To help reach your ultimate professional goals, we provide you with a unique and engaging educational experience, including:
- A caring, student-centered faculty, comprising experts in their fields, who are accessible, approachable, and possess a wide range of expertise and experiences
- Small classes that ensure individual attention
- Career advising
- Successful graduates
- An engaging and fun learning environment
- Opportunities to attend professional conferences
- Personalized, one-on-one advising
- Recreational opportunities to inspire students and staff
- Hands-on, applied learning
- Opportunities for undergraduate research
- Western’s High Altitude Performance Lab, with state-of-the-art, exercise-testing equipment
- Strong connections to graduate programs and specific program requirements
- Certification preparation coursework to make you more marketable
- Student majors club
What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?
The Exercise and Sport Science program helps you build the knowledge and hands-on skills needed to complete professional, nationally accredited certifications with the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, American Council on Exercise, National Association of Sports Medicine and USA Weightlifting. You also are prepared to meet physical-education-teacher license requirements.
You’ll have the chance to work in our High Altitude Performance Laboratory through coursework, volunteer work and undergraduate research opportunities. You’ll build skills working with individuals of all ages to develop and implement evidence-based activity and nutrition plans for healthy living.
Beyond the Classroom
Our program prepares students for leadership roles in the development and administration of fitness, wellness and sport programs in both private and public sectors through practicum, internship and field experiences. Through community partnerships, we have placed students in hospitals, assisted living centers, adaptive sport programs, worksite health promotion programs, commercial fitness centers, sport and exercise performance laboratories, community parks and recreation programs, as well as intercollegiate and professional sport organizations. Students have learning opportunities outside the Gunnison Valley, including trips to the United States Olympic Committee training facilities and professional sport venues, such as the Pepsi Center and Sports Authority Field.
Internship supervisors consistently describe our students as well or more prepared than undergraduate students from other institutions. Many students are hired following their internships.
Exercise & Sport Science students have opportunities for service learning through initiatives such as Gunnison Community School health screening, Gunnison Valley Health annual health fair, adult fitness programming, and work with local nonprofit organizations, such as Gunnison Country Partners One-on-One Mentoring, and Six Points Evaluation and Training for adults with developmental disabilities.
We have a vibrant student organization, ASESS, which meets regularly for social events, to attend professional conferences, and to discuss current research in the field of exercise and sport science. Students can also volunteer and/or receive credit or compensation through work in the High Altitude Performance Laboratory, as course tutors, teaching or research assistants.
Students with a major or minor in ESS can pursue entry-level careers in teaching, fitness, sport and wellness in both private and public sectors. Other students pursue graduate degrees in areas such as physical therapy (DPT), exercise physiology, nutrition, athletic training, cardiac rehabilitation, sport psychology, teacher education, sport administration or other allied-health fields.