Marian's Program in Exercise and Sports Science prepares you for careers in healthcare

by User Not Found | Sep 26, 2018

 September 26, 2018


Housed in Marian University’s health professions unit, our Program in Exercise and Sports Science (ESS) is uniquely related to human health, wellness, and preventative medicine. It is also the first and only of its kind in Indiana to be directly tied to a school of medicine.

You can choose from four degree programs in ESS at Marian: nutrition, fitness, and wellness; physiology of exercise; exercise science; and sport performance.

Dr. Loren A. Bertocci, director of the program, explained that the current field of exercise science is a modernization of a field previously known as physical education.

"The beginning of a shift started when the American College of Sports Medicine was created in 1954," Bertocci said. "Over time, and with advances in studies of physiology and biochemistry, exercise science has increasingly focused on the fundamentals of chemistry, biochemistry, and physiology."

Because of this shift, Marian continuously updates its courses to help you build a strong foundation in core sciences.

"Our mission is to deliver an outstanding student experience that’s grounded in the latest advancements in physiology and biochemistry, all within an overall framework that explicitly links the basic sciences to our fundamental emphasis on preventative medicine and health promotion. Because our students get to apply all this to real-world, hands-on practical experiences, Marian graduates are uniquely prepared for career success," Bertocci added.

Marian’s ESS program also requires you to gain real-world experience by completing at least one internship and/or actively participating in a research project before graduation.

In addition, ESS faculty advisors will help you complete coursework that builds the skills and experience needed to pursue nationally-recognized certifications that will lead to greater post-graduation successes.

"The most common choice is to prepare for one of the certifications offered by the American College of Sports Medicine, such as the certified exercise physiologist or registered clinical exercise physiologist credential," Bertocci reported. "For students whose career goals include graduate study to work in a field such as physical therapy or chiropractic, a certification related to the musculoskeletal system, such as strength and condition, is a good choice."

The combination of meaningful coursework, hands-on learning opportunities, and personalized academic advising that’s based on your unique career goals will prepare you to be a competitive candidate for admission to top graduate programs in any of the health professions or for M.S. or Ph.D. programs in the life sciences.

Currently, the most popular ESS major among Marian freshmen is physiology of exercise, according to Bertocci. Almost all of our students who select this major do so as a path towards gaining admission to an M.S. program as a physician’s assistant, a DO or MD degree in medicine, or an M.S. or Ph.D. degree in the life sciences.

Bertocci and his faculty launched their newest bachelor’s degree program in nutrition, fitness, and wellness earlier this year. This program prepares you for professional certification as a health and wellness coach through the National Board of Medical Examiners in collaboration with the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching.

"As our healthcare model shifts away from simply treating disease and towards promoting health and providing preventative medicine, graduates with this certification will become increasingly valuable in the world of modern medicine," Bertocci said.

For more information about the Program in Exercise and Sports Science, visit

Learn More About Our Exercise Science Programs

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