Balance the applied art of fitness programming with scientific fundamentals of anatomy and physiology.

School of Education & Health Sciences

Department of Kinesiology

Exercise Science

Questions?

Undergraduate Admission

(630) 637-5800

admissions@noctrl.edu

Why pursue an Exercise Science degree at North Central College?

An exercise science degree will prepare you for a career as an exercise professional in the rapidly growing world of health, 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 careers in strength and conditioning, medical fitness, 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, occupational therapy, nursing, medicine, exercise physiology, chiropractic or others.

You can also:

  • Utilize Dartfish motion analysis software in your coursework.
  • Benefit from networking with area exercise professionals.
  • Take advantage of support from our pre-health advisor if you wish to pursue graduate studies.
  • Benefit from a curriculum recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Educational Recognition Program (ERP).
  • Engage in practical hands-on learning in a new state-of-the-art Human Performance Laboratory and throughout the curriculum.
  • American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP) and/or National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS). The Exercise Science curriculum at North Central College prepares students with the knowledge and skill areas needed to succeed at these rigorous certifications.

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More Department information

Dual admission bachelor's/master of occupational therapy degree

Exercise Science, B.S.

Exercise Science is broad discipline that studies the effects of physical activity on the human body. Exercise Science includes topics such as kinesiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, fitness assessment, exercise training techniques and exercise programming for healthy and special populations. Exercise Science is a degree that prepares graduates to work in wide range of careers related to health, fitness and human performance.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Kinesiology.

Major Requirements

  • EXSC 101 - Foundations of Exercise Science

    EXSC 101 - Foundations of Exercise Science

    4.00 credit hours

    Introduces students to the field of exercise science as a discipline and profession. Topics include the role of physical activity on morbidity and mortality, methods and techniques the fitness professional will use to develop positive lifestyle behaviors in their clients, basic components of fitness, liability concerns and considerations, professional roles and certifications, careers in fitness and health, and facility management among others. Observations at various exercise science related facilities are required. Required: Physical activity may be utilized to facilitate learning experiences in this class. Participate at a level at which you are comfortable or consult the instructor.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • EXSC 345 - Training Techniques

    EXSC 345 - Training Techniques

    2.00 credit hours

    In-depth study of safe and effective training techniques including resistance training using free weights, weight machines, resistive bands, body weight and other major fitness equipment. Plyometrics, speed and agility drills and core stability exercises are studied. Proper execution of exercise along with spotting techniques and appropriate cuing are emphasized. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of techniques. Physical activity is required in this course.

    Prerequisite(s)

    KINE 247.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • EXSC 347 - Physiology of Exercise

    EXSC 347 - Physiology of Exercise

    4.00 credit hours

    Investigation of cellular mechanisms of various body systems and the impact of acute exercise and prolonged training on those mechanisms; in-depth study of bioenergetics and metabolism; mechanisms associated with fatigue and recovery, and special populations are discussed. Laboratory required. Required: Physical activity may be utilized to facilitate learning experiences in this course. Participate at a level at which you are comfortable or consult the instructor.

    Prerequisite(s)

    BIOL 202.

    iCon(s)
    Examining Health.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • EXSC 410 - Fitness Evaluation

    EXSC 410 - Fitness Evaluation

    4.00 credit hours

    Comparison of fitness tests and techniques followed in schools, health/fitness clubs and cardiac rehabilitation programs. Development of fitness assessment proficiencies and certification requirements of various certifying boards. Special populations are covered. Practical fieldwork. Exposure to fitness computer software programs. Required: Physical activity may be utilized to facilitate learning experiences in this course. Participate at a level at which you are comfortable or consult the instructor.

    Prerequisite(s)

    KINE 247; EXSC 347 or concurrent enrollment.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • EXSC 420 - Exercise Program Design

    EXSC 420 - Exercise Program Design

    4.00 credit hours

    Provides the fundamental knowledge of exercise programming. The integration and application of kinesiology topics are applied practically through direct :client-practitioner interaction. Scientific principles are applied to the design of exercise programs that encompass the health-related components of physical fitness. Topics include exercise prescription for the general adult population, special populations and athletes including design of programs to enhance mobility, balance, strength, power, endurance and muscle hypertrophy.

    Prerequisite(s)

    EXSC 410.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • EXSC 490 - Internship Seminar

    EXSC 490 - Internship Seminar

    2.00 credit hours

    Students engage with their internship cohort and reflect on the internship experience. Provides students the opportunity to reflect on the internship experience. Course includes weekly reflections of fieldwork interactions, group discussions of discipline related topics, and a culminating project.

