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Maintaining ‒ or attaining ‒ good health and fitness through exercise are top priorities for many Americans. While technology exists to track personal fitness, nothing can replace the expertise and motivation that a degreed exercise professional brings to any fitness program.

MSU Denver’s bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science is practitioner-focused with a strong science foundation, making you immediately employable in a variety of health and wellness settings and prepared for graduate programs in exercise physiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy or as a physician’s assistant.

Our knowledgeable professors have years of experience in the fitness industry as well as an extensive network of community facilities for internships that will give you real-world experience working with diverse populations. The Exercise Science degree program features top-of-the-line fitness-assessment equipment, and our Regency Athletic Complex is an incredible asset you can use as an Exercise Science major.

Program Options

Other programs offered through the Department of Human Performance and Sport include:

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

four images a person measuring their waist, fruits and vegetables, kettlebell weights, woman using battle ropes

As an MSU Denver Exercise Science graduate, you will be prepared for entry- to mid-level fitness-industry jobs in areas such as personal training, strength and conditioning or performance coaching, program management and corporate wellness. You will also have the skills for an entry-level position in health care as an exercise physiologist in cardiac rehabilitation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for exercise physiologists was $47,340 in 2016. The field has an expected growth rate of 11 percent through 2024 and demand may rise as hospitals emphasize exercise and preventive care as part of their treatment and long-term rehabilitation from chronic diseases.


Joe Quatrochi_Exercise ScienceJoe Quatrochi

Professor Joe Quatrochi has coordinated the Adult Fitness and Exercise Science concentration for the past 15 years, training pre-service fitness professionals, personal trainers and allied health professionals. He maintains a Health/Fitness Specialist Certification from the American College of Sports Medicine. Physical activity for the promotion of health and the prevention of disease is his primary research interest.


Ben Thompson_Exercise ScienceBen Thompson

Associate Professor Ben Thompson is an experienced exercise professional who has worked for Johnson & Johnson, hospitals and community-based fitness facilities. He is an American College of Sports Medicine Fellow, one of only about 1,400 out of the college’s 50,000-plus members to have earned this recognition. His research interests include skeletal-muscle blood flow and the efficacy of physician/exercise professional national initiatives.


Summer Sides_Exercise ScienceSummer Sides

Lecturer Summer Sides is an experienced exercise professional who is an ACSM-certified exercise physiologist, National Strength and Conditioning Association-certified strength and conditioning specialist and an American Council on Exercise- and Athletics and Fitness Association of America-certified group exercise instructor. She also holds certifications in yoga, Pilates and other fitness modalities. She has been a fitness education leader and curriculum specialist for numerous organizations.

Featured Alumni

"My time at Metropolitan State University of Denver was exceptional. The exemplary standards set in place by the faculty and staff is phenomenal and has allowed me to transition into following my dreams …There is no better value than that of having your dreams unfold before your eyes, while still having a great network of mentors and colleagues who are always willing to help you continue progress into the future."

DeSonte' Cole, NCSZ-CPT, MSU Denver ’14

Sports performance coach at Landow Performance.

Alumni at Work

MSU Denver Exercise Science graduates have been hired by:

  • Anschutz Health and Wellness Center
  • Steadman-Hawkins
  • Miller-Coors
  • MusclePharm
  • South Denver Cardiology
  • Valor Christian High School Strength and Conditioning
  • Muscle Activation Techniques
  • Aurora Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Rose Medical Center
  • Denver Health
  • State of Hawaii Public Health Department

MSU Denver Exercise graduates have been accepted for post-graduate study at:

  • T. Still University
  • California State University ‒ Sacramento
  • Louisiana State University
  • Regis University
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Wyoming

Sample Classes

Image of two students in emergency rescue first responder class

  • Advanced Exercise Assessment and Exercise Prescription
  • Community Fitness Testing and Program Planning
  • Fitness Programs for Special Populations
  • Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
  • Anatomical Kinesiology
  • Personal Training Concepts and Applications
  • Exercise Electrocardiography
  • Legal Liability for Physical Educators, Coaches and Administrators

Facilities and Resources

The numerous labs and classrooms for Exercise Science students in MSU Denver’s Physical Education Building on the Auraria campus incorporate the use of specialized testing equipment, including:

  • BodPod Body Composition Assessment System
  • Quinton Cardiac Stress Testing Systems
  • Polar Tri-Fit Healthcare Assessment Systems
  • Micro-Fit Fitness Evaluation System
  • Assorted fitness apparatus
  • Cycle ergometers for fitness testing
  • Metabolic carts for cardiovascular fitness assessment

Among MSU Denver’s facilities for students is the Regency Athletic Complex, home of our Division II Roadrunners. The campus is within walking distance of the professional sports venues for the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies.

Program Accreditation

MSU Denver’s Exercise Science program is one of only 54 programs in the country and the only one in the Rocky Mountain region to be fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of the Exercise Sciences under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

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