• Students working together in the UMC Wellness Center.
    Effective techniques
    Learn effective techniques in coaching, counseling, and motivation.
  • students working with equipment in the Wellness Center classroom
    Gain experience with advanced equipment
    UMC students work with equipment not typically available to undergrad students at other universities.
  • students working out in the cardio area of the Wellness Center
    A living-learning facility on campus
    UMC’s new Wellness Center provides a living-learning facility for students to use for personal and course-related purposes.
  • Assistant Professor Anita Gust works with a student's arm, showing techniques.
    Applied, hands-on experience
    Integrate an understanding of biology, physiology, and exercise science with applied, hands-on work with individuals.
  • students on exercise cycles
    Learn it to live it
    Students combine the study of exercise physiology within the holistic context of health and wellness.

Exercise Science and Wellness

Bachelor of Science (BS)

As the U.S. population ages, the need for healthy living and better fitness demand more individuals to facilitate quality of life decisions and overall wellness. The Exercise Science and Wellness major uniquely positions graduates to enter this new reality with the knowledge and experience to merge exercise with health and wellness. This major integrates hands-on, experiential learning, with laboratory work, involving conducting and interpreting physical fitness assessments and developing exercise prescriptions for various demographic populations.

Exercise Science and Wellness Quick Facts (PDF)

Key Features

Key Features

Students working out in the University of Minnesota Crookston Wellness Center.

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science and Wellness (EXSW) combines the study of exercise physiology within the holistic context of health and wellness, making UMC’s program unique and one of a kind in the region.

UMC’s curriculum blends nutrition and wellness with the sciences to create a unique program that inspires students and provides them with a vast array of career options.

Assistant Professor Anita Gust working with students in the Wellness Center.

Students gain skills and knowledge in fitness appraisal, exercise programming, wellness counseling, and effective motivational techniques.

Students also learn effective techniques in coaching, counseling, and motivation.

Assistant Professor Anita Gust working a students in the classroom.

Students will be qualified to, and have the option of, obtaining various professional certifications upon completion of the EXSW major, such as:

Two students working with equipment during an exercise testing and prescription class.

Students gain experience with advanced equipment not typically available to undergrad students at other universities. 

UMC students have many opportunities to get involved with campus, local, regional, and/or national health and wellness communities.

  • Undergraduate research projects
  • attend regional and national conferences
  • become a member of the Northland Chapter ACSM 
  • support the physical and mental health of fellow golden eagles as a peer educator
  • internship opportunities
  • Study abroad

Students may also earn a minor in Coaching at UMC.

Program Requirements & Curriculum

Program Requirements & Curriculum

To view the current Exercise Science & Wellness, BS curriculum, visit our catalog site:
View Exercise Science & Wellness, BS curriculum



With a BS in Exercise Science and Wellness (EXSW), students may obtain a variety of career positions, such as: 

  • Certified Exercise Physiologist

  • Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist or Certified Special Population Specialist (e.g. cardiac rehab specialist)

  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach

  • Wellness Coach

  • Kinesiologist

  • Fitness Instructor

  • Inclusive Fitness Trainer

  • Cancer Exercise Trainer

  • Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist

Career settings, such as:

  • Sport Performance Industry
  • Clinical Exercise Settings
  • Fitness Leader in Gerontology Settings
  • Health and Fitness Industry
  • Pre-Athletic Training
  • Pre-Professional (ex. Pre-Physical Therapy and Pre-Occupational Therapy)

Students may also use their EXSW degree as a foundation toward pursuing advanced degrees in:

  • Physical Therapy

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Athletic Training

  • Chiropractic Care

  • Nursing

Many students pursue their desire to coach athletics and obtain their minor in coaching in addition to their BS in EXSW.

Student Stories

Student Stories

Aimee SilvaAimee Silva
Yakima, WA

As a 2019 graduate of the University of Minnesota Crookston, Aimee will be pursuing her Master's degree at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. She has been accepted into the Athletic Training program at Whitworth. Aimee was also a student athlete on the women's soccer team.



Louie GerzinLouie Gerzin
Ely, MN

Louie, also a 2019 graduate of the University of Minnesota Crookston, has been accepted into the athletic training program at NDSU in Fargo, ND, where he will pursue his Master's degree in Athletic Training. Louie was also a member of the Golden Eagle baseball team.



Kary Sheppard working with a client in the UMC Wellness CenterKary Sheppard 2017
Cardiac rehab is a team effort designed around a patient’s medical needs. At RiverView Health in Crookston, cardiac rehab takes place in three phases: inpatient, monitored outpatient, and maintenance. Often when a patient moves from monitored outpatient to maintenance, they continue to follow the individual exercise program and RiverView staff help them manage it.
Read more "Research with a Heart" PDF File Icon from the Summer 2017 Torch magazine.



brent reedBrent Reed, a junior from Arlington, Texas, shows his love for people on and off the football field. Majoring in exercise science and wellness at the University of Minnesota Crookston, Reed works hard to positively influence the lives he comes into contact with on campus and in the community. With his love for science and health, it only seems natural that Reed’s goal is to work in the medical field as a nurse specializing in administering amnesia. Learn more.