    Prerequisite(s)

    KINE 317, EXSC 347 and Exercise Science Clinical Coordinator Approval. Concurrent enrollment in EXSC 497.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • EXSC 497 - Internship

    EXSC 497 - Internship

    10.00 credit hours

    Students complete a 15 week, fully immersed, field-based experience in an approved facility. The facility is selected through cooperation between the student, the Exercise Science Clinical Coordinator, and an agency supervisor. Students must apply one term in advance through the Exercise Science Clinical Coordinator.

    Prerequisite(s)

    KINE 317, EXSC 347, and Exercise Science Clinical Coordinator Approval. Concurrent enrollment in EXSC 490.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • KINE 147 - First Aid

    KINE 147 - First Aid

    2.00 credit hours

    Teaches students critical skills needed to respond to and manage a crisis until emergency medical services arrive. Skills covered in this course prepare students to respond to breathing, cardiac, traumatic and medical emergencies, and environmental and physical injuries. Students who successfully complete this course and pass the required examinations receive a HeartSaver certificate through the American Heart Association that is valid for two years.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • KINE 247 - Functional Anatomy

    KINE 247 - Functional Anatomy

    4.00 credit hours

    An exploration of the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system and its relationship to human movement. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)

    BIOL 202.

    iCon(s)
    Examining Health.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • KINE 317 - Kinesiology

    KINE 317 - Kinesiology

    2.00 credit hours

    A study of the kinetic and kinematic factors that affect human motion. An anatomic, mechanical and physiological approach to understanding human movement is taken.

    Prerequisite(s)

    KINE 247.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BCHM 140 - Introduction to Nutrition

    BCHM 140 - Introduction to Nutrition

    4.00 credit hours

    A study of food, the nutrients in foods, their biochemical function and how they interact in relation to physical development and performance in humans. Laboratory required. Does not count toward the major in biochemistry, chemistry or biology.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Two years of high school science.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Science.
    iCon(s)
    Examining Health.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PSYC 255 - Research Design and Experimentation

    PSYC 255 - Research Design and Experimentation

    4.00 credit hours

    Students further their understanding of the scientific research process through lectures, activities and laboratory experiences. Students are introduced to various research designs, including naturalistic observation, case studies, correlational research and experimental research. Students use their knowledge of the research process to collect, analyze and critically think about original data. This course is writing intensive and requires working with a team to complete a significant research project. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)

    PSYC 250.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Ethical Dimensions.

    Schedule Of Classes

Practicum/Topics

One of the following:

  • EXSC 295 - Research Practicum

    EXSC 295 - Research Practicum

    2.00 credit hours

    A class designed to allow students to engage fully in an ongoing research project or develop a project of their own. Activities will vary according to project needs and student background, but may include literature review, recruitment of participants, data collection, and/or statistical analysis. This course may be repeated once for credit.

    Prerequisite(s)

    PSYC 250.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • EXSC 390 - Special Topics

    EXSC 390 - Special Topics

    2.00 credit hours

    A project-based class designed to engage students with community partners or institutional departments. Students work with the agency or department to assist in project development, implementation, or assessment. This course may be repeated once for credit.

    Prerequisite(s)

    PSYC 250.

    Schedule Of Classes

Electives

A minimum 12 credit hours from the following:

  • EXSC 354 - Applied Nutrition

    EXSC 354 - Applied Nutrition

    2.00 credit hours

    Application of nutritional principles. Topics discussed include nutritional programming for daily life, management of body composition, hypertrophy, physical activity, hydration, pre and post-competition nutrition, supplementation, and eating disorders. Students practice skills to help them develop healthy nutritional habits for life.

    Prerequisite(s)

    BCHM 140.

    iCon(s)
    Examining Health.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • EXSC 440 - Athletic Conditioning

    EXSC 440 - Athletic Conditioning

    4.00 credit hours

    An in-depth examination of sport-specific demands, work capacity enhancements, movement skills development, periodization programming, and regeneration techniques. The student learns to properly analyze any sport in terms of specific conditioning demands and be able to design a training prescription for any sport.

    Prerequisite(s)

    EXSC 420.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • EXSC 447 - Exercise Medicine

    EXSC 447 - Exercise Medicine

    4.00 credit hours

    A course examining acute physiological adaptations to exercise and chronic physiological adaptations to exercise training. The student will learn to prescribe exercise as medicine to mitigate disease and improve health outcomes of clients. This is an advanced clinical exercise physiology course covering exercise metabolism, immunology, cellular and molecular physiology, ECG, endocrinology, and pathophysiology.

    Prerequisite(s)

    EXSC 347.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • EXSC 450 - Exercise in Extreme Environments

    EXSC 450 - Exercise in Extreme Environments

    2.00 credit hours

    An in-depth, research-based course on how certain environmental stresses alter the physiological responses to exercise. The environmental stressors covered include: altitude, heat, cold, diving, microgravity, hyper-gravity, and air pollution.

    Prerequisite(s)

    EXSC 347.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • KINE 280 - Human Pathophysiology

    KINE 280 - Human Pathophysiology

    2.00 credit hours

    Pathophysiological conditions associated with human organ systems are studied. The role of physical activity, nutrition and lifestyle in the progression and treatment of pathologies are covered where appropriate.

    Prerequisite(s)

    BIOL 202.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SMGT 220 - Sport Budgeting and Finance

    SMGT 220 - Sport Budgeting and Finance

    4.00 credit hours

    Basic theory in finance, budgeting and economics are explored. Financial decision-making, including cash management; ratio analysis; asset management; short, intermediate and long-term financing are a course focus. Different types of budgets are reviewed with students learning the budget preparation and approval process. Accounting trends and economic theory are also applied to sport settings/organizations.

    Prerequisite(s)

    SMGT 101.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BUSN 170 - Entrepreneurship Exploration

    BUSN 170 - Entrepreneurship Exploration

    4.00 credit hours

    Designed primarily to provide an overview of entrepreneurship, develop an entrepreneurial frame of mind and skills in discovering and communicating entrepreneurial opportunities. Students come up with a business idea and explore its potential for becoming a viable business. They learn to do market research and communicate—both in writing and orally—their findings in a final Pitchdeck project. Other important aspects of the course include self-assessment to determine one's strengths and weaknesses, and gaining a proactive perspective on life. This introductory course is open to students from all majors across campus who are interested in Entrepreneurship.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHEM 121 - General Chemistry I

    CHEM 121 - General Chemistry I

    4.00 credit hours

    A discussion of chemical principles through examples from the chemistry of carbon compounds and the molecules found in living systems. Major topics include atomic and electronic structure, ions, molecules, Lewis structures, VSEPR, hybridization, intermolecular forces, chromatography, equilibria, kinetics, stereochemistry and polymer chemistry. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)

    One year of high school chemistry and two years of high school algebra.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II

    CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to chemical principles within the context of the environmental issues of fuel and energy, water treatment and acid rain. Major chemical topics include gas laws, aqueous reactions and solubility, equilibria, acid/base chemistry, buffers, thermochemistry, redox, electrochemistry and nuclear chemistry. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CHEM 121.

    iCon(s)
    Sustaining Our World.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHIL 213 - Health Care Ethics

    PHIL 213 - Health Care Ethics

    4.00 credit hours

    Considers fundamental ethical questions concerning health care and applies ethics to contemporary debates such as abortion.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Ethical Dimensions.
    iCon(s)
    Examining Health.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHYS 131 - Physics I (Non-Calculus)

    PHYS 131 - Physics I (Non-Calculus)

    4.00 credit hours

    Kinematics, Newton's Laws, conservation laws, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of PHYS 131 and PHYS 161.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Precalculus (Algebra & Trigonometry) competence.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHYS 132 - Physics II (Non-Calculus)

    PHYS 132 - Physics II (Non-Calculus)

    4.00 credit hours

    Oscillations, waves, sound, electricity and magnetism, and optics. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of PHYS 132 and PHYS 162.

    Prerequisite(s)

    PHYS 131 and Precalculus (Algebra & Trigonometry) competence.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PSYC 235 - Lifespan Development

    PSYC 235 - Lifespan Development

    4.00 credit hours

    An exploration of development across the lifespan from conception to death. Both normal and abnormal patterns of development in various cultures and contexts are examined.

    Prerequisite(s)

    PSYC 100 or NEUR 100.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PSYC 282 - Stress and Coping

    PSYC 282 - Stress and Coping

    4.00 credit hours

    A survey of theories and research about stress and coping. Specific topics include the physiology of stress, psychoneuroimmunology, effects of stress on mental health and behavior, coping styles, and stress management.

    Prerequisite(s)

    PSYC 100 or NEUR 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Well Being.
    iCon(s)
    Examining Health.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PSYC 385 - Health Psychology

    PSYC 385 - Health Psychology

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of how biological, psychological, and social factors influence health and illness. Specific topics include behavior change, stress, patient-provider communication, substance abuse, weight control, and coping with chronic illness.

