North Central College - Naperville, IL

Exercise Science

Why choose exercise science at North Central College?

An exercise science degree will prepare you for a career as an exercise professional in the rapidly growing world of fitness and human performance. Its broad-based curriculum balances the applied art of fitness programming with the scientific fundamentals of anatomy and physiology. North Central’s exercise science program is also recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Students in the major are prepared for a career in strength and conditioning, corporate fitness and wellness, personal training and human performance. Many students choose to use the exercise science major to prepare for graduate programs in physical therapy, exercise physiology, chiropractic, or others.

You can also:

  • Utilize Dartfish motion analysis software in your coursework.
  • Benefit from frequent panel discussions with area exercise professionals.
  • Take advantage of practice tests and advising support if you wish to pursue graduate studies.
  • Benefit from a curriculum recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Educational Recognition Program (ERP).

National Strength and Conditioning Association and ERP Logo are either
registered trademarks or trademarks of the National Strength and Conditioning
Association in the United States and/or other countries.


North Central College will host the USA Triathlon Central Region Qualifier for the Collegiate National Championships on Labor Day, Sept. 5.
North Central College recognizes high-achieving students for academic and co-curricular excellence throughout their college careers on Honors Day.
North Central gains momentum in growth, reputation, value.



  • Chicago Bulls/White Sox Training Academy, Lisle, IL
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Academy of Human Performance, Naperville, IL
  • Area sports performance facilities
  • Area physical therapy clinics
  • Area fitness centers

Graduate Schools

Graduates in exercise science have been accepted at:

  • Benedictine University
  • Midwestern University
  • Palmer Chiropractic
  • Pacific University
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Rush University
  • Soma Institute


Graduates in exercise science include:

  • Physical therapist
  • Personal fitness trainer
  • Strength and conditioning specialist
  • Chiropractor
  • Youth fitness specialist
  • Corporate fitness
Exercise Science major

“The possibilities are endless with a degree in exercise science,” says Nick. “There are jobs in the field of human sport specialist, strength trainer, injury specialist, speed trainer and sports performance trainer.”

A star wide receiver/running back on North Central’s football team, Nick completed internships at professional training facilities, a summer job as a sports performance trainer and working one-on-one with professional athletes. “North Central’s faculty opened doors and made connections for me,” he says. “I trained football players near my hometown in Florida. One guy was with an NFL team and hired me to work with him.”

His dream job? “To open up my own facilities for strength and...

Exercise Science major

For John, what began as a passion for fitness expanded into a career. When he learned about the great opportunities available for exercise science majors, John knew this was the major for him.

John has already taken advantage of many opportunities as an undergraduate, such as serving on the executive board for the student-run Pre-Health Organization, contributing to the Health and Exercise Association and completing an internship in the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Unit at Edward Hospital in Naperville.

He appreciates how the Office of Career Development and North Central’s professors take an active interest in students’ careers. Career Development sends weekly updates on available internships...

Exercise Science major

Sean chose North Central for its exercise science department and football program. “I wanted to pursue the science of exercise to help others experience the benefits I had. And playing football for a winning program was great.”

Internships were key for Sean. “I was surprised at how well I was prepared for my internships. North Central gives you a good foundation of knowledge and the professors open your eyes to the possibilities.”

One internship involved training middle- and high-school athletes in their specific sports. A second internship at Division I Northwestern University confirmed his future: Sean wants to work with college-level sports teams as a strength and conditioning coach.


Exercise Science major

Jamie has always been passionate about fitness. The exercise science major chose North Central because she felt it gave her the best chance to establish and run her own studio in the future.

“The fitness industry is exceptionally competitive. There is no college that can better prepare you to take on the challenge,” she says. “When you go to class, there’s so much more interaction that takes place beyond a typical lecture. We’re able to go into detail about subjects and collaborate with one another because the class size—usually around 14 to 22 students—allows us to.”

Jamie is a board member for North Central’s Health and Exercise...

Exercise Science major

Last summer, Cowan secured a paid summer internship with METT Therapy Services at St. James Hospital and Health Center in Chicago Heights, IL. He’ll continue working there after graduation while considering his graduate school options.

Cowan is already on the road to professional success, and it began at North Central. As a student, he was a member of the College's nationally renowned wrestling team. As a senior, he won his second straight College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin individual championship and qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships.

He’s most proud of earning Scholar All-America distinction from the National Wrestling Coaches Association. “North Central has...