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Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Exercise Science

As an exercise science major at John Carroll, you’ll learn how to help a diverse population of people use movement to improve their health and quality of life. With a solid scientific foundation and liberal arts background, you’ll be prepared for a broad range of careers in the health and wellness industries.

Professor's POV of Exercise Science at JCU

Exercise Science at John Carroll University

Knowing how to prescribe movement requires a deep understanding of how the human body works. At John Carroll, you'll begin your education with foundational courses like anatomy and physiology that explore how the body functions through different stages of life and degrees of health. In labs, practicums, and independent studies, you'll learn to read, interpret, and conduct your own research. Then you can narrow your focus on more specialized interests in upper level classes like Strength and Conditioning or Kinesiology.

And at John Carroll, you’ll get the individual attention only available at a school our size. Classes average 20 students, providing one-on-one guidance unheard of at other nearby institutions offering exercise science degrees. You’ll take introductory classes with the same professors who may one day oversee your independent research, connect you with an opportunity at a local business, or write your letter of recommendation for graduate school. You’ll walk away with both the broad liberal arts background and specific, marketable skills to succeed in graduate school and the health and wellness industries.


Top Employers

Exercise Science Top Employers

BA in Exercise Science Program Highlights

A degree in exercise science prepares you for a range of health careers, from medical, dental, and nursing school, to the allied health professions, like physical therapy and nutrition. Many students also pursue jobs on the business side of things, in medical sales, or enter the wellness industry, as an athletic trainer or coach.

As an exercise science student, you’ll complete a 10 hour field observation in your first semester. For example, students assist with the annual fitness testing for local fire departments each year, and use that data for research projects. You’ll do 50 hours of related volunteering during your sophomore and junior year, and complete an internship by the end of your senior year. A partnership with the Cleveland Clinic allows more than 20 students each year to intern in areas of scientific and medical research, and several research grants and fellowships allow students to receive funding to pursue their own research.

John Carroll exercise science faculty have published in top research journals and won national recognition for their advance of knowledge. They serve a range of patient populations, from top amateur and professional athletes, to military and first responder units, to the most physically vulnerable.

“The Exercise Science major gives students a scientific foundation in human anatomy and physiology so that they can understand exactly how the body responds to exercise. Students graduate with an ability to facilitate exercise testing and prescribe movement to athletes, everyday people, and those with injuries or disabilities.”
— Gregory Farnell, Ph.D, Professor, Chair, Exercise Science and Sports Studies Department

Notable Alum


Emma Connell, Exercise Science ‘18

Status: Acute Care Physical Therapist at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

“Technology is changing the way that we support acute care (stroke, spinal cord, traumatic brain injury) patients. Neuroscience and regenerative rehabilitation point to a future where each person's data pinpoints their specific care needs. My liberal arts background gave me the grounding to appreciate that each person's path is their own and the ability to take a step back and see the larger picture.”

Alumni Across The Region Map

Exercise Science Alumni Across the Region

John Carroll University alumni live, work, teach and support communities throughout the region from Northeast Ohio to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Buffalo, Rochester, Pittsburgh, New York City, Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.