Applied Exercise Science


Heath R. Pierce, M.Ed., RSCC*D, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D, EP-C (program director)

Degree name
Bachelor of Science with a major in Applied Exercise Science


The Applied Exercise Science (AES) program is a student-centered, innovative, comprehensive program designed to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for excellence in the fields of exercise science, sport performance, and health and wellness. The curriculum encourages life-long learning through classroom, laboratory, internship, and research experience. Graduates will become highly effective, compassionate allied health care professionals capable of working with varied populations.

Major Description

The AES major is designed to provide graduates with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform pre-participatory screening, fitness testing, exercise prescription, and exercise leadership for healthy, health-compromised populations, and athletic performance enhancement. The primary goals of the AES major are to prepare students:

  1. For graduate/professional school admissions in various applied health programs including Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Accelerated Nursing, Chiropractic Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Exercise Physiology, and Strength and Conditioning.
  2. For entry-level employment as an exercise science professional in various careers including cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, cardiovascular diagnostic testing, strength and conditioning, sports medicine, corporate fitness, and personal training.
  3. To successfully challenge accredited national certification examinations.

Curricular Requirements

Total Credits
Minimum required 120-122


First year Credits
Total 31-33
IHS 130 - Interprofessional Health Care First-Year Experience 3
BIO 105 - Biology I Ecology/Evolution 4
BIO 106 - Biology II Cellular/Molecular 4
ENG 110 - English Composition or ENG 122/123 - College Reading & Writing I/II 4-6
EXS 101 - Introduction to Applied Exercise Science 1
EXS 120 - Personal Health and Wellness 3
MAT 120 - Statistics 3
PSY 105 - Introduction to Psychology 3
SOC 150 - Introduction to Sociology 3
One (1) Explorations Course 1
Second year Credits
Total 33
BIO 208 - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology I 4
IHS 220 - Nutrition or NUTR 220 - Nutrition 3
IHS 310 - Ethics for Interprofessional Practice 3
ATC 333 - Gross Anatomy 3
One (1) Creative Art Course (ART, ARH, MUS Prefix) 3
EXS 180 - Motor Learning and Performance 3
BIO 209 or BIO 209G - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology II 4
CHE 110 - General Chemistry I 4
ATC 101 - Care and prevention of Athletic Injuries 3
PSY 250 - Lifespan Development 3
Third year Credits
Total 32
ATC 420 - Research Methods 3
EXS 310 - Kinesiology and Biomechanics 3
EXS 320 - Exercise Physiology w/Lab 3
EXS 330 - Fitness Evaluation and Prescription w/Lab 3
EXS 380 - 12 Lead ECG Interpretation w/Lab 3
EXS 392 - Clinical Exercise Testing and Prescription w/Lab 3
EXS 495 - AES Seminar 1
BIO 309 - Pathophysiology 3
PHY 110 - General Physics w/ Lab 4
AES Elective Course 1 of 3** 3
AES Elective Course 2 of 3** 3
Fourth year Credits
Total 24
EXS 340 - Concepts of Strength and Conditioning 3
EXS 432 - Exercise Management for Chronic Disease & Disability 3
EXS 322 Metabolism and Bioenergetics of Sport Nutrition 3
One (1) Advanced Studies Course 3
EXS 499 - Internship* 6
AES Elective Course 3 of 3** 3
ATC 306 Psychology of Sport and Exercise 3

A student in the AES major may elect to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences. This degree is only open to matriculated students at the University of New England. Special permission from the student’s advisor and the dean of the Westbrook College of Health Professions is required for enrollment.

Internship experience

*The senior-level culminating experience may be either EXS 499 taken as a six-credit field experience internship (taken in the summer, fall or spring) or a combination of (2) EXS 499 three-credit field experience internships totaling six-credits. Each student is required to complete a minimum of 270 hours (45 hours/credit) under the direct supervision of an approved clinical internship site supervisor. To be eligible to complete the internship the student must: be senior-level status with a minimum of 90 earned credits, be in good standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or greater and compliant with all academic and technical standards. Failure to achieve these academic standards may delay graduation. 

**AES Electives (9 credits):

  1. Students need to take a minimum of 3 credits with EXS or ATC prefix, but have permission to take all 9 credits in EXS or ATC if they so desire.
  2. If a student does not take all 9 credits in EXS or ATC, any remaining credits can be filled by taking courses in BIO, CHE or PHY.
  3. Elective course substitution is allowed per permission of the Exercise and Sport Performance Department Chair.

Academic and Technical Standards

Students accepted to the Westbrook College of Health Professions (WCHP) at the University of New England are subject to two sets of academic guidelines, one to meet minimum qualifications for ongoing enrollment at the University of New England and the other to meet specific program requirements.

