Inspiring health and wellness.

You’re inspired to take care of your body, and you work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It takes dedication, and a strong devotion to improving your diet and exercise regimen. At Marian, we understand your passion, and strive to help you share that passion for a healthy lifestyles and enhancing performance in physical activity with others.

Learn More About the Exercise and Sports Science Program

Listen to Dr. Sean Fitzpatrick, Department Chair of the Allied Health Department, as he explains what degrees are offered, introduces you to faculty, and describes the courses you will take. The Allied Health Department offers programs in radiologic technology, medical sonography, and excercise and sports science. Dr. Fitzpatrick discusses what a career in these specialties will be like.

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The Program
Your experience in Marian’s exercise and sport science program will be characterized by personal attention with expert faculty, hands-on learning opportunities and the same excellence that Marian is known for. In addition to integrating our liberal arts core curriculum, students in the program can select from two concentrations: kinesiology or health and wellness.

For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

Sample Course Plan:
Download Sample Course Plan

General Education Program

46-49 credits of University requirements, including School of Nursing and Health Professions course requirements (48–51 credits):

An introductory biology course for non-majors. The relationship between structure and function is emphasized at the cellular and organismic levels. A survey of taxonomy and classification, cell biology, plant biology, human physiology and ecology is provided. (May be taken as “lecture only” or concurrently with BIO 150.)


CHE 001 Preparatory Chemistry, or high school chemistry; MAT 001 Basic Algebra, or appropriate math placement test score

An introductory course for non-science majors. This course provides a basic knowledge of chemistry and its application to everyday life with special focus to biological and medical applications. With laboratory.

A review of fundamental concepts of algebra, including systems of equations, polynomial, rational, logarithmic and exponential functions. An introduction to trigonometry, including triangle and unit circle approaches. Emphasis will be on applications of algebra and trigonometry. (NOTE: MAT 112 may not be taken for credit, upon completion of MAT 114.)


A course designed specifically for those concerned with ethical problems facing medical professional and generally for anyone with an interest in the relation of ethics to bio-medical issues. The course examines the nature of ethics and morality, the variety of ethical theories and normative ethical principles, and the practice of applying such concepts to specific cases and issues within the bio-medical sciences. Topics covered include issues in the professional-patient relationship, termination of life, reproductive rights and technologies, and allocation and public policy.

A survey of the changes which occur during the entire lifespan as people develop: physical, motor, cognitive, moral, and social-emotional. Developmental theory and research data are critically considered. Application of existing knowledge about the variables which affect the course of development is emphasized.

Exercise and sport science core
45 credits:

Topics correspond to lecture material, including taxonomy, cell biology, plant biology, human physiology and ecology. Dissection of a fetal pig is required. (Laboratory experiences strongly enhance and support material in BIO 100 and concurrent registration is recommended.)


An in-depth study of the structure and function of human organ systems and the relationships among physiologic systems at the cellular, tissue, organ, and system levels. A comprehensive understanding of how each system aids in the maintenance of homeostasis is stressed in the study of cellular structure and physiology, the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. A strong background in biology and basic knowledge of physiological systems is assumed. Human cadaver dissections may be demonstrated in association with each organ system studied. Concurrent registration in BIO 251 is recommended.


Continuation of BIO 201. An in-depth study of the structure and function of human organ systems and the relationships among physiologic systems at the cellular, tissue, organ, and system levels. A comprehensive understanding of how each system aids in the maintenance of homeostasis is stressed in the study of the endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems. Human cadaver dissections may be demonstrated in association with each organ system studied. Concurrent registration in BIO 252 is recommended.

Provides information about common medical terms, definition and usage. The Systems Model is used to organize content and make it more meaningful for the development of medical vocabulary.

Introduction to the fields and career opportunities in exercise science, kinesiology, health, and wellness.

A survey course designed to promote self-responsibility and a holistic approach to wellness and illness. Emphasis is placed on wellness planning and contemporary health issues. Course will also include instruction and practice in First Aid principles, procedures, and emergency care.

This course will examine the administrative structure, organization, culture and presentation of sport as entertainment in America. Particular focus will be placed on the continental, global, social and economic expansion of professional-collegiate-international and community based programs and, the catalyst that contribute to the issues and controversies that are inherent in each of the above mentioned domains.

A sociological examination of the rise of sport in contemporary society. Topics such as the social organization of sports, women and sports, sports and violence, inter-scholastic sports and achievement behavior, discrimination and sports, and the future of sports are covered.

Cause, treatment, and prevention of injuries common to athletic activities; taping, bandaging; discussion of rehabilitation, conditioning, and variable factors of athletic performance levels.

Focuses on the functional changes brought by acute and chronic exercise sessions. Topics include muscle structure and function, bioenergetics, cardiovascular and respiratory adaptations, exercise training for sport, sport nutrition, ergogenic aids, and other health and fitness topics.

A study of the anatomical and mechanical bases of human movement and its application to skill analysis in exercise science.

An analysis of the principles and patterns of organization and administration encountered in physical educations, intramurals, and interscholastic athletic programs. Mission and objectives, purchase and care of equipment, budgeting and fund raising, legal issues and safety, public relations, facility design and maintenance, leadership/supervision are among the topics discussed.

