Wartburg’s exercise science major combines the school’s long tradition of success in health sciences with its dominance in athletics to create a program that will help fill a growing demand in a wide range of health-related fields.  

In the first year of the program, exercise science students will take many of the same courses as students in the college’s renowned biology program. During the second year, the programs will start to diverge when exercise science students begin taking courses specific to their major, including human nutrition, advanced exercise physiology, exercise testing and prescription, kinesiology, and a “current topics” course. Though not required, students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship where they can observe, plan, and implement fitness programs in a real-world setting.

Graduates can go on to study athletic training or physical therapy in graduate school, attend nursing or medical school, or further study one of the core areas in exercise science. Those seeking immediate entry into the workforce can find opportunities in commercial, community, corporate, and clinical health-fitness facilities.

Program Goals

To develop content expertise in the foundational areas of exercise science. These include: anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, kinesiology, nutrition, and exercise testing and prescription.

To prepare students for professional school training in physical therapy, strength and conditioning, athletic training, and medical and other health professions.

To prepare students for students for master's and doctoral programs in kinesiology, exercise physiology and biochemistry, and nutrition.

To prepare students to enter the workforce as strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers, and laboratory technicians.


The Wartburg-Waverly Sports & Wellness Center houses the Health & Physical Education Department.

Real-world experience and amazing opportunities. WORTH IT.


Alumni Outcomes

Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the types of positions Wartburg graduates from the Health and Physical Education Department have had in the past.


La Toshia Burrell

Assistant Director of Group Fitness and Personal Training

Ryan Callahan

Head Athletic Trainer

Rachel Chapman

Lecturer in Fitness Management/Physical Education

Danny Drees

Assistant Athletic Trainer

David Kragness

Associate Athletic Trainer

Edward Westen

Department Chair of Health & Physical Education

Chris Winter

Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator