Chair: Dr. Kristofer S. Wisniewski, kwisniewski, 814-471-1132
The American College of Sports Medicine and exercise physiologists define an Exercise Physiologist as one who studies the acute and chronic physiological responses and adaptations resulting from physical activity. An exercise physiologist can apply this knowledge to improve or maintain health, fitness, or performance. Traditionally exercise physiologists worked and studied only with athletes to improve performance. Today, however, exercise physiologists also work and study in commercial, clinical, and workplace settings to increase health, fitness, and quality of life in the general population. For example, an exercise physiologist may work as a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist, a personal trainer, or direct an employee fitness program. (www.acsm.org)
The Exercise Physiology program’s curriculum, faculty, and resources are consistent with the standards and guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Commission on Accreditation of Exercise Sciences.
The Saint Francis University Exercise Physiology program is flexible and allows students to select exercise physiology and non-exercise physiology elective courses to focus their studies based on their post baccalaureate career goals. Electives are available for those interested in the Fitness Wellness Industry, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Physical Therapy (EXPT), Medicine, or Exercise Oncology (EXCC).
Non-majors may minor in exercise physiology with the approval of the department chair.
The Saint Francis University Exercise Physiology program has been continuously accredited since January 16, 2014 by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP). CAAHEP may be contacted at 9355 - 113th St. N, #7709, Seminole, FL 33775; (727) 210-2350; www.caahep.org.
What is CAAHEP Accreditation?
CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health-sciences field. CAAHEP reviews individual education programs to make sure they meet the standards of the profession. The CAAHEP standards by which these programs are measured have been developed primarily by the professionals involved in each discipline, are approved by each profession, and are intended to reflect required knowledge and skills that a person needs to be able to successfully function within that profession. CAAHEP standards focus on quality outcomes, assuring that educational programs are preparing competent entry-level health care professionals. That means that CAAHEP-accredited programs provide the educational foundation necessary to begin a successful career in many allied health professions. Earning a degree from an accredited program verifies the quality of the educational experience you’ve received meets the standards of the profession.
Estimated Completion Time:
Typically 4 years of full-time study
In addition to University admission requirements the program also requires the following:
- SAT score of 1100 or higher in critical reading and math or an ACT composite score of 22 or higher;
- GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0
Technical Standards or Essential Functions:
Saint Francis University is committed to the principle that no qualified individual, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits or services, programs or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination by the University as required by the Americans with Disability Act. A copy of the technical standards for admission into an Exercise Physiology program is available in the Exercise Physiology office. The Exercise Physiology Department adheres to the policies for academic accommodation as determined by the Center for Academic Success. The Center’s Office of Disability Services assists eligible students in receiving basic services as determined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act. Every effort is made to arrange appropriate academic accommodations for students who experience physical or mental disabilities. Students are required to provide appropriate documentation to the accessibility coordinator upon request of the accommodation.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Graduates of the Exercise Physiology program will be able to:
- DOMAIN I: Health and Fitness Assessment:
- Administer and interpret pre-participation health screening procedures to maximize client safety and minimize risk;
- Determine client’s readiness to participate in a health-related physical fitness assessment and exercise program;
- Determine and administer physical fitness assessments for apparently healthy clients and those with controlled disease;
- Conduct and interpret cardiorespiratory fitness assessments;
- Conduct and interpret assessments of muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility;
- Conduct and interpret anthropometric and body composition assessments.
- DOMAIN II: Exercise Prescription and Implementation:
- Determine safe and effective exercise programs to achieve desired outcomes and goals, and translate assessment results into appropriate exercise prescriptions;
- Implement cardiorespiratory exercise prescriptions for apparently healthy clients and those with controlled disease based on current health status, fitness goals and availability of time;
- Implement exercise prescriptions for flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, balance, agility, and reaction time for apparently healthy clients and those with controlled disease based on current health status, fitness goals and availability of time;
- Establish exercise progression guidelines for flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, balance, agility, and reaction time for apparently healthy clients and those with controlled disease based on current health status, fitness goals and availability of time;
- Implement a general weight management program as indicated by personal goals, as needed;
- Prescribe and implement exercise programs for clients with controlled cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic diseases and other clinical populations and work closely with clients’ healthcare providers, as needed;
- Prescribe and implement exercise programs for healthy special populations (i.e., older adults, youth, and pregnant women);
- Modify exercise prescriptions based on various environmental conditions.
