Department Overview

Our Department of Exercise and Sport Performance (ESP), offering programs in Athletic Training (AT) and Applied Exercise Science (AES), trains you to support the needs of healthy as well as health-compromised individuals, and to help athletes enhance performance.

Students in these programs complete very similar coursework in the first two years, before moving into major-specific coursework for the last two years. As part of this coursework, you'll take combined courses in integrated health sciences that allow you to learn about different careers and experience interprofessional education activities that teach you to function as part of a health care team.

Differences Between Athletic Training (AT) and Applied Exercise Science (AES)

The 3+2 MSAT program prepares students for a career as an athletic trainer and focuses on athletic and orthopaedic injury prevention and rehabilitation. Clinical rotations occur during the graduate portion of the program. Graduates in AT frequently find positions in a school or orthopedic setting. Students in the AT program are prepared to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination for entry-level athletic trainers.

The AES program is broader, enabling individuals to pursue diverse career fields such as ones that involve clinical exercise testing, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, and exercise prescription and instruction to improve health, fitness, and athletic performance. Students in the AES program can sit for the National Strength and Conditioning exam for both the Personal Trainer and Strength and Conditioning. The AES students can also become certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as either a Certified Exercise Physiologist or Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist.

All of our programs are excellent gateways to graduate allied health professional programs due to their applied nature. Each year approximately 60% percent of the seniors are successful in gaining acceptance to graduate programs (Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Accelerated Nursing, Chiropractic, Strength and Conditioning, etc.). Among graduates interested in entering the workforce immediately, 83% secure positions within six months of earning their degrees.

Please take time to learn about these programs and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the ESP department. We look forward to meeting you and sharing with you all the wonderful things our students are doing.

Paul Visich, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Professor/Chairman Exercise and Sport Performance Department
(207) 602-2203


Testimonial Place Holder
I decided to be an [Applied Exercise Science] major. I want to help people feel better about themselves. I also love being active and working out, and what better way to do that then to be in a gym everyday?
Applied Exercise Science

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One-of-a-Kind Location

As a student in one of our Department of Exercise and Sport Performance programs, you study on UNE's scenic Biddeford Campus, where the waters of the Saco River flow into the Atlantic Ocean. Over the years, this confluence of natural resources has inspired students and faculty from around the world. Recently named the youngest city in Maine, Biddeford and its twin city, Saco, boast an up-and-coming, hip downtown offering delicious eateries, exciting social and cultural events, and more. With the transformation of the old Biddeford/Saco mills into restaurants, breweries, housing, fitness facilities, salons, and retailers, there is something for everyone to explore in downtown. Looking to try a new type of food, grab a coffee, or shop for locally-made clothes? Biddeford/Saco has it all.