Sports Science

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

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology

What is a Bachelor of Science in Exercise & Sports Performance Degree?

Channel your passion for sports into a purposeful career. You can begin your academic journey with the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Sports Performance at Grand Canyon University. This sports science degree examines the scientific principles of movement and exercise, including the anatomical, kinesiological and physiological principles of physical activity. It is a comprehensive survey of the factors of human health and wellness, and the relationship between biomechanics and sports performance.

This sports science degree, offered by the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, blends traditional classroom instruction with hands-on opportunities to practice newly acquired skills. Students acquire foundational knowledge in behavior change, basic nutrition, sports nutrition and health promotion. There is an emphasis on functional movement analysis. A BS in exercise and sports science degree can pave the way for additional certifications within related fields. The degree includes an expansive pool of electives that enables students to align their learning path with their career plans.

Earn Your Exercise Science and Sports Performance Bachelor’s Degree at GCU

Enjoy an active learning environment while you earn your Bachelor of Science in exercise and sports science degree on GCU’s vibrant, friendly campus. Acquire a solid academic foundation in science as you examine the many connections between overall health and physical activity. Learn the essentials of nutrition, behavior change and biomechanics, and understand how to effectively communicate these principles to your future clients. Some of the core program courses include the following:

  • Methods of Teaching Health and Measuring in Exercise Science
  • Advanced Principles of Sports Performance
  • Health Management and Administration
  • Principles of Corrective Exercises
  • Biomechanics and Sports Nutrition
  • Exercise Testing and Prescription

Leading a sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases, ranging from obesity and heart disease to certain types of cancer. As an aspiring fitness professional, you will learn how to encourage behavior change to support better wellness and disease prevention. In the course Health Risk Appraisal, Weight Control and Management, you will explore the principles and guidelines for weight loss management, health assessments and physical activity. Other core competencies included in this sports science degree include the following:

  • Concepts and applications of corrective exercises to improve muscle imbalance and movement efficiency
  • Principles and techniques of strength training, including sport-specific program design
  • Muscle and joint anatomy, and functional movement analysis
  • Nutrition theory to promote health and prevent illness

Additionally, sports science majors are required to complete the Sports Performance Capstone, a culmination of learning experiences. Students prepare for future opportunities through career preparation activities.

What Can You Do with a BS in Exercise and Sports Science Degree?

Sports science is a versatile field that is applicable to a range of industries. Individuals with this specialized knowledge are in demand as fitness instructors, personal trainers and athletic coaches. The curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Sports Performance prepares graduates to pursue advanced certifications in the fitness and sports industry, which can enhance their career qualifications.

Some graduates may choose to pursue advanced academic training by earning a master’s or doctoral degree. Additional academic qualifications may enable graduates to pursue the following jobs:

  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Physician assistant
  • Public health specialist

Another possible career path lies in education. Graduates may choose to pursue work as instructors in exercise and sports science, or as physical education teachers within a public or private school system.

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TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
PROGRAM TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]

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. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in 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:
60 credits
Open Elective Credits:
20-26 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
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

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
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

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
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

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

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, cross-cultural 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
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This is an introductory course in general nutrition and wellness, including the definitions of fitness and health, and review of fundamental nutritional principles. This course provides for a basic understanding of nutritional science and applications to food selection and overall health and wellness.

Course Description

This course provides students with basic instruction in research methods needed to read and critique published research in physical activity, health, nutrition, and sports performance. The course will also provide you with the skills needed to design studies and develop a research proposal. Statistical terminology and calculations will be introduced in the context of evaluating research. Students will be required to use statistical software throughout the course.

Course Description

This course introduces the principles and techniques of strength and cardiovascular training. Musculoskeletal, cardiac, and respiratory anatomy are discussed, as well as how these systems adapt and manage the stress of regular exercise. Effective exercise programing is also discussed and applied to various physical abilities to develop a well-rounded program. Knowledge gained in this course prepares students for professional certification in the field. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Resistance Training and Cardiovascular Fitness.

Course Description

This field and laboratory experience course introduces exercises that target specific muscle groups and systems of the body to show students how to design an effective exercise program. Students are introduced to effective coaching strategies, including progression, regression, coaching cues, and proper evaluation; these skills can then be applied to the professional development and delivery of an exercise session. Co-Requisite: EXS-250.

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 the first of a two-course sequence examining the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis within it. This portion includes the study of cells; tissues; genetics; and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Co-requisite: BIO-201L.

Course Description

This course is a systematic study of human gross anatomy and function. Topics include the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Co-Requisite: BIO-201.

Course Description

This course provides the knowledge necessary to enter the field of sports performance. The topics of movement preparation, plyometrics, acceleration, absolute speed, and multidirectional speed are introduced. Students are also introduced to testing, movement skills, nutrition, mindset, motivation science, exercise techniques, and regeneration, as well as program planning for energy system development designed to improve strength, power, sprint, and speed. The course includes a focus on the science of coaching and training tactical populations such as fire, police, and military.

Course Description

This course provides the skills necessary to enter the field of sports performance, with a focus on field and laboratory experiences designed to reinforce the practical application of the skills introduced in lecture.

Course Description

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

Course Description

This course is the second of a two-course sequence examining the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis within it. This portion includes the study of immunity; metabolism; energetics; fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance; and the endocrine, hematologic, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Prerequisites: BIO-201 and BIO-201L. Co-requisite: BIO-202L.

Course Description

This course is a systematic study of human gross anatomy and function. Topics include the endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive systems. Prerequisites: BIO-201 and BIO-201L. Co-Requisite: BIO-202.

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, or BIO-201 and BIO-201L, or BIO-210 and BIO-210L. 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, or BIO-201 and BIO-201L, or BIO-210 and BIO-210L. Co-Requisite: EXS-340.

Course Description

This course provides the knowledge necessary to teach motor skills throughout the lifespan and apply current principles and theories of motor control and motor learning to an athletic population. Content includes foundational neuroscience and connections with the musculoskeletal system, developmental motor milestones, motor control and motor learning principles, practice and feedback variables, teaching skill acquisition, and achieving maximum performance and retention.

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, or BIO-201 and BIO-201L, or BIO-210 and BIO-210L. 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, or BIO-201 and BIO-201L, or BIO-210 and BIO-210L. Co-Requisite: EXS-335.

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.

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 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 BIO-201L, or BIO-210 and BIO-210L.

Course Description

In this course, students learn how sports performance professionals engage with athletes to promote health and human performance and apply content knowledge to a sports performance experience. Knowledge gained in this course prepares students for certification exams and careers in the field of sports performance. Prerequisite: EXS-481.

Program Locations


GCU Campus Student


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.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

On-campus program disclosures (4 years)

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

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