- DOMAIN III: Exercise Counseling and Behavior Modification:
- Optimize adoption and adherence of exercise and other healthy behaviors by applying effective communication techniques;
- Optimize adoption and adherence of exercise and other healthy behaviors by applying effective behavioral strategies and motivational techniques;
- Provide educational resources to support clients in the adoption and maintenance of healthy lifestyle behaviors;
- Provide support within the scope of practice of a fitness professional and refer to other health professionals as indicated.
- DOMAIN IV: Risk Management and Professional Responsibilities:
- Develop and disseminate risk management guidelines for a health/fitness facility to reduce member, employee, and business risk;
- Ensure that emergency policies and procedures are in place.
Progression and/or Retention Criteria:
In order to maintain a high-quality program and to encourage students to perform at their best, each Saint Francis University Exercise Physiology student is expected to meet a minimum cumulative GPA standard in all Exercise Physiology required and collateral courses in order to maintain their standing in the major. The standards are progressive in that the requirements are higher as one advances through the curriculum from the freshman to the senior year.
- 2.00 GPA at the end of the freshman year
- 2.50 GPA at the end of the sophomore year
- 2.75 GPA at the end of the junior year
- 2.75 GPA also required for assignment to internships
Prior to the fall semester of the junior year, 40 hours of documented volunteer experience or paid employment in two different exercise physiology settings.
The Courses utilized for the GPA are as follows:
- All Exercise Physiology Courses (EXPH)
- The following collateral electives:
- BIOL 111, BIOL 205, BIOL 206 , BIOL 301*, BIOL 401*, BIOL 405*
- CHEM 113, CHEM 114, or CHEM 121*, CHEM 122*, CHEM 221*, CHEM 222*
- PHYS 104, PHYS 105*
- MATH 110 or higher
- STAT 205
- PSYC 206
*(Not all students take these courses, as it depends on their concentration.)
Further, these standards require earning no grade below “C” in any major or collateral course, and require if the earned grade is below a “C” that the course(s) be repeated. Courses may be repeated only once.
Students in the EXPT or EXCC accelerated concentrations must meet admissions criteria for each graduate program in order to progress into the graduate phases of the programs.
- EXPT students must meet the following Minimum Criteria:
- Overall GPA of 3.2
- Math Science GPA of 3.2
- Complete 80 hours of volunteer experience in two different physical therapy settings
- No major or collateral requirements with a grade below “C”
- EXCC students must meet all Exercise Physiology Progression Standards as well as the following:
- Overall GPA of 3.0
- Math/Science GPA of 3.0
- No major or collateral requirements with a grade below “C”
(A complete description of these requirements is available in the Department of Exercise Physiology office.)
Students in the Exercise Physiology program are required to successfully complete ONE of the following requirements in order to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology:
- Take the comprehensive exercise physiology major written exam (EXAM 401)
- Take an accredited and approved certification exam offered by:
- The American College of Sports Medicine: EP-C exam; OR
- The National Strength and Conditioning Association: CSCS exam.
All Exercise Physiology students must complete two* 100-hour internship/practicum experiences. These experiences may be completed during the fall or spring semesters, but it is encouraged that they be completed in the summer months. These experiences are arranged between the student and the Internship Coordinator. Students are responsible for all expenses related to housing, food and transportation to the internship site.
*(BS EXCC students have one 100-hour experience.)
Total Credits Required:
128 credits minimum. Total credits are dependent on the concentration selected.