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Exercise & Sports Studies

D'Youville's Exercise & Sports Studies program builds on a tradition of educational excellence in the liberal arts and allied health professions.

Pursue your love of sports and wellness with a bachelor's degree in Exercise & Sports Studies.

D'Youville's Exercise & Sports Studies (ESS) program prepares students to understand various dimensions of the health professions, fitness industry and/or competitive athletics. With a degree in exercise and sports studies, you can enter directly into industry or pursue advanced graduate degrees in a number of fields.

The program builds on D'Youville's tradition of educational excellence in the liberal arts and current strengths in the allied health professions such as dietetics, nursing, physician assistant and physical therapy.

Pathways to Earn a Degree

D'Youville offers 3 degree pathways to earn a earn a bachelor of science degree in exercise and sports studies:

Exercise Studies Track

  • Learn the health and fitness aspects of the exercise sciences. Prepare for a career in the fitness industry such as strength and conditioning, or personal training.

Sports Studies Track

  • Learn the social, psychological, business and management aspects of the sports and fitness industries. Prepare for a career in sports and fitness management and administration, or coaching.

Health Professions Track

  • Enter the combined degree program as a freshman and graduate in six years with a bachelor's degree in ESS and a doctor of physical therapy degree. This track features direct entry into the Physical Therapy program upon successful completion of the B.S. in ESS. You will not need to compete for entry into the doctoral program as long as you maintain overall GPA of 3.0 and B or better and 3.2 GPA in all DPT prerequisite courses.


D'Youville College's Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®).  ACEND® is the accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists.

Four-Year Bachelor's Degree

Our online application is free and easy to submit.


The undergraduate Exercise and Sports Studies (ESS) program prepares students with the necessary academic knowledge and skills to excel in careers in the health and fitness industry, the allied health professions, and the multifaceted sports industry.

Through a comprehensive and diverse portfolio of courses that encompass the liberal arts, specialized content-specific coursework, and applied internship experiences, the ESS program prepares each student to excel in careers that are meaningful and stimulating. 

Above and beyond professional career preparation, the ESS program is also designed to prepare students for graduate level study in academics areas encompassing the Exercise Sciences and Allied Health Professions. The ESS program is tailored to prepare students for various credentialing exams, specifically those offered through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and American College of Sports Medicine. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes for the four-year B.S. degree in ESS are as follows:

  • Understand ESS career options and opportunities for advanced study upon graduation.
  • Understand credentialing and certification requirements available to ESS students.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of human anatomy and physiology within the physically active population. 
  • Understand basic principles of human biomechanics and its relationship to exercise selection, execution, injury prevention, and athletic performance. 
  • Understand the dynamics of human bioenergetics and metabolism. 
  • Understand both acute responses and chronic adaptations to exercise stress, and the implications for health and athletic performance. 
  • Explain how nutritional factors affect health, fitness, and athletic performance.
  • Understand the role that physical activity has on chronic, lifestyle disease prevention, mortality, and morbidity. 
  • Explain the effects, risks, and alternatives to performance-enhancing drugs and ergogenic aids.
  • Identify contraindications and risks to exercise among the physically active, as well as methods for screening and identification. 
  • Describe, execute and evaluate safe and effective resistance, cardiovascular, and plyometric exercises.
  • Describe, execute, and evaluate safe and effective methods to increase flexibility, speed, agility, strength and cardiovascular endurance. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of commonly used and administered exercise tests and methods of exercise prescription. 
  • Design training programs that maximize performance and health by using various methods of exercise prescription and program design. 
  • Design training programs that maximize health and performance based on one’s level of training, health status, and goals.
  • Establish policies and procedures associated with the day-to-day operation of health, fitness, sport, or athletic facilities.
  • Understand the components of safe and effective exercise and/or athletic facilities.
  • Demonstrate various physical fitness and athletic performance testing protocols pertaining to exercise and athletic performance.
  • Understand the basic legal principles of sport and physical activity and develop risk management strategies aimed at increasing safety and minimizing liability.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of key content areas within exercise and sport psychology and apply this knowledge appropriately in to exercise, sport, or fitness settings.
  • Explore the degrees offered at D'Youville. Find a program that will lead to your success in the classroom and after graduation.

  • Visit to learn more about our exceptional academic programs. Take a campus tour and meet faculty and students. Maybe sit in on a class.

  • With our centrally-located student centers, answers are always nearby — whether you're ready to enroll are about to enter your career.

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