    Prerequisite(s)

    One 200-level Psychology, Biology or Neuroscience course, except PSYC 293.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 343 - Health, Illness and Care

    SOCI 343 - Health, Illness and Care

    4.00 credit hours

    This course covers the theoretical orientations that guide sociological and anthropological insights into health, illness, treatment seeking and the organization of medical care and the current state of empirical knowledge in the field. Topics include the social origins of illness; lay beliefs about disease; sociodemographic variations in health care utilization; the profession of medicine; the structure of the American health care system and cross-national disparities in health and longevity. This course challenges our assumptions about the social foundations of health disparities, the sovereignty of medical providers and the administration of health care.

    Prerequisite(s)

    SOCI 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Examining Health.

    Schedule Of Classes

Additional Requirements for the B.S. Degree

  • BIOL 201 - Anatomy and Physiology I

    BIOL 201 - Anatomy and Physiology I

    4.00 credit hours

    Anatomy and Physiology is about how the body maintains life. Anatomy looks at the structure and organization of body parts; physiology explains their functions. Integration of structure and function allows understanding of what systems do and how. Beginning with cells and the grouping of cells into tissues and organs, groups of organs that function together form organ systems which maintain stable internal conditions. This course examines the integumentary, skeletal, muscle and digestive systems. Laboratory required; activities connect course concepts with experiential learning, using basic chemistry, tissue slides, human and cat skeletons, and cat dissection for muscle identification and function.

    Prerequisite(s)

    BIOL 104 or BIOL 108 recommended.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • BIOL 202 - Anatomy and Physiology II

    BIOL 202 - Anatomy and Physiology II

    4.00 credit hours

    Anatomy and Physiology is about how the body maintains life. Anatomy looks at the structure and organization of body parts; physiology explains their functions. Integration of structure and function allows understanding of what systems do and how. This course continues the study of organ systems with nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and reproductive systems. Laboratory required; activities connect anatomical and physiological concepts with experiential learning by continuing cat dissection for the nervous, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, urinary and reproductive systems. All students will experience alteration of some physiological systems and homeostatic mechanisms designed to maintain a stable internal environment.

    Prerequisite(s)

    BIOL 201.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PSYC 250 - Statistics

    PSYC 250 - Statistics

    4.00 credit hours

    The methods, concepts and logic underlying the statistical evaluation of research data with an emphasis on "why" as well as "when" to use various statistical methods. Content includes descriptive and inferential statistics, estimation and hypothesis testing. Analyses include z and t tests, one-way and factorial ANOVA, correlation, regression and Chi square. Assignments focus on problem solving, technical writing and use of computer statistical packages (SPSS). Only one of BUSN 265 or PSYC 250 may be taken for credit.

    Prerequisite(s)

    MATH 130 or higher.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Quantitative Analysis.

    Schedule Of Classes

The Human Performance Lab is located in Wentz Science Center and includes the following:

Major Equipment-

  • Cosmed Bod Pod
  • InBody 770
  • Portable Force Plate
  • iWorx System with Lab Scribe Software
  • Cosmed K5
  • Dartfish Motion Analysis Software
  • Woodway Treadmill
  • Monark Cycle Ergometer
  • Portable Blood Lactate Meter
  • Portable Blood Glucose Meter

Minor Equipment-

  • Posture Zone Chart
  • Blood Pressure Cuffs and Stethoscopes
  • Lange Skinfold Calipers
  • Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitors
  • Video Camera and Tripod
  • Hand Dynamometers
  • Plyo Boxes
  • BOSU Balls
  • Stability Balls
  • ViPR's
  • Foam Rollers 
  • TRX
  • Vertec Vertical Jump Tester
  • Bands and Tubing
  • Jump Ropes
  • Medicine Balls
  • Kettlebells
  • Dumbbells
  • Goniometers
  • Metronomes
  • Examination Table

 

The lab is accessible to all students who have declared Exercise Science as their major or are taking classes in Exercise Science. 

 

Human Performance Lab Equipment

Human Performance Lab Equipment

Exercise Science Internships and Jobs

A North Central education integrates career preparation with rich academic study. Our faculty encourages you to refine and apply your knowledge in an interconnected world. Here you'll learn to think independently and work globally to solve problems and lead.

Internships

Recent graduates in exercise science interned in:

  • Athletic Development
  • Medical Fitness
  • Youth Fitness
  • Corporate and Community Fitness
  • Rehabilitation

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
  • Rosalind Franklin University
  • Northwestern University

Careers

Careers in exercise science include:

  • Strength and conditioning specialist
  • Personal fitness trainer
  • Corporate fitness administrator
  • Medical fitness administrator
  • Youth fitness specialist
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Chiropractor

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