University of South Florida

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What prospective students should know about USF’s Exercise Science Undergraduate Program

USF exercise students in a lab with a USF instructor

For students who are passionate about exercise, nutrition and overall physical wellbeing, majoring in Exercise Science may be a great opportunity to pursue a career path centered around helping others achieve their health and fitness goals.

The University of South Florida’s (USF) undergraduate program in Exercise Science is designed to equip future exercise professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to meet the diverse health and wellness needs of our population through the integration of coursework with laboratory-based and field-based experiential learning.

Students in the program learn about the science of human movement by studying the biological, psychological and social sciences, while also exploring topics such as health, nutrition, exercise psychology, anatomy, physiology and biomechanics.

In addition to classroom studies and research opportunities with nationally recognized faculty experts, students also gain hands-on experience through an internship during their final semester of the program.

Here are some things you should know about USF’s Exercise Science Undergraduate Program:

  • A popular major for undergraduate students, USF’s Exercise Science major is a limited-access program that admits 36 students per year.
  • Students typically apply to the program during their sophomore year at USF (or when they apply to transfer to the university) and begin the major during their junior year.
  • Students admitted to the program progress through the program in a cohort of like-minded peers who they will frequently see in their major coursework.

What can I do with this degree?

By earning a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, you’ll be prepared for a variety of entry-level positions in the exercise science field, such as:

  • Athletic trainer
  • Occupational therapist
  • Personal trainer
  • Physical therapist
  • Physician assistant
  • Strength and conditioning coach

Graduates of the program have also continued their studies by enrolling in graduate and professional schools in related fields.

In addition, successful completion of the program prepares students for professional certifications such as the American College of Sports Medicine’s Certified Exercise Physiologist certification and the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification, two highly sought-after credentials in the exercise science field.

What are the program’s admissions requirements?

Students who want to major in Exercise Science will need to first be admitted to the University of South Florida.

Once admitted to USF, you will submit a separate application to the College of Education’s Student Academic Services office to be considered for admission to the major. The application is submitted upon completion of all program admission requirements, so if you’re entering USF as a freshman, you won’t complete this right away.

Students who apply to USF’s Exercise Science program will need to meet minimum GPA requirements and complete required course prerequisites. More information about these requirements is available in the USF Catalog.

How do I apply to the program?

The admissions process for USF’s Exercise Science Undergraduate Program occurs in two stages: early admissions and general admissions.

Students who apply for the program by the early admissions deadline are given priority consideration on their admissions application. The deadline to apply for early admissions is June 1. Each year, 30 students will be admitted to the Exercise Science major as part of the early admissions process.

Students who applied through early admissions and were not accepted during this first round will have their admissions application reviewed again during the general admissions period.

The deadline to apply for general admissions is July 25. Various factors are considered when reviewing applications during general admissions, but the student’s overall GPA is a primary factor.

How can I strengthen my admissions application for the program?

You can strengthen your application to the Exercise Science major by doing the following:

  • Maintain a strong overall GPA. By staying focused on your studies while a student at USF, you are maximizing your chances of success in your coursework and in being admitted to the major.
  • Complete required prerequisite coursework. There are multiple courses prospective Exercise Science majors should take during their freshman and sophomore years. Learn more by visiting the USF Catalog.
  • Apply by the Early Admissions deadline. Be mindful of applications deadlines and apply by the early admissions deadline (June 1).

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some additional questions we frequently receive from students about USF’s Exercise Science Undergraduate Program:

Can completing an internship before applying to the major make my application more competitive?

No. Our program faculty do not consider previous internship experience for program admission. However, internships can be a great opportunity to continue your personal and professional development. Students interested in completing internships outside of their studies in the College of Education can contact USF Career Services for more information.

If I have advanced standing credits or have already completed a course included in the Exercise Science program’s major coursework, will I need to retake the class?

USF welcomes students who have already earned college credit through examinations or previous studies. Course credits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis as part of your admissions to the university and the College of Education.

For more information about your credits and how they’ll impact your degree plan at USF, contact your advisor in Student Academic Services.

Can I work while enrolled in USF’s Exercise Science Undergraduate Program?

Full-time employment (work of 32 hours per week or more) is not recommended for students enrolled in upper-level coursework, but students may work part-time. By limiting your work hours, this ensures you can remain focused on your studies, especially during your final semester internship and other field experiences.

Students looking for scholarships or other financial assistance while enrolled in the College of Education can visit USF’s Office of Financial Aid or download the College of Education’s Scholarships Guide.

For more information about USF's Exercise Science Program, please contact Academic Advisor Bobby Brown at

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About the USF College of Education:

As the home for more than 2,200 students and 130 faculty members across three campuses, the University of South Florida College of Education offers state-of-the-art teacher training and collegial graduate studies designed to empower educational leaders. Our college is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and our educator preparation programs are fully approved by the Florida Department of Education.