Exercise Science, Academics | Earlham College
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Exercise Science

The field of Exercise Science studies the structure and function of the human body under acute exercise, which contributes to human fitness, holistic wellness and longevity.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Science at Earlham College is designed to prepare you for a variety of career paths as well as future graduate work in numerous fields, which may include:

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Athletic Training
  • Allied Health
  • Health, Fitness & Wellness
  • Education
  • Coaching
  • Registered Dietician

You’ll have the opportunity to work closely alongside faculty in both a nurturing and challenging environment while gaining advanced knowledge of the human body’s structure and function. As a first-year student, you’ll take a gateway course covering the Fundamentals of Exercise Science in addition to practical content courses to serve as a foundation for more advanced study.

  • Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it. — Plato
  • If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.  — Hippocrates

There are a variety of elective courses within the major that give you an opportunity to expand your knowledge in several applied areas within the field of exercise science. You’ll also complete hands-on experiences through internships/externships with partners such as Reid Health, Cutting Edge Physical Therapy, an internship within the Athletics and Wellness Center or an equivalent internship as approved by the exercise science faculty.

The exercise science major requires a capstone project in the spring semester of your senior year that combines a practical and theoretical component. Through the capstone project, you’ll demonstrate your fundamental knowledge, skills, techniques and pertinent procedures learned throughout your academic journey as an exercise science major in preparation to launch into your career or graduate studies.

Our Faculty

Peter Blair
Professor of Biology; Co-Director, Center for Global Health and the Integrated Program in Health Sciences

Mike Deibel
Interim Dean of the Faculty; Professor of Chemistry; Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

Cathryn Dickman
Director of Wellness Programs & Facility Operations

Bill Kinsey
Head Athletic Trainer

Julie Kline
Senior Director of Athletics

Vince Punzo
Professor of Psychology

Plan of Study

The Major

  • CHEM 111 Principles of Chemistry (4 credits)
  • PSYC 116 Behavior, Health Care and Society (4 credits)
  • BIOL 112 Cells, Genes and Inheritance (4 credits)
  • AWPE 1XX Fundamentals of Exercise Science (3 credits)
  • BIOL 341 Cell Physiology (4 credits)
  • BIO/CHEM 251 Introduction to Nutrition Science (3 credits)
  • MATH 120 Elementary Statistics or PSYC 245 Research Methods and Statistics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 345 Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)
  • AWPE 325 Sports Medicine* (3 credits)
  • AWPE 329 Lifetime Wellness (2 credits)
  • AWPE 342 Kinesiology (3 credits)
  • EXER 488 Senior Capstone* (1 credit)

AND one of the following courses:

  • BIOL 347 Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits)
  • PSYC 371 Motivation and Emotion (3 credits)
  • PSYC 372 Sports Psychology (3 credits)
  • AWPE 143 Fundamentals of Strength and Conditioning* (2 credits)
  • AWPE 2XX Theory of Coaching* (2 credits)

AND:

  • Students must complete one internship/externship in order to graduate. This may be accomplished through an established Earlham program such as one of the Center for Global Health externships at Reid Health or Cutting Edge Physical Therapy, or an internship in the Athletics and Wellness Center, or an equivalent internship as approved by the Exercise Science faculty.

* course awaiting approval

Courses

* Key

Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:

  • (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
  • (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
  • (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
  • (D-I) = Diversity - International
  • (D-L) = Diversity - Language
  • (RCH) = Research
  • (W) = Wellness
  • (WI) = Writing Intensive
  • (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year

*CHEM 111 PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY (4 credits)
Designed as the entry course for the major. Core principles and interesting applications of chemistry combine to provide a conceptual understanding of chemistry for professional and everyday life. Principles of atomic and molecular structure, molecular energetics and classes of chemical reactions reviewed. Aspects of gas behavior, basic photochemistry and acid-base chemistry are applied to the study of environmental chemistry issues such as stratospheric ozone, the global greenhouse effect, acid rain and photochemical smog. Lab work includes the synthesis of compounds, the study of aqueous ions, titrations, and basic IR, visible and UV spectrophotometry. Learning outcomes include a strong understanding of core chemistry concepts and skills. (A-QR)

PSYC 116 BEHAVIOR, HEALTH CARE AND SOCIETY (4 credits)
This course is designed for students interested in health professions and covers introductory topics in psychology and sociology. There will be discussions of how the foundations of behavior influence physical and mental health and how values guide decision-making, as well as exploration of the ethical issues that health care professionals face. Students will apply fundamental knowledge about people and culture to better appreciate how individuals interact with health care professionals, understand their health and illness, and make decisions about their care. This course helps students realize how psychological and social factors may influence the type of care they provide. Students must have taken or be currently enrolled in CHEM 111. Note: Students cannot receive credit for both PSYC 115 and PSYC 116. Offered every fall.

