Clinical Exercise Science



Help people avoid developing chronic diseases. Improve the well-being of patients who have an existing chronic health condition.

Why Study Clinical Exercise Science at Winona State?

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), chronic health conditions are among the top causes of death and disability in the U.S., with 6 in every 10 adults having at least one chronic disease

Risk behaviors like poor diet, low physical activity, and excessive tobacco and alcohol use can cause many chronic diseases. That’s why health professionals who are trained in prevention strategies for these risk behaviors are in high demand.  

With the Clinical Exercise Science major at Winona State, you’ll know how exercise, nutrition, behavior change, and education can all improve the well-being of individuals who have serious, long-term health conditions. 

This degree includes several opportunities for students to achieve 700 hours of hands-on field experience at clinical settings throughout the nation. 

Join the only undergraduate Clinical Exercise Science program in Minnesota. 

The Clinical Exercise Science program is offered through WSU’s Department of Health, Exercise & Rehabilitative Sciences (HERS)

What Will You Learn as a Clinical Exercise Science Major?

As a Clinical Exercise Science major, you’ll learn how lifestyle choices influence our health and how to help individuals improve their overall well-being through rehabilitation. 

You’ll also:  

  • prevent, evaluate, and treat chronic health conditions.
  • learn how certain changes to the human body can impact lifespan. 
  • understand the response of different body systems to different forms of exercise.
  • gain hands-on rehabilitation experience for cancer, obesity, and other chronic health conditions concerning the heart and lungs.  

Your coursework will prepare you for healthcare careers at clinics, hospitals, and wellness centers. 

Graduation Requirement

Aside from major- or minor-specific requirements, you’ll need to complete additional requirements through the General Education Program (GEP) to earn your degree from Winona State University.

Learn More about the GEP
Program Highlights

In the Classroom

Competitive Certification

Be one step closer to becoming a clinical exercise science professional by getting the real-world preparation you need along with your degree.

This major’s curriculum prepares you to sit for the Clinical Exercise Physiologist certification exam through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

You’ll also be eligible to become a Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional through the American Association of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

Engaging Learning Spaces

You’ll have immediate access to cutting-edge technology.

Our learning spaces in Maxwell Hall, like the Exercise Physiology Lab, feature simulation manikins that allow you to practice emergency care—from performing CPR to identifying vitals and assessing both cardiac and respiratory conditions.

And in the Integrated Wellness Complex (IWC), you’ll learn exercise techniques year-round.

Beyond Campus


On-the-job training is important, which is why you’ll complete a 600-hour clinical internship prior to graduation.

This intensive field experience will give you hands-on, faculty-supervised practice with a variety of target populations and at different regional workplaces.

We prepare our students well, and that’s why clinical sites across the Midwest want alumni to work for them.


In addition to your internship, you’ll complete a 100-hour practicum through Winona State’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program.

Through this program set in the IWC, you’ll design rehabilitation exercise programs for community members who have chronic heart, lung, and other metabolic conditions.

Community members gain a supervised rehabilitation plan aimed at improving their health and overall well-being.

You’ll also practice your clinical diagnostic testing skills by performing stress tests, EKGs, and cardiovascular assessments.

Study Abroad

Apply what you learn in the classroom by traveling the world. At WSU, you can earn credit that applies to your degree while exploring the globe.

Learn about health promotion in Peru, food systems in Hawaii, and health, exercise, and medicine in England and Ireland.

Or dive into the business of health care in Paris and child welfare and health systems in Jamaica.

Campus Life

Complement your studies and meet other students who are passionate about clinical exercise science through a handful of campus clubs and organizations.

Join the Clinical Exercise Science Club, Facilitators of Recovery & Movement Enhancement (FRAME), and LeadHERS for Winona State HERS Alumni.

Or check out Alpine Club, Climbing Club, and other year-round sports clubs and intramural sports teams.

Hear from Clinical Exercise Science Alumni
Educating patients is the best part of my job. I love seeing the lightbulb go off in their heads and watching them make healthy changes.
Madison Moore ‘20
I love helping our patients find confidence in their own bodies again.
Jenny Kuehn ‘18
Take advantage of every conference, seminar, and learning opportunity in the Clinical Exercise Science program because health care is always changing.
Mariah Mensing ’15
Careers & Outcomes

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, respiratory therapist positions are expected to grow 14% within the next decade. 

Exercise physiologist jobs also anticipate a 9% growth by 2031. 

Department of Education Disclaimer

The following information complies with Regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v) through the U.S. Department of Education:

WSU’s Clinical Exercise Science program curriculum meets state educational requirements in the states/jurisdictions of: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and District of Columbia.

Last updated on July 1, 2021.

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