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School of Health Sciences

Exercise Science

As an exercise science major, you’ll explore the anatomical, biomedical and physiological basis of exercise and human movement.

Designed to deepen your understanding how physical activity affects health and disease, you’ll develop a toolkit for teaching others, changing behaviors and improving lives.

What You’ll Learn 

In the exercise science program, you will:

  • Learn how to help individuals meet and exceed their health and rehabilitation goals.
  • Use state-of-the-art equipment to analyze the performance of our Division I and II athletes.
  • Work with renowned faculty on exercise science research in our Human Performance Laboratory.
  • Gain hands-on, clinical experience with innovative technological tools like the BodPod and our 3-D Gait Analysis.

Hands-on Learning

Put theory into real-world practice by taking part in any number of experiential opportunities, from faculty-directed research projects to internships and co-op placements at places like Northeast Rehabilitation Network, Abilities Rehab and the Harvard University athletic department. You can also get involved with local community organizations by teaching kids about physical fitness through Active Science, Merrimack’s proprietary, interactive mobile app.

Career Options

When you graduate from the exercise science program, you’ll be ready for whatever path you choose. Want to dive into your professional career? You can pursue positions in fields like health promotion; strength and conditioning; and personal training. Thinking about graduate or continued studies? You’ll be qualified to take the National Strength and Conditioning Association and American College of Sports Medicine exams, so you can go on to work in areas like physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, public health, or biomedical science.

What You’ll Take 

As an exercise science major, you’ll take a combination of mandatory and elective courses to satisfy the 126-credit and 32-course requirements. To remain in good academic standing, you must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.

Required Courses

Note: Courses marked with an asterisk (*) fulfill requirements in the core curriculum in liberal arts.

Freshman Year

HSC 1122

Anatomy and Physiology I*

HSC 1000

Careers in Health Sciences*

Choose 1

MTH 1016 Pre-Calculus
MTH 1217 Calculus I

FYE 1050

Introduction to College Writing*

HSC 1123

Anatomy & Physiology

HSC 3302

Introduction to Public Health

MTH 1111


PHL 1000

Introduction to Philosophy*

Sophomore Year

BIO 1025          

Biological Sciences

CHM 1210

Chemistry for Health Professions

HSC 2300

Introduction to Nutritional Sciences

SME 2345

Strength and Conditioning

HSC 2350

Professional Development in Health Sciences

HSC 3310

Health Behavior Promotion

CHM 1220

Chemistry for Health Professions I

SME 2250

Research Design


Religious and Theological Studies course*

Junior Year

SME 3311

Exercise Physiology

PHY 2201

General Physics I

See below

Health Sciences Elective 1


Social Science 1*

SME 3308


PHY 2202

General Physics II


Social Science 2*

See below

Health Sciences Elective 2 

Senior Year

HSC 4850

Health Sciences Internship*

SME 4348

Exercise Program Design

H or FL 

Historical Studies course*


Arts and Literature course*

HSC 3336W


SME 3347

Exercise Prescription and Testing


Ethics course*


Open Elective 1

Health Sciences Electives

Tailor your academic experience by selecting electives from the following options:

HSC 3103

Global Public Health

HSC 3200                  

Cultural Competencies in Health Professions

HSC 3312

Introduction to Epidemiology

HSC 3320

Microbiology in Health Sciences

HSC 3400

Clinical Research Design

HSC 3510

Community Nutrition

HSC 3520

Food Service Management

HSC 3530

Medical Nutrition Therapy

HSC 4800

Directed Study

HSC 4810

Directed Research

HSC 4855

Internship II 

Degree Electives

PSY 2240

Sport Psychology

Career Info