Clinical Exercise Science

Bachelor of Science

The multidisciplinary emphasis of Clinical Exercise Science will prepare you to pursue a career in physical or occupational therapy, nutrition or exercise physiology. Take advantage of learning the fundamentals and application of how exercise science works at one of the highest altitude universities in the country.

Program Overview

Learn everything about the physiological components of movement.

From studying how the human body works during exercise to how physical activity promotes health, clinical exercise science is changing the way we understand sports, health and nutrition.
At Western Colorado University, the Clinical Exercise Science program is grounded in biology, chemistry, math and physics. As one of the highest altitude universities in the country, you’ll have abundant opportunities to conduct original research on campus with graduate students and experienced faculty.

You can also apply your knowledge in our cutting-edge High Altitude Performance Lab (HAP Lab), where you’ll get experience working with clients and learn about the physiological components of exercise. By participating in the Wellness Elevated program–a partnership between Western and the medical community of the Gunnison Valley–you’ll help provide supervised exercise programs for people living with clinical conditions. These unique hands-on experiences will prepare you to pursue graduate school or a career in a variety of health and exercise-related fields.

High Altitude Performance Laboratory

Early exposure to cutting-edge research through the High Altitude Performance Laboratory (HAP Lab)—7,717 feet above sea level—enables students to gain career-ready skills normally found only in graduate school.


At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Code Title Credits Description
BIOL 150 Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4 View
BIOL 300 Basic Nutrition 3 View
BIOL 372 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory) 4 View
BIOL 373 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory) 4 View
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (GT-SC2) 3 View
CHEM 112 General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1) 1 View
CHEM 113 General Chemistry II 3 View
CHEM 114 General Chemistry Laboratory II 1 View
ESS 275 Motor Development and Learning 3 View
ESS 298 Fitness Instruction 3 View
ESS 330 Exercise Physiology 3 View
ESS 331 Exercise Physiology Lab 1 View
ESS 360 Nutrition for Wellness and Performance 3 View
ESS 380 Biomechanics 3 View
ESS 410 Assessment and Exercise Prescription 3 View
ESS 411 Wellness Elevated I 3 View
ESS 412 Exercise Biochemistry 3 View
ESS 430 Topics in Clinical Exercise Physiology 3 View
ESS 431 Wellness Elevated II 3 View
MATH 140 College Algebra (GT-MA1) 3 View
PHYS 140 Introductory Physics (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4 View


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.


Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 15 for 2021. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Board, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found here (click). Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Take your education beyond the classroom.

Get the hands-on learning experience you need to apply your knowledge and launch your career.

  • Graduate Research: Collaborate on research projects with students in the High Altitude Exercise Physiology master’s program.
  • High Altitude Performance Lab: Take classes and conduct research in our state-of-the-art facility.
  • Publish Research: Publish your work in the Center for Wellness and Human Performance Health & Fitness Journal.
  • Wellness Elevated: Work with clinical populations and their exercise programming for a semester or more.
  • Association for Students of Exercise Sports Science: This club is specifically tailored to ESS majors. Outings and events provide social support, professional development and networking opportunities.

Wellness Elevated

Wellness Elevated provides an evidence-based, supervised exercise program for people living with clinical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity, Parkinson’s Disease and many others.

News & Research

Western professor shares insight on ‘fast fitness’ on popular biohacking podcast

Western professor shares insight on ‘fast fitness’ on popular biohacking podcast

Read More
Gunnison Valley Health heightens treatment options, research assistantships for Western students

Gunnison Valley Health heightens treatment options, research assistantships for Western students

Read More
Several studies by ESS, HAEP faculty, students published

Several studies by ESS, HAEP faculty, students published

Read More

Department Chairperson

Lance Dalleck, Ph.D.

Professor of Exercise & Sport Science

Administrative Assistant

Terri Stinson

Administrative Assistant

Contact Information



Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Paul Wright Gym 209
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231