BIOL 112 CELLS, GENES AND INHERITANCE (4 credits)
An overview of cell structure and function and the principles of inheritance, including such topics as transmission genetics, DNA structure, central dogma of molecular biology, regulation of gene expression, meiosis and mitosis, protein function, cell cycle and recombinant DNA techniques. Lab emphasizes inquiry-based experiments and contemporary techniques.

AWPE 1XX FUNDAMENTALS OF EXERCISE SCIENCE (3 credits)
An introduction to the study of Exercise Science. The student will study the body's physiological systems and their response to exercise. The principles and proper techniques of physical fitness, weight management, and wellness will be discussed.

BIOL 341 CELL PHYSIOLOGY (4 credits)
An examination of basic principles of cell physiology. Topics include thermodynamics, enzyme mechanisms, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, coupling of ATP hydrolysis to cellular reactions, regulation of protein function, membrane structure, cell signaling, and neural and muscular activity. Lab emphasizes inquiry-based experiments and contemporary techniques. Prerequisites: BIOL 112 and CHEM 111 or consent of the instructor.

BIOL/CHEM 251 INTRODUCTION TO NUTRITION SCIENCE (3 credits)
This course will serve as an introduction to the science of human nutrition and the relationship of food and nutrients to health and disease. Topics covered will include the macro- and micronutrients, digestion of food, and current recommendations for nutrient intake. Also discussed will be current scientific literature on the role of nutrition in selected disease processes and the use of foods as medicines. Prerequisites: CHEM 111.

*MATH 120 ELEMENTARY STATISTICS (3 credits)
Topics include exploratory data analysis; measures of central tendency, dispersion and correlation; nonparametric methods; confidence intervals; hypothesis tests; and the design of statistical studies. Also listed as MGMT 120. (A-QR)

*PSYC 245 RESEARCH METHODS AND STATISTICS (3 credits)
Introduction to experimental design and the analysis of research data in psychology. Topics include methods for observing, measuring and describing behavior. Students will learn to use the statistical software JASP or R in data description and analysis. Offered every semester. (A-QR)

BIOL 345 ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I: NERVOUS AND ENDOCRINE (4 credits)
An in-depth study of the structures and functions of human nervous, sensory, muscular and endocrine systems. Each system is covered at the molecular, cellular, organ, and organism levels. Labs include extensive hands-on studies of human anatomy. Prerequisite: BIOL 341. Offered Spring Semester.

*AWPE 329 LIFETIME WELLNESS (3 credits)
Fulfills two activity requirements of Wellness Requirement. Designed for all Earlham students. Guided by the Earlham Wellness model of Body/Mind/Spirit/Community, fosters an understanding of wellness and the tools necessary to incorporate healthy behaviors into daily lives. (W)

AWPE 342 KINESIOLOGY (3 credits)
Kinesiology is the study of human movement focusing on both the physiological and mechanical properties. This course will begin with an examination of the musculoskeletal system. Students will lean the bones, joints and muscles of the body, along with their primary and secondary functions. The second part of the course will focus on the principles of physics and motion and how we apply those to the human body.

BIOL 347 ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II: CARDIOVASCULAR, RESPIRATORY, RENAL AND DIGESTIVE (4 credits)
An in-depth study of the structures and functions of human cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and digestive systems. Each system is covered at the molecular, cellular, organ and organism levels. Labs include physiology experiments, research projects and hands-on studies of human anatomy. Prerequisite: BIOL 341. Offered Fall Semester.

PSYC 371 MOTIVATION AND EMOTION (3 credits)
This course provides students with an introduction to classic and contemporary theories of motivation and emotion. Students explore how different types of needs (physiological or psychological), cognition, and emotion affect the motivational process. Students apply their understanding of motivation and emotion research to everyday life and real world problems. Prerequisite: PSYC 115 or 116.

PSYC 372 PSYCHOLOGY OF SPORT (3 credits)
Psychology of Sport is the scientific study of behavior, cognition, emotion and social dynamics of individuals involved in athletic performance and the practical application of that research. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, the development of mental skills that enhance athletic performance, motivation, goal setting, emotional regulation, group dynamics, mental imagery and character development. Students also will study the historical emergence and current status of the field of sport of psychology. Prerequisite: Sophomore status or above.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
47374-4095
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS

Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.