Bachelor's Degree in Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences

The undergraduate program in Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences (ESMS):

  • provides a comprehensive exposure to the field of exercise science, with coursework in areas such as kinesiology, physiology, biomechanics, motor behavior and exercise programming.
  • introduces you to the theoretical concepts and practical skills associated with preventive health, exercise and disease management, physical fitness, exercise program design and sports conditioning.
  • provides an overview of mechanical aspects of human movement as well as physiological systems including anatomical, musculoskeletal, neural, cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory; inclusive of both lecture and laboratory experiences.
  • includes a one-semester (240 hour) internship (final semester of senior year), in which you can select your area of focus to gain 'real world' work experience in your chosen field. An option to complete the internship within one of the many Human Performance Laboratories is available with permission/acceptance of the lab director. » Application
  • when substantially more ‘real world’ work experience/exposure is desired prior to graduate school training, one of the two-semester Cooperative Education options might be considered for either 1) pre-athletic training, 2) pre-occupational therapy, 3) pre-physical therapy or 4) pre-strength & conditioning. 

 An accelerated BS/MS program in ESMS is offered through the College of Health Sciences.


Health Studies


Students are well prepared to work in a variety of settings or to attend graduate school within the following areas*:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medicine (medical doctor, physician assistant)
  • Exercise science and associated disciplines (master's or PhD level)
  • Bioenergetics
  • Biomechanics
  • Exercise physiology
  • Nutrition science
  • Strength and conditioning

*Students should seek the guidance of the academic services coordinator, the pre-health professional advisor, faculty mentors and/or the school/college of interest with regards to needed prerequisite courses for Graduate School admission.

Students are also well prepared to begin employment within the following areas:

  • Health/Medical research (master's degree typically required)
  • Clinical Exercise Physiologist (master's degree typically required)
  • Corporate wellness
  • Health club facility management
  • Personal training
  • Group fitness instruction
  • Fitness and wellness coaching
  • Strength and conditioning coaching


For more info:
Melissa Puppa | mpuppa@memphis.edu
Program Coordinator

ESMS brochure Download the ESMS brochure

ESMS Cooperative Education Program

Our Cooperative Education Program is an ideal option for students aspiring to enter graduate school in:

  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • athletic training
  • strength & conditioning

The program is designed to provide you with early extensive exposure/experience in one of these clinical/professional fields to assist you in determining if the field is a good personal choice. This program also provides you with extensive networking opportunities and assists you in understanding the relevance of coursework you are taking in the ESMS program of study.

If you have completed all 1000- and 2000-level prerequisites for the ESMS concentration with a cumulative GPA of no less than 3.0, you may participate in this program that involves school/work rotations. Students are paid an hourly wage by the work site, so availability of sites may be limited. You are responsible for securing your own work sites. Cooperative education participation is an option, not a requirement.

For more info:
Lawrence Weiss | lweiss@memphis.edu
Program Coordinator

ESMS brochure Download ESMS Cooperative Education Program brochure

We are endorsed by the National Strength and Conditioning Association's (NSCA) Education Recognition Program (ERP). The NSCA ERP recognizes and distinguishes schools with standardized, approved strength and conditioning or personal training curricula in undergraduate and graduate settings designed to prepare students for the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®) and NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) certifications.


Student Testimonials

"The University of Memphis was my last stop on my educational odyssey. It took me 12 years to finally finish my undergraduate studies. Although I would've liked to graduate in a normal time frame, I feel that being an older student allowed me to truly understand the caliber of instructors that we had in the Exercise, Sport & Movement Science program. Through their guidance, instruction, and drive to make me better, I was able to graduate and start a CrossFit gym a few months after. They instilled the confidence within me to know I was making the right choice. It's the best choice I've ever made educationally." - Milos Mikic, BS

"I completed both my bachelor’s and master’s within the College of Health Sciences. The six years I spent within the College were some of the most transformative years I have experienced thus far. From receiving a world-class education taught by renowned faculty in their respective disciplines, to working alongside faculty and gaining knowledge in conducting interdisciplinary research, the dedication of the College to educating future leaders in health sciences shaped my career and the person I am today. Because of the experiences I had during my time within the College, I continued my education, completed a doctoral degree, and pursued a career in academics to help develop the next round of health science professionals. I am forever grateful for my time spent within the College of Health Sciences at the University of Memphis. It has become a place that feels less like a university, and more like home, whenever I come back." - Shelby A. Peel, PhD 

"My time spent within the College of Health Sciences exceeded my expectations. I was surrounded by some of the most respected scientists within the exercise/sport science field, which allowed for great mentoring that helped me though my doctorate and now as a faculty member. I learned a tremendous amount about research, and was able to collaborate on many different projects that enriched my education while being at the University of Memphis. I know my time spent within the College of Health Sciences will only help me to excel as an educator and researcher." - Tyler M. Farney, PhD, CSCS, USAW

"Throughout my graduate studies within the College of Health Sciences, I was provided an education that is second to none. The skills acquired through this program allowed me to reach my academic goals in addition to providing me with the necessary tools to succeed as an educator and in the field of research. I had the opportunity to work in multiple labs alongside of some of the most respected scientists in their fields which allowed for a diverse educational experience.  The education provided by the College of Health Sciences fully prepared me to face the rigors of Ph.D. studies and beyond. Without question, much of the success I have earned as well as my potential for future success can be credited to the education acquired from the College of Health Sciences and their exceptional professors." - Damien C. Moore, MS

"I have gained much valuable research experience in the College of Health Sciences under the guidance of many distinguished mentors. The knowledge I have gained allowed me to be a step ahead of my peers in medical school and there is no doubt that I will be a better physician someday as a result of my experiences." - Moe Kabir, MD

"Performing undergraduate research in the College of Health Sciences was a great learning experience. The faculty and staff are helpful, knowledgeable, and inspiring. Being able to publish scientific papers and perform clinical science research gave me a competitive edge when applying for graduate school." - Zach Bell, BSEd

"Through the College of Health Sciences, I was able to develop my skills in all facets of scientific research including subject recruitment and screening, data collection and statistical analysis, blood collection and processing, manuscript writing/poster preparation, exposure undertaking biochemical assays, and collaboration with other graduate students. Above all else though, I was mentored on the scientific process and how to undertake it in a research environment. These enabled me to progress onto a premier biomedical institution and research laboratory." - Cam McCarthy, PhD

Exercise Science Laboratories

Within the College of Health Sciences, a collection of faculty-directed laboratories is available devoted to the scientific study of human health and aspects of performance. Numerous studies of varied foci are conducted each year within the laboratories. Faculty members within Exercise Science secure external funding to support their research and their work is published in both national and international peer-reviewed journals.

Both undergraduate and graduate students have opportunities to participate in faculty-directed research. Students also work within the various labs as volunteers, interns or graduate research assistants.