at Meredith College

Majoring in health, exercise, and sport sciences at Meredith allows you to experience exciting internships, apply what you learn in a state-of-the-art human performance lab, and benefit from one-on-one career guidance by expert faculty.

"The intimate class settings and the extraordinary faculty really helped me narrow in on what I wanted to do."

Our Bachelor of Science in Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences

A skeleton wearing a meredith bandana overlooks a ESS class.

Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences (HESS) is the study of the immediate and long-term effects of physical activity on the body. Prepare for a career in this field as you examine the contributions of anatomy, biomechanics, motor learning, physiology, and health behaviors to the development of effective movement skills and exercise and sports performance.

A student smiles while trying out new fitness equipment in the CHESS building.

Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences Programs

Studying exercise science provides a strong knowledge base in both the discipline of sports science and the latest instructional skills for success in teaching health and physical education. The program focuses on wellness, skilled movement, sport, and foundational organizational and administrative principles. Field experiences beginning early in the program give students numerous hands-on opportunities to grow professionally.

Students majoring in exercise and sports science with a concentration in health and wellness are required to complete 65-74 credit hours, which include 38 hours of core courses and 27-36 hours of concentration courses. 

Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences course descriptions »

Undergraduate course catalogue »

Students majoring in health, exercise, and sport sciences with a concentration in health and physical education are required to complete 58-65 credit hours, which include 38 hours of core courses and 20-27 hours of concentration courses.  

Additional coursework is required to obtain teacher licensure.

Exercise and Sports Science course descriptions »

Undergraduate course catalogue »

Students earning a minor in health, exercise and sports science must complete 18 credit hours, including nine hours of core curriculum and nine hours of health and exercise and sports science courses, as well as an additional two hours of physical education/dance activity courses beyond the general education requirements. 

Exercise and Sports Science course descriptions »

Undergraduate course catalogue »

Why Study Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences at Meredith?

  • Choose from two concentrations: health and physical education or health and wellness.
  • Study in a new building, including a Health and Human Performance Lab that gives you access to advanced technology and exciting hands-on experience. 
  • Land top internships and field experiences through Meredith’s ideal location and strong faculty connections to employers and organizations.
  • Apply what you’re learning on campus by supporting fitness programming for students and Meredith employees.
  • Build your professional network by connecting with successful Meredith graduates who work in the field.
  • ESS majors can join the Sports Science Association and gain valuable hands-on experience by organizing a community event, supporting students’ health and wellness, and attending professional conferences and meetings.
  • Meredith ESS graduates hold a variety of roles, including as personal trainers, program supervisors, health and physical education teachers, and exercise physiologists. 
  • Others have attended graduate schools including East Carolina University, Elon University, and the University of Georgia. They’ve gone on to become physical therapists, occupational therapists, clinical trial coordinators, and more.

What Can You Do With a Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences Degree?

  • Meredith’s location near downtown Raleigh and the Research Triangle provides access to internships that prepare graduates for any number of careers. Recent internship sites include Abil-OT, Valencell, NextStep Raleigh, Shaw University Athletic Training, WakeMed Healthworks, and Pediatric Possibilities.
  • On-campus opportunities include
    • Human Performance Lab – perform basic fitness testing to extensive metabolic evaluation
    • Employee Wellness Program – deliver fitness and educational programs to the employees of Meredith College
    • Lowery Fitness Center – work as an instructor and gain hands-on experience in exercise instruction, implementation, and site supervision
    • Angels in Motion – lead classes in an exciting, student-led fitness program offered to all Meredith students


  • An exercise science degree prepares graduates for a variety of careers. Some can be pursued with a bachelor’s in exercise science, while others require additional graduate or professional schooling. 
  • For example, employment of exercise physiologists is projected to grow 9 percent over the next ten years, a position that typically requires a bachelor’s degree. About 1,700 openings for exercise physiologists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. The median annual wage for exercise physiologists is $47,940, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Physical therapists frequently earn their ESS bachelor’s degree before continuing on to earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. The median pay for physical therapists is $95,620.
  • Examples of successful Meredith ESS graduates include
    • Lauren Grodi, ’20, who taught wellness classes for students, faculty, and staff as a certified group fitness instructor and interned with a physical therapist while studying abroad in Sydney, Australia. She’s now pursuing her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at East Carolina University.
    • Brittany Preston, ’19, was a student advisor for Wings and transfer students and captain of the basketball team. She worked with her advisor to define a career path and she is now pursuing a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Methodist University.

Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences students are encouraged to conduct research while pursuing their degree. Students may identify a special topic and work under the supervision of a professor or join a research team formed by a professor. Recent undergraduate student research topics include

  • An Investigation of Relationships between Freshman Academic Credit Hours and Health Status of Undergraduate Females
  • The Effects of Sports Drinks on Aerobic Performance
  • An Analysis of the Effects of Physical and Reactive Training on Agility Performance
  • Influences of Fitness Assessment Programs on Female Undergraduate Exercise and Sport Science Majors
Students use different equipment in the new ESS room.

Academic Facilities

Communication, Health, Exercise & Sports Science Building

Communication and Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences (CHESS) Building

A new Communication and Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences (CHESS) Building was recently constructed to accommodate Meredith’s growing ESS program, which has increased by 52% over the last ten years. The approximately 13,000 square foot building features specialized spaces including a health and human performance lab, an assessment lab, and more.

Student Research in Health and Human Performance Lab.

Health & Human Performance Lab

With a focus on health and wellness, the lab provides early access to research and clinical practices. Our goal is to inspire health, exercise, and sport sciences students to become researchers and practitioners in a field of study in which women are traditionally underrepresented.

Lowry Fitness Center

Lowery Fitness Center

ESS students also enjoy the Lowery Fitness Center, a recently renovated facility that includes treadmills, bikes, elliptical cross trainers, ascent trainers, rowers, and power lifting racks. There are also free weights, kettlebells, resistance machines, physio balls, medicine balls, bands, and accessory equipment available.

Exercise and Sports Science major Lauren Grodi, ’20, used her strengths at Meredith as volleyball team captain, student researcher, and intern. She continues to use them while earning her doctorate in physical therapy at East Carolina University.

Videos About Meredith’s Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences Major

Exercise and Sport Sciences major Sophie Cook, ’23, built strong connections with her peers and faculty, which helped her land an internship that turned into a full-time job. 

Majoring in ESS at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, will prepare you for a career in your field whether you plan to go to work right after graduation or pursue graduate or professional school.

Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences News and Events

Meredith’s Exercise and Sport Sciences (ESS) seniors who will graduate in May 2023 are celebrating job offers and acceptances to professional and graduate school programs well before graduation.

Contact Information
Dr. Heather Sanderson
Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences
(919) 760-8152

Nutrition Health & Human Performance Dept. »
School of Education Health & Human Sciences »

Skip to content