Exercise Science

Exercise Science

If you are interested in the science of human movement, sports medicine and helping people live healthier lives through physical activity, Berry College’s exercise science major may be just the program for you. It is one of Berry’s newest majors and one for which the college is particularly well suited. With the world’s largest college campus, Berry offers exceptional opportunities for outdoor recreation and fitness activity. The Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center provides state-of-the-art indoor educational, fitness, wellness and exercise physiology facilities, including an exceptional exercise science laboratory.  

The exercise science program

The exercise science major is a rigorous, science-based program that blends science with health and physical education. The purpose of the exercise science program is to prepare qualified professionals for careers in a number of different areas, such as:

  • Hospital wellness programs
  • Corporate fitness programs
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Exercise and fitness centers
  • Athletic/sports programs
  • Allied health programs

In addition to general education courses, you’ll take lab courses in biology, physics and chemistry, as well as courses like Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology. You also will get to choose from a variety of electives that mesh with your postgraduate interests.

During your senior year, you will participate in an internship experience that will involve hundreds of hours of firsthand experience. You’ll have the opportunity to work side-by-side with experts in such fields as exercise, physical rehabilitation, performance and physical therapy. If you are interested in working with senior citizens, opportunities in adult senior-living centers also will be available.  

The faculty

As an exercise science major, you will benefit from the expertise of faculty members in many different disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics and kinesiology.

The Kinesiology department would like to welcome our newest faculty member, Dr. Anna Leal. She holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of Texas Southwestern and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. Currently, Dr. Leal’s research is focused on studying the exercise pressor reflex, a feedback mechanism originating in skeletal muscle that causes blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate to increase during exercise. She has been published in several professional journals, such as the American Journal of Physiology, and has received grants from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Leal is excited to be a part of the Berry community and looks forward to the years ahead.

Outdoor facilities

Nowhere else in the world can you enjoy a 27,000-acre campus. That averages out to more than 13 acres per each undergraduate student! We have miles of hiking, biking and riding trails as well as forests, streams, ponds and our own Lavender Mountain. Opportunities for adventure abound, particularly through our BOLD (Berry Outdoor Leadership Development) program. BOLD courses include rock climbing, backpacking, mountain biking, kayaking, aquatics and challenge courses as well as adventure sports and experiential leadership development programming.  

Science facilities

You’ll take your science classes in one of the most modern science-education facilities in the country – The Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center. This is a structure designed to facilitate hands-on learning and close interaction between student and professor. In fact, many of our students work directly with their teacher-mentors on original research projects. In addition to The Cage Center, you will also have access to laboratories and athletic training opportunities in the Richards Gymnasium.

Exercise science lab right in the Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center!

For exercise science majors, the crowning jewel of Berry facilities is the Cage Center. This 131,000-square-foot facility is home to a state-of-the-art exercise science laboratory which contains equipment for assessing anaerobic power, cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, body composition and bone health. The Cage Center also includes:

  • An exceptional intercollegiate performance arena which converts into three recreational courts;
  • A natatorium with an eight-lane, 25-yard pool, and spectator seating;
  • A complete fitness center, featuring cardiovascular equipment and free weights;
  • An athletic training center;
  • A multi-activity court for recreational basketball, volleyball, badminton, indoor soccer and floor hockey;
  • Two racquetball courts;
  • An indoor 1/8-mile fitness track; and
  • Two multipurpose rooms for physical activity classes and extracurricular programs, such as Zumba, yoga, martial arts and boot camp.

In addition to The Cage Center, you will also have access to laboratories and athletic training opportunities in the newly-renovated Richards Gymnasium. There is a new, state-of-the-art strength and conditioning space which is connected to an area that is now an athletic training room. The Richards Gymnasium is accessible to all Berry students, student-athletes, and our Exercise Science majors.

Beyond the classroom

Berry is committed to providing practical, firsthand learning experiences for our students, and exercise science majors are no exception. You’ll find an array of student work opportunities across campus, including many in the sciences. The Cage Center offers a number of positions related to health, fitness and sports, providing exceptional opportunities for those interested in exercise science and fitness facility management.


In order to complete the Exercise Science major, students are required to participate in an internship of their choice in a career field related to the major. Students may select an internship on or off campus during the school year or the summer.

Sports activities

Berry student-athletes have a long history of success on the playing field and in the classroom.  After competing for many years in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Berry is now a provisional member of NCAA Division III. Opportunities for varsity competition include men’s and women’s lacrosse, basketball, golf, running, soccer, tennis, and swimming and diving. The college also fields a men’s baseball team, as well as women’s teams in softball, volleyball and equestrian.
If you want to play intramural sports, you’ll find an extremely active program at Berry. Activities include badminton, basketball, bowling, cross country, flag football, golf, mixed-doubles tennis, soccer, softball, ultimate Frisbee and volleyball.