“Exercise Science and Sport Studies were not completely the same thing,” said Bill Ebben, associate professor of exercise science. “There was certainly some common ground, but we were perhaps trying to be all things for all students. We were kind of a hybrid. Now, each degree will be more specialized.”
In general, the Exercise Science major is geared more heavily toward the physiology of the human body, and how it relates to rehabilitation, fitness and athletic performance. Ebben estimates about half of all Exercise Science students will gravitate toward professional school and eventual careers in physical therapy, occupational therapy and even medical school. Others with this degree may pursue numerous career options, such as strength and conditioning, corporate wellness and personal training, he added.
Meanwhile, the Sport Management and Leadership major offers the following five emphases: athletic coaching (for all levels), communication (public relations and marketing for sports teams, among other fields), hospitality management (working in the professional golf or tennis sector, for example), non-profit management (helping establish recreational programming for the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs and other non-profits) and strength and conditioning (which, as noted earlier, remains an option for Exercise Science majors as well).
One of the most noticeable tweaks in the new Sport Management and Leadership major is a slight reduction of science-heavy course requirements. For example, Anatomy and Physiology will no longer be a part of that major’s curriculum.
“Sports and exercise are multi-billion-dollar industries,” said Arvan. “With these dynamic two majors, we are helping pinpoint a variety of careers for our students.”