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Exercise Science

B.S. in Exercise Science

The College's Department of Public Health & Human Performance offers a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science. The exercise science major focuses on the scientific and applied study of the human body, including prevention of injury and performance. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students will learn the research behind and the application of sound exercise and physiology principles.

Students are able to choose between two tracks: the exercise and sports performance track and the pre-professional track. Within the exercise and sports performance track, students are prepared to work specifically in the exercise science field, focusing on the enhancement of human physical performance, with an eye toward athletic-specific training.

While the Pre-professional track also prepares students wishing to work in the exercise science field, this program could be used to satisfy pre-requisites to any number of professional programs (eg: Athletic Training, Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy). However, students should check carefully with the specific program and institution to which they are applying to ensure the courses they complete at SUNY Potsdam meet that program's specific pre-requisites. If you have any questions, please email

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Students will be able to:

  • apply basic principles of biomechanics to exercise selection, execution and sport performance by choosing a human performance activity and conducting a needs analysis.
  • apply basic knowledge of nutritional factors affecting health and performance by choosing human performance activity and creating a comprehensive fueling plan.
  • coach and evaluate resistance training techniques for muscle group and joint action through demonstration and cueing.
  • design exercise programs for a client including progression that maximize goal attainment and minimize risk of injury based on client’s health status, training age, capabilities and training goals.

Career Outlook

: Occupations related to Exercise Science are projected to increase by 9 to 20 percent over the next 10 years.

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Caleigh Trzcinski ‘23 discusses the hands-on approach of SUNY Potsdam's exercise science program, and how it's preparing her for a career as a chiropractor.

“The thing I love most about the exercise science program is all the hands-on learning opportunities that are available in and out of the classroom. I also love how all of the professors are willing to work with you outside of class if you need help or if you're just interested in learning more so that you can get the most out of your SUNY Potsdam experience.”



Abby Hodgdon '20 & '21 exercise science major
Realizing His Dreams

When Wilber Parada ’20 arrived at SUNY Potsdam his freshman year, he already had a vision for his future. His plans to one day become a Doctor of Physical Therapy would involve years of hard work, completing undergraduate and graduate degrees, and passing the National Physical Therapy Examination. Seven years later he has made his dream a reality. Parada is now working at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, one of the top-rated hospitals in the country, where he’s conducting research on exoskeletons and robotics, and helping to rehabilitate patients suffering from chronic illnesses.

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When Opportunity Calls

As athletes from around the world converged at Maxcy Hall for the 2023 FISU World University Games, Melanie Heidman ’25 stepped up to the plate as an integral part of the statistics team for the international event. An exercise science major from Rochester, Heidman is parlaying the experience into an internship to examine how people from around the world unite and transcend language barriers through sports.

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Foundations for Success

Not far from their childhood homes, Emily Vierno ’22 and Kristen Parker ’22 realized that SUNY Potsdam was the perfect fit to launch their careers in health care. The North Country natives are now in the final semester at the College, wrapping up their degrees in exercise science as they prepare for graduate school. Both students were recently accepted into the graduate programs of their choice as they pursue their passions for physical therapy and sports nutrition.

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