EXS Collage

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science

Maintaining or attaining good health and fitness through exercise are top priorities for many Americans. While technology exists to track personal fitness, nothing can replace the expertise and motivation that a degreed exercise professional brings to any fitness program.

MSU Denver’s bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science is practitioner-focused with a strong science foundation, making students immediately employable in a variety of health and wellness settings. Students are also prepared for graduate programs in areas such as exercise physiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or as a physician’s assistant.

Our knowledgeable professors have years of experience in the fitness industry as well as an extensive network of community facilities for internships that will provide students real-world experience working with diverse populations.

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Exercise Science Advisory Board

Exercise is Medicine-On Campus Program

Degree Requirements

The objective of the MSU Denver Exercise Science (EXS) major is the professional preparation of pre-service Exercise Science specialists, qualifying them to sit for established, nationally recognized certification examinations. Upon successful completion of a national certifying exam, EXS graduates may practice as a certified professional in areas such as: Health Fitness Instructor, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, or Performance Enhancement Specialist.

The Exercise Science major does not encompass academic preparation for the Athletic Training professions (care and prevention of athletic injuries). Students who pursue a degree in EXS will not be eligible to take the National Athletic Trainer’s Board of Certification examination.

Please review the ES Pre-Advising Information document for extensive pre-advising information.

The degree requirements for the Exercise Science major are listed below.  Please note, this major does require a minor. Visit the University Catalog to learn more about the program, course prerequisites, and other degree requirements. The University catalog can be found HERE.

For a printable list of these course requirements, click here: Exercise Science Degree Requirements_2020-2021

Below is a sample of what an Exercise Science student’s course schedule might look like for their 4 years enrolled at MSU Denver. This schedule is flexible and students have the freedom to choose their General Studies (GS) courses as well as any minor and elective courses. All students interested in adopting the EXS major should contact one of the advisors listed below for assistance in declaring their major and for specific academic planning.

EXS Course Sequence

Sample 4-Year Schedule (students enrolled during or after 2023)

Sample 4-Year Schedule (students enrolled prior to 2023)

Internship Requirement

The Exercise Science internship exists to assist students in making a successful transition from the classroom to the professional work enviornment, validate the student’s academic knowledge, and help the student develop a professional career orientation.

The Internship is a 10-credit hour course that is designed for the exercise science major to acquire practical experience in the fitness field. Students must meet the following requirements:

  • Senior standing
  • Completion of all major courses
  • 2.75 GPA

Steps to Secure EXS 4880 Internship


  1. Request to be added to the Canvas Exercise Science Pre-Internship page
  2. In Canvas, review the entire Exercise Science Internship Manual and attend the EXS pre-internship meeting scheduled at the beginning of each Fall and Spring semester (or watch a recorded “ES Pre-Internship Meeting”).
  3. Determine if you are eligible.
    1. Are you a declared major in Exercise Science major?
    2. Do you have a senior standing and have 100% of the Exercise Science course requirements completed?
    3. Do you have a major grape point average of at least 2.75?
    4. Do you hold a current CPR or First Responder certification? If you answer yes, to these criteria move on to #4!
  4. Confirm your eligibility by meeting with an Exercise Science faculty member
  5. Complete the online Exercise Science Internship Application prior to the posted application deadlines
  6. Register!

Below is a list of locations where Exercise Science students have completed their internships

EXS Internship Placements

Benefits & Career Opportunities

Benefits of an EXS Degree

  • Receive a practitioner-based education that includes practical skills, assessment for both fitness testing, exercise prescription and fitness leadership
  • Gain access to an extensive network of affiliated internship sites for EXS majors
  • You’ll be a part of a well-respected academic program that is highly valued by fitness-related programs and facilities throughout the Denver Metropolitan Area
  • As an MSU Denver EXS graduate, you will be prepared for entry- to mid-level positions in a wide variety of fitness-related occupations
  • You’ll gain real-world experience as you participate in the only undergraduate Exercise Science program in the Rocky Mountain region that has been accredited based on American College of Medicine specifications

Career Opportunities with an EXS Degree

  • Strength and conditioning (high school, college, or professional level)
  • Cardiac rehabilitation (hospital-based)
  • Corporate wellness
  • Endurance athlete coaching
  • Medical fitness facilities
  • Municipal recreation
  • University recreation
  • Research
  • Special populations

Program Accreditation

MSU Denver Exercise Science (EXS) students should take pride in the fact that their academic program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and is evaluated by the Committee on the Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES) to ensure students are adequately prepared to become exercise professionals. MSU Denver is one of only 66 undergraduate programs in the United States to have achieved this credential. This prestigious distinction shows prospective employers that MSU Denver EXS graduates have completed a nationally recognized rigorous program of study.

EXS Accreditation Logos

Accreditation by CAAHEP requires MSU Denver EXS faculty to collect data on specific program outcomes to ensure that EXS students are being adequately prepared to enter the competitive job market. See below for outcomes form the 2022-2023 Academic Year:

  • 100% of EXS majors successfully completed internship requirements set for by the EXS program, CAAHEP, and CoAES
  • 89% of EXS majors completed their degree within six (6) years
  • 100% of EXS graduates were satisfied with the EXS program

Exercise Science Faculty

Ben Thompson Headshot

Ben Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, ACSM EP


Exercise Science

[email protected]
Joe Quatrochi, Ph.D.

Joe Quatrochi, Ph.D., ACSM-EP


Exercise Science

[email protected]
Tony Nuñez, Ph.D.

Tony Nunez, Ph.D., CSCS, ACSM EIM-L1

Associate Professor

Exercise Science

[email protected]
Casey, Jason

Jason Casey, Ph.D., CSCS*D, ACSM-EP

Assistant Professor

Exercise Science

[email protected]
Dr. Chris Odell

Chris Odell, Ph.D., AT Ret.


Exercise Science

[email protected]

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Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences

Email: [email protected] l Phone: 303-615-1818

Main Office Location:
Physical Education/Event Center (PE) 217
Campus Map

Mailing Address:
PO Box 173362
Campus Box 25
Denver, CO 80202