Program Details

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Sports Performance

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology
Next Start Date:
Program Now Enrolling
ProgramLength:
Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
Transfer Credits:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Program Tuition Rate:
Campus: $8250 per semester. [More Info]

Overview

Become a Fitness Professional

As new workout routines and exercise fads are continually introduced, the demand for professionals with knowledge of the human body and its movement continues to grow. Exercise science involves the study of the anatomical, kinesiological and physiological principles and processes of human movement.

Through Grand Canyon University's (GCU) Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Sports Performance, offered through the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, you focus on learning techniques and theory for improving performance in sports and fitness-related activities with numerous hands-on laboratory courses. The sports performance emphasis focuses on preparing those interested in working with a wide variety of populations, including athletes and those in various other fields such as fire, military and law enforcement. This exercise science program also incorporates health and wellness promotion for the general population and various special populations, including those with chronic and temporary health conditions. This exercise science degree program includes a sports performance capstone course that is a culmination of all learning experiences and focuses on career preparation with skills that include resume building, portfolio creation and networking.

Our sports performance degree program aligns to the body of knowledge provided by organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Degree Outcomes

Sports Performance Curriculum

With GCU's bachelor's degree in sports performance, you have the opportunity to gain foundational knowledge of behavior change, basic nutrition and sports nutrition. You also explore the link between physical activity and improved health outcomes. Additionally, this exercise science degree helps you learn professional and ethical practices as seen through the lens of a Christian worldview.

The sports performance degree also gives you the opportunity to work in an active learning environment where you can apply and practice the skills studied throughout the courses. Through this program, you gain practical experience while learning the knowledge and skills necessary to become a fitness professional.

What You Will Learn

A Practical Sports Performance Curriculum

Course topics in this program include:

  • Lifetime personal wellness and teaching of fitness
  • Resistance training
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Health risk appraisal, weight control and management
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise testing and prescription
  • Methods of teaching health and measuring in exercise science
  • Physiology of exercise
  • Exercise science in special populations
  • Health promotion
  • Kinesiology
  • Principles of corrective exercises
  • Health management and administration
  • Advanced principles of sports performance
  • Biomechanics and sports nutrition

Career Outcomes

Sports Performance Careers

The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Sports Performance prepares you to find a fulfilling career in the fitness industry. The curriculum gives you the opportunity to prepare for multiple certifications and to take additional prerequisite courses that may help prepare you for entry into graduate school in fields such as athletic training, physical therapy, physician assistant, kinesiology, exercise physiology, chiropractic, naturopathic and medicine.

As a graduate of this program, you may consider seeking employment as a fitness professional, exercise physiologist or education administrator. You may also choose to continue your education by earning a post-graduate degree in a field like athletic training, physical therapy, medicine, occupational therapy, kinesiology, education or public health.

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. In order to view the specific course content and credit length available for your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
72 credits
Open Elective Credits:
8-14 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4 credits
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4 credits
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4 credits
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4 credits
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4 credits
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4 credits
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4 credits
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4 credits
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4 credits
  • MAT-134, Applications of Algebra: 4 credits
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4 credits
  • PSY-100, Psychology in Everyday Life: 4 credits
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This is an introductory course in exercise and wellness. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of knowledge regarding what fitness entails, self-evaluation of each student’s present fitness needs, and development of personalized fitness programs. A special emphasis is placed on a review of nutritional principles and producing a personalized nutrition plan. Students also receive instruction and practice opportunities in the theoretical and practical aspects of flexibility, stretching, and weight training activities. This includes lesson planning, teaching techniques, evaluation, and proficiency in skills by means of lecture, demonstration, and participation.

Course Description

This is a course that introduces the principles and techniques of strength training. This includes exercise physiology, injury prevention, sport and activity specific program design, and implementation. Students will gain a complete foundation of the practical application of resistance training exercise. Knowledge gained in this course will contribute to student preparation for professional certification in the field. Co-requisite: EXS-200L.

Course Description

This is a course of field and laboratory experiences designed to reinforce the practical application of strength training techniques, with an emphasis on injury prevention strategies. Co-requisite: EXS-200.

Course Description

This course introduces the principles and techniques of cardiovascular activities and training. This includes exercise physiology, injury prevention, sport and activity specific program design, and implementation. Topics will include pathophysiology on and for a variety of conditions. Knowledge gained in this course will contribute to student preparation for professional certification in the field. Co-Requisite: EXS-202L.

Course Description

This is a course of field and laboratory experiences designed to reinforce the practical application of cardiovascular training techniques, injury prevention strategies, program design, and implementation. Co-requisite: EXS-202.

Course Description

This course examines the principles and processes of small groups and the development of skills for participation and leadership in small group settings, as well as practice in problem solving, decision making, critical reasoning, and information sharing.

Course Description

A study of the basic structure and function of the major systems of the human body, this course focuses on an in-depth exploration of the musculoskeletal and neurological systems for athletic training, health, and exercise science majors. This course also compares normal and abnormal function for more comprehensive understanding of the human body. Co-requisite: BIO-155L.

Course Description

This lab is designed to complement and support the principles taught in BIO-155. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to identify and describe functions, structures, and classifications of the skeletal, muscular, and organ systems along with related disorders. Co-requisite: BIO-155.