Brent Reed standing with Laurissa Stigen, UMN School of Nursing and Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause UPDATE: March 19, 2019University of Minnesota Crookston Senior Brent Reed has been accepted into the highly competitive Master of Nursing (MN) program at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. Learn more.

The UMC Advantage

The UMC Advantage

Small Campus. Big Degree.

Did you know a degree from the University of Minnesota is recognized all over the world? True story. As a system campus of the University of Minnesota system, the U of M Crookston offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources—all in a smaller, more personal campus setting that’s very much like a private school. The University of Minnesota is internationally recognized and respected by not only intellectuals and academic movers and shakers, but major employers who want to hire the best and brightest—namely, you.

Learning and Doing

At the U of M Crookston, you won’t spend all your time behind a desk. Our curriculum is designed around experiential learning, which means we want you to have as much hands-on learning as possible. Depending on your major, you’ll find opportunities to be in the field, the lab, the classroom, or engaging in simulated scenarios that give you a competitive edge when you enter the workforce or head to grad school. You’ll learn the concepts and then actively apply them through projects, field trips, site visits, internships, and interactions with professionals in the field.

Caring Faculty and Staff

Our faculty and staff members are respected not only for their knowledge and skills, but also because they care about you as an individual. They serve as true mentors, offering personalized attention through small class sizes, a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, and by working closely with you as advisors. They take the time to welcome you to the UMC community, watch you grow as a leader and scholar, and help you connect with alumni and other experts.

A Technology-Rich Environment

At the U of M Crookston, we offer every student a laptop computer from day one. Everyone is tech-savvy, wi-fi is everywhere and learning happens in many ways, including simulations, applications and video presentations. It’s a virtual tech-topia! So, when you graduate, you’ll have all the latest technology skills, giving you a competitive edge. Employers consistently report the UMC graduates they hire are their “go to” people for technology and are well prepared for the demands of today’s technological workplace.

Internships, Job Placement and Grad School

More than 87% of U of M Crookston graduates gain full-time employment in their field or enroll in graduate or professional school within one year of graduation. That’s a fact. We’ll sure miss you when you graduate, but we know as a proud Golden Eagle alum, you’ll want to come back to cheer us on at homecoming or catch up with your favorite professors.

Internships. They’re a great way to earn college credit, add to your resume and help answer the question, “is this really what I want to do?” You can find internship opportunities with everyone from the business down the street to Fortune 500 companies. Or maybe grad school is in your future. U of M Crookston students get the educational requirements and resources they need to apply to an array of graduate programs from veterinary science to med school to an MBA program. Many go on for more education in a variety of other fields.

Opportunities for undergraduate research also add real value to your educational experience by allowing you to design and conduct research while working alongside faculty mentors. Research experience is especially helpful if you plan to attend graduate school.

One-Rate Tuition and Scholarship Options

Whether you live in Minnesota, just across the border, across the country, or on the other side of the ocean, you pay the same tuition rate, and the U of M Crookston’s tuition rate is a real value because it’s the lowest of the five campuses that make up the U of M system. Additionally, with merit-based scholarships guaranteed based on GPA and ACT scores and more than 300 specialty scholarships, we really do help make college affordable.

Leadership, Clubs and Athletics

Sure, college is about classes, studying, and research, but another important part of the experience involves professional development, creativity, leadership, and service. And let’s not forget about fun! With more than 40 student clubs and organizations, there’s something for every interest. Best of all, if you can’t find something from the existing list, grab a few friends and start a new club. It’s really just that easy…

In athletics, Golden Eagles shake things up on the court, the field, and on the sidelines. The U of M Crookston competes at the NCAA Division II level in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) as well as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and offers a full range of men’s and women’s athletic programs.

A Diverse, Global Experience

The world really is a small place, and at U of M Crookston we value diversity. Our students bring rich experiences spanning six continents, and more than 20 countries and 40 states! We value diversity because it not only helps you better understand the world, it helps you understand yourself and how your piece fits into the puzzle of global society. Get involved in the many multicultural and international programs on campus, and you’ll see how easy it is to make friends from across the world.

Or choose one of our international programs. Study, intern, volunteer, play, explore – here or anywhere. Take your pick from more than 300 options in 67 countries. Don’t just learn it, live it.

On-Campus Faculty

On-Campus Faculty

Assistant Professor
(218) 281-8258
Head Athletic Trainer, Health Care Administrator
(218) 281-8426
Associate Professor
(218) 281-8202
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Related Majors, Minors & Programs...

Interested in a double major or minor to complement your Degree? Check out these other programs at UMC: