Department of Health, Physical Education & Recreation

Health/Exercise Science and Personal and Commercial Fitness

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Missouri Western students interested pursuing careers in Health and Fitness can select from two options which provide targeted skill development and maximize employability. Students interested in pursuing careers in sports medicine (pre-physical therapy, pre-athletic training, pre-chiropractic, etc.) and clinical settings can prepare for graduate school and complete many standard pre-requisite courses by selecting the Health/Exercise Science concentration. Students seeking to pursue careers in fitness related settings can develop skills in both exercise programming and fitness management by pursuing the Personal and Commercial Fitness concentration.

Why Health/Exercise Science or Personal and Commercial Fitness

A variety of career opportunities await those who major in Health/Exercise Science or Personal and Commercial Fitness.

Health/Exercise Science

Students are prepared to pursue advanced degrees in sports medicine and careers within clinical settings including physical therapy, athletic training, occupational therapy, chiropractic, and cardiac rehabilitation. Moreover, the Missouri Western Health/Exercise Science program maintains current partnerships with the Doctorate of physical therapy and Masters of occupational therapy programs at Rockhurst University and Master’s of Athletic Training at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. These partnerships provide early review and automatic acceptance for two qualified MWSU students per year (see qualifications—provide links to the articulation agreements).

Personal and Commercial Fitness

Students are prepared for careers including personal training, strength and conditioning coaching, corporate wellness, and fitness sales. The Personal and Commercial Fitness concentration prepares you for advanced certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American College of Sports Medicine. Additionally, the Personal and Commercial Fitness concentration is designed to be paired with a minor in Recreation/Sport Management, General Business, or Entrepreneurship. These minors increase employability and provide advanced skills in management, marketing, and sales that will set Missouri Western graduates apart in fitness related business.

Why Missouri Western

Internships

Our programs provide exceptional, hands-on experiences which include two internships. In many cases, these internships turn directly into careers as students are hired directly from their internship.

Previous internship locations:

  • Mosaic Regional Medical Center (cardiac rehabilitation, wellness center)
  • Cerner
  • Sprint
  • Liberty Hospital (cardiac rehabilitation)
  • St. Joseph YMCA
  • St. Joseph Recreation Center
  • Genesis Fitness
  • MWSU (strength & conditioning)
  • University of Alabama (strength & conditioning)
  • St. Joseph Public School District, Benton High School (strength & conditioning)
Applied Learning

In addition to internships, our program includes many high-impact applied learning courses such as applied techniques in personal training, graded exercise testing, and advanced cardiovascular physiology in which students will develop and apply professional skills.

After Graduation

Advanced Degrees/Certificates

Many recent Health/Exercise Science graduates are enrolled or have completed sports medicine related degrees in physical therapy, athletic training, occupational therapy, chiropractic. Others have decided to pursue graduate degrees in Exercise Science.

Partnerships

Missouri Western’s Health/Exercise Science program maintains current partnerships with the Doctorate of physical therapy and Masters of occupational therapy programs at Rockhurst University and the Master’s of Athletic Training at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. These partnerships provide early acceptance and entrance for two qualified MWSU students.

Employment

Our alumni are working in a variety of settings including physical therapy, athletic training, personal training, and many more.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements are the same as University entrance requirements.

Succeeding in the Program

Successful students understand the importance of physical activity, enjoy hands-on tasks, like working with people, value the health and wellbeing of others, are able to adapt, and manage their time well.

Class size

Typical class size is between 20 and 30 students in upper division majors courses.

Preparing in High School

High school students with a variety of interests are well-prepared to pursue a degree in Health/Exercise Science or Personal and Commercial Fitness. Students will benefit from a sound understanding of the basic sciences and physical education/fitness.