FB Pixel Skip to Main Content

Best Exercise Science Programs: How They Benefit Students

best exercise science programs:student working with senior in HAP study

The best exercise science programs give you the knowledge and experience to prepare for a career in the field. Western Colorado University offers the ability to test your skills with a rigorous four-year degree. Not only will you gain experience in the classroom, but also through internships to gain practical field expertise. If you’re curious to understand how the body works and learn how to improve performance, check out the Exercise & Sport Science major at Western. It is considered one of the best exercise science programs, as it blends many disciplines. You’ll gain practical experience through labs and trials and expertise in biological and physiological matters. There are many benefits of a college degree, and a degree in exercise science from Western will help you reach your goals.

What to Expect from The Best Exercise Science Programs

The best exercise science programs provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the physiology of the human body. This knowledge will apply to lab or field experience to improve performance and treat ailments. If you’re interested in a career in physical therapy, coaching, or occupational therapy, the best colleges with exercise science major degrees enable you to succeed.

At Western, you’ll gain the unique opportunity to study and practice at one of the highest-altitude colleges in the country. This altitude grants you access to conduct original research at the High Altitude Performance Lab. The university partners with the medical community to expand your ability. These opportunities make Western stand out as one of the best exercise science programs.

exercise science colleges: student instructing fitness class


Best Colleges for Exercise Science

Western houses one of the best colleges for exercise science with a variety of programs and challenging courses. Students can explore many courses to hone their skills and build a network in the community. Explore the Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science Department to learn more about one of the best colleges for exercise science. Western’s program empowers students to become more well-rounded, but also allows for specialization in the field. At colleges with exercise science major and emphasis options, you’ll be prepared for  practical application post-graduation. Some of the benefits from one of the best colleges for exercise science are:

Graduate School

Colleges with exercise science major programs like Western enable you to further your education at the graduate level. The foundational skills earned during undergrad give students the confidence and ability to seek more advanced proficiencies. There are countless opportunities to collaborate with other students and professors on projects and research to grow your knowledge.

Western’s program is comprehensive and provides students the opportunity to explore additional interests through electives. Electives help enhance your expertise and provide direction for further specialization. This specialization provides direction for graduate school.

High Altitude Performance Lab

Western’s High Altitude Performance Lab (HAP Lab) provides students with a unique opportunity to practice in an extreme environment. The lab’s high elevation provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity from one of the best colleges with exercise science major programs. The HAP Lab allows students to have a greater understanding of the effects of elevation on the human body when exerting itself.

The lab sits at 7,717 feet above sea level and is one of the most unique laboratories of its kind in the country. This enhances your understanding of human physiology through activity and recovery. High altitude research also prepares students to work in extreme environments like intense heat, cold, pollution, or even zero gravity. Students will be tasked with presenting and defending their findings to advance the academic research community.

colleges with exercise science major: student measuring blood pressure of volunteer

This program gives students unparalleled confidence in the field. Beyond the knowledge from the exercise science degree, students will grow their communication and writing skills. Along with these skills, students will be challenged to think critically and learn new technology. The invaluable experience will enable students to tackle any challenge in the field.


Research is crucial for colleges with exercise science major degrees. This experience empowers students to explore passions and make advances in the field. At Western, you’ll be able to find various research opportunities. The HAP Lab is a great place to start and get involved in the community. Through the course of the program, students will have hands-on lab and research courses to build foundational skills.

Students can also conduct research during clinical trials. These clinical trials add rigor to the major. One study works with Gunnison Valley Hospital and the University of New Zealand and looks at the impact of exercise on different bodily functions. These trials aid research to evaluate what medical or surgical treatment is necessary.

Research presents students with novel areas of study to enhance their own learning and the community of exercise science as a whole. Students even have the chance to publish their research to build experience and credibility in the field.

Career Paths

There are many directions you can take with a degree in exercise science. Some different fields you can pursue with a degree in exercise science include:

  • Education and Training
  • Healthcare
  • Life and Physical Science
  • Personal Training
  • Sports and Entertainment

These industries have a great number of jobs and allow you to specialize in your interests. Throughout pursuing a degree, you gain experience working with patients with a variety of fitness levels and physical capabilities. This helps you choose a more specialized career path gain valuable communication and interpersonal skills.

Feel confident that you can enter any field after attending one of the best colleges with exercise science major programs. Many majors continue their education into graduate school and gain certifications. Students will be prepared for whatever their professional or educational career throws at them.

best colleges for exercise science: student explaining research findings

The Next Steps

There are many opportunities for exercise science students at Western. Challenge yourself with comprehensive course and lab work offered through the Exercise & Sport Science program. There, you can conduct research to expand understanding in the industry. As one of the best colleges with exercise science major programs, you’ll be prepared for any challenges you may face during and beyond college.

Make an impact on the exercise science field by applying to Western. Not only will you have access to a great program, but reap the benefits of living in Gunnison, Colorado. There is so much to explore and countless adventures.

Western is Here to Help

Learn about when to start applying for college and the best questions to ask when visiting colleges to understand if Western is the school for you. Western provides truly unique opportunities for its students in and outside of the classroom. Explore the campus and the surrounding town of Gunnison, Colorado. Schedule a visit to start the process.

Apply to Western today.

Take the Next Step

Apply to
Students pose for a photo on top of Mount Crested Butte in the summer

Apply to

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Colorado Hall with the Palisades in the background on a bluebird day.


The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

A group of four alumni look at a display of old photos on a table.


We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.

A few students pose for a photo behind a table.


Want to discover more about Western? Request information today to get in touch with the admissions team.