Nov 27, 2022  
Fitchburg State University 2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Strength and Conditioning Concentration, Exercise Science, BS

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Exercise and Sports Science

Associate Professor & Chairperson
Jason Talanian

Professors Associate Professors Assistant Professors
Jeff Godin David Heikkinen Jessica Alsup
Timothy Hilliard Monica Maldari Karen Keenan
Danielle Wigmore      Lindsay Parisi  

Objectives for the Exercise and Sports Science Program

The Exercise and Sports Science major is designed with three career concentrations: clinical exercise physiology, fitness management and strength & conditioning. The major is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. It is multidisciplinary in that it includes the integration of anatomy, physiology, physics, psychology, and learning theory to describe and explain responses and adaptations to exercise and training, and to apply that knowledge to enhance physical potential for health, for sport, and in rehabilitation. It is interdisciplinary in that it draws from biology and business administration to provide a foundation in these disciplines to support exercise science applications as well as to enhance career preparedness.

There is a common core of Exercise Science courses to ensure a solid foundation in the various disciplines that comprise this multidisciplinary field of study, and to ensure the ability to apply knowledge in a variety of  practical experiences. There is an opportunity also to develop breadth and depth in the field of Exercise and Sports Science as each concentration has specific requirements, as well as free electives.

Goals of the Program are:

  • To prepare relevant professional education supported by a rigorous scientific base to students who choose Exercise and Sports Science careers, whether in the clinical, fitness or sport related setting
  • To provide leadership opportunities through apprenticeships, specified internships, presentations and publications
  • To provide career alternatives to students in other majors by offering courses related to their chosen fields of endeavor
  • To support the university’s general education requirement in the area of personal wellness

Student Learning Outcomes

The Exercise and Sports Science Department’s mission is to prepare graduates for professional careers and advanced graduate studies in fields such as: physical therapy, occupational therapy, strength & conditioning, cardiac rehabilitation, fitness management, and wellness. This is accomplished through a combination of interactive classroom and unique hands-on laboratory experiences and internships. We support all University students working towards an accessible liberal arts education by providing the foundations for personal wellness.


The Exercise and Sports Science Department will be nationally recognized for its excellence in teaching and learning in the areas of clinical exercise physiology, fitness management, and strength and conditioning. We will be known for our commitment to transforming lives through education, experiential learning, and dedication to public service.

Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the Exercise and Sports Science program, students will:

  • Design exercise programs for health, fitness, and athletic performance: Students will display knowledge of program design by including all relevant components of fitness, correctly identifying any/all risk factors for their client, and appropriately modifying the training load and cycles.
  • Effectively perform health-related and performance-related exercise testing: Students will display knowledge of exercises tests by safely setting up and executing tests without errors, collecting appropriate physiological data at given time points, and performing calculations in order to interpret the data correctly.
  • Demonstrate effective verbal communication: Students will demonstrate effective professional presentation skills and communicate clearly and appropriately with clients and patients in mock and actual professional settings. 
  • Demonstrate effective written communication: Students will organize written work in such a way that it integrates discipline -specific terminology; identifies and evaluates scholarly sources; properly uses citations; and communicates, organizes, and synthesizes information from sources with clarity and depth.
  • Demonstrate quantitative reasoning: Students will represent information in mathematical form, explain information presented in mathematical form, and make judgments and draw appropriate conclusions based on the quantitative analysis of data.

Requirements for the Major in Exercise and Sports Science

Prerequisites: All Exercise and Sports Science majors must complete a core of EXSS courses, including a 240-hour internship, as well as 4 or 5 liberal arts and science courses, depending on the concentration.

The following courses carry a prerequisite minimum grade of 2.0 in EXSS 1011  (Intro to Exercise Science) AND BIOL 1200  (Anatomy & Physiology I) in order to move forward in the major and register for the courses below:


Requirements for the concentration in Strength and Conditioning

The role of the strength and conditioning coach has and will continue to grow. Today’s strength and conditioning coach focuses on athlete health, injury prevention, and the improvement of human performance. The delicate balance among these dimensions requires a specific set of knowledge, skills, and abilities from the Exercise and Sports Sciences. The strength training and conditioning coach needs to be able to communicate with other team health care professionals including the Team Physician and Athletic Trainer. Thus, the strength and conditioning coach must be proficient with program design and be knowledgeable in the area of Sports Medicine. Graduates from the Strength and Conditioning concentration will have the knowledge necessary to pass nationally recognized strength and conditioning certification exam, will possess the skills and abilities to be successful working with recreational to professional athletes in a commercial setting or with collegiate or professional teams, and will be skillfully prepared to complete a graduate program in the field.

Required General Education Courses

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