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Exercise Science Program FAQs

Q: Do I need to be accepted into Movement Science in order to apply to the Exercise Science Program?

A: Yes. Students need to meet with the Department Chair to be accepted into the Movement Science Department. After enrolling in the Clinical Experiences I class, students will apply to the Exercise Science Program.


Q:  I want to be a Physical Therapist, should I choose Exercise Science or Sports Medicine?

A: This is not an easy answer and it largely depends on your learning style and timeline. If you plan on going straight to graduate school without gaining practical experience then Sports Medicine is the best choice. Fewer program requirements allow room for more pre-requisites for graduate school. However, if you are considering working for a year after obtaining your undergraduate degree and hope to gain experience in exercise prescription, then Exercise Science is a better course of action. If you are a hands-on learner and find that learning by doing is more effective for you, the clinical education program provides supervised experience that will benefit you in graduate school. Check with the graduate school admissions department to see which program is a better fit.


Q: Will I have to go to graduate school to advance in the field of Exercise Science?

A: The short answer is no, but it depends on what you want to do. Personal Training is an unregulated profession. While there is some progress toward licensure for Personal Trainers, the current minimum requirement is a high school degree. In order to advance and make a living wage, individuals need to gain additional education or choose management/administrative positions.


Q: Do the faculty involve students in their research interests?

A: Undergraduate research is supported in many ways at Westfield. Many students are able to complete research studies and present at regional and national conferences.


Q: I’m not sure what I want to do, but I know I like Sports and Exercise, how will I know if this is the best career for me?

A: Only you will know if a career in Exercise Science as a fitness professional or strength and conditioning/performance coach is the best path for you. Some individuals find that while sports were very important to them throughout high school, it is a hobby and not a vocation. Others believe that helping others stay healthy through exercise or increasing performance through strength and conditioning coaching is their life goal. Observing individuals who do what you believe you want to do, and researching career options is a good way to learn more about the field.


Q: What are the most recent graduate placement rates for the Exercise Science Program?

A: For the 2015 graduates, 14 out of 15 (93%) graduates are employed in the field or continuing their education.


Q: Can I meet with a program representative or shadow a student?

A: Absolutely. Contact Dr. Melissa Roti at mroti@westfield.ma.edu if you are interested in setting up a time to meet.