Student Inside the Biomechanics Lab

Exercise Science

Explore the science behind the human body and learn how to improve the health and wellness of others. Whether you are interested in strength training, physical therapy, sports medicine or another career in exercise science, the kinesiology and sport management major with a specialization in exercise science is your first step on that path.

Why Study Exercise Science?

As a kinesiology and sport management student specializing in exercise science, you'll learn skills in exercise assessment, prescription and programming for athletic, healthy and special populations as you prepare for a career improving the health and wellbeing of people. A key element of your program is hands-on learning – such as conducting research in our state-of-the-art biomechanics laboratory and gaining real-world experience through an internship. 

We also offer a highly customized education, with two potential areas of focus based on your career interests: applied and pre-professional. The applied focus area prepares you to enter careers in strength and conditioning, personal training or another health and wellness related field. This coursework is strongly based on National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) principles and readies you for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam. The pre-professional emphasis prepares you to enter graduate school for physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropracty, physician assistant studies or athletic training, as well as other professional programs. 

Study the science of human movement and take the first step toward your career as an exercise science student.

Degrees & Offerings

Kinesiology & Sport Management: Exercise Science (B.S.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

The exercise science specialization prepares you for a future in promoting and supporting the health and wellbeing of people. You'll learn skills in exercise assessment, prescription and programming for athletic, healthy and special populations as you prepare to work in the sports performance or health care fields. This specialization is a great choice for students interested in becoming physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, chiropractors, strength and conditioning coaches or other health related professionals.

Learn more about the kinesiology and sport management program

Accelerated Doctor of Occupational Therapy (B.S./O.T.D.)

Accelerated Program
  Vermillion Main Campus

This 3+3 program is available to current USD students pursuing a B.S. in health sciences with a specialization in clinical studies; a B.S. in kinesiology and sport management with a specialization in exercise science; or a B.S. in neuroscience with a specialization in cognitive neuroscience. The accelerated track will allow the undergraduate program to count 20 hours of the first year of a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree toward the electives in the B.S. degree. The student will complete 100 hours by the end of the third year toward the undergraduate degree.

Program Details






Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in kinesiology and sport management
Student with Stethoscope Taking Another Students Blood Pressure.

Kinesiology & Sport Management

The Division of Kinesiology & Sport Management offers some of the most popular programs at USD. Home to state-of-the-art technology and nationally-recognized faculty, our division provides students with the networking connections, resources and research opportunities they need to progress in or launch careers in the business and science of movement and sport.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know your professors in the Division of Kinesiology & Sport Management. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in legal liability in sport, risk management in sport and athletics, the role of organizational behaviors in creating more inclusive sport and physical activity spaces, the relationship between gait performance and health disparities, and more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Robin Wiebers

Robin Wiebers

Assoc Dean-School of Educ
Bio Image for Faculty Member Amanda Anderson

Amanda Anderson

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Steven Anderson

Steven Anderson



Exercise Physiology
Strength & Conditioning
Bio Image for Faculty Member Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson



Fitness, Health, Wellness, Sport Management
Bio Image for Faculty Member Nancy Reemts

Nancy Reemts

Senior Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Hyung Suk Yang

Hyung Suk Yang

Assistant Professor
A student measuring another's arm.

Hands-on Learning

As you look forward to entering the workforce or applying to a graduate or professional program, you need real-world experiences that set you apart. 

At USD, you'll experience a wide range of hands-on learning opportunities. You have the chance to conduct research in biomechanics or exercise testing labs, learn coaching resistance training techniques, participate in programs through the Wellness Center, complete an internship and attend conferences. 



A student being analyzed lifting something.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

At USD, you won't just read about kinesiology research – you'll conduct it yourself.


Our exercise science program offers an integrated research component, offering you the opportunity to get hands-on experience posing questions and finding answers. You'll have the chance to conduct research in our exercise testing labs or our $100,000 biomechanics laboratory, which includes state-of-the-art equipment for student research:


  • BodPod for accurately measuring body composition
  • Portable New Leaf Metabolic Cart
  • Woodway Pro High-Speed Treadmill
  • Computerized Bertec Posturography Plate
  • Vicon 3D Motion Analysis Camera System with AMTI Force Plates and Delsys Wireless EMGs

alum success story

Success story Dominic Long smiling.
I initially found out about USD while being recruited for football. After multiple visits to Vermillion, I felt at home with the small-town vibe and the campus size, but was especially excited to be in the KSM department. Once I got to my sophomore year and a bit more immersed in the KSM curriculum that I had been anticipating, I knew that I found the right fit and I could not be happier with my decision.

Dominic Long

B.A. Kinesiology & Sport Management, Exercise Science '20
Sports Performance Coach, First Pick Performance
Gothenburg, NE

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