Educational Experiences

Exercise physiology students learning in a labLearn more about the educational experiences available to you, as an Exercise Physiology student:

In the classroom

First year

In the first semester, students are provided an introduction to the university and their major with fellow students in Health & Sport Science. Throughout the first year, students begin their dedicated study of the basic sciences with a full-year sequence of lecture and laboratories in both biology and chemistry.

To fill the remainder of their first-year schedule (typically 17-18 credit hours per semester) students take courses in the First Year Humanities Commons (English, philosophy, history, and religion), the foundation of the Common Academic Program, UD’s unique general education plan.

Second year and beyond

As students continue their classroom study, advisers work closely with each student to sequence courses to best fit their individual needs based on their post-graduation goals. Additional basic science courses (organic chemistry, genetics, biochemistry) are joined with key social science courses (psychology, sociology) as well as major-specific classes.

Students in the Department of Health & Sport Science are fortunate to work in a cadaver laboratory for their introduction to human anatomy.

Major courses in physiology, exercise physiology, Kinesiology, and courses with clinical content are small (less than 35 students) and taught by full-time faculty and relevant clinical professionals. As a capstone, students complete research projects in collaboration with their peers and present to students, faculty and staff.

Given the number of requirements of the major, it is not uncommon for students to pursue a minor in biology or psychology. If interested and placed appropriately, Spanish language minors are also common.

The courses required of Exercise Physiology majors are aimed at preparing for a graduate education. They are fast-paced and focused on critical thinking and clear communication of ideas, both orally and in writing. Given the small class size and one-on-one advising provided by Health & Sport Science faculty, strong relationships generally develop between students and faculty.

Beyond the classroom

Exercise Physiology majors are some of the most involved students both on and off campus. Many students engage in research and scholarship with faculty members, some pursuing Honors Theses.  

  • Job shadowing: To help determine their career path as well as gain relevant experience, students shadow and observe health professionals in the Dayton area or their hometown over breaks. Health & Sport Science faculty and staff are able to assist students in arranging and appropriately documenting these experiences.  
  • Student activities & groups: The University of Dayton has more than 200 recognized clubs and organizations, many of which provide great opportunities for our Exercise Physiology students, including Pre-PA Club, Pre-PT Club, Phi Epsilon Kappa (HSS Professional Fraternity), Alpha Epsilon Delta (Pre-Professional Health Honors Society), Beta Beta Beta (Biology Professional Fraternity), and Rescue Squad (On-Campus EMTs).
  • Service & professional opportunities: Exercise Physiology students can also be found participating in the many other service and professional opportunities provided by the various institutes and centers on UD’s campus such as the Fitz Center for Leadership in CommunityCampus MinistryArtStreet, and Residence Life.

Professional schools are looking for well-rounded individuals that are committed to bettering the lives of those around them. We encourage our students to get involved but stay mindful of their dedication to academics in order to achieve the necessary success for graduate school entry.


Department of Health and Sport Science

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2968