Department Vision

The mission of the Department of Exercise Science & Outdoor Recreation is consistent with the College´s mission in its commitment to providing students with professional, ethical, and exciting educational experiences through modern, effective pedagogical approaches. Baccalaureate programs (BS and BA) offered in Exercise Science and Outdoor Recreation (ESOR) with concentrations in Exercise Science (EXSC) and Outdoor Recreation Management (OREC) as well as a BS Degree in Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) provide a broad discipline approach for optimal promotion of physical activity, recreation, fitness, health, wellness, and quality of life for all. These programs are complimented with opportunities for baccalaureate-level study in Integrated Studies with an area of emphasis in Exercise Science.  The curricula are balanced in theory and application and are specifically designed to provide students with experiential education that promotes leadership, teamwork, community service, values, diversity, and lifelong learning. To best serve our students, curricula have been designed to reflect current market demands. Depending on the specific area of study, graduates from this program will possess exceptional knowledge and skills and will be prepared for employment in the following areas:

  • Clinical Exercise Physiology
  • Experiential Education
  • Health & Fitness Promotion
  • Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • Corporate Wellness
  • Cardiac Rehab
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Outdoor Leadership
  • Risk Management
  • Commercial Recreation
  • Physical Education Pedagogy
  • Wilderness Therapy
  • Coaching
  • Resource Management

In addition to preparing students for varied employment opportunities, the programs are also designed to prepare students for graduate study in related fields.  Many graduates go on to attend graduate school in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Exercise Physiology, Sport Psychology, Biomechanics, Strength and Conditioning, Physician’s Assistant programs, and Dental School and Medical School programs.  Department faculty work collaboratively and strive to support our students commitment to outstanding teaching, mentorship, service, and professional development.

The Exercise Science program is rigorous, but fun and rewarding.  The curriculum has been designed to address student needs and current market demands.  Several classes offer a great balance between classroom information and laboratory experiences. This gives students the chance to practice and understand better what they are learning in the classroom.  Through practical experiences in laboratory settings using state of the art equipment such as the Biodex S4, students are exposed to real life rehabilitation experiences as well as researching functional abilities and performance aspects of collegiate athletes.  Additional classroom and lab experiences allow students to conduct 3-D motion analysis, measure muscle activity using wireless EMG technology, and analyze gait patterns using the GaitRite System, as well as conducting assessments to determine maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 Max), body composition, and anaerobic power.  

In addition to a strong background in recreation theory, experiential education, outdoor leadership, risk management and program planning, graduates of the Outdoor Recreation emphasis leave with a proficiency in a variety of both land and water-based skill acquisition courses, such as avalanche awareness, whitewater kayaking and backpacking. More than preparation for a career in the outdoor field, the major in Outdoor Recreation Management grooms students for a lifetime of outdoor participation and leadership. 

Graduates from the UVU Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) program will be specifically qualified to teach developmentally appropriate physical education to the increasingly diverse population of students in the K-12 schools in the State of Utah. Their preparation will help meet the anticipated demands for quality elementary, as well as secondary physical educators in the twenty-first century. Dr. Shaunna McGhie is the PETE program coordinator and can be contacted at shaunna.mcghie@uvu.edu .

Students who complete an Associate's Degree in Exercise Science have received the basic knowledge necessary to continue their education in a Bachelor's Program or pursue employment in the Fitness industry.  This degree in prepares students to pursue employment in the Fitness industry.  Possible positions might include personal trainers, group fitness instructors, fitness coordinators, sport coaches or other entry level positions in a fitness, recreational or clinical setting.

We also offer a minor in Exercise Science as well as a minor in Outdoor Recreation.  These can be combined with other college-wide Bachelor degrees to provide students with a broad academic knowledge of the foundational and scientific principles in each respective field.  Students who complete a Minor in Exercise Science have received the basic knowledge necessary to continue their education in a Bachelor's Program or pursue employment in the Fitness industry.  Possible positions might include personal trainers, group fitness instructors, fitness coordinators, sport coaches or other entry level positions in a recreational or clinical setting.  Students pursuing a minor in Outdoor Recreation complete foundation courses such as Backpacking, Foundations of Recreation, Principles of Experiential Education, Program Planning, and Risk Management as well as a wilderness based activity.  The Minor in Outdoor Recreation will extend students’ skills and knowledge and prepare them for employment in government entities, municipal recreation, youth agencies, as well as private business in the outdoor recreation industry.

Kristine Farnsworth and Jeannine Rushing are the Advisors of these programs and are available to help students with any questions that they may have. They can be contacted at farnswkr@uvu.edu (801-863-7508) or jrushing@uvu.edu (801-863-8676).