The student is provided the opportunity to acquire knowledge about selected nutrients in nutritional health. Emphasis is placed on nutritional physiological needs, assessment and support throughout the lifespan, and implications surrounding nutritional deficits. Elements of client education are also examined. Knowledge gained promotes insights into the professional role by enabling the student to form values, communicate, think critically, and make decisions related to maximum nutritional health potential. (Open to non-Nursing majors.)

This course provides the knowledge of health history taking, physical assessment, and documentation. The student will acquire needed skills to conduct a comprehensive health assessment including the physical, psychological, social, functional and environmental aspects of health. Integrated in this is the collection and analysis of data which are essential in planning safe and effective care. Effective communication, assessment, and documentation will be practiced in the laboratory setting. The student will become familiar with the techniques of physical assessment consisting of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. Emphasis is placed on health assessment as a systematic and organized examination that will provide accurate data from which to form valid nursing diagnoses and plans of care.


MAT 112 Pre-Calculus Mathematics, MAT 114 Algebra and Trigonometry, with a grade of C or better, or appropriate math placement test score

A one-semester lecture and laboratory physics course. Topics addressed include the fundamentals of kinematics, dynamics, statics, oscillation, electromagnetism, and optics.

Complete one area of concentration below:

Health and wellness concentration, 18 credits:


This course provides instruction on the management aspects of fitness in health clubs and wellness settings. Topics will include staff training and supervision, scheduling, participant assessment, equipment selection, professional responsibilities, and program review.


This course emphasizes methods in planning, designing, implementing, and improving health/wellness promotion programs. Client motivation, behavior change, and physical activity for special populations will be addressed.


Assess market opportunities in wellness services, programs, and facilities. Develop marketing and promotional strategies to increase the customer base, provide incentives for behavioral change and enhance revenues for wellness programs, services and facilities.

Overview of psychological and motivational principles and their applications to individuals and groups in sport, exercise and/or therapy.

Practical and didactic training in Exercise and Sport Science in an approved internship site, specific to the chosen concentration. Work will focus on chosen concentration. Internships must be pre-approved by the program director. (Must be taken in the last semester before graduation.)

ESS xxx Approved upper-level ESS elective, 3 cr.

Kinesiology concentration, 18 credits:


Theory and practice in development and administration of comprehensive strength and conditioning programs for both the athlete and individual of any level. Includes knowledge, safety concerns and skill techniques necessary for teaching and administering any strength and conditioning facility.


Theory and practical aspects of exercise testing and prescription; topics include testing of strength, endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, body composition, muscle power, and balance with special considerations for arthritis, osteoporosis, dyslipidemia, immunology, and metabolic syndrome.


Program design as is applies to exercise and sport. The student will complete a comprehensive strength and conditioning manual


Human nutrition as it specifically applies to exercise science. Specific needs for proteins, carbohydrates, fats, electrolytes and micronutrients.

Practical and didactic training in Exercise and Sport Science in an approved internship site, specific to the chosen concentration. Work will focus on chosen concentration. Internships must be pre-approved by the program director. (Must be taken in the last semester before graduation.)

ESS xxx Approved upper-level ESS elective, 3 cr.

8-11 credits:

University electives

Exercise and Sport Science (ESS) is fast growing field with a number of exciting professional opportunities. Individuals in the field work to promote physical activity and/or enhance performance in sport. Careers within the field include strength and conditioning coach, wellness director, and exercise physiologist. The ESS program at Marian University is designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the physical, social, and psychological components of exercise and sport. Graduates will be able to apply these attributes to a number of potential careers, as well as graduate programs in ESS fields such as athletic training, sport and exercise psychology, and physical therapy.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply knowledge of physiological, biomechanical, age, and gender differences that influence exercise physiology and exercise testing in practice (Knowledge Acquisition).
  • Incorporate evidence-based practice research into clinical decision making (Critical Thinking).
  • Translate ethical issues into responsible actions in the exercise and sport science field (Socially Responsible Action).
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills (i.e., use of language, clarity, age-appropriate language) that is sensitive to all clients (ethnicity, gender, age differences) (Effective Communication, Global Perspectives).
  • Create/modify programs to address special client population and individual needs (Critical Thinking, Socially Responsible Action).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current technologies and their application in exercise science (Knowledge Acquisition).
  • Model professional conduct and behavior.

The exercise and sport science program is designed to offer you the best possible preparation for careers in fitness, sport and wellness. As a graduate of the program, you’ll be prepared for a fulfilling career in a wide range of settings in both the private and public sectors, in a field that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects will grow by 19 percent through the year 2022.

Exercise and Sport Science students have completed internships at sites across Fond du Lac and the Fox Valley. Examples include:


Rehab Arisces

Agnesian Healthcare

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

At Marian University, care and compassion for others is at the heart of our legacy, especially in the sciences. You’ll find faculty who bring experience and a strong passion for a personal teaching experience that’s hard to match. With more than 100 years of educating future healthcare professionals, you’ll find that employers throughout the region look to Marian for health and wellness professionals who are inspired to succeed.

Admission to the major is completed during the application process of Marian University. Exercise and Sport Science students are required to complete all course work with a 2.0 GPA average.

Sean Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

As a student in the exercise and sport science program, you’ll be presented with numerous opportunities to learn and grow. You’ll benefit from knowledge and skills related to biomechanics, anatomy and physiology, social sciences, physical fitness and conditioning and administration, as well as hands-on experience through Marian’s Nursing Resource and Simulation Center.

Apply Now!