Course Description

This course incorporates professional guidelines for health risk appraisal, assessment and stratification for a variety of health conditions for the general population. This also includes principles and guidelines for safe and effective physical activity and weight loss management. Knowledge gained in this course will contribute to student preparation for professional certification in the field.

Course Description

This course provides a foundation of basic nutrition theory, with a focus on assessment, food components, exercise, nutrition, weight control, community programs, and resources. Application of these aspects is used to promote health and prevent illness.

Course Description

This course incorporates the principles of assessment and program design for health and sport-specific analysis, static and functional exercise testing, and prescription of appropriate exercises. This includes exercise prescription for populations with various diseases and disabilities. Knowledge gained in this course will contribute to student preparation for professional certification in the field.

Course Description

This course is a study of the methods and procedures of teaching health. Resources, aids, and agencies are studied in an attempt to determine how they may best assist the teacher. Practice teaching is included. Tests and measurements in health, physical education, and exercise science are presented. Emphasis is placed on producing valid and reliable tests, data analysis techniques for test evaluation, test construction assessment, and interpretation of test results. Prerequisites: BIO-155, BIO-155L, and PED-247.

Course Description

This writing intensive course is a study of the effects of exercise on the body. Topics include nutrition as the basis for physical activity; how energy is produced and utilized during physical activity; the energy delivery and vital functions of the respiratory, cardiovascular, muscular, and nervous systems during exercise; how these systems can be enhanced through training; the impact of ergogenic aids and environmental stress on performance; and the effect of exercise on body composition, weight control, aging, and disease prevention. The body’s responses and adaptations to exercise at the systemic, as well as the subcellular level, are also discussed. Prerequisites: BIO-155 and BIO-155L. Co-requisite: EXS-340L.

Course Description

This is a course of field and laboratory experiences designed to reinforce the basic principles learned in the lecture course. Skills of measurement and evaluation, including computerized methods employed to facilitate testing, are applied to physiological and systemic principles of exercise. Prerequisites: BIO-155 and BIO-155L. Co-requisite: EXS-340.

Course Description

This course introduces analysis of special populations to assist in designing health education and physical fitness programs.

Course Description

This writing intensive course is designed to provide the foundation of healthy behavior change in relation to influential factors. Content includes motivation for physical activity and healthy choices, as well as an introduction to the psychology of sports.

Course Description

This course is an analysis of human movement, integrating knowledge of the skeletal, muscular, and neurological systems with the effects that gravity, friction, internal and external forces, and the laws of motion have on their functions. Topics presented include biomechanics of human bone, joint, and skeletal muscle; structure and function of the upper extremity, lower extremity, and spine; concepts of linear and angular kinematics and kinetics as applied to human motion; equilibrium and stability on land; and motion through a fluid medium of air or water. Included is the application of these factors to various types of physical skills. Prerequisites: BIO-155 and BIO-155L. Co-requisite: EXS-335L.

Course Description

This laboratory course is designed to apply the anatomical, kinesiological, and biomechanical principles learned in the lecture course to human body movement. Movement of all of the major joints of the body is analyzed by relative and absolute joint position and muscle action, and biomechanical terms - such as linear and angular kinematics, friction, work, power, energy, and torque - are applied to human motion. Prerequisites: BIO-155 and BIO-155L. Co-requisite: EXS-335.

Course Description

This course incorporates evidence-based concepts and application of corrective exercises to improve muscle imbalance and movement efficiency to decrease injury risk and promote recovery. Techniques include myofascial release, static and neuromuscular stretching, strength training, isometrics, and integrated dynamic movements. Prerequisites: BIO-155 and BIO-155L or BIO-201 and BIO201L.

Course Description

This course focuses on business principles and procedures including fiscal resources, human resources, leadership skills, strategic planning, and facilitating partnerships with an emphasis in professionalism and an adherence to a code of ethics.

Course Description

This course expands the principles and techniques of strength training including sport- and activity-specific program design and implementation. Knowledge gained in this course will contribute to student preparation for professional certification in the field. Prerequisites: EXS-340 and EXS-340L. Co-Requisite: EXS-455L.

Course Description

This course applies the principles and techniques of strength training including sport- and activity-specific program design and implementation. Prerequisites: EXS-340 and EXS-340L. Co-Requisite: EXS-455.

Course Description

This course is a study of biomechanics which incorporates muscle and joint anatomy with functional movement analysis. Additional topics include interactions between nutrition and exercise concepts to enhance performance, as well as a study of ergogenic aids. Prerequisites: EXS-335, EXS-335L, and BIO-319.

Course Description

This capstone course acts as a culmination of the learning experiences during the exercise science program. A focus will be on career preparation including resume building, portfolio creation, and networking. Prerequisites: EXS-455 and EXS-455L.

Faculty Bios

Program Locations

Campus

Campus

Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a dynamic student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students. Exciting events, well-known guest speakers and Division I athletics round out the traditional student experience. Our welcoming campus community is the perfect place to find your purpose.

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program’s published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution’s catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who graduated between 7/1 – 6/30 of the preceding year. The On-Time Completion rate is determined by the number of students in the cohort who completed the program within the published program length divided by the number of students in the cohort who graduated.

On-campus program disclosures

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.