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Exercise Science students

Exercise Science Overview

Exercise science is the study of the body’s response to immediate and long-term physical activity, exercise and sport performance. Graduates of our program are skilled in evaluating health behaviors and risk factors, conducting fitness assessments, writing exercise prescriptions and motivating individuals to modify negative health habits and maintain positive life behaviors for health promotion in apparently healthy adults and those with controlled diseases.

Mercy's exercise science program is one of the only programs in the tri-state area to hold both CAAHEP accreditation through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and ERP designation by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

You can choose one of 2 tracks, both leading to a B.S. in Exercise Science: Clinical or Performance. Both tracks prepare students for professional certification exams such as the ACSM Exercise Physiology (ACSM-EP) and the NSCA Certified and Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

Clinical Track 

This track prepares you for careers promoting optimal health through fitness, rehabilitation and health and wellness. This track embeds prerequisites needed to apply for graduate study in physical therapy, athletic training, exercise physiology and other allied health professions.

Performance Track

This track prepares you for careers promoting optimal health in sports performance and physical activity. This track includes prerequisites needed to apply for athletic coaching, physical education, and other health and fitness professions.

Learn about our Exercise program

Career Opportunities

With a B.S. in Exercise Science, you can pursue a wide array of rewarding careers such as:

  • Strength and conditioning coaching
  • Exercise physiology
  • Athletic coaching
  • Corporate fitness
  • Fitness training

Our Exercise Science B.S. also prepares you for graduate school in allied health careers such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Athletic training
  • Physical education
  • Sports nutrition
  • Biomechanics
  • Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
  • Sports Psychology

13% growth rate

Career Outcomes
Exercise Physiology jobs
to grow 13% by 2030


21% growth rate

Career Outcomes
Physical Therapists
to grow 21% by 2030

23% growth rate

Career Outcomes
Athletic Training jobs
to grow 23% by 2030

What We Offer
The Mercy Advantage

  • Embedded internships
  • Active Exercise Science club
  • Personalized advising and mentorships
  • Cutting-edge equipment (Bod Pod, metabolic cart, and more)
  • Small class size for personalized attention
  • Hands-on learning in real-world settings
  • CAAHEP accredited program through ACSM
  • Education Recognition Program (ERP) designated by NSCA
  • Dedicated state-of-the-art exercise science lab

News & Highlights

Cycling and Parkinson's Disease Research Grant

Astrid Mel PhD, Program Director for Exercise Science and Nannette Hyland PT, PhD Program Director for Physical Therapy were awarded $18,000 from the Rainwater Charitable Foundation to study the impact of an indoor cycling protocol in reducing Parkinson’s symptoms. This project involves Mercy students to assist with data collection.

Program Outcomes

  • Synthesize and apply knowledge of core concepts from biological, physical, health, and behavioral sciences as a foundation for practice in exercise science

  • Act in accordance with professional and ethical standards in the field of exercise science

  • Assess health status, conduct fitness testing, and interpret results based on scientific evidence

  • Utilize evidence to design, administer, and modify appropriate exercise programs for normal and at-risk populations

  • Design and implement behavior modifications to promote and sustain a healthy lifestyle

  • Communicate information clearly in written and oral format to clients, colleagues, and community agencies

Program Faculty

Picture of myself
William Elliott Head Athletic Traine

Adjunct Instructor
Exercise Science
Mercy seal; placeholder for person with no headshot available
Judith Hark Lecturer
Exercise Science
Astrid Mel Assistant Professor
Exercise Science

Program Director, Exercise Science
Dr. Mary Allison Murphy
Mary Allison Murphy Assistant Professor
Exercise Science
Mercy seal; placeholder for person with no headshot available
Orlando Rivera Lecturer
Exercise Science

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of obtaining a B.S. in Exercise Science?

A BS in Exercise Science is an excellent choice if you are interested in having a degree that allows you to directly enter the workforce upon graduation. If you plan to pursue graduate education, the program will prepare you for both master's and doctorate level work as our BS in Exercise Science includes graduate program prerequisite courses for occupational therapy, physical therapy and exercise physiology to name a few. (Depending on the area of emphasis of the graduate program you choose, additional courses may be required.)

How is Mercy's program unique?

Mercy College is known for flexible scheduling and small class size. Our small class size facilitates a close relationship among the students and between students and faculty. Laboratory sections are taught by the professors who teach the lectures and not by graduate students. This arrangement enables faculty to closely coordinate the lecture and laboratory components of our courses and enables students to learn laboratory skills from experienced professionals.

Is the schedule flexible?

Very. You can take classes as a part-time or full-time student, at various times including evenings and weekends.

How long does earning a degree take?

Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.

I've taken classes at another college. Can I transfer credits to complete the B.S.?

Yes. Acceptance of transfer credits is determined by Admissions. They consult with any graduate program to which you intend to apply. To be eligible for a BS in Exercise Science, which is a 120-credit degree, students must complete a minimum of 30 undergraduate credits at Mercy College. Mercy may transfer up to 90 undergraduate credits from a 4-year college and up to 75 credits from a 2-year community college.

Are department faculty available for academic advising?

Yes, faculty are always ready to help students with questions about what courses to take, the sequencing of courses, and career opportunities, including internships and cooperative education.

Should I finish the general education requirements before starting my major?

No! Because of the rigor of the program a combination of general education courses and major-level courses is recommended. Students should contact the Program Coordinator as early as possible to plan their course of study.

Program Details & Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

General Education Requirements: 60 Credits
Major Concentration: Exercise Science: 49 Credits
Open Electives: 11 Credits

Total: 120 Credits

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog.

Exercise Science Program Accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon recommendation of Committee on Accreditation for Exercise Sciences (CoAES) awarded initial accreditation to the Mercy College Exercise Science program on March 17, 2017.

We are very proud and excited to be the 1st College in the Westchester/New York Metropolitan area and 2nd in New York State to receive full accreditation for our Exercise Science Program. We are also the only Exercise Science Program in New York State accredited by CAAHEP and recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as an Education Recognition Program (ERP).

These prestigious distinctions recognize the high quality of our Exercise Science Program and its faculty.

Performance Track Academic Program Sequence Map

Clinical Track Academic Program Sequence Map