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Maintaining ? or attaining ? good health and fitness through exercise are top priorities for many Americans. While technology exists to track personal fitness, nothing can replace the expertise and motivation that a degreed exercise professional brings to any fitness program.

MSU Denver’s bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science is practitioner-focused with a strong science foundation. Our graduates are immediately employable in a variety of health and wellness settings. Additionally, ES majors will be well-prepared for graduate programs in exercise physiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy or as a physician’s assistant.

Our knowledgeable professors have years of experience in the fitness industry as well as an extensive network of community facilities for internships that will give you real-world experience working with diverse populations. The Exercise Science degree program features top-of-the-line fitness-assessment equipment, and our Regency Athletic Complex can provide a variety of opportunities for ES majors to interact with strength and conditioning professionals supervising collegiate athletes.

Program Options

Other programs offered through the Department of Human Performance and Sport include:

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

  • Receive a practitioner-based education that includes practical skills assessment for both fitness testing, exercise prescription and fitness leadership.
  • Gain access to an extensive network of affiliated internship sites for ES majors.
  • You'll be part of a well-respected academic program that is highly valued by fitness-related programs and facilities throughout the Denver Metropolitan Area.
  • As an MSU Denver Exercise Science graduate, you will be prepared for entry- to mid-level positions in a wide variety of fitness-related occupations; including (but not limited to): strength and conditioning, performance coaching, corporate wellness, municipal recreation fitness, and special-population fitness. You will also have the skills for an entry-level position in health care as an exercise physiologist in cardiac rehabilitation.
  • You'll gain real-world experience as you participate in the only undergraduate Exercise Science program in the Rocky Mountain region that has been accredited based on American College of Medicine specifications.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

four images a person measuring their waist, fruits and vegetables, kettlebell weights, woman using battle ropes

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for exercise physiologists was $49,090 in 2017. The field has an expected growth rate of 13 percent through 2026 and demand may rise as hospitals emphasize exercise and preventive care as part of their treatment and long-term rehabilitation from chronic diseases.


Joe Quatrochi_Exercise ScienceJoe Quatrochi, Ph.D.

Professor Joe "JQ" Quatrochi served as ES program coordinator for more than 20 years. His longevity at MSU Denver has allowed him to establish an extensive network of ES program graduates in the Denver area who work in every dimension of the health and fitness field. He maintains a Certified Exercise Physiologist credential from the American College of Sports Medicine. His primary research interest includes physical activity for the promotion of health and the prevention of disease.


Ben Thompson_Exercise ScienceBen Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM

Professor Ben Thompson is an experienced exercise professional who has worked for Johnson & Johnson, hospitals and community-based fitness facilities. He is an American College of Sports Medicine Fellow, one of only about 1,400 out of the college’s 50,000-plus members to have earned this recognition. His research interests include skeletal-muscle blood flow and the efficacy of physician/exercise professional national initiatives.


 Kristin DupuisKristin Dupuis, M.S.

Kristin Dupuis received her Masters Degree in Exercise and Sports Medicine from Western Michigan University.  Since graduation, Kristin has worked in a variety of experience in the health and exercise industry including corporate wellness, physical therapy clinics, commercial fitness centers and medical fitness.  Kristin is an ACSM Clinical Exercise Physiologist and has special interests in exercise for populations with chronic health conditions and exercise through the public health perspective.


Exercise Science professor Tony NunezTony Nuñez, Ph.D.

Assistant professor Tony Nuñez is a new faculty member with a background in strength and conditioning, personal training, and group fitness. He has his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and works closely with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the largest professional organization in exercise science. Tony's research interests include high-intensity interval training and resistance exercise programming on markers of health in apparently healthy adults.

Featured Alumni

"My time at Metropolitan State University of Denver was exceptional. The standards set in place by the faculty and staff is phenomenal and has allowed me to transition into following my dreams. There is no better value than that of having your dreams unfold before your eyes, while still having a great network of mentors and colleagues who are always willing to help you continue progress into the future."

DeSonte' Cole, NSCA-CPT, MSU Denver ’14

Sports performance coach at Landow Performance.

Alumni at Work

MSU Denver Exercise Science alumni are currently employed at:

Strength and Conditioning

  • MSU Denver S&C
  • Next Level Sports Performance and PT
  • Push Performance
  • Impact Sports
  • Authentic Performance
  • Landow Performance

Cardiac Rehabilitation

  • Rose Medical Center
  • Sky Ridge Hospital
  • St. Anthony's Hospital

Corporate Wellness

  • Miller-Coors

Endurance Athlete Performance Coaching

  • Inspired Training Center
  • Optimize Endurance Services

Medical Fitness

  • South Denver Cardiology

Municipal Recreation

  • Apex Recreation District
  • Foothills Parks and Recreation
  • South Suburban Municipal Recreation District

Private Practice

  • Fitlife Champions
  • Crossfit Train


  • IMAGE Group - University of Colorado

Special Populations Fitness

  • Peak Center at Craig Hospital
  • BeFitBeWell Program at Anschutz Wellness Center

Campus Recreation

  • MSU Denver

MSU Denver Exercise Science grads have also been accepted graduate programs at:

  • A.T. Stills University
  • California State University - Sacramento
  • Louisiana State University
  • Regis University
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Wyoming

Sample Classes

Image of two students in emergency rescue first responder class

  • Advanced Exercise Assessment and Exercise Prescription
  • Community Fitness Testing and Program Planning
  • Fitness Programs for Special Populations
  • Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
  • Anatomical Kinesiology
  • Personal Training Concepts and Applications
  • Exercise Electrocardiography
  • Legal Liability for Physical Educators, Coaches and Administrators

Explore all of the classes you'll take as an Exercise Science major.

Facilities and Resources

The numerous labs and classrooms for Exercise Science students in MSU Denver’s Physical Education Building on the Auraria campus incorporate the use of specialized testing equipment, including:

  • BodPod Body Composition Assessment System
  • Quinton Cardiac Stress Testing Systems
  • Micro-Fit Fitness Evaluation System
  • Assorted fitness apparatus
  • Cycle ergometers for fitness testing
  • Cosmed Quark CPET and KS portable metabolic analyzer
  • Woodway Pro treadmills

Among MSU Denver’s facilities for students is the Regency Athletic Complex, home of our Division II Roadrunners. The campus is within walking distance of the professional sports venues for the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies.

Program Accreditation

CAAHEP logoMSU Denver’s Exercise Science program is one of only 54 programs in the country and the only one in the Rocky Mountain region to be fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of the Exercise Sciences under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

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