An analysis of undergraduate exercise science programs: an exercise science curriculum survey

J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Aug;17(3):536-40. doi: 10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017<0536:aaoues>;2.


Undergraduate exercise science programs develop curricula by referring to standards set by professional organizations. A web-based survey was administered to 235 institutions with exercise science undergraduate programs to evaluate their adherence to stated curricular guidelines. Results indicate that 29% of institutions considered American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs); 33% both ACSM and National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) guidelines; 6% ACSM, NASPE, and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); 8% ACSM, NASPE, NSCA, and American Society of Exercise Physiologists, and 5% NASPE. The two largest subgroups had good compliance with the areas of exercise physiology, biomechanics, and human anatomy and physiology. However, neither subgroup adhered to the areas of exercise prescription, testing, and implementation; exercise and aging; or exercise with special populations. Regardless of the implemented guideline(s), most institutions placed minimal emphasis on areas related to health promotion and many curricula did not require any field experience.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Certification
  • Curriculum*
  • Health Education / standards*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Sports Medicine / education*
  • United States