National Strength and Conditioning Association - Education Recognition Program Endorsement

WCHP Common Curriculum Standards
Semesters one through four (freshman and sophomore years)
  1. In keeping with the guidelines of the University of New England, all students must achieve a minimum cumulative semester-end grade point average as follows
    Fall of first year 1.70
    Spring of first year 1.70
    Fall of second year 1.70
    Spring of second year 1.80
  2. Failure to maintain the minimum GPA requirements will result in academic probation as described in the Catalog of the University of New England.
  3. Students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” in the following courses: MAT 120, BIO 105, BIO 106, BIO 208, BIO 209, BIO 309, EXS 101, EXS 120, EXS 180, ATC 101 and IHS 220/NUTR 220. Failure to achieve a minimum grade of a “C” will result in program-level probation, and may affect academic progression and delay graduation.
  4. Students must achieve a minimum grade of “C-” in the following courses: CHE 110 and PHY 110. Failure to achieve a minimum grade of a “C-” will result in program-level probation, and may affect academic progression and delay graduation.
  5. Failure to achieve a minimum grade of a "C" or "C-" in any of the above-outlined courses requires the student to repeat the course.
  6. Failure to achieve a minimum of a "C" or "C-" a second time the course is taken will result in dismissal from the major.
  7. A student may enroll in any of the courses listed above a maximum of two times. Enrollment in a course consists of achieving a WP or WF or a letter grade. Receiving a W in a course is not considered officially enrolled and will not result in academic penalty.
Applied Exercise Science Program Standards
Semesters four through eight (junior and senior years) 
Minimum acceptable semester-end GPA 2.5
Minimal grade of a C or better in any EXS or ATC prefix course 2.0
  1. Once in course work within the major (fall of the junior year and beyond), students must maintain a minimum semester-end grade point average GPA of 2.5. Failure to do so will result in program–level probation and may affect academic progression and delay graduation. 
  2. Students whose semester-end GPA falls below the 2.5 threshold for two consecutive semesters will be dismissed from the program. 
  3. Students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” in each EXS and ATC prefix course.
  4. Failure to achieve a minimum grade of a "C" in each EXS or ATC prefix course requires the student to repeat the course.
  5. Failure to achieve a minimum of a "C" a second time the course is taken will result in dismissal from the major.
  6. A student may only enroll in any EXS or ATC prefix course a maximum of two times. Enrollment in a course consists of achieving a WP or WF or a letter grade. Receiving a W in a course is not considered officially enrolled and will not result in academic penalty.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the AES program students will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge in the exercise sciences including anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics, ECG interpretation, exercise testing, and prescription, motor learning, and nutrition.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of and clinical proficiency in the following content areas for both apparently healthy and chronic disease populations: a) pre-participation screening/ health risk appraisal and stratification, b) fitness assessment and evaluation c) the design of individually tailored exercise prescription, d) appropriate exercise techniques.
  3. Recognize the importance of interprofessional collaboration in the delivery of safe, high-quality care within the health care system/exercise science field.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written formats.
  5. Recognize the importance of ethically-grounded care for diverse clients, patients and/or athletes.
  6. Successfully challenge accredited national certification examinations from the American College of Sports Medicine and/or the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Transfer Credit

Courses completed at another accredited college can be transferred to this degree program. Transferred courses must be reasonably close in scope and content to the required courses offered at UNE in order to count as exact equivalents. Otherwise, they may transfer as general electives. All courses completed must be no older than five years. Other restrictions apply. See also Undergraduate Admissions.


The following criteria must be met for admission to the AES program:

  1. A high school diploma or the equivalent with a better-than-average achievement record in a college preparatory program including chemistry (must include laboratory), biology (must include laboratory), mathematics (two mathematics courses — algebra required, geometry preferred), English (three years required — four years preferred).
  2. Academic transcripts must reflect an overall high school grade point average (GPA) of 2.5, in addition to a GPA of 2.5 in all science and math courses.
  3. Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) is optional. 
  4. A health record must be submitted which indicates specific findings regarding applicant's complete physical exam.
  5. Complete the Common Application.

Also see Undergraduate Admissions.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.


The University of New England’s AES major received accreditation in January 2019 from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor of the health sciences professions. In collaboration with its Committee on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits more than 2,100 individual education programs in 30 health science occupations. CAAHEP accredited programs are assessed on an ongoing basis to ensure that they meet the standards and guidelines of each profession.

The AES major has received endorsement since its inception in 2006 from the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Education Recognition Program (ERP). The NSCA ERP recognizes and distinguishes schools with standardized, approved strength and conditioning curricula in undergraduate settings designed to prepare students for the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®) and NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) certifications.