management.

Recent graduates are employed in a variety of allied health settings, personal training, strength and conditioning, and fitness wellness programming. The Defiance Area YMCA has employed numerous graduates as program directors. A recent graduate runs her own massage therapy business, and another graduate works as a program director within a metropolitan parks and recreation program.

Student Quotes

"As an exercise science student, I was more than ready to apply for jobs after graduation because of the field experience and internship requirements. I'm very thankful that Defiance College gave me this educational experience, because, without those opportunities, I would have never realized I wanted to pursue a career in a nursing home environment. Now I am ready to be challenged and I am able to use my knowledge and skills building a career."
--Renae Sabo, 2013 Graduate


"It’s so great to be around professors as passionate and excited about wellness and fitness as I am, and who are willing to help me find the best-fitting internships and experiences I need to leave here with confidence and one solid résumé! It’s all about the experiences, and I have had some of the best in my life between coaching at a high school, meeting professional athletes, and networking with some big names in the fitness world - all thanks to DC!"
--Kali George, 2014 Graduate


"The exercise science program at Defiance College gives students the chance to succeed in their future careers. From the caring faculty that will help you at any time, to the laboratory activities that gives you a chance to practice skills you could use in your career, to the internships and field experiences that you can become a part of and learn so much from, Defiance College offers a great program to help you compete in the job market."
--Nick Kleck, 2015 Graduate


"Any student interested in promoting health, fitness, or athletic participation should consider a major in exercise science. This major prepares students for a diverse array of professional opportunities as well as graduate study. Through studying exercise science, I developed a passion for exercise physiology, strength & conditioning, teaching, and coaching. For me, working within exercise science provides a day-to-day satisfaction that I could not find in any other area of study or professional setting."
--Dr. Rickabaugh

Timothy E. Rickabaugh, Ph.D.
Professor of Exercise Science
Phone: 419-783-2584
Email: trickabaugh@defiance.edu

Katherine Griffes, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Health,
Physical Education, and Exercise Science
Phone: 419-783-2419

Matthew Lundin, Ed.D., AT, ATC
Assistant Professor of Athletic Training
Director of the Athletic Training Program

Phone: 419-783-2423:Email: mlundin@defiance.edu

Craig A. Rutter, M.Ed.
Associate Professor of Exercise Science
Phone: 419-783-2374
Email: crutter@defiance.edu

Kevin M. Tong, M.S.Ed., ATC
Assistant Professor of Athletic Training 
and Head Athletic Trainer
Phone: 419-783-2340
Email: ktong@defiance.edu