Houghton College is launching a new major in exercise science this fall, which will lead to a bachelor of science degree. The program offers a graduate track (for students planning to pursue graduate school) and an applied track (for those interested in immediate certification and job entry).
Houghton biology professor Ransom Poythress says the two tracks offer students a flexible course of study, with the choice of either “more intense preparation for graduate work in physical therapy, occupational therapy, or athletic training, or direct career entry into personal training, sports ministry, nutrition, coaching, fitness instruction or myriad other possibilities.”
Students majoring in exercise science at Houghton will take a mix of biology and psychology courses, along with other cross-disciplinary electives and courses in sport, recreation, and wellness. The graduate track includes additional advanced work in the natural sciences, to prepare students for graduate school. Career paths with an exercise science major include physical or occupational therapy, athletic training, coaching, and sports ministry.
“Interest in health professions majors is growing in the US,” says Poythress, “and the new major captures a wider range of interests than we previously offered.” The exercise science major also takes advantage of Houghton’s participation in NCAA Division III Athletics, offering opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning. According to Poythress, the program will incorporate laboratory and clinical opportunities alongside intensive coursework and career preparation tailored to students’ unique interests and goals.
Exercise science is one of several new programs Houghton is launching this fall, as part of an initiative to offer valuable, in-demand degree options to students. These new programs include electrical engineering, criminal justice, and online MBA and MSEd degrees.